Saturday, May 17, 2014

Movie Review: Million Dollar Arm - A Heartwarming, Inspirational Story

Million Dollar Arm follows in the footsteps of some great Disney sports themed movies such as Miracle, Remember The Titans and The Rookie just to name a few!

Based on a true story, we follow sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm), who is down on his luck, has no clients and struggling to keep his head above water. Then he has a brainstorm! With nothing to lose he sets his sights on India to find a pitcher.
He wants to turn this mostly cricket-loving country into a baseball loving one. JB is a fish out of water here as he tries to create a reality style show, traveling to various cities and televising the contests.
The contest comes down to the top ten and then the first and second place finishers win cash prizes and a trip to America to baseball camp and then an official tryout for Major League Teams.

Rinku (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) are the two winners and after two heartfelt goodbyes to family and loved ones, they begin their journey to America.
In America, the two boys and their translator are the fish out of water now. These in over their head moments are probably some of the best of the film. Instead of just focusing on baseball, there are real bonds being made here.
Alan Arkin plays a retired baseball scout who brings some humor into the movie as well as helps brings it all together when it looks like the idea of bringing the two young Indian boys to play baseball has hit rock bottom.
Bill Paxton plays USC baseball couch Tom House, whose unorthodox teaching methods really help the boys to not only learn the game but to have confidence in their abilities.
Lake Bell as Brenda anchors the film and brings everyone together. She is the one who listens to the boys and how they are feeling being so far away from home for the first time. Essentially taking on the mother role and helping JB understand that he needs to take on more of a fatherly role for these boys. That he needs to put business aside and teach the boys how to have fun and in turn they all bond together like a real family.
In the end, Million Dollar Arm in an inspirational story about people wanting to do better. The film is about those in the game and not about the game. Exceptional performances by Sharma and Mittal, quirky Bell is a perfect match for Hamm's all-business attitude.

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MILLION DOLLAR ARM is in theatres now!

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