Friday, May 16, 2014

Million Dollar Arm

For the second time this year, with 'Draft Day' being the first, a sports drama has defied the odds and proven both entertaining and feel good but without being sickeningly positive, phony, or cliche.

Based on a true story, Jon Hamm plays a struggling sports agent with an innovative idea: find the best pitching arms in India, bring them to America, make them Major League Baseball players, and thereby attract a billion new fans to the game.  But can he pull it off?

It all works here.  The acting is great, particularly Hamm, but with help from a good supporting cast including Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, and Lake Bell.  The fish-out-of-water aspects, in both India and the U.S., are fun.  And, at least for those of us who are sports history clueless and don't know how it actually turned out, it keeps you interested from start to finish.  Disney does it again with a family friendly film that won't make you gag.

Grade: A

Who is this movie for?  It's from the producers of 'Invincible' and 'Miracle', so those are pretty good benchmarks.  But it's also a bit reminiscent of 'The Rookie' and 'The Scout'.

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