Million Dollar Arm is your typical “from rags to riches” uplifting sports movie. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before: The Blindside, 42, Remember The Titans, Trouble With The Curve, I could go on…But just because we know how a story is going to end, doesn’t mean the journey can’t be enjoyable.
Million Dollar Arm
Directed By: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Madhur Mattal, Suraji Sharma, Pitobash, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin
5 Things You Need To Know
1. The movie is about J.B. Bernstein rather than Dinesh and Rinku, the athletes from India who become drafted in pro-baseball. J.B. Bernstein is an arrogant and ignorant, “Hollywood” sports agent. He’s used to luxury: big houses, flashy cars and expensive dinners. And to make matters worse, he’s desperate. He needs a win. And some people will do anything for a win. But even when he’s at his worst, he’s watchable because of the charismatic, Jon Hamm. Jon Hamm makes him someone to root for. We want him to be redeemed and when it happens it’ll be great.
2. Lake Bell takes on a more serious role as J.B’s “love” interest, Brenda…and I like it. Lake Bell has this funny awkward, rambly thing about her but sometimes she can be too over the top. In this movie, she was majorly toned down. She seemed down to earth, stable, and reasonable with her funny, nerdy personality still intact. This is the Lake Bell I like to see.
3. The movie could have benefited more from showing us more of Dinesh and Rinku’s culture. It touched upon it briefly, but I felt as if those moments were used more as comic relief as opposed to dramatic impact. Here’s this guy who’s pulling these two kids from the only small town life they’ve ever known and dropping them, by themselves into an unknown foreign country. I wish we could have seen more of Dinesh and Rinku’s home life or have seen J.B. be in uncomfortable situations as opposed to him bullying everyone. Yes, the turnaround came, but it almost came too late.
4.Pitobash does a hell of an acting job. Amit is by far one of my characters in this film. Pitobash plays him with such humility; you can’t help but love the guy and want him to succeed. And essentially he becomes the heart of the film. He does what J.B. cannot do. J.B. gave the guys the opportunity, Bill Paxton’s, Tom House gave them the skills, and Amit gave them the heart and the courage to go for the dreams. That is the story right there folks.
5. Dinesh and Rinku don’t have much character development. This movie is about J.B. Bernstein, the movie is Jon Hamm’s movie, but with taking this direction, the filmmakers do a great disservice to the triumphs of Dinesh and Rinku. I believe this story is just as much there’s as it is J.B.’s. What they did is just as important of a story as J.B.’s is. They uprooted their entire life, moved to a foreign country with no support system, were treated like crap by the guy they put all their faith in, and were put under immense pressure by being tasked with achieving something nearly impossible. They were scared, they were defeated, they were broken, but we never actually heard those things come from their mouth. They were always told to us by a third party. I wish this movie could have focused more on the tougher subjects.
Overall, this movie was an uplifting, compelling, heartfelt story. Though it could have taken bigger risks, we all knew how the story was going to end. It’s definitely a great movie to watch, but to shell out a lot of money to see it is unnecessary. It’ll be just as impactful spending less money and watching it on your couch with a pizza.
- Does Alan Arkin play the same character in every movie?
- I can’t look at Bill Paxton the same after seeing him on Agents of SHIELD.