Not so for baseball movies. I don’t have the daddy issues that give me tears for Field of Dreams, but I enjoyed Major League, League of Their Own, Baseketball, 8 Men Out, Moneyball and of course, Cobb.
So let’s go with a plot summery:
Clint Eastwood is old. His boss, John Goodman, thinks his mind is slipping, and goes to his daughter to check on him, she tries to talk to him, he blows her off and leaves. She gets concerned, starts following him to the games to scout a potential #2 draft pick, where she is joined by scouts from other teams that have been looking at him, and new scout Justin Timberlake, who is killing a year while he waits for his turn in the booth.
So what did I expect?
I expected the old man to show up the kid, to be 100% right on the pick being a bad idea, to show his boss he still is the Red Auerbach of scouting, to reconcile with the daughter just in time for her to fall in love with Timberlake, and to ride off into the sunset after the next player.
Now why did I expect the old man to be right? Well, he’s the one that convinced the Yankees to trade for Babe Ruth, and Justin is the young Buck who needs to be taught a lesson.
Why did the pick have to be a bad idea? Because seeing a flaw that NO ONE else does is the only way to be right. Its not genius to prove that Bo Jackson might be a good player or Strasburg might be a good starter. Pointing out at Jobu can’t hit a curveball? That’s genius.
The rest? Standard movie stuff. You knew it, I knew it, everyone knew it. Heck my 6 year old knew it, and she couldn’t tell you how many players are on a team.
So does the movie work?
Absolutely. Clint plays old quite well, the HOT chick plays great, and Justin simply does not have an ability to stink at anything. As long as he doesn’t try to play Hamlet or the T1000, I have a hard time seeing him fail at anything. The story moves along quickly, doesn’t waste a ton of time, and never really bores you. The are some slow spots, and you can see it coming, and you can leave 15 minutes early to avoid the whole “daughter knows everything too” subplot ending.
The flaws are GLARING but don’t really get in the way. An Old Man instincts are better than any computer program (i.e. MoneyBall is a lie) the hitter has an obvious weakness that no coaching can fix – EVER, we have to prove the woman is just as good by having her find a pitcher just wandering around with 3 KO pitches- one of witch is of course the curve that the hitter can’t hit. We are hit over the head again and again that the hitter is an asshole that we want to fail. He did everything but club a kitten with his bat rounding third.
Stuff I don’t need.
The whole thing about Moneyball being useless. I do love the dude from 13 Ghosts/Scream, and he is excellent, but this plot point is smacked to much.
The romance angle. Little too forced. I love Amy Adams, but they tried a little to hard to go to IN LOVE too fast. How many groupies would a star pitcher in Atlanta/Boston that look like Justin get before 25? I’d put the over/under at 11K. He’s going to be the voice of the Sox, so its not like he was thrown a bone here by MLB.
Amy Adams whole persona. The whole Guy’s world type of thing is beaten over and over- and of course, her “replacement” is an idiot. Her romance with the other lawyer seems a little stupid as well. She seems like the type that is better when she’s playing a woman vs a love interest.
The “Clint’s last find is homesick and no one else has figured out that’s why he sucks now” I got one word for this whole angle
Things I wanted more of:
The rest of the scouts. Whom apparently are not old enough to know of a player can hit a curveball.
Whom the other picks could be. All they keep talking about was some pitcher.
I really could have used more Clint and Justin. Clint is said to have cried when the Braves traded him when his arm was blown out.
So is this a good movie? Yes. The cast, the flow, Timberlake, etc, make this an enjoyable waste of time. I’m going to give this a solid 7, as high as I can go on a movie I don’t want to spend a dime on.
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