View Full Version : Million Dollar Arm (Craig Gillespie)

Henry Gale
05-02-2014, 04:50 AM

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1647668/)

Henry Gale
05-02-2014, 05:17 AM
I mean, it is what it is, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, just not exactly anything particularly exciting. It's exactly the move you expect it is, and depending on how that makes you feel, that should foretell your feelings on it.

Not sure how this came from a script by Tom McCarthy (I guess making well-respected indies can only pay the bills to a point), but it basically feels like a writing exercise in constructing the most pitch-able screenplay possible more than anything naturally from him. It's not an interesting script, but it hits every expected beat so precisely that it's almost impressive, and the sort of thing people might respect and use as a teaching tool just to show how to construct a true-story sort of movie like this, since it's basically designed to be crowdpleaser, even if the personality of it is so blandly stringent that I couldn't feel a part of said crowd.

The performances are solid all-around, because they're all reliably solid performers, the production values are strong and well-used because it's a big studio movie with a decent budget with an extremely capable director behind it (Craig Gillespie, who's done significantly more off-kilter stuff like the inscrutably heartwarming Lars and the Real Girl and the great, goofily gothic Fright Night remake), and the story is well-rounded and suitably moving because it was something that really happened that people felt was worthy enough to become a major motion picture and grab the attention of everyone I've already mentioned.

It's entirely suitable and by-the-numbers, delivers by painting firmly within those lines, with bonus moments towards the end where it finally comes together to become something genuinely emotionally grabbing. But after that heart-tugging climax, it quickly ends and deserts its dramatized characters for montages and text blurbs of the real people, and everything blends into credits, which blends into leaving the theatre, which blends into it leaving my mind.

It's your 60+ year-old relative future Netflix recommendation, and you won't hate taking them up on it on a weekend afternoon, but you might also put it off for long enough that both of you forget about it and move on to something better.

** / 5.7

05-02-2014, 05:49 PM
I find it weird that in the Marc Maron interview with Hamm he talked about how many leading man roles he's been offered since Mad Men and he's passed on all of them because he was waiting for the right one. A generic feel good sports movie is "the right one"?

Henry Gale
05-04-2014, 02:22 AM
I mean, it's the sort of movie that if Disney wanted to be more overly confident and tactical with it, they could've released it in a different month and forced a sense of prestige onto it. But it's pretty kid-friendly (at least seemed to be with the rows of kids around me) and could work well as counter-programming to louder, more violent fare, but I doubt going up against Godzilla will do it any favours. Again, it doesn't do much more than it needs to and I wouldn't be surprised if people fell for it on those terms, but I don't see it becoming anything surprising financially or especially culturally.

I'm more curious as to what these other lead roles he didn't pursue were.

Henry Gale
05-15-2014, 06:27 AM
The TV spots have reminded how odd the soundtrack to this is at times.

If you have a inscrutable hole in your soul that can only be filled by montages scored to Iggy Azalea or Kendrick Lamar rapping over beats by A.R. Rahman, then this is the movie for you!