Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Gus is a baseball scout. The team he works for thinks he should retire. He asks them to let him do one more scouting job to prove himself. His friend, Pete, asks Gus's estranged daughter, Mickey, if she could go with him to make sure he's OK as his eyes are failing. The doctor tells Gus he should get his eyes treated but he insists on doing his scouting assignment, which takes him to North Carolina. Mickey decides to put her work on hold to go with him and she wants him to explain why he pushed her away. Whilst there he runs into Johnny, a scout from another team who was a promising player Gus once scouted. Johnny and Mickey take an interest in each other. Written by
According to the production notes, "To ensure a sense of realism on the playing field, Lorenz also hired baseball coordinator Aimee McDaniel to help organize, choreograph and rehearse the athletes, and train the actors to look like players, even Amy Adams". Director Robert Lorenz has said: "Aimee came to Georgia and basically recruited all the different teams and help we needed. She did a great job, so that was one aspect of production I didn't have to worry about. Everybody knew what they were doing and they were all good players...or at least looked like they were". See more »
When Mickey enters the smokey kitchen, she opens both windows to the same level as the blinds. As the scene ends and Mickey is walking out, there is a shot of Gus standing in the kitchen door with the windows behind him. The windows are now several inches below the level of the blinds. See more »
[at the toilet]
Okay, come on now. Come on, boy. Let's not take your sweet-ass time about this. Jesus. Okay, that's it... Ah, good. Don't laugh, I outlived you, you little bastard.
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I normally do not like movies about sports. I love sports; just not movies about sports. That being said, this film was not so much about baseball as it was about a father and daughter relationship. It also touched on how technology has taken over the human element of scouting for players. This film is the complete opposite of Money Ball, where technology actually helps in building a team. Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) is an aging scout for the Atlanta Braves who is struggling with his eyesight and the front office has doubts about whether or not he is still up to the job of spotting up and coming talent. Because of this affliction, Gus is a grumpy old man which actually adds a lot of humor to the film. His character kind of reminded me of the character that Eastwood played in Grand Torino. His daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) discovers that her father is having difficulty, reluctantly takes on the roll of caregiver and follows her father on his scouting adventure. Incidentally, she knows more about baseball than probably anyone else in this film. Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake) is an aspiring sports announcer who was scouted by Gus years ago. The relationship that develops between Mickey (named for Mickey Mantle) and Johnny is fun to watch and provides some insight to Mickey's reluctance to develop a serious relationship with any man. Pete Klein (John Goodman) plays the mediator role that brings Mickey and Gus together. I really liked his unyielding devotion and trust to Gus. It was also good to once again see Scott Eastwood (Billy Clark) act alongside his father. They have acted together in several films, and it was good to see them spending some family time together. I think that the entire cast definitely made this film better and I am sure that it will draw young viewers to the theater. I do not think that this film was utterly brilliant, but it was thoroughly entertaining. There were aspects of the film that were totally predictable, but I looked forward to seeing it play out. Director Robert Lorenz may not have hit it out of the park (like he did with Million Dollar Baby), but I think that it is a definite triple play. I recommend that you do not sit on the bench and go out and see this film. I give this film a green light.
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