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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.
"How the hell do you know I'm lucky to survive?"
Legendary screen icon Clint Eastwood returns in front of the camera since his hit "Gran Torino". No matter what anyone else thinks of him, I will always admire the man. He is one of my heroes. Who else can personify the action hero perfectly, become a gifted filmmaker, improve his acting ability as he ages AND be quite the jazz musician?
Mr. Eastwood may be old but he still has a commanding presence on screen. Granted, he might be the only leading octogenarian in Hollywood right now, but still, I digress. He is old. That is a fact. At the age of 82, seeing him play an elderly man losing his sight while bonding with his distant daughter makes it quite sad for me to watch. However, "Trouble With the Curve" is a breeze to watch.
It is not a baseball movie, although baseball is the basis of the film's story. Nor is it a depressing drama (Mr. Eastwood's favorite genre of late). It is a father-daughter bonding dramedy, with some great chemistry between Mr. Eastwood and Amy Adams as his estranged daughter. Justin Timberlake also arrives to lighten up the atmosphere even more, and his presence is welcome in the film.
Mr. Eastwood is not in the director's chair this time. His long-time producer partner, Robert Lorenz, makes his directorial debut with this film. Apparently Lorenz directs the cast with ease although it feels too by-the-numbers. But hey, there are much worse debuts. Judging from the breezy pace and the somewhat brisk editing and lively cinematography, it's clear from the get-go that the superb "Eastwood touch" is not evident in the film, even though some of Mr. Eastwood's key players are still here - cinematographer Tom Stern and editor Joel Cox - though the music by Marco Beltrami (not Mr. Eastwood nor his son this time!) complements the atmosphere pleasantly.
Look, this is not a great film. It's a pedestrian and predictable film, with Mr. Eastwood, Adams, Timberlake, as well as an impressive supporting cast featuring John Goodman and Robert Patrick, phoning in the performances. Both Adams and Mr. Eastwood have acted much more superbly in better previous movies ("Gran Torino", "Million Dollar Baby", "The Fighter"). But it is funny, it is sad at times (Mr. Eastwood's heart-wrenching singing of 'You are My Sunshine' is forever embedded in my head), and it is easy on the eyes, ears and mind, a relaxing pleasure to watch. It is great entertainment. From all the big- budget blockbusters out in cinemas last summer, this is a joy. You'll walk out smiling.
A great film for sports fans and non sports fans alike. Great drama and acting by Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams. They really make a believable father and daughter. Justin Timberlake was also good as a washed up pitcher turned baseball scout. It follows a story of a baseball scout (Eastwood) who is getting towards the end of his career, and scouting the potential number one pick for the Atlanta Braves. Eastwood is definitely getting up there but he can still act and plays this part perfectly. The film moves along good, and is enjoyable from start to finish. It has laughs, drams and some romance. Great for a couple or for the family. An added bonus if you're a baseball fan. 8/10.
Just got back from seeing this movie, and I enjoyed it very much.
I'm not a person who follows sports, and even though baseball terms were thrown around, I had no problem keeping up with the story. The casting was phenomenal; each character was portrayed perfectly by the actors.
The story may be a little cliché, but it was enjoyable all the same. The plot is about a father and grown daughter trying to reconnect over baseball scouting. There is drama, laughs, and even a few tears along the way.
I highly recommend this movie.
Clint Eastwood has being a curmudgeon honed to perfection. How refreshing to see a mature actor creating appropriate roles, and not trying to be a plastic version of his - or her, for that matter in many cases - former self playing inappropriately younger parts. He is excellent in this movie. Amy Adams is, as in every film I've seen her in, a total delight. I never was a fan of John Goodman in his earlier years, but the older he gets and the meatier the roles he takes on, the more appreciation I have for him. And Justin Timberlake has a role absolutely meant for him. He is a sexy little hunk, no doubt about it, with personality to spare. Oh, I loved this movie! The exhilaration of baseball, the heart-tugging familiarity of family issues .this one has a lot going for it and I enjoyed each and every minute of it. It's as good as expectations built it up to be. I would advise you not to miss this one!
It pains me to say that I've already heard many people say they will
not be seeing Trouble with the Curve because of Clint Eastwood's
"antics" at the Republican National Convention just a few weeks ago.
Their loss. Not being able to separate the man from the actor is
something that took me a while to do, but the way some do it now is
childish and immature. I wonder if those same people knew Eastwood was
a Libertarian/Republican when he was playing "Dirty Harry." Hard to
believe it has been nineteen years since Eastwood himself acted in a
film he has not directed. He lends the camera to Robert Lorenz, who
assisted him in directing much of Eastwood's filmography, including
Flags of Our Fathers and the acclaimed Best Picture winner Million
Dollar Baby. Lorenz's captures screenwriter Randy Brown's simple but
uplifting, intimate story of a man's devotion to a game and his brewing
reconnection with his daughter he seemingly abandoned at a young age.
I'll catch you up; Eastwood plays Gus Lobel, an elderly scout for the Atlanta Braves baseball team, who is becoming increasingly frail and ill-equipped with deteriorating eyesight. The Braves are losing faith in Gus's abilities, because in recent years, baseball has been run more by computer predictions and online statistics rather than physically sitting in the stands and scouting. Gus doesn't hold back on his hatred for computers, making them sound like limited fossils and being unable to predict more detailed outcomes. One wonders if he is mindlessly ranting or wouldn't even like a computer if he knew how to use one.
Pete, played by John Goodman, on a roll now with winning films, is Gus's close friend who is convincing the Braves' organization that despite Gus's poor eyesight, that he is an invaluable asset and needs to stay. He recruits Gus's daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), to assist him in scouting a young prodigy in North Carolina, who currently plays for a high school team. Mickey's mother died when she was young and shortly after, Gus sent her to live with relatives whom she barely knew. During the scouting trip, Mickey winds up meeting one of Gus's friends whom he used to scout back in the day, named Johnny "The Flame" Flanagan (Justin Timberlake), for his one-hundred mile-an-hour fastball. We can see where this is headed.
We can see where much of the film is headed throughout its runtime but it's scarcely a burden because the warmth and bold character study on three of 2012's most interesting characters is a soothing and efficient one. Eastwood turns in the racism and foul rants he expertly utilized in Gran Torino for some nuanced anger as Gus, and as always, comes off as charismatic and effortlessly likable. Amy Adams does some fine work here, showing us that she is an up-and-coming female actress that is going under the radar, somewhat like Emily Blunt, and fearlessly plays the role of a woman in desperate need of answers, which her father will not give her. And Justin Timberlake continues to show is versatility and heart playing a totally different character from his last one and hitting every note properly.
It would appear that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin could have possibly started a new trend with sports films that was seldom seen before his film Moneyball, and that trend is centering a story around a sport but making the center the characters and not the on-field theatrics. Never are we truly consumed in the story of this young scouter, but we shouldn't be. And never were we truly gripped by the Oakland Athletics players in Moneyball - mainly because we never saw them play or were even formally acquainted with them. Both films center around the same sport, but ones' agenda is to show the gritter business side of baseball, while the other is the story of a father and daughter reconnecting with the sport in the foreground. With both films, it's needless to say, I'm all for this brewing trend.
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, and John Goodman. Directed by: Robert Lorenz.
Clint Eastwood has received more acclamation as a director than as an
actor, but in the case of Trouble With the Curve, he decided to yield
the control of the movie to other filmmaker, while he only acted on it.
And director Robert Lorenz closely follows Eastwood's sober and direct
style, while the screenplay deals with the habitual subjects in his
movies about dignity in the mature age, fortress of spirit and second
chances. The result is entertaining and pleasant, but predictable and a
On some way, Trouble With the Curve takes the opposite attitude to Moneyball (human instinct surpasses technology), but screenwriter Randy Brown isn't really interested in the secret operations of baseball, but in showing the characters' emotional evolution. There's nothing original in that development; the main points of the screenplay are the reparation of family conflicts, redemption of anachronistic ideologies and the dignity of mature age in a world which is so worried about the future that it never looks back. And despite the clichés, sentimental manipulation and excessively easy and convenient solutions, Trouble With the Curve managed to keep me entertained mainly thanks to the excellent performances from Eastwood, Amy Adams and John Goodman. Eastwood limits himself to repeat the "irritable old man" character he played in Gran Torino...and I don't have any complaints against that, because it takes the maximum advantage of his talent as an actor. Adams brings deepness and credibility to her shallowly written character, while Goodman steals every scene he's in.
Justin Timberlake brings a decent performance in Trouble With the Curve, but I couldn't swallow his character's function as a potential couple of Adams' character. His character of a gallant looks like a commercial trick, and not an integral part of the screenplay. Nevertheless, I think I can give a moderate recommendation to Trouble With the Curve as an inoffensive and pleasant experience, despite not being very memorable.
"Trouble With The Curve" is a wonderful film. The casting, acting,
writing, direction, were all superb. The location scenery was
Clint Eastwood is at the top of his game, he plays his part effortlessly. And, OMG, Amy Adams was unbelievable, she is amazing and beautiful, she deserves the Oscar for this film. The chemistry between Clint and Amy was perfect.
This is not a baseball movie, it is a father-daughter film in the fashion of "On Golden Pond". It will make you laugh, think and cry.
Another Clint Eastwood film that Hollywood can be proud of. Go see it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With the talents of Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, and
John Goodman you would think you'd be in for a really good movie.
Unfortunately, I didn't feel that was the case. It seemed the makers of
the film went out of their way to make the film as contrived and
formulaic as possible. With the various soap operaish plot elements and
stilted dialog I was rolling my eyes in disbelief, especially in the
final twenty minutes or so of the film.
I'm a big fan of Clint Eastwood's movie work, but I thought that the concept of him being Amy Adams' father was really far fetched. Grandfather maybe. Adams, as usual, lights up the screen whenever she appears, with her vivaciousness and charisma. John Goodman does his usual solid job as the Braves Director of Scouting, and Eastwood's boss. He tries to help Eastwood and shield him from the young "vultures" who want to put Eastwood "out to pasture" once and for all. Matthew Lillard is believable as the top young "vulture" butt-kisser who has no respect for Eastwood and wants to enhance his own career.
So with all this talent and what could have been a really decent story, why did the film makers have to take the predictable path at just about every turn? Oh well, just one man's opinion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have nothing against Clint Eastwood. No, let's rephrase that
slightly. In Squissland, Clint Eastwood rocks! I need only present
Unforgiven as evidence and there's a huge canon of fine work to back
Certainly he's acted in the odd turkey (Space Cowboys, anyone?) and even directed the odd embarrassment (stand up and be counted, Firefox), but generally speaking, Eastwood has been a perfectly respectable actor, a far superior director, has a fine taste in music and, his politics and my ineligibility to vote aside, I'd put my cross against his name for US President any day of the week except if he was up against Martin Sheen. Or maybe Morgan Freeman. Or Well, you know what I mean.
Trouble with the Curve, however, is not a film of which he should feel terribly proud. It's the first time he has acted in a film that he didn't also direct since 1993's In the Line of Fire (for Wolfgang Peterson) and, if nothing else, he should have learnt one important lesson from the experience: Don't do it again! For the first forty-five minutes, director Robert Lorenz clearly used the cardboard cutout of Clint from Million Dollar Baby; it snarls in the same manner, it moves the same way and it's even wearing the same T-shirt, just without depth, quality or conviction. It isn't remotely convincing and it's a huge relief when the real Mr. Eastwood finally arrives. It isn't a startling performance, in fact it's just a variation of the turns he gave in the afore mentioned boxing flick and Gran Torino, but then he is in his eighties and it must tire him out.
And on that subject, Mickey (Amy Adams) is his daughter? Really??? Apparently so. Gus is a senior baseball scout who is losing his patience as quickly as his eyesight, and his contract is about to follow suit if the young(er) pretender to his throne, Phillip (Mathew Lillard) has anything to do with it. Gus' virtually estranged daughter, Mickey, is a successful lawyer who is about to make partner. They don't like each other very much. Or rather, in good Hollywood schmaltz style, they do but they like to think they don't. Gus is sent off on another trip to prove his worth, his manager and friend, Pete (John Goodman) persuades Mickey to go along and help him out. At a crucial time in her career and at a critical time for the firm, Mickey agrees. Her decision is inexplicable other than that without it, there would be no film. Everybody loses. Except for Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a newbie scout, who falls for her. Predictably.
Why is it one tidy ending short of being a stinker? Deep sigh.
Well, Trouble with the Curve is too long, too obvious, takes far too long to establish itself, is poorly acted for the first act and is convoluted and depressingly trite.
And if that isn't enough, Mickey enters her father's house in the middle of the mother of all rain storms, and even comments on it, but has nary a hair stuck to her face nor a drop of precipitation on her skin or clothes.
And they dance in front of an admiring, encouraging busker.
And an entire crowd in a bar whoops and applauds a retort from Johnny in true, cheesy Roxanne style, despite them having clearly ignored the entire conversation prior to his comment.
And then there's the horrible sequence that jars completely and makes no sense until one reads the credits. To wit: Mother, son and daughter arrive in a bar in the background. Camera cuts to close up of them.
Daughter: "I wish Dad was here." Mother: "I know, Honey." It adds nothing to the film, is irrelevant to the action in the foreground and serves only to give a blatant cameo to the wife and children of director Lorenz! On the upside, it appears screenwriter Randy Brown provided a checklist of emotions to work through and we know the characters will be recognizable because they've been photocopied from countless other poor films.
You've been warned but don't let me stop you. Go ahead, make my day.
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