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Since I have HBO, I find myself watching Trouble with the Curve. Maybe
you would think this is a coincidence. But I know different. My friends
know different. They know I would watch a Clint Eastwood flick any
given chance I had. Well, maybe not ALL of his films. But certain ones.
Over and over again.
This is an extraordinary story with a fantastic dialogue. However, what is found here in this film, is a dedication to film itself, and more.
There is this urgency about technology that is ever-present. That fact serves as an over correction to perhaps some bad voice or acting behaviors on the parts of the players in this film, with the goal of targeting a marketing presence ie: Amy and Justin. And this takes away from their exceptional abilities.
This, in no way is an indication that MR Eastwood is not acting up to par, but perhaps, a gauge to how he views his judgment.
I watched it so many times, because I like it. And I am not the only person that likes it.
This movie has everything. A first-rate script, fine acting by the
leads, good directing. What more could you ask?
Eastwood is first rate as an aging baseball scout who doesn't want to come to terms with the effect of aging on his body and his career.
Amy Adams, in the best role I have seen her in, plays an ambitious young lawyer who is willing to put her chances for a law partnership in danger to help a father who was seldom there for her.
Granted, the final minutes where Eastwood's character explains why his daughter didn't often see him when she was growing up, though realistic, still don't make him a lovable character. But life is sometimes like that.
This is a first class movie all the way. It is not warm and cuddly. It has all sorts of rough edges. But it is a better movie for all that.
I saw this movie because of Clint Eastwood and I liked it because it
was something different from the movies which Clint Eastwood usually
plays. In this movie we have an old man who is a baseball scout and
everyone in the club except his best friend (John Goodman) think that
he has to retire from his work.
On the other hand we have his daughter (Amy Adams) who is a lawyer and she works in a big company and she does not have the best relationship with his father because of some facts that have happened.
I liked very much the interpretations of Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman and Justin Timberlake who plays as an "opponent's" team's scouter.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Since so many reviews here have detailed the plot of this movie, I will
skip much of that. I wish to argue with the folks who claimed this was
I also wish to suggest you ignore the review from the person who thought the high school kids being scouted were supposed to be "Triple-A" professionals, one step from the majors. To miss that fact reveals that person missed a lot.
I guess it was predictable that the stars, the father and daughter, who we are told at the beginning are not close, would become closer. You couldn't have this movie in any way if that weren't true.
It was surely predictable that the young scout, Johnny, who was signed years ago by Gus (Eastwood), who came across as a likable fellow right from his first scene where he stops to watch some kids playing baseball and gets caught up doing a pretend broadcast of a home run (he wants to become a baseball announcer), and who seems to like Mickey (Amy Adams) right from meeting her, would develop a relationship with her. But, as with any romantic movie, you don't know if it will continue or not.
As for Mickey's job at the law firm she was insisting she'd be back for the presentation, that, thanks to computers, she was working on most of the time she wasn't trying to help her father. Since her firm was in Atlanta and her dad was scouting this kid in North Carolina, she certainly could fly back for the big meeting and then return to help her father. Anyone claiming they knew just how her position at the firm would be resolved cannot be telling the truth because the movie doesn't make it clearshe's "thinking about it," I believe was the line, with only the suggestion of an alternate path. If you can claim you knew just how that issue would end, I'll use the Casey Stengel line and call you "Clara Voyant." The issue of the hot shot prospect was whether Johnny's club, the Red Sox would draft him right before Gus's Braves could. I agree the title suggest that the young hitter might not be a good draft pick, not in the first round at least. But I certainly did not know if 1) the Sox would pick him and then regret it, or 2) if the Braves would pass on him, listening to Gus (and Mickey), or 3) if the Braves would ignore Gus and go with their computer guy. I don't see how anyone would claim it was "predictable." Or, let's say, out of 100 people we might have found about 33 who predicted it accurately.
My issues with the movie were that they made Gus too grumpy and his relationship with his daughter too estranged. The big reason why he did what he did when she was little, came as a very definite surprise.
I would have made this film less bitter and more lighthearted. I thought the actors did a fine job, and want to commend John Goodman for a far better role than anything I've ever seen him do, although in a supporting role.
If you develop interesting characters, the audience wants to see how various issues are resolved. That they know (can guess) some of the plot developments is not a problem. There are plenty of things that aren't predictable. We cared about these characters, even grumpy Gus and that's why this was an above average film.
Trouble with the Curve is a great sports movie with a true love story.
This movie takes place in Georgia and North Carolina. This story is
about a baseball scout that seems to be past his prime, and a daughter
that he doesn't have a relationship with. Gus (Clint Eastwood) is about
to lose his contract if he prove his worth to the Atlanta Braves, his
attempt to save his fading career he is scouting a potential 1st pick
in the upcoming draft. With new found battle losing his sight, his
daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) takes a risk at losing her potential dream
job as a partner within a giant law firm to go on the road to help her
dad and rekindle a lost relationship. Gus' close friend, Pete (John
Goodman), puts his career on the line to help Gus by betting he will
make the right choice with the first pick in the draft.
During the scouting trip Gus meets with a young scout that he scouted for the Braves in the past. Johny (Justin Timberlake) threw out his arm early in his career and is now vying for a position as a scout for the Boston Red Sox. During Johny's trip to North Carolina he meets Mickey, immediately is amazed by her beauty before he knows whose daughter she is. This adds to the dramatic/sports theme the movie portrays. Johny and Mickey seem generally interested in each other as long as Mickey and Gus' relationship is going alright.
Gus and Mickey's relationship is very complicated due to the lack of attention and communication, but the one thing that grounds their relationship is baseball. The major scene that explains that is during the last game before the draft when Gus is listening to Bo Gentry's (Joe Massingill) at bat when he discovers that he has Trouble with the Curve. Mickey wasn't speaking to her father, but orders her to get closer to watch and listen to Bo's hands during his at bat. Upon discovering that his hands "drift" he calls Atlanta to try and get them to pass because of his inabilities to hit the curve. The dramatic event in this part of the movie is Mickey and her relationship with Johny has grown, as well as her relationship with her father. During this time Gus convinces Johny to pass on Bo in the draft. Phillip (Matt Willard) convinces the CEO of Atlanta Braves, Vince (Robert Patrick) to not listen to Gus and draft Bo. During this part of the movie Johny, Mickey, and Gus go their separate ways because of betrayal of each other's trust.
Mickey stays behind in North Carolina where she convinces Pete to take a chance on her recent finding of a no-name pitcher who can throw a curve ball that falls off the table. Mickey gets Pete to allow for a one-time unofficial tryout that is ultimately to save her dad's job. During the tryout with Bo and the hotel pitcher, he throws a curve and Bo misses continuously. This leads to Phillip losing his job, and leaves Gus with the option to renew his contract. Mickey loses her chance at becoming partner, but gains interest in becoming involved with baseball and her relationship with Johny.
I think that this sports themed dramatic film shares similarities with Secretariat. My reasons for this comparison are the struggles that the families are going through with each other and their common ground is their passion for sports. The risk in the movie is similar due to the fact that the main characters Gus in Trouble with the Curve, or Penny (Diane Lane) are underdogs with something to prove. While their passion is for their respective sport they are trying to maintain or build healthy relationships with their families. I think that these two movies have great stories to tell because of their true love for both the game and family.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A supposed novelty, Clint Eastwood is directed by Robert Lorenz who
makes his directorial debut but his a longtime Malpaso associate of
Eastwood having served as a Producer in several films. However its
likely as in other Eastwood films where there has been a nominal
director, its likely that Eastwood calls the actual shots. Since Escape
from Alcatraz in 1979, its only been acclaimed director Wolfgang
Petersen who has properly directed Eastwood in a movie, 'In the line of
fire.' In 1985 City Heat, Eastwood had a cool and troubled relationship
with its director, Richard Benjamin.
The Trouble with the Curve is about an ageing baseball scout, struggling in a world where others use computer software to track prospects. Because of his failing eyesight he reluctantly teams up with his rather distant daughter who unveils some deep issues with her father as the movie progresses. They travel together looking at new talent from the college league and tagging along is Justin Timberlake playing generic love interest who disappears at the latter part of the film and the suddenly reappears at the end.
Its all amiable, Eastwood with even more of a gravelly voice now he is in is 80s plays the curmudgeonly scout who is going out of fashion to be replaced the likes of Matthew Lillard and their shaggy dog computer projections.
Amy Adams, Eastwood's daughter is a hot shot lawyer who works all hours including Saturdays for the last 7 years so she can make partnership for her law firm, that early on admits that they have never had a female partner in the firm ever. Its details like this which highlights serious flaws in the film.
So in a USA that has a black President, had three female Secretary of States, one of whom was also black, Amy Adams hot shot lawyer cannot recognise a sex discrimination case punching her in the face, repeatedly by this misogynistic firm. She also later unveils to her father that she has been a shrink for years because her father used to abandon her as a child, this all depends on a plot point where she has totally forgotten a traumatic childhood incident.
We have a hot shot hitter who never seems to have ever faced a curve ball in his life. A Hispanic peanut guy who can throw a mean pack of peanuts to the hot shot hitter. I wonder if this will be relevant later on, especially as the hot shot hitter is such a jerk. Why has no one ever thrown him a curve ball just to make sure he does not have trouble with it.
Its sort of a film not properly thought through but the personality of the actors carry it through despite its flaws, being from the UK, I know little about baseball or else I would probably have seen more plot holes. Eastwood does not stretch himself too much, Adams does her best with her character and she is the one who provides heart to this flawed film.
Well made with many baseball references that went well over my head but
that didn't matter. The film isn't about that, it's about relationships
and as such I found it an engaging watch. Both Clint Eastwood and Amy
Adams were excellent in this; I admire them both as actors and they
didn't disappoint. Justin Timberlake gets better each time I see him, I
just wish he'd stop making those awful records! (It's a joke folks).
Also worthy of note were Matthew Lillard as Phillip Sanderson, Robert
Patrick as Vince and John Goodman as Pete Klein. It's not a tear-jerker
or a heart rending tale but I found it did strike an emotional chord
with me. If, like me, you admire Eastwood and Adams then it's well
worth a look.
SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 8.1/10.
You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.
If the entire movie were as heavily cliché ridden as the last 15 minutes I would of given this movie a 4-5, but I found the majority of the movie to be quite compelling. Here's why and here's who I write this review to: I, like many kids grew up with a dad that was a great provider of food, clothing and shelter, but sorely lacked in the emotional. The great thing for a good number of us is we've been blessed to turn the corner and make "lemonade out of lemons." My dad and I have had a good (and occasionally great) last 15 years. So, to all those out there who would consider themselves to have missed out on a deeper relationship with their dad growing up and are now in the process of repairing and/or growing in their relationship with their dad (and hopefully like baseball) this movie may just hit you in the sweet spot! It's worth a shot.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a big Eastwood ( Gus), and baseball fan, this film is my type of film. What makes it different it was unpredictable, starting with Amy Adams ( Mickey), as his estranged daughter Mickey. She is a lawyer ( in an all male law firm), who goes on a scouting trip with him, because his eyesight is failing, and the Atlanta Braves ( the team he has worked for), do not know if he can do it anymore. They go on the trip to scout a star High School hitter,( Bo Gentry), to determine if the Braves should draft him with the number Two pick in the Draft. Adams is excellent and gives the best performance I ever seen her in. Another treat is Justin Timberlake ( Johnny) a star pitcher who gets injured and becomes a Scout. I have seen Timberlake in a couple of other films ( "Bad Teacher" and " In Time"), and he acted like a robot, here he actually showed he has a personality. What I like is how Gus and Mickey really learn about each other ( particularly how Mickey has baseball in her blood, like he does, and only became a Lawyer to please him ( he did not think places like cheap seats and pool rooms were appropriate places for her ( although that is what she likes)). On to the story: Gentry, is an arrogant self-centered creep who treats everyone around him like dirt. There is one scene where he has the peanut man throw him a bag of peanuts, but he refuses to pay. Gus by hearing, and Amy by seeing determine the guy has a hitch in his swing, and has yes, " Trouble With The Curve." and Gus recommends not drafting him. However, Phillip Sanderson ( Matthew Lilliard), an arrogant computer geek who does not see the human side of people was Chief Scout for the Braves. Out of disgust, Gus left a motel where he and Mickey were staying and headed back to Atlanta. Mickey then asked the maid ( Norma Alvarez), where he was but she did not know. She was getting ready to leave until she heard a ball hitting a glove and she saw a left-handed Hispanic kid named Rigo Sanchez throwing to his brother Carlos ( they are the maid's kids). She put on the glove and he had him throw to her. He had a power fastball and an even better curve. Mickey then called Pete Klein a top Braves employee and a friend of Gus who requested she go down and scout with him ( John Goodman in a very different and well done performance), and she told him to fly the kid and family up to Atlanta, and pointed out you owe me. He then brought them up, and when she was at the park with the family, Gentry, ( who Gus rejected), was taking batting practice, and she told him to face him. He laughed because he recognized the peanut man who he put down earlier. Needless to say, he struck him out three times ( and made him look pathetic particularly on curves). People were comparing him to Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson and the Braves signed him and fired Sanderson. They wanted Gus to remain but he said "I will think about it" and Mickey ( on Gus's advice) will represent Rigo, and she quit the law firm. At the end Johnny was outside waiting for Mickey to begin a life together. The final surprise is Eastwood walking away and not dying ( which would have ruined the film). Basically I loved the film 10/10 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's been a while, but it happened. I ended this movie before the finis
hline and shut it down. And trust me, I don't easily do that. Im a huge
Eastwood fan, and as this director was Eastwood's assistant for years,
I totally expected a lot.
But something just wasn't right about this film. In the beginning I couldn't put my finger on it, and today, Im still not sure what was wrong. But to be honest, its one of those films that just don't work. Everybody is trying hard, but there is no spark.
Eastwood was doing his best, but wasn't even close to Gran Torino. The director did his best, but his effords didn't grab me. Not one moment i believed this girl to be Eastwood's daughter, not a second i felt their relationship.
Oh well, just one of them movies I guess? :) But for me, nothing more than a mere 4.
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