Trouble with the Curve (2012)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Everyone involved in this hollow and artificial shell of a movie should be more than a little bit embarrassed.
The great thing about this movie is Clint Eastwood; his years of acting and directing made it easy for him to flow with the other actors, and making him the principal person to look out for when you do decide to watch this flick.
The movie plot is about an old retiring baseball scout Gus (Clint Eastwood) who is about to finish up his contract in 3 months, Gus eyes are failing him and his old time friend Pete (John Goodman) calls up his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) to keep an eye on her father.
Mickey who is very busy, had to break away from her demanding work to go be with Gus and together they go scouting where they met Johnny (Justin Timberlake) a former player that Gus scouted out.
Not much of a big fan of Timberlake's acting, his performance in In Time (2012) is the best I have seen him in till date, here is just a supporting actor running around being a pest. The love story or romance perpetuated in this movie is too shallow, if this is how easy it is to fall in love, then I will tie myself to my wife everywhere she goes. (Note: there was no adulterous act in the movie)
The movie's high point will be the locations, the movie was filmed in various locations giving it the rich feel like you are traveling with a scout, and it does pull up the question of man vs machine, which will triumph. In the other baseball based sport drama Moneyball (2012) which starred Brad Pitt, machine seems to be the victor; here man seems to be the victor, so I guess the fight continues.
Trouble with the Curve, shows why scouts are always needed to help scout out talents, there can see things that your computer can, while the computer runs on statistics and calibration, the eyes and ears rely on fact and observation. Trouble with the Curve is an OK drama, but you have not missed much if you haven't seen it.
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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Gus's boss and friend Pete Klein (John Goodman) knows that baseball is the pride and joy of Gus and a retirement would kill him and asks him to travel to North Caroline to scout the promising player Bo Gentry (Joe Massingill). Pete also protects Gus from the ambitious colleague Phillip Sanderson (Matthew Lillard) that wants his position and to get Gus fired. Pete visits Gus's estranged daughter Mickey (Amy Adams), who is an efficient lawyer that is disputing a partnership in the office where she works with her colleague Todd (James Patrick Freetly), and asks her to travel with Gus to North Caroline. Mickey is a great fan of baseball and has a great knowledge of the sport since she used to travel with her father when she was young, but she has a childhood trauma since Gus abandoned her with an uncle when she was a child.
In North Caroline, Gus meets the former pitcher Johnny (Justin Timberlake), who had an early retirement due to an injured shoulder and now is scouting for the Red Socks but aiming to be a broadcaster. When he meets Mickey, there is a mutual attraction between them. Along the days, Gus discovers that Gentry has problems with balls pitched in curve and he does not recommend the player to the Brave. He also tells Johnny about Gentry's problem. But when Phillip advises Vince to hire Gentry, Vince's decision affects the lives of Gus, Mickey and Johnny.
"Trouble with the Curve" is a good movie with Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams about baseball and relationship. It is impressive the longevity of Clint Eastwood and how adapted he is to this phase of his life. Amy Adams is one of most delightful actresses of Hollywood. The story entwines drama with romance and sport and the result is an enjoyable movie even for those like me that are not fan of baseball. My vote is seven,
Title (Brazil): "Curvas da Vida" ("Curves of the Life")
Trouble With the Curve is driven by a fantastic creative team, two experienced lead actors and a rising star - it's also nothing short of a misfire. The film is courtesy of Clint Eastwood's studio Malpaso Productions, but is directed by his assistant Robert Lorenz, the second unit director of films like Million Dollar Baby (2004) and Mystic River (2003). Positioning itself as a clear alternative to the sports science methods of Moneyball (2011), Malpaso is a fitting word. The name is derived from Malpaso Creek, which means "bad step" in Spanish. The script by first time screenwriter Randy Brown would have you believe that modern statistics in sports fall short of old school methods, like pure instincts and hands-on research. Did the old men that Billy Beane had to contend with come up with this?
I don't know a lot about baseball, but after watching Rugby League for seven years I've learnt something: stats do not lie. A recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald described the fallout between the NRL (National Rugby League) administration and Sports Data, a company outsourced to organise all of the games stats and player statistics. Sports Data is said to hold a very close relationship with the games most successful coaches, many of whom use this information to prepare for matches as well as recruitment. The article also predicted that without these vital statistics, the 2013 season would start in chaos. Why would any other sport today, including baseball, be different? What's shown here, like listening to the sound of the bat, is an outdated and impractical fantasy, argued unpersuasively.
The charisma of the film's leads adds a little more belief to the father-daughter side of the story. Amy Adams' form is first class, blistering with the same toughness and grit that Eastwood is best known for himself. They share great chemistry together and exchange some wonderfully comic verbal stoushes. She sarcastically says at one point in the film: "It must be so rewarding being one of your close friends". Although Eastwood is starting to look weary, he can still throw down the odd good line or two, like when he comments that his garage is shrinking after scratching his car. There are also a couple of scenes where his own sense of invulnerability, coupled with his ailing eyesight, provides some briefly tense moments.
Yet it's the script that lets the actors down again because it doesn't know how to develop the central relationship. Gus and Mickey fight, watch baseball together, and fight some more, right until an unmoving revelation is tacked on at the end. The lack of drama is compounded by Timberlake's character. He's very charming and funny, but if Gus is unconcerned about Johnny romancing his daughter, where's the tension? Mickey's relationship with Johnny itself is also very old fashioned and overly safe. He's laid-back, she's not, and they discover they both love baseball and go swimming in a lake together. Jumping in that ice-cold water is about as radical as this film ever becomes. With an overdose of pleasantness and few dramatic high points, the film becomes tedious viewing. Nonetheless, it won't tarnish Clint's legacy too much: it'll be forgotten before then.
its simple, people aren't all bad or all good , they laugh and deal with drama n bad stuff happens along the way that we deal with blah blah blah I know you got bored already just reading this, well this is what this movie leaves you with.
the director forgot one thing about movies, Entertainment!!
I don't wanna hear about daddy issues , which in this movie I got over and over again!!
I don't wanna see Clint Eastwood, angry all the time , well it makes sense imagine pitching the movie to Clint:"well sir , i know you don't wanna act anymore but this movie you don't even need to , you'll get paid just showing up, and pretend you like baseball, we will add music to make sure the audience sense that"
its not funny , and the drama is all over the place "Daddy why did you leave me crap!!!" i don't like emotional lollipops given to me all the time, make me laugh present a complex something let me believe i got brains.
the basics are this, its political it reminds you that the American dream is still alive,by presenting hard work , talent & emotions(American people) vs opportunistic, untalented ,robots(CEO's)
and guess who won !!! the dumb one who believed this Disney version of life.
Eastwood is more than watchable as the old dog of a baseball scout, Adams deliveries a great performance - she pulls off the difficult role of cute and ballsy with panache, and Timberlake is charming, but definitely Wahlberg would be first pick here, Justin struggles a little to get beyond romantic comedy to something matching the gravitas the other two bring (with a light touch).
The film is a wonderful relationship film with sports - not many films really look at grown father and grown daughter and work that through in mainstream cinema - Curve does, and the script is good.
All in all, if you like sports with more than just the sport this is well worth your time - it is one of my favourites of the year.
The topics covered in the film were vast and rumbled all the way from a weeping widower some 30 years after at a grave-site singing "you are my sunshine" to a sudden reveal of an attempted molestation of a small child who was 6 at the time. Said grown-up child (Amy Adams) has no recollection of the molestation but can recite every baseball statistic known to man like an encyclopedia. Alrightee then, a few contrivances there, Mr. Randy Brown. But then we move on to the black and white characters so beloved of Hollywoodland. The evil favoured scout's pick, the handsome peanut seller whom you know is going to feature as a winner. At some point, not too late you hope. Oops, try the last scene.
I got extraordinarily tired of all the clichés, too numerous to mention here. Dance scenes, bar scenes, swim scenes.
And the hurried ending. Unexplained plot points - returning of stomped-off lover (Justin Timberlake) without any reason, peanut boy now going to be a major baseball player after ONE tryout, clichéd cardboard lawyers and team managers and public firings of staff members. Yeah, that always happens. No one worries about unfair dismissal lawsuits in movies like this.
Clint left retirement to do this film, imagining it, I'm sure, to be Million Dollar Baby redux.
Erm, no. Sorry Clint. 4 out of 10. Amy gave it her all. Clint rolled out Gran Torino for another viewing of a crotchety curmudgeon. And Justin? He ran the emotional gamut from A-B in fine style.
This movie was so bad, I only finished watching it to see if it would continue to be as bad as it appeared. the answer is yes, it was.
I am hard pressed to think of a movie that was more formulaic and predictable, really without one interesting scene or plot line. pure trite.
worst of all the baseball depiction was atrocious.
There is a story to be told in the answer to moneyball, and the fact that the game which once didn't use analysis too much has now swing to far the other way and needs more human scouting. But this movie strikes out in every way. horrid, horrid movie.
Clint's imparted a lot of his baseball knowledge to Adams and Braves GM John Goodman has asked Adams to accompany Eastwood on a scouting trip to the minor leagues before the annual draft to check on a prospect as the Braves have the number one draft pick in the National League. A lot of air is cleared in this trip.
Also Clint renews an another old acquaintance with Justin Timberlake who was a former pitcher that Clint signed back in the day, but who blew his arm out and now he's a scout for the Boston Red Sox who have the number one draft pick in the American League. Adams and Timberlake hit it off, but the road to romance is a rocky one. A washed up ball player and an upwardly mobile yuppie attorney are not a usual mix.
Though the film isn't quite of the level of Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino, it's still a real treat for Eastwood fans. Like Million Dollar Baby the best scenes are Clint and Amy's just as in the other film his scenes with Hilary Swank his surrogate daughter. Timberlake also proves to be a capable actor.
Although Adams saves Clint's job with a gift of sorts, you know eventually he will have to quit. But like all other Eastwood characters, he's going to do it on his own terms. And she could have a nice career in a baseball front office as women increasingly are making an impact in all areas of the sport except the actual playing field.
Trouble With The Curve if nothing else proves Eastwood is a great judge of material that's still good for him and that takes into account his age. He's one productive 80 something when he's not involved in politics and talking to an empty chair.
Gus Lobel (played by Clint Eastwood) is a scout for the Atlanta Braves and has resisted the change occurring in his business and the world around him with every fiber of his being. While his immediate superior and longtime friend Pete (played by John Goodman) values Gus's opinion and defends him against his detractors, one of them is Pete's boss and Gus's ultimate superior. That man, Pete Silver (played by Matthew Lillard) is determined to fire Gus even though he is completely unaware of Gus's failing eyesight. To Silver, a man who relies on statistics and equations over experience and first-hand observation, Gus is a relic of a time gone by. Gus is given one chance, scouting a highly-coveted player in North Carolina, to prove his value to the organization. Pete worries about his friend and so, behind his back, he contacts Gus's daughter Mickey (played by Amy Adams). Mickey is a lawyer on a partnership track in a prestigious firm with a pressing case on the horizon. She's been told that her handling of this case will determine the outcome of the upcoming partnership vote. Still, despite a strained relationship between the two of them, she chooses to go to her father's aide in rural North Carolina and work in her hotel room and over the internet. When Gus informs Mickey that his eyes are starting to fail him, she begins taking an active role in her father's scouting trip. A task she is well-suited for, after a spending a large portion of her formative years by her father's side on scouting trips. In addition to colleagues Gus has known for many years, there is Johnny Flanagan, a relatively inexperienced scout who Gus recruited into the major leagues and who later suffered a career-ending injury. Johnny (played by Justin Timberlake) thinks of Gus as a mentor and, separately, takes an immediate romantic interest in Mickey.
Now, many believed that 2008's Gran Torino would be the end of Eastwood's career, both as a director and an actor. Some who thought little of the film even took great joy in the very idea of Eastwood's retirement. I was not among them. I won't say this is better than Gran Torino or Million Dollar Baby, it isn't. Still, it's an enjoyable film about the endurance of family that also manages to incorporate some timeless wisdom regarding the quintessential American sport. The budding relationship between Mickey and Johnny isn't given as much time, though that's probably for the best.
The reason for Gus 'abandoning' Mickey came out of nowhere. And didn't really connect solidly with the storyline.
The entire final scene at the ballpark seemed like they just threw it together. Mickey able to bring in an unknown prospect? The next Albert Pujols whiffing away? The boardroom scene was downright silly. The last line, "I guess I'll take the bus," just capped off the disappointment.
They attempted to take the feeling of Bull Durham and the heroics of The Natural and put those into one movie. But the realism of both those films didn't make it to this film.
Clint plays a character named Gus, an old legendary baseball scout in the Atlanta Braves organization who is having trouble with his eyesight. His wife died when Mickey, his daughter played by Amy Adams, was six, leaving lots of father-daughter issues to resolve on film, as you can imagine. Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a former ballplayer, was scouted by Gus but eventually traded to the Red Sox, who's mismanagement resulted in a torn rotator cuff and a short career. He feels he owes Gus for the chance he got and ends up falling for Mickey (naturally).
Right from the start, fluffy dialogue falls flat over and over again, leaving awkward silences and empty arguments. Amy Adams in particular seems to chafe under the poorly written dialogue. At times Mickey uses casual language with her peers that would never pass in a big city law firm. A romantic scene at a lake between her and Johnny breaks down, making it difficult to believe the romantic energy between them. Even during the critical scenes between Gus and his daughter, the dialogue goes exactly as every viewer expects it to, leaving us slightly self satisfied but not exactly entertained.
There are some lovely scenes, to be sure, and great footage of clogging in a local bar. Clint, Amy and Justin are always fun to watch, and they were entertaining in "Trouble with the Curve", but their warm performances could not compensate for a predictable script with awkward dialogue.
An airplane movie but nothing more.