Movies: Review - Trouble with the Curve

Just because you throw in Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake...Not every sports film is a classic. Dayvee Sutton reviews “Trouble with the Curve”.

Rated PG-13 - 111min | Drama - September 21, 2012 (USA)

*originally posted on Yahoo! Movies 

From the trailer I knew that this movie would be a thoughtful little flick. Now after screening it, that’s exactly how I saw “Trouble with the Curve”.

It was also slow, and full of old people.

“Trouble with the Curve” is a sports movie about an old baseball scout, Gus Lobel (played by Academy Award Winner, Clint Eastwood), who is on his last leg with his team, the Atlanta Braves. So almost immediately you are introduced to the conflict of old versus new. And of course, in the end...old prevails.

Speaking of immediately, the opening scene starts in the bathroom. Now that scenario just seems cliche to me now. How many movies can you list that start off in the bathroom these days? I find it not only gimmicky, but also weird.

After you meet Gus (in the bathroom), you not only notice how old Clint Eastwood is, but that he or his character (or both), is a cranky old man. Not only that, he struggling with his health, which will be an excuse later in the film as to why he should lose his job. Also, coming off his skit at the 2012 Republican National Convention when he spoke to an invisible President Barack Obama (the chair), you giggle a little bit when his character talks to an inanimate object (though it be a grave, you still just giggle a little bit. Yeah, I understand that this movie produced by Eastwood, was completed before Tampa act.)

Amy Adams plays Mickey, Gus’ uptight, lawyer, daughter. And straight on another theme is introduced: they have serious father-daughter issues. Their relationship is strained! Now if you have ever had to deal with issues with a parent, you’ll understand the pull and push you have internally: Mickey wants to let him go because his apparent disconnection with her hurts. But she can’t stay away, always giving it one more try with her father. Adams does a great job making this character and her issues real. You’ll be happy to know that a coming to terms with this storyline does happen in the end. The two finally talk and yet another theme is revealed: there are two different sides to the same story.

Justin Timberlake is introduced as Johnny Flanagan, a young baseball scout who’s on the road with the senior scouts. There’s no secret that once he’s in the film with Adams’ character Mickey, that he is her love interest.  

Rounding out the cast is the warm face of John Goodman, Gus’ boss and friend, Robert Patrick, the Atlanta Braves General Manager and Matthew Lillard, often have we’ve seen him play the douchey guy?

Overall, I really didn’t like the movie. I joked with my friend, “the first half of the movie we saw 50 old people, 10 kids, Justin Timberlake.” I’m not an ageist, but I just didn’t want to see all the old people, timed with the slow moving scenes. It was full of cranky old guys, old man humor...and I was over it pretty quickly.

There were also weird stereotypes, like the 1980’s portrayal of the jerk jock. The main athlete in the film played that role and quite frankly jocks don’t act like that anymore. If they are jerks, it’s not it the “Biff” kind of way like we’ve seen in “Back to the Future”. It was just a bad, over exaggerated stereotype.

I can’t really speak to how Clint Eastwood fans would appreciate this movie. I’m not a fan; I do appreciate his film history and contribution to cinema. I’m just not a die hard fan. Here, he’s clearly not the “Go ahead, make my day guy”, but he does give you some good acting and spunk. Oddly, he growls a lot in the movie....maybe another old man thing. But, I’d be interested to know what Clint Eastwood fans think.
*Comment below and let me know after you watch it, please!

As a baseball fan I did appreciate the baseball integrity of the movie. They didn’t make up names of teams; they used all the real names of professional and farm league teams, including uniforms. The movie spent time in the South, Georgia and the  Carolinas, where even the Kannapolis Intimidators minor league team got a shout out.

In fact, once the movie moved out to the games, it picks up for me. Here’s another gimmick alert: the say the title of the movie at the end of the movie. “He has trouble with the curve.” Gus says. Truth: I don’t mind when movies do that.
*But what do you think? Do you like it when movies, either subtly or blatantly, explain the film’s title?
Bottom line: despite the great cast, and legendary producer, not all sports movies are classic. .

To check out my video review on Youtube, click here.

To by movie tickets, click here.     

To buy exclusive “Trouble with the Curve” merchandise, click here.

To watch the official movie trailer, click here.

1 comment :

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