10 dic. 2012

My Review: Trouble with the Curve (8/10)

¨Anybody who uses computers doesn't know a damn thing about this game.¨

Trouble with the Curve is this year`s response to Moneyball claiming that the experience of scouts can`t be replaced by a bunch of computer programs and numbers. It is kind of the opposite of what happened in last year`s movie starring Brad Pitt, but in my opinion both films worked really well. I believe that a balance must be found in both systems and that there is no right or wrong way to approach this. Moneyball explored the baseball concepts a little deeper; Trouble with the Curve on the other hand focuses more on the father and daughter relationship. I am not a big baseball fan, but I enjoyed these movies quite a bit because they had a lot of heart. This film might be predictable, but it`s hard not to fall for the sentimentality it brings along and the broken relationships it tries to restore. This is Robert Lorenz`s first film as a director, but he has had a lot of experience working with Clint Eastwood as his assistant in most of his movies. Lorenz uses some of the same techniques and trademarks of Eastwood in this film so it is kind of like if you were watching one of his movies. The screenplay was written by Randy Brown, and the film stars Clint Eastwood (it has been a long time since he has acted in a movie that he didn’t direct). Eastwood`s last film as an actor was Gran Torino, and he has a sort of similar role in this movie playing his usual old grumpy self again. Trouble with the Curve is a good film, but not as great as some other Eastwood films (Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby).

Gus (Clint Eastwood) is a baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves. He has had a long and successful career with the club, but some of the managers think he`s getting too old and his contract is about to expire in three months. Phillip (Matthew Lillard) one of the General Manager`s assistant is a firm believer in the numbers that his computer program gives him, but the other assistant, Pete (John Goodman), is a friend of Gus`s and defends him. Gus has a talent for scouting good players; the problem he´s facing now is that his eyes are failing him. Despite the problem, he tries to hide it from everybody and continue to go on as if nothing is wrong. His wife passed away years ago and he had to raise his daughter Mickey on his own. Mickey (Amy Adams) is now in her 30`s and is becoming a successful lawyer, but her relationship with her father has always been distant. Pete figures out that something is wrong with Gus and asks Mickey to accompany her father on what could be his last scouting assignment to North Carolina. Gus has to scout a promising player there named Bo (Joe Massingill) in case the Red Sox, who have the first round pick, pass on him. The scout from the Red Sox happens to be Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a former player who was scouted by Gus himself. Johnny ends up falling for Mickey during their stay in North Carolina, although there are several other issues she wants to resolve with her father first.

The performances in this film didn’t blow my mind, but the story does have a lot of heart. It`s hard not to fall for the characters in this story and despite the fact that the film is very predictable and formulaic it was still a very satisfying experience for me. Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood shared some touching scenes together. Eastwood seems to always explore this father-daughter distant relationship in most of his movies. You don’t need to be a baseball fan to enjoy this movie because it deals more with these relationships than with the game itself. Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams share some scenes together as well adding a little romance to the story. Trouble with the Curve has a little bit of everything: sports, romance, and drama so it is one of those rare films that the entire family will enjoy.

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