REVIEW: TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE
SYNOPSIS: Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) has been one of the best scouts in baseball for decades, but, despite his efforts to hide it, age is starting to catch up with him. Nevertheless, Gus—who can tell a pitch just by the crack of the bat—refuses to be benched for what could be the final innings of his career.
He may not have a choice. The front office of the Atlanta Braves is starting to question his judgment, especially with the country's hottest batting phenom on deck for the draft. The one person who might be able to help is also the one person Gus would never ask: his daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), an associate at a high-powered Atlanta law firm whose drive and ambition has put her on the fast track to becoming partner. Mickey has never been close to her father, who was ill-equipped to be a single parent after the death of his wife. Even now, in the rare moments they share, he is too easily distracted by what Mickey assumes is his first love: the game.
Against her better judgment, and over Gus's objections, Mickey joins him on his latest scouting trip to North Carolina, jeopardizing her own career to save his. Forced to spend time together for the first time in years, each makes new discoveries—revealing long-held truths about their past and present that could change their future.
Timberlake is Johnny Flanagan, a rival scout who has his sights on a career in the announcer's booth...and has eyes for Mickey. The main cast also includes John Goodman as Gus's old friend and boss, Pete Klein, and Matthew Lillard as Phillip Sanderson, the Braves' associate director of scouting.
REVIEW: The angry grumpy old-man character is back. This is after Eastwood was seemingly jilted on Gran Torino by the academy awards and after what seems like a four year hiatus: Clint Eastwood is back and being directed by his protégé, former producer Robert Lorenz. With this being Lorenz’s directorial debut, in a feature-length, it is pretty obvious that Lorenz himself has taken this opportunity to show some directorial tricks he has picked up along the way, on working with Eastwood over the years. Trouble with the Curve, seems to have let him establish himself as a reputable storyteller. Furthermore the supporting cast was well placed, with the likes of Amy Adams, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Robert Patrick, Matthew Lillard (The Descendants), and relative-newcomer Joe
Eastwood is magnificent in this type of role and makes for an excellent old geezer that is stubborn and very much set in his ways. While portraying his character as someone past due on setting his retirement date, and an aging scout for the Atlanta Braves who avoids all modern methods and systematic scrutiny in favor of old fashioned gut work, he somehow manages to evoke a sense of pity from the audience and threads through the role with absolute ease and grace. I particularly liked his display of grumpiness while struggling to stay relevant amongst a sea of young hungry professionals in his field. He is absolutely convincing in this type of role now, at this ripe old age, turning eighty-two May 31st, 2012.
Another notable mention is eye-candy Amy Adams playing his thirty-five year old accomplished daughter, Mickey who is dazzling, charming and very firm in her role. The fact that Eastwood plays her aging father sorta’ lends itself to the tension between the two on-screen because of the tremendous age difference in real life. She is set on getting through to him and he is like many old farts that simply won’t listen to rhyme or reason at that age. Hence, the relationship really came through on the big screen.
Lastly (but not certainly not least), Justin Timberlake (affectionately known as JT) has really come a long way in his acting career and this role really shows his evolution. He is very persuasive, charming and certainly held his own next to his on-screen living legend (Eastwood). Furthermore, the chemistry between he and onscreen love interest (Adams) pretty much made the movie more than just another baseball feature. They were very believable and very much suited for their roles. Kudos JT!
On the whole, I went in to this movie with a bit of apprehension and in the end I thoroughly enjoy it from start to finish. All characters were well suited to their roles and the movie moved along at a comfortable pace. The characters were so rich in dialog that there wasn’t time for boredom to set in. Consequently, I would give the feature four stars (out of five) for content and relevance.
By Movie-Man Stan
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