“Million Dollar Arm”: In Review

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm

Release Date: Friday May 16th, 2014

Total Running Time: 124 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language and some suggestive content

Cast: Jon Hamm, Pitobash, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton

Disney Motion Pictures has a long history of releasing heartwarming sports films that are based on true stories.  Joining films such as “Remember The Titans”, “The Rookie”, “Seabiscuit”, and “Miracle”,  the 2014 release of “Million Dollar Arm” is sure to please audiences nationwide.  Falling in line with its predecessors, the real life story turned screenplay, holds true the spirit of Disney films.  While some critics may find this to be a bit formulaic, that’s what I appreciate most about Disney’s sport films.

As a sophomore in college, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to spend some time traveling through India.  It was an incredible experience for me and it’s something that opened my eyes to how truly amazing life can be.  I also happen to really enjoy baseball. It’s something I’ve loved since childhood and something I enjoy with my family now as an adult.  You can imagine, then, how excited I was to discover that Disney Motion Pictures was slated to release a film detailing the true story of the first Major League Baseball players from India.

Starring Jon Hamm (of “Mad Men”), “Million Dollar Arm” follows the story of J.B. Bernstein, a hard working sport’s agent who puts business above all else.  After venturing out on his own with his business partner Aash, J.B. feels pressured to sign the next big athlete in order to keep his business afloat.  He ultimately lands a deal that requires him to travel throughout India to find potential Major League pitchers.  He quickly discovers that success in life sometimes takes more than just business.

As impressive as the remarkable true story is, the way in which director Craig Gillespie captures the spirit of India is where I believe this film is most successful. Even though audience members know where the film is headed the whole time, the way in which the story is portrayed more than makes up for any perceived flaws it may have.  It’s for that reason that, out of my movie review scale from one to ten where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the worst again, I give “Million Dollar Arm” a 7.77777777 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of “Play Ball!”

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