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Six Million Dollar Arm surprisingly good

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

I understand that my movie preferences are evolving. I find that more and more I am looking for movies where people are nice to each other.
I think I’m just experiencing some Breaking Bad Game of Thrones burn out.

The problem with all those shows is that when you are going for hardcore gritty you have to keep going deeper and deeper into that depravity.
So enter Million Dollar Arm, a surprisingly good film from Disney.
There’s an irony here that a Disney movie is synonymous with something a little too sweet and happy.
In this case it just happens to be distributed by Disney.
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Aasif Mandvi play two sports agents who are down to their last option. They’ve just lost a multi-million dollar client and can’t close on their new office space.
In a moment of inspiration, or desperation, he comes up with a plan to start a talent search in India for the “million dollar arm”.  Their plan is to try and find a cricket player who can throw a fastball and become a pitcher in major league baseball.  It’s all very improbable except it’s based on a true story.

It’s an all-star cast that includes Madhur Mittal (Slumdog Millionaire), Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) and the show stealing Pitobash.  There are also smaller roles by Alan Arkin and Bill Paxton.
Here’s the spoiler: It works out.

They get contracts with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The value of the movie is in the relationships. It’s that stranger in a strange land quality. These young men are transported from the streets of India to big city USA. and at that point it becomes a story about people taking care of each other.
See even as I write that I know how sappy it sounds but it’s a really lovely transformation.
Not that JB is a bad guy or the worst guy ever but he is in a jam and working for a foreign investor who is all about the money and at one point the boys are sacrificed to the greater good. Money.
About the boys.
It may be reverse stereotyping to keep showing these young men from India as polite and charming but you can’t help but be drawn in by their lack of guile. In particular Amit is funny and smart and you just want to have him around. Maybe as a concierge or something but still…
So things evolve as they should.
There’s a love interest but that’s almost an afterthought.
There are some good laughs after JB spends the night where the boys speculate that he should marry Miss Brenda (Lake Bell).
I found it all very charming and light.
It’s not exactly Sons of Anarchy but I’m ok with that.
The film does have crossover appeal in that you don’t need to be  a sports fan to enjoy it.
It’s just a nice little stop along the summer blockbuster highway and I enjoyed it.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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