John Hamm stars in “Million Dollar Arm,” the latest Disney feel-good sports genre movie. It delivers everything that you would expect from such a film and a few extras. It is based on a true story, which always adds a little extra in the inspirational column.
Hamm, plays JB Bernstein, a sports agent prone to rushing around Los Angeles in his Porsche. You meet him at a cross-roads in his career. He’s trying to save his agency, but can’t get an important deal to close. So he decides to come up with an out of the box idea — find undiscovered talent on the Cricket fields of India.
That’s where the million dollars come in. JB will organize a contest for Cricket Bowlers with the winner earning a chance at $1 Million and an MLB contract. The movie then jumps to India where we are served some fun jokes with a side of travel montage. Eventually the winners are spotted and the whole kaboodle moves to America.
Once in America, the relationships of the main characters become more involved and twist around in slightly unexpected ways, but not too unexpected.
What’s summer without baseball? The two go together like peas and carrots or caramel and popcorn. At least that’s what Walt Disney Studios hopes as it rolls out “Million Dollar Arm,” a new film about the true story of how one sports agents sets out to save his career by finding a new baseball superstar on the cricket fields of India. Along they way, there are many touching moments, and, of course, since this is a Disney film, redemption in more ways than one.
Here’s a new clip featuring one of those moments of redemption:
Official plot synopsis below:
Last night I saw a preview screening of Million Dollar Arm from Disney. I’m technically embargoed for my full review, but I can sum it up in three words you’ll be happy to read – Classic Disney Film.
Here’s a trailer:
Based on a true story, the plot follows sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) who finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career. In a last ditch effort to save his livelihood he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket bowler he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “The Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train.
While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India, the boys, who have never left their rural villages, are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball, JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell), learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.
Directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay written by Tom McCarthy, Walt Disney Pictures’ drama “Million Dollar Arm” stars Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell and Alan Arkin. The producers are Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray and Joe Roth. The executive producers are Palak Patel, Kevin Halloran, Bill Simmons and Connor Schell.
A couple of clips from the film are below the jump: