Million Dollar Arm: Moview Review

By Sarah Diamondswirls

Do you think it is possible for two simple teens, residing in an Indian village, who have never even heard of the word ‘baseball’, become major league pitchers? With the right training, support, love and care, you bet! Check out Sarah’s review of Disney’s Million Dollar Arm.

Show him the money!

Renowned sports agent J.B Bernstein (Jon Hamm) loses a money-making client to a comparatively bigger agency. This may be a sign of failure for the agent’s small firm. Unless he can find a another client or hatch a plan that will bring in the required money, he might be doomed and his partner Ash (Adsif Mandvi) would have to quit to support his family elsewhere. A single person without any solid emotional support in his life, J.B. starts telling his troubles to his tenant Brenda (Lake Bell), a smart and pertty medical student. There might be a glimmer of hope there.

J.B and Bella watch the boys play

J.B and Brenda watch the boys play

 

The Million Dollar Idea

While watching a  reality show on television, J.B. gets the ultimate idea to create a sports-based talent hunt for the next big major league pitchers. He would start in a country like India, where cricket is considered as big as a religion, recruit cricket players, turn them into star baseball players and hopefully convert the country residents into baseball lovers! He would then do much more than just save his poor little agency! He gets the promotional money from a backer. But there is one caveat- he would have to do it in one year- one single year.

J.B is certain that his scheme would work

J.B is certain that his scheme would work

Putting the Team Together

J.B. recruits a coach (played by Bill Paxton) and an elderly but marvellous baseball scout (Alan Arkin) and sets off to India to set up try-outs to find the fastest young pitchers; apparently the guys with “million dollar” arms.  Looking for speeds 80 mph and above, J.B. and team are discouraged with try-out speeds only hitting 45 until two impoverished Indian teens Rinku Singh (Suraj Sherma of Life of Pi) and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal of Slumdog Millionaire) both throw in the 80’s! The boys don’t even play cricket. Natural talent, I suppose?

Rinku, J.B and Dinesh visit Rinku's village in India

Rinku, J.B and Dinesh visit Rinku’s village in India

The Finals

After he goes  to remote rural village areas in India to meet the families of Rinku and Dinesh, J.B. realizes just how big this kind of dream is for the boys and their families. They don’t have money, yes, but they have love. Now the guys will go to L.A. with sixteen others to see who can win “Million Dollar Arm”. J.B. and Brenda are regularly talking now, and build up a friendship.

J.B. and the scouts hope to discover great pitchers

J.B. and the scouts hope to discover great pitchers

Strangers in a Strange Land

In L.A., Dinesh and Rinku are apparently “boys gone wild” as they discover all the strange, high tech gadgets and club life, opposite to their simple lives in India. They push all the buttons in their hotel elevator (!) and are thrown out. They have to come to stay with J.B. , who is not in a good mood. The guys start training at USC but can’t catch any balls with the baseball gloves that they are given. It’s not looking good at all. They have to be ready for try-outs in six months. Bored and homesick, the boys watch soaps  on J.B.’s TV . What’s more, they also discover yummy pizza!

J.B. introduces the boys to pizza and T.V

J.B. introduces the boys to pizza and T.V

Missing Family Love

With their parents so far away, the boys really do need support and J.B. is too busy trying to save his business to even come watch them practice. They feel abandoned and go partying, finally throwing up in J.B’s Porsche and he yells at them, making them feel even worse. Poor they!

Brenda comes to watch a game

Brenda comes to watch a game

Brenda to the Rescue!

Brenda advises J.B. to be the “family” that the two guys need or they might fail completely. He’s got to stop putting deals before people! He finally “gets” it and starts being their friend. He and Brenda get closer, finally. Can this strange really group become a family? After blowing one try-out, Dinesh and Rinku are almost ready to go home but J.B. now really cares for them and fights to get them another chance to make the big leagues. Will they make it this time?

 

John Hamm (J.B.) with the REAL Rinku and Dinesh

John Hamm (J.B.) with the REAL Rinku and Dinesh

Wrapping Up

Although the story gets a bit awkward as the  young Indian pitchers  have trouble when trying out for the big leagues and then have to redo everything to start all over again, Million Dollar Arm is a very heartwarming and inspiring tale that is based on a true story. “Mad Men” TV star Jon Hamm is wonderful as the career-driven playboy who has to learn that family, no matter how unusual, is really and truly everything. It’s not a part of your life. Family is life.

The boys want to hit the town in Hollywood

The boys want to hit the town in Hollywood

As the wide-eyed, talented young men from India, Suraj Sherma and Madhur Mittal are really believable and sympathetic. You can certainly relate to those guys. Think. What would you possibly do if you are taken to a new country from a village just because of your ability to throw a baseball?

Lake Bell does a nice job as Brenda (whom the real J.B. later married). She’s a strong woman yet sensitive and is really the savior for putting everything into working order for J.B. and the boys. She also shows J.B. the importance of family.

The film also has music composed by two-time Oscar winner and Indian legend A.R. Rahman.

The movie might be a bit slow in the middle for very young audience members but there is enough fun and heart there for me to rate the film 4 stars, thus being just behind ‘outstanding’, and getting labelled as ‘very good’.

 

Million Dollar Arm Movie Rating: 4

Million Dollar Arm Poster

Million Dollar Arm Poster

See Disney’s Million Dollar Arm starting May 16th!

Have you seen Disney’s Million Dollar Arm or are planning to see it? Let us know in a comment, below. 😀
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4 responses to this post.

  1. I will definately see ot Srah! 😀

    Reply

  2. I’m not spending money for that!!! ITS DISNEY!!!!!!!! THEY INLY MADE ALL THESE MIVIES FOR MONEY!!! Sorry but NOOOO I’m have not seen,or r planning to see ANYMORE Disney movies…EVER!!! (Cause pixiehollow’s gone 😪)

    Reply

    • Julie, ALL movies are made for money at some point or the other. You just can’t boycott Disney because of that, and it actually is a wonderful movie and is worth watching. You just can’t ignore Disney. Most people who went to watch this film didn’t know it was owned by Disney. (Seriously, they probably didn’t see the poster) But, I respect your opinion even though I recommend the movie. 🙂

      Reply

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