Jack Goes Confidential: Jon Hamm Pitches Fast Ball Culture Shock in ‘Million Dollar Arm’

Million-Dollar-Arm-WeLiveFilm-Movie-ReviewGive Disney credit…

Sports movies haven’t much ignited the box office of late. The last to strike out was Kevin Costner’s recent DRAFT DAY.

And in the ever more important international movie market football and baseball films have an even worse chance of succeeding. After all, countries with even the slightest hint of interest in American baseball and football—well, let’s just say they’re sparse.

Even Brad Pitt’s MONEYBALL only garnered just 31% of its total take overseas.

So hats off to the Mouse House for periodically developing ‘small’ pictures amidst its Marvel, Pixar and LucasFilm powerhouses and dropping them smack dab in the middle of major summer tentpoles.

That’s what Disney is doing this week with MILLION DOLLAR ARM.

Produced on a reportedly minuscule budget by Hollywood standards of just $25 million, this baseball-themed outing is really more a story of relationships and a fish-out-of-water, than a sports movie.

It’s based on the true story of down on his luck sports agent J.B. Bernstein (played by Jon Hamm) who, after losing his best prospect to a rival agency is in desperate need of new hitters and comes up with an intriguing scheme.

header-disneys-million-dollar-arm-starts-filming-with-jon-hammLook to India!

Why India? Because those cricket players over there have a pretty wicked arm and could possibly be trained to become great American pitching aces.

Far fetched?

Not so much, since the story is based on how Rinku Sigh and Dinesh Patel were discovered and brought to this country for a culture shock introduction to our America’s pastime, Major League Baseball.

How was it done? Did it work? You’ll have to watch the movie for the answers.

Suffice it to say, you’ll have a good time along the way as Bill Paxton and Lake Bell join the adventure.

And especially Alan Arkin as a retired baseball scout who’s never lost it.

So will MILLION DOLLAR ARM make it as it’s being dropped between GODZILLA, SPIDER-MAN 2 and next week’s X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST?

Who knows? But good word of mouth from those who’ll venture out to see it may just give the picture the boost it needs to succeed.

MILLION DOLLAR ARM. Think JERRY MAGUIRE meets SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. It’s counter programming this weekend with a grade of B-

(Reviewed at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas)

JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ FM & AM.

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2 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: Jon Hamm Pitches Fast Ball Culture Shock in ‘Million Dollar Arm’

  1. Craig Glazer says:

    Jack as always great review. A B- doesn’t sound like you loved it though. I am a big Jon Hamm fan and have wondered why he is not in more films. This following his outstanding job in THE TOWN a few years back. Of course Mad Men as well. He is excellent.

    Jack in todays Hollywood 25 million IS THE GOING BUDGET for mid level films. Ones that don’t have ‘franchise’ or ‘tent pole’ or ‘comic book’ or ‘family film’ written all over them. Why? You can shoot an A movie today at that budget and make money if it does ok here and overseas. You need to bring back at least 50 million on that budget to get labled a soft hit, over 70 you are a big winner. In fact as you have seen many small hit have been shot for 10-15 million these days. Adult films just can’t bank on 100 million dollar budgets with no draw to younger film going crowds or families. Too risky. Many of those become franchise hits later like TAKEN or FAST AND FURIOUS or some horror franchises like SAW….then the money is huge. That’s the gamble.

    You drop down to even smaller budgets like THE WRESTLER a one off big hit, and I would guess that budget was no more than 10 million. Its a new Hollywood today. Studios are more the film distributors than the total financial backers as you know…that’s also a big change. Now with cable, Netflix etc..big in the game, more changes.

    Again as you know Jack there are fewer and fewer BIG NAME NEW STARS, that will draw just because they are in a pix. Hollywood still counts on the Tom Cruises, Brad Pitts and Leo’s to help do that.

  2. the dude says:

    Meh, another sports cliché-ridden movie.

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