Trouble with the Curve

Curmudgeon Clint the Scout

         
 

20 September 2012| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Pop and daughter reconciliation elements domineers over the baseball material. Trouble with the Curve is Clint Eastwood (“Gran Torino”) in trademark grumpy old man mode with Amy Adams (“The Fighter”) as the lawyer daughter who cuts out of work to hit the road with Pop. Eastwood is Gus, a rapidly aging Atlanta Braves baseball scout with bad eyes and a latent distrust of the internet. He is scouting a cocksure kid named Bo Gentry (Joe Massingil) who is going to have inevitable PR problems if he goes to the Majors, but he certainly hits game-winning home runs. What will Gus find right with the kid, and what will he find wrong? His work as a scout is surprisingly at an arm’s length distance method. 

Playing up the foul-mouth old-timer will certainly suit Clint’s fans, and once again, Amy Adams chugs with the boys and yelps out ancient MLB statistics. John Goodman is Clint’s boss and longtime friend, and Justin Timberlake (“In Time”) is a baseball pitcher washout who is now a scout for the Boston Red Sox. Timberlake, once again, takes soft swing dialogue chews it up and spits it out naturally as if it were his own. You want a guy like that using smart irony, and teasing, to melt down a tough cookie like Amy Adams.

The issue of the story is that Gus and his bad eyes should give consideration to retirement, or at least go see a specialist – but he’s too into his piss and vinegar to make that compromise. What is never convincing in the movie is that his daughter is close to becoming a partner at the firm but sacrifices the opportunity after seven years of work to be with him indefinitely on the road (you would think she would fly back and forth as needed to balance her career apex and her dad who seems to be holding up just fine). The two of them are never quite sure on what needs to change from them, except there are daddy abandonment matters that need closure.

What matters most is giving the serious stuff a gentle brush to the side in favor of working towards a crowd-pleasing finish. Two prospects for the Atlanta Braves exist, and if we didn’t know about one of them until the end, then that’s the script’s ace in the hole. In crowd-pleasing terms, “Curve” throws us one and it’s a terrific finish. I think I. and my lady pals of mine, gave Clint the clap. An applause, that is.

111 Minutes. Rated PG-13.

SPORTS FABLES / INSPIRATIONAL / WEEKDAY MATURE FAMILY MOVIE

Film Cousins: “The Scout” (1994); “Cinderella Man” (2005); “Gran Torino” (2008); “Moneyball” (2011).

 

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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