Million Dollar Arm Review
I had the opportunity this week to see a sneak preview of Disney’s new movie Million Dollar Arm.
It tells the story of J. B. Bernstein, a failing sports agent. He has exhausted all options in the U.S. and is watching his fledgling company go belly up. One night while watching reality television on one channel and Cricket on the other he devices a plan- to head to India and find athletes. Coaches had always told him to get any guy who could throw 100 miles per hour and they could teach him how to pitch. So he creates “Million Dollar Arm”- a reality television competition with a huge cash prize and a chance to become the first native of India to sign a contract with an American major-league team.
The movie follows the natural course you can imagine of an American in India. Hilarious scenes about cultural differences involving food, manners and travel. The movie manages to show both the odd and beautiful sides of India. Since they need an agent to go with them we get to see a fantastic performance by Alan Arkin as Ray Poitevint- a retired agent who can seem to be sleeping but HEAR how fast a pitch is going.
After many hilarious scenes and some tense try outs the contest finally narrows down to the two lucky guys who will be travelling to the States to audition for Major League Baseball, Singh and Patel.
The performances by the two Indian actors are VERY good- they easily portray the wide-eyed innocence that two young men from villages would have arriving in Los Angeles. And just to keep the story interesting J.B. has a very cute medical student living in the bungalow he rents out. I won’t go into the plot too much more- you can watch it to see the rest.
There is nothing revolutionary about this movie- it falls into the same camp as Invincible, Miracle and the other movies that chronicle truly amazing sports stories. It’s got a solid script, good acting, wonderful music and you leave feeling great.
It has earned it’s PG rating as well- no violence, no foul language and no dramatic love scenes. It’s a great family film. I will tell you that to keep the authenticity there is a great deal of speaking in the that isn’t in English so make sure if you take children they will be able to read the subtitles- otherwise they will be frustrated and miss quite a few jokes.
Be sure to stay through the credits- they have fantastic home video of the actual players.
MILLION DOLLAR ARM opens in theaters everywhere today, May 16th!