"MILLION DOLLAR ARM" from Disney Films opens Fri., May 16, 2014.
STARRING: Jon Hamm, Madhur Mittal, Suraj Sharma, Asif Mandvi, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, Allyn Rachel and Pitobash.
DIRECTOR: Craig Gillespie ("Mr. Woodcock", "Fright Night" (remake)).
SYNOPSIS: American sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Hamm) and his partner, Ash (Mandvi), go to India seeking baseball pitchers through a reality show called "Million Dollar Arm". They locate two young Indian men whom they hope to teach baseball and make them Major League players.
This film is almost a shameless emotionally-charged work that bolsters Disney's sports catalog quite nicely. Jon Hamm's charm is the catalyst that carries it from scene to scene in the Disney tradition. Baseball may not be America's number one sport any more but this film proves that it can still tug at the old heartstrings with the underdog storyline. One can't help but pull for these kids and their fish-out-of-water tale.
Arkin and Paxton are perfect in their roles. Paxton as a pitching coach is perfect for delivering all (or most) of the game's many clichés. This sport more than any other has a lingo that is steeped in cliché heaven and they're all preserved for posterity here. But that's the game...and it's a home run. (Sorry. Got caught up there.)