If you’re anything like me, live action movies that are slathered in the Disney brand are a huge red flag. Especially when sports are involved. You don’t need to look farther than Miracle (a great story, but a soft delivery) or Invincible (good story, no punch) to find prime examples of where my concern derives from. If Disney live action sports movies where a race of people, I’d be a proud bigot. It was this Disney prejudice that almost cost me what turned out to be a fantastic movie viewing.
Sure, Million Dollar Arm is another paint by number picture, but when those numbers add up to the sum of a well told story, then why not? The set up is great, despite some questionably racist elements. Jon Hamm is a slightly altered Don Draper which is to say he was fantastic. Bill Paxton didn’t make the trailer, but he certainly helps make this film that much better as he does with every movie he’s in. The same in both regards can be said of Lake Bell. Slumdog’s Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma of Life of Pi play the would be Million Dollar arms and both are likable as well as believable while Alan Arkin fills out this ensemble cast as the sleepy scout.
Satisfying, interesting and uplifting without pouring it on too thick (came close at the end, but thankfully showed restraint), Million Dollar Arm goes down smooth.
3.5 0f 5 (Less schmaltzy than a typical Disney sports pic, but more schmaltzy than those not helmed by the mouse.)
Must Watch = 5 0f 5 (See it in the theater if possible/buy it or pay for rental)
Should Watch = 4 of 5 (Worth a theater visit or sending away for)
Could Watch = 3 of 5 (If it’s on a pay channel or streaming for free)
Should Not Watch = 2 of 5 (Only if friends or family insist)
Do Not Watch = 1 of 5 (Don’t allow friends or family to make this mistake)