Based on a true story, this is one of those relentlessly uplifting Disney movies that mixes comedy and emotion to inspire and move the audience. Thankfully, it also has a very smart screenplay by Tom McCarthy (Win Win) that draws out some resonant themes while tackling cross-culture issues with wit and honesty. This makes it easy to identify with the sparky characters who are trying to reinvent themselves.
Sports manager JB (Jon Hamm) certainly needs a reinvention. He has lost all of his high-profile clients and now needs to find the next big thing. Perceived as washed-up, he has some difficulty convincing someone to fund his crazy plan to stage a talent competition in India to find baseball talent among the local cricket players. With the help of his easily distracted assistant Aash (Aasif Mandvi) and cantankerous ex-coach Ray (Alan Arkin), he narrows the candidates down to two potential stars: Rinku and Danesh (Life of Pi's Suraj Sharma and Slumdog Millionaire's Madhur Mittal). After JB brings them back to Los Angeles, along with over-eager interpreter Amit (Pitobash), renegade coach Tom (Bill Paxton) has to whip them into shape to see if they can attract interest from the big-league teams.
While the film continually threatens to indulge in smiley culture-clash slapstick, McCarthy's script continually grounds the action in the characters, who emerge as fully rounded people who are engagingly unpredictable. The cast is earthy and natural, anchored ably by Hamm as a likeable guy who remains self-absorbed even though he's desperate, and who takes a long time to learn his rather simple lesson. His chemistry with Lake Bell (as the plain-talking tenant in his pool house) is superbly messy. And ace scene-stealers Mandvi and Arkin bring plenty of comic relief to their hilarious roles.
Continue reading: Million Dollar Arm Review
Critics assess the real-life sporting drama lead by the 'Mad Men' star.
Million Dollar Arm is released today in the USA, bringing Craig Gillespie's take on the remarkable true story of sports coach J.B. Bernstein to life with Mad Men's Jon Hamm in the driving seat alongside Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, Aasif Mandvi and Lake Bell. It's easy to see why Hamm was cast as Bernstein, the sports agent and marketing wiz who devised a programme to inspire Indian cricket players to make the jump to baseball in the search for a news sports hero.
Jon Hamm Plays Sports Coach J.B. Bernstein In This Heart-Warming True Story Dramatisation.
"Sometimes a hard-hitting expose, sometimes a big-hearted crowdpleaser, "Million Dollar Arm" wants it both ways to be sure, but its instincts are mostly right on the money, as are its actors," says Variety. Scott Foundas is even-handed in his review, making sure to praise all those who make the movie such a solid watch, including "Gyula Pados' ace widescreen lensing," "jubilant wall-to-wall song score by Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman" and Hamm "who possesses a special talent for ferreting out the humanity in seemingly soulless corporate suits."
Continue reading: 'Million Dollar Arm' Released: A Home Run For Jon Hamm? [Trailer]
Jon Hamm stars as a baseball agent in Disney's 'Million Dollar Arm'
Remember the Titans, Mighty Ducks, Cool Runnings - could Jon Hamm's Million Dollar Arm be Disney's next classic sports movie? It certainly looks like one of the aforementioned family flicks and Hamm has that 90s sports agent/manager/coach thing down to a tee.
Jon Hamm in 'Milion Dollar Arm'
The movie - a true story - tells the tale of JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who finds himself edged out by bigger, slicker competitors. He and his partner face closing their business for good, but whilst watching cricket in India on television, JB has a light-bulb moment and sets off to Mumbia with a cantankerous scout (Alan Arkin) to find the next big pitching sensation.
Continue reading: Is Jon Hamm's 'Million Dollar Arm' The Next Classic Disney Sports Movie?
Sports agent JB Bernstein was once incredibly successful in his field, but now there's a bunch of serious new sporting entrepreneurs in town that look to be about to make his job very difficult. With his agency under the threat of closure, he and his partner Ash need to start thinking long and hard about fresh new ideas that could rake in the dollars. While watching a cricket match on the box, JB devises a crazy idea to find America's next huge baseball star in India by setting up a talent show for the nation's finest young cricketers. The finalists of the show entitled 'Million Dollar Arm' are Rinku and Dinesh, who subsequently fly over to the US to begin training in the art of baseball. However, things are less easy than they first appeared and JB finds himself in deep water when it becomes clear just how different baseball and cricket are.
Continue: Million Dollar Arm - Clips
The 'Mad Men' actor takes on a baseball challenge in this true story adaptation.
The trailer has been released for Disney's upcoming sports drama, Million Dollar Arm, which stars Jon Hamm, Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, Aasif Mandvi and Lake Bell. Based on a true story, the movie sees the Mad Men star take centre-stage as J.B. Bernstein, the sports agent and marketing wiz who devised a programme to inspire Indian cricket players to make the jump to baseball in the search for a news sports hero.
'Million Dollar Arm' Sees Jon Hamm Play Real-Life Sports Agent J.B. Bernstein.
With music by double Oscar winning A.R. Rahman ('Slumdog Millionaire'), Million Dollar Arm charts Bernstein's journey to India for a new generation of sports stars as well as the players' experiences in the competitive environment of US sports as well as their new cultural encounters thousands of miles away from home. Hamm as Bernstein is a sports agent who is struggling to keep his home and business in an increasingly innovative market against more enterprising sports entrepreneurs.