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.
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The movie won't be doing battle with Neighbors and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 at the box-office this weekend, but it will be hitting theaters next weekend when it has Godzilla and The Immigrant to deal with. Nevertheless, early reviews have been strong.
"Dutifully covering all the requisite inspirational sports movie/fish-out-of-water bases yet still managing to throw a few fresh curves into the mix, Disney's Million Dollar Arm assuredly hits a home run," said the Hollywood Reporter.
"This sharp, slickly produced addition to the Disney sports movie canon works as both a stirring underdog tale and as a revealing look at the expanding global footprint of the American sports-entertainment machine," wrote Scott Foundas of Variety.
".a feel-good story that raises cultural questions that the film doesn't seem terribly interested in answering... an easy triple in the grand Disney tradition," said Drew McWeeney of HitFix.com.
"Like a mangy dog that plops its head in your lap and gazes adoringly at you until you scratch it behind the ears. Eventually, you give in and scratch. And then you wash your hands," said Alonso Duralde of The Wrap, in a sort-of positive review.
Watch the Million Dollar arm trailer:
Hamm called upon his Mad Men co-stars for the premiere of the movie this week, and spoke to Screen Slam about the main themes of the film.
"It's about dreams coming true, it's very inspirational, it's very aspirations," he said, "There's a lot of really wonderful qualities to it. We have it very good in the States, we're very lucky, but in other countries there's not as many opportunities for kids to get out of their circumstances, or out of their village.
But with the rise of the popularity of something like Million Dollar Arm, it's giving a whole generation of kids the opportunity to do something different if they're willing to work hard."
Million Dollar Arm hits theaters in the U.S. on May 16, 2014.
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