After losing his last chance at a his only major client, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace as a last ditch effort to save his career. Hoping to tap into the last untouched market for baseball, India, JB hopes to find a young cricket pitcher that he can turn into a major league star. JB concocts a reality show competition called “Million Dollar Arm”, that with the help of investors he travels to India to launch with the help of a cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout (Alan Arkin). The competition produces Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) and Rinku (Suraj Sharma), two 18 year old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet possess a raw talent for throwing a fastball. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball, JB, with the help of his pool house tenant Brenda (Lake Bell), starts to learn valuable lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.
Million Dollar Arm is a predictable and formulaic sports tale that happens to be based on a true story. A harmless tale that lacks any staying power, the film is almost forgettable immediately after exiting the theater, Million Dollar Arm wastes the talents of many talented people involved while producing the most plain and dull product it can. Most of the cast seem to be slumming here; Hamm tries his best despite the cookie cutter script but really has nothing to deliver. The normally reliable and talented Arkin, Bill Paxton and Lake Bell seem to be barely even attempting to produce anything, partially due to the script but also because they all look bored and uninterested for the duration of the film.
New in Canadian theaters this weekend is the new romantic comedy from first time director/writer Lake Bell, In a World… The film marks a large step forward for the gorgeous actress known mainly for her roles in “Children’s Hospital” and “How to make it in America” as Lake Bell is putting all her cards on the table here, and the gamble pays off.
In a World….
Written and Directed by Lake Bell.
Carol (Bell), an underachieving vocal coach, is motivated by her father (Melamed) the king of movie-trailer voice-overs, to pursue her aspirations of becoming a voiceover star. But when her success starts to interfere with the hopes Sam has for his protégé Gustav (Marino), unbeknownst to Sam, they become rivals. Carol moves in with her sister Dani (Watkins) and her husband (Corddry) who with the help of producer Loius (Martin), who is enamored with Carol, help her succeed amidst pride, sexism and family dysfunction.