Skip’s Quips: Why This Baseball Fan Liked ‘Million Dollar Arm’

Blog Sketch 082813OK, I’m a sucker for baseball – even in December. I’m a big fan of America’s pastime. I used to watch the New York Yankees every chance I got.

That said, I didn’t expect to like Million Dollar Arm. I thought it was going to be cheesy. Overly sentimental. Junk.

Wow, was I surprised. It’s not a perfect movie by any means, but boy, was it enjoyable. And what a story: It’s the based-on-truth tale of a sports agent (expertly played by Jon Hamm) who journeys to India in a quest to find hard-throwing baseball pitchers from the subcontinent.

Oh, yeah: And Alan Arkin is in it, so what could be bad, right?

What impressed me was the quality of the script, as well as the skill of director Craig Gillespie in moving the film along. Then you had terrific ensemble performances, not only by Hamm and Arkin, but also by the excellent Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal, who portray the new-to-baseball pitchers perfectly. You have some fun fish-out-of-water situations with Hamm, Sharma and Mittal all getting culture shock from the countries they travel to, along with more serious themes about the importance of family and ambition. It’s nothing profound, but it’s quality entertainment. And in this day and age, that’s important.

I don’t like all movies about baseball, despite my predilection for the game. Million Dollar Arm, however, is a good one. It was somewhat unsung this year; perhaps more viewers can rectify that. Whether it will be a sports classic in time is not known as yet. All I know is I had an enjoyable time watching it. Hopefully, you will, too.

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