Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Trouble with the Curve (2012) - Directed by Robert Lorenz; Written by Randy Brown; Starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard, Robert Patrick.
By Kenny Howell
The trouble with Trouble with the Curve is that it is terrible.
If you watched Moneyball, and wished the story was about the older scouts and how they were really right, then this is the movie for you.
The message of this movie is that things used to be better. From a baseball standpoint, the filmmakers make it clear early on that sabermetrics is a bunch of crap, the same argument that old columnists have been making for a few years now.
"Anybody who uses computers doesn't know a damn thing about baseball," Eastwood's Gus says early in the movie.
This, obviously, is absurd. Partially because the way that is worded it seems that anyone under the age of 35, who are very proficient with computers, don't know anything about baseball. But also, it says that any team that believes in sabermetrics, which is about every team in baseball nowadays, knows nothing about baseball. The Red Sox, Athletics and Rays have been at the forefront of using this method to analyze players. They are the top three teams in the American League right now. The Athletics have the lowest payroll in baseball, and have a comfortable lead in the AL West. That is the point of using these fandangled computin machines, to find players that may be undervalued. The A's are doing that.
Another way is to look at it is that the younger generation don't have much to contribute, only the older generation does. This, again, is absurd. Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake are the only younger adults in the movie that actually achieve anything, but it is not on their own, they do it with Eastwood's help.
Other than that, the movies last bit is laughably stupid. I will be giving away spoilers in the next paragraph, so stop reading now, even though studies show that people who know spoilers enjoy the story more.
Anyway, Amy Adams decides the lawyer lifestyle is not for her, and baseball is her love. Lucky for her, she walks outside her hotel and a beast of a lefthander is pitching with his little brother. HOW CONVENIENT! Of course, no one knows about him because his mom wouldn't let him play or something. She sets up a tryout for him with the Braves, and he gets to pitch against the big prospect they have been following the whole movie. The big prospect is can't miss by most people, but Eastwood sees he has trouble with the curve (see what they did there). And get this, the new kid has a great curve ball! And he used to sell peanuts at the big prospect's high school games, which are such a ridiculous representation of what high school baseball games are like.
You can figure out the rest. Eastwood didn't direct this one, but if he did, his character probably would have died at the end, because he always has to kill off a main character to try for awards. Everyone stays alive, but it doesn't make this movie any better.
Trouble with the Curve is also available on Redbox, Amazon Instant, iTunes and is currently playing on HBO.