Trouble with the Curve,2012,USA
Director: Robert Lorenz
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams & John Goodman
Film #42 of The December Project
Making just his fourth appearance in front of the camera in ten years, Clint Eastwood returns in as his usual gruff persona that we all know and love in the Baseball drama 'Trouble with the Curve'.
Gus is an aging baseball scout, who is almost on the verge of blindness. With computers and electronic being introduced to scouting, Gus' techniques are beginning to look obsolete, he unwillingly accepts the help of his daughter Mickey on what may be his last recruiting trip.
'Trouble with the Curve' feels almost like a polar opposite of my favorite film of 2011, 'Moneyball', which was a film that endorsed the use of computers when scouting baseball. This film however is far more old fashioned and stuck in its ways, so to speak. As displayed through Eastwood's character, 'Trouble with the Curve' advocates old fashioned values and the love of the sport. Unfortunately when I say the two films are polar opposite, they also refers to the differences in quality. 'Moneyball' achieved its emotive response organically, while 'The Trouble with the Curve' attempts to achieve theirs in the most artificial ways possible.
'Trouble with the Curve' is without a doubt a very generic film, that strives to be anything but. The screenplay by Randy Brown is riddled with cliches and tries its darnedest to be a memorable experience, even Oscar bait if you will, but is never able to achieve it. The are so obscure and unnecessary sub plots thrown into this film weather that be a distant Father - daughter relationship,a fairytale ending or a bizarre child molestation back story.Robert Lorenz's direction of the film is completely standard and by the books and he does nothing from a directorial standpoint to make the film more immersive. Its almost like he was mimicking his lead actor's no frills directorial style.
The ending of the film may have been one of the most unsatisfying I have seen all year, Its almost guaranteed to make your eyes role and gain a laugh for of all the ridiculous and utterly cliched happenings taking place. Its borderline infuriating.
The film's cast is its main selling point, it has know become almost a rare spectacle to see Eastwood in front of the camera know a days, and his performance here is classic Clint, gruff, tough minded and old fashioned. Amy Adams gives the best performance of the film here, and she is usually able to make something out of below par dialogue. I really liked some of the supporting cast, I love John Goodman and like always its a thrill to see him here. I also love Matthew Lillard, he is good here in a small role playing an absolute cliched douche.
If your reading this, you may have noticed I have used variations of the word 'cliched' several times throughout, because that's exactly what the film is compiled off. If it wasn't for the films quality cast it would have been an utter waste of time, but luckily the actors are able to bring something remotely watchable to the screen. I wanted to like this film, but I cant not recommend it. 'Moneyball' on the other hand is fantastic, definitely check that out if you haven't seen it.