INDIA — Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” opens this weekend against some heavy competition, and we mean heavy, literally. It will go head-to-head with “Godzilla.” Both are very different movies, but just in case you are wondering what movie to run out and see this weekend, here are three pitches for why you should see “Million Dollar Arm.”
Over the years we have seen some awesome baseball movies like “The Sandlot” and “Field of Dreams,” which are fictional stories. They are great stories and some of the best baseball movies ever made, but there is also something so endearing about true stories that just really hit home with the audience.
Like Disney’s last baseball film “The Rookie,” “Million Dollar Arm” is also based on a true story about a down-on-his-luck sports agent that in an effort to save his career, ends up going to India to do a game show type of competition to find someone who can pitch. The winners are guaranteed a tryout with major league scouts.
The story is maybe predictable at times, but aren't most sports movies like that anyways? We still love to watch them, and “Million Dollar Arm” is no different. Even if you know the outcome, the story of how they got there is fascinating.
One of the best parts of the movie is the journey you get to go on through India. It was very informative and even educational at points. Someone who has not traveled to India will get to see the country up close in this film.
In the movie, they travel to different parts of India for their competition. You get a little glimpse into the culture there, which plays a big role in the movie as well. The winners are invited to Los Angeles to train at USC, and you are able to see the cultural differences between the two countries.
For a country that has over a billion people in it, you would think you would be able to find some baseball pitchers, but they journey to find a few, which can help you realize how diverse this world is. Baseball to people in India is like cricket to Americans, it just is not popular.
The casting director for “Million Dollar Arm” should get a bonus because it was cast perfectly. You have your bigger names like Jon Hamm, Bill Paxton and Alan Arkin who are great in this movie, but the supporting cast is pretty awesome as well. Arkin and Paxton explain here to fellow Flicks Junkie podcast host Travis Poppleton why they chose to do these roles in the film.
One actor who you will love is a man named Pitobash who plays Amit in the movie. Amit is a short guy from India who loves baseball and wants to be a coach someday. He volunteers to work for free to help them in their “Million Dollar Arm” challenge and is also brought to America as the translator for the winners. He is a scene stealer and adds a lot of comic relief.
The cast as a whole just works perfectly. “Million Dollar Arm” is a great story with a great cast to bring it to life. It is worth watching and one that can be enjoyed with the family.