Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trouble With The Curve

Writes A. O. SCOTT in The New York Times: The trouble with baseball movies like “Trouble With the Curve” is that they tempt reviewers to reach for hackneyed sports metaphors. I’m only human, but I’m also not sure which comparison best suits this easygoing, unsurprising movie, directed by Robert Lorenz from a script by Randy Brown. Regrettably, it is not a home run or a perfect game, but it isn’t a wild throw, an errant bunt or a dropped fly ball either. “Trouble With the Curve” is either an off-speed pitch that just catches the edge of the strike zone or a bloop single lofted into right field. The runner is safe. The movie is too. Crack open a peanut and flag down the beer guy.

Clint Eastwood, muttering grumpily to himself — though not, this time, in the service of a political campaign — plays Gus Lobel, a longtime scout for the Atlanta Braves. Gus’s eyesight is failing, and his job is threatened by a younger front-office hotshot (Matthew Lillard) whose approach to baseball involves numbers and computers and all that newfangled nonsense. If this were “Moneyball,” last year’s autumnal baseball picture, the guy would be a hero, but “Trouble With the Curve” is the anti-“Moneyball.” The old-time scouts from that film, mocked for their superstitions about “intangibles” and “instincts,” get their revenge this time around, thanks to the greatest avenger of them all.
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