Trouble with the Curve came out in late September and died a quick death, not helped by Clint Eastwood’s performance at the Republican National Convention. But though Eastwood was front and center in selling the picture, he didn’t direct it. No, it was helmed by Robert Lorenz, a longtime Eastwood associate who wanted his turn behind the camera. This suggests he won’t get another chance. It’s a modestly charming formula movie that plays like something better suited for old people and television viewings. Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake co-star and our review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Eastwood plays Gus, an aged baseball recruiter who may get replaced by Phillip Sanderson (Matthew Lillard) and his reliance on stats and computers. The owner of the team (Robert Patrick) is willing to listen to the new guy, though Gus is somewhat protected by Pete (John Goodman). The problem is that Gus is getting old and his eyesight may be fading. That’s why Pete calls in Gus’s daughter Mickey (Adams) to go with him on a scouting assignment. She reluctantly agrees even though she’s on a case that’s about the make her a partner at her law firm. There’s also another scout on the road, Johnny (Timberlake), who takes an interest in Mickey. Eastwood is following a hot young athelete who’s so arrogant that there’s no way he isn’t all he thinks he’s cracked up to be, but Lillard’s character thinks he’s the next big thing, so therein lies your third act.
There’s not much to the movie: Eastwood does the gruff and distant father who by the end of the film has re-forged a bond with his daughter, and revealed why he kept himself at a distance. Mickey goes from being a workaholic to someone who could have a real relationship and finds out that she doesn’t want to do what she’s been doing. While the love interest is a love interest, and Gus’s instincts prove to be correct (spoiler). Everything about this you can see coming a mile away. What’s most surprising is that it doesn’t wrap everything up (Eastwood never gets his eyes fixed), but there are no surprises.
Trouble with the Curve seems like a film made for people who don’t want anything all that challenging, and perhaps there is an audience for this picture on home video. But though it’s a formula picture through and through, Amy Adams is the real deal. She has a nothing part but she makes everything work. It’s easy to praise an actor when the material is incredible, but it takes real talent to turn a nothing role like this into something memorable. It’s not enough to recommend the movie, but she is one of the best actresses working today, and proves it in films like this. Hopefully, she won’t have to make too many more like this one.
Warner Brother presents the film in widescreen (2.35:1) and in DTS-HD Master audio. The transfer is perfect, as is usually the case these days with new movies. The film also comes with a DVD and digital copy. Extras are limited to two featurettes: “For the Love of the Game” (6 min.) and “Rising Through the Ranks” (5 min.) that cover the making of the film and how director Lorenz got attached to making the movie. Very standard stuff.