| Reel World
'Trouble With the Curve'
Clint Eastwood has made a whole career out of playing tough, grumpy and uncommunicative characters.
Sometimes it works, like in the classic Western "The Unforgiven." Sometimes it doesn't, like in the awful "Gran Torino."
In "Trouble with the Curve," Eastwood is tailor-made for his sullen, aging character, a baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves named Gus Lobel.
Gus has been one of the best at judging MLB talent, but he's finding it hard to keep up with changing times and his ever-diminishing health. While his peers are getting all their stats online, Gus still keeps up with the minor leagues players by poring through dozens of newspapers, which he reads with the aid of a magnifying glass due to macular degeneration.
Gus' superiors are wondering whether it's time to retire his number, but Gus has no such thoughts. He has honed his skills to the point where he can hear a glitch in a hitter's swing.
But the movie isn't only about baseball; it's also about relationships.
Gus' only child, Mickey (Amy Adams), a successful lawyer on the cusp of becoming a partner in an Atlanta law firm, has tried to keep the lines of communication open but is always spurned by her dad, who had to raise her alone after his wife died when Mickey was only 6. But when a close friend of her dad's implores Mickey (named after Mickey Mantle) to check on her dad, she returns, but his stubbornness and independence again prove roadblocks in their relationship.
Mickey joins her dad on his scouting tour and meets up with Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake), a young scout for the Boston Red Sox. Flanagan is interested in the same player Gus is checking out, an arrogant slugger named Bo Gentry, who boasts about his talents and his future in the Big Leagues to his doting teammates.
The story has few surprises and telegraphs outcomes - the know-it-all player getting his comeuppance, the guy she can't stand that she eventually falls for, the well-paying job given up to pursue a passion.
What is surprising is how genuine most of the movie feels and how much humor comes from that genuineness. A lot of that has to do with Eastwood and how well he plays his taciturn character, who just can't say the right things to his daughter. Adams pairs nicely with Eastwood. As Mickey, she shows little patience with her father and leaves meals unfinished and conversations truncated as she storms out when he refuses to talk about resentments she harbors from her past.
Timberlake plays another interesting fellow just like his smarmy character in "The Social Network." He somehow manages to muster up enough charm in this movie to keep the audience rooting for him.
The movie also features a great bullpen, including John Goodman as Gus' buddy and boss Pete Klein.
While many baseball movies just don't feel real, this one does.
That's because Eastwood and Adams hit one out of the ballpark.
- Lake Theater 12/04/13 (Frozen)
- 'Catching Fire' a top-notch sequel
- "Thor: The Dark World" 11/13/13
- 'Free Birds' a turkey
- "City of Bones"
- 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'
- 'The Wolverine'
- 'The Way, Way Back'
- 'Despicable Me 2'
- 'Monsters University'
- 'World War Z'
- 'Man of Steel'
- 'The Internship'
- 'Now You See Me'
- 'Star Trek Into Darkness'
- 'The Great Gatsby'
- 'Iron Man 3'
- 'Pain and Gain'
Top stories from the Lake Country area. Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
Click here for stories
on community pride
Do you have news or a nonprofit event that you would like to share with the community? Whether it's a community organization, a business, a local school, or a notable neighbor, we'd love to hear about it.
- Local Doctors Discuss: Great Source for Reliable Information on Nutritional Supplements
- Call for Artists to Participate in WRAP Exhibit
- MHS Key Club selling bracelets to sponsor students in less developed countries
- Woodside contributes baskets for families in need
- Landscape Plastic Recycling Event Success
- Templeton bands to perform holiday concerts
- Guarantee Digital Announces New Marketing Programs for Lake Country Merchants
- Country Roads Take Me Home to the Schauer Center
Lake Country residents share their views on news, happenings and current events.
LivingLakeCountry.com features more than a dozen community bloggers - a group of volunteer conversation leaders who are up on the latest topics and never short on an opinion. Just a few are pictured here. Check out the rest and see what they have to say!
View All Blogs
Do you want to become a Community Blogger? LivingLakeCountry.com welcomes your thoughts and opinions. Contact us for more information:
I want to blog