Criminally absent from the big screen since Jennifer Westfeldt’s 2011 comedy-drama, Friends With Kids, Jon Hamm is about to make his very much overdue return in Disney’s real-life sports drama, Million Dollar Arm.
The anticipated movie heads into cinemas stateside in May, and on Christmas Eve, the studio launched a great first trailer and poster, teasing what is sure to be another instant-classic performance from Hamm.
In a last ditch effort to save his career as a sports agent, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turninto a Major League Baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a realityshow competition called “Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of a cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout (Alan Arkin) he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18 year old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home toAmerica to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India — the boys, who have never left their rural villages — are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball — JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell) — learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.
Lake Bell looks excellent in the female lead here – very much deservedly gaining recognition in recent years – with Suraj Sharma, Aasif Mandvi, Madhur Mittal, Bill Paxton, and Alan Arkin completing the ensemble nicely.
Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) is behind the camera, directing from a script penned by Tom McCarthy (Up, Win Win).
Recent years have offered up sports movies few and far between, with Moneyball and Trouble with the Curve amongst the few that really come to mind, and I can’t wait to see how Million Dollar Arm turns out.
Million Dollar Arm is set to be released in the US on May 16th, 2014. No word yet on a UK release date, but here’s to hoping that we won’t have long to wait beyond its stateside release.