Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

May 13, 2014

CALLERI: New movie attempts to bridge cultures on the playing field


Niagara Gazette — Regarding the character of JB, screenwriter Thomas McCarthy doesn’t make him nasty enough, so that when he does become more humble, the changeover feels less dramatic than it should. McCarthy’s cliché-riddled script is weak and rather unfortunate, especially when you consider that the other better movies he’s written, such as “The Station Agent,” which he also directed, are so accomplished and free of stereotypes.

“Million Dollar Arm” never soars. It lacks focus and should have concentrated more on the young men from India. Yes, they do face prejudice. The picture makes you think you’ve seen it before, which you have, especially when it was called “Jerry Maguire,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Rookie,” “Moneyball,” “The Bad News Bears,” “The Blind Side,” or “Invincible.”

The people behind the movie would like you to think they’ve made a feel-good film, but they haven’t. You feel sort of not so bad. The actual real-life ending works against it.

Hollywood has fictionalized thousands of true stories, so why Disney didn’t order a more energetic ending is anyone’s guess. Is this aspect of the agent’s life truly worthy of a full-length biographical motion picture? Not really.

Michael Calleri reviews films for Night and Day. Contact him at

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