Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm follows JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who finds his career teetering on the edge. Sports films generally carry an important social message in them and this film does that and more. "Once JB finds the boys he is looking for, it becomes less about business, and more about friendship," comments KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven D, age 16. Brianna B, age 14 adds, "I absolutely love this film. A big part of why I like it so much is because it's based on a true story that is so inspirational." Their full reviews are below.
Million Dollar Arm
Reviewed by Raven D., age 16, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Million Dollar Arm tells the true story of a sports agent and three young men from small villages in India as they make baseball history. Jon Hamm plays a sports agent named JB whose business is teetering on either making it big or failing completely. When his big plan of managing a major league NFL player falls through, all seems lost. That is until one night when he finds himself watching Indian cricket with his friend and gets a brilliant idea. Cricket is such a huge sport in India. He wondered what would happen if he found two cricket players, brought them to America and trained them for major league baseball. His idea seemed foolproof, he would make baseball history by recruiting the first Indian players plus, he would get an entirely new following of Indian fans. Once JB finds the boys he is looking for, it becomes less about business, and more about friendship.
I found this film very pleasing. I didn't know much about it and wasn't quite sure what to expect but, once I got into it, I was very touched. The cinematography is very well executed and, during the portion of the film that is shot in India, the landscape and culture are captured beautifully. Even the slums and run down villages are filmed in a way that makes you feel as if you are under the sweltering heat of the sun or in the chaotic mix of vendors and civilians on the crowded streets. The music in this film is fantastic. It features the essence of Indian music with a twist of modern American pop, making it perfect for this multicultural film.
My favorite character is Amit played by Pitobash. He is recruited early on in the film, almost by accident, to be an assistant and translator for JB. He is one of the funniest characters because he is so polite and hospitable to JB and his recruiting team but he often gets himself into funny situations while trying to accommodate everyone. In one scene, Alan Arkin's character Ray says something along the lines of "...this guy has juice" as a way to express the potential he saw in a player. However, Amit overhears this and immediately goes sprinting away to find his boss some juice to drink. It is quite hilarious. My favorite scene is when Amit, Rinku and Dinesh come to America for the first time. They have spent their entire lives in small villages in India so you can imagine their adjustment to the extravagant LA lifestyle JB is living. There is such a funny scene when they all get into an elevator for the first time and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) is so impressed by its motion sensors that he repeatedly sticks his hand in between the doors right as they close just to see the "magic" of them automatically opening again.
I was very touched by this film. Not only does it show the historical achievement of the first Indian major league baseball players but, it also made me laugh out loud and tugged on my heart strings. JB starts out viewing the boys as his project, a way to make a lot of money and propel himself forward in the sports industry, but soon he realizes that they are so much more than just a paycheck. As he lets his defensiveness down, he sees how kind, funny and talented they each are and an unforgettable bond is formed between them. Because of this, I give the film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Million Dollar Arm hits a homerun into theaters on May 16th so be sure to check it out at a theater near you!
Million Dollar Arm
Reviewed by Brianna B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.
Disney's Million Dollar Arm is based on a true story that is very inspirational, funny and great to see.
Sports Agent, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm), needs to find other clients that will bring in the money. He is on the verge of a big break and without this deal he is broke. JB comes up with a strategy of getting Asian cricket players to play for a Major League Baseball team in the United States. He travels to India and holds auditions to see who will win the prize money and make the Baseball try outs. Rinku (Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi)) and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal (Slumdog Millionaire)) is able to beat out thousands of other kids for the chance to play on a major league team. Will they make it?
I absolutely love this film. A big part of why I like it so much is because it's based on a true story that is so inspirational. It shows that you can dream, work hard and with dedication you can fulfill those dreams. I love the little bits of comedy, they are unexpected and funny. My favorite character is Amit Rohan (Pitobash), because he is very funny, excited about everything and always lightens the scene. One of the filming locations is set in India. It gives us an up close view of how the people live there, how the children play and their culture. I like the music; it really represents the emotions that are displaying on the screen. In a scene when the mood is happy, the music is upbeat and exciting. My favorite scene is when Rinku is auditioning for the baseball tryouts; he stands like a flamingo prior to pitching the ball which I have never seen anyone do this before and it's really funny to see.
One message I found is when you support people, they need to see that you care about what they do. That means going to their practices, motivating them and letting them know you are there for them.
I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18 and anyone who loves the game of baseball. It is a great family film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.