Clint Eastwood’s longtime 1st Assistant Director, Robert Lorenz, has a movie he wants to make about baseball. The anti-Moneyball as you can say. (Or, the other side of the baseball world and why the Moneyball people stink movie).
Eastwood is a loyal guy. If you look at his crews from the time he started directing movies until now you’ll see that he constantly works with the same crew members. And most of them upgrade their positions film by film. For example: An Electrician becomes the Gaffer. The Camera Operator gets to DP a film. A Production Assistant eventually becomes the Location Manager. And so on. Eastwood has created quite a legacy with the behind the scenes maneuverings of his films.
So when Lorenz send him a script that he wants to direct, Eastwood helps him out and attaches his name to the project.
I can’t say a bad thing about Eastwood. He did the loyal thing. I personally wished this movie wasn’t made, but perhaps that’s my own issue. But here are my top 5 my reasons why:
1) Gran Torino was the perfect film for Eastwood to call it an acting career. It was his John Elway riding off into the sunset movie. That role defines everything about his acting career. Gruff. Nice. Angry. Sad. LOYAL. A man who will take the law into his own hands if he feels it’s the right thing to do. And while he does it, he’s always a step ahead of everyone else. The perfect film! But his loyalty got him to do Trouble with the Curve. I wonder if he even likes baseball.
2) The movie’s blue chip prospect baseball player doesn’t look like a baseball player, much less the #1 pick in the draft. It’s insulting.
3) Justin Timberlake plays a recently retired ballplayer turned scout. His job is to scout the potential #1 pick in the draft all by himself for his team. So in a mult-billion dollar business like baseball, you send a rookie to take care of the most important job in the company….all by himself? Does that make any sense?
4) Eastwood is blind, but he can understand everything about a ballplayer with the crack of the bat! Okay….so all the other fundamentals to what makes a baseball player doesn’t make a difference? Say what?
5) The old scout is right and the saber-metric “Moneyball” Ivy-League graduate kids are wrong. That is the theme of the movie. Very black and white summary that is riddled with errors.
I have a list of about 20 more reasons why this movie really bothers me, but I have said my peace.
A happy note: Eastwood is entertaining in his role as the old scout losing his eyesight. And Amy Adams is truly great playing his daughter. She’s just fun to watch, especially with her scenes with Timberlake. I bought their relationship.
But it’s still the 97th best baseball movie ever made.
See the TOP 100 Baseball Movie List: