Stand by your Hamm

Jon-HammReader, you have a mission.

Go see Million Dollar Arm, then tweet, text, email about how good it is–tell everyone you talk to that it’s terrific; post accolades on Facebook, forums and any other places you can think of.

I don’t care what you think of the movie. Do it and you’ll see my bestie Jon Hamm in more starring roles.Yes, I am that good of a friend. I love him in the most platonic sense of the word.

Based on a true story, this movie is about JB Bernstein (Hamm), a sports agent who creates a reality TV show based in India and the US called Million Dollar Arms. It has something to do with a competition in India for the best thrower so that they can try out for a major league baseball team in the US.

Critical consensus it is a total formulaic uplifting sports-underdog movie, complete with the girl next door (Lake Bell), the best friend (Aasif Mandvi) and dancing. (Not sure if that last one is true, but all feel-goods have dancing.)

The most important critical consensus is that It is still entertaining

(but would have been better had it focused on the two Indian ball players, not on the agent. Take this with a grain of salt! As a review critic, I feel ethically obligated to include this.)

jon-hamm-playboyI am somewhat comforted by Mark Hughes’ review on because he thinks the movie will draw in viewers to make a nice profit because ultimately it is a good movie.

Hughes gives the kind of rare insight that is fascinating: He calls the movie “an allegory about the film itself.”

He explains:

Disney is taking a common film genre and style, and adding Indian characters and locales in the sly assumption this will help increase the film’s marketability in India and overseas markets in general.

I hope you’re not as dense as I am! My head is spinning! I guess he’s saying that Bernstein did the same as Disney, except with a common TV format.

Is that really SLY?

Were the people behind Slumdog Millionare sly for placing Indian characters in a film about an American TV show that airs in many other countries (in their own versions)?

Good thing it didn’t take place in some obscure* poor country in Africa.


I know this might be picayune, even catty. But I have my friend’s back.

Jon-HammgruffAlthough this started off the review, coupled with a brief opinion, it didn’t stop there. It continued on to give a dense retelling of what looks like every moment in the movie. I was able to skim over it. The last paragraph seemed safe because it reiterated his opinion of the movie and its potential profitability, but then BAM! The last sentence was a spoiler of the worst kind. It was a metaphor for the movie. Don’t ask how because that is a spoiler.

And here I was happy to find a review with a different perspective.


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