Monday, February 11, 2013

You ever think about retirement?

I don't care what anyone says, there are such things as stupid questions. Stupid answers, too.

When I was a kid, I remember learning that Nolan Ryan could throw the ball over a hundred miles an hour. That fact warped my fragile little mind. I instantly wondered what it would be like to get beaned by his fastball. I gathered my closest friends together and took an informal poll. If you had to get drilled by a hundred mile-per-hour fastball, where would you want to get hit? One of my friends said his shoulder, another one said his foot. Fair enough, I thought, but I knew the best place.

I'd take it, get this, right in the ass.

Also getting, um, drilled, is anyone unlucky enough to expect a decent time with the horrendous Trouble with the Curve. I had read a better-written review over at cinematic corner warning of its shortcomings, but still I persisted. Worse? I brought the wife along for the ride, too. At this point, I'm batting well below the Mendoza line.

After reading that intro, it's clear that choosing the right word has never been my strong suit. I always thought I could choose the right movie, though. Here, it looked like a no-brainer. Clint Eastwood? Awesome. Amy Adams? Yes, please. Timberlake? Sure, why not? Throw in a preview that almost made me cry every time I saw it, and I'm thinking home run. Hell, I might've even called my shot beforehand.

Unfortunately though, minutes in, everything starts to crumble. We open with Clint trying to take a piss, and it's pretty much straight down the shitter. Cliche after cliche, dialogue lacking any bit of subtlety, and a final twenty minutes that made me root against humanity, Trouble with the Curve is a mess. Outside of a moment or two, I hated just about everything in it. And for a movie about baseball that also has John Goodman in it? Well, that's borderline' blasphemous.

Now, I realize I'm overselling the awful, at least a little bit. But for a movie with this level of talent, mediocre would have been a crushing disappointment. To be actually bad though, should doom all involved into movie jail, if not Hell altogether. At least for one hundred and eleven minutes, anyway.

Despite the desire to keep pissing all over this one, let me call the bullpen and warm up the Yays and Boos. The Yays have reported in shape and looking fit. The Boos? Covered in bacne and thirty-pounds heavier.
  • One bit I did love, as stupid as it was, was the recurring conversations meant to infuriate one of the other scouts, played by the always awesome Chelcie Ross. You might know Ross as the guy who delivered one of the greatest baseball-movie lines ever. Up your butt, Jobu. Anyway, loved the one pitting Ice Cube against De Niro. Brilliant.
  • A flashback to young, angry Clint is always welcome. Even if I still love old, angry Clint. I'd hoped it was some Dirty Harry footage, but it was from some flick called Firefox.
  • John "The Babe" Goodman always gets a Yay. Even if he's only here for about 90 seconds and has a bit of a creeper mustache. Dude's a King for f--k's sake.
  • And finally, even though I seriously loathed this one, it's always nice to be reminded that baseball season is on the way. Even if the Red Sox did nothing this offseason.
You don't even understand how awful this scene is.
  • Old, gruff Clint Eastwood is basically as predictable as douchey, jerk-faced Matthew Lillard. Can somebody mix it up, please? What's next, handsome, charming Timberlake?
  • The Manufactured Quirk. Ugh. From Gus ordering pizza for breakfast, to Mickey being a baseball encyclopedia, nothing seemed in the ballpark of authentic.
  • Why was Adams so completely unhappy at all times? Maybe she's pissed that the stairs in her apartment don't have a railing. So, quirky!
  • Todd, or as he forever shall be known, the assbag at the office juicer station.
  • Oh man, Peanut Boy exchange infuriated me. Worst. Foreshadowing. Ever. I'm not religious at all, but near the end I actually prayed. Please God, don't let it be Peanut Guy. And since I was already at it, I went ahead with Dear God, make me a bird. So I can fly. Far far away.
  • Bo Gentry, baseball prodigy. You, young man, are a horrible person/character. I actually hated your face. Five tool? More like, huge tool.
  • Gus is kind of a lousy scout. First, he dicks around an awful lot. He hardly ever pays attention for more than a minute or two. Oh, and second? He's blind.
  • So, clearly, you're going to see this one, so I don't want to ruin it for you, but when Mickey puts on a glove to catch heaters from a thirty-nine year old high school kid (aka Hombre de Peanut), I almost fought everyone in the room. I mean, at that point, I'm surprised she didn't just catch them with her teeth.
  • The on-field action at the end of the movie is inexplicable. In a matter of minutes, with the press watching no less, the Braves number one draft pick is exposed as a fraud, key employees are fired, a random kid is anointed Baseball Jesus, Mickey becomes Jerry Ma-f--king-guire, Gus can see and is now the greatest man alive. Oh, and Joey Fatone's best friend just happens to drive by, despite working for a rival team two-thousand miles away, and gets the f--king girl. Seems possible, right?
  • And finally, you know how characters repeat a line previously said to them for dramatic effect? I'll admit, I've enjoyed a few of those. But here? It happens seventy-four seconds later! Oh, burnnnnn! Suck on that, Gus. Mickey done turned the tables on ya!
While stupid questions, generally elicit stupid answers, it's also clear what we get out of stupid movies.

Stupid posts.


  1. Good review M. Everybody’s good, but the story was nothing worth recommending one bit. It’s a pleasant enough time, but could have been a whole lot better.

    1. I don't know, Dan. Maybe they were all charming, but the script undermines and destroys any goodwill the excellent cast generates. I genuinely wanted to like it, but ended up thinking it was a steaming pile of dog crap.

      At best.

  2. "We open with Clint trying to take a piss, and it's pretty much straight down the shitter" yep, told ya! :)

    Add to everything you wrote that Amy and Timberlake had no chemistry at all. It was just such a tedious, cliched movie.

    1. Yeah, you warned me.

      I blew it.

      I swear this movie was written by someone who despite not knowing me, absolutely hates me. They took two of my cinematic loves (baseball and messed up families) and half-heartedly pissed all over both of them.

  3. Uh oh ... I bought this one for my husband for his birthday, though we haven't seen it yet. I'm bummed to hear it's a dud. :-) Damn, I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that sucked so much it made me root against humanity.

    1. I might've have oversold my displeasure with it, so it might not be as horrible as I've made it out to be. I read Sati's review and still convinced myself that I would like it. Not so much.

      I find myself rooting against humanity all the time.

      Well, mostly when I'm driving.

  4. Shane February 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    So, old Clint was literally having trouble with the curve?

    This looks like a Viagra commercial.

    Sorry, I deleted this on accident, but I think this is a pretty fair assessment. Like a Viagra commercial, it looks like a bunch of happy people having a good time, but when you think about it, it's ridiculously awkward and depressing.

  5. This is one of those movies that you truly don't know how horrible it is until you see it yourself and then you just want to punch everything in sight. This review cracked me up though. I felt the same as you. There were too many sequences that were completely unbelievable. Most memorably the scene at the end but my eyes just about rolled out of my eyes during the date scene. First they drink a gillion shots of tequila and don't get drunk, then Amy Adams inexplicably can clog, then they dance outside next to a homeless sax player, and THEN THEY JUMP INTO A FUCKING LAKE. That is just way too much to deal with.

    1. eyes rolled out of my head.. but maybe it was so bad that my eye literally just fell apart...

    2. This is pure greatness, right here.

      I must have somehow blocked out the clogging scene from my mind, but yes, it's utterly ridiculous. If only Timberlake could have watched her happily dance in slow-mo from afar (or vice versa), we might've had the Holy Grail of romantic movie cliche BS.

      I think all we we're missing is an extended sequence on an escalator.

      And from now on, the saying is my eyes almost rolled out of my eyes/ Let's start it here!