Million Dollar Arm (2014)

millionDirector: Craig Gillespie

Writer: Tom McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Joe Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Alan Arkin, Lake Bell, Tzi Ma, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal

 

Plot: A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to play Major League Baseball.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What Sports is All About

 

Story: Million Dollar Arm starts JB (Hamm) a sports agent trying to make his own company reach new levels with his partner Aash (Mandvi) only to find himself stuck behind the higher-level competition. Losing the star client to the competition the two search for a new potential income as they search for new clients in new fields.

JB new idea is to bring over Indian cricket players and turn them into baseball pitchers within a year and recruiting pitching coach Tom House (Paxton) now he needs to find a scout to travel with him to find the best prospect.

JB must work with Vivek (Jariwala) to get his equipment retired scout Ray (Arkin) and Amit (Pitobash) a baseball coach in India who wants to work him for free. The search for the Million Dollar Arm is on sweeping through India. With the competition in full flow they find two players Rinku (Sharma) and Dinesh (Mittal) to take back to America.

As the two boys struggle with the new culture JB must keep the business together while the two players must learn to improve their skill in 6 months can it be done and the seemingly impossible risk can become sports new miracle.

 

Thoughts on Million Dollar Arm

 

StoryThe story follows the true story of how one sports agent takes the chance to bring Indian crickets to America to become baseball pitchers. On the surface this is a marketing campaign but the story itself gather heart because of the bond between JB and the boys. This is an underdog sports story with glimpses of the clash of culture between both sides of the world. This shows you can succeed with the effort and determination of the people who support you and that you could find success in any story.

Sports/DramaThe sports drama is very interesting because baseball isn’t a sport I have any interest in watching but the scouting and training in any sport do interest me a lot, this had my full attention as we see how it can be the personal life that cane make you a better athlete when it comes to competing because having the people supporting you can make you succeed.

Characters/PerformanceJon Hamm as the selfish sports agent that takes a risk with a new investment but his character never seems to support the boys he takes the risk on once they are back in America. Jon Hamm give us a great performance stepping up from television to the big screen. Sharman, Mittal, Pitobash, Mandvi and Jariwala all give great performances in their roles as we see the characters must deal with a new culture as well as new sport in what is a once in a life time opportunity. Alan Arkin has a small role but gets good laughs as the retired scout.

SettingsThe settings are used excellently with to show the different cultures being used through the film as we see the American fast forward glamorous lifestyle while India shows how together the people are with the religious beliefs going on there.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very interesting and compelling sports drama about showing how you can achieve what seems impossible to others by just take the chance, I feel everyone who likes a success story will enjoy this one even if you are not a baseball fan.

 

Overall: Delightful sports drama that can be enjoyed by all.

Ratingcard

 

 

Goon (2011)

goonDirector: Michael Dowse

Writer: Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg (Screenplay) Adam Frattasio, Doug Smith (Book)

Starring: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Liev Schreiber, Eugene Levy, Marc-Andre Grondin, Kim Coates

 

Plot: Labeled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Sports Comedy

 

Story: Goon starts as we meet bouncer Doug Glatt (Scott) who comes from a family of doctors and his best friend Pat (Baruchel) who has his own ice hockey show who is starting to wonder where his place is in the world. After getting involved in a fight with an ice hockey player and laying him out, Doug finds himself getting offered a try out for team.

Proving his worth on the rank Doug gets offered a contract for a team in the semi pro level where his job is to watch the back of once brilliant potential player Xavier LaFlamme (Grondin). With Doug’s team success turning with his addition to the team it soon becomes an event to see who Doug will fight next with close to retirement tough guy Ross Rhea (Schreiber) wanting to have a final fight before retiring.

Goon is a sports comedy that takes on ice hockey a sport that can always be looked at very strangely with how violent it can become for no reason. We only look at the violent side of the sport not the beauty it can have when played professional. We do get part building of team spirit through the film which does have elements of underdog story too.

Seann William Scott is great in this leading role getting to be the nice guy off the rink but the most dangerous man on it. Baruchel gets very tiring quickly with his character that just doesn’t stop being annoying with Liev Schreiber being the more experienced player really works. This is a fun sports comedy that can be enjoyed by most sports fans that could easily be seen why it is so popular/

 

Overall: Underrated sports comedy that has plenty of fun at ice hockey’s expense.

Ratingcard

 

 

Soul Surfer (2011)

soulDirector: Sean McNamara

Writer: Sean McNamara, Deborah Schwartz, Douglas Schwartz, Michael Berk, Matt Allen, Caleb Wilson, Brad Gann (Screenplay) Bethany Hamilton, Sheryl Berk, Rick Bundschuh (Book)

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Carrie Underwood, Keven Sorbo, Ross Thomas, Chris Brochu

 

Plot: Teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton overcomes the odds and her own fears of returning to the water after losing her left arm in a shark attack.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspiring Film

 

Story: Soul Surfer starts as Bethany Hamilton (Robb) born in Hawaii to surfer parents Cheri (Hunt) and Tom (Quaid) to grown into a teenage surfer wanting to make herself a true professional along with her older brothers Noah (Thomas) and Timmy (Brochu). When Bethany gets her first sponsorship deal on the verge of national championships even against the religious beliefs under Sarah Hill (Underwood). When Bethany stays to continue her training, disaster strikes when she has her arm torn off by a shark.

With her life changed forever the island makes Bethany a celebrity because of the story of how brave she was during the attack. Her own life is what is going to be difficult though as she must learn to live with just one arm, but her biggest desire is to get back in the water and do the thing she loves the most, surf. This is the incredible story of how Bethany never gave up on her dreams despite what happened to her.

Soul Surfer is the amazing true story of the bravery of teenager Bethany Hamilton as she has to show all the courage to not only survive the shark attack with such calm but never wanting to give up on her own dreams and desires to be a professional surfer. Myself knowing nothing about surfing other than it is done in the water, I found myself on edge through every single surfing scene wanting to see just what could be pulled off through one of these waves.

AnnaSophia is brilliant in this leading role showing us all that Freddy Highmore wasn’t the only star out of the children in Charlie and Chocolate Factory. Quaid and Hunt are great as the parents feeling natural throughout the whole film with their concern to their support of Bethany’s decisions. Using Hawaii as a back drop for this film also isn’t disappointing because it is always a stunning vision to witness. This film would inspire all the underachievers out there who know they are capable of anything with the hard work needed to achieve it.

 

Overall: Easily one of the top inspirational sports and human stories out there.

Ratingcard

 

 

Shaolin Soccer (2001)

shaolinDirector: Stephen Chow

Writer: Stephen Chow, Kan-Cheung Tsang, Min Hun Fung, Chi Keung Fung (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Chow, Zhou Wei, Man-Tat Mg, Yin Tse, Cecilia Cheung, Karen Mok, Vincent Kok

 

Plot: A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: Shaolin Soccer starts as we see Golden Leg Fung the star football (I am calling it football not soccer because that is the name of the sport) player takes a bride to missed from Hung only to find himself crippled by the crowd. 20 years later Hung (Tse) is the coach of Team Evil and Golden Leg (Ng) is a crippled kit man who wants to coach his own team.

Golden Leg’s luck is about to change when he meets Mighty Steel Leg Sing (Chow) who has been practising the Kung Fu style of Shaolin and wants to embrace it into the game of football. Steel Leg brings together his brothers to form a team to take on Team Evil for the prize of $1 Million but can this unique style work on the football pitch?

Shaolin Soccer is one of those films where the story feels like it has been ripped from a comic book and thrown together to enter us into a world where we have to suspense our disbelief throughout the story. I do think it does play out like your standard sports film coming from nowhere to beat the best known team we know the final will be the biggest test too so on that side nothing is truly fresh. The films story is all about how Kung Fu can be used to make football an achievable sport for the talentless players.

 

Actor Review

 

Stephen Chow: Mighty Steel Leg Sing lives on the streets as he is determined to find a use for his Shaolin Kung Fu training. When he meets Golden Leg Fung he decides to try football and with this he reunites his brothers to make the most unorthodox team to enter the tournament. Stephen shines in this showing off his kung fu skills with his comedy skills.

Zhou Wei: Mui is a street cook that hides herself from the world but Steel Leg sees past her to see her real beauty as he tries to bring her out of her shell. Zhou is good in this supporting role which all works for the film.

Man-Tat Ng: Golden Leg Fung is a former football star that took a bride which ended his career, tired of being just the kit man he agrees to coach Mighty Steal Leg and his team as they enter the most famous tournament around. Man-Tat is good in this role as the man seeking one last chance to make up for his mistake.

Yin Tse: Team Evil Coach Hung ruined Golden Leg’s football career before using all of his wealth to control the gang making his team the all powerful force in the sports. Yin is good in this supporting role playing your typical villain.

Support Cast: Shaolin Soccer has a supporting cat which is mostly the rest of the team who all have their own abilities, they all add to the comedy being used through the film.

Director Review: Stephen ChowStephen puts together this entertaining film as well as starring in the leading role showing he can handle both sides of the job.

 

Action: Shaolin Soccer is filled with over the top whacky kung fu action.

Comedy: Shaolin Soccer makes you laugh with just how over the top everything really is going on through the film.

Sports: Shaolin Soccer brings us a fresh mix on football which we haven’t seen before.

Settings: Shaolin Soccer shows how the men are coming from the bottom of the streets to become household names.
Special Effects
: Shaolin Soccer uses the effects to make everything happen with the Shaolin work which works but you can see them happening.

Suggestion: Shaolin Soccer is one you can just put on to sit back and relax. (Relax and Watch)

 

Best Part: All the over the top Kung Fu football mixing.

Worst Part: Certain special effects you can see how fake they are.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: The sensation that swept Asia is coming to theaters!

 

Overall: A true sit back and relax film that can be enjoyed

Ratingcard

 

 

Eddie the Eagle (2016)

eddieDirector: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: San Macaulay, Simon Keaton (Screenplay) Simon Kelton (Story)

Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Iris Berben, Tim McInnerny, Jo Hartley, Keith Allen, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Walken

 

Plot: The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspirational Feel Good Film

 

Story: Eddie the Eagle starts as we follow Eddie Edwards a man from England who despite his early age disability wants to enter the Olympics. Once he reaches his teens he gets the leg braces removed and start searching for his calling. Eddie (Egerton) finally finds his sport as skier but yet again Dustin Target (McInnerny) kicks him out of the team just before try outs.

Eddie with his never giving up attitude looks into Ski Jumping a sport that Great Britain has no team for Eddie heads off to Germany to train. Getting taunted by all the experienced jumpers it is former American and disgraced jumper Bronson Peary (Jackman) teaches him the ropes.

We watch how Eddie overcomes everything obstacle put in his way to make his Olympic dream a reality.

Eddie the Eagle shows the inspirational story behind the cult hero known as Eddie the Eagle who against all the odds made his way to the Winter Olympics even though he has none of the athletic abilities. The film shows how Eddie Edwards has all the heart and desire to just take part is refreshing because too often it is always about winning this gave us what taking part is really about achieving. We do get what would be called a typical fan supporting favourite even against the best we get to see everything unfold in a way that leaves you feeling good afterwards.

 

Actor Review

 

Taron Egerton: Eddie Edwards is an aspiring Olympian that spends his whole childhood searching for a sport to enter into the Olympics. When he finally finds his calling he takes a chance on Ski jumping a sport that Britain won’t accept anything but competitive. Eddie has to overcome all of the obstacle to get his chance to just enter the Olympics even if he is all about heart and desire over the actual skills. Taron gives us yet another brilliant performance showing yet another skill he has in comedy.eddie chrchter

Hugh Jackman: Bronson Peary is a former ski jumper that has found himself disgraced by the American team years before he just cleans the slopes. He sees the heart on Eddie and reluctant teaches him the next level of the sport being the only person to be honest with him from the start without taking the piss out of him. Hugh is great in this supporting role showing he doesn’t need to be the main attraction in a film.bronson

Iris Berben: Petra runs the ski bar in Germany and offers Eddie a place to stay and a job while he trains. Iris is only really a supporting character but does a great job in this role.

Tim McInnerny: Dustin Target is the Head of the British Olympic Committee that has always put a halt to Eddie’s dream be it as a skier and now a ski jumper. He has to reluctantly let Eddie enter the Winter Olympics and is surprised with the popularity he garners. Tim is good in this role playing the typical stuck up English rule maker.

Support Cast: Eddie the Eagle has a small supporting cast with Eddie’s parents all being the highlight of the supporting cast.

Director Review: Dexter FletcherDexter gives us one of the most feel good films you could see this year and in many years to come.

 

Biographical: Eddie the Eagle shows how hard Eddie worked for this achievement show that he needed to follow his dream.

Comedy: Eddie the Eagle is filled with comedy without being too much over taking the serious side of the story.

Sports: Eddie the Eagle shows the sport that no one wanted to risk entering from Britain, the sport all comes off looking realistic throughout.

Settings: Eddie the Eagle makes each setting feel realistic throughout.

Suggestion: Eddie the Eagle is one that I feel everyone should watch especially if you are British. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Eddie’s heart.

Worst Part: Won’t be for everyone

Funniest Scene: Eddie achieving different heights landing.

 

Believability: Based on the real man.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Could get a few nominations.

Oscar Chances: Could be an outside shot.

Budget: $23 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: The hysterical true life story of Britain’s most famous ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards and his journey to Olympic fame.

 

Overall: One of the most inspirational and fun movies to watch.

Ratingcard