Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” a home run

Eddie Sheehy, Lifestyles Editor

I am admittedly not a sports fan. By extension, I am not much of a sports-movie fan. Like everything however, there are exceptions. “Remember the Titans”, and “We are Marshall” never fail to get me going, but they belong to a short list of sports-movies I can tolerate. Recently however, that list got a little longer.

Opening in theatre’s everywhere this Thursday, May 16 is Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm.” Starring Jon Hamm, “Million Dollar Arm” is the true story of sports agent JB Bernstein’s attempt to sign the first ever, Indian baseball players to a major league baseball team.

The film, in total, is exactly what you’d expect from a Disney sports movie. It’s motivational, it’s inspiring, and for the most part, it really happened. It may suffer from a predictable story, but what do you really expect? It’s a tried a true formula for a nice film, but “Million Dollar Arm” does seem to have one quality that most other sports-movies lack, and its something that makes this movie enjoyable to all audiences- humor.  Believe it or not, this movie is really funny. The awkwardness of the Indian players trying to assimilate into American society makes for plenty of good laughs, and the budding romance between JB and his love interest Brenda helps anchor the movie emotionally.

I think one of the reasons I liked this movie so much was the fact that it doesn’t have that much to do with baseball. Don’t get me wrong, the whole movie does revolve around teaching the boys the sport, but they spend way more time in places like India, or JB’s house than they ever do on a baseball field.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to talk to Jon Hamm, who plays the lead character JB Bernstein, and Rinku Singh, one of the real life people the movie is based on.

“I think this movie has a nice lesson to learn for kids in the states” Hamm said after being asked what his favorite thing about”Million Dollar Arm” was, “It shows you that things aren’t just going to be handed to you. You have to work hard for it.”

He added, “That’s what I want people to get out of JB’s story. You have this man, who went to India, a place on the other side of the world, and he took a chance on these kids. He just didn’t stop. He has an incredible work ethic, and that’s what I want people to realize.”

When asked about what it was like seeing himself being portrayed on the big screen, Rinku Singh had this to say, “It was a weird experience. I’m glad they did it though; sometimes you forget where you’re from. This took me back. It brought back a lot of memories. I remember being an 18-year-old kid and thinking, is this a stupid decision? I look back now, of course I have no regrets.”

And no regrets should Rinku have. Recovering from an injury in his arm, Rinku is confident that he will continue his baseball career. “I will make it someday. I have faith.” That’s all he had to say on the subject, and that’s all he had to say to make me believe it.

It’s really a shame that this movie probably won’t garner the attention it deserves. The movie is good by almost all standards, and could probably attract a nice audience, but with stiff competition from other films competing to be number one at the box office this week, “Million Dollar Arm”will unfortunately be swept to the side. If you get a chance, check this movie out, it’s easily the best family-friendly movie to grace the silver screen since the Lego Movie.