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Wednesday
Aug082012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "The Trouble With the Curve"

Longtime Clint Eastwood collaborator Robert Lorenz (producer or first assistant director on many Clint features) rousted Clint out of the director's chair and in front of the cameras for a father/daughter baseball scouting drama The Trouble With the Curve. Or is it a comedy? Let's break down the trailer with our usual system.

YES


 

  • Always up for a father/daughter drama... and Eastwood gave that relationship all sorts of interesting edges and nuances and softspots in Million Dollar Baby. Plus in the interest of selling Gran Torino 2 with all those shots of Clint "Get Off My Lawn!" Eastwood maybe we're not seeing some of the meat of the central relationship in the trailer.
  • Amy! Just saw her in Into the Woods in Central Park. She got majorly swallowed up in her wig (so big that from my bad seat I could barely notice her face) but I like that even if she might not have limitless range she is able to adapt her screen persona for drama, comedy, and musicals. That's a type of range -- the movie star type of range which is nothing to scoff at.
  • Hei John Goodman!

NO and maybe so after the jump...

 

  • Hate those shots of Eastwood swallowed up in inky black considering the light drama and jokey tone surrounding them. Brings up all my worst fears of Eastwood and team never being able to adapt their visuals to new stories. Inky sober cinematography is not right for every movie. You have to earn it.
  • The jokes feel so forced. Is this a drama or a comedy? Not that you can't be both but each clip here suggests they're only doing one thing at once and drama and comedy are generally best together when they're dramedy.
  • That said that "fang schmay" joke will get a huge laugh in theaters if I know my Gran Torino audiences.
  • I don't need a conservative rebuke to the plotline of Moneyball (the way we've always done it is the bset way!) since infatuation with Moneyball hasn't yet faded.
  • He needs a new prescription for his glasses. Is that seriously a major plot point?
  • There is something inauthentic to me in this presentation. Like  'oh hey famous actors getting together for some acting for a movie'. I also got this vibe off of The Descendants though I know those of us who thought it was Alexander Payne's worst movie were a very tiny minority.

 

MAYBE SO

"Hey, that's quality TV"... uh oh. I *can* see this movie as a tv pilot!

 

  • I try to be generous with Justin Timberlake as in -- "maybe this time he'll make the case for why he left his calling for something he's great at (pop stardom) for something he's only good at but not particularly special (acting) "-- and blame that on residual pop stardom sexyback affection. But honestly, shouldn't that acting career fuel be about spent by now. Pop stardom was SO long ago one wonders what's keeping his film career going given the non-exciting acting.
  • Amy Adams seems willing to push herself slightly lately (The Fighter and The Master) so maybe this role has meat they aren't showing in the trailer. Sorry, that's a maybe so. 
  • In a pitch meeting to Warner Bros, if Clint and team were required to have those, this looks like it was sold as 'Million Dollar Baby's father/daughter angst meets Moneyball starring Gran Torino... only funnier co-starring pop star Justin Timberlake!. Frankenstein movies have their appeal for frequent moviegoers (and critics looking for angles to write about). Will you be able to see all the sutures? 

 

Here it is...

 

 

Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So? More importantly are you a Yes No or Maybe So on its box office and awards prospects?

 

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Reader Comments (28)

Timberlake was exciting in The Social Network and Alpha Dog. I like his acting better than his music.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthatone

I'm pretty much in agreement with you here, especially in regards to Adams and Timberlake. I'm a "yes" mostly for Amy and the hope that her and Eastwood will have some meaty dramatic scenes together. My god though, that final laugh line is terrible. Who thought a Dr. Phil joke was the right way to go for a closer?!?

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Yes: Amy Adams.
Maybe So: Clint Eastwood (not always sold on him as an actor)
No: Justin Timberlake. Totally agree with what you say. He was fine in The Social Network, but otherwise it seems like he thinks he just has to show up and be charming and that's it. "Hey, that is quality television..." Um, no. (No, to the delivery, not the line itself.)

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

What DJDeeJay said.

With an added Yes for John Goodman (WHEN will someone give him a great Awards-worthy part? He's so good!)

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Yes:
1. Amy! Finally another leading role after a series of excellent supporting turns. And the character she plays appears to be smart, straightforward, loyal, and loving. More women like that, please.
2. With so many historical dramas coming out (where the characters die), a contemporary movie could look fresh. Also, a father/daughter drama is rare, adding to the sense of not seen lately.
No:
1. But part of Amy's story is her interactions with a young guy, and that's going to be spoiled by that worthless Justin Timberlake. Imagine how much fun it would be if a good like able actor was in the part, like Mark Ruffalo. So I'll never be able to rewatch this movie because rat faced soulless Justin is in there spoiling Amy's scenes. She better not end up with him.
Maybe So:
How strong the writing is remains to be seen.
Awards Prospects:
Pretty good for Amy, Lead Actress is pretty thin so far, and Adams is an actress who can deliver given at least a decent role. For Clint, no, not now. His personal life stubbornness seems to be devolving into mindless senility, so if there's an Old Guy Acting Slot, it'll go to Jean Louis Trintignant. Again, a contemporary movie may seem fresh among the historical pics, so this one may get more attention than in a different year.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I was wondering if anyone would bring up Moneyball because I thought about it while watching this trailer too. Eastwood and Adams look like they could make an engaging pair on screen, but Justin Timberlake still doesn't do it for me as an actor. I HATE his line delivery, it's like nobody told him that line readings aren't supposed to sound like line readings. He's a very self-conscious actor. Of the films he's been in the only one in which I actually enjoyed his performance is Friends with Benefits, and that was because he had great chemistry with Mila Kunis...something that seems to be lacking with Amy Adams (at least in this trailer).

I'm always a YES for Amy, but I'll have to go MAYBE SO for the film.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Come on, it's Clint Eastwood. I LURVE him, his screen persona, everything about him - even when his movies are not that good, like his latest efforts. But, hey, he is not directing and this newbie maybe be talented. And, we may finally have what we all wanted: Amy Adams' leading nomination!

Of course it's a yes, with only one Maybe So: I hate baseball. But I loved Moneyball, so who knows?

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I'm a definite NO for this. Much as I love Amy Adams and John Goodman, Clint and Justin look terrible, and the screenplay looks even worse.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

This looks so awfully familiar - and NOT in a good way - damn I love Amy Adams but this just seems so much like what she's done already so many times. And Eastwood - I mean - again?!?! I actually like Timberlake and think he adds a little natural charm to this trailer. Unless this gets some great reviews and word of mouth, it's gonna be difficult for me to pay to see this in a theatre. And, right now, I don't see any of this translating into Oscar noms. Gosh I hope THE MASTER gives Amy good stuff to do!

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

Is there any cliche that remained untouched after they wrapped production on this film? At least Clint Eastwood isn't directing, which goes a mighty long way in my book.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I don't care for Clint Eastwood, and dislike Amy Adams. She's beyond pedestrian.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLena

Unrelated to this trailer, I'm super jealous that you got to see Into the Woods in the park with Amy Adams. I would've loved that, but alas, I'm not in NYC. :(

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

Yes. Looks fun to me. Big Eastwood fan - especially Clint the actor, and though I wish this was not his umpteenth "grumpy old man seeks redemption" starring role in a row, it clearly resonates with the guy, I love that John Goodman is in this, and I expect Eastwood and Adams will make for a pretty striking father-daughter duo. Timberlake-as-actor still bothers me, but he's hot as hell and I've gotten used to his slightly plastic acting style, so I don't expect him to be a serious problem.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

The only performance that Timberlake nailed was Alpha Dog...he was exceptional. Outside of that, I really wish he'd release another album!

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

@thefilmjunkie, you are reading my mind. Justin Timberlake is the WORST line reader ever and is completely a self-aware actor. No training, and NO good. And is anyone else tired of the angry, curmudgeon old man character from Eastwood? He plays the same character over and over. Sigh, the movie is still a YES for me because I would and have followed Amy Adams to the end of the world, HELLO Leap Year.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGerold

Repetition of contemporary cinematography without fail earns your protest. The use of blue, teal and orange, high contrast and desaturation — all common place receive complaints that feel aimless at best, because you don't know what you want. You're like a judge on reality TV who tells the constants one thing and praise the constant who did the opposite for thinking outside the box. Honestly, that beats Streep worship, because there will be people who don't see or agree with the majority, but to lash-out with no direction, what's the point?

Boo to Timberlake. I think the movie looks decent from the trailer.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

If its a weak year for Best Actress (which is the only category that matters right) I could see Adams getting in and possibly win. That is if Laura Linney goes supporting (who I think is more overdue than Adams).
Either way I think it will be Adams (Curve) and Linney, or Linney and Adams (The Master)

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

No, I'm done with Hollywood trying to make Justin Timberlake happen. It's not gonna happen. This looks sappy and corny, too.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Ugh, all this made me think was how much Justin Timberlake needs to come back to music. He's so good and the pop scene is in desperate need for a male pop star again (...we have to settle for Justin Bieber, really?) and his acting is getting old. He's just playing himself over and over.

I'm a maybe, leaning on no. Nothing excited me. I'm not an Amy Adams fan, or a Clint fan.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

I'm mainly just hoping that John Goodman having supporting roles in three different awards hopefuls this year can get him in the conversation for the perennial "you had a good year" nomination ala Jessica Chastain last year. Goodman has been deserving of a nomination for a long time now.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

4rtful -- i have no idea what you're talking about.

edwin -- i can't really hope for Goodman yet. He's always so good but he does not seem to attract any awards fever beyond his years on Roseanne.

billy bil -- i really think The Master will. PT Anderson doesn't usually write throwaway parts

August 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

i have no idea what you're talking about.

Hate those shots of Eastwood swallowed up in inky black considering the light drama and jokey tone surrounding them. Brings up all my worst fears of Eastwood and team never being able to adapt their visuals to new stories. Inky sober cinematography is not right for every movie. You have to earn it.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

It looks like it could be a sweet movie. Nothing more, nothing less, a nice father-daughter drama, and sometimes that's all you need. I think Clint Eastwood has grown a lot as an actor and I've loved Amy Adams ever since Catch Me If You Can, so I'll probably see this film. And I don't see why everyone is so anti-Justin Timberlake. He may not be the strongest actor, but he has a presence and charisma that is pretty welcome. I remember he was really good in The Social Networks and I really enjoyed him in Friends with Benefits (a pretty formulaic film that sparkled due to the easy chemistry of its two leads), and I don't know if anyone has seen him hosting SNL, but he is pretty funny there too. I'll wait for the reviews on this one, but so far it looks like a very pleasant film...

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

4rtful -- no i knew what you were referring to. I just had no idea what you were trying to say by referring to it ;)

Richter --I'll give you that he is amusing. I just think 'play to your strengths' and he was such a better pop star than actor so I don't understand why he abandoned it.

August 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I want better offers for Amy Adams. I want producers and directors to allow her career to take the Cate Blanchett/Nicole Kidman type of jumps and risks, because I think she has it in her.

I want her to play a European. Her absolutely solid career is far too American and already rather boring.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

as far as Best Actress comes to mind, I completely agree with Nathaniel's top 4. With the only difference being Marion Cotillard for Lowlife not Rust and Bone. Lowlife sounds so Oscar it's painful and it will be in English too :)

I don't understand the people who already label 2012 a weak year for Best Actress. The roles of politicians, women pretending to be men, Hollywood stars, and mad geniuses do not guarantee quality. The acting itself is the quality ladies and gentlemen.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

@Yavor

Lowlife's now a 2013 release. Amy Adams isn't Jessica Chastain, there's no desire to break free from what she's doing because she's successful, nominations, talented co-stars, strong material.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

Awww, they used Phillip Phillips's song for the trailer! The "American Idol" fan in me is cheering. That's really one of the best coronation songs the show's ever churned out.

Anyway, I was all ready to stay far away from another CLINT film, but that didn't look half bad. I think b/c Starz and Encore have been showing "Moneyball" on a loop this summer, I'm warmed up a bit more to baseball films in general now. Amy Adams looks good. She could have a great year with this and "The Master." Justin Timberlake proved himself in "The Social Network" and "SNL" (and then went a couple steps back with "In Time,"), so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here. I agree that this shadowy cinematography does NOT match the tone that this trailer set forth. Like, Clint might as well directed this himself. All of his fingerprints are there in abundance.

So a MAYBE SO inching toward YES.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
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