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.
- 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.
- 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?