Trouble With The Curve review (DVD)

It's great to see old Clint back on the screen again. His grizzled visage and grumpy countenance are perfectly suited to the role of veteran baseball scout Gus Lobel. Unfortunately, Gus's sight is deteriorating – how will he be able to spot those skilled hitters and throwers?

Experience counts for a lot, though his employers don't have much faith in him when he travels to sunny North Carolina to look at a potential new find. His daughter Mickey (Adams), struggling with longfelt abandonment issues, accompanies him on his trek. She's a hard-nosed lawyer up for a partnership with her firm. Will the time spent with her pa thaw the antagonistic feelings she has towards him? And will she fall for rival scout Johnny (Timberlake), also there to check out the baseball talent?

Eastwood is excellent. At 82, he might not look so brittle now but he sure has retained his energy and charisma. It's not a subtle characterisation – he paints in broad strokes – but he's very persuasive to watch. Adams is equally fine as his troubled daughter. She gives as good as she gets and her transformation in opening up to her vulnerabilities is deftly and confidently done. Little is required of Timberlake as her new romantic interest, but he has a relaxed, easygoing quality about him that is agreeable enough. There's strong support from Goodman as Eastwood's advocate and Lillard as his detractor.

Trouble With The Curve, though watchable, has a number of flaws, not least of which is its meandering pace. It takes its time to reach its destination – Eastwood's work as a director suffers from the same affliction – but under Lorenz's hand there is a distinct lack of finesse to it. It's also maddeningly predictable. You'll find absolutely no surprises in the way the narrative pans out, and there are cliches aplenty. The musics score is overly manipulative too. It seems harsh to have so little good to say about a movie that isn't all that bad, but overall this one fails to score a home run. Nicely photographed though.

EXTRAS None

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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