Based on a true story, Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” follows JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who now finds himself edged out by bigger, slicker competitors. He and his partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi) will have to close their business down for good if JB doesn’t come up with something fast. Late one night, while watching cricket being played in India on TV, JB comes up with an idea so radical it just might work. Why not go to there and find the next baseball pitching sensation? Setting off for Mumbai with nothing but a gifted but cantankerous scout (Alan Arkin) in tow, JB stages a televised, nationwide competition called “Million Dollar Arm” where 40,000 hopefuls compete before two 18-year-old finalists, Rinku and Dinesh (Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal), emerge as winners. JB brings them back to the United States to train with legendary pitching coach Tom House (Bill Paxton). The goal: get the boys signed to a major league team.
“Million Dollar Arm” is inspiring and funny! Based on a true story, sports agent JB Bernstein needs to land a big deal but he is coming up empty. While switching back and forth between watching Susan Boyle sing in the talent contest that made her a household name and a game of cricket on another channel, he concocts the idea to sign a big arm or two from India, giving the winner one million dollars and the young men an opportunity to pitch in the big leagues in America. He lands Rinku and Dinesh (played by Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal) as the big winners and soon they are bidding their families so long and are off to America.
Watching the two young men struggle with an escalator or playing with an elevator has to be seen to be appreciated. One of them has an odd stance in the beginning before releasing the ball, as if he is posing, and Coach House comments, “We might have to tweak that a little bit!”
The first tryout by the players in front of a huge gathering of press doesn’t go well. But once JB realizes he needs to show the young men he cares about them, instead of always being busy, in addition to giving them just a bit more time to prepare, things turn out differently. In fact, one pitcher hits the 93 MPH mark on the radar gun. We don’t want to give the ending away, but soon a major league team shows some definite interest.
This remarkable and powerful film shows that cultural walls can be broken down and perseverance pays off. We are more than pleased to award “Million Dollar Arm” our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve plus. It doesn’t take a million dollars to see this richly entertaining film. See it soon!