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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

THREE MILLION FILMS

I saw two films this weekend with million in the title:

  • A Million Ways to Die in the West
    • Seth MacFarlane (who also produced, co-wrote and directed), Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfired and Neil Patrick Harris.
    • Rotten Tomatoes:  33% reviewers and 51% audience like.
    • A spoof of westerns, with some unnecessary scatology, racial insensitivity, poop and sex.
    • Actually, I kind of enjoyed it.
  • Million Dollar Arm
    • John Hamm (of AMC's Mad Men), Bill Paxton, Alan Arkin and three India Indians, with Pitobash Tripathy as the short comic / videotaped / interpreter / future coach especially entertaining.
    • Rotten Tomatoes:  61% reviewers, 75% audience like.
    • Sports agent JB Bernstein (Hamm), on the verge of losing his agency, is triggered by a late night cricket match to find a pitcher from India, for there is a billion-people market there for products.  With a no-nonsense sports business investor (Chang, played by Tzi Ma) funding the effort, JB, with a pitching scout (sourly, but deftly, played by Alan Arkin), barnstorms throughout India in the format of a Million Dollar Arm reality TV show, finding two pitchers from 37,000 competitors.
    • The two winners, Rinku Singh (on right above) and Dinesh Patel, actually were signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008, each with an $8,000 signing bonus.  Singh, the left-hander, just had Tommy John surgery, while Dinesh Patel, the right-hander, is back to throwing the javelin.
    • Very entertaining film, especially as I currently have three fantasy baseball teams doing relatively well.
  • Slumdog Millionaire
    • I didn't actually see this film this weekend, but Million Dollar Arm reminded me of Slumdogs Millionaire, which was popular in 2008 (the year the contest was held for baseball) gaining ten Academy Awards in 2009, winning eight, as both were filmed in India, were reality contests, and had winners.
    • Rotten Tomatoes:  94% reviewers and 90% audience like
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