Trouble With The Curve - Blu-ray Review

'Charmer Justin Timberlake wanders in from a different film altogether, takes his clothes off and jumps into a lake, presumably because that's what happens in Rom-Coms, which this is not.'

Trouble With The Curve once again sees Clint Eastwood, here as baseball scout Gus, trying to escape the problems associated with old age, most notably and worryingly, the apparent need to wear trousers with a waist that culminates just below one's chin. It's a role Eastwood has done numerous times before, especially in the last decade or so, and, though there is some fun still to be had watching him grumble like a Ford GTO through another turn as a grim-faced geriatric, the 'I'm-old-and-I-hate-it-and-everyone' shtick is starting to get tired for many, me included.

What else then does this latest bout of Grumblewood indulgence offer the masses? Amy Adams, for one. A brilliantly written role screenwriter Randy Brown should be proud of, Gus' daughter Mickey (Adams) is a refreshing cliché-free breeze of anti-Rom Com characterisation and intriguing thought-through development, held in sway by Adams, who here gives Mickey warmth and humanisation, as well as the clinical detachment her character calls for. Sound like those two things can't operate together? That's kind of the point. Mickey is a high-flying lawyer with a frosty relationship with Gus, unwilling to commit to serious relationships with the men in her life, but also used to handling them, used to putting in to practice lessons learnt through many days on the road with her father. Perhaps that doesn't sound immediately attractive, but it works. Mickey is as believable a character as Trouble With The Curve has to offer, proving intriguing and unpredictable throughout and lighting the film up whenever the focus is allowed to switch to her.

The other main interest in the film comes from a baseball perspective and in pairing it with Moneyball. Where the latter argued for clinical statistical analysis, Trouble With The Curve takes that film's 'how can you not get romantic about baseball?' line as its starting point and goes from there. Young gun Matthew Lillard may have all of the ideas and the computers at his disposal, but he doesn't have the love for the game that Gus and Mickey have. Where in Moneyball, Lillard's character would have won by proving that OBP matters more than the sound of the ball off the bat, Trouble With The Curve presents the alternative position.

Mickey and baseball philosophy then provide what is otherwise a distinctly average offering with some through-lines worth following but look elsewhere and things begin to take a turn for the less interesting and less interested. There's never been an actor more on autopilot for an entire film than Robert Patrick in this. Constantly staring into the middle distance, occasionally raising an eyebrow, when he does open his mouth he out-grumbles Grumblewood. There's clinical detachment and then there's actually being asleep. Charmer Justin Timberlake wanders in from a different film altogether, takes his clothes off and jumps into a lake, presumably because that's what happens in Rom-Coms, which this is not.

More seriously to the film's prospects of getting somewhere, there never feels like there's much weight resting on Gus' decisions, given that he's scouting an anonymous fictional slugger named Bo Gentry (Joe Massingill). Move the film back a few years, reverse the roles of whether Gus likes the kid or not and call him Chipper Jones and you've got yourselves a decision worth investing in. Director Robert Lorenz also miss-handles a subplot regarding potential child abuse, which ends up feeling like an afterthought, something which such an issue never should.

Trouble With The Curve is out on UK DVD and Blu-ray on 20th May 2013.


  1. I was very disappointed by this movie, it was completely predictable without any surprises...

    1. I can see why you'd think that. I liked it a little more mainly due to Adams but yes, the plot is largely full of nothing you haven't seen before.

  2. Ford GTO? Hehe.

    I thought the movie was solid overall. The early hard-ass old man bit was tough to get past, but got more bearable as he opened up as the plot developed and some substance was created. Kudos to Timberlake for a pretty solid performance (again).

    1. I don't think Timberlake is a bad actor at all, I'm just not sure what he's doing here. He does seem to have walked in from a Rom-Com, which I'm not sure this is. But yeah, I think he's shown he can cut it acting often enough now.