1. This is just Eastwood’s third acting job in the last ten years (and the first time since 1993’s In The Line of Fire he acted in a movie he didn’t direct) and all three of those movies seem to follow a pretty similar theme, at least in terms of his characters. Both Curve and Million Dollar Baby (2004) seem to be about an old man accepting a woman’s presence in a traditionally man’s world. In this film, Amy Adams actually plays his daughter where previously Hilary Swank played what amounted to a stand-in for that Eastwood character’s daughter. In between those two movies is Gran Torino (2008), in which grumpy old Clint (who really plays it up on screen but seems decidedly un-grumpy in most interview I’ve seen; sort of the anti-Harrison Ford) has to set his racism aside and let his Asian neighbors into his grizzled heart. It feels like a strong through line and Clint has made it easy to trace given the scarcity of roles over the decade. It’s neat to see what gets this guy up and ready to go.
2. Aren’t baseball movies supposed to be father/son movies? Making this a father/daughter movie seems like a great choice, even if I’m not all that excited for what looks like something we’ve seen before with the Amy Adams character. It’s too bad because Adams is a great talent and I like the conceit but doesn’t feel like we’ve been watching the “woman in a man’s world” character for a while now? At what point is this no longer going to be an issue? I’m not suggesting that it is no longer an issue (sexism is still prevalent, if more covert now) I’m generally asking: When is this no longer going to be an issue? While it’s still fun to get a look inside what Clint is interested in portraying, I’m tired of waiting for other old dudes to catch up to what he and Ron Burgundy have known for a long time: ladies can do stuff now. So this has spiraled from a critique of a trailer to a cultural complaint. The movie looks decent but I have a much stronger craving for this type of story not needing to be told anymore.
3. I like Justin Timberlake as an actor a hell of a lot more than I ever liked any of his music. He can keep doing this, even if the part looks like it might be a relatively unchallenging one.
4. Matthew Lillard is in another thing! He directed Fat Kid Rules The World, which I’d still like to see, and popped up in The Descendants last year so hopefully we’ll be seeing more of him. Think back: Has Lillard ever done anything less than elevate material he’s been given any time you’ve seen him? No idea how big his part is in this, hopefully pretty big.
5. The bit of the trailer with Lillard in it does seem pretty anti-Moneyball doesn’t it? As though these movies are a new channel through which baseball nerds can argue over which approach to building a baseball team is better.