Shirrell Rhoades: 'Trouble with the Curve' is Eastwood fastball

By Shirrel Rhoades

The Daily Advance

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‘Trouble with the Curve’ is Clint Eastwood fastball

No, Clint Eastwood isn’t co-starring with a chair in “Trouble with the Curve.” Forget about his seat-of-the-pants appearance at the Republican National Convention.

This is a baseball movie.

82-year-old Eastwood stars as an aging baseball scout, making one last recruiting trip. His co-star is Amy Adams, playing the lawyer-daughter who grew up watching baseball games. Plus there’s Justin Timberlake as the guy kinda keen on the daughter.

Gus Lobel (Eastwood) is a scout for the Atlanta Braves, being sent on a final assignment to prove he’s still got what it takes. Aside from being old and cranky, his eyesight is failing.

His argument for the human element in picking a good recruit falls on deaf ears. So his boss (John Goodman) persuades Gus’s daughter Mickey (Adams) to accompany him.

Turns out, all those years of tagging along with her dad to baseball games has made her pretty good at picking payers herself. On the road in North Carolina they hook up with a rival scout named Johnny (Timberlake), a nice guy who Gus recruited into the game. Needless to say, Mickey and Johnny have an eye for each other.

You take it from there.

“Trouble with the Curve” is throwing a fastball in theaters this week.

This is Eastwood’s first screen performance since 2008 (“Gran Torino”). What’s more, Eastwood did not direct this film, his first time acting for someone else since 1993 (“In the Line of Fire”).

But you will like it if (a) you’re a Clint Eastwood fan, (b) you’re a baseball fan, or (c) you can identify with an old-timer being put out to pasture.

Is Eastwood ready for the glue factory? Probably not. He’s got another movie or two in him. With our aging populace, there is a growing audience for movies about older folks. And that bodes well for an octogenarian actor like Clint Eastwood.

He doesn’t need to take a chair quite yet.

Shirrel Rhoades is a film writer for Cooke Communications