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Subject:  The Master, Trouble With The Curve Date:  10/1/2012  6:15 PM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  61915 of 63203

Two more different movies there couldn't be, with Amy Adams in both.

I went into "The Master" with high expectations and sadly, couldn't wait for it to be over. Likewise Mrs. Goofy. It's gotten terrific reviews, and even has a huge number on RottenTomatoes (86!), so I'm in the 14%. A more confused mess of muddle I can't imagine. Terrific performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman - nomination worthy, but where it started, where it went, and how it got there? I didn't care. Really really didn't care.

It's the story of an authoritarian charismatic leader who is not really so charismatic, and the family which follows him around, including Phoenix, a neer do well who tries to convert. Scenes of gratuitous nudity don't enhance, and I wondered why Adams or Laura Dern even bothered, their parts are so meaningless. Ah well.

"Trouble With The Curve" is not as bad, which is not to say it's good. But then it's a baseball movie, and I'm a sucker for them, even though I know going in that they are going to be cliche ridden: the crack of the bat, the winning run, the players trying to get to - or stay in - the 'show.'

"Trouble With The Curve" is a first effort for the screenwriter and for the director, and it shows. The plot points are telegraphed pages in advance, nothing is surprising, everything unfolds apace, and we get neat resolution to most every problem. That might be a spoiler, but then 10 minutes into the film you know that's going to happen; it's like seeing the comedian set up the joke long before he delivers the punch line.

I've always liked Clint Eastwood even though I think he's a one-note actor (lately: cranky), but the direction here doesn't help. He's old. We see him be old. Then we see him be old some more, and then he curses at being old, then he pees like an old man, makes himself an old man meal, and is old some more, by which time we are convinced that he is old, and if the director doesn't move the film along the audience will be old, too if something doesn't happen soon.

Clint is an aging baseball scout; Amy Adams his aggressive lawyer daughter who serves as conflicted conflict girl, and Justin Timerlake appears mainly as something to occupy Adams, it seems. I guess that's good, otherwise the whole film would be about these two unpleasant people being, well, unpleasant uber alles.

And all of that said, it was OK. Not one of the great baseball movies, but at least the story had a beginning, middle, and end, which is more than I can say for "The Master".

Now waiting for something decent to appear at the cineplex. I need a good movie.
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