There's one star in "Trouble with the Curve" that won't get top billing in the movie's promotion: downtown Athens. People from Athens and across north Georgia will easily recognize familiar places, streets and even faces from the Classic City as they watch Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman and other movie stars on screen.
"Trouble with the Curve" tells the story of an aging Atlanta Braves baseball scout, Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood), who's losing his eyesight and is almost at the end of his career. His friend and supervisor Pete (John Goodman) suggests that Gus' estranged daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), a driven attorney in Atlanta, accompany Gus as he travels across North Carolina to look at a potential big leaguer. Along the way, they meet Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake), a former pitcher turned scout who ultimately wants to become a baseball announcer. As these things go, Johnny doesn't strike out with Mickey.
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One reviewer says "Trouble with the Curve" " attains what "Moneyball" was trying to. Here's what reviewers are saying about movie, which just opened:
"Trouble With the Curve" isn't a great sports film, like Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" (2004). But it's a superior entertainment, moving down somewhat predictable paths with an authenticity and humanity that appeals. It's his first film since "In the Line of Fire" (1993) in which he acts but didn't direct. But he isn't that far from the director's chair because Robert Lorenz, this film's first-time helmer, has helped produce Eastwood's last 12 films, and was a second-unit director on others. Roger Ebert, Chicago Suntimes
This TV movie-style piece of confectionery entertainment is saccharine enough to kill a diabetic. It’s utterly predictable, paint-by-numbers storytelling, which is not without its charms – again, Clint’s got this likable, old bastard schtick down to a science now – but it is without much verve, originality or surprises. Eastwood didn’t direct this; his longtime colleague Robert Lorenz makes his feature directing debut here, delivering a film that has all the energy of an old man going to get the mail. There are some amusing moments to be sure, but everything feels like “let’s just put enough effort into this so we can get on to lunch.” Movies can be old-fashioned without feeling old, but this isn’t one of them. Jim Vejvoda, IGN
Clint Eastwood told the world he was finished with acting after 2008's "Gran Torino," but "Trouble With the Curve" has lured him in front of the camera one more time. This amiable, old-fashioned film is no world-beater, but it underlines why, appearances with empty chairs excepted, it is always a pleasure to see this man on the screen.
The title of “Trouble With the Curve” refers to a baseball pitch, the kind that goes every which way until finally landing with a thump in the catcher’s mitt. It turns out the movie itself follows the same winding course, taking viewers on a fitfully engaging journey through the depredations of aging, the fragile bonds between adult children and their parents, and the beginnings of a sweet romantic relationship. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Trouble with the Curve" is playing around the region, including Gateway Cinemas 12 in Bethlehem.