The name Thomas McCarthy may not mean much to you, and it apparently doesn’t to Disney as they seem to have misplaced it on the webpage for their latest movie, Million Dollar Arm. McCarthy wrote the screenplay for this movie, and it is for that reason to go see it, not Jon Hamm. Don’t get me wrong, Hamm is fine in the role of sports agent, JB Bernstein, but it is McCarthy that gives the film its’ heart.
McCarthy is known for his work in the underappreciated independent film, Win Win, another sports movie, but better known as the guy would made people cry during the first five minutes of the Disney-Pixar’s UP. Yep. That guy.
What makes Million Dollar Arm and Win Win great movies is that McCarthy doesn’t focus on the sports of the movie but rather the human nature of the characters in the sports movies. Some sports movies focus on how much a coach is willing to sacrifice his family for the glory of the game, and when they win the championship, all is forgiven. Not so with these two. Also, sports movies are always filled with majestic music throughout. Million Dollar Arm does feature some of that majestic music, but under director Craig Gillespie’s direction, it is used sparingly and in the right places.
Just as Disney gave us the fish out of water sports movie Cool Runnings about the first Jamaican bobsled team to compete in the Olympics over 20 years ago, Arm is just as unbelievable and yet, it too is based on a true story.