If you’ve spent more than a minute or two on ESPN this spring, you’ve likely seen more trailers and advertisements for Million Dollar Arm, the newest baseball (by way of cricket) film pumped out by Disney (who, it must be said, owns ESPN), than you care to admit. In fact, you’ve probably been looking forward to the film’s release, if only to stop seeing any more advertisements for it.
The film, which stars Jon Hamm and Aasif Mandvi, of Mad Men and The Daily Show fame, respectively, centers around a struggling sports agent who desperately needs to sign a player to a contract, any contract, or his career is over. Finito. In a late-night flash of inspiration, Hamm’s character catches a game of cricket on television, heads to India, and attempts to convert some of their best players from cricket stars to the next big things in pro baseball. The film is ‘based on a true story,’ because of course it is.
Beyond the simple and easy — that Million Dollar Arm is not very good — there’s the fact that this flick is actively impeding the creation of better sports movies. So far, the film has brought in approximately $12 million, about half of the production budget (figures courtesy of Box Office Mojo). That is bad news bears, especially since the BOMojo crew don’t list the advertising budgets. And, in that vein, we’re going to look at four reasons why hatred is an all right emotion when you’re talking about MDA.