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post #1 of 7 Old 10-01-2014, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Million Dollar Arm (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our review of this rousing and true story about a down and nearly out Los Angeles sports agent that stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to play Major League Baseball.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

88



Details:

Studio and Year: Disney - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 124 minutes
Genre: Sports/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Jon Hamm, Lake Bell, Bill Paxton, Aasif Mandvi, Madhur Mittal, Suraj Sharma, Pitobash, Alan Arkin
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Music by: A.R. Rahman
Written by: Tom McCarthy
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 7, 2014


"Sometimes to win, you have to change the game"


My Take:

Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm follows JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who now finds himself edged out by bigger, slicker competitors. He and his partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi) will have to close their business down for good if JB doesn't come up with something fast. Late one night, while watching cricket being played in India on TV, JB comes up with an idea so radical it just might work. Why not go there and find the next baseball pitching sensation? Setting off for Mumbai with nothing but a gifted but cantankerous scout (Alan Arkin) in tow, JB stages a televised nationwide competition called "Million Dollar Arm" where 40,000 hopefuls compete before two 18-year-old finalists, Rinku and Dinesh (Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal), emerge as winners.

JB brings them back to the United States to train with legendary pitching coach Tom House (Bill Paxton). The goal: get the boys signed to a major league team. Not only is the game itself difficult to master, but life in the U.S. with a committed bachelor makes things even more complicated-for all of them. While Rinku and Dinesh learn the finer points of baseball and American culture, they in turn teach JB the true meaning of teamwork and commitment. Ultimately, what began as a purely commercial venture becomes something more and leads JB to find the one thing he was never looking for at all…a family.

I am generally drawn to inspirational sports dramas especially those based on true events/people. Set against the backdrop of America’s favorite pastime, of which I am a fan, I am a little ashamed to admit that I never heard this story. Million Dollar Arm is a perfectly serviceable drama that like many of its predecessors strikes the right chords via a conventionally framed narrative that engages with an uplifting and heartwarming thematic tone that revolves around likeable characters that you come to care about. The drama/melodrama only occasionally gets in way of the film’s feel good build up and pitch perfect (pun intended!) wit which is spot on. Jon Hamm leads the way but is capably supported by wonderful turns by Aasif Mandvi, Alan Arkin, Lake Bell and newcomers Madhur Mittal, and Suraj Sharma whom all share excellent chemistry. Honorable mention goes out to Pitobash as “Amit”, whose scene stealing prowess makes things all the better.

Is Million Dollar Arm the sports drama (based on a true story) that everyone will be talking about around the water cooler? Perhaps not, but for those of us that never tire of being inspired by those willing to put it all on the line to fulfill a dream, it’s an entertaining and uplifting way to spend two hours.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for mild language and some suggestive content.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Million Dollar Arm comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.

This is a pleasing high definition video presentation that delivers quality which is on par with a newer release film coming to Blu-ray Disc. Colors appear natural with pleasing depth and vivid reproduction of both primary and secondary elements. Complexions are realistically depicted with defining texture, and good tonal separation. Blacks are respectable but don’t offer the depth that make them stand out. Detail in low light and dark backgrounds is estimable. Images offer excellent dimensional depth, stable sharpness, and definitive clarity This rendering appears to faithfully represent the film’s elements which when all is said and done is quite good.

The audio presentation is solid and renders the elements present in the soundtrack with aplomb. Dialogue is clearly articulated through the center channel and the film’s music holds sway over the soundstage with authority and crystal clarity. Aural perspective is primarily leans toward the front channels however spatial/venue replicating effects and diffuse ambience is fed to the rear channels which provides an effective sense of envelopment.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Training Camp – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) Their Story – 3 minute featurette
  • (HD) Million Dollar Arm music by A.R Rahman – 2 minute featurette
  • (HD) 3 deleted scenes
  • (HD) Alternate ending
  • (HD) Outtakes – 2 minutes
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Based on a true story Million Dollar Arm doesn’t bring anything new to the genre but that doesn’t prevent it from being an uplifting and entertaining sports drama that warms the heart. It comes to Blu-ray from Disney featuring excellent high definition picture and sound mated with a bland supplemental offering that offers a glimpse behind the scenes and look at the real people involved. Million Dollar Arm makes for a great rental when you’re in the mood for a bit of inspiration on movie night.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 10-01-2014 at 08:45 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-01-2014, 10:06 AM
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definitely enjoyed this movie, but it needs to be REALLY bad for me not to enjoy this type of movie. i'm a sucker for the rags to riches sports story.

Spoiler!


that's the only issue with movies based on a true story. you usually know how they will end, but I definitely enjoyed seeing how they got there.

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post #3 of 7 Old 10-01-2014, 01:45 PM
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Ralph, as I tend to love Bollywood/US crossovers. May I ask how much of the film is roughly centered in India?
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-01-2014, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mo949 View Post
Ralph, as I tend to love Bollywood/US crossovers. May I ask how much of the film is roughly centered in India?
I saw this movie on a plane and I'd say that roughly 25-30% of the movie is centered in India.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-01-2014, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mo949 View Post
Ralph, as I tend to love Bollywood/US crossovers. May I ask how much of the film is roughly centered in India?
Greetings,

I would agree with Cal68 and say that somewhere around 35% of the film takes place in India mo949...


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post #6 of 7 Old 10-12-2014, 07:45 AM
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Great review Ralph of a really good "family" type film. You're a little more forgiving than I am generally; however, we seem to agree fairly often -- often enough that I give your reviews the respect they deserve. One minor quibble with the content of your review here: "and newcomers Madhur Mittal, and Suraj Sharma whom all share excellent chemistry."

Both Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma are hardly newcomers. Madhur Mittal starred in Slumdog Millionaire and Suaj Sharma starred in Life of Pi and is now a regular (season 4) in the T.V. drama Homeland. Maybe "relative" newcomers would be more accurate.
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Last edited by Deja Vu; 10-12-2014 at 07:54 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-12-2014, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post
Great review Ralph of a really good "family" type film. You're a little more forgiving than I am generally; however, we seem to agree fairly often -- often enough that I give your reviews the respect they deserve. One minor quibble with the content of your review here: "and newcomers Madhur Mittal, and Suraj Sharma whom all share excellent chemistry."

Both Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma are hardly newcomers. Madhur Mittal starred in Slumdog Millionaire and Suaj Sharma starred in Life of Pi and is now a regular (season 4) in the T.V. drama Homeland. Maybe "relative" newcomers would be more accurate.
Greetings,

Thanks so much for your comments (and noted correction ) Deja Vu and the respect is mutual..


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