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Trouble with the Curve Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French, Portuguese, Spanish (Latino) Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish (Latino)
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Run Time: 111 Mins.
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 18, 2012
  • List Price: $35.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Clint Eastwood’s longtime assistant director and producer, Robert Lorenz, steps out from the shadows to make his directorial debut with Trouble with the Curve. Directing the veteran actor might seem an easy task and an opportunity to breathe new life into the Eastwood mythos, but it turns out to be a missed chance for this middling comedy drama.

Trouble with the Curve finds Eastwood inhabiting the same acting space that has made him the household name he is today, not much of a stretch. He plays cantankerous old baseball scout Gus whose longtime job for the Baltimore Orioles is now in jeopardy owing to his refusal to utilize all the new whiz-bag gadgets like, you know, computers and stuff, and because of his failing eyesight. The relationship with his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams), a top lawyer, has long been strained ever since her mother died when she was six, but now at the urging of the team general manager and Gus’ best friend, (John Goodman), she joins him on his trip to scout an up and coming minor league prospect, even at the expense of risking a partnership at her law firm.  Mickey, who was on and off the road scouting with Gus since she was a kid is just as adept at noticing the intricacies of the game as Gus, and now she must be his eyes for him as he scouts the new prospect. Gus can’t concede that he needs help, even as a young hotshot on the Orioles (Matthew Lillard) is gunning for his job. Meanwhile, Mickey (named for Mickey Mantle) has been so closed off emotionally because of issues with her old man, that when an opportunity comes along with ex-Major League pitcher turned baseball scout Johnny (Justin Timberlake), her workaholic ways and closed heart get in the way of potential happiness.

The results of Trouble with the Curve are an odd mixture of family drama, romantic comedy, and sports film that never quite get out of the batter’s box, to use a baseball metaphor. The film cruises along like a lazy afternoon with hints of family turmoil between Eastwood and Adam’s characters, but the poignant moments all seemed to perfectly placed specifically to tug at our proverbial heartstrings. Meanwhile, Timberlake’s character of Johnny is like an appendage or jester, just there for the obligatory love interest that must help bring Mickey out of her shell and show her the light.

It’s not that there’s anything you can find in Trouble with the Curve that is glaringly awful, it’s just that the film on the whole just fails to be anything other than a timid attempt at portraying the themes it discusses – family dysfunction, growing old, and being emotionally withdrawn. Perhaps Eastwood would have been better handling the directorial duties himself, or maybe not.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Trouble with the Curve has a beautifully natural and filmic appearance in this AVC/MPEG-4 transfer from Warner. The 35mm Fuji (Eterna Vivid 160T 8543 & Eterna Vivid 500T 8547) source is clean, vivid, and wonderfully textured with only the slightest layer of grain that increases ever so slightly in the darker areas. Blacks are oily and deep while the detail in shadowy ares is nicely nuanced. Flesh tones have a natural, pinkish hue and contrast is quite strong. Overall colors have a natural appearance that really help to capture that summery, baseball feel.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The audio mix is a subtle one in keeping with the genre. There is only the slightest of atmospherics applied to the surround channels and occasional discrete sound like a car driving away or the ringing out of a ball hitting a bat that creeps into the back. Dialogue is clear and the dynamic range seems natural if necessarily limited in range.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Only two rather brief high definition featurettes adorn this disc, but the package does also include a standard definition DVD and UltraViolet for on the go viewing (as long as you have internet access).

The supplements:

  • Behind the Scenes: Trouble with the Curve: Rising Through the Ranks (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:37) – The cast talk about working with first-time director Rob Lorenz.
  • Behind the Scenes: Trouble with the Curve: For the Love of the Game (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:02) – Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams discuss the on-screen chemistry between their two characters while Lorenz and Eastwood offer up their praises for the two actors.
  • DVD
  • UltraViolet

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Just an average and ultimately forgettable film that tragically misuses the talents of Eastwood and Adams, and really should never have cast Timberlake at all, Trouble with the Curve can only be recommended as a rental.

Additional Screen Captures

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Trouble With the Curve

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Purchase Trouble with the Curve on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]


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1 COMMENT

  1. Your review doesn’t exactly make me want to run out and buy Trouble with the Curve, but between your review and the recommended from one of my coworkers at DISH, it sounds like it’s worth seeing. So I put it in my Blockbuster @Home queue, that way there’s no risk (other than a couple of hours). DISH’s Blockbuster @Home is a great subscription rental service with a great selection of movies and video games. And the best part is, because I pay the same every month, no matter how many movies and games I go through, it’s already factored into my budget and I don’t have to worry. Before when I was buying movies my spending had a habit of getting out of control.

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