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3:42 PM Mon, Dec. 10th

Reel Watchers: Trouble With the Curve

Clint Eastwood plays the only baseball scout left who still pores over newspapers to glean statistics on the players he looks at. He's a curmudgeon and he actually growls rather than speaks on several occasions. The front office of the Atlanta Braves has a new computer whiz kid turning their heads with quick stats and trends without ever having to attend a game. You can see where this is going - old guard using hard work and judgment vs. young guy with new techie ways.

There are other story lines as well, the difficult relationship between Eastwood's Gus Lobel and his daughter Mickey, played by Amy Adams. Her mother died when Adam's character was very young and, well, Eastwood did the best he could. The other two story lines involve a flirtation between Mickey and another former player-now-scout, played by Justin Timberlake, a genuine good guy; and Mickey's consideration for partner at the prestigious law firm she has been working at seven days a week for nearly a decade.

Gus is getting older and having health problems he has been ignoring and Mickey comes to visit and "help" - but cranky old coot Gus will have none of it. It is wonderful to see an older actor play a role he can sink his teeth into. The relationship between Adams and Eastwood is well done. Eastwood can convey an hour's worth of dialogue in five seconds of facial expressions. Adams is gorgeous and smart and oh so hurt, Timberlake is a terrific guy-next-door. John Goodman plays and old timer inside scout for the Braves and an old friend of Eastwood's Gus.

Ultimately lives unravel and there are misunderstandings.

This is a great movie. The national critics give it a B- or C+ generally, but for regular folks this is a funny, dramatic movie that anyone can go see. The dialogue is witty and sarcastic, the characters are likable, and the story is a good one. Is it a sentimental fairy tale? Sure. But it's a good performance by Eastwood, and it's got something for everyone: baseball, bad driving, drinking and bar fights (a little) for some, and a good, dramatic storyline with laughs for others.

Go see it. I give it 3 Miners.