SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl has three reviews this week, looking at “Million Dollar Arm,” “Chef” and “Tasting Menu.”
Million Dollar Arm (PG-13)
From Pride of the Yankees to 42, baseball movies based on real life can be thrilling and emotional. In “Million Dollar Arm,” Jon Hamm portrays J.B. Bernstein, a desperate sports agent looking for two athletes from India. These baseball novices will hopefully be turned into major league prospects under the tutelage of famed pitching coach Tom House. This recruitment strategy is highly unusual, but we get a detailed tour of India, always interesting. Hamm is still Don Draper in “Mad Man,” but eventually changes to someone else. Lake Bell is a tough love interest, great to see after so many vapid, dependent beauties in movies. The movie throws a few curves, it is too long and does not hit it out of the park. Jan said still worth seeing though.
Jon Favreau wrote, directed and stars in this movie about a Los Angeles celebrity chef, fighting to be creative in his cooking, but stuck under a ritzy restaurant owner insisting on conformity. There’s all kinds of complications in chef’s life, and the colorful characters make it fun to watch. Dustin Hoffman, Bobby Cannavale, John Leguizamo and Scarlett Johansson are just a few of the co-stars. Not a full meal, for that dig into “Ratatouille,” “Babette’s Feast,” and “Big Night” to name a few. But this is a fun feast worth devouring.
Tasting Menu (PG-13)
From “Eat Drink Man Woman” to “Tortilla Soup,” there are so many ways to use cinema to celebrate and highlight food. “Tasting Menu” should have been delicious visuals, since it’s about a world famous restaurant, serving its final meal before closing forever. It takes place in Catalonia, and we meet some wild international characters. Unfortunately, we never see the food everyone is so crazy about until the final credits, way too late. It’s a perfect movie to see someday at home, and supply your own paella and sangria.