Suraj Sharma

Walt Disney Pictures

We all know baseball is just a game, but professional baseball is a game with much higher stakes. Million Dollar Arm tells the real life story of struggling sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) who finds himself desperately looking for his next big client to keep his new company (and expensive lifestyle) intact. But his promise of changing his clients’ lives may actually come true when he discovers first-time ball players Rinku (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Madur Mittal). After JB and his business partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi) lose a huge client, they find themselves faced with the fact that their dream of launching their own agency may officially be over. But in a move that feels more Don Draper than JB Bernstein, Hamm’s JB comes up with a last minute Hail Mary idea that has him traveling to India to host a contest and hopefully find the next great pitcher. With a million dollars on the line, the try-outs are packed, but the talent is slim and just when JB, Aash and Ray (Alan Arkin as a crotchety, slightly narcoleptic scout) are ready to call it, they discover some actual potential.

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Life of Pi

Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) is a middle-aged professor visited at his home in Canada by a stranger in search of a story. The two men share an acquaintance who pointed the writer (Rafe Spall) Pi’s way for a very specific tale. It seems Pi was the lone human survivor of a shipwreck when he was a teenager, and the events between the sinking and his rescue are reportedly enough to make a person believe in God. The story begins with Pi’s childhood and ends with his post-disaster return to civilization, but it’s the center of the tale that makes up the bulk of the film. And for good reason too, as minor familial interactions pale beside the visual wonders and life-threatening adventures that occur while he struggles to survive adrift at sea. His life afloat is made more dangerous and unpredictable by the presence of a full grown tiger he finds sharing the lifeboat with him, and as a few other zoo animal stragglers succumb to the elements and each other, Pi and the tiger (named Richard Parker) form an uneasy, symbiotic relationship. Director Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi takes up the challenge with the story’s implied promise of a resultant belief, but neither Pi’s tale nor Lee’s film satisfies on anything more than a superficial level. The beautiful visuals and occasionally tense action offer distractions in the service of empty platitudes and an insulting view of where and how people find their faith. Ultimately, this is a story that […]

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Director Ang Lee was given a reported $100 million to make this trippy, gut-wrenching, and moving picture. An adaptation of Yann Martel‘s novel of the same name, Life of Pi is an epic art house film that was somehow granted big studio treatment. How could this happen, you ask? If any excuse could be made, it’s likely that Fox knew Lee had something this special up his sleeve. Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) is given a lofty request by a visiting writer at the beginning of the film: “Tell me a story that will make me believe in God.” What follows is a story that may not make you run to church but at least will make you reach for a tissue. Pi tells this man, played by Rafe Spall, a tale full of suffering and hope. As a boy, he and his family are forced to move out of India, along with the zoo they own. Like most trips in film, their journey does not go smoothly. The ship is hit by a massive storm and the family is lost at sea, leaving the young Pi (Suraj Sharma) alone on a life boat with a few of their animals. Soon, he discovers he has a starving companion along for the ride in Richard Parker, who happens to be a Bengal tiger.

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Life of Pi Movie

With gorgeous open sea visuals and a sweeping sound, the trailer for Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi is proof that the filmmaker can make hearts beat faster with only a boat, a young boy and a tiger. From the bestselling novel by Yann Martel, the story focuses on a zookeeper’s son (Suraj Sharma) who has some unusual lifeboat companions after a shipwreck. And then a whale jumps over him. Check it out for yourself:

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