Thursday, April 4, 2013


From IMdb:


The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.

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  (screenplay)

I attended a screening of the Jackie Robinson biographic film "42" tonight courtesy of Grace Hill Media.  I am a huge fan of baseball and attend baseball games regularly and love to read up on the history of the game.  Because of this I came in with big expectations for 42.  The last two baseball movies I saw were Money Ball and 51*.  Both which I really enjoy and recommend.  Maybe my expectations were too high, but I thought 42 could've been a lot better.  Here's why.

While I thought Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman did a wonderful job as Branch Rickey as the Dodgers GM and President and player Jackie Robinson respectively.  The actual life of Jackie Robinson outside the expected racial tensions left little drama in the movie.  It makes for a wonderful inspirational movie, but a lot of dull expected moments for sure.  There are a lot of scenes that are just drawn out making the film two hours and eight minutes long when it could've obviously been much shorter.

What I would've love to have seen as part of the movie is what the baseball stars of Jackie Robinson's era felt about him joining other than his own teammates like Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese.  The only reference to another big name player was when the Cardinals Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter intentionally tried to injured Jackie running to first.  Non baseball fans would not have known who Slaughter was.

Just the night before I was watching the 1950 movie The Jackie Robinson Story.  I never got to complete it, only watching about 45 minutes.  In comparison, the movie which started at an earlier point in his life was more interesting to watch than 42 from what I saw.  However, the acting paled in comparison.  The reason why I found out today was the actor that played Jackie Robinson was Jackie Robinson himself!  You can check out the original black and white version here.

Would I still recommend this film despite the plodding plot? Yes, as there is still a lot to like in the film.  The performances by Chadwick and Harrison as I've mentioned are superb.  There are some great scenes both comical and emotional in the movie especially toward the end of the film.  The movie talks a lot about God in the life of Branch and Jackie that made for some memorable quotes.  "You're a Methodist  I'm a Methodist, God is a Methodist!" exclaims Branch to Jackie.  All my non baseball fan friends enjoyed the movie. Because of that I'll rate it a 3.0 out of 5.0.

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