Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, Lucas Black, Ryan Merriman, Hamish Linklater, Nicole Beharie, Andre Holland, Alan Tudyk, John C. McGinley
Written By: Brian Helgeland
Directed By: Brian Helgeland
Studio: Warner Bros
Buy On Amazon.com
I don’t really watch too much baseball; I just think the sport can be boring a lot of the times. For whatever reason, I love baseball movies though. Add 42 to the list of great baseball films!
42 takes place in 1947, where Brooklyn Dodgers team executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) decides it’s time to put an African American on the team and break the color barrier. His actions will cause a big riff in Major League Baseball but also in the country as well. Rickey picks Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) from the Kansas City Monarchs, because he’s a great ball player but thinks he will be able to stand tall when racist hatred is spew at him. Jackie has to overcome the racism and abuse from baseball fans, other teams & cities and his own teammates as well. He’s tested in a big way when an opposing team’s racist manager starts harassing him on the field.
Even if you don’t like baseball, I think 42 is a movie that should be watched. I enjoy sports but don’t like watching baseball since I just think it’s long and boring. But damn, does baseball make for some great movies. I’ve always heard Jackie Robinson’s name being thrown around and knew he changed baseball and the country pretty much. I just never really knew much of the story behind it all. Not sure if this movie is 100 percent fact but I’m sure it’s close to it. Jackie was a bigger man than most because I would have cracked my baseball bat over these people’s heads if I was him.
Harrison Ford does an excellent job as Branch Rickey, and has to wear a fat suit and prosthetic chin for the role. Chadwick Boseman is an obvious stand out since he plays Jackie Robinson. Alan Tudyk as the racist Phillies manager was good because you just wanted to punch him in the face. Besides the emotional elements of this movie, the baseball scenes were really well done as well. It felt like you were on the field, playing alongside Jackie and the rest of the team. This is good example of a movie getting it right with CGI. You don’t know half the time that the baseball crowd is CGI and other things like that. When used subtly, CGI can be really effective.
The Blu-Ray has some special features that are worth watching. They aren’t too long and offer glimpses into the filmmaking. I liked hearing the interviews with the actors and how the process was being cast for the movie. They had to do baseball tryouts first and then found afterwards they were going to be cast in the movie. Some guys used to play baseball before and some haven’t.
42 is a great baseball film that racism, abuse and how one player overcame all that and changed baseball and America. Definitely worth seeing on Blu-Ray!
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Stepping Into History
Full Contact Baseball
The Legacy Of The Number 42
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
French-Canadian Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Bottom Line: Another uplifting, great baseball film!
Running Time: 128 mins