“Continuum Global News” will return next week, but better late than never, here’s my review of 42:
Jackie Robinson was, without question, the most important baseball player of the 20th century. While Babe Ruth may have been the most transcendent star, and Curt Flood proved a pivotal figure in the game’s labor history, Robinson’s effects did not simply stop at baseball. No, his effect was felt far beyond the diamond. How important was Jackie Robinson? Well, no less than Martin Luther King Jr. declared him an important member and symbol of the civil right movements. And, least we forget, Robinson was a great ballplayer as well, a career .311 hitter, a six-time All-Star, the Rookie of the Year in 1947 and MVP of 1949. Who knows what type of career he may have had (he didn’t make his MLB debut until age 28) if not for segregation and the war?
So given this, it’s sort of surprising that it’s taken this long for a modern biopic on Robinson. There was a biopic starring the man himself in 1950, and a TV movie about his court-martial in 1990 (starring Andre Braugher as Robinson), but nothing else. But, I guess good things come to those who wait, because 42, although far, far from perfect, is a fine movie that does well at honoring Robinson while also educating those who perhaps are not as familiar with the story.
While I’m not going to do the grand analysis of the first trailer, here’s the latest trailer for the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42, starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford. Keep an eye open for Christopher Meloni as Leo Durocher, Alan Tudyk as Phillies manager/racist dirtbag Ben Chapman, and Pee Wee Reese (Lucas Black) making a bit of a reference to how MLB now honors Robinson every season.
The trailer, to be more specific, for 42. As the title and the fact you are on a baseball blog suggests, it is a movie about Jackie Robinson. It has a good pedigree, written (and directed) by Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland, and with Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. Emmy nominee Christopher Meloni plays Leo Durocher. Somewhat wisely, Robinson himself will be played an unknown names named Chadwick Boseman, who’s previous roles have been on TV and an appearance as Floyd Little in the Ernie Davis biopic, The Express. A good move, really, as I worry that if a “star” were to be playing Robinson, it would overtake the story of Jackie Robinson. Let me put it another way: If Will Smith were 15-20 years younger and was cast in this movie, people would be watching the movie thinking about Will Smith, not Jackie Robinson. And that would not be a good thing.
Anyway, here’s the trailer. After it (and the jump), my thoughts: