’42’ Review (Post #99)
“This is a must buy,” were the first words I heard from a woman after screening 42. This is a statement I don’t totally agree with. 42 is a mostly enjoyable movie about baseball that lacks the use of personal struggles and a backstory that I found so captivating in other biopics.
42, is a biopic of Jackie Robinson’s journey to Major League Baseball. Being the first black Major League player in history, I was sure to see a number of scenes showing how great a player he actually was. We do get allot of these. I am sure there was at least three scenes that showed Jackie caught in a pickle while stealing base. I know Jackie was known for stealing, but I felt like the filmmakers overemphasized this since he stole in nearly every single baseball seen. What at first was cool became monotonous. One thing I love about the Sandlot (My favorite Baseball movie) is that we Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez get caught in a pickle at the very beginning and end of the film. This scenes nicely bookend to what is a great baseball classic. I guess it is understandable that Jackie was trying to show the world what he was made of, but give me just a few cool moments and I would have appreciated that much more.
There was too much baseball and not enough Jackie Robinson’s outside the field. Where was his at home life? Where Jackie and his wife always talking about baseball and what a difference he was making? Where was the personal conflict off the field?
I also felt that the filmmakers were trying to slap on too many things to MAKE you feel something. We understand he was called the N word, as well as a number of other things. There is a good scene in the film when Jackie Robinson breaks down because of the Manager of the apposing team. Soon after there is a scene where a boy in the crowd hears both his dad and other members of the crowd jeering at Robinson. Then the boy curses the N word at Robinson, along with the men. It was just too on the nose and withdrew me from the story.
It may be a bit cartoonish and on the nose but it isn’t a bad film. It is actually a lot better than most of crap put out these days. It is just isn’t one that I would be devastated to never see again. The acting is good and the story enriching enough. Some poor choices were made in the telling of the story. It’s Probably the best thing out in Wide Release right now. I am sure the casual audience will have a great time with 42, as it is a crowd pleaser.
Acting: (Harrison seemed showy at first, but turned out to be a good performance, with a great scene during a game between him and Robinson) 7.5/10
Visuals: (Should have been shot on film) 7/10
Story: (A good story and decent dialogue, but filled with too many poor moments) 6/10
Concept: (What an important time in history, great idea) 7.5/10
Personal: (Entertained, taken out emotionally by some poor scenes that were too on the nose).6/10
Re-Watchability: (Nothing to bring me back to it again, accept maybe the acting and a decent story) 6/10