Fri, 12 Apr 2013 23:28:48 GMT — What is it about baseball that touches our emotions and runs so synonymous with our American culture? In the new movie "42", about the early career of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American professional baseball player, the culture of the mid-1940??s is explored. At a time when racism was rampant, a man named Branch Rickey, an executive with the Brooklyn Dodgers, changed baseball forever. He wanted to win and he saw a flood of untapped talent in the Negro Leagues.Much of what Jackie Robinson became as a man and as a baseball player can be attributed to Rickey, but nobody had to face the fire like Robinson. Chadwick Boseman plays the legendary Jackie Robinson and for lack of better words, he hit it out of the park. Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey. For a long while, it is sort of strange to see Ford as a older, puffy, weathered and worn old baseball executive. Yet, he also delivers a top-notch performance as the guy behind the scenes, pulling the string, knowingly orchestrating the future."42" is beautifully filmed and accurately filmed. In fact, it may be one of the most authentically filmed baseball films ever. The ballparks are recreated beautifully. Everything is authentically detailed from the gloves, to the practice fields and even the lack of lights at the Negro League games. To list all the things that the movie creators did to authenticate their film, would take up my entire review.While the movie is beautifully film and authentically filmed, I felt that it played out too much like a historical timeline document. The film covers the first two years of his time in the Dodgers organization and it is essentially a by the numbers sort of story arch. He did this and then this happened and then this did, etc. There were some powerful scenes where we see Robinson??s steel faade crack a bit, but as a whole the movie never came close to effecting my emotions like other baseball or sports movies have. The bad thing is, this one should have because it is real and the story deserved that emotional impact.Jackie Robinson??s story is an amazing one and an important one. In many ways, Robinson changed the culture of America more than Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. He carried himself with honor and he was part of something that America loved and those that didn??t like it, could do nothing about; baseball. For that, "42" is an essential film and a good one. Unfortunately for "42" though, Roy Hobbs batting despite a knife wound and Ray Kinsella playing catch with his father are still the benchmark for baseball movie moments. "42" never comes close to touching those kind of emotions.
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