Sunday, April 14, 2013

Movie Mayhem Honest review #1 :42

     So on Saturday night I hit up the movie theaters to see 42. Now I would like to say right now that their might be some baseball puns and I will try really hard to keep them to a minimum because this story deserves the up most respect and I will do my best.

  I think I have said this before that going into 42 I was extremely skeptical. Since  Legendary studios had a hand in it and they are really known for is having a hand in the Batman movies and with the way the t.v spots were lining up it was looking like Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were just going to do ridiculous voices through out the whole movie. If you watch interviews of Jackie or Branch they didn't have these dramatically deep voices aka Batman Voice. And I am always iffy on hollywoods take on true stories.  With the Jackie Robinson story it was easy for studios to not go 100% authentic and more of a cookie cutter underdog story. Which this story is the furtherest thing from. The adversity,racism, and just overall bullshit  that Jackie Robinson faced to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers would crush a normal human. But he stood his ground , put together a hall of fame career, and be the only player to have his number retired through out baseball. Along with being a pillar of the community and a civil rights advocate. Look the story is deep and I was worried they'd swim in the shallow end.
   Quick recap. Dodgers general manager / team president  Branch Rickey played by Harrison Ford who actually looked like he woke up to play this role instead of the last few movies he slept walked through. It's also stars Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, Lucas Black as Pee Wee Reese, Nicole Behave as Rachel Robinson who played this role perfectly, she captured Rachel Robinson's grace and unwavering support tremendously, Alan Tidy as Ben " make you hate white people' Chapman, five minutes of Christopher Meloni and a bunch of no namers who filled out the rest of the Dodgers and other teams.  Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson with full on knowledge that Jackie would be instantly hated but he also knew that Jackie possessed the ability to be an outstanding ball player who will be able to change the game by showing the black ball players would make the game better.

  Jackie worked his way up through the minor leagues for the Montreal Royals. The movie show cased some of the racism he faced but mostly it showcased his base running ability and his relationship with Rachel, Wendall Smith who was a black baseball writer whose has been hired to be Jackie's all around guy  to get him ready for the pros. Teammates, coach and Branch Rickey. Until he Spoiler alert made the Brooklyn Dodgers the next year. Where we learned that most to all his white teammates signed a petition to not have Jackie on the team, How Pee Wee Resse received one letter of hate while Jackie had 3 manilla folders full and a bunch of other stuff that was lost do to the pretty pretty baseball scenes.
  The movie ends after his rookie season. Which is a good point to stop a film at if you want to show that Jackie did everything in his power to hold back so that he could lead the way for more African American ball players? But I was left wanting more. Since the story just stops after the Dodgers clinch the  1947  National League Pennate the movie never gets into his Military service, Negro League career, Jackie's involvement  with the Civil Rights movement, his interactions with other black ballplayers, and just the rest of his life with all the good he had done. But there is only so much 2 hours can afford you and I think the film makers only wanted to show the start of his  MLB career.
  The biggest issue I have with the movie is that at the end it feels too story book. The movie makes it feel that after 2 games Jackie over comes hatred. Pee Wee Reese puts his arm over his shoulder because  the Reds fans were not the most welcoming and after 3 minutes racism is over in Cincy. Then Last game of the year He hits a home run and that's it everyone loves him. It just felt like they were out of time and didn't really have an out .

  The Movie was a baseball epic giving its fair share to the game that Jackie played. By that I don't mean baseball as a game but Jackie's style of play. How he played defense, how he hit and whenever he was on first he stole 3rd base... every time. Not going to lie but there were some funny parts to this movie. But overall it's a good movie. If you love baseball you'll be in to this movie, If you know the story you'll feel rushed and a bit short handed but still like the movie , if you're into history I'd guess you'd like the movie, and if you just want to catch a movie because there is nothing to do... maybe.

My recommendation is go see it.  If we are grading it I give it a 3.5 out of 5 only because I wanted to see more of Jackie's life.

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