Blu-ray review: '42'

With its single superstar and its stable of stalwart utility players swinging for the fences, the long-awaited Jackie Robinson biopic scores a solid win despite playing it a bit too safe.
by Brandy McDonnell Published: September 27, 2013
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‘42'

With its single superstar and its stable of stalwart utility players swinging for the fences, the long-awaited Jackie Robinson biopic “42” scores a solid win despite playing it a bit too safe.

When it debuted in cinemas in April, the by-the-book inspirational sports drama notched the best opening day ever for a baseball movie. The fact-based film was a long time coming: Although Robinson played himself in 1950's “The Jackie Robinson Story,” the color barrier-breaking icon has been written about much more than he has been depicted on the big screen.

Still, writer-director Brian Helgeland (“A Knight's Tale,” the Oscar-winning screenplay for “L.A. Confidential”) and lead actor Chadwick Boseman (“The Express”) wisely resist the urge to lionize Robinson as an icon, instead portraying him as a gifted player and affable if hotheaded young man.

The film, which takes its title from Robinson's number, follows the Georgia native's trailblazing 1947 rookie season through the eyes of his now-legendary chronicler, black sports journalist Wendell Smith (Andre Holland), who sets the segregated post-World War II scene.

Harrison Ford takes on a whole new look and gives his best performance in years as Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, a shrewd businessman and devoted fan of the game who decides the time is right for racial integration.


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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