Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Baseball is Back
That changed in 1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first African American to break baseball's sacred color barrier and forever change the sport. That's where Brian Helgeland's 42 steps up to the plate. Robinson's story hasn't been given the big screen treatment since 1950's The Jackie Robinson Story, which starred Robinson himself. Looking back on perhaps the most important change in the modern sports era, the film looks at the Hall of Famer's ascent from great Negro League player through his first tumultuous season as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, winning Rookie of the year in 1947. That year, Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) had to face prejudice on all side, not only from society and rival teams but often from his own teammates as well. But with a rugged determination, no shortage of talent and the backing of the Dodgers' General Manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), Robinson earns the respect of his peers to become the renowned player he is known as today.
Moneyball, 42 surely isn't far behind. It belongs in the same discussions of The Rookie, A League of Their Own, 8 Men Out and Major League, and provides a better moviegoing experience than many of those classics. 42 harkens back to the days when baseball was America's #1 pastime, and gives a good argument for revisiting that ideal again. But even if you're no baseball fan, the movie's human drama and the legacy of Jackie Robinson are well worth your time and attention, especially since you don't want to wait another 63 years to receive this opportunity again.