Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Wednesday, April 10, 2013



All We See is Greatness

8.5 out of 10 | Worth

Rated: PG-13 Thematic elements, including language
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Runtime: 2 hours 8 minutes

Director: Brian Helgeland
Writers: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, T.R. Knight, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie. Lucas Black, Ryan Merriman, Hamish Linklater, John C. McGinley

SYNOPSIS:  The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.

REVIEW: Writer/Director Brian Helgeland, started his writing career with A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master and most recently wrote Robin Hood and adapted a screenplay for Green Zone. Now, Helgeland returns with a screenplay surrounding the man who would be 'The First'. Jackie Robinson would become the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.

The Second World War has ended and red-blooded Americans have witnessed victory over Nazi Germany and the Imperial Empire of Japan. Brave men and women of all races, creeds, and walks of life work side-by-side to ensure victory. But when men of color returned from the war they found they were still subject to segregation. Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford, 
Cowboys and Aliens), Owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey bucks decades of whites only baseball, by selecting a young African-American ballplayer from the Negro Leagues to fill one of the 400 spots in Major League Baseball. That man was a young ex-military, four sport UCLA student named Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman, The Kill Hole). As the first African-American baseball player sent to what is the modern era of the major league with all white players, Jackie Robinson faced hatred and racism by his own teammates, other league teams, passionate stadium crowds, and host cities. Only Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson's wife Rachel (Nicole Beharie, Shame) and a young African-American reporter named Wendell Smith (Andre Holland, Miracle at St. Anna) believe that Jackie could be destined for greatness.

42: The Story of Jackie Robinson focuses squarely on two men. The first is the athlete Jackie Robinson himself and the work and accomplishments of his rookie year in major league baseball. The second figure is that of the Brooklyn Dodgers ball club owner Branch Rickey. Jackie Robinson wasn't looking to make history as the first African-American major-league baseball player in the modern era. It was Branch Rickey who decided to buck convention, buck the odds, and buck public opinion by bringing the talented Robinson to the big leagues from the Negro League. While Rickey claimed that his reasons for bringing Jackie up was not a matter of black-and-white, but a matter of money-making green, Ricky did do something that most men at the time would not have even attempted. But even so, through
 the racial slurs, the taunts, and the threats, it was Jackie Robinson who needed to take the brunt of the public's perception of him. Everyone may have seen Robinson as a color, it was up to Robinson to make his teammates, the fans, and the nation of the possibilities of his greatness.

42 opens in Rickey's office as he makes his decision to make one of the 400 major-league baseball players a non-white man. From there we quickly follow the exploits of Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League, to the opportunity for Robinson to try out for the Dodgers' farm team - the Montréal Royals. Dealing with boos and cheers from the crowds Jackie Robinson proves that he can play ball with the best of them. From the Monarchs, Rickey brings Robinson up to the Brooklyn Dodgers, opening up a higher level of racial inequality and bigoted attitudes.

Several specific events represented on-screen show the lengths of venom that Jackie Robinson endured. The first involved a hotel letterhead declaration signed by his teammates that they would ever set out on the same field as Jackie Robinson. Branch Rickey and Dodgers manager Leo Durocher (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU) set out to quell that revolt. The second, and perhaps the most painful to watch, focuses on the racial rants from Phillies manager Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk, Wreck-It Ralph). The last comes with Pee Wee Reese (Lucas Black, Promised Land), a piece of hate mail he receives, and the decision he must make to either stand up for his hometown fan in Kentucky or the loyalty he has for his team. We are shown representative samples of what Robinson dealt with in his early seasons in the Major Leagues but none of them can truly or accurately capture the severity and indignities Robinson truly suffered.

Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman really do steal the show, keeping the focus on their relationship and the turmoil they collectively suffered through. Harrison Ford plays against type as the jolly old lover of baseball just trying to make a difference. 
Chadwick Boseman embodies the restraint, fortitude, and patience of a man who proclaimed that he 'was built to last'. Alan Tudyk as the Phillies manager Ben Chapman is the epiphany of a closed minded redneck who thinks he's in the right in the same moment where he's doing wrong. The actor who plays Wendell tried to act as Robinson's conscience but pales in comparison to Robinson himself. John C. McGinley (Alex Cross) brings a little bit of light-hearted novelty to the role of Red Barber as he announces each game for Dem Bums. The rest of the cast is a smattering of legendary ballplayers like Pee Wee Reese, Eddie Stanky (Jesse Luken, Justified) and others. There is one exchange between Robinson and Ralph Branca (Hamish Linklater, Battleship) concerning team showering that is near priceless.

42: The Story of Jackie Robinson peeks into the rookie year of a man who broke down barriers as he broke records. Tender sweet at times while difficult to swallow at other points, 42 will make you want to stand up and cheer for the underdog.

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