Unfortunately I missed this film in the theatre. It was one that I wanted to see, but I just did not get to it.
42 is based on the incredible true story of how Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) broke the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947 with the help of the Brooklyn Dodgers Executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford).
The film was written and directed by Brian Helgeland and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Merriman, Lucas Black, Andre Holland, Alan Tudyk, Hamish Linklater, John C. McGinley, Toby Huss, Brett Cullen, and Jesse Luken.
The film feels like a genuine depiction of America’s favorite pastime in the 1940s. Having not lived during that time, I cannot say it is exactly like it was, but the set certainly brings you back to an earlier time. The cars, clothes, uniforms, houses, and cleanliness of the cities make it look like the 1940s, but it’s the performances by the actors and how they are filmed that make it actually feel like the 1940s.
The scenes during baseball games were so detailed that I could practically taste the Cracker Jacks. It felt like you were in the stands with the rest of the audience watching history being made.
I was familiar with who Jackie Robinson was and what he did before watching this movie, but I did not know much of his story. 42 tells his story so well on screen that if I didn’t know any better, it could have actually been the real Jackie Robinson in the film.
You are really able to feel for Boseman’s Robinson character and the racial hatred that he was subjected to and stood up against. He persevered, overcame, and ultimately changed baseball forever. He was the tip of the spear that cut out racism not only in professional baseball, but in all professional sports.
42 could quite possibly be Harrison Ford’s best performance as an actor. He was brilliant, but Boseman was equally dazzling as Robinson. If you ask me, I think that Boseman could easily win an Academy Award for Best Actor and Ford could win one for Best Supporting Actor. It would be a crime if neither actor is at least nominated. They both deserve recognition for their awesomeness.
My only issue with the film was that it was so good throughout that the ending seemed almost anticlimactic. Instead of building up to a finale, it felt like it just ended a little too abruptly. The ending was not bad by any means, it was just a little unexpected.
You do not have to be a fan of baseball to enjoy this movie. However, baseball fans will probably respect it even more.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Man of Steel (2013)
Man of Steel (2013)
With the countless number of sequels, remakes, and superhero movies that are being spewed out these days, I have become very skeptical and picky when it comes to deciding which of these movies I will see and which I will avoid like the plague.
Honestly, Man of Steel was a difficult choice at first. My initial reaction was derision. I rolled my eyes and scoffed. How many Superman movies does this world really need?
Superman and Batman are probably my favorite superheroes. What I always enjoyed about those characters was the fact that they both had alter egos and they both were always trying to do good by helping people.
The thing is I like Batman better than Superman. Batman is more real. He puts on a costume and goes out, mostly at night, to right wrongs in his city. Batman is fed up with the scum in his city and he tries to clean up the streets. Superman on the other hand, is an alien from another planet who ends up on earth. Superman looks human, but has a number of superpowers that make him almost godlike. He disguises himself as a human, but puts on a costume when its time to fight the bad guys. He is faster than a speeding bullet, can fly, has x-ray vision, and is virtually invincible except around kryptonite, etc. etc. Superman is a godlike alien from another planet. Batman is a human vigilante. Which is more believable to you?
Following my initial reaction about the new Superman, I learned who all was cast in the movie. I raised one eyebrow as I contemplated the film’s potential. The cast includes Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni, Antje Traue, and Ayelet Zurer. Great cast right? Except Henry Cavill is a dud and he was cast as Superman.
In my opinion, they needed a far superior actor to play the lead role. Sort of like Christian Bale played Batman. Instead they surrounded an almost nobody with an awesome cast. The part will boost Henry Cavill’s career, but that doesn’t make him a better actor. They needed someone like Mark Wahlberg, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jake Gyllenhaal, or even Matt Damon.
Still, the strong cast was enough to make me want to see Man of Steel. It also helped that Christopher Nolan produced the film and both he and David S. Goyer wrote the screenplay and story. Of course, Nolan and Goyer also both wrote The Dark Knight Trilogy, which Nolan also directed. However, Nolan did not direct Man of Steel, Zach Snyder did instead. Snyder is a capable director, but Nolan is far superior.
Man of Steel is about a boy who finds out that his parents on earth are not his real parents. It is believed that he was sent to earth from a different planet. These details are revealed to him by his earth parents after he figures out that he has super powers. Now he must learn what he was sent to earth to do and what type of man he will become.
The film was bursting at the seams with special effects. The aspects of Superman that I do not enjoy were highly prevalent in the movie. I don’t like the overuse of super powers and Michael Bay-esque explosions, along with multiple superhuman aliens in an endless battle of invulnerability. Everything in their path becomes obliterated and it all seems so unrealistic. With that being said, I expected the film to be that way. But, I also hoped that the film would concentrate more on the humans on earth than the aliens on Superman’s home planet. That hope was shattered. It became more about Superman stopping an alien invasion on earth than Superman just stopping bad guys on earth.
Although there were a few things about the movie that I did not like, I will admit that those things were done tastefully. The special effects were amazing. They were too much at times, but they were also insanely awesome at times. The cast was great, but Henry Cavill could have been replaced with someone better. Everybody else’s performance made up for his. It’s not that he was bad, but he just could have been much better. The supporting cast should not be better than the main character. That is not a solid foundation for a film.
Crowe, Costner, Shannon, Adams, and Lane all made the movie worth watching. They used their acting super powers to totally make the film.
Man of Steel is a worthy update to previous Superman movies. Even a superhero skeptic like myself, enjoyed the movie. With the obscene amount of action in the film, it will certainly be better on the big screen.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.