Wednesday, 17 April 2013

42

42
Bullseyes:  ③ (out of 5)
42 tells the story of America’s first major league black baseball player, MLB hall of famer Jackie Robinson. 
I went to see this movie because forty eight cinemaclock.com reviewers gave it 9 out of 10 – impressive!  I also fancied giving myself a long lunch break because; well, because I deserve it.
When I got to the cinema I found out that it was $5 Tuesdays. 
Uh oh.
$5 dollar Tuesdays at the Rainbow brings out a, er, different class of cinemaphile.  My row included a decidedly rough around the edges rag-taggle mob of hippies and hoboes.  Not that I have anything against hippies and hoboes, it’s just that they look strangely out of context in a movie theatre.  And they make a lot of noise.  And they smell.  One old girl looked like she’d just popped in from the petrol station out of Deliverance.  And the Doc Brown lookalike next to me spent most of the movie coming and going to the bathroom, or somewhere.  Sitting right behind me was a lively gal with a killer laugh who spent most of the movie giving unnecessary commentary.
“He’s going to hit a homer!”
“Run Jackie run!”
“Oh that’s not good”
I enjoyed the movie, especially Harrison Ford’s character, Brooklyn Dodger’s owner – Branch Rickey.  Robinson and Rickey are given almost equal screen time in the movie the point being, I suppose, that racism affects all of us.  The acting is solid, the pacing tight and the big scenes, for the most part, not over-done.  I did wonder, however, if Steven Spielberg may have had a hand in the movie by the time we reached a pivotal midpoint scene(he didn’t).  The scene, the movie’s best, features Robinson getting pilloried at the plate by Philadelphia coach Ben Chapman.  As Robinson charges off the field and into the tunnel, and starts smashing his bat to smithereens, Branch Rickey slopes out of the shadows and starts muttering meaningful things about racism, life and courage.  At least I think that’s what he’s muttering.  It’s hard to hear on top of the schmaltzy War Horse-like serenade of violins, trumpets and cellos... 
It would be nice to realize a meaningful movie moment for myself without the heavy handed hint of a symphonic orchestra:
Pay attention!  This is important!
Schmaltz aside 42 is a fine movie, and well worth 5 dollars.
  

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