Directed by Brian Helgeland
1. “42” is a visual marvel. From the lighting to the camerawork to the digital re-creation of Ebbets Field and other long-gone gems, this movie definitely looks the part of the legitimate historical drama. Even something as conceptual as the general atmosphere of the picture glowed in the light of 1940s’ culture. To see it is to see a glimpse of 1940s baseball.
2. Remember that TV show you liked in 2006? “42” gives you the ease of seeing all your obscure TV favorites – the brother from “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” the chief and the that one doctor that died in “Greys Anatomy,” the one guy from “Law & Order: SVU,” that mean doctor from “Scrubs” – all in one place! But it is kind of entertaining (distracting, perhaps, but entertaining) to see who will be the next character to have you saying “Ha! It’s that one guy from that one show!”
3. Harrison Ford’s slow, old-timey radio personality drawl, spoken mostly through the smoke of his fat stogie.
4. You might be surprised to hear the script is not that bad. I was. I had low-ball expectations. Typically, historical dramas strike out when it comes to a believable script. But then look who’s writing. Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Brian Helgeland. Never heard of him? Neither had I. But with “Mystic River” and “L.A. Confidential” under his belt, his remarkable script isn’t such a shock.
1. This is a slow movie as baseball is a slow sport. Its only natural that a sport so begrudged for being boring makes for less-than-stellar excitement on the big screen. Ball 4!
2. “42” is basically 1950’s “The Jackie Robinson Story” all over again. Except in 1950, Jackie played himself. How could you possibly out-do that? With a $40 million dollar budget, I guess.