"42" Excitement

Stephen Dunn

The Jackie Robinson biopic looks like a can't-miss.

I'm not going to insult your baseball intelligence by breaking down the Jackie Robinson story for you. If you're on this site, your likely a big enough baseball fan to know and understand the story and it's significance.

Jackie broke the color barrier, was one of the most important people in baseball and American history and was one of the best baseball players of the 1940's and 1950's (he had six straight seasons with a WAR above 5.0).

Plenty of books have been written to tell his story ("Opening Day" by Jonathan Eig is my favorite), but now Brian Helgeland is turning the story into a feature film.

Sometimes biopics don't work well since personal stories don't always translate to the silver screen. This one will work just fine.

Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey looks to be a cool choice, Chris Meloni seems a good fit for Leo Durocher from the previews and based on his past work and Chadwick Boseman's steely demeanor seems a nice match for the title role. I'm also glad the filmmakers went with Boseman instead of a more well-known actor, similar to Wood Harris in 2000's "Hendrix", since the name/face/previous work of the actor won't take away from the focus on the character.

Helgeland is also a fine choice as writer/director, as he has a pretty strong track record with drama. Man on Fire is one of my favorite movies, and he wrote the screenplay. He also has good-but-not-great films like Payback, A Knight's Tale, Conspiracy Theory and L.A. Confidential on his resume. I believe this is his first crack at a biopic, but I have faith he can do the story justice.

There isn't really a point to this article except to introduce the film to those who haven't heard about it and share my excitement. I really think this has the potential to be an incredible and powerful film, and could go a long way to educating a whole new generation of fans who may not have fully understood Robinson's importance. It is my sincere hope the film is excellent and can accurately portray just what Robinson endured for the good of his race (and the good of the game).

The extended trailer is below. The film is due out in theaters in April.

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