My grandmother, Rhoda Singer, died earlier this year. She lived much of her life in Brooklyn and was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. Her favorite player was Pee Wee Reese, the Dodgers' scrappy white shortstop who famously silenced a racist Cincinnati crowd by putting his arm around his black teammate Jackie Robinson during pre-game warmups.
I thought about my grandmother a lot while watching '42,' the new biopic of Jackie Robinson and his quest to break the color barrier in baseball. On an intellectual level, I can tell you a dozen things wrong with the movie, from its excessively preachy dialogue to its bloated length. But on an emotional level, I have to admit that this movie bypassed my brain and grabbed my heart, pulling each and every string contained therein firmly and repeatedly. It's a pretty good tribute to a great man. And when Pee-Wee and Jackie embraced on that field in Cincinnati I cried.
'42' looks fascinating, and not just for Harrison Ford's weird make-up. Relaying the biography of Jackie Robinson, it shows how the star baseball player (played by Chadwick Boseman) had to struggle against the prejudices that didn't want to see professional baseball become integrated. Now there's a featurette that plays up Robinson's historical significance.
Sorry for the groaner, but this trailer for '42' makes the film look like a can't miss. Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford lead the cast of this Jackie Robinson bio-pic, and the inherent drama of Robinson's ascendancy in the face of institutionalized racism makes this look like it will play well on the big screen.