MSN Movies Blog

Check out the brand-new trailer for the Jackie Robinson biopic '42'

Could this be the best baseball movie ever made?

By Corwin Neuse Jan 11, 2013 11:32AM
At first blush, this could be the next "Lincoln" or "Django Unchained," or it could be the next "Red Tails." Here's hoping for more of the former than the latter. What are we on about? Apple has just unleashed the first trailer for "42," the upcoming biopic of Jackie Robinson starring newcomer Chadwick Boseman as the man himself and Harrison Ford (!) as Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey. 

Check out the clip for blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances by "Law & Order's" Christopher Meloni as fiery Dodgers manager Leo Dorocher, "Firefly" and "Suburgatory" funny-man Alan Tudyk as inveterate racist Ben Chapman, and "Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift's" Lucas Black as all-around good-guy Pee Wee Reese. Also glimpsed: Hollywood legend Ford aging gracefully for a change, a lot of suspiciously-rendered shots of Ebbets Field, and a bizarrely anachronistic Jay-Z song. (But isn't that all the rage these days, thanks to "The Great Gatsby?" But we digress...)

Although the trailer itself isn't that telling, we hope the film is more serious, and closer in tone to Denzel Washington's classics "Glory" or "Malcolm X" than "Red Tails," which told a similarly triumphant tale of bigotry overcome, but ruined everything with a dispiriting sense of empty bombast and some overtly cloying sentimentality.

What do you think, Hitlisters? Could this film stand up to the ages—inspiring whole new generations for years to come—or will it wilt, and disappear in the annals of history, in the face of dreary production values and an oddly drab color palette? Check out the trailer, posted after the break, and let us know in the comments... 


2Comments
Feb 19, 2013 4:50PM
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Having grown up a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and spending many days and nights at Ebbetts Field, I am anxious to see this film.....My grandfather was very close friends with Branch Rickey and I was there on April 15, 1947 to see Jackie make his debut....I got to know Jackie and a lot of the players and still have some of the best baseball memories from those Ebbetts Field days.....From the clip it looks like they got this right and didn't jazz it up with a lot of things just to make it "Hollywood". Ford's portrayal of Branch Rickey is spot on in every way and Chadwick looks to have Robby down solid......I will be there the day the film opens!
Feb 19, 2013 4:44PM
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I grew up a Dodger fan and as such attended their games on occasion.  Many years after his retirement, I had the good fortune to briefly meet Mr. Robinson, at one of those games.  He was a complete gentleman, in every sense of the word, taking time to talk to us fans and sign autographs. I hope this film captures that side of Jackie Robinson.  As well, I hope they contrast the difference in players from that era.  Today's athletes are truly gifted, physically.  But they tend to want to draw attention to themselves for any little accomplishment they have on the field or court.  The athletes of Jackie Robinson's era had humble confidence.  They let their playmaking, speak for itself.  Adulation came from fans, teammates and sometimes opposing players.  It was never self induced.

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