42: Jackie at the Bat

by Ethan Alter April 12, 2013 8:22 am
<i>42</i>: Jackie at the Bat

It's not fair to spend an entire movie comparing it to another film on the same subject that was never actually made. But as I sat there watching the new Jackie Robinson biopic 42, I couldn't help measuring it against the version of the Robinson story that Spike Lee and Denzel Washington spent years trying to get off the ground before they were relieved by writer/director Brian Helgeland. Knowing Lee's penchant for provocation, his Jackie Robinson movie almost certainly would have been more confrontational -- and less commercial -- than the studio funding it would have liked. And, to be honest, there's no guarantee that it would have succeeded artistically; after all, as terrific a talent as Lee is, his stats are inconsistent with big wins like Do the Right Thing and He Got Game sitting alongside such heartbreaking losses as She Hate Me and Summer of Sam. But, win or lose, Lee's 42 would almost certainly have been more interesting than Helgeland's 42, which takes a crucial piece of sports and social history and treats it with kid gloves, substituting Hollywood gloss for real-world grit.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, July 16, 2013

by Ethan Alter July 16, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 Yet another reason why you should never, ever agree to go vacation at a cabin in the woods.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, May 8, 2012

by Ethan Alter May 8, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Channing and Rachel, sitting in a tree...

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

by Ethan Alter February 28, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hangin' With Mr. Scorsese.

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