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.