OVERVIEW: Watch the true story of an American legend when “42” arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download on July 16 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Legendary Pictures. Starring Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman as two men who changed baseball forever, “42” follows the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey and the great Jackie Robinson as they take a stand against racism and baseball’s infamous color line.
“42” will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and on single disc DVD. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray, and the theatrical version in standard definition on DVD. Both the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the single disc DVD include UltraViolet which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.*
Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of play. “42” tells the story of two men – the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey – whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.
In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team, breaking Major League Baseball's infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public, the press and even other players. Facing unabashed racism from every side, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind, knowing that any incident could destroy his and Rickey's hopes. Instead, Number 42 let his talent on the field do the talking – ultimately winning over fans and his teammates, silencing his critics, and paving the way for others to follow.
FILM REVIEW: 42, Written and directed by Brian Helgeland whose credits range from scripting L.A. Confidential to directing Payback and A Knight’s Tale, functions beautifully as a tribute to Jackie Robinson’s courage and dignity. In this latest effort, Helgeland seems to walk that thin line of racism, right down the middle, between discomfort and relevance. It’s a decent movie that aspires to overemotional mediocrity in an effort to tell an important story in a way that will least upset anyone. When all is said and done and despite what we think of the actual cinematography of it all, this is a movie about a crucial moment in black history written by, directed by and largely starring Caucasian men. It’s a movie that opts to start telling its story the moment that men of color entered America’s favorite past-time; baseball. It’s a movie that spends a lot of time making sure we know that a lot of non-minority folks had to be there to help Robinson make his mark in history. This is a movie that seems to convey the black experience that often doesn’t get spot-lighted for the right reasons, in America. I don’t think any one group owns the copyright on stories about themselves, but I have to wonder what 42 with a different perspective, would look like.
Propelling this flick along was certainly possible with the choice in casting. It would seem that the powers-to-be, wisely chose to skip a more established name (such as Jamie
Foxx) and found the right man for the part. Filmmakers brought along little-known Chadwick
Boseman, a TV and film-bit player with a serious likeness to Robinson; exhibiting a quiet way of imposing his will that feels right for the part. One can imagine that Robinson had to be quite sensitive to the politics surrounding his ascension in those days, and Boseman projects the discipline necessary to do it without compromise. Harrison Ford, on the other hand, growls like a junkyard dog as Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who broke the color barrier when he signed Robinson, then a star shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro leagues. Ford’s take on the “Mr. Rickey” character is beautifully orchestrated and is certainly worthy of acknowledgement, by his peers. He, without a doubt brought real meaning and substance to this story and solidified the character’s relevance. Not to go unnoticed is Nicole
Beharie, playing Robinson’s wife (Rachel Isum). Beharie brings a certain quality of innocence and strength to the role like no other would. She’s beautifully poised in every scene and flawless in her character-role.
Overall, this movie serves as a history lesson in many ways, as well as a stark reminder of what trials and tribulations athletes of color had to endure for us to be able to enjoy super athletes of today, such as Jordan, Tiger Woods and Lebron James. 42 certainly deserves four out of five stars for great storytelling, substance and relevance and is worth the visit to the theaters.
By Movi-Man Stan
The film is
presented in 1080P widescreen in a 2.40:1 aspect ration
preserving its theatrical format. The picture is just
flawless. Not only the picture looks great in
this release, also the sound it is good, a 5.1 DTS-HD Master
Audio (48kHz/24bit) in English, Spanish and French that provides a
good complement to the picture. It also includes
English Spanish French
2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen 1080P
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master
Audio English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French
ESDH, Latin Spanish
Stepping into History
The Legacy of the Number 42
DVD disc: Feature film in standard definition
UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film
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