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April 15, 2013

42 is certainly worth seeing

Saw 42 over the weekend and was impressed. Based in film I have seen of Branch Rickey, I thought Harrison Ford did a fantastic job of portraying a guy who was a bit over the top in real life. When I heard Ford would play Rickey my first reaction was an eye roll. But he really pulled it off.

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Looking at the Cards from a fan's perspective

Saw 42 over the weekend and was impressed. Based in film I have seen of Branch Rickey, I thought Harrison Ford did a fantastic job of portraying a guy who was a bit over the top in real life. 

When I heard Ford would play Rickey my first reaction was an eye roll. But he really pulled it off. 

I also found the movie to be very faithful to history. I've heard some people say that they thought certain events in the film were condensed versions of multiple situations. But I don't think so. From what I read in the past, I think the portrayal of Phillies manager Ben Chapman was quite literal. 

I heard people walking out of the theater after the show say they thought the sportswriter character was a fabrication designed to move the story along. But he, too, was very real.

I had two tiny criticisms that I don't want to get into too much because I don't want to spoil the film or anyone who hasn't seen it. One was the way some pitches were sped up to unrealistic speeds by special effects. Some thought it was an effective dramatic tool. I thought it made a serious story seem cartoonish. 

The other thing I wish they would have done is gone a little more in depth in the story of Charles Johnson. The presentation was factual. I think it could have been more emotional.

But thise are matters of personal taste. All in all, I thought the movie was very well acted and the story very well told. 

Sometimes it was difficult to watch. But I guess that was a good thing. While we have a long way to go in the area of race relations, the fact that were shocked by how it used to be socially acceptable to behave is at least a sign we've begun to move in the right direction away from discrimination in all forms. At least I hope so.
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About Cheap Seats

Scott Wuerz has reported for the Belleville News-Democrat since 1998​. He writes about the St. Louis Cardinals from a fan's perspective in his Cheap Seats blog.

Contact him at swuerz@bnd.com.

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