Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford | PG-13 |
When Jackie Robinson first swung a bat for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, there was no Voting Rights Act or Brown v. Board of Education decision. Martin Luther King Jr. was still in college, and only her loved ones knew who Rosa Parks was. Robinson was on a team, but he was out there on his own as he broke baseball's color barrier. So if 42 wants to shine up his halo in a hero-worshipping biopic, I say hallelujah and pass me the Windex. But did this labor of love have to seem so labored?
Even if the tone of 42 feels like a History Channel special, there's no arguing the power of the story and the performances. Ford is great fun gnawing on the scenery as Branch Rickey, the bushy-browed, gravel-voiced Dodgers president who signs Jackie, played by the excellent Boseman. Rickey warns the former Negro Leagues star that he can't unleash his temper, even when provoked. No—make that ferociously provoked, as Robinson is by countless bigots, notably Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman (Ben Tudyk). He insults the player in language so blisteringly foul, you may question whether to take your kids.
I say take them. The film provides plenty of teachable moments: from the painful to the triumphant, lessons too many of us have forgotten or perhaps never knew. And if the Robinson adoration begins to feel like a bit much, that's okay. Some things need to be glorified.
THE ONE DIRECTION MOVIE!
Get ready for 1D in 3-D! The hot British band hits theaters Aug. 30 with One Direction: This Is Us, directed by Super Size Me's Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock says the guys won him over when "in the middle of a meeting, a food fight broke out with dinner rolls." Fans will see the band at work and play. Says Spurlock: "There are nights they'll come offstage and go into the studio until 4 a.m. They're very smart, driven and dedicated."
TOM'S LEADING LADY
She's been a Bond girl and a Victoria's Secret model, and now she's getting postapocalyptic with Tom Cruise
in Oblivion. "It seems surreal," says the Ukranian-born actress, 33. "It's very different from the life that I could have had, but it's lovely. Sometimes I have to pinch myself!"
Her take on Tom
He's amazing. He came on-set in the morning and lit everyone up with his enthusiasm and his light. He's a very energetic and generous person. [He] and his daughter, we had lunch in my trailer."
About that rumor
No, she's not dating Cruise. "I try not to pay attention, especially when it's not true."
Oh yeah, she stars with Ben too.
She plays Ben Affleck
's wife in To the Wonder, an introspective drama that's "very different from Oblivion," she says. "Poor Ben. It must have been frustrating for him to play such a cold and silent man; he is the total opposite."
AVENGERS SUPER SET!
This is how you show superhero fans some love. Just in time for Iron Man 3 (out May 3) comes the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase I set stuffed with extras, hero dossiers (Thor's driver's license! Iron Man's blueprints!) and all six films to date, boxed up in boss Nick Fury's briefcase. The set isn't cheap—about $150 at online retailers—but it's a geek-tastic gift.