The new movie “42” based on the life and sacrifices of Jackie Robinson, is looking like it will be tops at the box office this weekend.  Based on the book by Aaron Rosenberg and written directed by Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland, it opened with $9.1m at 3,003 venues on Friday, April 12th, according to studio estimates via Box Office Mojo.

Starring Chadwick Boseman as Robinson who made his feature film debut in “The Express,” veteran Harrison Ford, portrays Brooklyn Dodger’s Major League Baseball executive Branch Rickey.  In addition to Branch breaking MLB’s color barrier by signing Robinson 66 years ago, he also drafted the first Latino superstar, Roberto Clemente and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967.  “42” is expected to gross as much as $25-million by days end.  If it does, it will be the biggest opening weekend ever, for a baseball movie (technically – if we’re not factoring in aspects of our economy and number of screens for previous released “baseball movies”).

42 On the field

I think the coolest thing about “42” is that Robinson’s wife Rachel Robinson approves of the film.  In an interview with Essence magazine, she says: “There have been many books and a TV film done about Jack, so I wasn’t concerned about an invasion of privacy or intimacy.”  The now 90-year-old widow was really hoping the film would incorporate aspects of romance that existed between the couple.  “We were passionately in love and I’m so pleased the film captured that,” Robinson told Essence.  “As Jackie entered this new arena where he was going to be severly challenged by social forces, he needed me.  And I felt protective of him.”  Rachel likes the job actress Nicole Beharie does portraying her saying, “She didn’t make me look like I was just hanging in there – she made me a definite partner.”  Of leading man Boseman, Mrs. Robinson confesses “Chad as a husband is someone I could definitely love,” she says laughing.  The Essence magazine with the full interview has young Funk-A-Teer Janelle Monae pictured on the cover.  Rachel Robinson told “Meet The Press” this morning on how relevant the film is today saying it is “…particularly for young people who need to know the history of that era, so that they can make comparisons between then and now… We have made a lot of progress in America, but we still have a long way to go before we can say we have equal opportunities for everyone.”  Mrs. Robinson hopes that young people are inspired by the accomplishments of her husband and about the depiction of her relationship with Jackie, she says she wants to “…emphasize the notion of commitment… that comes through in this film that we were committed to each other regardless of what happened in the outter world (that they) …drew on our own love and the depth of our love and determination, to protect it and our family.”  Mrs. Robinson wants young people to know that despite the challenges of today, that she and Jackie were able to overcome hardships equally as harsh, but more than likely greater.

42 movie posterOthers among the “42” featured cast are Christopher Meloni as Leo Durocher, Ryan Merriman as Dixie Walker, Lucas Black, Alan Tudyk, T.R. Knight, Andre Holland, Hamish Linklater, and John C. McGinley.  Director Brian Helgeland won an Academy Award for the screenplay of Curtis Hanson’s 1997 crime drama “L.A. Confidential,” which starred Russell Crowe.  He was also nominated for the Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River,” that starred Sean Penn and Laurence Fishburne.  As a director Helgeland’s previous feature film was the “The Order.”  It starred the late Heath Ledger, and was released ten years ago.


for the love of FUNK in Baseball


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