Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - July, 2013


 "42" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements



This is the true story of the Brooklyn Dodgers' owner Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) and how he broke the race barrier in Baseball when he signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to play for the Dodgers' Montreal farm club in 1946.  After one year with Montreal, Robinson moved up to the Bigs where he got his chance as the starting first baseman for the Dodgers.  The movie carries us through Robinson's rookie season where he helps his team win the NL Pennant and goes on to win the Rookie of the Year Award. 


  • Warner Brothers
  • 2013, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 8 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master
  • Starring : Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford and Nicole Beharie
  • Directed by: Brian Helgeland
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Suggested
  • Sex: Mild
  • Language: Mild


This movie is well balanced between the real history and action of baseball.  The tone is righteous without becoming overly preachy or pandering to the audience.  I felt engaged on many levels to the extent that the movie felt like it moved along on a swift pace and I was never bored.  I thought Harrison Ford did a remarkable acting job and some of his lines are truly gem-like with the delivery of a pro.  He really won me over as a character.  I liked Chadwick Boseman's work too, but I wish the script offered more opportunities to peer inside the genuine Jackie Robinson:  we never get to see his innermost thoughts in softer moments so we might learn what made him tick.  Other roles are well acted with a few being a little over the top and I'm not entirely sure how accurate they are from a historic perspective.  At the end of the day, though, this is a fun, educational and entertaining movie. 


There are some early scenes on this disc that were overly soft but after the first five minutes of the movie, the picture settled down and became very consistent from scene to scene.  42 is not a bright and colorful movie and the transfer is true to the filmaker's intent.  So what you get is a solid picture with a satisfying filmic quality that has the sepia look of days gone by.  The picture holds up nicely in dark scenes too with no visible compression artifacts or muddy grays.   

The audio is even better than the video.  The surrounds are active in many scenes, but is most prominent in game time scenes with crowd noise all around the viewer.  The msuical score is well recorded and presented in a clean, vivid rendereing.  Last, but not least, dialog is always clear and intelligible.  This is a well done soundtrack presented in a lossless encode.    


I got the 2-disc set in for review this time.  It includes the Blu-ray, the DVD and an Ultraviolet Streaming Code.  On-disc extras are fairly sparse but entertaining - "Stepping Into History" a featurette on the cast, "Full Contact Baseball" a featurette about baseball and how the actors brought beleivability to their roles and "The Legacy of the Number 42" a look back at the real life of Jackie Robinson.