“42”: Brian Helgeland (“A Knight’s Tale”) writes and directs this bio-pic about trailblazing baseball player Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman). Robinson is certainly an American figure whose life story is worthy of cinematic commemoration but Helgeland isn’t someone you’d think of for this kind of film. The “Payback” helmer, who primarily works as a screenwriter for slightly edgy popcorn movies, has a fairly spotty track record with the good stuff (“Mystic River,” “Man on Fire”) being outweighed by his sub-par work (“Blood Work,” “The Vampire’s Assistant”). The film’s trailer gives off an off-putting portentousness that tells the audience how important the events depicted are without any sort of emotional context. This could simply be a matter of a poorly edited trailer but Helgeland, while funny and capable of constructing strong dramatic crescendos, doesn’t do subtle emotion well. Without some unassuming humanity, movies like this end up being homework for bored middle schoolers. It’d be great if this film isn’t as generic as it seems but I can’t imagine it won’t be released with a study guide sometime in the next six months. Also starring Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, and John C. McGinley.
“Scary Movie 5”: Though the series has been dormant for seven years and franchise star Anna Farris has no role in the film, the pop culture parodying series is back. While it bears a surface similarity to their films, cinematic war criminals Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are not involved in the ...
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