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Movies Blog

The Hack Stamp: 42

by Scott Renshaw
- Posted // 2013-04-12 -

It's baseball-movie time, but our favorite lazy critics aren't gonna sneak their cliche-filled fastballs past The Hack Stamp.

Perhaps because they used up many of their preferred sports metaphors on Trouble With the Curve recently, critics weren't filling their reviews of 42 with baseball jargon. But that doesn't mean at least a few didn't step up to the plate.

“Mr. Helgeland's ponderously reverential biopic is a string of unearned runs.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“The movie is a home run, and Ford is a grand ham.” – Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times

42 is a fine drama which throws no curves, allowing for an easy hit.” – Justin Craig, FoxNews.com

“The inspirational movie … is too dignified to throw audiences a curveball, let alone a knockdown pitch, but its solid fundamentals make it a winner.” – Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Even if it isn't a home run, 42 easily hits a triple, and, like Robinson, could probably steal home. (Sorry, had to fit a sports metaphor in there eventually.)” – Matthew Razak, Flixist *Note: Apologizing makes it only slightly better.

But this week's Hack Champ is Gary Wolcott of the Tri-City Herald, a regular visitor to this space, who seemingly decided that if he was gonna go baseball metaphor, he was going to swing for the fences and simply never stop using them.

“…after fouling off a series of pitches, the subject matter and Harrison Ford's acting eventually help 42 win the game.”

"The film’s grand slam is the acting, and clearing the bases best is Ford. He patiently waits on curve balls and hits line drives with ease. ... Instead of hitting bloop singles, Helgeland should have given the rest of the cast the opportunity to go for the fences and have as much fun as Ford."

"Helgeland comes to bat in each inning with the intention of hitting one out of the park, and while never getting the home run, he does manage to go three for five.”

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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