soul of the game (1996) vs 42 (2013)
I recently saw the movie "42" and without doing a full movie review, I'll just say it was pretty good, if a little lightweight in the drama department.
Before this movie came out, the story of Jackie Robinson had been told in a number of movies, including "The Jackie Robinson Story" where Jackie Robinson actually starred in the movie and played himself. That may be the first ever instance I've heard of where the subject of the biopic had actually played themselves. It's a funny thought, what if his performance was bad? He'd be bad at playing himself.
But I digress. My first in depth exposure to his story came in an underrated HBO original movie, "Soul of the Game." It seems that HBO originals are heads and shoulders better than the usual made-for-TV movies, so please don't let the fact that it isn't theatrical throw you. It's a good movie.
But now, I pit them together in a head-to-head challenge. I'm not a baseball historian by any means, so there will be no accuracy analysis, just a judgement based on the movies. This is just my opinion, yours may differ, and that's ok. This is purely for entertainment.
Warning: Minor story spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
winner: soul of the game
I don't want to be predictable and pick the older movie, but "Soul of the Game" is the winner. It's just a better acted movie with moments that show the characters' bad moments as well as the good. They're presented as men, whereas "42" is more of a Disney-fied movie that is more about the legend than the man. I love inspirational stories, but part of the inspiration is seeing people hit their lowest before getting the strength to rise to the top. In real life, Jackie may very well have been a consistently good man, but he was probably more three dimensional than the movie portrayed. However, they're both a good watch. I still recommend them both.
E.J. is just a simple man who loves movies. Don't judge.