Screening Room: “42,” “Trance,” “The Place Beyond the Pines”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo ---

**42 (PG-13)**
RUSS

As the old Count Basie song went, “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?” The former KC Monarchs and Brooklyn Dodgers star gets the big screen biopic treatment in “42,” a glossy drama about the man who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947.

SHAWN

It is nearly impossible for a movie to capture the truly courageous and scary feat of Jackie Roosevelt Robinson becoming the first black man to play baseball in the Major Leagues. However, the slickly produced and well-acted "42" does a fantastic albeit somewhat embellished job of bringing this story to life.

RUSS

Harrison Ford chews the scenery as Branch Rickey, the crusty Dodgers owner and newcomer Chadwick Boseman scores as the ballplayer who had to endure ugly racist indignities in order to pave the way for other minorities.

SHAWN

But it's designed to play safely at multiplexes and gets a bit Disney with the racial tension and the truly evil spirit America's Jim Crow laws that meant death for thousands of black people who did far less than trying to play baseball with white men.

RUSS
If you’re looking for an action-packed sports movie, look elsewhere. From a historical perspective, it’s an important film to see. Like Mr. Robinson himself, “42” is restrained, low-key, dignified and respectable.

SHAWN

The production design is authentic, the costume work instantly takes you back to the late '40s and the score will have you crying on cue. Overall "42" is one of the best sports movies, which is how it will be classified, ever. It's also important, poignant and an entertaining crowd pleaser. It's a must see for everyone and terrific cinematic hero worshipping. But it has the major flaw of being too light.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

**TRANCE (R)**

RUSS

"Trance” is a mind-bending film noir thriller from Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle. James McAvoy plays an art auctioneer who gets involved in the theft of a priceless painting, but an accident leaves him with amnesia, so he can’t remember where he left it. He goes to a hypnotherapist played by Rosario Dawson, in an attempt to unlock his memory.

SHAWN

"Trance" is like going to a super fancy restaurant only to be served bologna sandwiches  and stale chips. The movie is cinematically stylish but empty to the core.

RUSS

This twisty drama uses plot ambiguity to comment on the characters' moral ambiguity. It doesn’t all work, but it’s a smart and intriguing movie that challenges viewers to think.

SHAWN

Too many gimmicky tricks, false turns and pointless stuntin'. Why everybody be tryin' to pimp Hitchcock? Go get your own style.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

**THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (R)**

RUSS

The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children in "The Place Beyond Pines" a compelling and well-acted story about the negative consequences of good intentions. It’s an ambitious and intelligent film, but it may have bitten off more than it can chew in 2 hours and 20 minutes.

SHAWN

Too trippy for me but the cast is rock solid. A compelling failure at best.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week: “No” is a Chilean drama about a 1988 advertising campaign that tried to oust dictator Augusto Pinochet. “Patang” is an Indian film set during the annual kite festival. “Scary Movie V” is the latest in the horror parody series.

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