The first thing I thought when I saw this poster for Brian Helgeland‘s 42 (Warner Bros., 4.13), the Jackie Robinson biopic starring Chadwick Boseman as J.R. and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, was “who slides with his right fist raised in a victory salute?” Because it looks like bullshit, like the marketing guys are trying to appeal to fans of today’s self-aggrandizing, cock-of-the-walk athletes.
But guess what? For some unfathomable reason Robinson did slide into bases like that. Here are some photos. The bottom line is that the poster still looks phony even if Robinson did that fist thing every time. Partly because his mouth is open as if he’s shouting “yeaaahhhh!” It looks like an advertising con, and if I were running the marketing on this movie I would tell the art guys to not use it. Fine for the movie, not fine for the poster.
Imagine how beautiful this image would be on its own terms if Robinson’s right hand was more or less open-palmed and going for balance, like any athlete’s hand would be at such a moment. I’ve slid into bases. I know what’s involved so don’t tell me. The fist thing is odd.