Last week I said “sure, okay, fine” to a four-day visit to the 16th Sonoma International Film Festival. But now that it’s 8:48 am and I have to leave 40 minutes hence to catch an 11:30 am plane to San Francisco, I don’t feel so good. Part of me always rebels when it’s time to pack (and I haven’t even packed yet) and get going that says “God, why did I agree to this? It would be so much simpler and easier to just stay put.”
I was going to wake up at 5:30 am and write my review of Brian Helgeland‘s 42, which I saw last night. I started tapping out impressions late last night. And then I slept through the alarm and woke around 8 am.
I’ll say this much: 42 is okay if you like your entertainment simple and square and instructional, but it felt to me like a film aimed at 10 year-olds, like something the Disney people might have made in the 1950s between The Swamp Fox and The Life and Times of Elfego Baca. I was wondering if Helgeland intended 42 to evoke an old-time atmosphere (the story of Jackie Robinson‘s entry into big-league baseball happens between 1945 and ’47) by deliberately aping the style and mentality of mainstream ’40s and early ’50s films. I was thinking specifically of those three James Stewart-June Allyson flicks they made between ’49 and ’55 — The Stratton Story (another baseball yarn about overcoming adversity), The Glenn Miller Story and Strategic Air Command. Intentional or not, 42 is cut from the exact same cloth.
I also have another riff about To The Wonder in mind, but that’ll have to keep. I leave in 20 minutes. Nah, can’t happen. I’m shooting for a 9:45 am departure.
9:35 am update: I leave in ten. As I was packing the cats were giving me that hurt look — “You’re abandoning us?”