A baseball great takes the spotlight in a weak week for new DVD releases.
“Ken Burns’: Jackie Robinson”: ☆☆☆ 1/2. The latest documentary from Ken Burns examines the life and times of one of the most influential sports figures in history. The four-hour documentary chronicles the life of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, the first man to break through the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
This is not just a baseball movie. Burns parallels the career of the baseball player with the growth of the Civil Rights movement. He examines how Robinson became the first real figure in the battle for equal rights.
The impact of Robinson on MLB has been well-documented. Burns digs deeper to show that Robinson had to deal with discrimination from his days growing up in Pasadena, California. Robinson’s fight as a teenager against discrimination included demanding to be served at a drugstore lunch counter and refusing to sit in a segregated movie theater balcony.
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His fight got international attention when in 1947 he was signed by Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey to a major league contract. Each step of his career is mirrored by Burns with what was happening in the world.
The story is told through news footage and interviews that include Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and their children, Sharon and David.
It all comes together to make another fascinating look at a piece of American history from the noted documentary filmmaker.
ALSO ON DVD
“The Forest”: Woman goes in search of her missing sister.
“Prisoners’ Wives: Complete Collection”: The stories of women whose husbands are in prison come together.
“The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun”: Woman steals her boss’ car to use in an attempt to travel to the sea.
“The Bible Stories: David”: Shepherd is selected by God to become a king.
“Sisters: Season Four”: Swoosie Kurtz and Sela Ward star in this TV drama about four sisters.
“Frontline: Supplements and Safety”: Looks at hidden dangers in vitamins and other supplements.
“Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.”: Leading artists, politicians and authors talk about their families.
“A Tale of Two Cities”: This is the 1980 film version of the Charles Dickens novel.
“Bannister: Everest on the Track”: Look at efforts to run the first sub four-minute mile and the changes in England at the time.
“Pound Puppies: Showstopping”: Includes new adventures from the gang at Shelter 17.
“Destroyer/Edge of Sanity”: Double feature starring Lyle Alzado and Anthony Perkins.
“The Bible Stories: Samson & Deliah”: Great warrior is weakened by the woman he loves. Dennis Hopper stars.
“Justice League vs. Teen Titans”: It’s a big clash when the senior heroes take on the young squad in this animated tale.
“Outlaw: Gangster VIP Collection”: All six films in the Outlaw series are included in a limited edition set.
“Standoff”: Thomas Jane and Laurence Fishburne star in this tale of a fight to save a young girl’s life.
“Grace and Frankie: Season One”: Two women struggle to deal with losing their husbands.
“Power Rangers: Wild Force: The Complete Series”: Orgs must be stopped by the Power Rangers or Earth is doomed.
“When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts”: Romantic adventure from Janette Oke.
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL
“Creative Control”: Life slams into fantasy when a man creates an avatar of his friend’s girlfriend.
“Ride Along 2”: Ice Cube and Kevin Hart hit the road to dish out their comedic style of justice.