A DVD Black History Lesson
22. RAY (2004) SUBJECT: Ray Charles
Jamie Foxx won a well-deserved Oscar for playing the pioneer who powered through physical limitations and crippling addictions to invent the music that we'd call soul. Taylor Hackford's film manages to be honest about both Brother Ray's genius and his demons, while also taking us on a grand tour of some of the 20th century's greatest music. — Marc Bernardin
32. BASQUIAT (1996) SUBJECT: Jean-Michel Basquiat
The self-destruction of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the graffiti-artist-turned-acclaimed-painter of the 1980s SoHo set, and protégé of Andy Warhol, is still a mystery twenty years after he died of a heroin overdose. It's only fitting then that Julian Schnabel, Basquiat's friend and rival from the commodified art scene who witnessed his descent into drugs (Basquiat once urinated in Schnabel's stairwell), would bring the doomed glam artist's story to the screen. Supported by an eclectic cast including Dennis Hopper, Courtney Love, and David Bowie (as Andy Warhol), Jeffrey Wright plays Basquiat as an impenetrable genius, brimming with perhaps too much talent. —Christian Blauvelt
PLAYED BY Jackie Robinson
MOVIE The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)
POSITION Second base
TEAM The Brooklyn Dodgers, though there's also his personal support team: wife Rachel (Ruby Dee) and Dodgers president Branch Rickey (Minor Watson)
STATS Robinson is best remembered for his courage as the first African-American major leaguer of the 20th century, but the film is an artifact of its time, tending to ignore racial issues in order to focus on Robinson's athletic prowess and star quality.
ACCURACY Robinson's no actor, but his quiet courage and dignity are apparent, and there's surely no one who could better reenact his feats on the field.
MEMORABLE MOMENT Robinson faces a potentially violent confrontation with some white hecklers.
MALE KLEENEX FACTOR 7 out of 10 hankies
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