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2004 Roundup
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"Mr. 3000"

Directed by Charles Stone III.
Written by Eric Champnella, Keith Mitchell and Howard Michael Gould.
Starring Bernie Mac, Angela Bassett, Michael Rispola and Paul Sorvino.
Release Year:  2004
Review Date:  9/21/04

Folks--

After seeing the trailer for "Mr. 3000", I was getting that "bad sports movie" feeling, ESPECIALLY after I learned that this was going to be coming out in September.  But, I have to admit, even after dropping $10 on this thing to see it last week, "Mr. 3000" is a pretty solid time at the flicks.

Bernie Mac stars as Stan Ross, a cocky, standoffish, Barry Bonds-ish hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers that opens the film by collecting his 3,000th base hit.  A magical milestone for most major league hitters--a milestone which generally determines which hitters reach the Hall of Fame--Stan decides that, even with his team in the midst of a playoff hunt, he will retire right then and there so that his career numbers will be stuck on 3,000 hits exactly.  In doing so, he burns the coaches and ownership that was hoping Ross would help them reach the playoffs and contend for a title...and instead, goes off to start a chain of retail stores with 3,000 in each store's title, living like a selfish bastard the whole way.

Nine years later, Stan is still trying to reach the Hall of Fame; his lack of popularity with the writers that do the voting for the Hall leaves him knocking on the door.  Then, a committee doing research on Stan's hits finds out that three of his hits should not count...leaving him with 2,997 hits and a bruised ego.  The rest of the flick follows Stan as he tries to make a comeback at age 47 to try and get those three hits back against MUCH younger major league competition.

You don't really buy that Mac could ever have been a major league player, so as a comedy, "Mr. 3000" works on a number of levels, especially on the field.  Mac makes a number of the physical attributes of his role very funny, be it swinging wildly at pitches, working out in the weight room or trying Pilates for the first time.  Naturally, the funny lines come easily for Mac, so that bit of the comedy is covered quite well.  Throw in some of those Hollywood athlete types--the rookie, the foreigner, the nice guy, the cocky jock--and your recipe for funny flick is locked up.

But, it's the other parts about "Mr. 3000", the little things, that make it such a good time.  Dick Enberg as the Brewers' play-by-play announcer; the bad cursing attempts by the Japanese pitcher ("You little...son...of a dick!"); the fact that Major League Baseball used its real teams, stadiums and likenesses to the production; a character played by Michael Rispoli (of "The Sopranos") spouting off quick hitters like "That's why I love you, man" as a response to anything that Stan says.  The flick also gets a big boost from Angela Bassett as the love interest, a reporter for ESPN that covers Stan's comeback bid; man, who doesn't love Angela Bassett?  I love that the writers also somehow found a way to talk about Bassett's legendary guns in a scene mid-film...Bassett's arms don't get nearly enough pub.

Any comedy longer than 90 minutes is too long, so "Mr. 3000" runs into extra innings here and I was none the happier for it.  Also, this thing just feels like the kind of flick that only ever aspired to be good, not great, you know?  Some films that I go to see, you can tell from the get-go that the filmmakers thought they had no shot at making "Old School", or "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" or films like it.  So, they just give us a popcorner that works.  Well, "Mr. 3000" never aspires to be much more than it is, but that was fine by me...the laughs come often and its performers seem to be giving it their all even if the filmmakers maybe didn't.  Plus, we get a great ending.

I was surprised.  "Mr. 3000", especially if you are a sports fan, is pretty quality.

Rating:  $9.50 Show

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09