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"Mr. 3000" has those moments, those moments where you agree that this
should have been made into a multi-million dollar feature with big
stars and extras and a caterer and all that. There's some pretty funny
jokes. It's not a bad film. But it just doesn't really excel anywhere
that a sports comedy worth its investment should.
Bernie Mac plays Stan Ross, the titular Mister, and he kind of has the feel for the role all down. But there's two scenes where Mac's inner nice-guy comes out and deflate the bloated jerk he's supposed to be playing. Therefore, the film has this two-headed character, one who is Bernie Mac improvising a nice little scene, and one who is Stan Ross, Mr. 3000 himself.
People have complained the film is too Disney, too formulaic, but the essence of sports is surprise within the bounds of formula. Disney's rules of narrative almost work here; the embittered jerk stripped of his former greatness finds redemption in a second try for his title. It's up to the filmmakers to make it work, to make the redemption by baseball story find nuance and still move the audience. When the drama works (exclusively on the baseball field) and the comedy too (exclusively near the baseball field), this film works too. When it doesn't (pretty much all the arbitrary directions the plot turns to show that he is a jerk), the movie falls flat. So enjoy, but beware the slow scenes with little meaning.
Bernie Mac is what makes you watch Charles Stone III's "Mr. 3000". Mac
is totally funny and has a great screen presence. No doubt this is a
star vehicle for Mac, who really benefits from a surprising screenplay
by Eric Champnella, Keith Mitchell, and Howard Gould. Their "Mr. 3000"
is funny, edgy, and appropriately sentimental. Bernie Mac plays Stan
Ross, a great Major League hitter, and also a major league arrogant
jerk. Upon reaching his 3000th hit and securing his place in the Hall
of Fame, Stan retires leaving his team in a lurch just before the
playoffs. Stan parlays his "Mr. 3000" title into a successful business.
However, 9 years later when Stan is on the verge of possible sports
immortality with an induction into the Hall of Fame, a statistical
error reveals that Stan Ross, "Mr. 3000", is really Stan Ross "Mr.
2997". Stan is shy 3 hits-- pretty much killing any chance of a trip to
Cooperstown. So at nearly 50 years old, Stan decides to make a
comeback. Seeing the potential of increased ticket sales by his return,
his old team welcomes him back. Well, at least the owners do. How
difficult would it be to get 3 more hits? Well, that is some of the
Bernie Mac has this charm about him that even when playing a world class arrogant jerk, he is still likable. That is amazing. However, in the evolution of the story by Champnella, Mitchell, and Gould, Stan's (Mac's) introspection of the man he was in his youth is effective and at times poignant. Mac as Stan is smart and gradually sees the impact of selfishness on his teammates in the past and present, and with his old flame Mo (a wonderful and gorgeous Angela Bassett). He sees much of his young self in superstar hitter T-Rex (a commanding Brian J. White). Consequently Stan gives T-Rex a wake up call. T-Rex could end up being a lone jerk like Stan, or he could really make a profound difference by being a leader, and inspire his teammates. This is one of the great touches of the "Mr. 3000". Another great touch is Michael Rispoli as Stan's one loyal friend, Boca, who finally points out to Stan that he loves him, because he can always count on Stan to do what is right for Stan, regardless of anyone else. At the heart of the movie is the amazing Angela Bassett as Mo. She knows that Stan is a jerk and she still loves him. She also is sad and angry that Stan doesn't just grow up, knock it off, and be the great man that he deserves to be.
The end really took me by surprise-- I did not expect it. Without giving anything away, everything works out sometimes in the most unsuspecting ways.
Bernie Mac is wonderful here. "Mr. 3000" is that cool fantasy movie where one gets to atone and correct for being young and stupid. And I guess we all continue to do this is some way or fashion. "Mr. 3000" also does this with a sense of humor. This is a great thing.
If you like baseball, here is a good film for you. Bernie Mac is
perfect in the title role as a Brewers baseball player with an ego the
size of Milwaukee who retires just after he thinks he gets his 3000th
hit, which he assumes will make him a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
Many years and no induction later, he learns that three of the hits did
not count, and he returns to the game to get those three hits. Mac does
a good job and actually fleshes out the character, as his return helps
him learn more about being a team player. I really liked this film when
I saw it.
*** out of ****
Mr. 3000 is a decent comedy that works a lot better then it should thanks to Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett. Stan Ross (Bernie Mac), an aging former baseball player, selfishly quit the game after getting his 3,000th hit, knowing that it would get him into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ten years later, three of his hits have been disqualified, so he needs to get back in shape, get back into the game and try to live up to his nickname of "Mr. 3000". The plot sounds stupid because its only about getting three hits but Bernie Macs character is 47 years old and he is out of shape so it may be a challenge for him. Bernie Mac does a great job and he is the only reason for watching this movie. Angela Bassett is also very good and she is a very underrated actress and I'm surprised she wasted her time with this film. For me baseball isn't very interesting but the baseball scenes in this movie are kind of interesting. People who follow baseball may like but they might also find the plot too silly. This has been described as a family movie and I don't see how since they curse a lot in this. I mean threes nothing hardcore in this but nothing PG either. Charles Stone III does a decent job of directing and this movie is a lot better then other baseball themed movies out there such as Rookie of the Year. There are some laughs in this film but the preview covers most of them. Rating 6/10 a decent comedy with some laughs but nothing special that makes it a must see.
Enjoyed this film primarily because of the great acting of Bernie Mac,"Guess Who", and his girlfriend in the film, Angela Bassett,(Maureen "Mo" Simmons),"Sunshine State". Bernie plays the role of a super baseball player who winds up having to prove himself all over again in the eyes of the Hall of Fame Judges. There are plenty of laughs and some very warm and sexy scenes with "Mo" who plays a CNN News reporter who has interviews with Bernie and has a quick tongue in response to his remarks about being in love and wanting to tie the knot. If it were not for the above mentioned actors, this film would have fallen completely on its head. Thanks Bernie Mac !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Stan Ross(Bernie Mac)of the Milwaukee Brewers is his own number one fan. Vain as the devil and as jaded, the big slugger on a slumping team achieves his career milestone...3,000 hits. He is more than happy to rejoice in his elite distinction that should be an automatic election into the hallowed Hall of Fame. After entering the stands and grabbing his 3,000 hit ball from the hands of a young fan; Ross retires and parlays his achievement into a strip mall based on his 3,000 hits. Some time later the owner of the Brewers(Christopher Noth)realizes that attendance is headed for an all-time low and decides to put some butts in the seats by having a Stan Ross day. That is when Stan realizes he had very little respect from his former teammates...but the fans still loved him. Upon checking stats in the record books it is discovered that three of Ross' hits were counted twice...leaving him three short of the actual three thousand hits. Stan "The Man" comes out of retirement and rejoins the dismal Brewers at the end of a season that finds them in reach of finishing third in their division. All Stan needs is three hits and finds it easier said than done. He discovers that he really missed the game that he took for granted. He now found enjoyment in giving advise to the younger players. And he found himself refurbishing a broken down relationship with an old flame Mo(Angela Bassett)who works for ESPN no less. Funny man Mac doesn't look too out of place as a ballplayer. I wish there was a way Bassett's role could have had more screen time. Also in the cast are: Michael Rispoli, Brian J. White and Paul Sorvino. Sexual content and language makes for a strong PG-13.
This is an excellent movie because it delivers on the promise of its
marketing: you get the story of a 47 year-old former hitting star of
the Milwaukee Brewers (Bernie Mac as Stan Ross), who retired nine years
earlier with exactly 3,000 hits, believing that to be his ticket to the
hall of fame, and milking the "Mr. 3000" persona for all it's worth
commercially. It is very common in real life for former athletes to
become car dealers and high-end stockbrokers, selling expensive things
to rich people who want a little nostalgia as an extra, and if you
check the end of "Miracle" you'll find many former members of the 1980
gold medal squad working in finance or banking.
The last-place Brewers are desperate for attendance (at least their owner, played by Chris Noth, is), and they lure Stan back to the ballpark to retire his number. While compiling a list of each of his 3,000 hits, it is learned that three of the hits were counted twice and he only has 2,997 hits, thus cancelling his ticket to Cooperstown. Stan will have none of this, and returns to the Brewers, whose owner figures he'll be a welcome distraction from the standings. Ross faces an uphill battle from the team he publicly derided prior to his return, even finding himself on the receiving end of a seemingly endless tirade of trash talk from a mascot dressed as a BRATWURST. The movie even paid an homage to the "sausage races" that occur in Milwaukee during the seventh inning stretch (a race between four mascots in various sausage uniforms).
The usual suspects (ESPN, etc.) make cameos, and Stan's on-again, off-again love interest (an ESPN reporter played by Angela Bassett) enjoys his company but finds him unsuitable for commitment to anything but his mirror. Stan has a full life and several close friends who accept his narcissism as part of the package that drew the fans to the ballpark all those years. The fans seem willing to forgive Stan everything because he came through for the team all those years, and even empathize with his plight to recapture his primary glory in life, taken from him through a mathematical error not even his. Paul Sorvino manages his best Earl Weaver impersonation as manager Gus Panas, but I was never a fan of that shtick when Earl did it.
The film has no real bad guy (other than Stan's ego), but they add an "It's A Wonderful Life" element to the film in the form of T. Rex Pennebaker (sp?), the brash young slugger you build championship teams around. T. Rex is a lot like Stan used to be, thus giving Stan pause, for like Stan used to, T. Rex walks the walk as he talks the talk. To his credit, T. Rex gives his all even for a last-place team, even if it's only to boost his stats.
Stan, who left the Brewers in a pennant race nine years ago, now tries to be a team player as he pursues the elusive three hits. He tries to show he has matured and loves the game, and assumes a mentoring role for a talented yet very undisciplined, young team, but the "old Stan" does not go away quietly, and in a way that's good, because for as egotistical as Stan is made out to be, it is obvious that he loves people, the spotlight, and genuinely wants to be liked. He just assumes that everyone is out for themselves the way he is out for himself.
If you tried to write the ending to this film, it wouldn't be surprising if you were not too far off from how they wrote this one. The movie doesn't even try to be unpredictable, and this is another strength, because there's really only one or two ways a movie like this can end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not a Bernie Mac fan per se, but he does a good job in this movie.
It's a great baseball movie, but more importantly, it's a movie about
growing up and maturing into a responsible human being who is willing
to sacrifice for the greater good. It's better than I thought it would
be, even allowing for the cheesy, semi-mandatory hump scenes with his
SPOILER ALERT - don't read past here if you haven't seen the movie.
The entire story is ostensibly based on Bernie's egotistical jerk character trying to regain 3 base hits in the major leagues that were removed because they had been posted in error. His entire life is wrapped around being one of the few 3000 hit holders in the majors, so he's dedicated to regaining them solely for his own ego. Along the way, however, he discovers something that he should have known all along (and that most professional sports figures have forgotten) - it's a team sport, not an individual sport. At the end of the last game of the season, with his last shot at number 3000 on the line, Bernie lays down a sacrifice bunt so that his team can win the game and take third place. He gives up his shot at 3000 and in doing so, he becomes a greater star than he would have if he had taken the big swing.
I love movies and I love watching sports. Not surprisingly, I really
enjoy sports movies. Good ones. This is a very good one.
Bernie Mac, as the ragingly ego maniacal baseball star Stan Ross, accomplishes the near impossible. He makes us despise his character, then pity him, and finally adore him. He is completely comfortable in the role, and commands the screen with almost shocking ease.
The movie doesn't go for a home run, and therein lies much of its strength. This isn't "The Natural." The director and writer are content to tell a straightforward but very entertaining story with a good message for athletes of all ages. "Mr. 3000" is funny and ultimately quite touching, and the ending is both surprising and fitting.
My kids enjoyed the movie as much as I did. So count this as three "thumbs up" for a Hollywood movie with a little bit of heart.
In 1995, arrogant baseball superstar Stan Ross (Bernie Mac) gets his
3000 hits and promptly quits. He builds a business empire based on his
persona of Mr 3000. Nine years later, a clerical error is discovered
and he's 3 hits short of the milestone. He doesn't get into the Hall of
Fame. He has to return to the game with the Brewers but time has passed
and he's not the same guy he once was. Maybe he can learn to be better.
Bernie Mac has a few funny moments as he tries to get back into shape. There is a little bit of heart as he learns his lessons. The guy needs some humanity at the beginning. The movie is a bit too simple. He needs a secondary story that is more than a second rate love story. The movie also needs to maximize Bernie Mac's edgy brand of comedy. It's not a bad movie. It's just not particularly any good.
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