Chasing 3000 (2010) Poster


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Brotherly love set against a baseball backdrop
larry-41122 May 2007
Chasing 3000 tells the story of two brothers who set out in the summer of 1972 to witness Roberto Clemente's 3000th hit, a milestone which few have achieved in the history of the game. On the face of it, this is a baseball movie. As American as mom and apple pie. But once the film starts rolling you realize that this is really something else. It's about something more universal, and is bound to touch everyone.

When a film is based on a true story, by definition, many already know the basic plot going in. It's essentially summed up in the first line of this review. Thus the challenge of the filmmakers is to create a new layer of excitement and interest on top of what is known. How is this done? First, write a good script. The team of Bill Mikita, Cris D'Annunzio, and director Greg Lanesey did just that. Next, find actors who will flesh it out and see this vision through.

Trevor Morgan is Mickey (based on writer Bill Mikita), the teen inspired to be in the stands when the momentous event occurs, no matter where or when. Morgan's ability to keep a thin veil of strength and confidence over an inner sensitivity and childlike innocence is second to none. Rory Culkin is Roger, the muscular dystrophy-afflicted little brother whose toughness perhaps even surpasses that of Mickey. It's that quality in Culkin's performance, combined with the vulnerability which Morgan imparts to the physically healthy older brother, which is at the heart of the curious dynamic which drives the film. Who is leading whom? Ray Liotta heads up the multitude of veterans who populate Chasing 3000. As the present-day version of Mickey, he bookends the film and provides an uncharacteristically loving father figure to his own two children, for whom this story is now family legend. As in any good road movie, the boys will encounter a deliciously diverse group of characters along the way, and M. Emmet Walsh does a star turn as the old codger with a heart of gold who provides some of the film's most poignant moments (and there are many).

The production values are surprisingly topnotch for an independent film. Denis Maloney's cinematography highlights the irony of Roger's limiting wheelchair existence with the limitless possibilities opened up by cross-country travel on a whim. Sweeping landscapes combine with the Lawrence Shragge score to coax open those tear ducts. And somehow the filmmakers were able to find locations within the Los Angeles area which mimic every stop along the way, from St. Louis to the Deep South to Pittsburgh. The film just looks and sounds right - they covered every base.

More than anything, it's about the special love that only exists between brothers at a time in their lives when they need each other the most. In the 80s, The Cure sang "Boys Don't Cry." But no doubt they will in the local cinema. Chasing 3000 is a tearjerker for guys in the guise of a sports movie. But shhh...don't tell them that. And yes, there's plenty for the ladies to like as well. There were more than a few sighs in the audience now and then at the World Premiere here at the Tribeca Film Festival. Maybe it was the baseball uniforms.

So take the family. Chasing 3000 has something for everyone. This is one of those rare films that has the potential to be universally affecting. Like Rocky and Rudy, Chasing 3000 is destined to be what seems to be missing in cinema today, a good old-fashioned feel-good movie that can make even the cynics smile. And maybe shed a tear as well.
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Heartfelt story but with issues
ksaw8812 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Firstly, I'd like to say that I enjoyed this film. It's a nice tribute to Roberto Clemente and really a good story but it's really so hard to believe it's 1972 with things like Velcro straps on catcher's masks, brand new red catcher's gear circa 2010, Plexiglas covered bulletin boards at the train station, motorcycles that aren't even close being a model more than 5 years old, purple fire hydrants and more.

There are also other distractions that just take one out of the story-- no one in the deep south having a southern accent, Lauren Holly not recognizing her son's baseball cap being worn by a girl she is talking to and asking, "Have you seen my sons"? Historically it as 79 degrees during the 3000th hit game and yet they were all in jackets and by the time the game was over it was drizzling with thunder and yet not in the movie. I get that I'm being nit-picky on some of this but it's only 39 years in the past and so many would be able to notice the flaws. A little more care could have gone into the film's making in my opinion.
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At the Premiere
archercom6 May 2007
Chasing 3000 was grand -- such a celebration of Clemente's character and compassion and how it inspires others. These two brothers were so real and the actors poignantly played their characters. They were human in their responses to the challenges in their lives and how they supported each other. Integrity and love prevail. The "accidental heroes" that help them along the way remind us how we all long to be heroes ourselves. That's why Clemente grabs our admiration. He revealed the triumph of the human spirit in so many ways - his enormous talent, humility and compassion for others on and off the field. C3K would be such a cool movie to have in the theaters this summer. I could see whole Little League teams going to see it together. Iloved the music. C3K did a great job in capturing the period.
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The Ultimate Movie Review! - - @tss5078
Tss507823 February 2015
Often times sports can bring out the best and the worst in people, but the majority of those stories take place on the field of play. Everything that happens is centered around the game, and rightfully so, that's where the cameras are focused, but once in a while, a story comes along that takes the focus off the field, Chasing 3000 is one such story. In the summer of 1972, Roberto Clemente is 6 hits away from reaching 3000 hits, but brothers Mickey and Roger are stuck in Southern California. Roger's (Rory Culkin) muscular dystrophy has forced the family to relocate, leaving the boys 3000 miles away from their favorite baseball player, but Mickey (Trevor Morgan) has no intention of it preventing him from witnessing history. One weekend when their mother goes away on business, the boys decide to steal her car and make the journey back home, to Pittsburgh. Despite this being a true story, with the cast they have, I feared that this movie would be some lame farce, but it surprised me by being genuine and heartwarming. The truth is that Mickey seemed to always resent his brother, until they went on the trip, and he realized just how a like they really are. Trevor Morgan stars and while I usually don't like the roles he chooses, but he is a very solid young lead. Morgan was good, but it's Rory Culkin who steals the show, playing the hopelessly ill younger brother, who at heart is every bit the wild teenager that his brother is. Along the way, the boys meet a whole cast of unusual characters portrayed in cameos by some people you'd never expect to see in an independent film. As I've said a million times, depth of cast always helps a film along, especially an independent drama. A lot of people will be turned off by the fact that this film centers around a historic sports achievement, but this is by no means a film about sports, and should appeal to large audiences.
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lazy hazy nostalgia
SnoopyStyle12 June 2017
It's Roberto Clemente day. An adult Mickey (Ray Liotta) recounts to his kids his childhood days with Clemente as his and his friends' hero. His father had abandoned the family. His brother Roger (Rory Culkin) is deteriorating from muscular dystrophy. He's bitter that his mother (Lauren Holly) moved them to California. With Clemente's 3000th hit approaching, Mickey takes off with Roger back to Pittsburg to see the feat. Their mother calls the cops. Along the way, the boys meet Kelly (Tania Raymonde) riding the rails.

This relies on nostalgia. There is a bit of good coming-of-age but somewhat slow. Lead kid Trevor Morgan doesn't have the greatest charisma. It tries to have a little fun. There is a lazy feel to the whole endeavor. There is also a lack of tension. The motivation is off. Mickey should be doing the trip for his sick brother instead of the other way around. That way, the drive would be intensified. The movie seems unwilling or unable to push over the top.
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