[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope: Mr. 3,000

A hip, less reverent baseball movie

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

September 20, 2004 -- “Mr. 3,000,” unlike most baseball movies, doesn't glamorize the game, although it does have a certain fondness for the national pastime. This is a more hip, irreverent version of baseball than one usually sees in movies. It plays on the giant egos that some modern players have. It also shows some insight into the politics involved in selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame, baseball owners, sports-related businesses and America's sports-mad culture.

Bernie Mac of “Bad Santa” stars as Stan Ross, a baseball star who retired immediately after stroking his 3,000th hit in the major leagues, a number which almost guarantees him a selection to the Hall of Fame. Years later, however, he's still waiting on a Hall of Fame nomination, in part because the sportswriters hate him, and they vote in the Hall of Fame ballots. Meanwhile, Ross has a whole line of retail businesses built on his 3,000 hit theme. A review of his career numbers, however, reveals an error in the arithmetic. It turns out he really only got 2,997 hits. Ross decides to come out of retirement so he can get the three hits he needs to reach 3,000. His old ball club, the Milwaukee Brewers, decides to give him the chance to play again, primarily because the team isn't drawing many fans. Ross' comeback bid might make some money for the team.

Ross thinks it will be easy to pick up where he left off, but his reflexes have slowed and he's out of shape. He also gets distracted by an old flame, Mo Simmons (played by Angela Bassett of “Sunshine State”), who is a TV sports reporter. As he struggles with his comeback bid, Ross hears some terse, funny observations from his old friend Boca (Michael Rispoli of “Death to Smoochy”). Boca knows all of Ross' faults, but likes him anyway. Ross also sees a lot of himself in a young, talented, self-centered player, called T-Rex (Brian J. White of “The Shield” TV series). Ross begins to understand how his selfish attitude hurt his team in the past. He begins to understand how the other players and his manager felt about him.

One of the better aspects of the film is the romance between Ross and Simmons, the attractive sports reporter. Mac and Bassett have good on-screen chemistry and both are good actors. This role is tailor-made for Mac and he hits this performance out of the park. The baseball scenes are pretty effective, too, but this story is more about what happens off the field. The story is really about the prolonged adolescence encouraged in sports and how one guy finally grows up. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2004 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.
[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)