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Mr. 3000 on DVD

Mr. 3000 on DVD

We aren’t sure why this film is supposed to be a comedy, because we certainly never laughed during it. And to us, the word “comedy” generally has connotations of humor.

There’s none here.

The movie is actually a tale of personal growth and enlightenment, which can be just fine except that in this case you can divine everything coming long before it gets there, with the possible exception of the title character’s final act of character on the diamond.

Bernie Mac stars as Stan Ross, a potential hall of fame hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers. But as seems so common with professional athletes these days, he’s a prima donna, an egotist out only for himself (he not only thinks there’s an “I” in team, but that it’s the most important letter). His teammates hate him, the team manager hates him, the media hate him, and all with good reason. His final slap at the world comes when he makes his 3000th career hit and, satisfied that he’ll make the hall of fame on the basis of it, uses the occasion to abandon his team and his fans by quitting right then, and not even finishing the season.

And here’s where our suspension of disbelief fell apart – about five minutes into the film. What about his contract? We’re led to believe Ross just walks away with no consequences, yet can you not imagine the lawsuits that would be spawned by such actions? We doubt Ross would be left with enough money to open his mall’s worth of Mr. 3000 businesses once all the shysters got their pounds of flesh.

But apparently in the world of this movie there are no consequences for one’s actions – at least until later in the movie.

Nine years pass and Ross is plying his private businesses, waiting impatiently for the baseball media to vote him into the hall of fame. Then, when he’s confident it’s about to happen, a tallying error is discovered that leaves him three hits shy of his magic 3000 number.

So he rejoins the Brewers to make his final three hits – and fortunately for him the team is in dire enough straits to want him back.

Naturally, it is easier said than done and the rest of the movie is a pretty lightweight but ultimately not too bad outlining of Ross’s quest, his maturing, his discovery of the proper spelling of “team” and his eventual redemption and acceptance of reality.

Bernie Mac is fine as Stan Ross and the supporting cast does a good job as well, considering the material they have to work with. Angela Bassett and Paul Sorvino must have needed the gig, because they’re both far better actors than their roles here require, especially Sorvino - who basically has one short scene near the end in which to open his mouth; the rest of the movie has him sitting silently on the bench in the dugout, doing virtually nothing except scowl.

The DVD’s pretty good, though. Offered in both widescreen and Pan&Scan versions, we reviewed the widescreen one and the 16x9 TV compatible picture is very good. Colors are rich and deep and the image for the most part is very sharp.

Audio is offered in both Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 surround and it’s also very good, with nice use of the surrounds and dialogue rooted firmly up front and center.

You get quite a few extras, though, including a director’s commentary track and the usual array of outtakes and deleted scenes (the latter of which also feature commentary by the director). There are also some extended scenes including the ones featuring Ross’ appearances on ESPN’s SportsCenter and the Tonight Show.

Featurettes include “Spring Training: The Extras Journey,” “Everybody Loves Stan” and a “Making of” one.

Mr. 3000, from Touchstone Home Entertainment
103 min. 16x9 widescreen/Pan&Scan (Sold Separately), Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 surround
Starring Bernie Mac, Paul Sorvino, Angela Bassett, Michael Rispoli
Written by Eric Champnella & Keith Mitchell and Howard Michael Gould, directed by Charles Stone III


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