Mr. 3000 Charles Stone III

Mr. 3000 Charles Stone III
Sports comedies often suffer from predictability and few laughs. With the exception of a few greats (The Bad News Bears, Bull Durham, Slap Shot) most sports films don't work without that dead serious stroke of high drama. Unfortunately for baseball fans, Mr. 3000 doesn't even rank with the stupid yet enjoyable Major League. The premise though is a surprisingly good one: Stan Ross (Bernie Mac), a cocky, aging ball player reaches 3,000 hits and retires only to discover a decade later that he was actually three hits short of the milestone. Anticipating his entrance into the Hall of Fame, Ross decides to come out of retirement at the age of 47 in order to get his hits and earn the votes to join the legendary institution. Needless to say, it isn't an easy road for the aged ballplayer, forcing him to re-evaluate who he was and how he wants to be remembered. While Mac does well as the middle-aged athlete, his script is a little restrained and just isn't filled with the same level of jokes that made his television show a success. The story has potential, but it seems a little too safe at times, leaving you to wonder how much better the film could be if the writers weren't aiming for that PG-13 rating. With a few good laughs, it isn't a total washout, but it's only recommended for serious fanatics of the sport and/or Bernie Mac's gaudy humour. The accompanying extras don't fare much better either. The "making of" featurette is a dull behind the scenes look at how the film was made, including everything from interviews with cast members, the amateur athletes portraying the ballers and the filmmakers who tell how the film came to be. "Spring Training" shows how the casting of the ball playing extras went down, resulting in a series of tedious interviews with faceless non-actors. "Everybody Loves Stan," an in character look at Stan's downfall via ESPN coverage, could have been interesting, but it suffers from using footage already seen in the film. One deleted scene set in the doctor's office during Stan's physical is actually quite funny and could have helped the film a smidge, but the other two deletes are irrelevant additions. Plus: director commentary, outtakes. (Touchstone)