January 21, 2013
Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett
Unfortunately, I was never really all that
familiar with Bernie Mac. When he passed away (of pneumonia)
in 2008, all I really knew about the guy was that he had been a stand
up comedian, at one point he had had a TV show, and that he had starred
with Billy Bob Thornton in the movie Bad Santa. But
I never really realized what a big deal he was. In fact the
only thing I had ever seen Bernie Mac in prior to his death was Bad
Santa. And even though that is one of the twenty funniest
movies I have ever seen, he was really only a minor character in the
movie so I never really paid all that much attention to him.
However, then I stumbled upon the movie that was supposed to have made
Bernie Mac a big movie star. After he died, I stumbled
onto Mr. 3000. I didn't know much about it, I just
knew it was supposed to be a silly little baseball comedy.
And I knew that the critics had neither liked it nor hated
it. It was one of those movies that came out for a while, it
kind of hung around for a couple of weeks, and then it just sort of
disappeared into oblivion. And was what noteworthy was that
while it was out, I don't think I had ever heard a single
person say a single word about it.
Mr. 3000 was one of those forgettable little B-level comedies that
really hadn't made much of an impact on anyone.
Well anyone who knows me in real life will tell you I am a
huge baseball fan. I love baseball, and I love baseball
movies. In fact, I don't think I have ever actually seen a
bad baseball movie. Even the worst baseball movie in the
world I will generally find pretty entertaining. Although
obviously that is kind of hard to say with a straight face when you are
talking about the Bad News Bears go to Japan.
Anyhoo, since I love baseball movies so much, one day I was tempted to
check out Mr. 3000. It couldn't hurt, right? I
mean, no one ever said that Mr. 3000 was a BAD movie. Its
reputation was simply that it was a forgettable movie.
Besides, Bernie Mac had just died, and I didn't know all that
much about him. So I figured that in the guy's memory the
very least I could do was check out the movie that was supposed to have
made him a big movie star.
Well I rented Mr. 3000 one day in 2008, and right off the bat I fell in
love with it. And I couldn't believe that a movie like this
could have been buried so completely, and that it could have
been so haphazardly lumped in with all the other lame
forgettable comedies. Because Mr. 3000 is not forgettable.
And it is not lame. In fact for a while now I have
said that I would probably put it in my top ten baseball movies of all
It's not number one, of course. And I doubt I would ever put
it in my top five. But still, the top ten baseball movies is
still a pretty good place to be, especially for a person who has seen
as many baseball movies as I have. And I know this is an
different essay for an entirely different day, but I would probably
even rank Mr. 3000 higher than Bull
Durham. Shh, don't tell.
Mr. 3000 is the story of Stan Ross (Bernie Mac, who is totally perfect
for the role).
Stan Ross is what you would call a primadonna. He is one of
the greatest hitters in baseball history (from what I can piece
together from the movie, he is basically the Tony Gwynn of his era - a
lefty with a high average and not a lot of power). But the
problem is that he is a dick. None of his teammates can stand
him. None of his coaches can stand him. Nobody in
the media can stand him. He is absolutely one of the most
dislikable assholes in the history of baseball.
The reason Stan Ross is such a huge douchebag is because of his ego.
He basically thinks that he is God's gift to baseball.
And that everyone else involved in the game should bow down
before him because he so amazing. Oh, and also, because he
has an ego the size of Mount Rushmore.
Yes, if you watch the movie for about five minutes, you can guess that
he was probably modeled after Barry Bonds.
A classic Stan Ross moment. A little kid catches his 3,000th
hit ball and Stan runs into the stands and threatens to beat the kid up
if he won't give him back the ball.
Well Stan Ross gets his 3,000th hit one night in Milwaukee (which is
really the only career milestone he has ever cared about), and right
then and there, he decides to retire from baseball. Right
then and there, in the middle of a pennant race, he quits on his team
and he tells them that they can all kiss his big old black ass.
Because now that he has 3,000 hits he doesn't care about
anyone else anymore. He has what he wanted, and now he is
retiring from baseball.
Stan Ross in retirement
After Stan retires from baseball, he immediately starts a franchise of
businesses called "The Mr. 3000" line. He opens a bar called
the Mr. 3000 Bar. He opens his own restaurant. He
opens his own clothing store. Then he trademarks the name.
From here on, anywhere he goes he requires that people call
him Mr. 3000.
Even though he is considered a baseball legend now, even though he has
achieved the required number of 3,000 hits, Stan isn't elected to the
Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. And this
pisses him off. Stan is furious that the sportswriters he
treated like shit all those years have now come back to get their
revenge against him. So Stan mounts an assault. He
pressures the team to put together a Stan Ross Appreciation Day.
He wants his old teammates to come out and speak in
front of a crowd and tell everyone how Stan belongs in the Hall of Fame.
So Stan Ross Appreciation Day happens, and no one shows up.
Not a single one of his old teammates will come out and speak on his
Even in retirement, they all think he is an ass.
Stan telling everyone how amazing he is on Stan Ross Appreciation Day
Well this is where the movie starts to get fun.
One day, the people who do the stats in Cooperstown are cross checking
the numbers, and they realize that there was a clerical error in one of
Stan Ross's games. They realize that a game where he got
three hits was actually added to his career total twice. So
he didn't end his career with 3,000 hits, he actually ended his career
with 2,997 hits.
And for a guy who is now walking around referring to himself as "Mr.
3000", this is kind of a big deal.
Well when Ross hears about the clerical error, he flips out.
He loses his shit. And he immediately decides that
he is going to unretire. After all, he might be 47 years old
now, he might be a good ten years past his prime. But age
shouldn't matter that much. Not when you are Stan God Damn
Ross. He figures, how hard could it be to unretire and go
back to baseball and get those last three hits?
Stan getting in shape to get back in the game. This won't be
that hard. He figures it will take four or five games, tops.
I don't want to talk too much about the rest of the movie, because this
is one of those movies that is more fun to watch if you don't know all
that much going into it. But let's just say that Stan is NOT
prepared for how much baseball has changed in the ten years he was
gone. And the story does NOT go in the exact direction you
think it is going to go. And that this really isn't all that
much of a comedy. It is really more of a dramatic movie.
Stan is completely unprepared for how players are expected to train and
be in shape now
One of the things that I love about Mr. 3000 (and what I expect a lot
of critics didn't like about it) is that like I said before, it really
isn't all that much of a comedy. I mean, you THINK it is
going to be a comedy, because it stars Bernie Mac. And
because it was billed as a comedy. But it really isn't.
In fact once Ross gets back into the game I can only think of
maybe one or two mildly funny scenes. This certainly isn't
the type of comedy that you will go home and you will be telling all
your friends about.
But then again it isn't TRYING to be that.
No, what Mr. 3000 is is a pretty gripping baseball drama. And
it is pretty deep too. I mean, you wouldn't expect it to be
deep, not with an actor like Bernie Mac in the lead role, and certainly
not with a character like Stan Ross as your hero. But I'll be
damned if it doesn't flip a switch from comedy to drama about halfway
through the movie and it actually kind of works. And I was
amazed that there wasn't just one chill scene* towards the end of the
movie, there were actually about three or four.
* chill scene = As coined by ESPN's Bill Simmons, a scene in a sports
movie that is so effective that it will actually give you chills.
Mr. 3000 has a few of them.
Most of the best scenes in Mr. 3000 come when Ross meets the new
hotshot selfish young asshole on the team, a primadonna named T-Rex
As I said earlier in my review, Mr. 3000 isn't the best baseball movie
in the world, and I would certainly never rank it anywhere near The
Natural or Major League. But it is a LOT better than you
would expect it to be. And it is a lot deeper too.
And I have no problem at all putting it in my top ten
baseball movies of all time.
It isn't really a comedy, so don't go into it expecting it to be a
comedy. People who go into it expecting to laugh because
Bernie Mac is in it will probably be very disappointed.
However, if you go into it expecting to see a solid baseball movie,
with a lot of baseball realism, starring a guy who was a much better
dramatic actor than anyone ever gave him credit for, well Mr. 3000
would be a solid choice for you to check out. When I sat down
and I watched it for the first time, I was amazed at how good Bernie
Mac was in it. I mean, he took one of the most unlikable
douchebag characters in sports movie history, and he actually sort of
made him likable. Very few actors could have done what Bernie
Mac did in this movie. It is one of those rare movie roles
that I don't think anyone else in Hollywood would have been able to
This is the movie that was supposed to have made Bernie Mac a big movie
star. And unfortunately for him (and I guess unfortunately
for everyone), it never really happened.
If you are looking for a good baseball movie that you have probably
never seen before, take a chance on Mr. 3000. Although again,
don't expect a comedy. You aren't going to laugh all that
much. However you will appreciate the message that the movie
is trying to pull off. And you will appreciate the chill
And again, you will appreciate Bernie Mac. I really wish I
had paid more attention to him before he died. He was a
really good actor.
Hopefully one day people will appreciate this movie. And
Bernie Mac will one day get the respect he deserved.
favorite IMDB user reviews about Mr. 3000
MUCH better than you
might think it would be - 7 May 2012
the risk of being obvious by starting with a baseball metaphor, this
movie blew me out of the park - which I wasn't expecting. When I came
here to review it, I was almost equally surprised by how low the
overall rating given by reviewers is.
I ordered this movie
because I saw that it dealt with an older man trying to go back and do
physically demanding things he had been able to do years before. Being
60 myself, that's an issue I can relate to, and I wanted to see how it
was handled. I knew who Bernie Mac was, of course, but I'd never seen
any of his other movies, or his TV shows. I figured the situation would
be played for broad laughs - the old geezer puffing and panting because
he's out of shape - as is evidently the case for a lot of the comedies
I don't see that are aimed at the 15-25 market. In other words, I
expected some easy laughs, but nothing more.
I was VERY wrong. This movie comes close to batting 1000 for several
this script is no throw-away piece of easy comedy writing. There is no
simple, clichéd arch: Stan is obnoxious, Stan is made to look foolish,
Stan learns his lesson and becomes a wonderful human being. Yes, Stan
starts to learn what he looked like to others, not with some TV sitcom
big group hug, but by seeing the young star of the Brewers act too much
as he did in his prime. And yes he gets humiliated, painfully, over and
over again, especially by the particularly cruel sports commentators on
TV. But if he starts to change because of all this, he backtracks and
goes back to being the obnoxious old Stan on more than one occasion. He
does finally learn humility, but it doesn't come in one easy moment.
There is actually real character development here.
While I found
his relationship with the woman sports writer to be less interesting,
it, too, was not written with broad strokes. Both of the characters
have issues they need to resolve, and they find it can't be done
quickly. The dialogue between them, once they started seeing each
other, I found to ring remarkably true, and to be very intelligently
adult. These are not two teenagers "letting it all hang out"; these are
two intelligent adults who have things to figure out, and who know how
to express different aspects of themselves with words, often carefully
chosen. In general, the dialogue in this movie is written for adults,
which may explain, in part, why this movie left some viewers - younger
viewers - uninterested.
For that matter, I suspect the ideal
audience for this movie is older men, who have started to deal with
what it feels like when, in one way or another, they can no longer do
what their bodies once did. That's not the ideal demographic for a
But the script is not all serious character
development. There are some truly remarkable comedy moments as well,
such as when Stan gets the obnoxious runner on base out to save the
young pitcher's career by secretly bringing the ball back from the
mound. Or, of course, the last shot, when Stan does the Viagra
commercial his earlier, obnoxious self had sworn he would never do.
other thing that makes this movie so good - and it is very good - is
the acting, first and foremost Bernie Mac's. As I said, I've never seen
him in a movie before, so I don't know what he's "usually" like. But
here he acts like a pro. He understands that great movie acting is done
often with slight modifications of the face, and he is very good at
that. You can see hurt and pain in his face and eyes in a way that
makes them far more powerful than any ranting and screaming would have
been. Again, perhaps you have to be older to appreciate the hurt he
feels, but he does a first-rate job of conveying it. He never appears
to be acting. Because, in fact, I am not used to seeing him on the
screen, I could - and often did - simply believe I was watching a
47-year old former baseball player trying to do what he had once been
able to do, and hurting terribly when he could not.
the spoiler alert above, but still, WARNING: HERE COMES A SPOILER. I
spent much of the movie wondering how it would end. Would it be the
cliché: at the last moment, he gets the hit he needs and all is well?
No, the script was much better than that - and showed a real knowledge
of baseball. He sacrifices his chance at a 3000th hit with a sacrifice
bunt, so that the younger player can make it to home and win the game
for the Brewers - a win that will not clinch the pennant, far from it,
but will earn them a respectable 3rd place, better than the 5th for
which they had seemed destined. And when he does that, the team does
not all crowd around him, as they would in a clichéd movie. No, they
crowd around the player who made it across the plate, as you would
expect in real life. Only after that do they notice poor Stan.
is a movie made for real grownups, and that's a high compliment. The
movie teaches an important lesson, but it never preaches and it very
often made me laugh. First and foremost, however, it thoroughly
impressed me with the quality of the writing and then the quality of
the acting that that writing allowed.
Even if you have no interest in baseball, you'll enjoy this movie. It's
something everyone involved can be very proud of.
Bernie Mac hits a triple
- 20 March 2007
I love movies and I love watching sports. Not surprisingly, I really
enjoy sports movies. Good ones. This is a very good one.
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.
Imagine my shock - 13
I might be unpopular for this review but I just have to let it all
out...MR. 3000 ROCKS!! Hey you think you're surprised...imagine my
shock. I am not a Bernie Mac fan although I've never seen him in much.
I really only watched Mr. 3000 because I compulsively watch all movies
and I was met with such a great movie. It's not the kind of film to
bring home all kinds of critical acclaim, it's just a feel good, heart
felt movie about Baseball. I expected annoying, foolish humor and
instead it was more subtle, dramatic even and Bernie Mac is FANTASTIC!!
I am a Bernie Mac convert!!!
Mac plays infamous baseball hall of famer wanna-be Stan Ross. He is so
believable as first of all the legend himself as the young, newly
retired player and then later as the more mature, aging star. Stan Ross
is egotistical, and a huge presence in baseball. He's the guy everyone
loves to hate. I can't say enough about Mac's performance as this guy.
He pulls off egotistical and a strong player and you root for him in
the end. Angela Bassett as Mac's love interest is a perfect match which
is very unusual for films. You know usually the aging star has a love
interest half his age but Bassett is also an aging sports reporter and
they fit each other perfectly. The rest of the team is played by some
great character actors and they all just are so believable as Major
league ball players. The laughs are really slapstick or outright but
it's still a comedy at heart but it's really the story of an aging ball
player who grows up on the field years after his retirement. It was
just plain enjoyable to me. Simple, well directed, and well written and
best of all well acted. It has a nice message to it and when Mac's
character hits that 2999 hit, I admit I felt chills for him. This is a
classic in my books, say what you will. I recommend this one to anyone
looking for a good little movie for a Saturday night. It doesn't
disappoint and if you love baseball, it's all about the game!!
History Will Be Kinder
Than The Critics; The Bratwurst Steals The Show - 24 August 2005
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.
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).
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
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.
Bernie Mac drives one
home - 11 October 2004
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
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.
The Most Entertaining
Moment in Milwaukee Brewers History - 12 March 2005
Bernie Mac plays a spoiled baseball player who does not like the media,
does not respect the fans, and has no use for his teammates in the
movie Mr. 3000. Is he playing, perhaps, a cartoon of a present day
super star, perhaps one who plays left field in San Francisco?
Regardless, Mr. 3000 is one of the hundreds of baseball movies that
have come down the pike, and like most baseball movies, the super stars
are jerks and everyone else on the team are just there to fill the
background. This is not to say the movie is not entertaining, it does
have several amusing moments and the baseball action is perhaps the
most realistic in a movie, it is just that the movie does not break
much new ground. Bernic Mac plays Stan Ross, an egotistical super star
who retires the same night he gets his 3000th hit, the traditional
statistic that gets a player into the Hall of Fame. However, because of
the bridges he burned with the media, Ross cannot get into the Hall of
Fame, and to make matters worst, it is found out that Ross didn't get
3000 hits, rather 2997 hits. So Ross needs to come out of retirement,
not an easy task for a player out of the league for 9 years. Fat and
out of shape, Ross beings his comeback. While not popular with the
media, he is popular with the fans, as seen in perhaps the funniest
scene of the movie where an old middle relief pitcher who still hates
Ross is the only player who would volunteer to introduce him at his
number retirement ceremony, and this popularity with the fans motivates
the Brewers' owner (Chris Noth) to let the old player be apart of the
team. The humor comes from Mac's natural charm an his ability to ham it
up when playing the self-absorbing ball player. Sure there are certain
sports formulas throughout the movie, but it is still entertaining
enough to warrant a view, if for nothing else but to see Bernie Mac do
what he does, or to see the very nice looking Angela Bassett as an ESPN
reporter. Baseball fans will notice a few things that could upset them
(how many times do the Brewers and Astros play?), but a nice touch was
how good the on-field action looks and all of those sports talking
heads play a part in this movie. Even a nit-picking sports fan enjoyed
A Very Good Movie with a
Message - 21 September 2004
This IS a good movie, in my opinion. Listen up, adults and parents.
This is for all those kids, be they 15, 18, or even 25, who may or may
not have accomplished anything, but think they know it all, and have
life down pat. Whether you like or don't like the acting, dialogue, or
plot, Bernie Mac's character represents a lesson, front and center. One
good thing about this movie is that there is more than adequate
suspense at the end of the film, which is related to the lesson, and
therefore renders the movie worth seeing in its entirety. Like Napoleon
Dynamite, I believe this movie's IMDb rating will increase over time as
more people will look beyond the critiquing elements and see the gem
that lies beneath.
favorite scene in Mr. 3000:
As someone in the IMDB reviews pointed out, Stan Ross's hit #2999 is a
definite chill scene. I could watch that scene over and over,
I love the way the director filmed it. However, as
predictable as the ending is, my favorite scene is still the ending.
Very few baseball movies end the way that this one does.
at the IMDB
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