After success with "Ocean's Eleven", "Original Kings of Comedy" and TV's "The Bernie Mac Show", most would likely agree that it was time for comedian Bernie Mac to get a lead role in a movie. The idea for "Mr. 3000" sounded terrific, too - a egotistical baseball star gets his 3,000th hit and retires, only to find out years later that his record has been edited down, and he's off by three, as three of his hits were miscounted. In order to try and reclaim his record and title, he gets back on the team, despite not being in shape to play.
Stan Ross (Mac)'s old team needs a push in the attendance, and the team decides that bringing Ross back to the line-up in order to try and have him get his three hits would be a good idea. The players don't exactly take well to the idea, calling the 47-year-old "Grandpa". Ross finds out that he's in line for an endorsement deal - for Viagra.
Although the way he starts off playing doesn't back up all the talk he's throwing around, it's not long before his attitude changes and his teammates stop goofing on him and he finds a romantic interest in Mo Simmons (Angela Bassett), an ESPN reporter. However, Ross doesn't exactly get into the swing of things in the game itself, and his batting remains lousy. Still, the people keep coming to see whether or not Stan will get a hit, and the large crowds make the idea of keeping Ross around much more appealing to the team's owner (Chris Noth).
It's a surprise that "Mr. 3000" isn't all that funny. Although certainly not a drama, the picture takes itself rather seriously. Despite a PG-13 rating, the film has enough language and subject matter that it's not for kids. At the point that it's at, I don't see why the film didn't go for the R-rating, which may have allowed Mac the chance for some sharper humor. Overall, the film doesn't quite seem to know what it's going for - a baseball drama (complete with moments of Big Emotional Speeches and a sweeping score, neither of which worked for me) or a comedy, and it gets stuck outside of the strike zone.
The performances are alright, with Bernie Mac tries decently in the lead performance. The material doesn't back him up terribly well, however - the dialogue isn't up to the comedian's level and the bouncing back-and-forth between attempts at comedy and drama don't help, either. Angela Bassett also tries hard and has nice chemistry with Mac, but she's pretty much wasted in the role.
Overall, "Mr. 3000" offers a fun concept, but doesn't develop it well or really know where to go with it - the script never decides if it wants to be a comedy or more of an inspirational/emotional sports drama, and as a result, the film never really does either very well.
VIDEO: "Mr. 3000" is presented by Buena Vista in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is fine, if not really noteworthy in any way. Sharpness and detail are satisfactory, as the picture appeared crisp and fairly detailed, if somewhat inconsistent at times. The picture remained crisp, but definition and small object detail could have been stronger.
The pictue didn't suffer from too many other issues. Minor edge enhancement was present at times, but never became too intrusive. Some slight pixelation was spotted as well, but the print at least seemed crisp and clean, with no specks, marks or other flaws. The picture showed some light grain at times, but it wasn't a distraction. Colors looked bright and vivid, with nice saturation and no smearing. Overall, a respectable effort.
SOUND: The film is presented in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1. The audio was fairly uneventful, unfortunately. Some sports movies ("For the Love of the Game") really take advantage of the audio possibilities during the sports scenes, but "Mr. 3000" seemed satisfied to let the audio play out in the front speakers. The rear speakers remained silent, aside from some fairly basic reinforcement of the music in the rear speakers on a couple of occasions. Audio quality was fine, with clear speech, music and sound effects. There wasn't anything dynamic or vibrant about the audio, which remained rather flat. Both the DTS and Dolby Digital tracks sounded similar.
EXTRAS: Extras include an audio commentary by director Charles Stone, deleted scenes, outtakes, extended scenes, "The Making of Mr. 3000" featurette and "Spring Training: The Extras' Journey".
Final Thoughts: "Mr. 3000" has a fun concept, but the movie suffers from not knowing whether it wants to be a sports comedy or a drama - as a result, it doesn't really succeed at either. The film's DVD edition offers fine audio/video quality, along with a handful of decent supplements. A rental for baseball/Bernie Mac fans.