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Friday, May 13, 2011

Movie Review # 73 Chasing 3000 (2010)

Release: 2010
Director: Gregory J. Lanesey
Bill Mikita
Chris D'Annunizio
Gregory J. Lanesey
Rory Culkin
Ray Liotta
Trevor Morgan

Rotten Tomatoes: 52% Audience
IMDb: 5.9/10
Netflix: 3.1 Stars

(I want to open with this. On Thursday May 12th Blogspot was down from Midnight to Midnight May 13th. Doing maintence hence why I was unable to post this yesterday.)


Indie films are a hit and miss lot. With more bad than good. Yet for every handful of awful movies you do come across gems like Chasing 3000. A wonderful road trip slash coming of age story of two brothers. Who set out to see Roberto Clemente's 3000th hit in the 1972 season. It is this simple premise that set's this movie apart from so many others.

It is also what makes it so wonderful. As it has the same charm as movies like Brokeback Mountain and Taking Woodstock. As each one of those movies are period pieces with stories of young men coming into their own. With no special effects, no big explosions and each has a heart and pulse that is often missed with most movies these days.

It is this kind of pure movie magic that won me over. As the boys Roger (Rory Culkin) and his older brother Mickey (Trevor Morgan) could not be more different. Roger has Muscular Dystrophy and is a bookworm. While Mickey is an athlete that lives and breathes baseball. Especially Roberto Clemente. It is in their differences that they form a loving bond.

The story of and plot of this movie. Is about a family that moved from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles in order to give Roger a better chance at living. As his mother feared that the cold winter's and harsh extremes of Pittsburgh would end Roger's life sooner. All of this did not set well with Mickey who went from being the star baseball player in Pittsburgh to a no one in Los Angeles.

It was this move that started Mickey down a path of destruction and ultimately to him coming up with a insane plan to see Roberto Clemente get his 3000th hit. As the Los Angeles paper never wrote about the milestone event it drove Mickey crazy. As his entire life centered around the baseball great. As the hits piled up his anger grew to the point that when his mother left for work related reasons. He decided it was time to drive back to Pittsburgh and catch the magical 3000th hit.

In the process of packing and getting ready. He laid out the plan for Roger. Who thought it was a bad idea at first. Then as morning came he confronted Mickey and told him he wouldn't make it with out him. It was at this point that Mickey just agreed and the boys where off on their adventure. Which was filled with many fun and magical moments. From a guy kid napping them and putting them in a trunk, to train hopping, to sleeping in a barn and meeting a wonderful old man.

All the while the movie was focused on Rogers health. As he kept getting worse and worse. Always thinking that it was just an infection. But as his story unfolds it you find that his doctors gave him a small window of life left to live. Which is why he went on this road trip. It was his swan song as he thought that if he didn't go. He would never see Pittsburgh the home he knew growing up again.

Roger kept this dark secret from Mickey through the entire trip. Till he lands in a hospital and then he lays it out. He even tells his brother in what is the most dramatic scene in the movie. To go see Roberto Clemente get his 3000th hit. Which Mickey begrudgingly does and on his way the weather turns south and so does Mickeys feelings. As he turns around and goes back to watch the game in the hospital room with his brother. Knowing that it is more special to see it with loved ones than alone.

That night while in the room with his brother. Clemente get's the hit and they celebrate. Only for it be called off after the game and placed as an error to the pitcher. Which opened the door for them to go the game. As morning comes around their grandfather picks them up and takes them out to eat. In the process he lectures them on what they have done and how much it has hurt their mother.

Then pulls the oldest grandfather trick in the book. He tells them they are going to the game. Which not only delights the boys they also get to see the hit. It was magical and amazing and could have ended there. But it didn't as they pan to future with Mickey with his kids going to Roberto Clemente day at Three Rivers Stadium. But as grand as that was it was seeing Roger still alive and still as sharp and funny as ever. That will bring on the tears of men and women.

As this is one of the most touching scenes I have seen in a movie in a long time. I usually have faults to point out. I just can not find any with this movie. Yes at times it is silly and unbelievable to some. At the same time I had a teacher who had a life that was just as nuts as this. So I can believe it and seeing how the story of Roger is based on a real life person.

It just adds to the movie. I strongly recommend this movie to anyone. Especially to people who love dramas and just need a good movie to watch. I say that because you do not find movies as magical as this one to often. But when you do you hold on to them and cherish them. Which I am doing for this one.  

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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