Pros: decent story, well acted, great old baseball videos
Cons: none for me
The Bottom Line:
''Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't, then you are wasting your time on Earth.''
In the early 70's there was only one thing on the mind of baseball fans and that was the possible goal of Roberto Clemete to hit #3000, a rare occurrence at that time in history. The movie, Chasing 3000, was written by Bill Mikita and recounts the real experiences he shared with his brother, Steve. The film, directed by Gregory J. Lanessey, is rated PG-13 and has received no awards.
Mickey & Roger lived in Pittsburgh and were staunch Pirates fans. Their hero was Roberto Clemente and they loved the game of baseball above everything. Mickey was a competent player and his brother, Roger, rooted for him to beat the band. Roger had muscular dystrophy, confined to a wheelchair, unable to participate in sports, so Mickey had to play for them both. Then the ball truly dropped when their mother told them they would have to move to California for Roger's health.
Mickey was forced to leave his friends and baseball behind, he never really fit in at his new school. He was not successful on the new baseball team and that impending 3000th hit loomed in the future. Now that he was stuck on the west coast he would never be able to see this monumental fete. But that isn't how the story begins ...
It all began on a bright, sunny, day in the heart of Pittsburgh. A man around 50 years old is barrelling down the roads with his son and daughter in the car, on his way to Three Rivers Stadium for Roberto Clemente Day. Of course he gets stopped for speeding but the policeman takes pity on him as they share their favorite Clemente stories, and throws away the ticket. As the man pulls away he asks the kids if they ever heard the story of Roberto Clemente; they groan loudly and suddenly we fade back to 1972 and a game of stickball on the streets of Pittsburgh.
As the father continues his recounting, he tells of the time he decided to take a trip across country to see that 3000th hit and was joined by his brother, Steve. It is an unfortunate trip with plenty of problems along the way but with only one goal in mind.
Mickey was played as a young boy by Trevor Morgan; Ray Liotta as an adult. Morgan did a fairly good job of portraying teenage angst during a time he would really know nothing about since he was born in 1986. Things really were different then. Even views about sports figures were different by the time Morgan would have been old enough to be conscience of them. Ray Liotta ... well, who would have known he could play something besides a crazed psychopath?
Nicholas Brady took on the role of the younger Roger while Rory Culkin played the teen version. Brady had few scenes so you really didn't make a determination about him but Culkin pulled off a remarkable job of the wheelchair bound Roger. However, for someone that was supposed to be in such straits, he seemed rather agile. Jay Karnes had a short stint as the adult Roger, only a couple of scenes.
Other roles were by Lauren Holly as the mother, M. Emmett Walsh, Seymour Cassell as the nefarious Poppy who always snuck his grandsons off to the Pirates games, and Roberto Clemente. Of course Clemente's part was done through archived video and photos, but it was great to see an outstanding baseball player in his prime.
Naturally this was swamped in sentimentality but there was something special about the bond between these two brothers. It also made us remember when sports people were actually someone to admire, back when they were getting paid what regular people got paid. Back before it all became just one huge money making empire.
It is a typical road movie but inspiring just the same. Nothing like a Rocky type inspiration, more on an emotional level showing the love and dedication between the family members, even though it was tenuous at times.
Filming was clear, colors pure, and sound was good. The older videos transferred cleanly, the story was well written and delivered.
my thanks to Millinocket for making this addition possible.