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MR. 3000

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Bernie Mac plays the archetypical obnoxious jock, a baseball slugger so selfish he retires amidst a pennant race after securing his coveted 3,000th hit. But he wheedles a comeback when a statistical revision strips him of three hits, jeopardizing his Hall of Fame chances. Packaged as a sports comedy, in the hands of director Charles Stone III Mr. 3000 plays more like a comedic drama about fame (with more celebrity sportsmouths than athletes), rekindled romance (old flame Angela Bassett) and learning to grow old with some measure of grace. Sweetly formulaic and loaded with noisome product placements, Mr. 3000 perpetually teeters on the edge of dinkiness, but it's largely redeemed by Mac's agreeably fast-burning screen presence and Stone's eye (deployed to better effect in his wonderful Drumline) for character and for humorous asides that seldom seem either slick or perfunctory. It's a young man's movie about middle age, and the redemptive potential of sport. 2.5 cameras

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