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The Movie "Mr. 3000"
This isn't actually a book review, but a movie review instead. The movie isn't about Japanese baseball, but I felt that I had to write about this movie since there is a "Japanese" pitcher in the movie.

"Mr. 3000" is a comedy that was release last fall in the U.S. starring Bernie Mac as an arrogant, me-first player named Stan Ross who plays his entire career with the Milwaukee Brewers before he abrubtly retires in the middle of the season after getting his 3,000th hit. 5 years later, the commissioner's office goes over his stats and realizes that he's actually got only 2,997 hits, so Ross decides to come out of retirement at age 47 to play for the Brewers once again.

The only reason why I'm mentioning this movie is because when Stan Ross comes out of retirement to play for the Brewers, there is a "Japanese" pitcher on the team named Fukuda. The only problem is, he doesn't look Japanese at all. In fact, Fukuda is played by a Latino-looking actor named Ian Anthony Dale. Hollywood sure does do some funny things.

Also, I hate to give away the ending, so if you don't want to know, don't read any further.

Why does every baseball movie in Hollywood have to end with the star player bunting? It happened in "Major League," "Mr. Baseball," and now "Mr. 3000." They should've just called this latest movie "Major Mr. 3000."
Comments
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Feb 4, 2005 12:36 AM | YBS Fan ]

Actually, your movie reminds me of two episodes that occurred over the past two years, both involving the Yomiuri Giants.

The first was when Masahiro Kawai laid down his 512th career sacrifice bunt in the Giants' 3-0 shutout over the Yokohama BayStars on August 20, 2003 to surpass Eddie Collins' 511 sacrifice bunts for a new world record. Kawai had lost his starting spot at short, and it was looking like the Giants were just using him to set the record, after which, he was pretty much forgotten. He refused to be forced into retirement, though, and went to play for the Chunichi Dragons in 2004. [Detailed Report]

The second incendent was last season when Kazuhiro Kiyohara was chasing down career hit number 2,000. Roberto Petagine had pretty much won the starting first base position, but all of a sudden somebody in the Giants' organization decided to have Kiyohara's countdown to 2,000 hits start, and Petagine was given a couple weeks' "vacation." The day after reaching 2,000 hits, Kiyohara returned to the bench (and the injured list soon after that). His 2,001st hit was his career 490th home run on that same day, June 4, 2004. But he only hit two more home runs thereafter. [Detailed Report]

There was a lot of talk by the Giants' front office to release him this off season, but they decided to keep him on. My guess is to hold a countdown to 500 home runs, after which they'll do the same thing, set him on the bench and try to convince him to retire. I'm not really a Kiyohara fan, but he deserves something more than that.

Anyway, not exactly the same plot, but that's what your review reminded me of.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: Feb 4, 2005 7:05 AM | NIP Fan ]

I admit I saw "Mr. 3000" expecting it to be a really dumb film, but I enjoyed it a lot, mostly because it was pretty funny and actually had a lot of focus on the baseball scenes. Bernie Mac was really dead-on as the main character. And I thought the "team" they put around him were actually really good at capturing what today's teams are built like - some young superstar power hitter, a random Japanese pitcher, etc - they really fed into the stereotypes, but in a way that didn't detract from the point of the movie.

I have no idea if the guy playing Fukuda is actually Japanese, but I thought he was a really funny character, and his attempts at "learning to swear" were precious. I guess I also thought he looks a lot like Michihiro Ogasawara (of the Nippon Ham Fighters), who's one of my favorite players. I really liked the scene where Bernie Mac's character gets Fukuda out of the inning, and starts showing signs of not being such an awful guy.

I wouldn't say this movie was as good as any of the "great" baseball movies, sure, but I would recommend it if someone wants to see a light-hearted feel-good baseball movie. At least it's better than some of those later "Major League" sequels. Ugh.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Feb 4, 2005 10:22 AM | HAN Fan ]

FYI: Bernie Mac's favorite current player is Ichiro Suzuki, and his all-time player is Roberto Clemente.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: null | Posted: Feb 4, 2005 10:06 PM ]

Aha, that explains why Bernie Mac's character, Stan Ross, wears no. 21 in the moive.

The guy who plays Fukuda is definitely not Japanese, but I guess he does look a bit like a Latino Ogasawara.

However, the way they used the Japanese character in "Mr. 3000" was the same way they used the Japanese players in "Mr. Baseball" and the Japanese player in "Major League 2." In other words, it wasn't original. Having the American player or players teach the Japanese player or players how to cuss in English is so cliche. Whenever there is a Japanese player in an Hollywood baseball movie, the first thing they do is have the Japanese player or players screw up English cuss words or slang.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: Jack Valenti | Posted: Feb 7, 2005 1:39 AM ]

Hollywood is known for cliches. The whole industry is a cliche and formula.

Regarding the Japanese fellow learning to cuss, please consider that:
  • Most people outside Japan don't speak Japanese.
  • If the formula was changed so that the Japanese guy (who spoke little English) taught the English speaker to cuss in Japanese, both would be uttering words that the overwhelmingly large part of the audience wouldn't understand.
  • Subtitles could be used, but cussing often doesn't translate well.
Most of the audience wouldn't get the lame joke to begin with. So please try not to read too much into these lame Hollywood comedies targeted at an audience of 16 year old males.

OT: Speaking of movies, I saw "Hero" on DVD. A beautifully filmed movie. There was a message of which was better: personal sacrifice for the greater good than personal revenge. Unlike the American western where truth and justice almost always prevail, truth prevailed, but justice did not. The man who made the choice for personal sacrifice was executed, but had a hero's funeral.

If I read too much into that and treated the film as Chinese nationalistic propaganda, I'd miss a beautifully filmed movie with plenty of non-political moments. And Mr. 3000 is just mindless nonesense in comparison.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: Nick | Posted: Feb 12, 2005 9:52 AM ]

I just rented "Mr. 3000" and found it mildly entertaining and amusing. One scene that I particularly enjoyed was when Stan was being interviewed by the pompous windbags from the ESPN Pardon the Interruption show, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, and he called them "world class pricks" in Japanese - a term he learned from Fukuda. I think the term sounded something like "ohmayda sitala." Does anybody know if this is the correct term and if I'm transliterating it to English properly? Thanks.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: jonnlibbj | Posted: Feb 15, 2005 1:56 PM ]

This is in reply to the question of the Japanese phrase that Fukuda teaches Ross: The phrase is "omaera saitei da." Literally translated it says "You are the lowest" or "You guys are scum."
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: jonnlibbj | Posted: Feb 13, 2005 3:29 AM ]

Sorry to disappoint all of you who think that the Japanese pitcher is a Latino. He is Amerasian - Caucasian and Japanese.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: Kenny | Posted: Feb 16, 2005 1:00 AM ]

I'm not disappointed. I'm just surprised. Are you sure that Ian Anthony Dale is half-Japanese and half-white? You certainly could've fooled me. He looks like he has no Asian blood in him.

I don't see why the producers of "Mr. 3000" couldn't have found a true full-blooded Asian for that role. Asian actors seem to get no respect in Hollywood, unless you're the flavor of the month like Ken Watanabe.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: jonnlibbj | Posted: Feb 20, 2005 5:13 AM ]

Yes, I'm sure that Ian is a half white and half Japanese.

They did scout Japan for the role, but in the end Ian won it. And since he is happa, it's not a stretch.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Jen Wei | Posted: Feb 20, 2005 11:59 PM | HNHF Fan ]

Actually, for the all-time player in MLB, I think the Mr. 3000 is Rickey Henderson. For his career, I think he is better than Mr. 3000 or the same with him.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: Kenny | Posted: Feb 21, 2005 12:22 AM ]

That's interesting - thanks for the info. It sounds like you know him personally. Do you know if he played baseball in high school or college?
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: jonnlibbj | Posted: Feb 21, 2005 1:58 AM ]

Yes, he did play baseball from grade school on up, but was unable to play after his first year in college due to a bad shoulder. On the Mr. 3000 DVD, in the bonus features, he talks of the difficulty of learning to be a pitcher when he was a catcher all his playing days.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: smm | Posted: Aug 27, 2005 5:02 AM ]

I did go to college with him. His father is American and his mother is Japanese. I have met them both. He went to college at St. Mary's University in MN for his freshman year, and I believe he tranferred to UW Madison after that. He played high school baseball at Cretin-Durham Hall in the Twin Cities.
Re: The Movie "Mr. 3000"
[ Author: Guest: Charles | Posted: Mar 30, 2005 8:28 PM ]

For the most part the only way to get respect as an Asian actor is one of two things. Either you have to be a very attractive female or you have to know some form of martial arts.
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