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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Tribeca ’07: Chasing 3000 (review)

No matter how bad things got, I always had Roger and the game.

The year is 1972, and teenage baseball nut Mickey (Trevor Morgan: Off the Black) decides to drive from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh to see Pirate superstar Roberto Clemente make his legendary 3000th hit. Just for fun, he’ll take along his little brother, Roger (Rory Culkin: The Night Listener), who suffers from muscular distrophy and can’t get around without leg braces and crutches or, preferrably, a wheelchair. Ho boy: it’s not like anything can go wrong with this plan! A paean to baseball, Clemente in particular, and to brotherly love, this entertaining flick may be a tad naive — the film isn’t surrealistic enough to eliminate the vulnerability of two boys traveling alone, yet that factor is all but ignored — and a tad preposterous: one fellow traveler they meet when they hop a freight train looks like a fashion model done up in runaway-grunge chic. But Morgan and Culkin are highly likable, and it’s impossible to avoid lump-in-throat syndrome at the end. (The film is screening as part of the Tribeca Family Festival, though it’s appropriate really only for kids ages 10 or so and up.)

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

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