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DVD Review: Chasing October: A Fan’s Crusade

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Chasing October is a docu-comedy that follows one fan's crusade to take the Chicago Cubs to the World Series "by any means necessary." The film documents how director Matt Liston quits his job and begins to rally a city on his shoulders to support the Cubs.

In the movie, Liston says that in a dream he was visited by Harry Caray, who is seated at a bar and is wearing a World Series ring. At this point, he knows what he must do — get his Cubbies to the World Series. Enlisting his best friend Chris Karnak to do the filming, he begins his Quixotic crusade.

As any Cubs fan can attest, if you want to be a Cubs fan you gotta learn to bleed blue and 2003 was no different. Armed with his savings and a bunch of credit cards, Liston coined the term "Just Believe," had it printed on memorabilia, and started giving it away.

The main characters in the film are of course Matt Liston, Chris Karnak, Matt's girlfriend Faline England, and Chris's girlfriend Allison, who became his wife on the day that the Cubs clinched the division. It also features appearances by Bernie Mac, Gary Sinise, Joe Mantegna, and Larry King. It has interviews with many of the Cubs players at the time such as Kerry Wood, Moises Alou, and Mark Prior, as well as Cubs legends Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandburg.

Emerging PicturesChasing October works because it is not a slickly produced piece. It is rough around the edges. It shows that other people in Matt's life see him as being irresponsible, as being a bit of a nut case. His parents are clearly worried about him and his girlfriend leaves him after questioning him as to who ranks higher, her or the Cubs.

There are also points in the movie that are just hilarious, such as when he asks Kenny Loftin of the Pirates if he would like to become a Cub. Then he sets out to arrange a trade by sending pizzas every week to the Pirates' general manager. A few weeks later guess who is in Cubbie blue?

Chasing October takes the level of a fan beyond fanatic and to a whole new level. While it will be Cubs fans who will enjoy this the most, any fan of baseball or even sports in general will find the exploits of Matt Liston beyond hilarious.

Also included on the DVD are outtakes and deleted scenes, the theatrical trailer, filmmaker interview and commentary as well as information on Derek Lee's Project 3000 in which a portion of all proceeds from this video go. You can purchase Chasing October from Emerging Pictures for $24.95.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.