Monday, March 3, 2008


I am not going to spend a ton of time "reviewing" the latest bit of Will Ferrell idiocy SEMI-PRO (***). You either want to watch Ferrell dressed in 70's garb and outfitted with an oversized afro running around a basketball court in shorts that are too tight and small for 90 minutes...or you don't. The film doesn't even come close to the greatness of ANCHORMAN or ELF (but how could it?) but it's in the mold of BLADES OF GLORY and TALLADEGA NIGHTS, except that it's rated R and takes advantage of the ability to be frequently potty-mouthed. Ferrell is Jackie Moon, player/coach/owner of an ABA basketball team situated in Flint, Michigan. They are terrible. Awful. The ABA is folding and the NBA is absorbing the four best teams, with the rest of the teams set to dissolve. Dissolve? Jackie Moon doesn't know the meaning of the word. Taking a page from SLAPSHOT (though SEMI-PRO isn't close to the same league as that sports comedy masterpiece), Jackie tries to pump some life into his team and the city in an effort to keep the franchise alive in some capacity. One of his bright ideas: fight a full-grown brown bear in a steel cage at center court during half time. Or rollerskate (for the first time ever) down an giant ramp and jump over spread-eagled cheerleaders. Yeah, this is one of those kind of movies. The filmmaking is sloppy, fine, but who really cares when you're there simply to laugh? I got exactly what I was expecting -- Ferrell being an ass-clown and me happily lapping it up. Woody Harrellson, Andre Benjamin, and a bevy of familiar comedic faces make appearances (Will Arnett has some great one-liners) and they all deliver some funny moments. But it's Ferrell who never stops; he's in almost every scene of the film, from the ridiculous opening with him singing his smash single "Lick My Sexy" to the predictable last game, final minute heroics. If you're a fan of Ferrell then SEMI-PRO will register as a solid three pointer. It's no slam-dunk (think ANCHORMAN, ELF, OLD SCHOOL) but it's better than any of Ferrell's personal fouls (BEWITCHED, KICKING & SCREAMING). But I will end with these two notes: I want Ferrell to try some more serious fare in between all the goofing off. He was very effective in STRANGER THAN FICTION and MELINDA & MELINDA; let's see him act a little bit. Last note: the funniest scene that Ferrell has ever appeared in is during OLD SCHOOL where he takes the tranquilizer dart to the jugular and then passes out in the pool. I watched this scene repeatedly over last weekend and laughed my ass off on each occassion.


Seth said...

Hey Nick,

I love reading your reviews!! You should be writing for the N.Y. Times. I'm so proud of you. Happy to see you that you have the same passion for film as your dad. Keep it up.


Actionman said...

Thanks Seth!

Seth said...

Ever see this website
It's funny.


Actionman said...

No, never heard of it, but will check it out.

Is it work safe?

Seth said...


In regards to being "work safe'" it depends on your enviornment. I can get away with loud profanities coming through the speakers at my desk. I don't care if anyones hears it or not but, you may want to turn the volume on low 'cause of the fowl language. It's funny.

Actionman said...

I checked it out....very funny stuff! Obscenity is fine at work (it's fucking Hollywood!) but the nudity thing is frowned on (only a little bit though)

Thanks for sharing the link!