Thursday, August 14, 2008

Movie Review: Semi Pro

Will Ferrell revisits the 1970s in the 2008 New Line Cinema release of Semi-Pro, where he once again displays his physical prowess. Instead of lacing-up a pair figure skates and stretching on a leotard or strapping on a helmet and sliding behind the wheel of a stock car, Ferrell puts on his old school Adidas kicks and tiny shorts to hit the court. He plays Jackie Moon, a one-hit-wonder who used his pop royalties to purchase a team in the American Basketball Association (ABA), the Flint Tropics. But, owning the team is not enough for Moon. No, he is also the coach and power forward for the Tropics. The ABA is on the brink of collapse; that means certain elimination of the Tropics in the upcoming NBA expansion. Thanks to shrewd negotiation tactics, Moon convinces the ABA to wait until the end of the season and save the four best teams. However, this proves to be more difficult than Moon could have predicted. The Tropics are in dead last with dismal attendance. Desperate to save the team, Moon makes a major acquisition, he trades the team’s washing machine for an over-the-hill benchwarmer from the championship Celtics. Ed Monix (Woody Harrelson) moves to Flint Michigan to regain his former glory and re-kindle an old romance. Unfortunately, Monix doesn’t do too well on the court, but he makes a pretty solid coach. He replaces Moon (after an intense temper-tantrum) and teaches the team a thing or two about fundamental basketball skills and sportsmanship. There is one bright spot in the Tropics forecast, Clarence Black Coffee (Andre Benjamin). Black Coffee is the team’s most talented player; he has big dreams of making it in the NBA. In the meantime, Moon is trying to create exciting half-time activities to bring in the crowds. One stunt involves Moon, a cage, and a bear. Trying not to give too much away, let’s just say that Moon’s tricks don’t help fill the seats.

Overall, this is not the best Ferrell movie, it is no Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy or Old School, but it is still very funny. If you like Will Ferrell, then you will laugh out loud plenty. You will also see some very funny and familiar faces. Andre Benjamin (A/K/A Andre 3000) of Outkast and Four Brothers; Woody Harrelson of Cheers and Kingpin; Will Arnett of Arrested Development and Blades of Glory; and Maura Tierney of Liar Liar, NewsRadio and ER help round out the supporting cast. There are also few other cast members you may recognize, but you’ll have to watch the movie to find out. This is Kent Alterman’s directorial debut, but he has been in the industry for a few years working as a producer. A few of his production credits include Elf, Strangers with Candy, The Upright Citizens Brigade, Mr. Woodcock, A History of Violence, and Son of the Mask. In the end, I give it three out of five stars, so stop by the Cape May Library and check out Semi-Pro.

Many thanks to Lisa The Technology Librarian for this review...

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