18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2008
Come on everybody! We're going back! Back to the 70's. Back to the bell bottoms and the big fro's. Back to the disco dancing and roller skating days. Back to when basketball players wore really...REALLY... short shorts.
Will Ferrell plays Jackie Moon who made a ton of money from his song "Love Me Sexy". What does Jackie go and do with it? He's buys himself a basketball team in the ABA called the Flint `Michigan' Tropicals. Jackie is a one man show who not only owns the Tropicals, but also coaches them. And to get fans into the stadium, he even promotes them with outlandish themes such as jumping over 10 cheerleaders while he's wearing roller-skates. Then one day it's decided that the ABA and the NBA will merge into one, and that 4 teams will go to the NBA. Jackie convinces them to let the 4 BEST teams go, not the 4 most popular. The commish, to make it harder on the not so popular teams, also says they have to bring in at least 2000 fans each game. So Jackie tries everything from free Corn Dog night to Jackie Wrestles Bear night. There are a decent amount of funny parts in the movie, but in all seriousness, the story is better than the comedy this time around.
To me the comedy seemed extremely forced in some parts. Usually Will Ferrell can just flow comedy out of his mouth without even a problem. But here it seemed he didn't have much help from his supporting cast when it came to impromptu time. Sometimes Will's antics will make you laugh and sometimes you wish Will would just put his comedy on hold for a few minutes so he could be fresh again. Now don't get me wrong though, there are funny parts in the movie. I for one liked the bear wrestling scene and also the interaction between Jackie Moon and the ref that is a priest. But that also has to do with the language that is used and there is a LOT of fowl language coming out of Ferrell's mouth in this movie. MF'r, F That, C-Sucker, and a lot more. I'm sure there will be more on the unrated version, but I have yet to see that one.
I'd also like to say that Andre Benjamin (from the rap group Outkast) did a really good job in this movie playing Clarence `Coffee' Black. The interaction on the bus between him and Woody Harrelson had me cringing in a good way cause I could just feel the tension between the two. Also Andre, with his big fro and all, just seemed like he should've lived in this time. Everything about him just seemed 70's. Great job.
All in all, this is definitely a rent especially if you like Ferrell. It had it's funny parts and a decent story, but I'm not sure if it was enough to actually give this a buy.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2008
Semi-Pro isn't a total train-wreck by any stretch and it does have its genuine moments of hilarity but doesn't quite deliver as well and as often as it should. If you can make it through the first half of the film, where the filmmakers struggle to find the right mix of humour and drama, you'll be rewarded for a much more satisfying second half that pays off your patience for sticking it out.
This edition is loaded with extras all of which are included on the second disc while the first disc includes both the rated and unrated versions of the film.
There are four deleted/alternate scenes. Sportscaster Dick Pepperfield provides the backstory to Jackie Moon and his team. We see Monix's prologue and how he deals with an obnoxious heckler. In an amusing montage, we find out what happens to all the major characters, which really should have been kept in.
Also included are three improv scenes. We get more the play-by-play banter from Lou and Dick with Will Arnett adlibbing all sorts of raunchy observations. There is also more of Jackie and Dick on the Tropics Weekly TV show which allows Farrell to cut loose with more clueless observations.
"A Short History of the ABA" takes a look at the actual ABA with former players reminiscing about it and clips of vintage footage. There are some interesting factoids that revealed, like how it started the three-point shot and introduced a more colourful, dynamic style of play that was eventually absorbed into the NBA.
"Re-creating the ABA" examines how the filmmakers authentically re-created the look and feel of the era. The cast went through an intensive, four-week training camp in order to be able to play like they did in the `70s.
"'Love Me Sexy': The Story Behind the One Hit Wonder" takes a look at how Jackie's hit song came together. Musician/producer Nile Rodgers worked on the music, which makes perfect sense as his hey day was the `70s, and Farrell adlibbed some of the lyrics at a cast reading. The result is a song that sounds like it could have come from that era.
"Bill Walton Visits the Set" features the NBA legend shooting a cameo for the film. Everyone was clearly starstruck by his presence and he comes across as a humble, affable kind of guy.
"Four Days in Flint" examines the time the film crew spent shooting on location and why they picked that town as the setting for the story.
"The Man Behind Semi-Pro" takes a look at the genesis of the film. Screenwriter Scot Armstrong wanted to write a comedy about the ABA and director Kent Alterman takes us through the production process. Clearly, this film and the subject matter was a labour of love for the two men.
Also included is the "Love Me Sexy" music video with clips from the film and Farrell hamming it up as Jackie.
"Flint Tropics Hot Talk with Dick Pepperfield" includes two clips with Dick interviewing Jackie done in a style that looks like it might've come from the `70s complete with a washed out look that feels authentic.
Finally, there is a teaser, theatrical, and red band trailers.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2009
Synopsis: It's 1976 in Flint, Michigan. Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) owns, operates, and plays for the Flint Tropics, which is the laughing stock of the American Basketball Association. Upon hearing the news that there will be a merger between the ABA and the NBA, Moon rejoices... until he hears that only the best teams will make the merger while the others will fold. Distressed, Jackie starts to inspire his group to be better, which includes bringing in veteran player Ed Monix (Woody Harrelson) to help fortify the playing style of the emerging Coffee Black (Andre Benjamin). Will the team succeed long enough to make it to the NBA?
Now, you can't all expect them to be hits with Will Ferrell and this is definitely an example of that. The jokes were tired after a while and while an uplifting story, it just seemed quite dull in comparison to the other comedies that have been recently released. I'd recommend it to die-hard fans of The Frat Pack, but other movie viewers probably won't enjoy it as much.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This movie is fairly clearly a tribute to the glory days of the ABA (American Basketball Association), one-time competitor to the National Basketball Association, though that tribute is cached within a comedy that happens to feature Will Ferrell, André Benjamin, Will Arnett, Woody Harrelson, Maura Tierney, Rob Corddry, and Andy Richter (among others).
In Semi-Pro, Ferrell's character, Jackie Moon, has made his fortune thanks to becoming a one-hit wonder as an R&B singer of a song that is featured early in the film, "Love Me Sexy." Love Me Sexy was written for the film and seems to borrow from the styles of the times the movie is set in, in this case the mid '70's. As it turns out, the soundtrack for the movie offers a decent selection of 1970's hit songs and for those who grew up in the era it's a nice reminder of the times.
Jackie takes the money he has made from his hit record and uses it to buy an ABA franchise that he moves from Florida to his own home town of Flint, Michigan (though that isn't explained well in the final cut of the film, and instead you learn that information via deleted and bonus scenes included on the second of the two discs in the Blu-ray package). Jackie's skill set is firmly grounded in choreography and marketing, though as owner of the Flint Tropics basketball team he has given himself a role as a player and coach of the team he owns.
Early in the film we find that Jackie and his teammates, while having fun playing, aren't all that serious as basketball players. The league itself is experiencing financial difficulties, and the Tropics are facing a similar situation. Fans aren't filling the arena, and despite Jackie's best efforts at putting on a show that will get fans to come to the games, the lack of financial stability shows through in background comments from team personnel and announcers that note that they haven't been paid.
Jackie heads off to a league owners meeting where a merger between the ABA and NBA is confirmed. Hearing this news, Jackie gets enthusiastic at the idea of becoming an owner of a team in the NBA only to find that the teams that will be absorbed into the NBA don't include his own. A mini-revolt amongst the team owners (lead by Jackie) results in a vote to have the teams that will be brought into the NBA determined by the standings of the teams in the league. Though the Tropics are mired in the cellar of the league standings, Jackie sees hope in the idea that if he can get his team to perform he may yet be able to keep his team alive.
The rest of the story borrows heavily from various sports films including Major League though several anecdotes from the good old days of the ABA are tossed in for good measure, including the idea that one player (Woody Harrelson's Ed Monix) is traded to another team in exchange for a clothes washer. Can the Tropics improve their record enough to stay in business? Can they raise their attendance enough to seem to be a viable team? You'll have to watch the film to find out.
The sports cliche's are thick, and the jokes aren't quite as plentiful as you would think. Again, mixed in here pretty well is a great deal of respect and admiration for the little league that could, the ABA.
Definitely check out the extras on the second disc, including a short history of the ABA, in doing so you'll gain extra insight into how this film came to be and just what the writer and director were trying to achieve (not that you can't tell from watching the film, but you will likely appreciate the effort all the more after seeing the extras).
Look for cameos from some of the ABA's great players, along with interviews of those same players in the extras.
Language in the un-rated edition is pretty coarse, along with some graphically implied sexual content and sexual innuendo. Easily worth a rental, with extra value for people that remember the ABA or want to learn a little more about the league.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2013
Before this and blades of glory, I thought Ferrell's career highs were going to be his short cameos he made in other people's comedies. This movie is goofy brilliant as Jackie Moon (Ferrell) the owner, coach, and player of the semi-pro Michigan tropics tries to beat the top teams in order to go NBA. Moon hires veteran pro Woody Harrelson, and tries as many ridiculous tricks he can think of to win. To fill more seats he wrestles a bear and other death defying stunts. An impossible task for Moon whose whole life at best is a "wing it". Harrelson and others lend great support and Patty Labelle has an interesting cameo. some people tired of Ferrell with anchorman and Ricky Bobby because they knew he could do better than that. Other people in their infinite wisdom, equate goofiness with stupidity and Will Ferrell is the goofball king! The same people flock to the theater and enjoy Adam Sandler's predictable slapstick insanity that keeps their IQ's in the negative. The Bluray video and audio is fantastic and does this hilarious classic justice.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
This has to be one of the best comedy gems that went relatively unnoticed. Worth a watch if you are a fan of Will ferrel's more SNL type humour.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2009
and an even better mood tonight since the Steelers won the Superbowl.
Most Will Ferrell movies are pretty much the same as far as what to expect- usually he portrays an extremely obnoxious character that does mean or disgusting things JUST to get a reaction. And I won't lie to you- he does the same thing here.
It's just that, for some reason, I actually found some of his jokes funny on this movie, and plus there's a LOT more characters other than Will that will take the attention away from him and his usual unnecessary ways of getting a reaction out of the viewer.
Some of the basketball scenes were decent enough. I was laughing at a few of them. At least the movie tries to be a slight improvement over those other Will Ferrell films.
Only a movie you should watch if you're REALLY in the mood for Will Ferrell's style of humor.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2012
A must watch for basketball and Ferrell fans alike. This is such a quotable movie. I first watched it with my basketball team at an out-of-town tournament in high school and watching it (and quoting it) again and again never gets old. It's a straight-forward Will Ferrell sports movie plot, don't expect anything more than your standard comedy setups, but the moments and the characters are so funny you won't be able to help but enjoy yourself. Woody Harrelson shows once again why any movie he is in is worth watching as he takes on the role of a washed up NBA player that's been traded to his hometown ABA team....for a washing machine.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2008
All you whiners giving this low ratings need to be quiet. This movie is clearly supposed to be stupid, not a smart witty comedy. It's classic Ferrell. While I do admit it isn't anywhere near as good as "Talladega Nights" or "Old School", it''s still full of good laughs. I don't see how anyone could watch this and not find it amusing. People these days are way too stuck up and expect too much when it comes to movies. I, personally, love comedies like this. They are supposed to be ridiculous and off-the-wall, and they make you feel good. If you don't like Will Ferrell, don't watch his movies. If you do like hi, then you should know what to expect.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2008
This is a decent comedy. I don't think it deserves to be called terrible. But it is very uneven. Will Ferrell plays Jackie Moon a 70's one hit singing wonder who uses the money to buy an ABA team. When the ABA decides to merge with the NBA 4 teams will go to the NBA with the rest being disbanded including his Flint Tropics. Jackie then comes up with a plan to be part of the merge and tries to inspire his team to 4th place. Ferrell plays his usual character which is getting a little old at this point. The movie is full of great comedy actors and a few decent jokes. Not everything works in this movie, but it is not as bad as some make it out to be. It won't last long in the theaters so I would just wait for the unrated dvd release in a few months.