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SEMI PRO, 2008
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SEMI PRO
Movie Review
Directed by Kent Alterman
Starring Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson
by Eli Manning






SYNOPSIS:

Jackie Moon, the owner-coach-player of the American Basketball Association's Flint Michigan Tropics, rallies his teammates to make their NBA dreams come true

REVIEW:

Will Ferrell where are you? Will Ferrell we miss you! Because the Will Ferrell we know and love is not in Semi Pro. I hope you earned a nice paycheck for yourself because I don't think anything good came out of this film.

It started with a great concept -- a comedy about the real life ABA in the 1970's -- a basketball league competing with the NBA but really wanting to be good enough so it can become a part of the NBA!

Written by Scot Armstrong (Old School, Road Trip, Starsky & Hutch), the man who can write a solid ensemble comedy. But this film SHOULD be an ensemble film having the three keys of the basketball team (Will Ferrell playing owner/player Jackie Moon, Woody Harrelson playing tail end of his career/mentor Monix and André Benjamin playing rising star Clarence 'Coffee' Black) all as the stars of the film ala Old School. I never saw the original script but I can see that was how it was originally written -- but it got Will Ferrellized and they made it into his film.

His character is written as a supporting character. Funny but only funny in part-time moments. While the other characters meet their comedy arcs (getting the girl, realizing your dreams), Will Ferrell's character really doesn't do anything. So it's funny in places but not a funny film in general that you can recommend to people.

This could be the case where the star's STAR hurt the film. That and first time director Kent Alterman really doesn't understand how to beat a comedy scene out with the camera and make us laugh! Alterman is a long time Executive Producer in Hollywood and I think Semi Pro was his thank you from the studios for making them a lot of money with his prior films. Don't be surprised if he never directs another film again.

So in summary -- there's no reason to go see this film. Stay home or watch one of those dramatic Oscar nominated/winning films that are probably playing right beside Semi Pro.

And Will Ferrell -- please just huddle up with your team and figure out the next steps in your career. Just stick with your writing partner Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) and then do a 'Sandler' and work on some smaller films and showcase your acting chops. Because you're a good actor but you look terrible when you do films like this.

1 1/2 stars out of 4.

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