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SEMI-PRO

SYNOPSIS:
Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell), the owner-coach-player of the American Basketball Association's Flint Michigan Tropics is on a mission. When the national league announces a plan to discard all the squads except the top four teams, Moon rallies his teammates including Monix (Woody Harrelson) and Clarence 'Coffee' Black (Andre Benjamin) to work together for glory and popularity, to make their basketball dreams come true.

Review by Louise Keller:
Will Ferrell can be very funny. This is not one of those times. Tired and tawdry, this tedious misfire is a misjudgement on Ferrell's part, namely in terms of material. Okay, okay, it's colourful in parts, and there is an amusing sequence in which a red-cloaked Ferrell has a punch up with Dewey the bear, but overall, Semi-Pro is a boring boor.

There's Ferrell wearing polka-dots and spangles; Ferrell biting his own hand; Ferrell dressed as a colourful sun wearing shades; Ferrell in lime green sequins on roller skates leaping over cheerleaders in white bikinis. Ah yes, there's Ferrell in the dumpster snacking on left-overs; Ferrell having a heavenly hallucination; Ferrell as a pop star singing his once-only hit Love Me Sexy. Most of the time Ferrell wears tight little shorts (cringe at those crutch shots) and a 70s curly wig with grisly sideburns.

But Ferrell is at the mercy of the material, and the material (and Scot Armstrong's screenplay) is strictly second rate. In fact it is semi-pro. In every respect. There's nothing semi-pro about the cast, however; they're an enthusiastic bunch and I especially liked Andrew Daly and Will Arnett as Dick Pepperfield and Lou Redwood (remember Arnett in Blades of Glory as the wondrously intense Stranz Van Waldenberg?) the hilarious radio commentators, who sit court-side drinking and smoking and adding their takes on impossible goings-on. I did laugh when Ferrell's Jackie Moon decides to implement the use of eyeliner on the players (to hypnotise their opponents) and the unconventional (and unethical) way in which the dud Tropics team boosts their popularity is wacky to say the least. But boredom is the enemy of comedy, and in the end Semi-Pro becomes surrounded.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

SEMI-PRO (M)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Andre Benjamin, Maura Tierney, Andrew Daly, Will Arnett, Andy Richetr,

PRODUCER: Jimmy Miller

DIRECTOR: Kent Alterman

SCRIPT: Scot Armstrong

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Shane Hurlbut

EDITOR: Debra Neil-Fisher

MUSIC: Theodore Shapiro

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Clayton Hartley

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 3, 2008







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