Semi-Pro (2008) Poster


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You Like Will Ferrel? Go on ahead and see it then...
retrorocker1980s14 March 2008
This movie hinges on one simple fact: do you or do you not just enjoy Will Ferrel?

If the answer to that is yes, then you will enjoy this a lot. Because there's not much new doing here: it's Ferell as another idiotic, self-loving, loud and beef-headed, dim-witted professional...insert obscure profession or athlete. This is just "Anchorman", "Ricky Bobby", "Blades of Glory", or what have you, except in basketball. If you enjoy those movies, and Will Ferrel's shameless antics (I'm not saying they're bad, I'm just saying I want to see him try something else now and then) then here's one for you.

But I also give kudos to the supporting players (like Woody Harrelson, who in a stroke of brilliance, is acting like he's in a real drama and not a spoof), the inspired 70's soundtracks and references. 6/10
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Not bad, not great - like most of Ferrell's recent efforts
Liz (Liz8675309)1 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I went to this movie with low expectations - I think that helped.

I love Will Ferrell - his deadpan moments, his crazy moments, his flat shouting - so will see pretty much anything he does.

Unlike Anchorman, this movie suffers from lack of inspiration. The film itself is pretty much several short films / skits held together by the premise of an ABA (semi-pro) team's hope to join the NBA.

Some of Ferrell's regular cohorts rejoin him - Will Arnett (Blades of Glory), Andy Richter (Elf), David Koechner (a standout in Anchorman) - and all do good jobs, but no one really shines.

The best part of this movie? Andre Benjamin. As an Atlanta girl, I grew up loving Outkast. He proved his acting prowess in Four Brothers, and he flexes his comedic muscles as the team's star, Coffee Black, and steals every scene he's in. With his giant afro and '70's funk, he is the most convincing and likable character in the movie. (With the possible exception of Dewey the bear.) I'll still see any movie that Will Ferrell does, but now I'll also see any of Andre Benjamin's.

If you like Ferrell or just want a pleasant diversion (it is rated R for lots of language), Semi-Pro is worth a look. But be forewarned: this is far more Blades of Glory mediocrity than Anchorman delectable satire.
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Needs more Doctor J
jkauf38 February 2008
One of the joys of being a university student is getting invited to free sneak previews. I went to one last night, where the front half of the theater was packed with students while the back was filled with members of the writing team, taking careful notes on which jokes we did and did not laugh at. For the most part, the reaction was positive, and the jokes that failed miserably will probably get edited out by the time the movie officially opens.

The movie was pretty sports-comedy formulaic, with the down-and-out lovable losers getting a big chance, then introducing a new character who will inspire them, and a few montages later, the big finale. The R-rating was used mainly on adding in lots of cuss-words, with mixed humorous results. There was a really funny joke about masturbation. I was hoping for a little more basketball craziness, but oh well.

The highlight, of course, was Will Ferrel meeting the 70s. I myself was not alive in the 70s, so I only know about the culture through the disco-funk lens of caricature cinema. Ferrel is one funky mofo so he thrives. I would say this was one of his better efforts, topping Taladega nights, Elf, and the ice skating one. It's not as good as Anchorman, mainly because it's just not as quotable.

In short, if you like Will Ferrel, or 70s funk (the soundtrack is hella dope), see this movie.
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Very good Will Ferrell Vehicle
hamiltoba1 March 2008
Semi-pro will not go down in the anals of great comedies.

If you are looking for a plot synopsis, well this movie is not for you. It's pretty short on story and pretty high on funny bits.

The one thing I will say is that the film is not overpowered by Will Ferrell silliness. Oh don't mistake me there is some silliness but it is only part of a greater picture.

It has 4-5 hilarious scenes and many lines that will be quotable for a long time. I left the theatre laughing and repeating line with my friends. And really what more are you asking for in a Will Ferrell Comedy???
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Pretty Darn Funny
BettyChampagne13 June 2008
I really can't stand the site of Will Farrell, and I usually find him anything but funny. I hated Ron Burgundy and thought Elf was trite, but i have to say I pretty much laughed my way throughout this entire movie.

It was made as a comedy, which it excels at being, but it is also a really good period piece on the 70's (love the fro's). The story was also really good, a bit predictable but well done - I found myself caring about the characters and the out come of the story.

I was entertained throughout this entire movie, and i would add this movie amongst other American comedy classics such as Family Vacation, Uncle Buck or even Planes, Trains and Automobiles... all very different movies, but ones that made us laugh and kept us smiling.
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Funny enough at times, but contains way too many random moments
Warning: Spoilers
Will Ferrell returns (like he ever left) with another slapstick comedy. . . 'Semi-Pro,' the story of an ABA basketball team, the Flint Tropics, fighting to be accepted into the NBA.

The cast is fantastic. . . Woody Harrelson plays the newly traded point guard Monix, André Benjamin of Outkast plays the star of the team Clarence 'Coffee' Black, and Will Ferrell plays the coach, owner, promoter, power forward, and choreographer Jackie Moon. Also making an appearance are Maura Tierney (ER) as the former love interest of Monix; Will Arnett (Arrested Development) as the colour commentator; Andy Richter (Late Night with Conan O'Brien) as. . . Jackie's son-friend; Ed Helms (The Office) as Turtleneck; and David Koechner (Anchorman) as the Commissioner.

The film itself, however. . . well, there are some problems. Many scenes (including one about vomit, one with a burnt out hippie winning $10,000, etc.) seem unnecessary and out of place seeing as most of them have almost no 'bear'ing (you'll get it later) on the plot whatsoever.

Also, while I have nothing against swearing and am completely against censourship. . . the 'foul language' in this film just seems forced and only added to give itself an R rating. Other than a brief (and non-nude) sex scene, there's nothing else at all that would've warranted its R rating. Maybe it was a marketing move (thinking an R would get them more in the box office after all the hate for PG-13 ), or maybe it's just annoying writing by Scot Armstrong whose only PG-13 films (School for Scoundrels and Starsky and Hutch) are pretty awful. Either way, it didn't seem worth it.

Anyway, the film itself is entertaining, but unoriginal. There's nothing really special about it, but it's still a funny comedy worth checking out if that's what you're in the mood for.

Final Verdict: 6/10.

Postscript: No. . . as some people are saying about this. . . the 'alley oop' bit at the end. . . it's not true.

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Hate to rehash the reviews, but it is indeed only semi funny
mrtimlarabee28 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Semi Pro is half good. It starts off great. We are introduced with Jackie Moon's big hit "Love Me Sexy" and learn that his team, The Flint Tropics team isn't that good and Moon spent his money for the team really for his love of basketball.

The first half is great, as it applies a usual Will Ferrel formula - have a very basic plot to allow Will Ferrel and co to display their antics with really little attention to the plot. We go to see Ferrel display his antics after all. The best display of this is when Jackie Moon and some of his friends are playing a poker game. It has some of the fun ad libbed dialogue Ferrel's movies are known for and is one of those scenes you know will have outtakes on the DVD.

The film's failure is it's plot. In a Will Ferrel movie, Ferrel should be the center of attention, yet as the plot moves forward, that honor seems to pass to Woody Harrleson, who's good in his role, but doesn't supply the necessary humor the film needs. Meanwhile, Ferrel is left with little to do except for some of the wacky bits like Ferrel wrestling a bear.

So as the film progresses, there is a feeling of the usual basketball film, where the rag tag team tries their best to be successful. In all this, the humor seems to be dissipating, and the Ferrel machine seems to be running out of gas. Really a shame, because the promotional materials for this movie were hilarious.
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Semi-Pro is only semi-funny, but Will Ferrell is still at the top of his game.
stewiefan20120 March 2008
Semi-Pro takes place in the 1970s and is all about a small time basketball team named the Flint Michigan Tropics. The head coach, owner, and promoter is Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) and he and his team dream of expanding to be part of the big time NBA. However Jackie is told that in order to actually have a chance at getting into the NBA, the Tropics have to get at least 2000 fans in their stadium by deadlines. The problem is that the Tropics do a little more dancing, fighting, and flailing around the court than actually playing the game. So Jackie hires a new team player named Monix (Woody Harrelson) who actually used to play for the NBA. From there on in it's up to Jackie, Monix, and the whole team to fire up some wild and crazy events for the crowd and actually learn to play the sport properly for once in order to reach their dreams.

Will Ferrell has made a bunch of funny movies already. Whether it be Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory, and Old School. I haven't seen all of them but I heard they were all funny, mostly because of Will Ferrell's comedic brilliance. Semi-Pro is a funny film but it's really only semi-funny, whereas the rest of Ferrell's movies were hilarious romps. Semi-Pro seems undercooked in the hilarious gag department offering a few very funny moments, but the rest of the movie only has little jokes that usually only offer giggles. My favorite moment in Semi-Pro is when Jackie Moon gets called on a foul by the ref (Also the church priest), and Jackie yells in his face an obscenity and "I'll kill your family!" Another scene that will end up a Will Ferrell classic is when he wrestles a bear, and it ends up attacking him and then getting loose in the stadium.

The music in Semi-Pro is awesome with its funky 70s soundtrack. There's also a song played through the movie sung by Jackie Moon called "Love Me Sexy", and it is as funny a song as Will Ferrell can bring. The rest of the cast includes Outkast's talented Andre Benjamin, Maura Tierney, and Will Arnett and Andrew Daly as two hilarious TV show hosts and broadcasters for the Tropics. Woody Harrelson does a fine job in Semi-Pro but he's never funny, all because the script makes his character Monix serious instead of funny. Maura Tierney really just sits around without much to really do, and even Andre Benjamin's character is made too serious to give us any laughs. I just don't understand why so many of the characters in Semi-Pro were so serious. This is a Will Ferrell comedy, everyone should have some funny moments. This problem is what makes Semi-Pro a mixed bag because only half the movie is really very funny, the rest of the movie is pulled down by far too much seriousness.

Will Ferrell and the musical soundtrack are what elevate Semi-Pro to the point where I can recommend it. Will Ferrell is still a very funny guy and I'm sure he has a lot more hilarious comedies on the way in the mere future. But Semi-Pro pretty much gives Ferrell all the funny moments, when his other movies like Anchorman gave the other characters classic moments as well. I give Semi-Pro a 2.5 out of 4, and a recommendation. It has its moments but is dragged down by far too many unfunny characters.
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Proof of Ferrel's weakness
chi-cerca-trova7 April 2008
This movie is a perfect example of why Will Ferrel needs to find his purpose quick before he becomes irrelevant.

After sitting through this movie, I began to ponder why I did not like it. It had all the Ferrel-isms of movies past. Ron Burgandy, Chad Michael Michaels, Ricky Bobby, etc. all made an appearance. So, why had a classic formula failed so miserably here? And then it hit me. It's because Will Ferrel CANNOT carry a movie on his own. He is a great catalyst for the actions with in a movie, however he cannot be a movie. True, Ron Burgandy was a hilarious character, but what about his news crew? How many lines are quoted from this quartet of idiots? Or Chad Michael Michaels? Will Ferrel needs to remember his strength lies in a strong comedic ensemble. While he has demonstrated some actual acting talent, he still will never be able to carry a film on his own.
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Silly movie...but what did you expect?
velcrohead21 March 2008
I never for a moment believed that this movie would be earth-shattering or mind-blowing. I expected it to be along the lines of "Talladega Nights" or "Kicking & Screaming," and it was. There were a few laugh out loud moments, and a few mildly amusing stretches, and then there were parts that just weren't funny at all.

But the overall experience wasn't that bad, considering I was just looking for a movie that would make me laugh and pass the night away on those rare date nights with my wife.

The only real complaint I had about it was the language. I thought some of the profanity was a bit excessive, especially considering past Will Ferrell movies. And that's really all the R rating is there for.
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I wish it was semi-funny
cwitkowski29 February 2008
Take the cutting room jokes in Anchor Man, A not funny Woody Harrelson and the inability to take jokes far enough to make them funny and you have semi-pro.

A few cheap laughs here and there and a bare chested Will Ferrill weren't enough to keep me awake during this poorly written failure of a comedy. Co-non stars weren't funny and the direction reminded me of one of my 1st college films.

When the openings credits started to the 70's sexual funk sung by Ferrill I thought I was in for a good time. 10 minutes later I was looking at my watch hoping for a phone call to have an excuse to relieve myself of this dull, thrown together, forgettable flick. With so much material to reference to - Short shorts, Afros, mustaches, and over the top announcers you would think there would be more comedy than a few masturbation jokes.

Save this one for a rental when you have time to consume plenty of alcohol before viewing.
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tastyhotdogs12 May 2008
Figured the holiday was a great time to catch this movie, which I wasn't overly excited about, but thought it would be something to do on a lazy afternoon.

Got to the cinema a tad early and sat down and played some golf on my phone. About 10 mins in and I was the only one there. Awesome. Sadly about 5mins later two losers with no friends walked in, making it a cosy cinema of 3.

The film starts with a pre-game intro of the Flint Tropics, a struggling team in the former ABA basketball league. We learn from the get go that Jackie Moon (Ferrell, in a role not much of a stretch for him) is the team owner, promoter, coach as well as a player. Jackie brought the team on the back of his one-hit wonder "Love Me Sexy" and is in it just for the fame and fun. Before too long Jackie finds out his team will absorbed by the ABA-NBA merger...unless he can get them in the Top 4 teams. Jackie goes out and signs (from a trade for a washing machine) Monix, played by formerly good actor Woody Harrelson in a minor attempt to tun things around. Soon he makes some other changes, such as agreeing to let Monix become coach to get his team into the NBA. Will it work......? See it to find out.

There's some more good quirky Ferrell humour, but this isn't a classic. The story had a lot more potential but in some circumstances went too oddball and weird and missed some good opportunities, probably largely due to the extra screen time given to Ferrell. Give him a few better support comedians and this could have been a classic. They missed some great opportunities with the basketball action too. One of the early scenes was gold.....but then after that very little was paid attention to.
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Will Ferrell can hold a 15 minute skit, not an hour and a half movie
Kristine2 March 2008
I work in a movie theater part time and we got Semi-Pro, now I hate Will Ferrell with a passion, I don't get how people love his movies, some of them are funny, but it's more of his side characters that get the laughs from me. But I figured, I needed a laugh after work and I decided to just go ahead and see the movie, it might have a few good laughs, I saw it for fee and even that was too much for what this film was. I'm very much not kidding, this movie, the theater was about 75% full and there was only two people who laughed, even that was just a chuckle. I don't get what is so funny about making Will Ferrell puke, in fact let's play on that joke quite a bit so it becomes more awkward. Let's also put in jokes that refer to "the future" since it's set in the 70's, that'll be a blast. And also, let's put in some extremely uncomfortable shots of Will Ferrell's crotch, yeah, that was so funny, that I wanted to puke.

Jackie Moon is a one hit wonder in the 70's, but with the money he made off that, he buys the Flint Tropical's, a team that once was great, but now stink. They have an opportunity though to go to the NBA if they can be one of the top four teams to win the games. With the help of a former champion basketball player, Monix, who has lost it basically, they'll try to achieve the best, by getting fourth place. Jackie comes up with some stupid publicity stunts to get an audience as well.

Semi-Pro is seriously, just stupid, I'm not saying that because of Will Ferrell, I just mean this film is very unfunny and the only part that made me laugh was the bear attacking Will Ferrell, sad, huh? I'm really not trying to be a hater on this film, but how do people laugh at this junk? Will Ferrell plays the same character in each of his films, doesn't anyone catch on? The characters in this film are not likable at all because they're not explained well. Semi-Pro was just a bad movie, I promise you, I'm not saying this because of Will, I'm saying in general, just stay away from this film.

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People forget that Will Ferrell's movies are randomness.
m-rugen29 February 2008
So far I am the fourth person to rate this movie; and I honestly don't agree with anybody else here. I really only rate movies I truly enjoyed, and this is one of them. I don't think anybody that has seen Will's movies and disliked them should be commenting on here.

This movie, along with Anchorman and Talladega Nights, is just a whole bunch of funny, cruel, and vulgar jokes thrown into a 90-minute story line...and it's awesome.

Also, the fact that it's loosely based upon a real merger between the ABA and NBA fits the movie. Sports movies with fake teams and cities is getting overly boring.

As many people will tell you, the unrated versions of Anchorman and Talladega Nights blow the original PG-13 rating out of the water. And for this, is why the writers had to make this movie rated R to begin with.

The movie was designed for Will Ferrell. Granted, it's another sports movie with him, but he pulls it off again. Wrestling a bear, performing dance, and singing a song called 'Love Me Sexy' has absolutely nothing to do with basketball, but it works. Like I said, all his movies are a bunch of random jokes thrown together to fit a storyline.

This movie, to me, is better than Talladega Nights. If you like Will Ferrell, you will LOVE this movie. If you don't like Will Ferrell, you need to get yourself checked out.
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Could have been...
Jon Ochiai2 March 2008
In the opening of Director Kent Alterman's "Semi-Pro" Will Ferrell as 70's One Hit Wonder Jackie Moon provides his musical stylings of his song "Do Me Sexy". Will Ferrell sings his disco song straight up in character and is hysterical. Although given the promising start Alterman and Writer Scot Armstrong's movie really falls flat, despite some big laughs. I particularly cracked up at the halftime bit where Jackie dressed as 'Mr. Sun' and the rest of his Tropics teammates are dressed as sea creatures. Some of the supporting performances are pretty good including Woody Harrelson playing a quasi-realistic Monix and Andre Benjamin as Tropics leading scorer Clarence Black. Will Ferrell is at his best playing obtuse, lovable, and arrogant Jackie. However, the problem with "Semi-Pro" over the long haul (all 90 minutes) is that it is not smart stupid—it is stupid stupid. I was really a fan of "Blades of Glory" and "Talladega Nights". "Semi-Pro" is not nearly as funny as either. Understandably, if you are not a fan of Big Will, then disregard the previous, and pretty much most of this comment. The ending of "Semi-Pro" is incongruously bittersweet. This seems so out of place. Then again, arguing for context in "Semi-Pro" is futile.

The premise of "Semi-Pro" is actually funny. Realize I am referring to the premise, only. 70's disco star Jackie Moon (Ferrell) scores with his number one smash "Do Me Sexy". He parlays his new found wealth by buying ABA Basketball Team—the Flint Tropics. This vanity project also includes Jackie being the Tropics Player-Coach. Having no basketball acumen as player or coach, the Tropics reign the cellar of the division. Then the ABA Commissioner (funny David Koechner) announces that 4 ABA teams would merge with the NBA. Unfortunately, that does not include the Tropics. However, natural promoter Jackie convinces the ABA Commission that the 4 teams with the best records should be allowed to merge. Still the Tropics are not among the top 4 teams, yet. In an edgy move Jackie trades the Team's ice machine for retired NBA player Monix (solid Woody Harrelson). Monix had won an NBA Championship with the Celtics, although he spent his time on the bench during the playoff run. Minor detail. All the narrative elements are poised. However, "Semi-Pro" misfires on all cylinders. Granted there is a hilarious gag that runs a little long with Jackie wrestling a bear. One hysterical bit has Jackie conflicted as his Tropics lead an opponent; however, if they score more than 125 points, it's free corn dog night. And Jackie doesn't have the corn dogs.

It's too bad that "Semi-Pro" is not completely hysterical. Perhaps, the Will Ferrell sports' farces have run their course. Maybe next time Will fares better with X-Games or Extreme Fighting? Maybe.
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Actually pretty good fun
bowmanblue20 November 2014
I always find that Will Ferrell's films can be a little hit and miss. He's either funny, or he tries a little too hard to be funny. Luckily, in the case of 'Semi-Pro,' he's the former. The film is clearly his vehicle, so whether it works or not is largely down to him. Here he plays Jackie Moon – the owner, coach and player of a low league basketball team who are about to get disbanded, unless they can scrape fourth place in the league.

For a start, you don't have to know or like basketball. I know nothing about it, but I enjoyed the film anyway. Yes, Ferrell is a little over the top here and there, but his performance never really borders on 'annoying.' It's not a long film, only an hour and a half, and most of it is packed with gags (all pretty adult in nature) and the majority of those work.

There are minor plot lines, but they're all secondary to Ferrell. Most other characters are only there to tee up Ferrell for him to deliver the punch line. Woody Harrelson is about the second most important character and he has a little more screen time. He's totally functional too, but Semi-Pro is still Ferrell's baby.

Basically, Semi-Pro won't win any awards. It's daft, loud and dumb, but ultimately very watchable if you're in the mood for a film like that.

Just beware of escaped bears!
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Entertaining, but not the stuff of his heyday.
Jim Banebridge3 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As a student, I have always enjoyed Will Ferrell films. In fact I have walked out of some films still in stitches. I have really enjoyed Old School, Anchorman and Kicking and Screaming as well as his Saturday Night Live DVDs. He does tend to play either the arrogant tool (Ron Burgundy) or the angry idiot (Frank The Tank) and he has done this well. I also enjoyed his other cameo roles in Zoolander and Wedding Crashers. However, it seems that he is getting more disappointing nowadays, which is a shame (Talladega Nights a prime example).

I watched Semi-Pro on a plane and I have to say it was funny (I remember waking up four people laughing at the puke scene so much) but I struggled to find any storyline to it. However I have never required a storyline with a Ferrell movie before.

Set in the 70s, Ferrell plays Jackie Moon, a cross between Burgundy and Frank the Tank (although not brilliant). He takes control of the Flint Tropics, an all-show basketball team. He becomes coach, owner, choreographer and power-forward for his own team! When he discovers that only 4 teams will be merged into the NBA, he decides that he is going to try and improve his teams fortunes to ensure they get into the NBA. Moon's only talent is promoting, as seen by his "corn dog night" and when he wrestles a bear to increase struggling ticket prices. To get his team to the NBA from bottom of the ABA, he enlists Ed Monix (Woody Harrelson) who tries to give some structure back to his team while rekindling an old flame.

That is pretty much the story, it doesn't really move as a plot, but it is simply hilarious in parts. The funny parts include when Jackie Moon wrestles a bear, an impromptu poker game between Jackie and his friends (irrelevent to the plot, but still funny!) and plenty of decent one-liners.

The main comic attraction is not Ferrell's anger or arrogance in character (Like in previous movies) but in the commentators of the game, where Lou Redwood (Will Arnett) and Dick Pepperfield (Andrew Daly) are simply hilarious as a satire of sports commentators, Redwood being the colourful claims-he-was-in-Vietnam tyro, with lines such as "I like to smoke when I drink" after Pepperfield asks him if he wouldn't mind putting his cigarette out while supposedly commentating on a game. Pepperfield is the old-school, reassuring nice guy of commentating, and nearly all the funny jokes are about his wife! Harrelson is good in his role of resurgent former great, and brings a good edge to the film, and Andre Benjamin is good as Clarence, the only decent player for the Tropics. He is funny in places too.

To summarise, Semi-Pro is very funny in certain places, vaguely interesting at points, but is quite crude, non-purposeful nor thought-provoking. But I really enjoyed it, it brightened my flight anyways! It is a shame that the only thing I can say about this is that it is funny and entertaining, but I have come to expect that except for Blades of Glory, this is the latest in a less enjoyable category of Ferrell films. I hope he creates something very good in the future, but I wouldn't bet on it.

If you like Will Ferrell you will like this, if not, make sure you have your pillow ready and are seated comfortably - It's going to be a long flight.
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Save Your Money!!!!!!!
montourxc1 March 2008
I actually had some hope for this movie, i thought they could have done some good work with this plot. But no, this one was worse than Talledegah Nights! Will Farrel just taking professions and trying to make funny movies out of them is getting really old now. I got very few laughs out of this movie and when I did laugh it was only a little chuckle, because I was soon reminded that this movie sucked when another failed joke attempt came around. His attempt at witty and sometimes slapstick humor just doesn't work for me anymore. Its all just gotten old, its the same thing over and over again! This movie was worthless and I ask you to please stay home and save your money!
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Another Huge Disappointment
ryansbabygirl08048 March 2008
I would like to first say that the only reason I give this film 3 stars is because I am usually a major Will Ferrell fan. I normally find him hilarious and would be quoting lines from his films for months along with my husband. Well with his last movie "Blades of Glory" I received no lines to quote. It was awful. So when we were invited by friends last night to see Will Ferrell's latest "Semi-Pro", I thought I might be in for some big laughs. I was VERY disappointed.

The start of the film is very promising and almost gives you a false sense of security that this film won't be as bad as "Blades". Unfortunately for anyone who has the misguided notion to pay to see this movie, It was worse! It's almost as if Will Ferrell has run out of funny things to do. It's like he's sitting around thinking of careers that he can somehow make funny with the same old boring jokes time and time again. It's like he took his "Anchorman" character Ron Burgundy and turned him into Ricky Bobby, Chazz Michael Michaels, and Jackie Moon simply by changing their hair and clothes. It's the exact SAME character, no real acting required. And even though that was absolutely hilarious at first, it's getting just 'A LOT' tiring. Not to mention that some of his usual group of friends that appear with him in his movies, had no funny lines in this movie. They almost all played serious characters which made Ferrell look like even more of an idiot. Woody Harrelson's character was brought into this movie for God knows what reason because he was almost useless to the plot. Including his subplot with Lynn (Maura Tierney). I couldn't help but be embarrassed for her to be such an insignificant character in such a horrible film.

"Semi-Pro" doesn't move past it's promising beginning, instead it falls completely flat. Usually the lack of plot and point to Will Ferrell's movies is actually part of their charm, in his latest films including this one, it isn't. He really needs to step it up for the next one because he is in danger of losing his fan base. We'll all be sitting around watching "Anchorman", "Talladega Nights", and "Elf" on DVD.
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One of Ferralls better films
raypdaley18226 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Take Kingpin, The Mighty Ducks, Dodgeball then add Will Ferrall & Basketball. Doesn't sound like much of a recipe for success? That's because it isn't. This is a movie all about celebrating failure. Not success, failure. This team don't win the league. They don't get promoted into the NBA.

The only reason they even win a trophy is they created it in the 1st place. The language is beyond course. The sexual references equally so. This really should be a 15 rating. NOT an R!.

Ferrall as usual isn't funny, it's the minor characters that make this movie. The film drops you into the teams problems pretty deep right from the start of the movie (which is a very bad idea as it'd be a better movie for knowing how they got that bad in the 1st place).

This only really gets going once the idea of becoming an NBA team is mooted more than a third of the way into the movie. If I wanted to see a movie about someone who bought his way into a sporting team I'd go watch Brewster's Millions as it's a much funnier movie, has a much better cast & script and also has much better sport in it.

Ferrall is just about bearable as Jackie Moon, Woody Harrelson as Monix is the much better character and better actor. Even Andre Benjamin manages to make Ferrall look bad here. Just being set in the 70's and using a lot of 70's hair, fashion & cultural references doesn't make for a good idea.

The whole idea of Ferrall's slutty wife never goes anywhere, likewise the story of Monix getting back with his ex. Even the plot of the team not getting promoted despite winning 4th place even manages to never go anywhere as the movie actually has no ending at all. It seems they just ran out of ideas and decided to end the movie on the fans trashing the whole town.

There are some funny scenes and some very funny lines but that doesn't make for a movie. I thought they were going to use the hippy who made the freethrow but that never went anywhere (the tiny scene during the credits attempted to resolve that plot but still didn't).

Also the idea that Coffee can be on the bench for the opposing team then go back to playing for his old team during the game? Never going to happen as he'd be unable to play due to not being selected for his team pre-game.

The film attempts some lame humour with things like jumping the cheerleaders on skates and fighting a bear (neither scene really ended up ever going anywhere even if the bear did keep popping up afterwards) which was never a good idea and not ended well either (if at all).

The film just doesn't have enough cohesive ideas to be any good. If it had gone with a better ending (the team taking its case for promotion to court and winning) then it might have achieved the "feel good" factor it was looking for. As it was, it fell far short of the mark.

At least in all the films I named at the start the underdogs did eventually win their championships or titles. This team only managed 4th place. Never anything to shout about or celebrate.

I wouldn't recommend watching this unless your drunk or high.
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Funy movie
mm-3913 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Read the old ABA web page and find out how much of the movie is true. Semi pro has many influences from the ABA. The slam dunk style, bear wrestling, and cow milking contests were some of the funny material which made a great movie. Real life is funnier than fiction. Semi pro has great material too work with. A goofy movie with a no better goofy actor than Will Ferrell. Ferrell pulls off a hard acting job of a fly by the seat of his pants owner/coach/manager and player etc ABA operator. The acting and directing is great but the true star which shines is the script, which is influenced by real life. Low ball humor, not for the whole family. 8 out of 10. My buddy Dax and his wife enjoyed the movie. What does the Tropics have to do with Flint, Michigan? I think the team moved from Florida. Funny the Nuggets almost went to the final in their first year with the NBA. I guess that is why the NHL stripped the WHA Jets of their team before they merged. Just an after thought.
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Just Another Sports Comedy with Too Little of Will Ferrell
zardoz-135 March 2008
Will Ferrell's fourth and latest sports spoof comedy "Semi-Pro" (**1/2 stars out of ****) is semi-delusional. For the record, it's not in the same league with his NASCAR comedy "Talladega Nights." The former Saturday Night Live comedian stars here as one-shot disco music singer Jackie Moon who bought his hometown basketball team with the bucks that he earned from his Barry White-style, one hit wonder, chart-topping single "Love Me Sexy." Not only does Jackie own the Tropics of Flint, Michigan, but he also plays on, coaches, and promotes the team! "Semi-Pro" takes place in the nonconformist 1970s, and the fictional Tropics compete in the former real-life American Baseball Association (1967-1976) with its trademark red, white, & blue basketball and its 3-point shot. Clearly, this nostalgic, occasionally amusing basketball farce aspired to be for hoops movies what the legendary Paul Newman classic "Slapshot" was for ice hockey and the Tom Berenger farce "Major League" was for baseball. Mind you, the pranks, the pratfalls, and the humor are quintessential Will Ferrell when he is front and center, but Ferrell isn't always front and center, and the movie lacks the non-stop, over-the-top comic buffoonery of "Talladega Nights."

"Semi-Pro" devotes more time to sincerity than frivolity. Half of this dribbling comedy focuses on straight man Woody Harrelson. An aged NBA, Boston Celtics champ, Monix (Woody Harrelson of "White Men Can't Jump") joins the team after Jackie trades the Tropics' ailing washing machine for him. As it turns out, the ABA is tottering on its last legs, and ABA Commissioner (David Koechner of the far funnier sports spoof "The Comebacks") and the other team owners have struck a lucrative deal to have four of their teams absorbed into the NBA. The remaining teams, including Jackie's Tropics, are scheduled to disband. Jackie goes ballistic at this dire prospect. Somehow, our hero with an Afro hairstyle convinces his fellow owners that only the best four teams should be absorbed. Actually, this happened in real-life. Unfortunately, Jackie later learns that each team must attract at least two thousand spectators for each home game. In an effort to improve the Tropics, Jackie trades for Monix. Monix spent his championship season with the Celtics, but he warmed the bench more often than shot hoops. Nevertheless, Monix sincerely wants to turn the Tropics around and make them into winners. Anybody remember the warm-hearting Gene Hackman movie "The Hoosiers?" Ultimately, this last hurrah for the underdogs that must win a championship game is standard, second-rate stuff that has been done too many times. Indeed, "Semi-Pro" surpasses "Kicking and Screaming," "Melinda and Melinda," and "Bewitched," but that provides little consolation.

An executive producer on "Balls of Fury" and "Mr. Woodcock," freshman director Ken Alterman and "Old School" scenarist Scot Armstrong slum for laughs in their raunchy, foul-mouthed, R-rated, 93 minute, boys-night-out bash. They have intrepid Jackie Moon pulling an idiotic Evel Knievel-style ramp jump with roller skaters over his team's foxy string of cheerleaders strung out head-to-toe on their backs across the court. Since the players cannot fight on the court during the game, Jackie has his guys slug it out with the other team during commercial breaks. At one point, Jackie promises to feed everybody at a home game a Corndog if the Tropics score over 125 points. They do and Jackie bails. Ultimately, in an effort to sell out his stadium, Jackie wrestles with a brown bear. Although the bear escapes, the woodland beast becomes "Semi-Pro's" best running joke as it strikes without warning.

Sadly, Alterman and Armstrong treat Ferrell as if he were a guest star. "Semi-Pro" relies more on half-hearted sight gags and the suspenseful but formulaic big-game-to-win showdown than the inspired lunacy that is Will Ferrell. Unfortunately, Ferrell shares the spotlight with Harrelson, and Harrelson gets a subplot with an old girlfriend and a romance. Surprisingly, "Semi-Pro" doesn't stoop to the standard kick in the groin for chuckles or any examples of juvenile bowel humor. The dumbest scene has Monix teaching the Tropics how to run a play until they puke. Incredibly, Jackie has never puked in his entire life. Monix punches him in the belly, and Jackie chucks everything, but not on camera. Altogether, this lukewarm sports comedy scores more chuckles than sensational, side-splitting laughs. Sure, you'll smile and sputter, but you won't be roaring at anything fresh or original.
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with the exception of Henry Ford
David Ferguson2 March 2008
Greetings again from the darkness. Will Ferrell is one of the funniest guys in show biz. A huge part of comedy is risk. No risk = No comedy. Big time producer, first time director Kent Alterman and "Old School" writer Scot Anderson team up with Ferrell and for some reason play it safe. Very safe. So safe that there are only a few chuckles here and not a single laugh out loud moment.

This movie is just not funny. And it has nothing to do with Ferrell going for another sport-based flick. The ABA and the 70's offer a vast array of topics and targets. Sadly most of those are ignored here. As Jackie Moon, the one hit wonder from the music biz, Ferrell acts as the owner, coach, player, ring-leader and promotional face of the Flint Tropics ... the worst team in the ABA. Sadly, none of this matters because there are just no funny bits here.

Andre Benjamin, Woody Harrelson, Maura Tierney and David Koechner all go through the motions of their lame dialogue. Will Arnett and Andrew Daly as the team radio announcers had my hopes up initially, but alas, turned out to be another one-trick pony. I felt most sorry for Patti LaBelle and Jackie Earle Haley who had to be humiliated to even read their lines.

Nothing is more difficult than comedy and nothing is more pathetic than an unfunny comedy. The weak attempts at drama are always overshadowed by an over the top moment that falls flat ... a bear loose in the arena, a tantrum in the league office, disco dancing, team dancers, etc. The best two moments are the throw-away line about Henry Ford and the introduction of the Alley Oop ... straight from heaven.

As if all this wasn't distressing enough, before the film started we were "treated" to the trailer of Ferrell's next movie ... a reteaming with John C. Riley. When a comedy trailer has no laughs, the hopes for the movie are extremely low. Maybe it is time for Ferrell to grow up and play other people's stuff ... he was great in "Stranger Than Fiction". The money train is tough to jump from, but one's dignity has to be worth something.
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Save your money...
dreadnaught332 March 2008
As a huge Will Ferrell fan, I was incredibly disappointed with this flick. Plain and simple: it sucked. The comedy failed to deliver the quotable lines, punchy comedy, or even slap-stick humor. It is very obvious they forced this rating up to 'R' with the addition of as many F bombs as possible, making the dialog choppy and reminiscent of junior high. I typically don't mind language if it's funny or appropriate, but this was neither. I give it one extra star because of maybe a couple chuckles.

All in all, don't bring your kids, don't even bring yourself. Save your money for the Step-Brothers movie they previewed before this one, which had me laughing harder in 30 seconds than this entire movie did.
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Will Ferrell is on top form / shame about the movie though
lee-kemp31 March 2008
the first 30mins of this movie is as good as anchorman i mean i was laughing out loud in the cinema. after that it goes down hill though i don't think will ferrell is to blame. while anchorman and dodgeball had a great supporting cast of characters semi pro only has will ferrell and the two commentators that raise a laugh.

many jokes didn't work for me because of the subject matter (i don't know much about basketball) and the sex scene falls flat on it's face and is embarrassing to watch. the jive turkey scene i didn't get and when will ferrell is off the screen the film starts to take it self too seriously and you're just wanting will to come back on the screen and do something funny.

will ferrell is on top form in this movie but a lot more could have been made of his character. the premise of a washed up singer spending ridiculous amounts of money is a good idea, but is stuck in a sports movie were the loser team comes good in the end. we've seen so many times before and sadley done better.

i love will ferrell but i can see why he has so many haters. while i think he'll never better anchorman semi pro and blades of glory for me show a decline and his next film needs to be a step in the right direction.
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