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Semi-Pro (2-DISC)
DVD disk
06.04.2008 By: Mathew Plale
Semi-Pro (2-DISC) order
Director:
Kent Alterman

Actors:
Will Ferrell
Woody Harrelson
Andre Benjamin

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In order to secure a spot as an NBA team, the bumbling Flint Tropics, led by Jackie Moon (Ferrell), must pull it together to place in the top four of the ABA's final season.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Wait a second here…I’ve seen this movie before! Three or four times, actually. “But he ice skated in that other one!” I’m aware, reader, but it’s all the same, no thanks to ex-comedian Will Ferrell’s worn-out shtick.

It’s 1976 (the same era as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and the American Basketball Association is on its last legs and will merge (in part) with the National Basketball Association at the end of the season. The top four teams will join the NBA and it looks grim for the Flint (Michigan) Tropics, dead last in both the rankings and your hearts.

But owner/player/coach/one-hit-wonder (your parents may remember ‘Love Me Sexy’ from their bellbottom days) Jackie Moon (Ferrell) isn’t giving up just yet. Knowing the Tropics must average 2,000 fans per home game to even qualify for an NBA locker room, Jackie concocts a series of outlandish promotions to put some butts in the arena seats, including free corn dogs and stepping into the ring with a grizzly bear.

This is where I should’ve been on the floor instead of in the other room. But even just in skits, Ferrell doesn’t do it for me anymore, and it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than a funny hairdo, bear-wrestling, and an R-rating (though I’d be a liar if I said Jackie’s sudden bursts of vulgarity didn’t force a few laughs) to bring me back to Team Ferrell.

Die-hard Ferrell fans will be all over Jackie Moon and other supporting notables: Anchorman-alum David Koechner, Daily Show correspondent Rob Corddry, and Arrested Development’s Will Arnett each stand by their designated trick. But it’s Jackie Earle Haley’s running cameo, André Benjamin’s energetic Clarence/Coffee Black, and Woody Harrelson’s turn as Ed Monix (traded to the Tropics for their washing machine) that people like me—and there are few at my age—will get the real kick out of.

So no, Will Ferrell’s presence alone doesn’t make debut director Kent Alterman’s movie any more special than Elf, Talladega Nights, or the others. Can’t we, for the love of good comedy, bring back Janet Reno’s Dance Party?
THE EXTRAS
Included on Disc One are the Theatrical (91 mins.) and Unrated Extended (98 mins.) versions of Semi-Pro.

Disc Two:

Deleted/Alternate Scenes and Improv (15:15): You can view each of the seven clips separately or as a batch. The cut/alternate scenes (‘Dick Pepperfield Opening,’ ‘Monix Prologue,’ ‘Tropical Fever Dance,’ ‘Where Are They Now?’) pale in comparison to the hilarious improvs.

A Short History of the ABA (6:50): Don’t go in expecting a parody…Instead, this is a genuine tribute to the American Basketball Association, with comments from former players.

Re-creating the ABA (12:45): This piece focuses on the training camp (conducted by Mark Ellis, also advisor on Any Given Sunday) the cast had to go through, as well as finding the perfect location for the Flint Tropics’ home court. Footage from the training is the highlight, but interviews are also included.

“Love Me Sexy” – The Story Behind the One Hit Wonder (5:24): Here is a look at the making of the song, featured throughout the movie.

Bill Walton Visits the Set (2:39): The basketball great, who played from 1974-’87, pays a visit to the set.

Four Days in Flint (5:38) is a glimpse into the location shooting in Flint, Michigan. See, Michael Moore? People can still have fun in Flint!

The Man Behind Semi-Pro (23:59): This is an extensive piece on first-time director Kent Alterman and the making of his movie. Far too much ass-kissing and by this point, Ferrell’s shtick has run its course.

Flint Tropics Hot Talk with Dick Pepperfield offers a pair of faux-vintage promotion clips titled ‘Balls Girls’ and ‘Pancakes and Camels.’

And rounding out this Let’s Get Sweaty Edition is the “Love Me Sexy” Music Video, Trailers, and a Digital Copy of the movie.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Semi-Pro isn't a movie for someone like me, that someone who gave up on Will Ferrell years ago. But his fanbase (the one that saw this movie opening night) will love it and in the end, it's those who matter. But even I'll admit the special features (kudos for including both versions and a digital copy) weren't half bad, considering.
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