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Semi-Pro

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Will Ferrell has a knack for choosing films with hilarious premises. Who didn't think stories about an idiot race car driver, an anchorman and a figure skater would be funny? The problem is, and I'll keep saying this until he decides to take his career down a different path, that the premise is all that changes in each of his movies—while he keeps playing the same guy.

In 1970s Michigan, disco singer and Flint Tropics ABA basketball team owner/player/coach Jackie Moon (Ferrell) learns that his league will be absorbed into the NBA the following year. The catch is that only the top four teams are going, so Moon does anything and everything to attract more fans to the arena and to get his squad into fourth place.

Period comedies like this are typically funny just because of the afro hairstyles and the great retro music. Ferrell's up to his old tricks, shouting obscenities and ticking off everyone around him, which is always good for a few laughs. But the more of these films he makes, the more his act wears thin. I was warned beforehand that the vulgarity level has been stepped up a bit, and it's true, but by now, anyone who's offended by the small stuff should know to steer clear of Ferrell.

This title certainly isn't going to register on the originality scale, but it's got enough ridiculousness to make it a worthwhile rental choice when a couple of cheap laughs are all you need for the night.

This video is courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.