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Semi-Pro

Will Farrell is balls out in this basketball comedy.

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If you loved Ferrell as a hapless, self-absorbed, tantrum-throwing vulgar frat boy (Old School), newscaster (Anchorman), NASCAR driver (Talladega Nights) or figure skater (Blades of Glory), you'll thrill to Kent Alterman's mid-1970s-set period comedy. In it, Ferrell portrays Jackie Moon, owner/manager/player of a struggling Flint, Mich., semi-pro basketball team, aspiring to an NBA berth. It's the usually pratfalls and silliness, marked by a few bright spots, such as the charismatic and fashionable Andre "3000" Benjamin, who effortlessly makes the film's cheap jokey polyester threads look sharp, and Will Arnett and Andrew Daly, as yin-yang bench announcers. Also good for chuckles: Moon's crazy promotional ideas ("Let's get tropical!").The film's sidetracks into sentimentality slow down the gags, and the endless f-words unnecessarily kick this pretty juvenile affair up to an R rating. Starts Fri., Feb. 29. (AH)

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