Movie Reviews: SEMI-PRO & 30 DAYS OF NIGHT
In 1976, Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) is a washed-up one-hit wonder who uses his brief moment of fame and fortune to buy a professional basketball team. He purchases the Flint Michigan Tropics, elevates himself to their top player and quickly transforms the team into the worst franchise in the fledgling ABA league. The Tropics are on the verge of being disbanded when the ABA folds into the NBA, so Jackie must rally his fellow players to actually win a game before they're forced to call it quits.
Cast Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Will Arnett, Andre 3000, Rob Corddry, Maura
Director(s) Kent Alterman
Writer(s) Scot Armstrong
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date Feb. 29, 2008
Running Time 90 minutes
MPAA Rating R - for language and some sexual content
Semi-Pro provides enough laughs to make it watch-able if not memorable. First off I'm a Ferrell fan. I love his classic movies, Old School and Anchorman and have sat through the clunkers like Bewitched and Kicking and Screaming. Needless to say I'm hardly objective mainly because I just think Ferrell is funny more times than not. In Semi-Pro Ferrell's Jackie Moon seems an incomplete creation, something just missing here. He delivers some fun lines and but most of the attempts at comedy just feel a little lazy and uninspired. Woody Harrelson's character and subplot is suppose to give the movie a bit more of an emotional kick than you'd expect from these kind of movies but the subplot kind of falls flat and just slows the movie. The character just kind of feels like a bit of a knock off of Tom Berenger's character from Major League. Will Arnett does provide some great laughs here but I wish he'd been given a bigger part. The aforementioned subplot kind of creates tonal issues, mainly because you never quite sure if the movie want you to take it as just plain zaniness, ala Talladega Nights, or if it actually wants you to take the characters seriously. Perhaps it's more about the general repetitive nature of these movies that Ferrell's been putting out the last few years. It's occasionally funny but I can't honestly say you haven't seen it before. Here Ferrell's got an afro and short shorts and the movies over really quickly. It'll provide some laughs but I can't promise you you'll remember any of it once you leave the theater.
30 DAYS OF NIGHT
town is plunged into darkness. So, what better place for vampires to show up and go on a feeding frenzy? It's up to the town's sheriff (Josh Hartnett) and his estranged wife (Melissa George) to hold back the forces of evil before all of the citizens are drained of their blood.
Cast Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Jr. (more)
Director(s) David Slade
Writer(s) Stuart Beattie, Brian Nelson, Steve Niles
Status On DVD
Release Date Oct. 19, 2007
DVD Release Date Feb. 26, 2008
Running Time 113 minutes
MPAA Rating R - for strong horror violence and language
30 Days of Night has some great ideas and concepts but it ultimately fairs to deliver a truly special experience. 30 Days of Night does start off with promise. The isolated locale and perpetual night really gives the film an interesting feel making it instantly unique when compared to most vampire movies. The actual vampires are almost not your typical fare as here they are more animalistic and feel more like a marauding pack of animals. It's a welcomed change for sure although it's never explained why they speak a different language but it's a small complaint. Josh Hartnett does a decent job of carrying the film and given that he's pretty much the only character that has any depth at all he pretty makes the movie go. Sadly, Ben Foster is totally wasted here. He appears early on and delivers a few creepy lines and quickly disappears. As for the rest of the cast, Danny Huston stands out. He gives the vampire leaders the right amount of eeriness and ferocity. Unfortunately, he's not given enough to do and the rest of the vampires can't even be considered one dimensional as there is zero time paid to them outside of chomping down on hapless victims. As the movie progress the films flaws become more and more apparent. The group of survivors are uninteresting and almost as faceless as the vampires. Hence it doesn't really have any impact when one of them is killed off. As it meanders towards it's finale it becomes more and more tedious. Sadly the final showdown really disappoints and while the overall concept is interesting and original, the execution and lack of characterization really hurt this film.