Semi-Pro appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not great, the image was usually fine.
Only minor issues affected sharpness. Occasional wide shots a little iffy, but those were infrequent. The majority of the film seemed accurate and concise. No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. Source flaws also failed to crate any distractions.
In terms of colors, the film opted for a heavy orange and teal orientation. These hues seemed accurately reproduced within the design parameters. Blacks appeared deep and firm, while shadows seemed clear and well-developed. The occasional softness created some distractions but this was still a mostly positive presentation.
I also liked the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Semi-Pro, as it provided an unusually active affair for a comedy. The basketball games offered the best use of the various speakers, as they opened things up to a nice degree.
This may be the first-ever example of a movie that boasts exploding nachos in the surrounds, and plenty of other information popped up around the spectrum. All the info blended well to create a good sense of environment.
Audio quality was also good. Speech could be a little metallic, but the lines were consistently intelligible and without serious flaws.
Music showed nice range and clarity, as the score and songs boasted solid low-end. Effects were also concise and accurate throughout the film. This was a surprisingly involving track.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Audio offered more range and impact, while visuals seemed tighter and better defined. This was a decent upgrade over the DVD.
The Blu-ray reproduces the DVD’s extras, and the vast majority of these appear on Disc Two. The big attraction on Disc One comes from its inclusion of both Theatrical and Extended Versions of the film.
The former lasts 91 minutes, 24 seconds, while the latter goes for 98 minutes, 27 seconds. I only watched the longer cut so I can’t compare them, but I like the fact they both appear.
Over on Disc Two, we open with four Deleted/Alternate Scenes. These fill a total of six minutes, 36 seconds and include “Dick Pepperfield Opening” (1:27), “Monix Prologue” (1:58), “Tropical Fever Dance” (0:54) and “Alternate Ending: Where Are They Now?” (2:17).
“Opening” offers a start to the movie that would’ve been extremely expository; it’s clunky and was a good cut. “Prologue” is a decent intro to the Monix character that must’ve been a difficult omission if just because it features a cameo by Amy Sedaris.
“Dance” is nothing special, as it just shows the silliness of the players in their goofy costumes. “Ending” is conventional but entertaining.
More cut footage comes under Improv. This area presents “Dick and Lou” (1:39), “Tropics Weekly” (3:42) and “Andy, Amy and Will” (3:17). These all offer multiple takes of particular scenes. Quite a lot of amusing material appears in these segments.
Six featurettes show up in the “Behind the Scenes” domain. A Short History of the ABA runs six minutes, 50 seconds and features director Kent Alterman, writer Scot Armstrong, former pro players James Silas, Jerome “Pooh” Richardson, Artis Gilmore, and George Gervin, and actor Will Ferrell.
We get a few general notes about the ABA and how it differed from the NBA. Expect a smattering of interesting facts, but mostly the show just tells us “the ABA was really cool!”
Period details dominate the 12-minute and 45-second Re-creating the ABA. It offers notes from Alterman, Armstrong, Ferrell, Richardson, Silas, Gervin, And1 streetballer Grayson “The Professor” Boucher, and actors Andre Benjamin, Jay Phillips, and Josh Braaten. The program covers the actors’ basketball training camp, casting basketball extras, and efforts to make the movie as authentic as possible.
Like “History”, “Re-creating” tends to be superficial, but it proves reasonably satisfying. I especially like the info about the arena sets, and the shots of the training camp are also good. It’s too fluffy, but it’s enjoyable.
We get more about the movie’s iconic song in ”Love Me Sexy” – The Story Behind the One Hit Wonder. It goes for five minutes, 24 seconds and provides remarks from Ferrell, Alterman, music producer Niles Rodgers, and actor Patti Labelle.
We learn a little about the creation of the movie’s iconic song. Again, we find a smattering of nice notes but not a wealth of interesting material. Still, it’s short and painless.
A basketball legend stops by during the two-minute and 39-second Bill Walton Visits the Set. We hear from Ferrell, Alterman, and head hair stylist Bridget Cook. Although we see a little of Walton’s stop on the set, Alterman’s story about his days as an obnoxious teen Spurs fan dominates. It’s an entertaining piece.
Four Days in Flint lasts five minutes, 38 seconds and presents comments from Alterman as he discusses the movie’s brief time on location in Michigan. Like its predecessors, the featurette suffers from a superficial tone. We get a few decent details but not much.
Finally, The Man Behind Semi-Pro runs 24 minutes and features Alterman, Armstrong, Ferrell, Gervin, Benjamin, and actors Woody Harrelson, Andy Richter, Rob Corddry, Will Arnett, Maura Tierney, Andrew Daly, and Jackie Earle Haley. “Man” looks at the film’s story and path to the screen, Alterman’s take on the material and his long-time love of the Spurs, aspects of the ABA, cast and performances.
Given its length, I hoped “Man” would be deeper than the other shows. Unfortunately, it emphasizes happy talk, with lots of praise for Alterman. It still dollops out some useful notes, but not enough to carry 24 minutes.
A few components pop up under the “Promotions” banner. We get the music video for “Love Me Sexy”. It essentially just uses movie outtakes, a fact that makes it pretty dull.
Flint Tropics Hot Talk with Dick Pepperfield provides some additional material. Two clips appear: “Ball Girls” (1:14) and “Pancakes and Camels” (1:25). These are fake promotional reels created… well, I’m not sure where they aired. Nonetheless, they’re amusing.
We also get three trailers. There’s a teaser, a standard trailer, and a “Red Band” trailer; that’s the one that’s for restricted audiences. The teaser is the most interesting of the bunch, though.
Though Semi-Pro suffers from a mix of flaws, I can’t call it a bad movie. I can’t call it a good one, either, but I think it entertains well enough to succeed on a modest level. The Blu-ray offers mostly good picture and audio along with a decent array of supplements. While not a comedy classic, Semi-Pro delivers reasonable amusement.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of SEMI-PRO