Projections - Movie Reviews


For the first time in memory, Burt Reynolds is in a dull film.  His films have never been great, but they have been enjoyable.  Semi-Tough is a drag.

Big Ed Buckman (Robert Preston) owns the Miami professional football team.  Billy Clyde, Puckett, Burt Reynolds, and Shake Tiller, Kris Kristofferson, play for the team; each of them is also making a play for Barbara Jane, Jill Clayburgh, Buckman's daughter.

One might expect a team with a Russian place kicker who can kick 63-yard field goals; a receiver who requires his players to take the Pelf treatment with a tough old masseuse, Clara Pelf; Gene Autry records as background music, and three popular stars would be a hit.  Semi-Tough is a big disappointment.  Robert Preston is wasted; Jill Clayburgh has about forty lines, twenty of which have #$%@ in them; Kris Kristofferson is his usual dull self and Burt Reynolds listens to Gene Autry.

From encounter groups to a football style wedding, and the characterization of football players as dumb or skirt-chasers, the film goes down and down.

Its low point comes when Reynolds takes advantage of a dumb, overweight bar fly to fill his needs while Clayburgh and Kristofferson are locked in an adjoining room.

When the high point of a film is Gene Autry singing "Back in the Saddle Again", forget it.  It could be there will be a revival of Autry cowboy records from this film; let's hope so because the film itself is a waste of time.

Language causes the film to be rated R.


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