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Artie Lange's Beer League

By Cyril Pearl -- Video Business, 12/18/2006

Echo Bridge, two discs, color, R, 87 min. plus supplements, Dolby Digital, widescreen, Street: Jan. 2, $26.99; First Run: L, Sept. 2006, <$1 mil.

"I may not be the most talented motherf**ker at this festival, but I'm the only guy introducing a movie with a Jack and water in his hand," gurgled producer/co-writer/star Artie Lange at the opening of Beer League last fall at the CineVegas Film Festival. Lange's intro is one of a bunch of extras included on the supplemental disc of this low-brow (really low) Jersey comedy about a beer-guzzling, butt-smoking softball team that must defeat their evil cross-town rivals or risk being expelled from the league forever. Several extras follow Lange around as he promotes his film. There's footage of him in the green room at Jimmy Kimmel Live, munching on Hostess cupcakes during a photo shoot at the festival and hanging backstage at the Best Damned Sports Show—we're assuming that the rights to the Howard Stern sidekick's actual appearances on the TV shows were prohibitive, so viewers will have to be content to see Lange deliver his trademark blubbery shtick backstage via camcorder. The commentary features Lange and director/co-writer Frank Sebastiano enjoying themselves as they talk about their homespun production, wherein the set was "loose and comfortable and there was some drinking." The movie itself, which features a mix of not-quite-stars Cara Buono, Ralph Macchio, Laurie Metcalf (as Lange's mom) and the great Seymour Cassel, offers the kind of sloppy, slothy non-PC fun that's reminiscent of such Jersey laugh-fests as Easy Money and Wise Guys. As Lange puts it in one of the extras, "This ain't gonna win any awards, but I guarantee you'll laugh at it."


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