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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 17.16%
Average: 9.7%
Pretty Bad: 5.97%
Total Crap: 25.37%

2 reviews, 122 user ratings

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Beer League
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by brianorndorf

"Artie Lange is a no talent fat bitch... Hi Fred..."
4 stars

"Beer League" is all about dirty, offensive jokes, button-pushing sexual situations, and cheeseball "Joisey" neighborhood references. And it's a damn funny film. Artie Lange's first stab at a leading role works because of its speed; the jokes never stop, even when they whiff. It adds up to a highly entertaining slob romp.

If you’ve followed comedian Artie Lange’s ups and downs on the Howard Stern Radio Show, you already know that he’s a slovenly, punchline-friendly, “one of the guys” guys, cursed with an addictive personality that could make Tony Montana blush. So, it’s appropriate that Lange’s leading man debut would be a motion picture about a gang of blue-collar Jersey knuckleheads who prize only one thing higher than their summer softball league: booze.

Artie DeVanzo (Artie Lange) is a 35-year-old unemployed doofus who drinks too much, can’t keep a girlfriend, and lives with his enabling mother. He spends his days with his friends (including Ralph Macchio and Seymour Cassel) in their softball league, where losing is their daily bread. When rival Mangenelli (Anthony DeSando) works out a wager to have them thrown out of the league of they can’t finish first, Artie rallies the troops and pushes his team to think victory for once in their pathetic lives…after some shots and smokes.

“Beer League” doesn’t try to pretend to be anything of quality; it simply wants to make the audience laugh. It’s a smutty comedy that throws jokes against the wall at a frightening speed, hoping at least 75% of them will stick. The good news is the laughs are there. Writers Lange and Frank Sebastiano (who also directs) keep the film as lowbrow as it can limbo, hustling racial, homophobic, and sexist jokes into the script with an unexpected amount of fearlessness. “Beer League” is not for tender ears, but more for the beer-bellied, rascally rule breaker in all of us, and most importantly, there’s a great chance something in here will make you laugh.

Sebastiano conjures up a familiar sense of summertime brotherhood; the leisurely feeling of playing ball with the guys in a neighborhood park. He doesn’t have much, if any, money to work with here, but the director manages to grab the right spirit for the film. It’s filled with hateful, raunchy material, but doled out with almost a kindness to it that lesser productions often ignore. Lange and Sebastiano are writing about their friends and communities (the New Jersey jokes fly fast and hard in this film), and that sense of place and time is conveyed rather well.

That’s not to say the film is always a laugh riot. I’m disappointed that the production is so willing to give into clichés at every turn. The last 30 minutes of the feature have Artie breaking up with his girlfriend (Cara Buono, in a nice performance), a member of the team dying, and a big game for a suspenseful closer. From the first half of the film, we know already that Lange and Sebastiano are smarter than this labored structure, and the flow of the picture is disrupted when the script stops the fun to tend to needless plotting and unreasonable grabs at sympathy. I mean, seriously, the boys even sell the old prostitute-shoots-ping-pong-balls-out-of-her-vagina bit with some freshness (her stage name is “Pitching Machine”), why claw at dated and tired formula?

“Beer League” is not a feature film that will appeal to all audiences out there, and while Artie Lange can sling a one-liner with the best of them, his acting leaves much to be desired. Still, this is a scrappy low-budget comedy that tries harder than most similar endeavors, and it has a refreshingly unique voice about it that easily overcomes the dud bits scattered throughout. For any supporter of bawdy cinema on a budget, “Beer League” could be considered something of a treat if you bring your standards all the way down.

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originally posted: 01/05/07 17:53:41
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

7/17/11 Jack R a self destructing BOMB 1 stars
6/06/11 Dorothy you can go to any small bar and watch the same thing thing 1 stars
6/19/10 Heather why some movies are ever made is beyond me 1 stars
3/27/10 art AH NEW JERSEY what an "EXCITING AND INTERESTING" state!,NOT!!!! 1 stars
7/14/09 Mal Occhio Artie's commentary track is great 3 stars
3/09/08 jbubbles Worst movie ever. Artie should be not seen and not heard. He's beastly. 1 stars
11/05/07 Artie Sucks He sucks and so does his movie. Horrible. I hope he leaves the Stern Show soon. 1 stars
8/01/07 JEFF THE DRUNK Not very funny 2 stars
7/11/07 Verbal Waiting for the Brokeback Beer League sequel 5 stars
6/20/07 aldo I laughed out loud...more than once...which is way above average for a dollar-87 rental. 2 stars
4/13/07 artie's mom sorry artie, i'm a big stern fan... you guys duped us! 1 stars
1/21/07 Hoots I would've prefered to watch Artie sit there while he ate, drank, and snorted drugs. 1 stars
1/16/07 William Goss What you'd call a stinkin' piece of shit. No offense. (Still, better than Benchwarmers.) 1 stars
1/14/07 Bill W Couldn't take more than 15 minutes of it. It sucks! 1 stars
1/09/07 Chris True belly laughs are hard to get in today's comedies...Beer League gives you plenty! 5 stars
1/03/07 Jack Mehoffer I can't wait to see it now the DVD is available 5 stars
10/17/06 Crazy Alice See you in Hell Cock Sucker!!! 4 stars
10/09/06 Howard K. Stern This movie was complete fa fa flunky 1 stars
10/04/06 KC Armstrong NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/01/06 Sylvia A great throwback to a time when PC wasen't shoved down everyones throat... non stop funny. 5 stars
9/29/06 missy elliot sucks the big one 1 stars
9/28/06 Dean Wormer Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. 4 stars
9/26/06 Ronnie Mund melds the comic genius of Richard Pryor & Lenny Bruce. bravo!! 5 stars
9/25/06 Joey Boots I was so horny after this movie I had to blow me cat! 5 stars
9/24/06 ClaranceTheCobra Pretty fucking funny 4 stars
9/24/06 James Same old tired unfunny jokes, not worth it 2 stars
9/23/06 Tim Melvin kicked some azzz 5 stars
9/23/06 elegent elliot offen the movie is off the hook...that's gangster talk cunt face! 3 stars
9/21/06 gman sorry 2 stars
9/21/06 Chico the Mailman Hilarious!! A must see!! 5 stars
9/21/06 Former Stern Fan Artie ruined the Stern Show. He simply isn't funny. 1 stars
9/21/06 Jackie Artie's funny but i got 5 houses at the beach!! 3 stars
9/21/06 Dana Glad I dumped him before this bomb (PS the firefighter I went with hated it also) 1 stars
9/21/06 Jim Norton Artie, you are my comedic superior. 5 stars
9/20/06 Dominic Barbara I'm suing Artie to get my money back 1 stars
9/20/06 Gene This is a pathetic film. Lame, unfunny, & crass. 1 stars
9/20/06 Dana Artie, I still can't believe I had to pay 10.00 for a movie I was in.You Loser. 4 stars
9/20/06 peter artie is great on Stern, don't quit your day job 1 stars
9/19/06 Rodger Dodger Being a softball player I LOVED IT ALOT 4 stars
9/19/06 Jimmy Great Movie. I laughed the whole time and I'm not really a Stern fan. 5 stars
9/19/06 dylan Great movie!! Opie & Anthony r fags. still on Howards coat tail 5 stars
9/19/06 Blue Iris Great movie Artie,can I stick my finger in your ass? 5 stars
9/19/06 Ma-Ma-Monkey Batter up! "Bush" stadium is heaven! 4 stars
9/19/06 Karina I love you Artie - I saw your movie and went to see you at the Blackthorne in NJ. 5 stars
9/19/06 Cell9song Arties not funny on Stern and even less funny in this smoldering POS. 1 stars
9/19/06 Little Tiffany Artie isn't funny on the radio. He's even less funny on the big screen. Sorry I wasted $ 1 stars
9/19/06 dan the man this film was great 5 stars
9/18/06 connor peterson i could see middle aged retards getting drunk anywhere for free 1 stars
9/18/06 Howard Stern This movie blew chunks 1 stars
9/18/06 sal governale Hi Im Sal governale this movie SUCKED 1 stars
9/18/06 john fever Movie has a great look to it, some real funny lines 4 stars
9/18/06 Brittney Wells Pathetic 1 stars
9/18/06 ROGER laughed hard, laughed often 5 stars
9/18/06 Dani Woodward Dont waste your money 1 stars
9/18/06 Ramon Modesto Tell artie to stop trying to act straight on film, you can tell he is acting 1 stars
9/18/06 Ben Stern I told you not to be stupid you moron 2 stars
9/18/06 mr. hank kingsley lange should have just not done this and gone to work last summer. less embarrasment 1 stars
9/18/06 mary where has this Jimmy Palumbo been...he needs to be in more movies!!!! 5 stars
9/18/06 mitch that jimmy palumbo very funny, can't hit for sh! 5 stars
9/18/06 Scott I can only laugh at fat drunks in real life. Waste of money 2 stars
9/17/06 Dan from Cherry Hill Love Stern, Love Artie, but this film fell flat 2 stars
9/17/06 Rob from Cleveland Hilarious - like a pig snorting coke 5 stars
9/17/06 James May be the most unoriginal and unfunny movie I've ever seen. 1 stars
9/17/06 crzyroz Great!!!!! Artie is the MAN!!!!! 5 stars
9/17/06 Ramone THIS MOVIE STUNK AND I DIDN'T LIKE IT 1 stars
9/17/06 Redneck Ron Me and my new girlfriend Dana loved it! 5 stars
9/17/06 SteveFromYellowstone Needed more honey 1 stars
9/17/06 Chris Confused this with another movie Beer Fest but it was verry funny 4 stars
9/17/06 KC Armstrong needs more naked man-ass 3 stars
9/17/06 Miterban Isdurty If you like Arties humor, your gonna love the movie! 5 stars
9/17/06 Jim Highe Typically funny Artie Lange 5 stars
9/16/06 JoeFromJersey A must see from any dude who grew up in Jersey. Comedic genious! 5 stars
9/16/06 Genovese 9-15-06 at a 1030 pm showing i was the only 1 in the theatre!!! Pure garbage sorry.... 1 stars
9/16/06 Robin's Colonic Had a great flow to it 5 stars
9/16/06 mike conte Too much swearing for no reason and went no where 1 stars
9/16/06 Jimmy Dagostino I tell ya, joke after joke after joke, a pleasant surprise !! 4 stars
9/16/06 Michael Jackson It needs more young boys... 3 stars
9/16/06 Tony Carmino Palumbo is a fag 1 stars
9/16/06 Bubba Heres the rocked 5 stars
9/16/06 Riley Martin Ah wah tan zen wah! 5 stars
9/16/06 maryannfromb funny movie, even though artie called me a c#nt 4 stars
9/16/06 Bababooey Hello, hello! I think we have a new mega star on the show. 5 stars
9/16/06 polopolo not bad for a stupid drunk 3 stars
9/16/06 Crazy Alice Fucku, fucku, fucku... I liked it, short dick Artie! 5 stars
9/16/06 eduardo very funny 5 stars
9/16/06 Crazy Alice F*ck you, Artie! Hi Fred... 4 stars
9/15/06 Balls Across Your Nose Dogshit...pure dogshit... 1 stars
9/15/06 Reverend Flash Artie Lange is the new John Belushi! (Uh-oh.) 4 stars
9/15/06 Doc Great movie tons of laughs, a MUST SEE FILM!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/15/06 Imas I don't get the hype 1 stars
9/15/06 The Jesus Twins Not as good as I had hoped 2 stars
9/15/06 TwinTurboJay Artie rocks the house....should team up with Sandler next!!!! 5 stars
9/15/06 Billbizness Proud of Artie for makinga fuuny movie, It felt good to laugh 5 stars
9/15/06 The Ocelot Amazing movie 5 stars
9/15/06 Ed Very entertaining, outrageous comedy-must see!!! 5 stars
9/15/06 Stud Boy Wicked Awesome!!!!! 5 stars
9/15/06 Listerner since '86 Movie is pretty good, but not up to expectations. Jackie might have done better even. 3 stars
9/15/06 Walker Much funnier than I expected. Artie is a likeable SOB - movie was a fun laufg ride! 4 stars
9/14/06 cheech Absolutely hillarious 5 stars
9/14/06 Yakki Great flick for anyone 5 stars
9/14/06 jonn from maine that movie rocked 5 stars
8/02/06 Bill Millevoi Extremely Funny!!!!!!Artie is Great 4 stars
7/28/06 David This movie is very entertaining. Just what you would expect from Artie Lange. Don't miss. 5 stars
7/20/06 Frank nonstop laughter 5 stars
7/20/06 Alexander the Great (Big Jimmy Palumbo Fan) Jimmy Palumbo deserves an Oscar for his work. He is truly a master at his craft. 5 stars
7/20/06 tommy pissed my pants... 5 stars
7/20/06 Joan Many good laughs. Jimmy Palumbo great as 1 of the good ole boys & lover of softball. 4 stars
7/20/06 Bob Christiano "I mean its awesome !" 5 stars
7/19/06 LTrain Some funny speech scene very funny. Worth seeing. 4 stars
7/19/06 beth palumbo still laughing!!!! 5 stars
7/19/06 John Henry A must-see for all softballers 5 stars
7/19/06 Joe Palumbo A sleeper hit! 4 stars
7/19/06 Frank Great...we want Beer League II 5 stars
7/19/06 Mary Riccardi Funny movie. Jimmy Palumbo and Anthony DeSando were great in the cast. 5 stars
7/19/06 Jennifer Moran It was hilarious 5 stars
7/17/06 George Lupenski Saw it in Vegas and it rocked! 5 stars
7/05/06 Tony Giovanniello Surprisingly good 5 stars
6/26/06 Jayso Flock This movie was a great surprise 5 stars
6/20/06 kellie loner really funny 5 stars
6/20/06 Alice Hillarious 5 stars
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  15-Sep-2006 (R)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2007



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