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Kicking & Screaming
DVD disk
11.02.2005 By: Matt Hosack
Kicking & Screaming order
Director:
Jesse Dylan

Actors:
Will Ferrell
Robert Duvall
Mike Ditka

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
If you’ve seen one family sports comedy, you’ve seen them all. KICKING & SCREAMING revolves around Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) and his relationship with his father Buck (Robert Duvall). Naturally, Buck has pushed Phil to the limit his whole life. It “so” happens that Phil falls into a soccer coaching position against his father. Comedy sort of ensues…
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Is it me, or is Will Ferrell slowly falling into the SNL curse of suckiness. Clearly, Will Ferrell has a knack for comedic genius and it just barely comes through in KICKING & SCREAMING. Sure, there is only such much you can do with a PG film but even THE MIGHTY DUCKS was better. What makes KICKING & SCREAMING even watchable is the great chemistry between Duvall and Ferrell. You really get the sense that these two could be family. Some good laughs come from Mike Ditka who plays himself as the “assistant” coach of the team. Michael Bolton from OFFICE SPACE even shows his face a few times. I didn’t care for the soccer premise too much as most of the kids didn’t do much at all nor did they “charm” me with their young acting wiles. Thankfully, the soccer element ramped up when the Ditka enlists two Italian prodigies who seriously tear up the field!

When you approach the movie in relation to its target audience, I think the film does a decent job. I’m positive kids will enjoy Ferrell’s wild extremities and the “stupidness” of the story. And parents will have the satisfaction of being somewhat entertained as well. If you don’t have kids, you might think about skipping this one and sticking to good fare like OLD SCHOOL and WEDDING CRASHERS.
THE EXTRAS
As this is a children’s feature, expect no commentary track and only a small handful of bite-sized features.

The Red Cards: Deleted Scenes: These few unfinished scenes range from stupid to funny.

The Yellow Cards: Outtakes: Now these are truly hilarious! I’m not sure why these were cut but they are gutbusting scenes of Will Ferrell and Ditka just going insane.

Alternate Takes: These are conversely terrible. Just a bunch of nothing.

Kickin’ It With The Kids: Here’s the description on the box: “The film’s kid actors reveal the fun and hard work of acting in the movie!” Yeah, they call playing hard work. Lasting only three minutes, I’m not sure other kids would even be interested in learning that they have to go to school while these kids can do whatever they want.

Soccer Camp: This feature is more like it with a look at the soccer training the cast was put through by Dan Medcalfe (Nike’s Coach of the Year). Dan relates the challenge of training actors in performing difficult soccer maneuvers.

From Rome To Hollywood: An EPK that follows the two Italian soccer prodigies. I wanted to see more of these guys. They are absolutely amazing.

Behind The Net: Concluding things, this 12 minute EPK is the standard fare of the cast reminiscing how much fun they had making the project. There’s even a little Mike Ditka “history” action thrown in. Da Bears.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you have a family night in your near future, KICKING & SCREAMING might make a good viewing - especially, if it’s between CINDERELLA. Ferrell’s over-the-top irreverence sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. If it makes the kids happy and you get a few laughs out of it, then that’s a good thing. At the same time, Ferrell has done much better with his raunchier fare.
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