Kicking & Screaming (2005)

Genre(s): Comedy / Sports
Universal || PG - 95 minutes - $29.98 || October 11, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-10-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jesse Dylan
Writer(s): Leo Benvenuti (screenplay) & Steve Rudnick (screenplay)
Cast: Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, Mike Ditka, Kate Walsh


Theatrical Release Date: May 13, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Alternate Takes
  • Soccer Camp
  • From Rome to Hollywood
  • Kickin' It With the Kids
  • Making-Of Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Kicking & Screaming stars Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall as father and son with a strained relationship. All through his life, Phil has been tormented by his competative dad, Buck. Phil's son gets "traded" from Buck's soccer team to the worst one of the league and after their coach goes AWOL, Phil steps in and agrees to coach them. With the help of Mike Ditka, playing himself as Phil's nemesis neighbor, he makes a commitment to beat his father in the soccer finals. Of course, Phil becomes overly zealous and loses sight on what matters most... oops, did I give anything away?

K&S opened with a surprising $20 million in May of '05 (because of Ferrell's rising popularity), but fell a bit making only $52m total (though the budget was at $45m). Even with a funny guy like Will Ferrell, this film should've never been made. While I enjoyed parts of it, there is a good portion that is downright dull. While watching, the movie comes across like some sort of Disney direct-to-DVD rather than a feature film.

What it comes down to is Kicking & Screaming is a 90-minute comedy playground for Ferrell to bounce and cry around in. Overall he is funny at times, and supporting actors like Duvall and even Ditka do their parts well enough, but I can't recommend the movie too much. It's probably fine for families, but even the young ones might grow tired of it as well.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Since the film kind of came and went from theaters quickly, I didn't expect much out of this disc, but actually there's a decent amount of material... Though it is quality, not quantity, that matters, and that certainly goes for this.

There are 11 deleted scenes totaling around 12-minutes. Unlike some of deleted footage, there were a couple here that were actually pretty funny (although some were also as lame as the material already in the movie) and some other scenes were extended cuts. Nothing outstandingly hilarious (why else would they delete it?), but nice they included it.

I really enjoy outtakes in general and with Ferrell, you know you'll get some funny moments. In some scenes, Ditka blubs his lines, one of the kids gets the hiccups during his line, and Ferrell shows off his ablib skills as well. For the most part very funny, and probably the best thing about the entire disc (including the film).

The alternate takes is just that, alternate footage of scenes from the film. Some of them take place in a different location so there's nothing really new or worthwhile here.

Soccer Camp is a featurette containing interviews with the kids as they learn the sport with a soccer coach/trainer. There's really only one word to describe this: boring. Since my fascination with Kicking is non-existant, why would I care about how they learned to play? On the plus side, this does show Duvall's commitment to his role as he stops by to get a better handle on how he should portray his part.

From Rome to Hollywood highlights how the producers came up with the two Italian soccer sensations (actually based upon Greek boys who helped their team to some fame and glory). Much like "Soccer Camp", I didn't really care about why and how they got the kids (though admittedly, they were talented).

If you enjoy kids making comments, then Kickin' It With the Kids is for you! More interviews with the precious kids talking about their experience on the film or how much they like Ferrell, or Duvall, etc... Literally fell asleep when this was on.

Lastly is Behind the Net: The Making of Kicking & Screaming, basically a 12-minute promotional video telling you, the person who had just watched the movie, why you should watch the film. To be fair, there are also behind-the-scenes footage but for the most part, I never find the value in these featurettes.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

I've said it before, but it's worth saying it again: since this is a comedy, my standards for the sound and picture are lowered a bit, and for this one, the Dolby 5.1 mix is actually quite good (for any genre). In one scene where Ferrell and the kids are camping out in the backyard, the owls and other nightly sounds come across the back speakers nicely (almost real, in fact). And picture wise, the film is presented in anamorphic widescreen and looks perfect.



.::OVERALL::.

While I feel Kicking & Screaming is a "who cares" movie, in the end it's harmless I guess. The DVD itself is alright and has decent, though average in themselves, features and the sound is good for the genre. I can't quite figure who would want this DVD to watch more than once. Is it for the Will Ferrell fans out there? Perhaps the really die-hard ones, but since it's also a family film, you won't get any of that Old School or Anchorman comedy so be warned.