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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I'm a huge fan of Will Ferrell and so I was excited when this movie was released. Although I never got a chance to see it in the theater I rushed to buy the DVD once it was released much to my wife's dismay, since she doesn't share the same love of Ferrell. The greatest thing about this film is that, while Ferrell may have to reign in some of the outlandish remarks that make him so funny in order to keep a lower rating and appeal to children and parents alike, he still maintains the same enthusiasm for his work and delivers a performance that is over the top, hilarious and spontaneous, and one that even my wife found enjoyable. That's probably one of the most commendable traits here. It serves as a really great family sports comedy, appealing to children but also giving the parents something to laugh at.

The film follows Phil Weston as he matches wits with his stubborn and overbearing father Buck. Buck, played by Robert Duvall, has always been disappointed with Phil who never shared his father's love of sports and everything manly. Instead Phil grew up to run a vitamin store, something Buck is somewhat ashamed of. Throughout Phil's life his father always had to be the best, even if that meant trampling his own son down in the process, and now, years later when Phil's son Sammy gets the same treated from his dear old Grandpa, Phil has to take maters into his own hands. He does that by offering to coach the loser team Buck traded Sammy to. Buck is unsupportive but in the end it's the competition between the two Weston men that finally bonds them like they've never been before.

Will Ferrell shines here, with all the quarks and loud mouthed antics that make his more adult oriented fare so entertaining. As Phil ditches his vitamins for coffee he becomes loud, obnoxious and downright out of control and it all adds up to a great deal of fun. Duvall is also effective as Buck. He's rude, mean and at times a downright tyrant. The first time I watched this movie his character actually made me angry. Mike Ditka is actually really funny as himself here. All the children are effective and funny in their own rights as well.

The story is a sweet one at that, showing the importance of letting your children have fun and be themselves, of not adding undue pressure to their success and never allowing your own insecurities and self doubts to ruin your relationship with your child. It shows the good and bad side of competition and the dangers of taking things too far. But, in the end `Kicking and Screaming' is just good old fun and is one that the whole family can enjoy together time and time again. I loved this movie (found it much more entertaining than the `Bad News Bears' remake released around the same time) and highly recommend it. It may not be the best sports comedy out there, but what it lacks in originality it makes up in laughs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2005
This is a cute picture about father and son rivalry that finally gets squashed by a game of soccer....Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall play father and son, who through the years cannot seem to get it together, Duvall's character (Bucky Weston) seems to find fault in everything that his son (Paul)does, and when the two have sons on the same day...it crosses over to the next generation!! Paul's son Sam plays on a soccer team that grandpa Buck coaches, only to be left as the bench warmer...then gets traded to the other team....by his own grandfather!

When the other teams coach does not show up to a game, Paul takes over....watch the antics as the team with uncoordinated, goofy players run down the track to.....you figure it out!!

Great movie about family and teamwork....:)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2006
Let's get a few things straight right off the bat, okay?

1. Not every movie ever made has to be thought provoking and artistically satisfying.

2. Will Ferrell will probably never be mentioned in the same breath as De Niro and Pacino.

If you can get on board with these two statements, then you might just enjoy "Kicking & Screaming". Let's face it, the premise is almost absurd, but isn't absurdity the stuff of good comedy?

Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) is upset that his son Sam is nothing more than a bench warmer on the soccer team coached by his father Buck Weston (Robert Duvall). To appease Phil, Buck trades Sam to a rival soccer team so he can get more playing time, and through a series of events Phil becomes the coach of Sam's new team. The only problem is Phil knows nothing about soccer. What follows is a string of hilarious moments that culminate with a Father versus Son coached championship match.

As a whole this is not a great movie, but there are many moments that are laugh out loud hilarious, and it seems the more you watch it, the more you like it. Ferrell is in rare form as he slowly transforms from the milquetoast, quiet, inept coach to the win at all cost clone of his father. His rants will leave you with a ton of quotable lines that will make you laugh just thinking about them. Obviously Will Ferrell movies are targeted to a specific audience; I guess I happen to be one of them.

Grade: B

Recommendation: Buy it, if you can get it cheap
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I liked this movie. Sometimes a 'simple' movie can be colorful enough, and entertaining enough, without having to be great or artsy. 'Kicking and Screaming' was very formulaic. I actually found myself predicting each step and outcome as the plot unfolded--- the adult abused child, his dad, and his son, and the three generations colliding. The re-play of the overbearing father thing, the adult man vowing to never be like his father, but then getting accidentally caught up in the same dynamic himself. then the sports movie redemption, etc., etc.

It sounds like a clich?, and it is--- but, oddly, I found myself more surprised than annoyed as each clich? denouement surfaced. I kept thinking, as the clich? loomed--- 'Nahhhh... they wouldn't do that. There must be some slick tricky twist coming up.' Nope. No twists, no tricks--- all the clich?s play through exactly like you expected them to. But there was a certain courage and honesty about that, which I greatly admired. They had a simple. straight-forward, no-nonsense formula story, which they played out exactly as that. It was very honest. Robert Duvall--- always great. Will Ferrell, always funny. Mike Ditka, as an actor--- he's a great football coach.

Overall, Kicking & Screaming is a great family sports film that fulfills all comedic expectations. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for lighthearted, silly, and all-around fun entertainment. (That'd probably be somewhere around most people or so, wouldn't it?)
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Will Ferrell is always funny, and the part of Phil Weston would seem to be tailor-made for his comedic antics. Phil's basically a little boy in a man's body, a little boy who wants to finally prove himself to his father and make up for never having met the old man's expectations. Robert Duvall lends the film an importance presence and additional laughs as the highly competitive Buck Weston, sporting goods king and highly successful coach of the Youth Soccer League Gladiators team. Phil (Ferrell) has never been able to get a leg up on his father - but certainly not from lack of effort. When he got married, his father got re-married; when he had a son, his father's wife gave birth to a son (slightly larger, of course) the same day. Young Sam and his equally young uncle Bucky play for the Gladiators, Buck's team, and they are all but unbeatable. Sam, though, is the proverbial benchwarmer, so Buck decides to trade his own grandson to the league's worst team. Yes, it's another team of misfits of all shapes and sizes that just need an incredible coach to take them to unsuspected glory. That coach is nowhere to be seen, and Phil ends up taking on the job.

That's when the competitive juices start flowing. The first big move Phil makes is to take on an assistant coach, his dad's neighbor and long-time enemy Mike Ditka. Iron Mike is surprisingly good in this film and more than holds his own beside both Ferrell and Duvall. He only takes the job to try and make Buck's life more difficult, but he soon goes about whipping the little misfits into shape. The team still stinks, but their fortunes begin to change when Ditka and Phil bring in two new players, a pair of Italian kids who were apparently born with soccer balls balanced on their feet. The team begins winning, and with every win Phil goes a little more cuckoo for cocoa puffs; his new coffee addiction doesn't really help, either. Sure, it's funny to watch Ferrell go about inspiring his team in pretty unorthodox ways, but it eventually gets to the point that the whole thing stops being funny. Even Ditka can't get behind telling the kids to cheat (without getting caught, of course) or break a few clavicles. Ferrell's character just goes so over-the-top that you just want to slap him; he lets the desire to beat his dad corrupt him completely, and the lack of moderation in the second half of the film is a real negative.

There are a lot of laughs to be had in Kicking and Screaming. It's exceedingly formulaic and predictable, but that doesn't matter all that much as long as the laughs keep coming. The script just takes Ferrell's character way too far over the line; watching a crazy guy coach soccer is funny, but watching a freak going bonkers on the sidelines is more annoying than anything else. The film could really have used more Ditka in the later stages. Don't go thinking this is some cameo by Iron Mike; he gets a lot of screen time, and he makes this movie better and funnier with all of his trademark habits.

In the end, Kicking and Screaming is a very funny movie, but it's not a great comedy. Despite excellent performances all around (especially Ditka's), the film is just too over-the-top for its own good. You can't say the movie tries to be anything more than it is, though - it's all about generating laughs and nothing else.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2005
i think kicking and screaming was an awesome movie because not only do i like soccer but i love comedy movies and i thought it was quite funny,i also like how the actors all had different personalities it made the movie more interesting and fun.

i think alot of kids will like this movie i know that alot of my friends liked it and we are 11. hopfully it will go far and the actors will play in alot more movies to come.

thanx to all the cast and crew for making such an awesome movie

from *Lucy the cutie*
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I can't get enough of this movie. Kicking and Screaming is hilarious! Easily the funniest Will Farrell movie ever. Also probably the best sports movie. Will Farrell works really well the the kids - as well as Mike Ditka (who has a great role). Each kid has his own personality and character, with Byong Sun easily the most adorable. From the coffee addition to Farrell's abuse of rival teams, Kicking and Screaming will leave you screaming for more. I'd give it 6 stars if possible!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I normally would not have rented this but my wife loves Will. It turned out to be quite funny, and the storyline was good as well. Ditka and Duval both doing above job in terms of acting and Will is Will. Some bad acting parts by Will (when he cries in the car) but overall good movie. Good fun for the family.
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on December 10, 2005
Will Ferrell now one of the hottest stars in Hollywood is directed by Jesse Dylan who has experience in comedy after directing American Wedding.This is a nice family film to pass your time and laugh with your kids or even just all by yourself.And on a trivia note Jesse Dylan is the son of Bob Dylan.

The film tells the story of Phil (Will Ferrell)and how his father has pressured him all his life since he was a infant to be athletically capable person while having no talent at all.While he gets a family on his own his relationship with his father has not been going well when his father trades his son to a another soccer team The Tigers instead of keeping him in the one he coaches The Gladiators.As Phil gets mad about it.Situation brings it for Phil to coach his sons team.Being the worst team in the league with the players being a bunch of misfits,Phil has to take as his assistant coach Mike Ditka the Superbowl coach himself.He and Phil embark on a journey to take down Phil's dad for good.With very funny results in the outcome.

This film is made for kids and their families.This a funny film.Will Ferrell showing film after film that he is star to stay.A greatly talented comedian and SNL veteran is quite good in the film.He acts beside the great Robert Duvall in a very good manner and to the Football Hall A Famer Mike Ditka.Mike Ditka in his first acting part does a great job.He is serious and funny when he needs and great addition to the film.Film is well hearted with overall theme of father and father figures and trying win your fathers love and respect.Phil who never had a good relationship with his father is always trying to get his respect.Instead with Ditka he gives it automatically respect.

Also besides being a comedy and a family film.Its a sports film.Its soccer movie.The soccer in the film is pretty good.Its realistic and fun.Its not sloppy.A lot of films make the sports sections pretty sloppy and ruins the mood of the film.Like in the film the two Italian kids playing soccer.They look really cool makimg some amazing soccer moves.I mean this is no great sports film.But it's a better and a more serious film than some other films that don't take themselves seriously and lose the purpose of the film in the end.This film knows what it is about and what to show the audience a good time.So when there done with the film they can turn off the DVD with a smile.

The is a fun film and worth a look.Cool extras on the DVD like outtakes and behind the scenes makes this DVD a nice little package for the whole family.So watch and enjoy.
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Nice guy Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) has never been able to live up to the expectations of his ultra-competitive sports stud father Buck (Robert Duvall). The apples don't fall far from the tree when both father and son have boys the same age: Phil's son Sam (Dylan McLaughlin) is a thoughtful unathletic child, while Buck's son Bucky (Josh Hutcherson) is driven to win like his father. When Phil ends up coaching Sam's last-place soccer team the Tigers in the same league as Buck and Bucky's team, the Gladiators, the father/son competition is on as never before. And who better to challenge Buck's team than his equally competitive neighbor, football Hall of Famer Coach Mike Ditka?

According the its writers Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, "Kicking and Screaming" was inspired by the ubiquity of children's soccer clubs in the United States these days and the parents who take the game too seriously. That's certainly fertile ground for comedy. Where I live, those parents are unaffectionately referred to as the "soccer mafia" for their relentless and sometimes underhanded crusades to turn every square inch of parkland into a soccer field. It's already satire; no writers required. But "Kicking and Screaming" does little to exploit that angle. This is a one-joke film, and that joke is a couple of grown men acting out a lifelong rivalry through a bunch of kids. The kids are cute and quirky. Young soccer phenoms Francesco Liotti and Alessandro Ruggiero are impressive as the film's Italian kids Gian Piero and Massimo. But the interminable father-son rivalry wears thin. I was left with the feeling that there is about an hour's worth of material in this hour-and-a-half film. It gets dull fast.

The DVD (Universal 2005): Bonus features include 11 deleted scenes, outtakes (8 ½ minutes), 3 alternate takes (5 ½ minutes), and 3 featurettes. "Soccer Camp" (7 ½ minutes) is about the 2 weeks of soccer camp that the young actors went through under the tutelage of soccer choreographer Dan Metcalfe. Includes interviews with the kids. "From Rome to Hollywood" (9 minutes) is about finding the 2 young soccer players to play "the Italians" in the movie, their trip to Los Angeles, and their experiences making the movie. Includes interviews with the kids Francesco Liotti and Alessandro Ruggiero. "Behind the Net: The Making of Kicking and Screaming" (12 ½ minutes) features interviews with director Jesse Dylan, writers Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, and the cast in which they talk about each other and occasionally about making the movie. Subtitles are available for the film in Spanish and French. Captioning in English. Dubbing is available in Spanish and French.
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