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5 items from 2005


Fox gives a 'Guy' a break with Reitman

26 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Fox Broadcasting Co. has acquired a half-hour comedy script from veteran filmmaker Ivan Reitman. Reitman, whose credits include the theatricals Old School and Road Trip, is on board as executive producer of That Guy, which centers on a 35-year-old man who decides to embrace a "second puberty" and start living his life like a 21-year-old. Reitman pitched Guy with the script's writers, Josh Lobis (The Tracy Morgan Show) and Darin Moiselle (Special Unit 2). Guy, which drew interest from multiple broadcast networks, comes with a penalty attached. A studio deal has yet to be signed. »

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Fox gives a 'Guy' a break with Reitman

26 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Fox Broadcasting Co. has acquired a half-hour comedy script from veteran filmmaker Ivan Reitman. Reitman, whose credits include the theatricals Old School and Road Trip, is on board as executive producer of That Guy, which centers on a 35-year-old man who decides to embrace a "second puberty" and start living his life like a 21-year-old. Reitman pitched Guy with the script's writers, Josh Lobis (The Tracy Morgan Show) and Darin Moiselle (Special Unit 2). Guy, which drew interest from multiple broadcast networks, comes with a penalty attached. A studio deal has yet to be signed. »

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No joke: Ferrell follows agent to CAA

27 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Will Ferrell has made CAA his new home. The move was expected after Ferrell's agent, Jason Heyman, left UTA earlier this month along with television agent Martin Lesak. At the time, the agents' segue to CAA was expected to bolster the agency's comedy presence and Ferrell's signing seems to plant that flag. Ferrell, a former Saturday Night Live comedian who rose to fame on movies such as Old School and Elf, is currently shooting Stranger Than Fiction opposite Dustin Hoffman and Maggie Gyllenhaal for director Marc Forster, and he will begin shooting the Untitled Will Ferrell Nascar Comedy for Columbia in September. »

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Vaughn Heads Back to Chicago

25 July 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Old School star Vince Vaughn is turning his back on Hollywood to return to his native Chicago, Illinois. The actor has sold his bachelor pad in Los Angeles and has bought a home in Chicago while he shoots new film The Break-Up with Jennifer Aniston there. He says, "I bought a place out in Chicago... I'm gonna live there for the next couple of years at least. I like Chicago... I like the people, I like the Mid-West." But Vaughn fears he'll lose touch with his agents and managers in Hollywood because he refuses to own a cellphone and he hates emailing people. He adds, "I'm just not comfortable with them... I don't email, I don't do any of that stuff. Your agents and managers call you a lot and it's just kind of rude - you're sitting there having a conversation... I just don't like being on the phone that much. I have been given one when I do a movie but I usually lose it... I just don't think about it after a week or something I'll lose it. If I had kids maybe I would have a cellphone, but I would prefer not to have any kids." »

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Kicking & Screaming

7 June 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

In the grand scheme of things, Kicking & Screaming never will be remembered for its dazzling originality (Four words: The Bad News Bears) or its sparkling wit. It doesn't even really have any memorable sequences that eventually would find their way onto an Oscar clip reel.

But when it comes to making good on its promise -- namely Will Ferrell as a driven soccer dad in a suitable-for-all-ages comedy -- the picture delivers the entirely pleasant if somewhat recycled goods.

Laughs-wise, it lacks the raucous edge of an Old School or Anchorman or the retro charm of an Elf, but there's still plenty of Will-power to fuel this likable underdog trifle. It certainly is more enjoyable than a lot of what passes for family entertainment these days.

While the Universal release shows a considerable amount of moxie by going up against the Force, parents still won't have to drag their kids kicking and screaming to this no-brainer example of surefire counter-programming.

Ferrell plays Phil Weston, a good-natured vitamin salesman with a supportive wife (Kate Walsh) and a well-behaved 10-year-old son (Dylan McLaughlin).

He also happens to have Buck, a fiercely competitive, highly critical father (a perfectly cast Robert Duvall in full-tilt The Great Santini mode) with a young second wife and a 10-year-old of his own (Josh Hutcherson).

When Buck, who coaches the top-ranked Gladiators little league soccer team, sends Phil's kid down to the bottom-ranked Tigers, Phil steps in to whip the hapless players into championship contenders with a little help from his dad's next-door neighbor, Mike Ditka -- yes, that Mike Ditka -- as well as a couple of young Italian prodigies who have been recruited from their uncle's deli.

In the process of rising to the occasion, Phil turns into a caffeine-injected soccer-dad monster but manages to see the error of his bullying ways before the final goal is scored.

It's the kind of tried-and-true story -- which initially was kicked around by Ferrell and his manager, Jimmy Miller, before being handed off to Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick (the team behind The Santa Clause movies) -- that really depends on its cast and a director with solid comic timing to get the job done.

Having established himself with American Wedding and How High, Jesse Dylan displays the requisite light touch, though in the process of going for that loose, improvisational feel, occasionally the shtick gets stuck in a repetitive rut.

Even though this one's aimed at kids, there's still enough of Ferrell's amiably loopy personality to satisfy his fans. It's great to see Duvall taking on a rare comedy, and he looks like he's having the time of his life, while famed Chicago Bears coach Ditka, in his first major feature outing, proves to be a natural, more than holding his own against Ferrell and Duvall.

Production values (though set in Chicago, the movie is shot extensively in Southern California) are bright and sunny thanks to reliable assists from cinematographer Lloyd Ahern ("Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story") and the versatile Mark Isham, who mixes it up with an appropriately playful score.

Now if only they had managed to accomplish all of the above without seeing the need to include the Black Eyed Peas' ubiquitous Let's Get It Started, they might really have started something.

Kicking & Screaming

Universal

Universal Pictures presents a Mosaic Media Group production

Credits:

Director: Jesse Dylan

Screenwriters: Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick

Producer: Jimmy Miller

Executive producers: Charles Roven, Judd Apatow, Daniel Lupi

Director of photography: Lloyd Ahern

Production designer: Clayton R. Hartley

Editors: Stuart Pappe, Peter Teschner

Costume designer: Pamela Withers Chilton

Music: Mark Isham. Cast: Phil Weston: Will Ferrell

Buck Weston: Robert Duvall

Barbara Weston: Kate Walsh

Himself: Mike Ditka

Sam Weston: Dylan McLaughlin

Bucky Weston: Josh Hutcherson

Janice Weston: Musetta Vander

MPAA rating PG

Running time -- 87 minutes »

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5 items from 2005


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