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The Ferrell Beast
by Lance Norris

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An old friend made an odd remark the other day. They called Will Ferrell a 'comic genius'. After I disposed of the body in a secluded area, (not far from the beach where Whitey and The Rifleman would dump those that offended them), I had time for quiet reflection.

I was trying to figure out why I hate Will Ferrell so much. I think it may be the yelling, or it may be more than that.

He made his debut in a small role in Kevin Dillon's CRIMINAL HEARTS in 1995, the same year he started on Saturday Night Live. That was the same season I stopped writing for them, and to be honest, I didn't really watch it much after that so maybe Ferrell was funny on SNL. All I seem to remember was the cheerleaders, and they weren't much fun after the first skit.

I'm not sure if Ferrell was any good in CRIMINAL HEARTS because I'm just not interested in watching it again. It was directed by Dave Payne of SHOWGIRLS MURDERS fame, and Don Stroud was in it. Do we need to know anymore?

Ferrell next turned up on the big screen in MEN SEEKING WOMEN; a truly painful comedy. This was TV director Jim Milio's one attempt at making a feature movie. Thankfully he gave up after that and limped back to TV. Ferrell can't really be blamed for this one though, because everything about this movie sucked.

However, Ferrell gets full blame for A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY in 1998. He co-wrote the script-something that he fortunately had given up until lately. I'm told next year he will foist an as yet untitled NASCAR comedy he's written on us.

1998 just wasn't a good year for Will. He went from Roxbury to a rip off of WAITING FOR GUFFMAN called THE THIN PINK LINE, and finally, who doesn't think he ruined an otherwise very enjoyable AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY?

Ferrell has that uncanny ability to ruin many an 'otherwise enjoyable movie' with his hammy over-acting, screaming and basic 'love me Daddy' antics. JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK was odd, but watch-able until Ferrell reared his pointed head. He did it to the fabulous WEDDING CRASHERS as well. Can you imagine someone like Adam Sandler in that role? For all his faults, Sandler is becoming an actor. Ferrell ground the movie to a halt with his over-reaching, over the top, over done, over-ness. It was almost as if all the wind went out of the sails the moment Ferrell appears on screen and, what was a great movie, then limps to its obvious conclusion.

Can anyone name me one movie that was improved with a Will Ferrell cameo? In the words of the great Ted Knight, (who's Ted Baxter on the old Mary Tyler Moore Show made Ferrell's pathetic posturing in ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY totally superfluous) "Well? We're waiting?" (On a sad note: ANCHORMAN II seems to be streaming ahead and may hit theaters in 2007, while Ted Knight remains dead.)

Further proof Ferrell is a dolt: in September of '03 he gave Howard Dean a thousand dollars for his presidential campaign. That money might have been better spent fixing his teeth. For the love of Christ and all that is holy, the freak has a jaw full of pearly browns worthy of "honorary British" status.

Ferrell's dad, Lee, played sax for the Righteous Brothers. I don't know why, but this pisses me off too.

At least Ferrell knows when to say when sometimes. As of this writing, he says there are no plans for OLD SCHOOL II. Of course, if he makes a couple more like BEWITCHED then we'll surely see zany Ferrell streaking down the OLD SCHOOL road again; and more than likely they'd set it at Spring Break, 'cause that's just crazy!

Ferrell has tattooed himself so closely to Vince Vaughn's ass that I shutter to think that this rumor might really be true: Vaughn as Thomas Magnum and Ferrell as Rick in a comic retelling of MAGNUM P.I.! Sure, it's a stupid idea, but that didn't stop them from making STARSKY AND HUTCH.

We seem to need to grant the title "Comic Genius" to someone every couple of years, as if by ordaining them great, we need not dig any further for true humor. True humor requires that we re-examine that which is being parodied. It forces us to pause and ponder; and who wants to work that hard? True humor does not induce the immediate proclamation, "That was funny!" Thus the Comic Genius is, out of necessity, seldom a good comic.

And so the worm has turned. The decade of The Ferrell Beast is over, and I'll tell you why; Will Ferrell yells too much.

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Ask a Bitter Man
Every Thursday

Lance Norris gives us his opinions on the state of film, vents about Hollywood, and generally lets his thoughts fly.


Other Columns
Other columns by Lance Norris:

Later On Croutons

Mutants On Parade 11/12/09

Mutants On Parade 11/5/09

Mutants On Parade 10/29/09

Mutants On Parade 10/21/09

All Columns


Lance Norris
Lance Norris, dubbed "Boston's only straight Film Critic" reviews movies for WZLX in Boston.

He has two books entitled Ask A Bitter Man: The Best of 1984 - 1999 Vol. 1 and I've Seen Better Film On The Teeth of Wolverines. which you can buy here


Contact
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Lance Norris by clicking here.


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