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Cats And Dogs Review
Directed By: Larry Guterman
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins, Alexander Pollock, Alec Baldwin and Tobey Maguire.
When the trailer first cropped up on this one it was one of my hopes for a good popcorn summer movie fest. After the debacles of Tombraider...be honest, it sucked and the last messy hour of The Mummy Returns I thought the smaller unknown flicks might just be the saving grace this summer.
Besides, CGI Cats and Dogs battling it out over who will rule the world? Sign me up for the potential of a Warner Bros. style violence with perhaps a series of these movies to be made. And the cast list of voices Jon Lovitz, Alec Baldwin, Tobey Maguire, Michael Clarke Duncan, Joe Pantoliano, Susan Sarandon and the actual human appearances by Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins.
Fifteen minutes in I was feeling sorry for Jeff Goldblum. At least the rest of the actors only have their voices to go by...they are not there up on the big screen showing their discomfort. Only a few funny lines for the entire film and almost all of them voiced by Sean Hayes as Mr. Tinkles (Jack from Will & Grace).
The film had a lot of potential though. It reminded me of the time I saw Gremlins back in 1984 (I was only 13, you do the math) and that film took off during that summer. Huge business and though it doesn't hold up quite as well today I would rather watch it again and again than sit through Cats and Dogs.
The story and the humor is all low level without ever reaching the adult portion of the audience. I know it is meant to be a kids film but so is Toy Story 1 & 2, so was Shrek and look how well the masses responded to these flicks.
So what is the problem?
A solid family film should be geared to the family and for some reason half of Hollywood has a hard time fathoming that one. They also seem afraid nowadays of going too far or offending the viewing audience. So they resort to low-brow humour of poop and fart jokes that the kids will giggle at and the parents just shake their head at. By the way, I'm stupid enough to put together a top ten family flicks, you can check them out here!
Now, the only way you are going to get me to check out this DVD, and I mean, this means a forced viewing on my behalf, is a disc full of goodies. I'm talking gag reel, out takes, deleted scenes, commentary and a promise that if a second film is to follow...and it surely is as the first one has pulled in almost $90 million in North America alone as of this writing, then I would like a promise from director Lawrence Guterman that the second one will be a thoroughly developed idea, a good story and a truly funny script. A promise Larry, that's all I ask!
Copyright© Written by: Rob Paul
Two Audio Commentaries; Dogs and Cats.
HBO First Look: The Making Of Cats & Dogs
Still Gallery with Storyboard-To-Screen Comparisons
A Trivia Game
Video: Standard 1.33:1 (Anamorphic)
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
The DVD Review:
EASTER EGG ALERT: A Mister Tinkles Screen Test
Directions - When the first menu comes up choose Cats. When the next 'main menu' comes up click down til the spike ball is highlighted. Press play and enjoy. This isn't to hard to find, but it's not mentioned on the dvd case like the storyboards which is accessed the same way on the 'dogs' version.