Sunday, July 20, 2008

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Hey guys! mB here from A Blog Next Door, subbing for Nathaniel for this weekend. Now, I am usually one to follow up punny post title with something equally as punny (and SJP-worthty) like "The world is going to the dogs!" or "It's a dogged world out there" but really, I'll spare you - mainly because you're probably wondering what dogs I'm talking about. But if you are, it means you haven't been cringing at movie trailers in the past month. Seriously are dog-movies the new biopics?

Disney's Bolt (or the movie I like to call: Disney Animation's attempt at making a name for themselves in the shadow of [and with creative direction from] PIXAR])

Watch the trailer here and listen to John Travolta who instead of being the owner of a dog who talks (remember that?) to being the eponymous hero of this very troubled animated production (Lilo & Stitch's Chris Sanders penned and directed it before, well... who knows what happened, he's only credited for writing now). Miley Cyrus is also on board, to give the film tween-cred. 
Cringe-Factor: 2/5 
The pigeons scene and the annoying sidekick hamster make up for the overall sense of 'so...?' that I felt while watching it: kinda feels like a Dreamworks film and not a Disney one, no?

Hotel for Dogs (or the movie I like to call: Why can't Lisa Kudrow find better roles/films?)

Watch the trailer here and try and make sense of why this movie was made. It looks like a Rick Moranis film from the 1990s. Turns out Emma 'Nancy Drew' Roberts is still trying to make a name for herself as an actress and a film about a Hotel for Dogs is the way to do it. Like I said, Lisa Kudrow offers the parental role.
Cringe-Factor: 4/5 
What made me cringe more: Lisa Kudrow's hair, seeing Don Cheadle in this or the shoe vending machine? No wait the "This is the grossest thing I have ever seen"/"That's awesome" banter.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (or the movie I like to call: wtf?)

If you haven't seen this (which would mean you haven't seen Wall-E as 
it premiered before that PIXAR gem) watch the trailer here. Now, come back and tell me what the Aztecs, chihuahuas and Beverly Hills have to do with each other...
Cringe-Factor: 5/5
There are no words really...

Marley and Me (Or the movie I like to call: Huh... Jen's breasts bounce a lot in the trailer of that memoir-turned-film film)

I have probably been lying under a rock cause I had never heard anything about Marley and Me (the book) nor Marley and Me (the film). While watching the trailer last night at a Mamma Mia! showing there were too many awwwws when the pup Chariots-of-Fires his way into the screen. I just wanted to know what the hell the movie was about. Isn't that what trailers do? Either that, or get you weirdly interested. This one did nothing. (Maybe TFE readers can enlighten me and get me excited as I do enjoy Ms Aniston's work)
Cringe-Factor: 4/5
A puppy running in the beach... it's just too cutesy for me. And Jen screaming after him with Owen Wilson... yeah. No.

I don't have anything against dogs - I just wonder why is it they are (more often than not) at the forefront of 'bad' Family Films (and really... am I the only who wonders when did Hollywood forget how to make good Family Films?): think of Tim Allen's Shaggy Dog, Cuba Gooding Jr's Snow Dogs, the awful-looking Cats & Dogs, even stuff like Firehouse Dog. Rarely do we get an 101 Dalmations, an All Dogs go to Heaven, or a Beethoven anymore.  

But what do you guys think? Is Hollywood just canine-impaired or are we just experiencing a summer that's more interested (and better at) bats, mice, pandas and even robots?


Pedro said...

You forgot Underdog in your list.

Hayden said...

Lisa Kudrow, you make me sad. I know a girl's gotta get paid, but some of her upcoming projects look downright ridiculous. You're so brilliant. Really, you are. It's a wonder casting directors aren't breaking down your door to give you parts, even small comic-relief roles. The truth is, there isn't a movie out there that wouldn't be a little better with some Kudrow in the mix. You can't go wrong.

And someone as brilliant as you (and who showed so much skill in behind-the-camera work on The Comeback) should take to writing. Pull an Emma, and write yourself a brilliant script for indie production and distribution. Do it your way. But please, please, please. Don't let your talent go to waste much longer. You're too good for this.


Anonymous said...

I never saw it, but I heard "Eight Below" (sled dogs in Antarctica) was an excellent, very emotional family film. So some do exist.

And I wish Lisa Kudrow got better parts, too.

Anonymous said...

The "Bolt" trailer does have one thing going for it: it showcases the cameo made by the Goodfeathers from Animaniacs. Or at least I'm pretty sure those were supposed to be the Goodfeathers.

J.D. said...

Miley Cyrus OMG. <3


i'm more of a cat person

Glenn said...

Let's not forget Must Love Dogs in the dodgy dog romcom section.

adam k. said...

Just a B for Dark Knight? How sad.

I suspected you wouldn't be among the disciples and would place it in the "hall of the overrated" but I still expected a B+ or so.

Anonymous said...

People think they can save their crappy movies with a cute dog or two. Usually, it doesn't work.


adam k --i'm still deciding (hence the question mark) Heath Ledger is a huge huge plus (the buzz was right there) but otherwise there are issues. and i still don't think Nolan is particularly strong with action sequences (which was one of my problems with Batman Begins)

adam k. said...

A lot of people seem to love the action sequences. But there could definitely be some hero worship going on there.


there is definitely hero worship going on yes. I perused the negative reviews (thankfully some exist --it's good to have arguments about why films are or are not good) and the absolute hostility directed at the people who aren't impressed just shows that nobody who thinks the film is a masterpiece is in a clear headspace at this point.

opening weekend is such a dangerous time for groupthink and hypberbole.

it'll be interesting to see where this conversation goes once the initial media fueled hype has died down.

I'm trying to keep my head clear because I don't want to hate the movie (I don't) just because other people are being so fucking silly about how it's the best movie ever made. but it's hard not to because in a way the reaction to this movie is EXACTLY what's wrong with film cuture, corporate advertisement hype control, the media, fan culture, and film criticism right now.

it's almost like the movie doesn't exist and we're just playing out this annoying routine.

Anonymous said...

In Bruges B+, but The Dark Knight B-... wow we live in different universes

Anonymous said...

They absolutely ruined "Bolt," or, as it was originally called, "American Dog" Look at these:

and then look at this:

Lilo and Stitch is one of my favorite animated movies to come out this decade, and I was really looking forward to another Chris Sanders film. They really ruined this one.

Oh, and The Dark Knight is very good, but only GREAT when the villains are onscreen. I don't even think it's the greatest superhero movie of all time, but Ledger's Joker is the performance of the year. It's gonna be hard to beat. B sounds about right to me.

Neel Mehta said...

Labels: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow

That's kind of a weird and unintentional version of "Where Are They Now?", don't you think?

Oscar_Buzzer08 said...

Knowing that Jennifer Aniston is the lead in the film automatically means that it will be bad. The teaser trailer also looked cheap.

elgringo said...

My mom will finally want to go to the theatre again.