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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What gives with the dogs?

I love dogs just like any other human being. Heck, I even had one. Her name was Maggie. She was a cockerspaniel who liked to chew bones and chase raccoons during the middle of the night to my father's chagrin.  
But that's as far as I go with dogs. I hardly like them in my cinema. Sure, there's Turner and Hooch, but that's it. You gonna tell me K-9 was good? Top Dog? Sister Act
Well, the country sure loves it dogs right now. Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Marley and Me, Bolt, and—coming soon—Hotel for Dogs
So far, three out of those four films have been in the top 5 of the box office for weeks on end. Marley and Me has passed Four Christmases as the Christmas film, garnering more than $100 million, staying atop the box office. 
Look, I'll give Bolt a slight pass—it's animated. But the rest of these films? At what point was it so low executives said, "Hey, we should get George Lopez to do the voice of a live action dog! That ought to be hilarious!" On top of that, "let's have the lead dog act like Paris Hilton." 
"That's entertainment," the other exec blares from another office down the hall.  
But can we blame them? Hell no, the film was on top of the box office for weeks. Yes, weeks. Letting the director of such masterpieces as Scooby-Doo 2 get another shot at a career. 
As for Marley and Me: it was a given. The moment this book hit the shelves, it was going to become a film. SPOILER ALERT: The fucking dog dies at the end! Whoops, did I ruin it for you? Get a large, smart clue. If you market a book with a cute dog on the front, that dog is either going to die or suddenly start talking like George Lopez. And no smart writer will give a dog the voice of George Lopez. 
But, thing is, this movie was done long before the book came out: My Dog Skip. Now, there's a film that did the whole dog genre sincerely and with tact. Sure, it's about a dog, but it doesn't make you gag like Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston do. 
Marley and Me should be called Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston's Calling Card. I can see there agents now, trying to market them.
Wilson's: "Look, Bobby, I know he's done some shit. Drillbit Taylor, all that dramatic shit. I know, Bobby! But, he did that dog movie! It was a hit. Bobby...Bobby, c'mon!"
Aniston's: "This Aniston chick. Boom, I know. I know. The Break-Up. Friends with Money, thinkin she's Oscar-caliber or somethin', but she did the dog movie. Bobby...Bobby, c'mon!"
Thing is, Wilson and Aniston can act when given the chance. Check The Darjeeling LimitedThe Good Girl
And because America saw all these movies, we get a fourth, stale helping with Hotel for Dogs. In this (yet again) Disney-produced pick, the dogs don't even talk. They just sit there, while kid-actors scheme around them. 
Prediction: box-office gold, terrible reviews. But is it the final nail in the coffin? Hardly, it's the new horror film. Just as Saw is getting staler than a four-month-old box of Saltines in grandfather's cabinet, the dog movies will replace the horror films. 
I had a dog once, but the difference between me and Hollywood: I'm not going to write a sentimental crock entitled Maggie and Me
But, alas, to some people, "That's entertainment."  

1 comment:

  1. The dog films will never go away, and when they take a hiatus it is always replaced by the monkey movies. I was glad that Owen tried to off himself and then drop out of Tropic Thunder and then sign on to Marley and Me. In hindsight it was a good career move, but he is gonna lose a fan if he keeps this shit up. I expect this shit out of anyone who was on Friends. By the way Turner and Hooch is not a good movie, the best movie dog ever is Hosehead from Strange Brew. Now thats a dog movie I would see!