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Cats & Dogs
BLU-RAY disk
08.10.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Cats & Dogs order
Director:
Lawrence Gutterman

Actors:
Jeff Goldbloom
Tobey Maguire
Alec Baldwin

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The world is on the brink of chaos as one of the oldest wars in history (between cats and dogs) takes a turn for the worst as the evil cats plan to steal a serum designed to cure manís allergies toward dogs and reverse it so that all humans become allergic to dogs instead.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
CATS & DOGS is clearly one of those films I would normally avoid like the plague had I not received it to review. But with a sequel hitting theatres I suppose it was inevitable that one of us would get this in the mail. There are some childrenís movies I can tolerate but Iíve never been too keen on ďcutesyĒ animal flicks like this one (case in point, I loved Garfield as a kid and probably own nearly all of his books but I refused to watch the movies on principle as they did him absolute no justice). Children may indeed be fickled by the idea of talking animals for short while but for me it got old pretty quick.

One of the strangest things about this film for me was how flat the story was for a film that clearly went overboard with effects and visuals. The animals looked great (most of the time) and by all means came off looking pretty real. There were even some decent presentations when it comes to technology and gear once you get past the ridiculousness of an animal MISSION IMPOSSIBLE setup but it still came off as lazy regardless. Itís hard to understand what the people behind these films want to convey to their audiences sometimes, if anything, beyond what you see on the screen at any given time because rest assured if youíre looking for any sort of depth you wonít find it here.

The saddest part about this film is the cast. As far as the ones you see, itís Jeff Goldbloom I feel sorry for. He had that joke about him being dead awhile back, well guess what Jeff, you may as well be dead if youíre starring in shit like this because it donít get much more bottom of the barrel. I was hoping that I wasnít hearing Tobey Maguire, Alec Baldwin and Michael Clark Duncan but as the credits rolled I winced in pain at the sight of their inevitable names. With the SPIDERMAN franchise pulled out from under his feet, Iím hoping we donít see Maguire retreat to garbage like this, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES and SEABISCUIT.

CATS & DOGS was a painful watch, full of spy clichťs, nauseating attempts at animal humour and overflowing at the brim with terrible acting and dialogue. There are ways of making universally appreciated kid flicks without sacrificing the audienceís intelligence or the dignity of those involved. This film manages to humiliate both equally. Even in a day and age bloated with pointless sequels I have no answers when it comes to how in the name of all thatís holy THIS film earned another shot or why NPH signed on as the voice of Lou this time around (thankfully Tobey knew better).
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: Whatís particularly funny here is that director Lawrence Gutterman, producer Chris Defarla and Production Designer James Bissell clearly have a hard time when it comes to convincing each other (let alone me) that this is a good film. An impression made more obvious due to the fact that none of the known actors were willing to join them.

HBO First Look The Making of Cats & Dogs: The only thing sadder than Sean Hayesí presentation here is the fact that HBO lowered their standards to feature it in the first place.

Teaching a New Dog New Tricks: Here the production team and stunt co-ordinator go over the tricks of the trade when it comes to getting animals to act naturally. Working with animals always struck me as an environment that would be tough as hell to control.

Storyboard Comparisons: Here weíre shown a comparison between sketches and the real thing for the ninja cat scene. I always admire these artistsí work.

There are also a couple of trailers that play before the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I canít in good conscience recommend this film to anyone, even kids. There are better films out there for you and your children, that much, I guarantee. All I have is pity for the poor fools involved in this crap shoot and contempt for those who signed on for a second one.

Extra Tidbit: What ever happened to all that talk about Tobey Maguire doing a live action ROBOTECH movie?
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