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Awfully Good Movies: Buddy (Video)

Buddy (1997)

DIRECTOR: Caroline Thompson          CAST: Rene Russo, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Cumming

After a bit of a break, Awfully Good Movies is roaring back to life in time for Dwayne Johnson’s latest sci-fi actioner RAMPAGE, and if you thought The Rock has it bad trying to keep his pet gorilla from destroying the city, wait until you see Rene Russo have a gorilla act as her adopted son in 1997’s true life family adventure BUDDY. No, really, this ridiculous concept is about a real-life woman: Gertrude Lintz, a dog breeder in 1920s Brooklyn who, in her spare time, raised two orphaned gorillas up like they were her children, until they got big enough to go out on their own. But in the hands of the newly established Jim Henson Pictures, with Francis Ford Coppola on hand as executive producer, we’re just gonna whittle that down to one gorilla as we dramatize this story into a delightful adventure for all ages. We’ve got a problem, though, cause the way this movie is made REEEEEEALLY makes it looks like Rene Russo wants to get it on with this gorilla. And even though we got legendary people like Paul Reubens and Robbie Coltrane to fill out the non-animal cast, the script gives them little else to do but sit back and let this crazy woman dress her gorilla up in a suit. However, this movie’s got some good ape costume work from the Jim Henson Creature Shop, and nobody can resist the sight of a chimpanzee rolling down the street in roller skates. And when it comes to movies from the late 90s where Paul Reubens plays a character who claims to be an expert in primates, this one will at least get more laughs out of you than DUNSTON CHECKS IN.

And if you want to survey other forms of wildlife in the Awfully Good Movies jungle, then come along with me to explore their online video habitat...

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Extra Tidbit: Last year, Alan Cumming--a PETA supporter--found out that one of his chimpanzee co-stars from this movie, named Tonka, was spending his retirement locked up at the unaccredited Missouri Primate Foundation in Festus, MI, living in a cage so small and dirty that the owner of the facility received several citations for violating animal welfare regulations. So Cumming wrote a letter to the owner where he pleaded for Tonka to be moved to a real animal sanctuary. I couldn't find any follow-up to the story revealing whether Cumming succeeded or not, but I genuinely hope the best for that poor little chimp. I'M NOT CRYING, YOU ARE.
Source: JoBlo.com

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