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Some guy was giving out tickets to a test screening of this abomination
to mankind, and I decided "Eh, free film and I always liked Marmaduke".
Well, I was wrong. This film is a physically painful experience. This
film consists of the BAD jokes from Marley & Me. The difference is,
Marley & Me was touching and funny and cute. This is horrible. No more
words to fit this. HORRIBLE! The horrible scene that sticks out the
most is the dancing dogs sequence that features a ton of dogs dancing
around to music in a park. I just saw a preview for this film on TV,
and the song "Tik Tok" was playing during it. Tik Tok, during a dog
film commercial. The writing is horrible, the acting is horrible, the
effects are horrible, the jokes are horrible, the music is horrible,
EVERY SINGLE LAST THING IS HORRIBLE!
I did not apply a rating to this review as 1 is too good for this.
EDIT: Under pressure from somebody, I watched the film in theaters to see if anything was different. I was wrong... IT WAS EVEN WORSE!
The funniest joke in the long-awaited live-action/CGI adaptation of
everyone's second-least favourite comic strip Marmaduke is actually
intentional, which is kind of impressive. Of course, it's not funny in
the way that the filmmakers intended it to be funny so that's too bad I
guess but it is actually a joke that is actually funny. Some connection
had been made, through the layers of awful script and boring staging
and legitimately creepy CGI. They intended to make me laugh, when they
had the mean dog Bosco call out our Owen-Wilson-voiced hero in the
middle of the hero's crowning moment, a big raucous "O.C. rager" of a
party, icing our dog out with a growled, "Marmaduke? More like
Marmafake." And they did.
I laughed, I admit it. Marmapuke, Marmapoop, Marmadreck there's a lot of ways the screenwriters could have gone, and they chose Marmafake, which well dog-gone it, it doesn't even rhyme. Notes: I also laughed when the filmmakers, seeking to set the tone after Marmaduke & family's big cross-country move to the O.C. from Kansas so the dad (Lee Pace) could work for a dog-food company with a mean boss (William H. Macy, for some inexplicable reason) by mixing "California" by Phantom Planet almost directly into "California Love" by 2Pac. I assume they'd spent all the soundtrack licensing money by that point, because they left out "California" by Belinda Carlisle and "California" by John Mayall and "California" by Joni Mitchell and "Going back to Cali(fornia)" by L.L. Cool J and "Hotel California" by the Eagles. Too bad.
Anyway Marmaduke is, we're told, a big, gangly goofy dog played by two or more real dogs in the film, that talks with a creepy CGI animated mouth. I'm pretty sure, at least, that they used more than one dog because sometimes Marmaduke has a big, dangly pair of testicles, and sometimes he doesn't, which is obviously problematic and I started thinking, while on-screen Marmaduke was having another interminable dialogue session with some other dog about something that to so brazenly, as filmmakers, use dogs with varying levels of testicle-havingness is kind of bold, almost as if they're saying "Yeah, sometimes 'duke's got nuts and sometimes he doesn't. We don't care, because nobody will notice, and if they do notice, it's because you're a perverted weirdo who both looks at and notes dog's nuts." Which left me feeling vaguely insulted, and terribly aggrieved.
So Marmaduke has some friends that are dogs and some enemies, and he makes some mistakes and eventually gets sad and runs away from his family and his haughty girlfriend, voiced by Fergie from the Black-Eyed Peas, who is actually a better voice actor than she is a singer. Marmaduke then falls into a sink-hole along with another funny-looking but faithful and nice dog (voice of Emma Stone) and then or perhaps before then there is a dog-surfing championship and everything is fine, even the sub-plots about 'duke's dad's mean boss and his kid that hates soccer.
Kids might like it, but I doubt it, as aside from being creepy and awkward and really poorly plotted it's just dull. One of the first thing they teach you in screen writing school is "show, don't tell", that expository dialogue is a no-no and narrators all the more so. But dogs can't really act, and they don't really do anything except run around and eat sandwiches so for the film to have a narrative structure the dogs have to talk, a lot, explaining everything, and because dogs don't drive or frame houses or fold clothes they talk while just standing there looking around. It's hellaciously boring, but probably unavoidable as Marmaduke is clearly an intellectual property that fans have literally been screeching and rending their clothes to see brought to the big screen and given the ol' Hollywood treatment.
I don't have anything more to say about Marmaduke. 2/10
I just saw this movie for the first time. I came to it with an open
mind willing to be entertained. I have to admit that it was a good
family movie that it is paced well and tells a simple story. Not full
of of slapstick joke, but it has a very refreshing predictable and
simple plot and easy to follow. A great movie for discussing family
values and what loyalty, love and friendship is all about and the
dynamics of it.
Good family movie . . . don't listen to the basher and purist that movies have to be a perfect reflection of reality. This is a great movie in a traditional sense.
Sit and back and enjoy it . . .
I seriously think some users here on IMDb are being undeservedly harsh on this movie. What the motives are, I'm not too sure, but I can recommend some of them to watch the documentary Heckler. Now, back to subject, sorry for digressing, I've seen worse movies get higher ratings at IMDb. Now, I'm not really a fan of Owen Wilson or movies that have animals talking, but I feel this movie is at least a high 4 to low 5, in keeping in line with other movies reviewed on IMDb. I voted 5. I watched 2 movies - namely, Thomas the cool mule and that Aussie Ted movie that I would rank at 2 - 3 each, but not this movie. This movie is not brilliant or the best kiddies movie out there, but it's good, clean family fun. That's all I expected when I took my kid to watch this. And he enjoyed it. Unlike those other 2 movies I mentioned earlier.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was a real disappointment. Even my 8 and 9 year olds thought it was horrible!! Instead of focusing on the goofy, lovable antics of the comic-strip Marmaduke we know and love, we're subjected to another lame doggy love story. (Is it just me, or is it any wonder that teen pregnancy is such a huge problem? From the time they can watch a movie, our kids are subliminally told that they MUST have a love interest or life's not worth living.I'm getting tired if it.)The plot also involves Marmaduke having to learn where he "fits in", while fighting off the neighborhood doggy-bully.Does any of this sound familiar? I wish Hollywood could come up with something original for a change.Anyway,don't waste your time or money on this loser.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Since I'm a big dog lover (and I loved 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua'), I
had great expectations for 'Marmaduke'. It's based on a well-known
comic strip but isn't as intense as 'Chihuahua'. The plot focuses on
Phil, a marketing consultant, who moves his family from Kansas to
Orange County, California after being hired by Don Twombly (William H.
Macy), owner of Bark Organics, a new age pet food company. Phil owns
the star of the film, a Great Dane named Marmaduke (who speaks to the
film audience but cannot be heard by the characters in the film).
Marmaduke the film is less sophisticated than 'Chihuahua' since its
human antagonist, Twombly, is a wacky passive-aggressive type as
opposed to the more realistic, sinister gang member/dog napper in
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (BHC).
Just like in BHC, Marmaduke, our dog protagonist, is opposed by an aggressive and intimidating canine, Bosco (a Beauceron). Phil's internal arc is linked to Marmaduke's as they both make the mistake of becoming social climbers and turn their back on family and friends. In Phil's case, he comes up with an ad campaign involving a dog surfing contest, designed to attract Petco as a possible buyer of Bark Organic pet food. Phil becomes so involved in his job that he doesn't pay enough attention to his children.
Meanwhile, Marmaduke is trying to impress Bosco's girlfriend, a beautiful collie named Jezebel, by staging a fight with his cat friend, Carlos, at a dog park (George Lopez voices Carlos and also can be heard as a canine sidekick in BHC). Soon afterward, Marmaduke wins the dog surfing contest but alienates the Petco executives when he gets into a fight with Bosco.
Things only get worse for the human and dog protagonists. Marmaduke's mixed breed friends which include Mazie (who jealously watches from afar when Marmaduke goes on a 'dream date' with Jezebel) Raisin, a brainy Dachshund with an English accent and Giuseppe, a fearful Chinese crested pooch, boycott the party he throws for the pedigree dogs from the dog park. After Bosco exposes the link between Carlos and Marmaduke, the uppity pedigree dogs led by Bosco, trash Phil's house and leave Marmaduke with a shattered ego. Crushed by the rejection by those who he considered his friends, Marmaduke runs off to the woods where he meets a dog in the wild, Chupadogra, an old English Mastiff who is reputed to have killed his owner.
Chupadogra reinforces the theme of the movie: never judge a book by its cover. Chupadogra, in actuality, was the leader of a pack of strays who abandoned him. He's not as scary once you get to know him and ends up saving Marmaduke by chasing off a rather unpleasant dog catcher. Meanwhile, Phil returns from his work/vacation and promptly drops his laptop in the backyard pool which contains his final ad campaign to woo Petco.
Phil finally realizes that he has betrayed his values and tells Don he can't attend the big meeting with Petco since he has to find the lost Marmaduke. In a dramatic denouement, Phil saves Marmaduke from drowning after he falls into a rainwater conduit and is swept away by raging waters. Marmaduke too sees the light by returning to the dog park, speaks out against prejudice (he argues mixed breeds are just as good as pedigrees) and wins over all the dogs, except for Bosco who exits, vowing revenge.
Unlike BHC, where I was laughing out loud at some of the jokes, 'Marmaduke' will not have you rolling on the floor. A lot of the jokes are pretty corny (especially the bit about Marmaduke farting). Nonetheless, at its core, 'Marmaduke' has a positive message in its rejection of careerism and the need for tolerance between people who come from diverse backgrounds.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Good Lord, this movie was painfully awful to sit through. I knew that
this movie was going to suck when I saw the trailer and the promos with
the dogs dancing in the park, but then I saw it in theaters and I don't
even know if I can fit all of the problems in this review, but here it
goes: #1- The jokes were horrible. Unfunny one-liners and word plays
and, surprise surprise, cheesy fart sound effects used in so many
movies it has become recognizable have been placed around almost every
corner, so be sure to watch out. #2- The acting was awful. Owen Wilson
has no personality (he rarely does in any movie I am sorry to say), the
voice-overs by the rest of the cast were either bad or mediocre, but
the the thing that set the record for me was Lee Page. My God, he
overacted all the time, mainly whenever he yelled "Marmaduke, NO!" A
stalk of corn could be acting and it would still be less corny than Lee
Page in his role. And #3- Wow, can you say "low budget"? When I saw the
movie, I thought it couldn't get any worse, but it did- the dancing
dogs. The really sad thing was it looked bad in the promos, but it was
even worse in theaters. The dogs looked so fake and cheesy when they
were dancing and I would love to know what the producer was thinking
when he thought that would be a good scene to put in the movie. The CGI
animation just looked so low budget that it just ruined the movie.
Well, I did the best I could. I probably did not list all the ones I wanted, but oh well. And before anyone says that it's just a kids movie and that I should cut it some slack, they should keep quiet. Just because it's a kids movie does not mean it can't suck. Up was a kids movie and it was great. Furry Vengeance was a kids movie and it was horrible. There is a difference. I rate this movie with a 1 out of 10, and the only thing keeping it from being a zero is because of the all star cast. Other than that, stay away from this movie. There are only two uses I can think of for this movie: if you have a table that keeps wobbling, by a DVD to put under it so it'll stop, or if you have ingested poison and need to induce vomiting, watch the dog dance sequence over and over. So, avoid this movie like dog poop on the sidewalk.
Every now and then, a movie comes out that critics, general audiences, and social network users love to pick on. Furry Vengeance came out in April of this year, receiving bad reviews and performing badly at the box office because it was unappealing to moviegoers. Now we have another one of those flicks, and low and behold, it's in the same category. Talking animals, and an attempt to be family friendly, but instead looks poorly not-so family friendly. When I first heard about the flick, I thought it would be just humans talking and trying to help and protect animals through bad circumstances, something I would do if I made a movie. But then the front page said "featuring the voice of Owen Wilson", and I thought, uh-oh, another talking animal movie. I watched the trailer, and it threw at me all the stock clichés, comedic pauses, rated PG, men rejected by women even for heroic causes, a use of teenagers instead of elementary school children (ie. ET and it's rip off "Mac and Me"), use of stars who are desperate for a paycheck, and several gross-out jokes. It was like I was trained to expect this in every live action family comedy released in this day and age. Could it possibly get any worse, I thought. Yes it did. A terribly executed dog dance at the end was so assaultive that my eyes were about to bulge out of my skull just like BoCo when he was tricked by Bill and Ben in The Diseasel, a Thomas the Tank Engine episode. With businesses down, foreclosures of houses, lay offs of jobs, high ticket prices, a bad box office summer this year, high ticket prices, and the ability to criticize films on social networks these days, I don't exactly see this as a surefire success, but then again, I'm secretly and sadly expecting it to be. By the way, I'm all ready to go back to a decade and a half to simpler times when I go see Toy Story 3. Save your money on that. I think I see the downfall of good CGI and decency with talking animals here. So far Babe is the best talking animal movie I can think of. Maybe you should let your kids see that.
In short, the CGI talking dogs was done extremely well, even carrying on through nuances found in most dogs - head-tilts, twitches, etc. Typical past CGI attempts practically demanded that the subject remain still while the effects are applied. So, I have to give very high marks to the special effects. The Marmaduke character is very likable as are most of the ensemble here. The story is predictable but I had a fairly good time and even found the humor to be occasionally very funny from a dog-oriented viewpoint. I truly didn't expect much from this but ended up liking it quite a bit. Having said that I will say that I enjoyed it once and will probably never watch it again, but I believe kids 7 to 11 would enjoy it quite a bit.
Don't know why so many people have a downer on this.I took my 7yo and
3yo boys to this and they really liked it!
I thought it was OK, not great but OK easy to watch. Now is that not what a kids film should be? Too many people out there think they are experts, just relax man and watch the movie.
Instead of writing crap about every film, it's unfair as myself as a parent checked the reviews for this. I am pleased I ignored them as I have my suspicions about a lot of these reviewers. This is a long line now in poor reviews which turn out to be decent movies. End result the kids had a good time watching a nice gentle movie with some laughs-get over yourselves.
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