“ Genre: Children's DVDs - Animation / Universal, suitable for all / Director: Tom Dey / Actors: Owen Wilson, Emma Stone, Ron Perlman, George Lopez, Christopher Mintz-Plasse ... / DVD released 2011-02-14 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL „
* Prices may differ from that shown
== Marmaduke ==
Marmaduke isn't your average dog he is very similar to Scooby-Doo and is in fact a Great Dane. Marmaduke is voiced by Owen Wilson. Marmaduke is living in Kasas with his family and the family cat. Marmaduke's owner Phil works for a dog food company, Marmaduke loves Phil but thinks hes always being a bit harsh with him.
Carlos the cat (because they obviously can talk) tells Marmaduke that he heard Phil saying that they are being transferred to O.C because of a promotion Phil had got. They gradually move from Kansas into their new house in California even tho most of the family want to stay in Kansas including poor old Marmaduke. Phil's boss, Don Twombly (William H. Macy), wants Bark Organic (dog food company) in every Petco store in the country. Don and Phil meet at the dog park to discuss Phil's assignment, an ad campaign to win over Petco.
At the dog park, Marmaduke meets a dog named Jezebel and he immediately falls in love with her (voice of Fergie), whose boyfriend is Bosco (voice of Kiefer Sutherland), a leader, controlling and violent dog with two minions named Lightning and Thunder (both voiced by the Wayans). Bosco always picks on and bully's Marmaduke, who does want to and is scared to fight.
Marmaduke then meets Mazie a poor saddened dog where nothing ever goes right for her and she is voiced by the wonderful Emma Stone, and Mazie develops a huge crush on Marmaduke mainly because he is so dilly. He also meets Giuseppe (voice of Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a Chinese Crested and ugly looking dog who is afraid of almost everything, and Raisin (Steve Coogan), a really intelligent but decidedly minute Dachshund. They get together at night and they go and crash a pedigrees only party thrown by Bosco and his gang, only for them all to be scared away by Bosco. Marmaduke then asks Mazie to help him get the girl he wants and also asks if she can toughen him up, however Mazie thinks Marmaduke means presumes its herself Marmaduke wants to impress when it is actually Jezebel. question is what will happen and who will Marmaduke go for and can Marmaduke save everyone in need of his help. Marmaduke maybe a silly dumb dog but when he needs to be he can be the savior to all dogs, but can he in this movie? watch to find out!
=== Did You Enjoy It? ===
To be honest I was quite surprised with this movie, I was 100% expecting it to be all cheesy and just be like all the other movies that have talking animals in. But Marmaduke is actually different in so many ways. One thing is the length of the film is pretty much perfect as it can drag on a bit. I also enjoyed it because, unlike most family films, this one is rather funny. When I first found out Owen Wilson was doing the voice of Marmaduke, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how good he was. I believed this would break his career but he really does well as Marmaduke and his role will make you enjoy the film more.
If you love family films or if you love talking dogs and a couple of talking cats, then you will really enjoy this film. I have never ever been a huge fan of family, talking dog films, in truth they always bore me, but for some reason this one didn't. Maybe its because i'm a fairly big Owen Wilson fan. All in all it really was an enjoyable film and a family would love watching this together. Just remember to have a tissue ready for the sad bits!
=== Characters/Performances ===
Owen Wilson, playing a dogs voice in a film? I never thought I would see that. But he does a fairly decent job actually and if you didn't know who he was, you might actually believe its the dog talking. As you obviously know you don't exactly see how well an actor Owen can be. as hes playing a talking dog as a role but all in all he does a great job and I don't think it does any harm to his career.
Lee Pace as Phil Winslow, is Marmaduke's owner and in my opinion he does a pretty good job also. He plays a family loving guy but doesn't realize the problems going on around him. This role is always played the same in many movies but Lee Pace does the role justice and brings the movie to life.
William H. Macy as Don Twombly has always been a well known actor, although he isn't one of the main characters in this film, the parts hes in is really funny and possibly the funniest in the whole film and he really excels in this role, as I don't recall him doing anything like this before. William H. Macy has always been a good actor and he has always been one of my favorites. Quality role for him in this movie.
Fergie as Jezebel is maybe the weak link in the movie, Fergie we know is from The Black Eyed Peas and her pop career has always been top notch (i'm not a fan of The Black Eyed Peas). Fergie has had all small roles up to the point this film came out, and in this movie she is one of the main dog voices and Marmaduke's first love interest. In my opinion she needs a more suited role for herself and a stronger role. Not meaning to sound cruel but if I was a female i could of done just as good.
All the other characters and their performances are pretty well adjusted and organized. Carlos (voice of George Lopez) is Marmaduke's cat friend and he is one of the funniest characters in the movie and he also plays a key and important role, to the movies success. Kiefer Sutherland does the voice of Bosko, the bad dog that rules all pedigrees. He also does well and I was quite shocked he was even in this movie. All in all I was totally surprised at the lineup of the film and more surprised at how well they all did.
=== Special Effects ===
To be honest I was also surprised at the special effects, I thought, this film wont have any effects except the animals talking. but there were a lot more than that. They range from the dogs dancing all the way to some of them surfing. It was quite spectacular, however you can tell it was fake but it still looked good and your kids would love this.
=== Is It Better Than Similar Films? ===
Well if I am being honest, I would say this is the only decent dog talking film out there to date. We have had some pretty poor ones including Scooby-Doo, the Beethoven franchise and the Buddies franchise. This one is completely different to all of them movies, as this one is the only funny one. Marmaduke is more funny, it has better actors doing the voices and it is also a better story line. Plus this movie is more emotional and breathtaking. So I recommend you watch this rather than any of the others, even if your like me and haven't ever enjoyed a talking animal film, because it simply is first class.
=== Soundtrack ===
The soundtrack is brilliant with songs like, California by The Phantom Planets, California Love by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman, Fire Burning by Sean Kingston, What I Like About You by The Romantics plus many more. All the songs go with the right scenes as well, which make the movie that tiny bit more enjoyable.
=== Director ===
Tom Dey was born on 14 April 1965 in Hanover, New Hampshire and has directed films such as, Shanghai Noon, Showtime and Failure To Launch. Marmaduke may well be his biggest film he has directed yet.
=== Bits and Bobs ===
Marmaduke is well worth going to see and it is totally value for money. Maybe the only downside is if you was watching at the cinema it will zoom by as it isn't on for too long. Kids will love this movie as its, funny, witty, got talking animals, its cute and really enjoyable. When I was younger I used to dream about movies like this being made and now they are and I still want to see them. Its a really fun family film, that can be enjoyed by literally anyone. The runtime for this film is 87 minutes and it is rated PG for some rude humor and language. I recommend for anyone to go watch this. I first was in two minds and i'm glad I did now. Just make sure you don't get too emotional :)
This review is also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987
Thanks for reading this review :)
Director: Agris Erglis
Producer: Marte Rong
Writers: , Vince Di Meglio, Brad Anderson and Tim Rasmussen
Stars: Lee Pace, Judy Greer and William H. Macy
Voices: Owen Wilson, George Lopez, Fergie, Kiefer Sutherland,,
This movie, which was released around June 2010, is based on Brad Andreson's comic strip character of the same name and runs for approximately for an hour and 23 minutes.
** BRIEF PLOT...
Marmaduke, (voiced by Owen Wilson), a Great Dane dog, lives in your typical American household with his owners Phil Winslow, (Lee Pace), Phil's wife Debbie (Judy Greer), and there children Barbara, (Caroline Sunshine), Brian, (Finley Jacobson) and Sarah, (Miliana Haines), and the cat named Carlos, (voiced by George Lopez).
Although Marmaduke, due to his size and clumsyness, does cause a lot of 'incidents' in and around the home the Winslow family live quite happily in Kansas with Phil working for a very large Organic dog food company.
Unfortunately, when they all have to relocate to California, due to Phil's work commitments and on orders from his boss Don Twombly, (William H. Macy), things begin to get a little bit tricky for Marmaduke.
As the Winslow try to settle into there new life things aren't quite as happy as they had hoped, especially for Marmaduke as begins to meets the other dogs in the local dog park, including Mazie, (voice by Emma Stone), a scruffy shepherd, Giuseppe, (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Jezebel, (voice by Fergie) a Rough Collie who would be the prom queen in high school. Bosco (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland), Jezebel's 'boyfriend, a mean dog who becomes easily jealous when any dog even looks at Jezebel, miniature pinchers lightening, (Voiced by Marlon Wayans), and Thunder, (voiced by Damen Wayans), who are Bosco's sidekicks. Plus many many more dogs in the park.
So, with Phil trying to impress his boss marmaduke sets about trying to make friends in the dog park, but it seems the more Marmaduke tries to fit in the more trouble he manages to create, leading to a rather unfortunate and sometimes very deadly situations.
** IN CONCLUSION...
I remember reading the comic strips many years ago and found marmaduke to be quite a funny character, (this was in the last century). So when my youngest asked me to take her to see this I thought I'd give it a go, especially as the advertisers had made it out to be the funniest movie ever...but for me it fell well short in that particular category, very short indeed.
It starts off slowly, with a few old gags which are seen in many movies of this genre, then it motors along with the speed of a crippled snail on wet tarmac, trying its utmost to try and captivate the audience, although I haven't got a clue which type of audience the writers were aiming at. Then, towards to 'great' finale there is more of this stale, old over used humour which had me forcing myself to stay awake.
I'm guessing that this movie was supposed to be aimed at kids around the ages of seven, maybe up to ten, even though it has been given a PG certificate, but for anyone else, especially adults who have to take the kids to the cinema to watch this, (like myself), this may be one hour and a half that you may want to carry a book with you.
Marmaduke may be a massive 'cute' Great Dane, (the actual dog actor that is), doing a fine job at what he was supposed to be doing, hats off to the dog trainers there than. But when they turned Marmaduke into the animated Great Dane it felt like I was watching Scooby Doo in one of his movies, half the time I was waiting for Shaggy to appear. Luckily though, there are not too many of these scenes to cringe at.
It's the typical story of a mans choice between family life and work commitment, whilst edging into a high school in the doggy park scenario, you know what I mean, making the dog life appear to be like an American high school where there are different groups of kids/dogs each one knowing there pecking order.
With Bosco being the leader, having Jezebel as his girlfriend, that is until the new kid on the block, in this case Marmaduke, comes along. Then there's Bosco's 'wingmen' and followers, Thunder, lightening and the other pedigrees.
There is even the cheerleader types, in the shape of two Afghan Hounds, to complete the set, but even all these 'characters' combined failed to impress me one bit.
It does have some funny moments, although so far apart you'll forget where and what the previous comical scene was, but most of the movie falls far short of entertainment.
As for the acting, well, this is not bad considering what they had to work with. Wilson does a fine, if some what over the top, job as the stressed out husband/dog owner who has a tough decision to make, and Macy steps out of the ER with his portrayal as the weird and very pushy Twombly.
But, as I said earlier, the 'gong' for best acting has to go to the animals themselves for their shear obedience as they were forced to star in this movie.
For me the advertisers did a cracking job in 'hyping' this movie up so that people would crawl across hot coals to make sure their children got a seat at the cinema just so they can go to school and talk about it to there friends. But I know believe that the advertisers used the best bits of the movie in there adverts as that was all that made me titter when I actually watched the movie... you know the scenes, the dog 'farting on the bed', the bee on the nose, the man getting knocked over by the dog... these were the funniest scenes for me, leaving the rest of the movie dragging behind as I forced myself to stop yawning.
Even my daughter struggled to enjoy this one, and she laughs at almost anything, so this told me that it wasn't just me that found it to be as dull as a politicians speech. Usually when she watches a movie and enjoys it she always asks to watch it again when it comes out on DVD but, luckily for my wallet I suppose, she doesn't seem too interested in watching this one.
Although, to be honest, she did like the ending, and I did a little too, not just because we could get out of there but because of the closing 'dance' scenes and rather interesting animated effects.
In all, a movie which is worth giving a wide berth to if you are looking for entertainment, action, good comedy or even something half decent to watch for an near hour and a half. It is about as funny as a Chubby Brown joke and as watchable as a solar eclipse with a pair of binoculars.
I for one was very disappointed in how the writers believed that this finished product could be called entertaining family comedy, these people need to watch some proper 'entertaining' movies to maybe get some fresh ideas.
If I could give it half a star i would. but i can't so i am forced to give it one star.