HTF REVIEW: "Cats and Dogs"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 24, 2001.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    CATS & DOGS

    To-tal Annihillation!
    So it has come down to this. For years cats
    have been menacing dogs, and dogs have been
    chasing cats. Sooner or later you are going to
    piss one side off enough to start a war. That
    day has come in Warner's Summer hit, Cats and
    Dogs, just released to DVD in beautiful
    widescreen.
    The movie is, well, pretty darn good. This is
    the best talking animal movie ever made since BABE,
    which takes the animal talking/puppetry technology
    to the very edge. I'll talk more about that later
    in the review.
    The premise of the movie is simple. The Brody
    family's dog, a secret agent who is part of a
    world-wide network of dog agents is catnapped.
    The family dog is replaced by a lovable beagle
    name Lou (Tobey Maquire), who is taken under the
    wing of a gruff older agent dog, Butch (Alec Baldwin).
    Together, they must face an evil plot of world
    domination being masterminded by the cats.
    Leading the cats is Mr. Tinkles (Sean Hayes), who
    is a ruthless feline leader, but never seems to
    get the respect he thinks he deserves. He's a
    determined Persian who is hell-bent on stealing a
    secret formula being developed by the Brody family's
    father (Jeff Goldum).
    How much you will truly enjoy Cats and Dogs
    depends on your age. Kids are going to love this
    movie. Adults, on the other hand, will find it
    initially very entertaining and funny, but the
    uneveness in the script really makes the film wear
    out its welcome before it is halfway done. It's as
    if they had this great idea of doing this talking
    animal movie with astounding effects, but somehow
    couldn't put together a script that kept the film
    on 4 legs for its entire length.
    Let's talk about the quality of the DVD...
    This is going to be somewhat bias. I just
    purchased a new 57" projection television. This
    was my first movie in anamorphic progressive scan.
    I was simply in awe as to how beautiful the transfer
    of this DVD looked. Warner Brothers has been doing
    a consistently great job with its transfers with
    their latest releases, and Cats and Dogs ranks
    right up there with Driven (which I found
    to be Warner's absolute best transfer to date).
    The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is well balanced with
    lots of stray (no pun intended) action going on in
    the rear soundfield. The sound is very bright with
    lots of punchy, booming bass that came from my SV
    Subwoofer.
    Cats and Dogs is a terrific throwback to
    the Cold War/James Bond action films with all sorts
    of cool gadgetry and nasty villains. There's even
    a remarkable ninja cat fight with shooting spikes
    and ninja stars. You look at this stuff and can't
    help but be amazed by how it was all done. Fortunately,
    this DVD shows you a lot of secrets behind the film.
    The supplements include a HBO "First Look"
    documentary hosted by Sean Hayes (who voices Mr.
    Tinkles). It's a fun look at the actors who
    voiced the characters, as well as a fairly in-depth
    look at how regular animals were made to talk and
    do all the on-screen stunts. It was interesting to
    see how computer models were built and how a computer
    wire-frame was placed over the finished filmed
    segments of the animals and how using that frame,
    the animators were able to manipulate the facial
    movements. There is also Teaching A Dog New
    Tricks segment that shows you how the animals
    were trained for many of the scenes. There is also
    a Storyboard Comparison segment, a
    Theatrical Trailer and even a bunch of cool
    stuff you can do once you pop your disc into your
    CD-ROM.
    The film has a feature-length audio commentary
    with the major principles involved with the film.
    As I said, the film appeals to kids and adults,
    though I think adults will become bored with it
    faster than the kids will. It's fun to watch, but
    the film is not supported by a strong script. The
    overall DVD transfer and sound mix is well worth
    sitting through, and I think overall this is a disc
    that is worth purchasing.
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    Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
    Circa 2000
    Home Theater Forum Administrator
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  2. Ricky f

    Ricky f Supporting Actor

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    Greetings and Salutations
    I was happy to see that beautiful WIDESCREEN banner.
    Yes, This one also sounds like another buy for me
    Thanks for the review Ron
    Regards,
    Ricky
     
  3. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    I agree with this film losing steam before the halfway mark. The trailer showed promise, but the film ultimately fails to deliver a minimal amount of satisfaction.
     
  4. George Cifrancis

    George Cifrancis Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw the movie at the theater and thought it was a lot of fun and very hilarious. It is worth at least a rental.
    George C.
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    George Cifrancis
    cifrancis.com
    jessicasteen.com
     
  5. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    I rented Cats & Dogs today. Started Watching it and had to shut it off about 40 minutes into it. Just didn't appeal to me much. The transfer though was excellent.
    ________________
    Aryn Leroux
    My Collection
    [Edited last by Aryn Leroux on October 24, 2001 at 02:45 PM]
    [Edited last by Aryn Leroux on October 24, 2001 at 02:45 PM]
     
  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Although these days I tend to rent films I haven't seen rather than buy them, I'm tempted to pick this up just to vote with my dollars in the OAR war.
    Sounds like I'd like the movie, anyway.
    Also, one correction, Ron. . .it'd have to be the best animal film since Babe 2, not the original! Pig In The City was a work of GENIUS! [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward Extra

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    Sounds Great! Title now on order.
    Another fine review! I've lost count how many that's been this week. Ron's been busy!
    Mark Ward.
    [Edited last by Mark Ward on October 24, 2001 at 03:00 PM]
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I rented this one yeaterday. In a way, it reminds me a lot of Men In Black the way the cats and dogs hide their true identity from the humans, pretty funny.
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    My Favourite Movie
     
  9. Jacob_St

    Jacob_St Second Unit

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    I'm a big fan of Babe but I hated this movie. I kept fast forwarding hoping it would get better. This and Spy Kids were disappointments to me.
     
  10. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I thought this was an excellent little Movie Stolen By Mr. Tinkles. And a Great WS Transfer, thanks Warner for giving in. I Also loved the little Homage to classic films that tinkles does.
    ------------------
    My DVD Collection
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  11. DarrenA

    DarrenA Second Unit

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  12. Jacob_St

    Jacob_St Second Unit

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    Oh, please. Don't lay your condesending attitude on me. I saw more than enough of the movie to know it stunk. If you like it then great, good for you.
     

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