Garfield the movie DVD review by Jacob Rubinstein * * * DVD RELEASE DATE: October 19th, 2004 Cast: Bill Murray, Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt Directed by : peter Hewitt Written by Joel Cohen & Alec Sokolow based on the Garfield Strip by Jim Davis produced by John Davis RATED PG. THE MOVIE: Garfield, the fat, lazy pussycat gets his very first movie. In his first movie, Garfield's life is turned upside down when Jon Arbuckle takes in Odie, a dimwitted dog. Garfield had Jon all to himself that took many years of training, and now he must share Jon with Odie. Garfield is a very selfish cat. Its about him, and this movie is all about Garfield, in fact Garfield has the lead role in the movie. Jon and Liz are just there, which for some people might be a good thing. Bill Murray is in top form as the voice of Garfield. Garfield of course is CGI and Bill makes us care about Garfield. Bill also has some great lines, including a variation of the line from apocalypse now. I know fans of the movie will know that line when it comes. the cgi for Garfield is very good for the most part. There are times, when its weak, hopefully by then you like the character to know the intent of the animator. The expression and the movement of Garfield was very good. It was cross between a real cat and a cgi. I could only see one scene where the someone was holding Garfield and the cgi was not right. It was very minor. the movie is very short and simple. It does move very fast. the movie mostly focus on Garfield. We don't really get to know Jon and liz that much. The movie is from Garfield's point of view, so it does make sense that we don't get much from liz or Jon. They have a few scenes together and some good chemetry. Hopefully in the sequel we will. I did notice some scenes were kind choppy. I think the scenes that were cut, could have added more character moments to Liz, Jon and odie. There are some scenes if you are a cat owner, you have either done it yourself or know one who has. There is some funny moments with that. speaking of funny moments, were are some great moments. the audience that I saw, the kids and everyone were laughing at a bunch of stuff. I will leave that surprise for the readers. The people behind scenes on this movie felt they wanted to make a very safe simple movie for kids under 10. I don't think many people over the age of 10 will say that they liked it or not. I think its good that there is a kid movie for the kids under the age of 10, that are not old enough to watch Shrek or Harry Potter. I think the movie would have been better with a few extra scenes, like I said earlier about the character. There is not much to Arlene's character. She is just there. Nermal has a couple of moments with Garfield. I am not much of a dog person, I didn't feel much for odie. However the movie is about Garfield, and so most of the attention is about him. It also helps very much that Bill played him. This movie is not as bad as Scooby doo. I never saw cat in the hat. I think if the movie was a bit longer, it would have been better. The stuff they cut out was not very long. I wonder if the cgi was not done or they wanted to keep it very short. Hopefully we will see the deleted scenes on dvd or back in the movie, when release on dvd. I think people with cats will probably enjoy the movie more. they will understand the cat humor, and things that cats do. The movie is rated PG for mild language. I would also say it has some mild cartoon violence's. its not gross in adult humor like Shrek 2 or scary like Harry Potter. PICTURE AND SOUND: Garfield The Movie is only 80 minutes, so Fox decided to place both a widescreen (1.85) and full screen edition on the same disc. I had to adjust the color a bit on my flatscreen 27 inch tv. (No widescreen set). Once I had the correct tone for the picture it was fine. I thought the picture was just fine. no real problems that I had notice. The soundtrack includes 5.1 and also Spanish and French dubs (and subtitle). If you are expecting a soundtrack like Star Wars or something, this dvd is not for you. Its much simpler then that. You mostly hear from the two fronts and center. There is a bit of the rear during the minor action scenes. As much as I like DTS over DD. This 5.1 track is just fine. EXTRAS: The R1 version of Garfield only includes a commentary track with Director Peter Hewitt and Producer John Davis. I found the commentary very interesting. They talked about making of the movie, including casting, and deleted scenes. However the dvd does not includes any deleted scenes or making of featurettes. R2/R4 is getting a 2 disc special edition dvd in November/December. They will include more extras and a better boxset collectors edition. The dvd also includes a music video from Garfield. to access the video, you must play the inside look and then fast forward through a couple of other upcoming features from fox to find the video. The dvd opens up with skippable trailers for other fox family titles and other kids movies that are coming to dvd, you can skip them. Then you are given a choice on what version you want to watch before getting to the main menu. The menus are simple with just Garfield dancing around, while you choose from the main menu of language, scene selection and first look. Very simple to move around. FINAL THOUGHTS Garfield The Movie is finally on dvd. There was a cartoon series back in the late 80s, how does Garfield compared to that? Its much different then the cartoon, They did make some changes for the movie, both good and bad, however I will say that the cartoon series had more heart to it. It was also more of a direct translation from comic to animated series then the movie did. I know why they made some of the changes, I didn't mind them.. there are things that do better animated then live action and vice versa. I think some people were too hard on the movie when it was released, which is probably why it did better overseas then here in the USA. If you are looking for a simple family movie, then I recommend Garfield The Movie. a special thanks to Ronald Epstein for permission to post the review.