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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Marmaduke
Directed by Tom Dey
Twentieth Century Fox 06/10 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG - some rude humor, language

Marmaduke (voiced by Owen Wilson) is a Great Dane who lives in Kansas with Phil (Lee Pace), his wife (Judy Greer), and their three kids. Both he and Carlos (George Lopez), a Russian Blue cat, are taken aback when they are put in cages and flown to Orange County, California. Phil has landed a new job as marketing chief for an organic pet food company. His boss Don (William H. Macy) insists on holding their talks in a dog park. Marmaduke meets Mazie (Emma Stone), the leader of a band of mutts who are ostracized by the pedigree dogs led by Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland).

Marmaduke is like a frisky teenager who feels like an outsider in this stratified world. Although Mazie is very sweet to him, he falls for Jezebel (Fergie), a beautiful fluffy collie who is Bosco's girl. Like a lovesick adolescent, Marmaduke makes a play for her with a romantic evening out and then holds a boisterous party for his four-legged guests from the park who totally trash the place.

Marmaduke is directed by Tom Dey based upon the comic strip that appears in 600 newspapers in over 20 countries. Transitions and change are hard to handle, and this sprightly family comedy shows how difficult this passage turns out to be for both Phil and his mischievous dog. Although Marmaduke misses the magic of Marley & Me, it does have its moments of delight and charm. Kids no doubt will enjoy the antics of this Great Dane and the lessons he discovers about being true to himself. Phil also learns a few things about letting go of high expectations about his kids and giving up the idea of controlling things.


Special features include deleted scenes, and featurettes: Cowabarka! (more surfing dogs) and Canine Casting.
 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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