Blu-Ray Review: Stupid ‘Marmaduke’ Fails in Every Way

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CHICAGO – How do complete disasters like “Marmaduke” get made? Shouldn’t there be some sort of quality insurance and when a studio sees that a film is this execrable, they are allowed to pull some sort of last-minute ripcord and make sure it’s never inflicted on paying customers? Wouldn’t that be a good use of our tax dollars? Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0

The most remarkable thing about “Marmaduke” is that it has NO target demographic. This is lazy, boring, forgettable mass-market entertainment that doesn’t appeal to little girls, is too sentimental for little boys, and could cause dog lovers to write letters about the mistreatment of animals. There’s simply no audience for junk this horrendous.

There are awful family movies released every year that would still appeal to the little ones, but when did they start letting kids write them? “Marmaduke” is the story of a lovable-but-huge Great Dane (voiced by Owen Wilson) forced to move to California from Kansas with his loving family (Lee Pace, Judy Greer, and a few personality-less kids) and a wisecracking cat named Carlos (George Lopez). When he gets to Orange County, he tries to fit in with the cool canines, eventually leaving the awkward dogs who loved him behind and learning a few lessons about true friendship. It’s like “Mean Girls” with more bitches.

Marmaduke was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 31st, 2010
Marmaduke was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 31st, 2010
Photo credit: Fox

At the dog park, Marmaduke meets the members of the dog class system of California, which is apparently a lot like your high school. The pedigrees rule the coveted rocks and lord over the other dogs like bullies in a cafeteria. They’re led by the obnoxious Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland) and beautiful Jezebel (Fergie). On the other side of the cliques, there are the mutts, led by super-sweet Mazie (Emma Stone). Comic relief is provided by the intellectual Raisin (Steve Coogan) and skittish Giuseppe (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Marmaduke falls for Jezebel while Mazie falls for Marmaduke. Some oddly disjointed capers ensue and our two-hundred pound hero learns that just being yourself can you make you the coolest dog at the park

Rarely has there been a Hollywood movie this disjointed, unstructured, and simply stupid. The script is credited to Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio, but it feels more like it was constructed by third graders playing a story game in which they just shout out things they want Marmaduke to do — “Surf!!” “Dance!!” “Fart!!” “Fart again!!” “Marmaduke” is about as well-constructed as elementary school kids reading a few weeks of the original comic strip back-to-back and trying to turn it into the movie.

Everyone involved and everyone interested in seeing it deserves better. The only people who might like “Marmaduke” are the producers of the live-action “Garfield.” They no longer hold the title of the worst film based on a comic strip.

Special Features:
o “Cowabarka!” — More Surfing Dogs
o Canine Casting
o Deleted Scenes
o “Marmaduke Mayhem!” Gag Reel
o “Puppy Marmaduke & Kitty Carlos: Home Movies”

“Marmaduke” features voice work by Owen Wilson, Emma Stone, George Lopez, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Steve Coogan, Fergie, Kiefer Sutherland, and Sam Elliott and also stars Lee Pace, Judy Greer, and William H. Macy. It was written by Tim Rasmussen & Vince Di Meglio and directed by Tom Dey. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 31st, 2010 and is rated PG. content director Brian Tallerico

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