Saturday, January 28, 2017

A dog's breakfast

One of my favorite Australian phrases I've learned is "a dog's breakfast," which translates into "a mess." It probably doesn't require explaining, but you would apparently feed a dog any available scraps of barely edible food you had, disregarding the extent to which they might complement each other. In other words, a mess. The idea of it coming in the morning, long after the food was warm, gives it a greater sense of absurdity.

I don't know that A Dog's Purpose looks like a mess -- if anything, it probably looks overly conventional. But that title is pretty much a dog's breakfast, and not only because it sounds like the phrase "a dog's breakfast."

What better way to "get back to work," as it were, than returning to the glory days of my blog, when I used to write posts every week about the new movie coming out, and pontificate about the effectiveness of its title, posters and trailers?

I caught a lot of posters/billboards and I think exactly one trailer for A Dog's Purpose when I was in the U.S. In fact, the one trailer made me wonder if I was in the wrong movie, as it came before my screening of Hidden Figures -- my 11 p.m. screening of Hidden Figures, which served to heighten the disconnect. (That's a family movie of sorts, I guess.)

If the movie didn't have a bad enough title and a fatally earnest premise -- it feels like something out of the early 1990s -- it's also facing protests from PETA after a video went viral of a German shepherd looking terrified when having to perform a stunt for the movie. All of which will contribute, I'm sure, to a truly pathetic showing at the box office this weekend. (Who knows when Australia will get to weigh in on it. No Australian release date is listed.)

It's also the latest in a truly dispiriting turn for director Lasse Hallstrom, whose career I combed over here. It's another confirmation that a one-time respected director has gone full hack. Though one sort of understands why he was considered a logical option, as he also directed Hachi: A Dog's Tale (which I understand is quite good).

The cast? Dennis Quaid, Josh Gad ... yeah, it all makes sense.

Any further berating of this movie?

It serves no purpose.

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