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Talking Dog Movies Are a Staple of American Cinema

By Miscellaneous | Miscellaneous | December 21, 2009 |

By Miscellaneous | Miscellaneous | December 21, 2009 |

While presenting the new teaser trailer for Marmaduke, Dustin noted this could be the end of Owen Wilson’s career, as though the next time we see him he’ll be joining his brother Luke in those AT&T commercials. Meanwhile, others on the web are acting like this movie in general is the end of the world, or at least the end of civilization. But really? Come on, you’d have loved it when you were five.

It’s just another talking dog movie. You likely enjoyed a talking dog movie this past year (maybe not that one, but that other one), and it’s a type of movie that’s delighted families for years. Some are classics, some are cult classics and some were made well before you’d have thought — talking dogs and talking pictures go hand in hand, after all. I think Orson Welles actually wanted to make a talking dog movie, but like many of his dreams it didn’t come true.

And hey, did you know according to paranormal research legend Charles Fort that talking dogs really exist? So this Marmaduke movie is almost more based on a true story than it is based on Brad Anderson’s comic strip. Okay, so Fort was probably just a big stoner, like that old guy who heard his dog talk in Road Trip.

Anyway, I’ve defended this Marmaduke thing before, but the blogosphere hasn’t cooled down its anger. Listen, just let the kids and simple-minded folks have their silly talking dog movies. It’s only the talking chipmunks movies we have to worry about.

Here are some people who are unnecessarily embarrassed for humanity, and just plain, mean old dog haters:

  • Mark at I Watch Stuff:
    Culture has a new nadir. Good luck finding Christmas joy for the rest of the week.
    I’ll let you know when there’s the inevitable “Get Duked!” web app that lets you apply you own voice to Marmaduke’s stupid mouth.
  • John Lichman at Current Movies Blog:

    No, really. Th-oh. Oh man. I totally just made an unintentional reference to death. Yeesh.

  • Col. Hans Longshanks at ScreenCrave:
    Owen Wilson, fresh off of Marley & Me, provides the voice of the beast, who’s apparently an angst-ridden teenager. Are we talking a teenager in dog years or people years, because if it’s dog years than that means he’s probably going to die soon. If that’s the case then yay.
  • Eric Eisenberg at Cinema Blend:
    Every year there is one movie that is not only bad, but seem to undermine the whole point of film: entertainment. […] If director Tom Dey’s interview with USA Today is any indication, then next year’s Marmaduke already has a special award waiting for it. [..] what is truly fucked about this story is that Tom Dey seems to believe that he is Orson Welles on the cusp of Citizen Kane. Perhaps if he embraced the horribleness of it all, it could have had some redeeming qualities, but it appears he pushed that option out the door long ago, along with public respect and dignity.
  • Meredith Woerner at io9:
    It’s been nine long years, but Cat Vs. Dogs 2 is finally here. […] This film is going to make millions. And they’re getting at least some of my money — hello, kitty in a bunny suit. Also, Kenneth from 30 Rock is in it playing some sort of magic man… so, yeah, that’s odd. Ah well, at least it’s not Marmaduke.

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