Baby here again, and I’m not exactly a happy German Shepherd/Chow mix puppy right now. Do you wanna know what’s put the growl in my scowl this time? The other day I heard Gino say that somebody was in the doghouse. That sure sounded like fun, but it turns out the dude got fired and that being in the doghouse turns out to be not such a good thing. Now I understand if they said that UPS was in this dog’s house. That would be bad for the UPS guy. And that spells O U C H. But why is it that humans say that when someone is in trouble. Heck, I spent most of my life in a doghouse, and I was havin’ a good time. I never got fired or yelled at. Okay, I made that last part up. Yeah, I get yelled at all of the time, but it’s never exactly my fault, you understand. How ’bout you guys start saying cathouse when someone’s in trouble, although I think I heard someone use that word to describe something else. Never mind.
You know what else puts me in a snarlin’ mood? It’s when a studio takes a really good movie and decides to put out a new movie with the same name, ‘cept they really don’t have anything to do with each other. Somebody’s just looking to get a bowlful of treats without working too hard. Me, I work for my treats, which reminds me… Anyway, that’s exactly what you get with Marley & Me: The Puppy Years.
If you loved the original movie, don’t let that lure you into this trap. The first thing you should know is that I didn’t like this doggie movie one bit. Actually, that’s all you need to know, but I got this feeling that Gino’s not going to let me get away with just saying that. The next thing you should know is that none of the humans from the original movie are anywhere to be found. If you guys are hopin’ to get another look at Jennifer Aniston, you’d better look for some Friends re-runs, because she’s not here. You think Owen Wilson is a funny guy? So do I, but you won’t like any of the jokes he tells in this movie, because he isn’t in this movie. They come up with some lame plot point that they are away on a writing assignment. I wish I could say the same thing for Janeen and Michael Damien, who wrote this movie. Michael was also the movie’s director. I just have one question for you guys. Did you even see the original Marley & Me?
Enough about what the movie isn’t. I guess I should tell you what this movie is. I’d call it Buddies-lite. It has less taste and is also less filling. You see, the movie takes us back to when Marley was a puppy. While his family is away he’s given to Brodi (Turner) to take care of. But Brodi’s mom has to go away on her own trip so Brodi and Marley stay with Brodi’s grandfather (Rhodes). Brodi wants a dog of his own and Mom agrees that if Brodi can train Marley he can have his own dog. A local dog show offers up the perfect opportunity for him to train Marley. You can pretty much guess how all of this works out.
Now I called this Buddies-lite. Why? First of all, these dogs now talk like humans do. They use the same computer tricks here that they do on the Buddies films to make them talk. Marley and his talking friends each have personalized collars to help you remember which puppy is which. Just like Buddies, they all have their own personalities, and there’s one girl in the group with a rose on her collar. Can anyone say Rose Bud? The movie is filled with silly stunts that are there to get the little kids laughing like Spam on the ceiling. There are also way too many fart jokes for one movie. Maybe all of this will get a few giggles out of your own pups, but I promise you that you’ll be groaning the whole time through. Skip it and watch the first movie again.
Marley & Me: The Puppy Years is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC MPEG-4 codec at an average 23 mbps. I may not have liked the movie at all, but it does look pretty good in high definition. Colors are very sharp and the picture is pretty bright and shiny, like the new balls I get when the old one gets chewed up too much. Hey, I wonder who keeps doing that to my ball anyway.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works mostly for all of the puppy talking that goes on here. There’s a lot of zany stuff in the movie, and that’s really all you get. Let’s not talk about all of those fart sounds. Look, your puppy’s only going to get a few giggles out of this thing, so I don’t think the picture and audio quality is going to be high on the list.
Marley & Me Goes To Training Camp: (9:45) Do you believe these humans actually think they’re training these dogs? If you look closely I think you’ll notice that it’s the humans giving treats to the dogs and not the other way around.
Part Of The Family: (2:06) The cast and crew talk about how cute the puppies are. No argument there, ‘cept they ain’t never met Baby.
My Favorite Moments: (4:17) Cast and crew talk about their favorite times making the movie.
This pup wasn’t just born last week, you know. I understand that this direct-to-video stuff has been going on for ages. It just seems like these guys weren’t even trying to connect to the first movie. It looks like someone was trying to jump on the cute-puppies bandwagon and just needed a name to get our attention. Well, you have my attention now. It’s time I get a little attention. “That’s good. Right behind the ears.”