Cats & Dogs on DVD
Therein Lies a Tail
Let's get one thing straight: this movie is not "Cats & Dogs." It's actually
"Dogs & Cats," and if you're a cat lover you'll probably be disappointed
in this flick.
That's because it's written from a dog lover's point of view, with the dogs
as the good guys and the cats as evil megalomaniacs bent on world domination.
Which might make this movie seem like a documentary to some - but that is something
it definitely isn't.
The movie opens with a dognapping perpetrated by cats. As it turns out, the
snatched pooch was actually part of a network of secret agent dogs who are monitoring
and protecting scatterbrained scientist Professor Brody (is there any other
type in Hollywood) played by Jeff Goldblum. He's working on a formula that'll
rid the world forever of the allergy to dogs (not cats, though), so the dogs
have a vested interest in seeing him succeed: they want to ensure they remain
man's best friend.
But the cats, led by a particularly evil feline called Mr. Tinkles, don't want
any part of that. They're angry that the human race has risen to world dominance
and are bent on regaining what they consider to be their rightful place on top
of the food chain.
We can understand why Mr. Tinkles would be angry. His human's maid insists
on dressing him up in those horrible clothes that look so stupid on pets (though
this never seems to happen to dogs in this flick) - and he's just plain obnoxious
Still, those cats are organized and skilled - there are even ninja cats who
swoop into Goldblum's house on a mission and wreak havoc on the house.
The movie is full of high tech gadgets, mostly "manned" by the animals of the
title, and spy movie-like intrigue, and it certainly has its moments. The animals
are for the most part very well done, too.
But the movie fails if only because of its simplistic and mean spirited portrayal
of cats, and that's too bad. There's plenty of imagination on hand, and the
effects are for the most part first rate, but in the end we went away unsatisfied.
The humans, Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins and Alexander Pollack, are content
to be filler for the animals, and that's as it should be in this flick. Animal
voices are provided by Tobey Maguire, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Charlton
Heston, and others.
You might find the DVD a bit of a rip off if you aren't careful. Warner Brothers
has seen fit to release the film in both Pan&Scan and widescreen versions,
which is fine - but NOT ON THE SAME DISC! So if you don't check out the top
of the box front, you may not end up with the version you want.
We would have preferred the widescreen version but received the Pan&Scan
one, and the picture seems a tad small. Still, the video quality is excellent,
even zoomed out to fill a 16x9 TV, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is also first
There are plenty of extras as well. There's a feature length commentary featuring
the director, producer, production designer and one of the cast members. You
also get 2 behind the scenes documentaries, storyboard comparisons, the trailer,
Cats & Dogs, from Warner Home Video
87 min. Pan&Scan (1.33:1), also available in widescreen, Dolby Digital
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins, Alexander Pollock and various
others as animal voices
Produced by Andrew Lazar Chris Defaria Warren Zide Craig Perry
Written by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra, Directed by Lawrence Guterman.
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