Marley and Me (2008)

IMDB Plot:

A family learns important life lessons from their adorable, but naughty and neurotic dog.

Spoilers? Most probably, but I think I ruined them all in my book review. Oh, wait, I didn’t wrote a book review!

Ok, in case you didn’t read the book: Marley & Me is about this journalist, turned columnist, which have a dog that seems crazy. The dog was an artifact to make his wife forget about having kids but, in the end, becomes part of the family himself.

Now, the movie: It borrows the premise of the book, but it doesn’t follow the book. Not. At. All. It’s a movie based on the book, but not the book itself.

Yes, the story is basically the same: Guy marries woman, woman starts thinking about kids, guy gets dog to make woman use her maternal side and forget about kids for a while, guy and woman get hooked into dog, guy and woman decide to take the step forward and have kids, they do that 3 times, and then, since dogs have shorted life-spans than humans, dog dies. Thing is, most of the stories in the book appear in the wrong/different order and some characters appear out of nowhere. Which… kinda works. Kinda.

Acting is, let’s be honest, ok. It’s Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. But, apart from that, I must say that it was probably the BEST acting of both. In one scene, when Jenny is about to be given the news that they lost their first child, there is some… light that fades on Aniston face. I mean, you can see that she’s shining because their are about to have a kid and, even before the doctor gives the bad news, she realizes that and the light just fades. And Wilson, when he’s giving the news to his wife about Marley critical condition and eminent death, leaves a small sigh on the phone, while trying to appear strong to for his family.

Yes, it’s a tear-jerker. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, though. At least it’s not another movie about the guy who lost the girl of his life (or the other way around) and find a new love in some unexpected way.

My rating: It’s either 2 or 5 stars for following the book (which it doesn’) or 4 or 5 stars if you see it as an independent movie (and it goes to 4 due the cited scenes from Wilson and Aniston.)

Bolt (2008)

IMDB plot:

The canine star of a fictional sci-fi/action show that believes his powers are real embarks on a cross country trek to save his co-star from a threat he believes is just as real.

Spoilers? Maybe. Not sure

If I could use another movie to describe this one, it would be “The Truman Show for kids.” Basically, this dog (voice by John Travolta) lives in a set and believes he fights bad guys and have super powers. Then, when his human go in a trip, he runs out and need to find her again, realizing in the way that he doesn’t have super-powers, life is bigger than what he knows and, in the way, he get the help of a street cat and a crazy hamster who believes he’s a super-hero.

It’s a funny movie overall, but not great. It’s surely Pixar material (to compare with the biggest computer animated company) and character movement feels human like.

My rating: 3 or 5 stars.