Friday, December 18, 2009

Marmaduke is an asshole teenager

I'm not sure that I hate anything quite like I hate the comic strip Marmaduke. It's like, here's this dog and he's a total asshole and no one does anything about it except try to make audible observations about exactly how he's being an asshole or explain exactly why he's being an asshole in some which usually boils down to he's acting like an entirely inconsiderate human would. And it's not even funny and the dad looks like Hitler. Maybe I'd enjoy it more as a biting satire of modern culture that asks who the real tyrants are by using an alternate history where instead of attempting to exterminate the Jews and take over Europe Hitler got an asshole dog. I may be on to something here.

Anyway, for some reason this comic continues to exist and they even decided to turn it into a live-action movie because...well, the Garfield movie made so much money, I guess? Certainly not because people other than morons find the strip funny (no offense to any Marmaduke lovers that might be reading this, of course. You just have a really shitty sense of humor). Morons do love to spend money on movies like this.

So, USA Today, continuing their great investigative journalistic tradition (and by investigative journalism I mean celebrity puff pieces), ran a piece on this upcoming flick and let me tell you it sounds fucking fantastic.
"We've approached the movie like a John Hughes movie with dogs," Dey says. "The dog park is like high school for dogs. To make this kind of movie, you really have to understand that it is the dog's world and we just live in it."

The kinds of rich characterizations Hughes embodied in teenage stars such as Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off translate to the Marmaduke story lines, Dey says, including one theme about "the vulnerabilities" of Marmaduke.

"Marmaduke is a teenager, and he's trying to find his way in the world," Dey says. "It's a boy-meets-girl story, a coming-of-age and cautionary tale. My job as director is to try to place the audience inside this world."
Yes, I'm sure the rich characterizations translate great into a story about an asshole dog.
Dey asked the trainers to get the dogs to do tricks few other dogs, and certainly no other Great Danes, have done before in movies. Mike Alexander is the top trainer of Marmaduke, whose family moves from the Midwest to Orange County, Calif., where a favorite pastime is surfing.

"I asked him if he could teach the dog to surf," Dey says. "Mike said he didn't know if he could even get the dog in the water. The Danes he's worked with in the past have not wanted to go into the water."

So a plot point is Marmaduke, who hates water, being forced to enter a surf competition to save face for his owner.
ZOMG! A surfing dog?!?! That certainly doesn't sound like any trick I'VE ever seen a Great Dane perform! And yet "Avatar" is getting all the credit as the groundbreaking movie of the year? I don't get it!
"Mike started to work with him," Dey says. "I was amazed. I actually went out with him when he was training him in the water. I saw him get on a wave and ride. That was unbelievable. I don't think anyone's seen a Great Dane surf before."
*shaking head* I never thought I'd live to see the day. What a world we live in.
In one session in which Marmaduke, played by the Great Dane George, is doing promotional shots for the film, the trainers stick small bits of peanut butter around the inside of a commode he's supposed to drink from. No problem. It works well! He trots right over to the commode, and he doesn't mind doing this trick several times until he gets it right.
Uhh, no comment on this one. Yikes.

So, I, for one, can't wait. Just your typical John Hughes movie where the protagonist has to win a surfing contest to win back respect. Sounds like a can't miss film.


Anonymous Zack! said...

Oh yeah. I remember reading The Duke when I lived in LTown...I always had to flip over to Family Circus just to get a little relief. If you do decide to make your "Nazi Marmaduke" let me know. My mind is already working on the screenplay. We'd put "The Producers" to shame. Yes, indeed.

9:00 PM  

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