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At The Movies with Peter Clease: Marmaduke

Dogs wonderful as they are, have their minuses: among other things, they bark too much; dig holes, in the backyard, to bury their bones; and transform their masters into blithering idiots, ala "Who's a good boy? You're a good boy! Yes you are.

Dogs wonderful as they are, have their minuses: among other things, they bark too much; dig holes, in the backyard, to bury their bones; and transform their masters into blithering idiots, ala "Who's a good boy? You're a good boy! Yes you are. Oh, yes you are!" But with that said, dogs are also loyal, wonderful companions and, hey, who can resist their howling, easy charm? At the present time, however, having just seen "Marmaduke," a film so manipulative and despicable, doggy goodness is the furthest thought from my mind. In fact, it is questionable that a human could possibly direct this travesty, and in my research, I have found Tom Dey directed "Marmaduke"; thus, a human did not direct it.

"Marmaduke" is about an annoying mutt, voiced by Owen Wilson, who slobbers his way through poorly dubbed dialogue, among his other poorly dubbed peers. Of course, the film is about family, togetherness and understanding, and--tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la. Additionally, the titled dog and his family move away from their home town to a newer, doggier residence. Unfortunately, poor Marmaduke, now speaking nonstop, is a canine destitute, thus excluded from the pet social system, and is also under immediate obligation, by order of a horridly written screenplay, to fix the underlined problems in his family.

This is one of the worst children's films I have ever had the displeasure of sitting through. In fact, even marketed garbage, like "High School Musical" or "Hannah Montana," is an improvement--hell, even a blank screen, for the same duration of time, is preferable. There is no wit or laughs or smirks present, and frowns require too much energy to kick this dead horse. The stupid dog is about as irritating a character as you will ever see, as are the people around him, and the contrived plot is a ludicrous insult to any, and all, moviegoers. Now, I was going to mention other, better films, which this one steals from, but to associate good movies with this one would be a crime. Oh, I am sure parents will take their little toddlers to see this sham, under the impression that it is harmless, but it is not harmless; it is crack-cocaine to kiddie minds and unending torture for older ones. "Marmaduke" has only one redemptive quality: you can root for the dog to die. .5 out of 5 popcorns

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