Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Preview

Jamie awakens to find himself hanging by his feet in the rafters of the old mansion. “I know it’s a shock being a vampire and all,” says a voice. Turning to his side Jamie sees a young vampire smiling back at him. “But don’t worry. The name’s Odin and I’ll help you learn all the coolz vampire rulez at Dracula School.”  Jamie does love rules, but he also knows that the librarian could be back at any moment to squeeze his twinzo powers out of him. “I’ll pass bro,” he says, pausing momentarily to turn his hat backwards, “I gotta find my brother, Patrick.” “Well maybe I can help you,” Odin replies, “you see we’re both Larbagios, those are vampires made by other vampires. We are mortal enemies of Hedgermias, those are vampires who made themselves vampires. There are also Royeldrums, those are vampires that were always vampires. We all fight and can never love unless bound by the Oaths of Keldronia, for otherwise our blood lust will overtake us and we will become Hedgermias. Thus we must be pure and remember that the flesh is sacred…” Rolling his eyes Jamie interjects, “Wish I could stay but look at the time…” As he turns to leave Odin suddenly transforms before his eyes into a large dog. “I didn’t get to the useful part yet,” the large dog says, “Larbagios can also transform into animals.” Oooo, that is helpful. With such a power Jamie will be able to sneak right by that librarian and start figuring out where Patrick is. Concentrating real hard he feel himself transform. Looking down he sees a mass of orange hair and black stripes. Great, a big ol’ fat orange cat. Not super inconspicuous, but it’ll have to do. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching Garfield and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.

Patrick is mesmerized by the terrible teenage witch rap dance, unaware of time slipping away from him. Days pass, his lips cracked with dehydration, his mind lost in the glorious inanity he is viewing, his body dying. All of a sudden the door explodes, splinters showering Patrick and awakening him from his daze, bullets zip and crack, raining down on all manner of teenage witch and wizard. “LAPD! You have the right to remain dead,” a grizzled officer growls. Another officer, dressed in overalls with no shirt, shakes his head, “Gosh dern it Sticks, this was supposed to be an easy in and out job, just grab the kid and let’s get outta here!” The grizzled officer grabs Patrick roughly. “You’re welcome punk, Stones and I just saved your mind.” They drag Patrick through the front door and … onto another set? This one is dressed up as an alleyway. They drop Patrick into a pile of garbage, Sticks and Stones look at each other and nod, “Light’er up” says Stones. As they gleefully firebomb the witch’s house set, black doll eyes gleaming, Patrick’s mind begins to clear. Just then an alley cat walks by. “You don’t belong here” the cat says with a wink, and walks off. Wait … A talking cat!?! What is this place? That’s right! We’re also watching A Talking Cat!?!!

We move forward in the Bring A Friend cycle to watch two films that involve talking cats. That’s because Garfield is in fact a talking cat!?! We used to avoid films like Garfield (and the BONUS Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties) thinking they were “just for kids” and not worth our time. We eventually realized that that was patronizing and decided to give them a chance… and they turned out to mostly be not worth our time. But sometimes they can be fun. Here’s to hoping! As for A Talking Cat!?! It’s is a film!?! The verdict is still out. It certainly exists and it will play in front of our eyeballs, but it’s hard to say how or why this film(!?!) has become something of a cult classic. Even leading to a podcast A Talking Cast!?! Which broke down the film minute-by-minute. Jesus. What a week. Let’s go!

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006) – BMeTric: 61.8

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(It is pretty shocking to see how close these two movies are in both IMDb rating (5.0 now) and in Rotten Tomatoes score (15% and 11%). Just more of the same I guess … but in England or whatever.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  While tagging along with Meyer on a trip to London, Garfield is mistaken for a look-alike cat who’s come into a big inheritance. Minor but amusing. Alternate version runs 86m. Advertised as Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.

(What a short review. And basically reads, again, as: innocuous but secretly boring but also blessedly short. Which I guess i’m down with …)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLTnQko_Lz4

(Oh God. This looks terrible. Why would they do this? The original was so charming in how … local they kept it! Keep Garfield in … Indiana or wherever he lives.)

Directors – Tim Hill – (Known For: Muppets from Space; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks; Hop; Max Keeble’s Big Move; BMT: Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; Notes: Developed Spongebob Squarepants, and turned to directing on shows like KaBlam! Amazingly it seems like he got the Muppets from Space as his first major directorial job. Seems like a big get.)

Writers – Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (written by) – (Known For: Toy Story; Future BMT: Daddy Day Camp; Evan Almighty; Money Talks; Goodbye Lover; BMT: Garfield; Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Apparently they are working a project with Jamie Foxx and David Bautista called Groove Tails involving mice in a competitive dance competition … or something.)

Jim Davis (comic strip “Garfield”) – (BMT: Garfield; Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; Notes: Has an organization employing over 50 artists that work on the Garfield brand in general, managing its image and overall finances. He is currently an adjunct professor in Indiana.)

Actors – Breckin Meyer – (Known For: Clueless; The Craft; Road Trip; Can’t Hardly Wait; Rat Race; The Insider; Escape from L.A.; Go; Herbie Fully Loaded; Josie and the Pussycats; Kate & Leopold; Prefontaine; Dancer, Texas Pop. 81; Blue State; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Rebound; 54; Caffeine; Touch; Tail Lights Fade; BMT: Garfield; Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; Pinocchio; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Pinocchio in 2003; Notes: Has been doing some television recently. Particularly Designated Survivor and is slated to star in The Fix on ABC it looks like.)

Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Tropic Thunder; Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; Future BMT: Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; The Truth About Love; House Arrest; Jewtopia; Telling You; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Garfield; Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; The Tuxedo; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Just posted a flashback to some red carpet moments of her posing with her ex Carson Daly. Married to her The Client List co-star Brian Hallisay.)

Billy Connolly – (Known For: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; Brave; Pocahontas; The Last Samurai; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Open Season; What We Did on Our Holiday; White Oleander; Muppet Treasure Island; Mrs Brown; Fido; Still Crazy; Quartet; The Return of the Musketeers; The Man Who Sued God; The Impostors; Beautiful Joe; An Everlasting Piece; Future BMT: Gulliver’s Travels; Beverly Hills Ninja; Indecent Proposal; The X Files: I Want to Believe; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Wild Oats; Who Is Cletis Tout?; BMT: Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; Timeline; Notes: Scottish singer turned comedian. Was a vocal opponent of Scottish independence in 2014.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $28,426,747 (Worldwide: $141,702,264)

(This is a little closer to not being worth it, but probably still profitable. Still, the trajectory suggests a severe budget cut would be needed to make a third, plus I don’t think Murray was game at that point, this was only the second sequel he had ever done after all.)

#49 for the CGI Star genre

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(This hits right before things really took off. I was actually pretty impressed with the CGI of Garfield in the previews I watched, which was surprising. Marmaduke was, as a more recent example, an actual dog which was just modified via CGI.)

#31 for the Family – Talking Animal (Live action) genre

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(Marmaduke is number 29 on this list, so it hits right there as one would expect. I have a feeling I will still like this more than Marmaduke, although I guess both buy in heavily to the Cartoon Fish out of Water.)

#27 for the TV Cartoon (Live Action) genre

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(While the original was a little ahead of the peak for the genre, this guy hit right before I really got saturated. The weirdest film we’ve seen on this list I think is Aeon Flux.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (8/74): Strictly for (very) little kids, A Tale of Two Kitties features skilled voice actors but a plot that holds little interest.

(Oooooof. Very little kids. I guess the original seemed like it was just for kids as well so … makes sense? Reviewer Highlight: The best thing that can be said about Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties is that the movie isn’t quite as bad as its name. – Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle)

Poster – Talking Animals 2: Destination: London (C+)

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(Both the first and second film seem to buy into the mostly white, very simplistic style that I generally don’t like. Still love the font and nice symmetry. But overall just meh.)

Tagline(s) – Too much of a good thing is even better. (C-)

(Technically there isn’t a tagline on the poster, but I liked this extra one enough to include it. It’s just such a weird play on a common phrase. So innocuous and not connected to the film in any way. As generic of a sequel tagline as you could make.)

Keyword(s) – cat; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.7 Catwoman (2004); 92.4 Date Movie (2006); 88.9 Vampires Suck (2010); 86.2 The Cat in the Hat (2003); 84.4 Movie 43 (2013); 82.5 Inspector Gadget (1999); 82.5 Home Alone 3 (1997); 81.8 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 80.4 One Missed Call (2008); 78.4 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000);

(Date Movie doesn’t reeeeeally seem like a cat film, which is too bad. The keywords from IMDb really are the worst.)

Notes – Garfield is one of two characters who have been portrayed by both Bill Murray and the late Lorenzo Music. The other is Dr. Peter Venkman of the “Ghostbusters” series. (It is kind of silly they didn’t just get a voice actor to to this … why do you need a big name to voice Garfield again? Considering they already had a very distinctive voice for Garfield, just get somehow who can to a passable job.)

Billy Connolly admitted in an interview that when he was offered the role of Lord Dargis in this sequel, he wasn’t aware that the first Garfield (2004) movie existed. (ha)

Castle Carlyle is really Castle Howard in North Yorkshire. Brideshead Revisited (1981) was filmed at the same castle. (Yiiiiis, these are the fun facts I come for)

Along with Ghostbusters II, this is only the second sequel of one of his movies, Bill Murray has appeared in. (WHY)

Tim Curry the voice of Prince and Bill Murray the voice of Garfield were both originally considered to star in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) as Eddie Valiant and Judge Doom. But they both got replaced by Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd. (Good choice. What a classic)

Roger Ebert’s review of this movie was written in first person as Garfield. (Alright … oh wow it is a horror show)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel or Sequel (2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment (2007)

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London Has Fallen Preview

This week we must steel ourselves for witnessing gore than no human should be forced to see. No it’s not horror week. But we are watching London Has Fallen for action. This is the film series where Gerard Butler plays a sociopath who tortures everyone he sees and stabs them in the face when he is done with them. The first film was rough stuff and I’ve heard that this one is even crazier. Basically just Olympus Has Fallen, but more racist. Cool. Let’s go!

London Has Fallen (2016) – BMeTric: 32.4

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(I’m not really sure what to make of the vote plot. There seem to be three regimes (theater, limite VOD, full VOD/Blu Ray?) and the entire thing just kind of increases at the same rate. Maybe this is more like an “action” plot compared to last week’s comedy plot? Anyways, the ratings went a tumbling, and we are at 32.4, an extremely respectable score for a movie released this year.)

Leonard Maltin – 0.5 stars –  “Olympus Has Fallen” was a pornographically violent crapfest … [and] we now have “London Has Fallen,” a horrible and wildly unnecessary follow-up that might actually be worse than its predecessor. … [S]erving as proof that Gerard Butler can make movies that are even worse than “Gods of Egypt” (not that this should be encouraged), there is absolutely nothing of value to “London Has Fallen” … Unless you have some insane desire to see what will surely go down as one of the very worst films of 2016, you would be far better served staying at home.

(It was hard to even parse out the best parts of that incredibly destructive review. The last sentence just about nails it. I’m also now very interested in the rogerebert.com review system. The thumbs down is zero stars and they have 0.5 and 1 star ratings! Such a panoply of options. Three major releases (as I would classify it) have gotten zero stars: Nine Lives, Dirty Grandpa, and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Besides the last one we should easily be able to get all zero and 0.5 star movies. Bully for us.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AsOdX7NcJs

(Ugh. Just coming off of Olympus Has Fallen this looks like more of the same. So violent. Jingoistic to the extreme. Unpleasant. I don’t know … I wonder how much I can turn my brain off.)

Directors – Babak Najafi – (Known For: Easy Money II: Hard to Kill; BMT: London Has Fallen; Notes:  An Iranian refugee who settled in Sweden at 11. Studying direction this is his first english language film. Awww, for reals I’m sad about the things I’m going to say about this movie now …)

Writers – Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt (based on characters created by & story by & screenplay) – (Known For: Olympus Has Fallen; BMT: London Has Fallen; The Expendables 3; Notes: Awesome these two have been married for ten years now. She is Icelandic and he is American, they met in screenwriting class. Seem to have made a healthy living on blockbuster action films)

Christian Gudegast (screenplay) – (BMT: London Has Fallen; A Man Apart; Notes: Son of Eric Braeden most well known for his single story arc on Murder She Wrote (fine, maybe only I would only know him from that, he’s in Titanic and is a giant Soap Opera star).)

Chad St. John (screenplay) – (BMT: London Has Fallen; Notes: Wait wait wait … this guy wrote xXx: The Return of Xander Cage!? Have you seen this horrible poster? Have you watched this horrible trailer? I am so pumped to watch and hate this movie … except I bet reviewers will be like “good for what it is” and it’ll get 50% on rotten tomatoes or something. Or, even worse, it’ll *gasp* go unreleased in the UK.)

Actors – Gerard Butler – (Known For: 300; Olympus Has Fallen; How to Train Your Dragon; RocknRolla; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Reign of Fire; Tomorrow Never Dies; Nim’s Island; Coriolanus; Beowulf & Grendel; Mrs Brown; Dear Frankie; Harrison’s Flowers; The Cherry Orchard; BMT: Movie 43 (BMT); Dracula 2001; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; The Bounty Hunter (BMT); Gods of Egypt; Timeline (BMT); Gamer (BMT); Tale of the Mummy; Playing for Keeps (BMT); London Has Fallen; The Ugly Truth; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2011 for Worst Actor and Worst Screen Couple/Worst Screen Ensemble for The Bounty Hunter; My God, what a legend. And two movies this year because of Gods of Egypt. A BMT legend in the highest regard. And a big movie star too, it is really impressive. Big Celtic fan and part owner of a Caribbean Cricket team.)

Aaron Eckhart – (Known For: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson; Bleed for This; The Dark Knight; Olympus Has Fallen; Erin Brockovich; The Missing; Any Given Sunday; Thank You for Smoking; The Core; The Rum Diary; No Reservations; The Pledge; Rabbit Hole; Nothing Is Private; Possession; Nurse Betty; In the Company of Men; Conversations with Other Women; Your Friends & Neighbors; BMT: The Wicker Man (BMT); I, Frankenstein (BMT); The Black Dahlia; Battle Los Angeles (BMT); Love Happens; London Has Fallen; Suspect Zero; Erased; Paycheck (BMT); Notes: Alright, this might be the best bad movie street cred film ever. Aaron Eckhart is a secret BMT legend as well. He is Mormon, but is open about not being active in the faith.)

Morgan Freeman – (Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises; Se7en; Now You See Me; Batman Begins; Oblivion; Lucy; Unforgiven; The Lego Movie; Olympus Has Fallen; Ted 2; War of the Worlds; Gone Baby Gone; Million Dollar Baby; Wanted; RED; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Lucky Number Slevin; Deep Impact; Glory; Bruce Almighty; Last Vegas; Invictus; The Sum of All Fears; The Bucket List; Amistad; Driving Miss Daisy; Outbreak; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Evan Almighty; Dreamcatcher (BMT); Chain Reaction; The Bonfire of the Vanities (BMT); Edison; London Has Fallen; The Contract; Hard Rain (BMT); Momentum; Ben-Hur; Transcendence (BMT); Last Knights; Along Came a Spider; High Crimes; Now You See Me 2; Kiss the Girls; Notes: Every single one of these actors has been in at least four other BMT films! Owns and operated a blues bar in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He’s converted his 124-acre ranch into a bee sanctuary. Sounds like an interesting dude.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $62,524,260 (Worldwide: $195,725,584)

(An international success, but a moderate domestic dud. Although Olympus has fallen didn’t do much better ($90M on a $70M budget), so a bit confused as to what exactly was expected here … Anyways, internationally did better than the previous film, so maybe could see a sequel. I have no idea why any of the actors would do that to themselves though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (43/168): London Has Fallen traps a talented cast — and all who dare to see it — in a mid-1990s basic-cable nightmare of a film loaded with xenophobia and threadbare action-thriller clichés.

(Yiiiiiiiiis, I love me some classic 90s xenophobia and threadbare action-thriller cliches. The script is going to be atrocious. I can feel it. Excitement officially rising.)

Poster – London Has Sklogen (C-)

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(I appreciate the work put into this, but it’s one step away from being The Avengers busy. Look at all the unnecessary garbage going on in this one. Scrap it all and just have Gerard in front of the flag. Kudos to the faded font on the title. At least we have that. Like the red focus, but wish it wasn’t washed out by all the shit going on.)

Tagline(s) – Prepare for bloody hell. (B+)

(Well that’s foreboding. Why not just make the tagline ‘Ready to see some murder?’ Gets credit for being short and sweet and the nice British play on words. Nothing to put it over the top though.)

Keyword(s) – funeral; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.0 xXx²: The Next Level (2005); 75.0 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 74.2 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 73.7 Superhero Movie (2008); 73.4 One Missed Call (2008); 70.6 Ouija (II) (2014); 67.1 The Spirit (2008); 61.9 Jennifer’s Body (2009); 60.1 Stealth (2005); 60.0 Bodyguard (2011);

(Shockingly great list. Indeed, like other recent films the keywords section has many listed (nearly 300), but only a handful even one vote of relevance. Funeral seemed fine though, and hilarious that another terrorists-attack-the-president (xXx2) film is on this list. What a nice eclectic group as well.)

Notes – Olympus Has Fallen (2013) director Antoine Fuqua refused to direct this sequel because he didn’t like the script. (ha! Good choice)

Due to scheduling conflicts, Morgan Freeman and Gerard Butler don’t appear in the same scene together in person. The scene in the hallway at the White House uses body doubles, and doesn’t show faces. (Say what, that is awesome)

The jogging sequence at the start of the film was filmed in Kensington Gardens in central London. (I know where that is. I’ll be on the lookout. Such an awesome settings film)

Morgan Freeman added his voice to the directions mobile app ‘Waze’ to support the release of this movie. (What … I don’t even understand this note)

The rear entrance/exit to PINDAR (The UK equivalent to the US PEOC) is allegedly based on one the platforms at Charing Cross Station. It is assumed that it’s there to necessitate access to a railway or the Underground if the government needs to escape the capital. It is classed as a “Military Citadel.” Others include the conspicuous one at the back of Horse Guards/The Mall, the abandoned one at Dollis Hill, the old Cabinet War Rooms under the Treasury, and what used to be called Q-Whitehall. (Actually a pretty cool note. Notes like this is how an entire alternative IMDb gets set up, like the one for cars or the one for firearms. This would be like the internet movie location database or something, and I would love that).