The Secret Life of Pets

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by James » July 12th, 2016, 11:17 am

Something that didn't have a place in the review but I thought was noteworthy. Illumination's parent company really laid it on thick with the corporate synergy! The TV remote in one scene is from Comcast. A bus has a very conspicuous ad for the upcoming movie Sing, and there was one other noticeable thing I can't remember. (I think it was in Times Square so maybe the NBC logo?)
Randall wrote:I have never had any desire to see this film, and your review clinches it. Everything I have seen about it bores me.
It's not that it was bad. It was just very underwhelming, especially seeing how it did opening weekend.

I think kids will like it, but not worth $10-15 a ticket! If you have a cheap second-run theatre nearby wait and see it there.
Ben wrote:...I'm certainly more interested in seeing BFG than Pets, which didn't really amuse me right from the trailers. In fact, despite their incredible success, I don't think I've actually *liked* any of the Illumination films so far (though I've yet to watch DM2 and Minions).
I love the minions but wasn't a huge fan of their movie. It does take place on your side of the pond, though, so maybe a little bit more of interest. Probably want to see DM2 before though since the minions were just side characters in the first DM and took more center stage in the second.

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by Vernadyn » July 12th, 2016, 6:03 pm

I sometimes feel like a bad person and a killjoy for not liking the minions. In the Illumination logo, when that minion screeches "Illumination!" twice and proceeds to make a sound like a chipmunk being dragged behind a cement mixer, everyone else is laughing their heads off and I'm probably the only one cringing. And I had to see/hear it four times before Finding Dory. I don't think I saw the Disney logo that many times.

I've tolerated years of hearing pretty much every little girl I've come across sing "Let It Go" and it hasn't really bothered me, but when anyone makes that minion alarm sound or some other sublime auditory minion gem, I want to find the nearest wall and introduce it to my head.

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by Bill1978 » July 12th, 2016, 6:35 pm

I was floored when I read how much this movie made on opening weekend. I was not expecting that, especially after reading James' review. I guess the trailers were successful in making this a must see movie, even if I feel the later trailers actually ruined the interest for me. And James' review confirmed what the later trailers implied, that not a lot of time is spent on exploring the secret life of pets before moving into the lost and found aspect of the story. Will be interesting to see next week's figures to really show what people thought of the movie. This will most likely end up being a DVD watch for me

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by Ben » July 12th, 2016, 7:24 pm

Yeah, I'll probably go Blu on it, mostly because I usually pick up the main titles from the big animation studios. The only Illumination title I skipped was iHop, or Hop, or whatever it ended up being called. That was just abominable.

It's funny...Illumination seems to have taken on the "bad boy" tag for disrupting the animation field just as DreamWorks did back in the day. Blue Sky or Sony never really achieved that, being either "nice" or just kind of "there", but Illumination seems to have picked up that mantle now that DWA has kind of become part of the establishment. It'll be interesting to see if DWA takes on some of that feeling again now that it's paired with Illumination, although I still think both companies will essentially be merged as Illumination/DreamWorks within ten years.

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by EricJ » July 12th, 2016, 7:54 pm

Vernadyn wrote:I sometimes feel like a bad person and a killjoy for not liking the minions. In the Illumination logo, when that minion screeches "Illumination!" twice and proceeds to make a sound like a chipmunk being dragged behind a cement mixer, everyone else is laughing their heads off and I'm probably the only one cringing. And I had to see/hear it four times before Finding Dory. I don't think I saw the Disney logo that many times.
I'd seen that logo about five to six times in the last four weeks of seeing two movies, but I didn't mind, since it was the ONLY laugh that any of three different Cinemark tie-in Pets ads/cellphone PSA's got.
Even Disney doesn't call attention to its logo with that much sound, as if Illumination wants to subliminally convince us that the Minions will be in the movie.
Bill1978 wrote:I was floored when I read how much this movie made on opening weekend. I was not expecting that, especially after reading James' review. I guess the trailers were successful in making this a must see movie, even if I feel the later trailers actually ruined the interest for me.
The trailers without the plot were mildly funny, since they have the Scrat Factor of just being out-of-context three-minute cartoons like we used to get with the feature, but with the Buzz & Woody plot, the interest fell fast.
And one review pointed out just how many gags we get of injured pets (the paralyzed Pops, the hairless cats, the psychotic bunny)--It's just become such a trope for Edgy Guy Comedy after the pet dog that was beaten to a pulp in There's Something About Mary, it was practically a breath of fresh air to see Zootopia be a comedy that likes animals.

At this point, everyone who wanted to see Zootopia has seen it, Dory is spending itself out to only the faithful, and we're in the last half of the summer where the biggest thing we've heard of opens. (Hence getting the word out to say "Look, BFG is STILL in theaters, you know!")
Lord help us and start digging those shelters for when the Ghostbusters remake opens... :x

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by Vernadyn » July 12th, 2016, 8:45 pm

Ben wrote:It's funny...Illumination seems to have taken on the "bad boy" tag for disrupting the animation field just as DreamWorks did back in the day. Blue Sky or Sony never really achieved that, being either "nice" or just kind of "there", but Illumination seems to have picked up that mantle now that DWA has kind of become part of the establishment. It'll be interesting to see if DWA takes on some of that feeling again now that it's paired with Illumination, although I still think both companies will essentially be merged as Illumination/DreamWorks within ten years.
Illumination hasn't really had an Antz, Prince of Egypt, Kung Fu Panda, or How to Train Your Dragon. I haven't seen Pets, but I fear that Illumination will become what DreamWorks might have been if they'd only released films like Madagascar, Shark Tale, Shrek the Third, and Home.

I do wonder what the Universal deal means for DWA's more "prestige" names like Sanders and DeBlois. Will they do original projects, or will they be relegated to churning out Croods and HTTYD sequels? (Granted, it seemed like that's what they were doing anyway.)

I'm still just a little bemused that CG animated films have been so financially successful across the board. Back in the 1990s, pretty much the only cel-animated films people would rush out to see were the Disney ones--and with the exception of The Iron Giant, it wasn't hard to see why. With CG animation, though, everything seems to be fair game. Some films do astonishingly well, some fall flat on their faces, but many times, it doesn't seem to matter how good or bad the film is. It certainly doesn't matter what the studio is anymore. With The Good Dinosaur, even Pixar can't be counted upon to rake in ridiculous amounts of cash with each and every film. No studio has a monopoly on animation--which is good for competition, but I just wish that all the films that do well were of higher quality. Some are, but some aren't. Though I guess that means that CG animated films are becoming more like live-action films in terms of the sometimes arbitrary relationship between quality and box office.

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by ShyViolet » July 12th, 2016, 9:27 pm

Very good point Vernadyn. Animated films used to be an "event". Now so much of the magic is gone. I think Pixar is the only studio that has held onto some of that quality, despite the rare misstep.
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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by Vernadyn » July 13th, 2016, 6:12 pm

ShyViolet wrote:Very good point Vernadyn. Animated films used to be an "event". Now so much of the magic is gone. I think Pixar is the only studio that has held onto some of that quality, despite the rare misstep.
Yeah. I was a kid when The Lion King came out, but the buzz and excitement of the theater experience is still seared in my memory. Even as recently as The Incredibles, I remember a delicious sense of anticipation and subsequent enthrallment. I enjoyed Finding Dory and Zootopia, but there wasn't quite that sense of "magic." (Though maybe I'm just looking through nostalgia-tinted glasses.)

However, my theater experience of Big Hero 6 happened to be fantastic--palpable excitement at the action scenes, big laughs at Baymax's antics, applause at the end, and even some quiet sniffling at one point. The audience was really into it!

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by ShyViolet » July 15th, 2016, 12:15 pm

That's good to know. I'm glad that the special "theater feeling" hasn't completely gone away in this 21st century age of people watching movies on their phones and iPads, etc...

But there was just such a magical feeling back then when a Disney film came out. (I do feel that at least some of its disappearance has to do with the eradication of 2d. No matter how great a CGI film is, it is not traditional animation. And it never will be. :| )
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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by Dacey » September 17th, 2016, 5:29 pm

I'm very late to the party, but I did finally see this yesterday. Overall, I liked it. Gidget and Snowball were easily my faves. And any film with a parody of Grease as surreal as this one earns bonus points in my book.

Sort of unrelated, but I will add that I'm almost shocked by how good Sing looks in its trailers...even though the one I had before Pets must've run four minutes long!
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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by droosan » September 18th, 2016, 2:55 am

I saw it late, too; caught a double bill of The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory at a second-run theater just a few weeks ago .. which highlighted the fact that
click to reveal content
the climax of both movies -- a chase involving animals driving in order to stage the rescue of another animal from a truck (both of which ultimately end-up plunging into water) -- were very similar.

I realize these movies were developed independently over a period of years -- in different studios, on different continents -- but the similarities were uncanny.

It's really too bad Pixar and Illumination couldn't have coordinated their efforts, so that the hapless drivers of the aquarium truck in FD -- and the drivers of the animal control truck in SLoP -- turned out to be the exact same two characters .. who keep having their vehicles hijacked by animals..! (after all, it happens twice in SLoP) :lol:
Ultimately, I liked parts of the movie way more than the whole:
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Gidget watching the soap opera was, by far, my favorite sequence (she gets so emotionally-charged! :mrgreen: ) .. and I was disappointed that there was no 'call-back' to it during her quest to find Max. Her promise to Tiberius ("I'll be your best friend!") was equally hilarious.

Snowball was great fun .. but pretty much all the rest of the 'flushed pets' were cyphers, and the whole sequence in the sewers seemed ultimately pointless (though the death of the viper was good for a laugh).

And, yeah; the sausage factory sequence was a hoot!
Alexandre Desplat's score for the movie is wonderful .. the jazziest chase music this side of The Emperor's New Groove! 8)

And I'm likewise looking forward to Sing (though, I've always been fond of the "Let's Put On A Show To Save The School/Church/Farm/etc" genre).

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Re: The Secret Life of Pets

Post by manga raw » September 20th, 2016, 5:34 am

Kevin Hart really channeled his inner Kevin Hart for this one. :D

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