For no reason other than maybe some of my 3.5 readers could be cheered up by the sight of a wrapped up pug:
For no reason other than maybe some of my 3.5 readers could be cheered up by the sight of a wrapped up pug:
Hey 3.5 readers.
BQB here. So, this movie is the sequel to 2017’s “A Dog’s Purpose” and it continues with author W. Bruce Cameron’s tried and true formula of pulling on the heart strings of pet owners. You might remember in the original, Bailey died and reincarnated over and over, becoming a different dog each time, helping a slew of owners along the way as he pined to return to his original owner, Ethan (Dennis Quaid).
In this go around, Bailey croaks again and again, reincarnating over and over so he can help Ethan’s grandaughter, CJ, as he finds her again and again throughout numerous dog lives.
You cry when the dog dies. You rejoice when the dog lives again. Honestly, these movies are one step above being Hallmark films but somehow they make you care about the characters and the dog and I suppose the message is we all need unconditional love in our lives and dogs are better at providing that than humans.
I’m not going to spend long on this review because overall, it’s cute and schmaltzy, basically a Hallmark movie that your kids will enjoy because…dogs!
Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard) starts out in life as a puppy living under a broken down, abandoned house. When her mom, Mother Dog, is taken away, she is looked after by none other than Mother Cat.
Soon enough, she’s adopted by a family, including Lucas, a young medical student at a VA Hospital and his mother, a veteran who attends group therapy sessions there from time to time. Lucas, Mom and Bella become a happy family until an evil developer interferes and through a series of hijinx, Bella ends up on her own in the wild, lost and far away from home.
From there, the canine goes on a two-year quest to get back home, meeting all sorts of friends along the way, from a mountain lion that becomes her BFF to a pack of dogs who knock over trash cans for sustenance to a dog abandoned by his owner and more.
Happy at times, sad at others, it’s so hokey it’ll make you puke but again, the kids will like it, because there are dogs and one of them talks. There seems to be a growing number of movies with talking dogs and how the filmmakers have the patience to stare at a dog for hours on end with a camera until the dog performs the desired action to keep the film running, I’ll never know.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. FYI it is a follow-up to A Dog’s Purpose, another film based on W. Bruce Cameron’s work. This dude is raking it in on his dog books. Sometimes, all you need is a good niche, and this guy really knows how to pull at the heartstrings of pet owners.
May, 2007 – 1:00 p.m.
Cole was thirty. A younger man and as Rusty would later note in a phone message ten years later, a much happier man. There was no gray in his hair and plenty of pep in his step.
He wasn’t the chief at the time. That job went to the surly, walrus-mustached Jerome Haskell. Chief Haskell was a dour man with a perpetually sour expression on his face, but on the particular afternoon, he’d missed lunch, which made him exceptionally cranky.
“Wade Randolph!” Chief Haskell bellowed into a bullhorn pointed at a rundown shack on the outskirts of town. “There’s no use fighting this! We’ve got you surrounded!”
A faint voice emanated out of a broken window in the house. “Suck my balls!”
Chief Haskell looked to his back-up officers, young Cole and young Rusty. “Did he just tell me to suck his balls?”
“He did, Chief,” Cole said.
“The nerve of some people,” Rusty said. “If you ask me, it’s all these filthy DVD movies people are renting nowadays. They ought to just close down Blockbuster but hell, that place will probably be around until the end of time.”
“True,” Cole said. “People do like a good movie.”
Chief Haskell got on the bullhorn again. “Wade, you sack of refried donkey shit! Don’t you tell me to suck your balls! I got a warrant for your arrest and it’s gonna be served one way or the other, even if my boys and I have to come on in there and drag your scrawny, dope-dealing ass out ourselves.”
Wade broke onto into song. “Suck my balls, oh suck my balls! Suck, suck, suck suck, oh suck on my balls!”
“God damn it,” Chief Haskell said.
The Chief leaned up against his police cruiser.
“You ok, boss?” Cole asked. “You look a little wobbly.”
“Yeah,” Chief Haskell said. “My blood sugar’s just a little low. I was about to bite into a ham sandwich when this bullshit started.”
“Your Missus still pack your lunches, Chief?” Rusty asked.
“She sure does,” Chief Haskell replied. “Woman’s a saint. Handles all the household chores, does all the laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning. Takes care of everything so I can just focus on my job. Hell, she even handles all the bills and finances. She’s a real smart cookie.”
“That’s awesome, Chief,” Rusty said. “I hope I find a woman like Mrs. Haskell one day.”
“I bet you will, Rusty,” Chief Haskell said as he slapped the redhead on the back. “There are plenty of women out there who want nothing more than to take care of a husband and tend to all his needs.”
“Yeah,” Rusty said. “But I’m just going to take my time. I figure there’s no need to rush. Women will still want to take care of their men in ten years.”
“Oh, no doubt there,” Chief Haskell said. “Just get yourself a smart one, like my Hazel. You know, the other day, she was saying something that made a lot of sense. Something about investing a bunch of money in Apple Computer stock.”
“Apple computers?” Rusty said.
“Yeah,” Chief Haskell said. “Something about a new fangled phone they made. Lets you look at the Internet anywhere.”
“No one could possibly make an invention like that work, Boss,” Rusty said. “Put the Internet in a phone? That’d be like harnessing a hurricane into a bottle. I mean, I’d be all over that shit if they could do it, but it’s impossible.”
“What do you think, Cole?” the Chief asked.
“I dunno, boss,” Cole said. “Beats me as to why anyone needs to be on the Internet while they’re out and about.”
“Hazel said something about social media,” the Chief said. “Whatever the hell that is.”
Cole smiled. “That’s that stupid ass thing the kids do where they post a picture of what they had for lunch…then they write about what they had for lunch, then all their friends write about what they had for lunch. It’s dumb.”
“That actually sounds like it’d be a lot of fun,” Cole said. “But as fads go, it’ll be a flash in the pan with no real long lasting potential. Plus, if Apple is ever able to put the Internet into a damn phone, then that must mean they got some kind of crazy magic scientists working there. I’ll eat my hat if they do it.”
Chief Haskell nodded. “You guys are right. I’ll just tell her to put it all in Borders.”
“Can’t go wrong there, Chief,” Rusty said. “People will always love the feel of a printed book in their hands.”
The Chief looked at his watch, then barked into the bullhorn. “Wade! You pulling your pud in there or what? Let’s go!”
“Chief!” Wade shouted. “I’ll have you know it’s illegal for you all to be here on my property!”
“It’s not illegal for us to be here, dipshit!” the Chief shouted into the bullhorn. “It’s illegal for you to cook up crystal meth and sell it to high school kids. How’d you think you were gonna get away with that one?”
Wade went silent. A few minutes passed.
“Hey Boss,” Cole said. “You know, Sharon just graduated from law school…”
“Oh sure,” Chief Haskell said. “Rub it in all our faces, why don’t you, Cole? All that big time fancy lawyer money your wife is going to be making?”
“Sharon will probably rake in so much dough that Cole will be able to quit the force and become her stay at home gigolo,” Rusty said.
The Chief laughed. “Sounds like the good life to me!”
“Yeah,” Cole said. “Anyway, we’re having a little party for her this weekend. We’d love to have you and Hazel over. You too, Rusty.”
“Count us in,” Chief Haskell said.
“What about you, Rusty?” Cole asked.
“Can I wear my Ed Hardy shirt?” Rusty asked.
“If you have to,” Cole replied.
“Then I’m in,” Rusty said.
Chief Haskell held up his bullhorn. “Peckerwood! You got until the count of three! Three…two…”
The front door of the shack swung open. “I’m coming out!”
“You got a gun on you?” Chief Haskell asked.
“Hell no,” Wade answered. “You think I’m some kinda idiot?”
Chief Haskell sighed. “You don’t want me to answer that. Just know you come out armed, we’ll put you down!”
An angry growl filled the air. The Chief squinted at the sight that was unfolding before his eyes, just to make sure he was really seeing what he was seeing. “What in the…”
Wade had walked out the door while holding the leash of one very large, very angry pit bull. It had giant, pointy teeth and big gobs of white foam plopped out of its mouth. It stared at the officers with a hungry look in his eyes.
“What the hell are you trying to pull, Wade?” Chief Haskell asked.
Wade was skinny to the point of emaciation. His body was like a tall skeleton with skin hanging off of it, with a pair of sunken eyes. He wore a pair of dirty jeans and a wife-beater style T-shirt.
“You piggies scoot, now!” Wade shouted. “Go on back to the bacon factory before I sic Ole Mongo on you!”
All three officers pulled their sidearms and aimed at the dog. Old Mongo was one rough looking pooch. He only had one eye. There were burn marks, scratches, and scars all over his body. One could only assume that he’d suffered a great deal of abuse at the hands of his owner over the years, the kind of abuse that can turn an animal from a friendly pet to an insane killing machine.
“I will shoot you and your ugly dog, Wade!” the Chief shouted. “Chain that mutt up and lie down on the ground!”
Old Mongo barked and growled some more. Then he started pulling on the leash, harder and harder. Wade struggled to hold on. It was obvious that the dog was much stronger than his owner.
“I can’t hold on forever!” Wade said. “You piggies better run!”
A little girl’s voice broke the tension. There, standing in the doorway, was Wade’s eight-year old daughter. “Daddy, what’s going on?”
The beast dog spotted the girl and growled.
“Why’s Mongo so mad?” the girl asked.
“Go back inside, Molly,” Wade said. “Daddy’s just having a little chat with these officers about a dumb old mistake they made.”
The Chief noticed how intently Old Mongo was staring at Molly. “Wade,” the Chief said. “Look, you better…”
And the dog was off. Old Mongo charged for the girl, yanking the leash right out of Wade’s hands. Molly screeched as she ran into the house with the pit bull in hot pursuit.
“Molly!” Wade shouted.
The drug pusher ran over to the officers. “Chief! You gotta save my little girl.”
The Chief’s face turned red with rage. He took off his hat and beat Wade over the head with it repeatedly. “Idiot!”
Canine reincarnation. Animal acting controversy. Pooch Hall in a 1980s Jerry curl.
BQB here with a review of the sappy schmaltz fest that is, A Dog’s Life.
Before I venture into this review, I suppose I should discuss the elephant in the room. This film was expected to get more play as an ode to man’s best friend, but all that was cast aside when video surfaced of a trainer struggling to get a German Shepherd to enter a turbulent pool of water, followed by the dog later ending up submerged a little longer than anyone would like to see.
Honestly, I don’t know. I watched the video. The dog isn’t beaten or anything, though that shouldn’t necessarily be the low bar that is set for dog treatment. The dog is scared. The trainer tries to get him to go into the pool anyway. Eventually the dog is in the pool and he goes underwater for a bit. At the end of the day, he’s safe.
Animal activists are all over the movie like stink on a monkey, raising the question of whether or not animals should be made to appear/perform in movies at all.
On the other hand, W. Bruce Cameron, author of the book the film is based on, released this letter to USA Today, which, if you read it, seems reasonable.
I don’t want to put words into the man’s mouth but my takeaway was, “We goofed. We’re sorry. I love dogs. The movie is meant as a love song to the relationship between man and dog.”
I’ll let you decide. Personally, I think it might be one of those lessons where everything worked out, the dog’s fine and there was a lesson learned. Movie dog trainers are now on notice to not force dogs to do things they aren’t cool with. Yes, it’s a teachable moment for the PETA crowd to express their views, but then again, in today’s knee jerk to become outraged within 30 seconds Internet/social media culture, the folks behind the movie are being treated as if they are collectively Satan…and I don’t sense a vibe that they are Satan.
Moving on to the film itself, Bailey, voiced by Josh Gad, begins his journey as a golden retriever owned by young Ethan. Time moves on. As in any life, there are happy times and sad times, proud times and profoundly disappointing times.
Long story short, the pooch buys the farm and is reincarnated as a different dog over and over again, each time to a different owner in a different time period.
Each owner has his/her backstory and it’s up to Bailey to help each human with their personal problems as best he can. Some owners are kind. Some owners are douches.
Morals laid down by the tale:
I hate to admit it, but the film was a real tearjerker. I mean, not to spoil it, but as a viewer, you’re forced to witness a dog die over and over and over again and that’s before you even scrape the surface of the emotional pain his various owners are in. Oh and time flashes by at a lightning pace and entire decades have come and gone before you realize it, so try to make the most of it before it is too late.
It sucks that the controversy derailed this film. I sympathize with the people that are mad. I sympathize with the people behind this film.
All and all, I’d say give the movie a chance. There’s a definite love of all things furry behind it.
STATUS: Shelf worthy. Woof.
If I bark at Bookshelf Q. Battler but he doesn’t hear it, did I even bark at all?
If I don’t eat random things off of the floor how will I ever know what they are?
If a blog only has 3.5 readers, does it have any readers at all?
If I lick my butt then lick BQB despite his protests have I covered BQB with my dog butt germs? (Most assuredly so.)
If a chicken crosses the road, gets to the other side, then returns to his initial point of origin, did the chicken ever really go anywhere?
Remember 3.5 readers…a journey of a thousand paw prints begins with one tail wag…also cats are big time buttholes.
Good morning 3.5 Readers.
As regular readers, you’re aware that Bookshelf Q. Battledog holds the esteemed position of Security Chief of Bookshelf Q. Battler Headquarters.
That’s right. All enemies of BQB HQ must go through this furry protector:
QUESTION: Do you think BQBD is sufficiently scary? If you were an enemy of BQBHQ, would you cower in terror upon seeing him or punt him like a football and then engage in a hostile takeover of the Bookshelf Battle Blog as the evil Yeti did a couple years ago?
You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but he has actually devoured 7,345 intruders alive. He also knows karate, ninjutsu, kung-fu and tae kwon do.
But I don’t know. There’s just something about him that makes me worry he may not be sufficiently intimidating.
And when you run a blog dedicated to putting more awesomeness in the world, I really need a fearsome beast that will protect me from all who would seek to stop the awesome.
I can’t figure it out. Maybe he needs to work out more. Hit the gym a little.
What say you, 3.5 readers?
I believe they are. They appear to be dumb pets but secretly, they plot evil conspiracies.
Shit. Isn’t there a kids’ movie based on this?
Worst daily discussion ever. Discuss anyway.
Actually, I did think of something.
It has been in the news the past couple of days that scientists are saying it is bad to hug your dog. They say that even though the dog might look happy, he or she is feeling intense stress over the hug.
Personally, I try not to hug Bookshelf Q. Battledog as he is a vicious man eating beast who has devoured 951 intruders on BQB HQ premises.
But what do you think? Dog hugging – bad or good idea? Needless to say I mean dog hugging within normal limits. All you people who were spooning your dog and dancing the waltz with your dog were weird to begin with.
I’ve been known to pat BQBD on the head while watching Scandal Thursday nights on ABC with Alien Jones, the Yeti and of course, Video Game Rack Fighter, who brings Video Game Rack Fighter Cat.
Now that I am writing this, I have questions. Do they mean never hug your dog ever? Or are they talking about weirdoes who hug their dogs for hours and hours?
Because honestly, maybe after like a 24 hour dog hugging session the dog ends up feeling like a furry hostage or something.
Maybe he wants space. Maybe he wants to see other owners.
I don’t know. I’m not a dog scientist.
What say you, 3.5 readers?