HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Beethoven's Treasure Tail
HTS Overall Score:60
Does anyone remember the 1992 movie “Beethoven”? It was a fun little family adventure that had its share of stupidity, but a charm all its own. A giant Saint Bernard livens up a family with a stodgy dad and a couple of young kids, and even goes so far as to have a murder mystery as well. I used to love watching that movie over and over again, so many times that I think I wore out at least one VHS copy. Then came the sequels, and the first couple of sequels were actually semi decent. Then it went the way of “The Land Before Time” and there became so many direct to video sequels that they almost became as common as New Year’s Day. The original few movies centered on the Newton family, but as the movies progressed into the 4th and 5th sequel the famous dog branched out to different families without any logic or explanation whatsoever. Now with a whimper of a series long past its prime, we have “Beethoven’s Treasure Tale”.
Beethoven is as young as he was in 1992, but now living with Eddie Thornton (Jonathon Silverman), a single father who’s enamored with making movies with Beethoven as the star, for it seems that Beethoven is no longer just a loveable dog, but an action movie star. Fired from the set of their newest movie due to Beethoven losing his “mojo”, the dog and his human end up stuck in a Podunk little ocean view town in California called “O’Malley’s Cove”. With Eddie’s car in disrepair the duo has to stick it out for a few days while the local mechanic can get some new parts in. While there Beethoven makes a new friend in the form of Sam Parker (Bretton Manley) and his over protective mother, Anne (Kristy Swanson). It seems that this old cove was founded by a pirate captain and Sam is fanatically fixated on finding the legendary treasure of Captain O’Malley.
Everything seems all hunky dory, until the mustache twirling villain arrives in the form of an entrepreneur by the name of Fritz Brunchschnauser (Jeffrey Combs), who is intent on taking over the town and, of all things, putting up a SHOPPING MALL, you know, the stereotypical evil villain plan in movies since the 1950s. With Sam on the hunt for treasure, Eddie has to keep Beethoven away from the clutches his host, Grace O’Malley (Jayne Eastwood) and win the heart of the eligible Miss Anne Parker in a nauseating hour and a half of kiddy “fun”.
I love reviewing movies. It’s one of the reasons I do so many different ones, and so many different genres, but sometimes you feel as if you’re the superhero, valiantly throwing yourself in front of the train in order to save the rest of the town. Right now I’m that superhero, valiantly throwing myself in the front of this train wreck of epic proportions in order to save your eyes and ears from viewing this installment into the worn out doggy franchise. The entire movie stole a piece of my soul. A piece that I will never have back again, and will haunt my nightmares for weeks on end. I have no problem with kiddy movies, even ones I don’t particularly enjoy, because of the targeted audience. In this case I’m pretty sure that even 4 year olds are going to be looking at you with accusatory eyes, asking “WHY did you show this to me?!”. We’ve got washed up old actors littering the screen everywhere, a script that even Ewe Boll would turn his nose up at and even doggy fart jokes. Not one, not two, but at LEAST 3 doggy flatulence jokes that stink just about as bad as the fart itself must have. The script is written with as little effort as humanly possible, throwing in every cliché in the book. Including buried treasure, goofy villains that twirl their mustaches and laugh maniacally with bad accents, and they even managed to toss in a hackneyed romance that works about as well as trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.
Rated PG for mild crude humor and peril
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=31617[/img]The 1.78:1 AVC encoded video presentation is actually pretty good, with some solid clarity and a decent amount of fine detail in the picture. The contrast is boosted a bit high though, and the colors and blacks can be a bit muted and washed out as a result. It’s nothing too wild, but just enough that the whites look like they’re blooming a bit much. Colors are decently vivid and the beautiful sea coast looks wonderful on screen. The movie was definitely shot on the cheap and you can see the cracks and seams of the budget with regards to the sets, but the natural outdoor shots look quite nice, with decent lighting.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=31625[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is a bit stodgy though, as it doesn’t make a lot of use of the surround channels, but tends to lean towards being rather front heavy. The dialogue is clean and clear as you can hope for, and the front sound stage even lends itself to some nice ambient noises of the bay once in a while. When the surround channels ARE engaged, it’s mainly with the musical score and then it fades back into the shadows where the front 3 speakers become the main attraction once more. There’s a little bit of LFE smattered here and there, mainly accentuating a few bumps and bangs and adds some weight to the score as well. It’s nothing special, but rather just a cheaply done DTV audio track and suffers all the pitfalls of that genre.
• Previews streamed from the internet
I try to find the good in everything. I really do, but in this case I honestly can’t recommend a single thing, besides to skip this stinker in favor of ANYTHING else. “Beethoven” was a fun little 90’s flick that got worn out by lesser sequels by the time the 90s ended. Now with countless sequels, the franchise feels as old and worn out as the pirated bones in the movie at hand. The audio is decent, and the video solid, so if you MUST torture yourself with this one, at least your eyes and ears won’t be offended by the presentation.
Starring: Jonathon Silverman, Bretton Manley, Kristy Swanson
Directed by: Ron Oliver
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish, French DTS 5.1
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 28th 2014
Buy Beethoven's Treasure Tail Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Run from it in terror
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