[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=5149&w=o[/img]Title: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Starring: James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Christina Applegate, Katt Williams, Bette Midler & Neil Patrick Harris
Directed by: Brad Peyton
Written by: Ron J. Friedman & Steve Bencich
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 82 Minutes
Release Date: November 16, 2010
"Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" is a sequel to "Cats & Dogs" which was released back in 2001. I've not had the pleasure of seeing the original "Cats & Dogs," so initially, I wondered why anyone would wait almost a decade to make the sequel. With no knowledge of the previous film, my best guess is that they really hoped the time would heal all wounds...
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=5154&w=o[/img]We open with a scientist returning to his laboratory only to find a cute puppy sitting on the doorstep. Shot with a soft-focus lens, the puppy appears far too cute for the scientist to resist, so he brings the puppy inside. This decision proves to be a big mistake when we soon discover that the puppy is actually Kitty Galore (Bette Midler) dressed in a cute puppy suit. She takes intelligence photographs of some apparently important blueprints before unzipping herself from her puppy suit and escaping. It's at this early point in the movie when the audience realizes that not only has Kitty Galore returned after almost 10 years, but also that the villain disguised in cute puppy clothing may actually be a metaphor for a bad movie disguised by an impressive cast of voice actors playing talking animals. But, I digress...
Diggs (James Marsden) is a cat-hating German Shepherd police dog with a flair for adventure but also a knack for botching his assignments. After a final-straw blunder on the job, he is released from the force. However, a special group of spy dogs believes Diggs' heroics may prove useful in bringing down Kitty Galore. He is then paired with hardened spy dog, Butch (Nick Nolte). Their first assignment together is to find Seemus (Katt Williams), a carrier pigeon believed to have intimate knowledge of technology stolen for Kitty Galore; technology that could be used to initiate the "Call of the Wild" (a sound broadcast via satellite with the power to take down all the world's dogs).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=5151&w=o[/img]Once Diggs and Butch find Seemus, they're met by a cat secret agent named Catherine (Christina Applegate). Not only is she also looking for answers from Seemus, but she shares their motive in bringing down Kitty Galore. A representative of M.E.O.W.S., Catherine leads a similar group of spy cats that left Kitty Galore's feline army. Despite their differences; cats, dogs and a pigeon all come to realize they must work together if they are to have any hope of stopping the evil Kitty Galore.
Even as I write this, I can hardly believe that this is the storyline for the movie I just watched. The only saving grace is the fact that this is a children's movie. The film has some merit simply because I imagine talking animals may be of interest to some children. Although, I can't help but wonder if the attention span of a child would last much longer than a few minutes on a plot this stale. The movie might be great for 10-15 minute car rides to grandma's house, but please keep in mind this is not the DVD review.
In many cases, movies of this nature tend to also include some adult themes as well. "Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" is no exception. Generally, these themes are solely responsible for maintaining the interest of parents that want to watch with their children, while going right over the heads of unassuming youngsters. This concept is great when executed successfully, but in this case, rather than generate laughs, these themes tend to do little more than raise eyebrows. To make matters worse, dogs playing poker, references to "Silence of the Lambs," and James Bond and "Mission Impossible" parallels border on cheesy, and are unable to offer adults much more than a band aid for the gaping wound that is this movie's storyline.
The ending comes abruptly, feels uninspired and unfortunately hints at yet another sequel. The closing credits are worth mentioning, however, as they are accompanied by actual home video footage of cats and dogs fighting with one another and then loving one another. Easily the most entertaining video on the disk. But, hey, all this being said, I still think there's an off chance that your kids may actually like this movie.
Rated PG for animal action and humor.
"Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" is an AVC video transfer with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Nowhere close to demo-worthy, the majority of the movie looks like a dvd upconversion. Much of the imagery appears soft as the point of focus is often lost. Some CGI sequences are well done with some nice, sharp detail, but others seem to miss the mark. The animation of the animals' facial expressions seems a bit unnatural at times, and the majority of the puppeteering/animatronics is borderline embarrassing. I noticed no edge enhancement or ringing. Colors are occasionally nice and vibrant, especially during scenes with heavy animation/CGI, but the contrast is harsh at times with some whites blowing out and some dark areas crushing a bit. I also noticed heavy film grain in some shadowy areas. Blu-ray video looks very good most of the time, but in my opinion, this transfer is middle of the road at best, only getting a bump to 3 stars in the rating system due to the animated/CGI sequences.
This DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is centered mainly around dialogue, as the focus of the film's audio is derived from talking animals for the most part. For this reason, the track is obviously center channel heavy. Dialogue is clear with good volume and comes from center screen as expected for the most part. For me, the audio rating takes the biggest hit because there are numerous times when the dialogue suddenly sounds unnecessarily echoed, like the characters are talking in a tunnel. I'm not sure why this is, or why it wasn't fixed, but these instances sound unnatural, and each time, they took me right out of the experience. Surround sound effects are limited, but immersive and effective when in play. The LFE channel really shines during the action sequences with a variety of effects that often dig really deep. This isn't a bad audio track, but it's not a top tier track either. I would have awarded a 4-star rating if not for the unnatural echoed dialogue sequences.
- Coyote Falls: New Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote Cartoon
- Sneak peek of the upcoming Yogi Bear theatrical film
- Dog Dishing: Tails from the Bark Side of Hollywood
- The Best of the Best: Cat vs Dog Animated Showdowns
- Meow-Takes: Outtakes and Gag Reel
"Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" is a rough watch, to say the least. Basing itself almost entirely on attempts at humorous references/adult themes and the novelty of talking animals to appeal to children, this movie really does none of these things very well. I realize this film is targeted at an audience I'm not a part of, but in my opinion, there are too many other A+ Blu-ray titles in the genre to own including the "Toy Story" series ("Toy Story 1, 2 and 3"), "How To Train Your Dragon," and "Up" for example.
For most, I would recommend you avoid this Blu-ray title. If you have children and want to roll the dice, rent the DVD.
Impressive audio/video sequences are few and far between, but if I had to select 3 scenes to bookmark, they'd be as follows:
23:52- Jetpack Flying Dogs
46:00- MacDougall Fight Scene
1:08:15- Final Satellite Scene