Category Archives: Films – 1.5 stars

Good Boy

Talking dogs from outer space should be funnier than this, but unfortunately this film tries so hard to be inoffensive that it is nothing more than utterly bland. The idea is that dogs came to Earth thousands of years ago to colonize the place, but instead became friends with humans. Hubble (the main dog character) is an inspector from the home star (Sirius, natch), come to evaluate Earth dogs on their control of the planet. He is appalled at their domesticated status, and would have sent back a scathing report, had he not crashed his space ship and wrecked his interstellar radio. A further accident with UFO technology allows the boy Owen to understand what the dogs are saying. The rest of the film is a predictable attempt by Owen and a group of local dogs to impress Hubble, and to prepare for a visit from the Greater Dane, ruler of all doghood. It’s almost amusing in places, and almost touching in others. For the rest, it’s dumbed down pap.

A Guy Thing

Dull romantic comedy about a man who wakes up the morning after his stag party with a strange woman in his bed. There are a few genuinely funny moments, but mostly it’s a tired rehash of in-law and pre-wedding jokes. The cast all seem horribly out of place and uncomfortable delivering their lines for laughs. They look like they’re desperate to bring more depth to their characters, but the rom-com format doesn’t allow them to sparkle. There is also a complete lack of on-screen chemistry between any of the character pairings. All in all, it’s just flat as a pancake.

Welcome To Collinwood

I’m not sure if this was supposed to be a crime caper, or a character study of a bunch of mismatched no-hopers chasing a dream of escape from poverty. Either way, it ended up as a forced slapstick about a burglary gone wrong. There are a few funny moments, and a few nice character touches, but they’re the rare exception. Most of the time the protagonists are nothing more than a bunch of unlikeable half-wits who can’t bust their way through a damp napkin, let alone a jeweller’s safe. Yes, this appears to be exactly what the script calls for, but why? What is the film trying to say? It left me cold because it lacks heart, and lacks direction. This is exemplified by the ending, which allows the gang’s failure to fizzle out in spectacularly anti-climactic “that’s it?” fashion. All of the cast can do better than this in their sleep.

The Tuxedo

About as good/bad as you’d expect. A taxi driver (Chan) gets a job as chauffeur for a super-rich secret agent, then takes on the his mantle (or ultra-tech tuxedo) when the agent is injured in an explosion. This could have been saved by a better villain, but I guess they didn’t have the budget for any imagination. The fight scenes are rubbish by Chan standards, too. Still, Jennifer Love Hewitt looks nice.