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REVIEW: The Secret Life Of Pets – A Decent Toy Story Rip-off

The Secret Life of Pets
REVIEW: The Secret Life Of Pets – A Decent Toy Story Rip-off

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Directed by: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney

Starring: Louis C. K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate, and Albert Brooks

This year, animated fare has dominated the box office. Zootopia1, Finding Dory2 and Kung Fu Panda 3 are some of the highest grossing films of the year. If we include The Jungle Book3 in the animation category, the success of this year s 3D computer animation is even more impressive. The Secret Life of Pets is the latest film to try to capitalize on the world s love of family-friendly animation.

Max (Louis C.K.) is a terrier who lives in a spacious apartment building with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper). In the evenings, Max spends his time playing with Katie. But during the day when Katie is at work, Max interacts with all of the other pets in the area. Max chats with Gidget (Jenny Slate), a little dog with a crush on him, Chloe (Lake Bell), a lazy fat cat, and an assortment of other pets. Max is doing well until Katie brings home a new dog, Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Duke is a huge, shaggy stray from the pound. Max instantly dislikes Duke and the two bicker as Duke invades his space.

During a daytime walk, Duke tricks Max into leaving the safety of the dog park. They get into a battle with a group of alley cats and lose their collars. The dogs are subsequently captured by animal control. Duke and Max are on their way to the pound when a furry rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart) breaks into the truck. Snowball is there to free a member of his sewer squad who had also been captured by animal control. Snowball is the leader of the Flushed Pets, a group of anti-human pets who want revenge against humans for being abandoned and mistreated. Duke and Max convince Snowball that they also hate humans and recently killed one. Snowball appreciates their vicious streak and agrees to free them and let them join the Flushed Pets. Once Max and Duke are down in the sewers, they realize they are in way over their heads. Meanwhile, Max s friends, led by Gidget, are on a mission to find him. Shenanigans ensue.

The Secret Life Of Pets
is an adequately entertaining film. There are sufficient hijinks and action to keep young audiences engaged. Moreover, the animators paint Manhattan in rich vibrant colors that will appeal to young and old audiences alike. The Secret Life of Pets is filled with fun characters and an impressive list of voiceover actors. Jenny Slate, in particular, gives a standout performance as the lovesick, but surprisingly tough Gidget. In addition, Kevin Hart s turn as a manic, violent bunny rabbit is memorable. Hart s over the top performance works, but Snowball cannot compare to Eddie Murphy s Donkey in Shrek or Robin Williams Genie in Aladdin.

The Secret Life Of Pets
, however, is derivative of one of the greatest animated films of all time, Toy Story. Just like in Toy Story, The Secret Life Of Pets gives audiences a peek at what happens when humans leave the room. In this instance, it is not toys that come to life, but animals that throw parties, rock out to music, eat turkeys and hang out with their buddies. Max is obviously Woody the beloved longtime companion. Duke is Buzz Lightyear, the new pet in the house who disrupts the status quo. The various assortment of pets are akin to Andy s other toys in Toy Story. You could even say that the Flushed Pets in the new movie are akin to Lotso and his gang of mistreated toys in Toy Story 3. Because of this familiar premise, The Secret Life of Pets is ultimately a predictable rip-off of a better crafted tale. In a year where we were treated to the likes of Zootopia and Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets simply misses the mark and fails to reach the heights of the films that preceded it this year.

The Secret Life of Pets
earns a 0.06% rating. I would recommend re-watching Zootopia, Inside Out4 or The Lego Movie5. But if you need to relax in an air-conditioned theater with the family, your kids will probably enjoy it, even if the adult laughs are minimal.

In : 0.06% Beer or Wine6

Tags: “louis c. k.” “eric stonestreet” “kevin hart” “steve coogan” “ellie kemper” “bobby moynihan” “lake bell” “dana carvey” “hannibal buress” “jenny slate” “albert brooks” animation animated pets adventure

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Review: ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ is ‘Toy Story’ unleashed

Review: 'The Secret Life Of Pets' Is 'Toy Story' Unleashed In this image released by Universal Pictures, Chloe, voiced by Lake Bell, from left, Max, voiced by Louis C.K., and Mel, voiced by Bobby Moynihan, appear in a scene from, “The Secret Lives of Pets.” (Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures via AP)

WASHINGTON The best movie premises are often right under our noses. Pixar s Toy Story (1995) made history by asking: what do our toys do when we leave the room? Now, The Secret Life of Pets asks a similar question: what do our pets do when we re not around?

Such is the premise of the fifth feature animated film by Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, co-directed by Chris Renaud ( Despicable Me ) and his former production designer Yarrow Cheney with a screenplay co-written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio ( Minions ). Set in New York City, Pets follows a playful Jack Russell Terrier named Max (Louis C.K.), who can t understand where his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) goes every day when she leaves for work. He passes the time with his neighboring pet pals Chloe (Lake Bell), Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), Sweet Pea (Tara Strong) and Gidget (Jenny Slate), who has the hots for Max. But this daily routine is suddenly interrupted when Katie adopts a giant stray Newfoundland named Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who barges into the home and romps around like he owns the place. An alpha dog rivalry ensues, sending Max and Duke out of the apartment on a Manhattan adventure.

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From the start, the most pleasant surprise is how wonderfully New York the movie is, romanticizing the Big Apple as a magical urban landscape with sprawling greenery in Central Park and larger-than-life skyscrapers connected by a network of clothes lines and fire escapes all set to Taylor Swift. This makes New York native Louis C.K. perfect for the lead, providing the most street cred since Billy Joel sang Why Should I Worry in Oliver & Company (1988). It may be a few years before kids can watch his genius FX comedy Louie, but it s a fine introduction to one of our most gifted comedians. While Mr. C.K. is instantly recognizable, it may take you longer to guess the voice of Duke (Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family ), but the celebrity guessing game has become part of the fun of these animated flicks. Listen for Dana Carvey as a wheelchair-bound dog named Pops and Albert Brooks as a rooftop hawk named Tiberius who s far more cunning than his clownfish in Finding Dory (2016).

Stealing the show, however, is the hilarious Kevin Hart as a sewer-dwelling rabbit named Snowball, who s built an army of stray animals in a rebellion against the human race. Spitting fire like Chris Rock, Hart recalls the killer bunny in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), appearing cute and cuddly on the outside, while remaining absolutely vicious on the inside. Don t let those bunny ears fool ya. While Snowball is a great individual character, he is slightly misused. If there s something that Pets lacks it s a clear antagonist. At first, the villain appears to be Ozone the Alley Cat (Steve Coogan), whose fellow felines fling intruders around like King Louie s monkeys in The Jungle Book (1967). From there, the heel becomes Snowball and his revolutionary sewer dwellers, before finally settling on the dog catchers, who pop up with frustrating irregularity. Will the real foe please stand up? This lack of focus is symptomatic of a hyperactive Act Two that tries to do way too much as it zigs and zags across the city, from Manhattan to Brooklyn. There are times we wish the screenwriters would dial it back, instead of throwing every possible obstacle in their way with relentless twists and turns that even include a daydream at a hot dog factory set to We Go Together from Grease (1978).

Yes, really. Wah-oooh, yeah. After the appealing trailers of poodles rocking out to heavy metal, we yearn to see more of what our pets do at home when we re not around. Instead, these domestic antics are all crammed into the first 10 minutes before veering into a high-octane chase across town, at which point the tail wags the dog. The cause of this shift in trajectory is, of course, the catalyst of Duke s arrival, which instantly costs Pets some originality points compared to a true trendsetter like Toy Story. Indeed, Duke s arrival into Katie s apartment is just like Buzz Lightyear s arrival into Andy s toy room, causing Max the same kind of jealousy as Woody in their fear of being replaced (minus the tear-jerking Randy Newman).

But while Max & Duke never quite reach the buddy team level of Buzz & Woody, their camaraderie is at least on par with Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise singing You Can t Keep a Good Dog Down in All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989). You root for their ultimate friendship, even if you know it s coming.

In the end, it s impossible not to like The Secret Life of Pets. It may not be exactly what the trailers promised, but the topic is so endearing that it can t help but tug at your heartstrings. Anyone who s ever loved a pet will leave with a warm smile and maybe, just maybe, adopt a new best friend.

Review: 'The Secret Life Of Pets' Is 'Toy Story' Unleashed

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Marketypes: Les archétypes de Jung au service des marques (Economie) (French Edition) – Jung Sale

Marketypes: Les archétypes de Jung au service des marques (Economie) (French Edition)

« Vraiment, vous avez de la chance, car le Supporter est là… Sa priorité ? Vous ! » Devinez quelle marque se « cache » derrière ce « Marketype» ? Nike, bien-sûr, une des 16 marques analysées dans Marketypes.
Ce néologisme inventé par les auteurs est le fruit de vingt ans de recherche autour des travaux de la psychologie analytique de C.G. Jung, d’Isabel Myers et du neuromarketing.
Car la question des publicitaires est toujours la même : comment positionner une marque pour surpasser la concurrence ?
La réussite des auteurs est de parvenir à nous faire comprendre, exemples à l’appui, comment définir une personnalité
de marque comme s’il s’agissait d’un être humain.

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