Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cats & Dogs (2001)

Cats & Dogs

Cats & Dogs is an action/comedy film directed by Lawrence Guterman.

The film begins with the SUV of the Brody family pulling up to the house, with Mrs. Brody (Elizabeth Perkins) and her son Scott (Alexander Pollock) bringing in the groceries, and the family's Bloodhound named Buddy immediately starts giving chase after a cat. Buddy follows the cat and pursues him through a neighbor's house, until he finds the cat lying dead on the street, obviously playing dead. The cat gets up and runs away, and a blue van pulls up and kidnaps Buddy. An Anatolian Shepherd Dog named Butch (Alec Baldwin) watches from a window, then goes to his doghouse, pressing a blue button, which grants him access to a large techno-network, and tells an agent of Buddy's kidnap. At Intel HQ, the head dog receives the news about Buddy and orders the best agents to accomplish the mission and defeat the cat menace. Meanwhile at a farm, a small group of Beagle puppies converse and make fun of a younger puppy (Tobey Maguire), who wants to be free. A group of young black Doberman puppies led by a large Doberman Pinscher force the Beagles to go underground as Mrs. Brody approaches. Mrs. Brody comes into the puppy pen, and the last beagle puppy comes out. She decides to adopt him and takes him home, naming him Lou. She puts him outside to play and a golden bone attached to a balloon falls down. Lou goes near it, and Butch comes out and throws a stick at it, making it explode. Butch then takes Lou into Buddy's doghouse, and shows him the network that dog agents use, and takes him to meet some more agents: Peek (Joe Pantoliano) is a Chinese Crested Dog who works in an underground tube and has computers, radar, sonar, television, communications, satellite, thermal imaging systems, security cameras, and such. Sam (Michael Clarke Duncan) is a comical Bearded Collie.

*Summary from Wikipedia

Hotel for Dogs (2009)

Hotel for Dogs

Hotel for Dogs is a 2009  American children’s comedy film directed by Thor Freudenthal and stars Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon, Kyla Pratt, and Don Cheadle.

The movie begins in Central City. Siblings Andi and Bruce are shown defrauding a pawn shop owner to raise money to feed their dog, Friday. Soon afterwards, the pawn shop owner approaches them with a police officer, pointing Andi out as the culprit. As she tries to talk her way out of trouble, Bruce's backpack falls and its contents spill out, revealing his scamming supplies. They are arrested and taken to the local police station, where their social worker, Bernie, meets them. He scolds them and says that because they have changed foster homes so many times, they may be separated the next time they do so. Bernie then takes them home to their foster parents, aspiring rock stars Lois and Carl Scudder. The two are angry that the children have missed dinner (and delayed band practice) and Bernie takes responsibility. Andi and Bruce are sent to their room for the night, where they have hidden Friday from their guardians.

In the morning, Friday wanders out of the room into the apartment and is almost seen by Lois. The kids attempt to get him back into their room, trying to hide what they are doing, and eventually do so without Lois realizing what is going on. Once back in the room, however, Friday uses a homemade elevator, designed and built by Bruce, to leave the apartment through the window and is picked up by animal control. Andi and Bruce are desperate to find Friday and scour the area looking for him. They enter a pet store and ask the manager, Dave, and employee Heather, whether they have seen Friday. Neither of them has, but they suggest visiting the local pound to see if he is there. At the pound, Andi and Bruce discover Friday is indeed there, but must bribe one of the officers to get him released. On the way home, they encounter a burglary in progress at a store and as the police arrive they flee to a nearby abandoned hotel to avoid being fingered as the culprits. Friday again gets away from them and they search the building to find him. As they do, they hear strange noises – which they discover to be two dogs that have taken up shelter. With them is Friday, and Andi and Bruce decide to leave him in the hotel for the night and return home.

The next day, the two kids steal from the refrigerator to take to the hungry dogs. At the hotel, they find that one of the dogs howling because the shades had been drawn. The kids return to the pet store to get more food, and lie to Dave, claiming that their parents are dog rescuers. Heather follows them back to the hotel and announces that she wants to help. They are later joined by another kid, Mark. Bruce builds a number of contraptions to keep the dogs fed and entertained while they are alone in the hotel. They decide to take in all the stray dogs they can find.

Andi is invited to a party. She sneaks out of the apartment and shows up. However, she is recognized by someone who tells Dave and Heather that she is actually a foster child. Upset, she runs from the party to the hotel, where the dogs are running wild. The police storm the hotel, arrest the kids and round up the dogs. Bernie and his wife, Carol, tell them that there is nothing more they can do. The dogs are scheduled to be euthanized and Andi and Bruce are sent to separate foster homes. Dave soon shows up to Andi's house with Mark, Heather, and Friday with a plan to rescue all of the dogs. They pick up Bruce, sneak into the pound, and release the dogs, which they attempt to lead across county lines. As they pass the hotel, however, the dogs run inside and a standoff ensues with the police. Bernie gives an emotional speech and tells Andi and Bruce that he and Carol are adopting them. Pressured by the media at the scene, the police are persuaded to allow the dogs to remain at the hotel, which is eventually restored as a full-fledged canine retreat.

*Summary from Wikipedia