Wednesday, February 01, 2017

the secret life of pets


Being a parent, or indeed a guardian, look you see, of children of an age deemed to be minor means that one gets to see a good many films which they might not have naturally selected to watch. I am no exception to this.

Over the course of the last ten or so years I have watched far, far more animated and family orientated films than I would have chosen of my own, so to speak, volition. If left to me I would have by now seen things like Inception, and a good many movies which were overloaded with gratuitous amounts of sex and violence.

This is all setting up to say that, at the behest of William, I recently picked up the Blu Ray (and DVD, for it came as a set) of the film The Secret Life Of Pets, and subsequently watched it with him. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Provenance of my copy? HMV, of course. It was part of their “2 for ₤25” deal, but I could find no suitable other disc, and so just paid the face value ₤14.99 for it, or if you like a penny south of ₤15. Rather infuriatingly I could see some titles I quite liked in their “3 for ₤25” and indeed “5 for ₤30” offerings, but no matter.

Plot? This is where I let out a groan, dear reader. Yes, I did like the film, but bear with me. Despite both the title and the trailer offering something different, it turned out that this film has the plot of virtually all pet / dog related films, in particular animated ones. Yes, something happens that sees the pet dog (in this case ostensibly dogs) separated from the owner, and it is all a quest for reunification.

After a really promising, quirky and different start it was a shame to see this film just go down the particularly clichéd road that is this story. Well, it may have all been done before, but this one at least gave something different to see. And very funnily so, too.

I don’t quite recall the last time I laughed so hard at a film, to be honest. Probably recently, as in the last few months, but still. The Secret Life Of Pets is indeed really funny, as funny as the trailer promised and then some. There’s just about enough spin on the tired old story idea it uses to make it feel quite fresh.

With regards to the package I bought, I noted with some interest that the special features on the Blu Ray are, for a refreshing change, virtually all there on the DVD. This is true in particular of the “mini movies”, one of which features the ever popular Minions out of Despicable Me and, er, Minions. Quite a nice bucking of the trend, really. In recent times a number of releases – Star Wars Episode VII : Mission To Moscow in particular – have caused upset as the DVD release features no extras. Not that, in the case of the example, the extras on the Blu Ray were all that great.

As this film was released somewhere during the middle to central parts of 2016 I do appreciate that I am somewhat late to this party. William just happened to see a trailer for it in passing and asked about it now. But still, if for some reason you didn’t see it as and when it was released and you’re wondering if it is any good, the answer is yes indeed it most decidedly is.

Any gripes, other than the tired and clichéd plot that it somehow manages to rejuvenate? Sure, Sing. Sing is the name of the next film to be released off of the people who made The Secret Life Of Pets, as point of fact I think it is out now. Whilst the Despicable Me / Minions references are fun as they’re familiar, the stuff for Sing, a film unlikely to have been seen by someone prior to watching this, are obtrusive and annoying. You find yourself momentarily stop watching a film with knowing references and start seeing heavy handed plugging.

Well, there you have it. I found this, despite some comments above, a most splendid way to spend some 85 or so minutes of my life.

Hopefully, as ever, this review is somewhat of some use to someone, somewhere out there on one of them “internet” things.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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