Thursday, August 12, 2010

Witz Flix: Old Dogs

Old Dogs! I can't believe I forgot about Old Dogs!! The movie pulled a whopping 5% (FIVE PERCENT!!!) on Rotten Tomatoes, and stars Robin Williams, John Travolta, Seth Green, and Bernie Mac, in his final onscreen performance. As if that wasn't enough, it was nominated for 4 Razzie Awards including Worst Picture and Worst Actor: John Travolta. Just in case I wasn't already sold, this viewer review sealed it: "It doesn't measure up to 'Three Men and a Baby', which took this theme, and made a snappy film over twenty years ago and had a hit." IT DOESN'T MEASURE UP TO THREE MEN AND A BABY. Time to watch.

For those of you eager to watch at home, you can watch Old Dogs through Netflix streaming thanks to "Starz Play"-- Starz is basically the .99 cent store of subscription channels. Every now and then, you find a good deal on sunglasses, but mostly it's a big pile of dead batteries.

1 min: Did I mention this movie is made by the same people who made Wild Hogs?? Were they trying to re-use the letters from the marquee?

2 min: Robin Williams and John Travolta's characters have been best friends since childhood and run a marketing firm together. Williams is the quieter, introverted one and Travolta is the massive douchehound-- it's like Sideways, but reeking of desperation. In other news, Robin Williams has fully transitioned to an old lesbian.

3 min: So Robin Williams couldn't run eight feet because of his knees, but then he drills a soccer ball from 30 yards and hits some kid in the face? SOMEBODY write imdb and report a "Goof"!

4 min: Becky Katsopolis (aka Aunt Becky aka Lori Loughlin) is back! And yes, she's still hot.

6 min: Seth Green's gonna save this movie. I love him, but every time he does a movie like this I think, "Man, Seth Green walked away from Idle Hands with zero life lessons." Then again, he's kinda killin' it.

10 min: Robin Williams was in Good Morning Vietname at one point in his career.

13 min: Here's the rundown: Williams had a wife, they got divorced, then had a crazy night in Miami where he met a woman, married her, woke up hungover and got it annulled-- it's unclear if they had any marital sex or annul sex. Now, seven years later, the 2nd "wife" has contacted him. SO...

14 min: ...he goes to a tanning salon, gets way too tan, and comes out looking very dark. He's stared down angrily by a black woman, spoken to in Hindi by an Indian man, asked directions in Spanish, and finally called an Oompa Loompa by a small child. Transitive Property says: Old Dogs thinks black people look like Oompa Loompas.

15 min: Dan (Robin Williams) meets Vicky (2nd "wife" played by Kelly Preston) and she calls him TAN instead of DAN! Thank goodness his name wasn't Tigger.

16 min: They go to dinner, Robin Williams acts like he just smoked a lot of meth, tweaking out and twitching because he's nervous. Two little kids suddenly run up to the table and shout, "Daddy!" at which point Robin Williams realizes the horrific quality of the movie and passes out at the table.

18 min: "First let's get rid of that tan-- I know a few family tricks that will take it right off." No, you don't. You just didn't want to run that Soul Man gag the rest of the movie.

19 min: This single mom must have done something right, because these kids are taking the existence and inclusion of their absentee father VERY well.

20 min: Oh my. Finally a scene that rivals The Time Traveler's Wife in molestiness: Robin Williams takes his newfound son to the men's room for the first time (which sounds like a euphamism), and stands inside the stall while the seven year old kid sits lackadaisically on the toilet. First of all, what kid says they have to go to the bathroom and then has time to just sit there doing nothing, and secondly, are parents supposed to stand inside the stall like a bodyguard because that's what Robin Williams is doing.

That's not the molesty part though-- the kid then asks him to explain where babies come from. If I walked into a men's room and saw a man standing inside a stall, telling a child where babies come from?? I would-- listen, to make sure I had the right info-- but then I would immediately knock on that stall and get some security involved.

22 min: So HERE'S our setup: The mom is going to jail for two weeks because she's some kind of eco-terrorist protestor type. Her friend, who was supposed to take care of them, just got her hands slammed in the trunk of a car by Robin Williams, which we, presumably, don't care about because the woman had a lazy eye (making her barely people). "Who am I going to get, that I trust, to take care of my kids for two weeks??" she asks in a panic. Why, the guy who knocked you up, annulled your drunk marriage and who you haven't seen in seven years and has no experience with children, of course!

23 min: More like "One Man and His Children."

24 min: Travolta's gettin' roped into it. Fine. "Two Men and Some Children." (Yikes).

25 min: Aw, shit, I just laughed at a joke in Old Dogs. Whatever. "My grandkids call me NUB NUB!!" is obviously a good and well delivered line...

28 min: Amy Sedaris lives in Robin Williams' condo complex. In related news, Strangers With Candy still isn't funny, I don't care what anyone says.

30 min: Travolta's doing some kind of "white guy impersonating a gangsta black guy" impression, but it's as if he saw a comedian do that and is now doing a "comedian doing an impression of a white guy impersonating a gangsta black guy," impression. It's embarrassing.

31 min: I don't like it when people say, "They're the original odd couple." No, they're not, The Odd Couple was the original odd couple. Well, maybe Jesus & Judas...but otherwise it was The Odd Couple. Tell me you wouldn't watch a show called Jesus & Judas.

("Do work, son!")

Or better yet:

("This is the true story...of twelve apostles...picked to live near each show what happens...when people stop being polite...and start getting real.")

32 min: Did you know Seth Green is 36? Did you know that John Travolta is married to Kelly Preston? Did you know that the daughter in this movie is their real daughter? Now you know everything.

33 min: Alright, fine, I'm ok laughing at some of these jokes, but if I come remotely close to getting choked up at any point, I'm heading straight to a therapist.

35 min: What...THE HELL...IS GOING ON?? First, Luis Guzman and Dax Shepard show up and now we're on a camping trip with Matt Dillon and Justin Long? Does Robin Williams still hold that much comedic sway even after RV, August Rush, License to Wed, Man of the Year, and his latest stand-up special?

40 min: I don't understand; why do camping and ultimate frisbee have to go together? Just because you like sleeping in the woods under the stars doesn't mean you don't know how to kick or throw a ball of some kind. Do you know why it's called "Ultimate" frisbee? Because that is the absolute most fun you can have with a frisbee. Stop trying to over sell your sport, it sounds desperate. Ya know what's better than Ultimate Frisbee? Regular Football.

45 min: The guys just took the wrong pills and are experiencing side effects. Nobody's gonna look good by my saying this but...this might be the best comedy performance Robin Williams has done in the last decade.

49 min: Sure, this is Old Dogs, but Seth Green's owning it.

50 min: Ya know, I think Christian Slater could show up at any moment and not only wouldn't I be the least bit surprised, but I'd be psyched. That goes for my every day life, too.

51 min: "You can't run a business if you can't get faxes on time!" What? Isn't that like saying, "I'll never get anything done without my pager!" or "Where will we store the images if not on a laser disc?"?

53 min: The highly-anticipated Bernie Mac! I'm sure he died content with the knowledge that his last onscreen performance came in the fifty-third minute of the movie-- nay-- the FILM, Old Dogs.

55 min: If I told you that Old Dogs needed to invent non-existent technology to fulfil its plot-line, would you believe me? Robin Williams is wearing "human puppet technology" that allows Travolta to remotely control his movements. Actually, I think my friend's girlfriend has that...

59 min: By the way, I'm assuming if you haven't seen Old Dogs, you absolutely do not give a shit what is taking place in the movie Old Dogs, so I'm not going into much plot detail.

62 min: "It's amazing. I left the kids with you out of desperation, I couldn't have imagined doing it any differently." Thanks for the thematic recap. Even Old Dogs didn't think we've been paying attention to Old Dogs.

63 min: The kids have a list they call the "Dad List" which are a bunch of things they want to do with their dad. Now, Robin Williams is making a list. If you were wondering what the creepiest thing you could ever write down and underline is, the answer is, "Kids List."

70 min: Robin Williams bails on his big business deal to go be with his family and Travolta's going with him. Hey, these old dogs are learning new-- OHHHHHhhhh! That's stupid.

77 min: Travolta, Williams, and Seth Green are trying to sneak into the zoo to get to the kids' birthday party. They shoulda called this movie, "Two Men, Seth Green, and A Coupla Goddamn Kids."

80 min: Seth Green is being rocked to sleep by a gorilla. He's freaking out and repeating, "Just go to your happy place, just go to your happy place." Is it weird that my happy place would be getting rocked to sleep by a gorilla?

83 min: Aaaand Old Dogs clocks in at eighty-three minutes. Robin Williams and his family are gonna give it a go, Travolta's marrying Aunt Becky, and I can set down the Emergency Eye Gouging Spoon I've been holding all movie (as opposed to the No Need to Rush Eye Gouging Spoon?).

I'll leave you with this bit of trivia from IMDB: "The film was originally R-rated and was to be released by Touchstone Pictures, a branch of the Walt Disney company. However, due to poor test screenings, the film was heavily cut down from 107 minutes to 88 in order to achieve a PG rating. It was then distributed with the Walt Disney label in hopes of appealing to a more kid-friendly audience." I never had any interest in seeing Old Dogs, but now that I have, I would LOVE to see the original cut. Better yet, I'd like to take just that 20 minutes of cut footage and make a short out of it. I bet it'd be amazing.

Old Dogs Go to Heaven,

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