HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
55 Days at Peking
Alive
Man from Snowy River, The
Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  Hotel for Dogs Check-In Your Mutt
Year: 2009
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Stars: Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Don Cheadle, Johnny Simmons, Kyla Pratt, Troy Gentile, Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon, Ajay Naidu, Eric Edelstein, Robinne Lee, Yvette Nicole Brown, Maximiliano Hernández, Andre Ware, Jonathan Klein
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Animals are strictly forbidden at the foster home where sixteen year old Andi (Emma Roberts) lives with her kid brother Bruce (Jake T. Austin). But the siblings are willing to risk everything to keep taking care of Friday, their adorable little dog. As a result of their misadventures concerned social worker Bernie (Don Cheadle) warns Andi and Bruce they may lose their last shot at finding a home with a loving family. When the kids stumble upon an abandoned hotel, Bruce uses his engineering genius to transform the place into not just a haven for Friday but an entire army of strays. With a little help from Dave (Johnny Simmons) the handsome pet store worker, Andi and Bruce take on the task of caring for these unwanted 'orphans' but struggle to keep their activities a secret.

Hotel for Dogs delivers what is arguably the best-realized portrayal of a canine's eye view of the world since Disney's Lady and the Tramp (1955). Adapted from the novel by Lois Duncan this engaging family film draws a parallel between disenfranchised orphans Andi and Bruce and the similarly rootless and seemingly unwanted stray dogs. The plot interweaves the expected cuddly canine antics with a Cinderella-subplot wherein Andi retreats into fantasy, convincing Dave and his friends her parents are alive and well in order to experience the normal teenage life she longs for. While the film does not delve into the psychological undertones of children creating a safe haven from the harsher aspects of life with the same level of poetic insight as Fielder Cook's much-underrated The Hideaways (1973) it remains artful with more on its mind than say Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008).

The film has the benefit of strong, committed performances from a young Emma Roberts and Wizards of Waverly Place star Jake T. Austin along with the creative visual storytelling of Thor Freudenthal, an unsung but talented force in children's fare. Freudenthal keeps the pace snappy and the tone light and breezy. It is worth noting that the film was criticized for deviating from the realism of Duncan's novel into fantasy. Some of these criticisms seem valid. In a throwback to the animal-centric Disney live action films of the Sixties and Seventies, Freudenthal does dwell excessively on the admittedly crowd-pleasing antics of an adorable fleabag ensemble to the slight detriment of the more emotionally nuanced human drama. Friends star Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon of Entourage snag most of the non-canine related laughs as foster parents and talentless wannabe rock stars Lois and Carl while the rest of the supporting cast are underdeveloped. On the plus side Hotel for Dogs features an array of amusing slapstick set-pieces centred on Bruce's Heath Robinson-esque canine-pampering contraptions without falling into the Home Alone (1990) trap of childish sadism. Especially ingenious is a solution to the pee and poop problem many real-life dog owners will envy.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 884 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: