The Secret Life of Pets

I went out to do my laundry, and I spent an hour in the library.  I took the buses out to the Grand Lake Theatre.  Some kids were there to see “The Secret Life of Pets.”  I had to keep reminding myself that the title wasn’t “The Secret Life of Plants.”  The movie had a good concept behind it, but I thought the plot was weak.  It didn’t develop into anything as far as emotion or suspense went, and there was a predictability to it.  The animals weren’t all going to get killed in a fire or anything like that.  The dog named Max was a likable dog, loyal and affectionate.  I thought it was funny how he planned to sit in front of the door all day.  That first part of the movie, when the humans leave to go to work, was pretty amusing.  The main part of the story had two of the main characters separated from the rest of the group and trying to get back.  When you look at it that way, it was rather like “Inside Out.”  The recognizable voices were Kevin Hart, who has been involved in every single movie that has been released this year, Albert Brooks, and Steve Coogan.  I couldn’t stand the way that the relationship between Max and Duke develops.  It’s another of those lessons for kids, and it doesn’t take into account reality.  Many times you just can’t get along with others.  The sausage factory scene made me feel uncomfortable with the two dogs rolling around munching on all that meat and contaminating everything.  It is foolish that we see such a scene while getting this lesson about friendship.  The movie started with one of those geography establishing shots that Brian De Palma thinks is so boring.  I thought that Max was the best animated dog I’ve seen since the dog in “Up.”  I also liked the dog in “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”  “The Secret Life of Pets” aimed too low.  It’s really just for kids.  There’s not much wit in it.  It had songs by the Beastie Boys and Bill Wither on the soundtrack.  It had references to Hitchcock and “Minions.”  In fact, a Minions short preceded the movie.  I don’t see this movie having the audience appeal of “Finding Dory.”  I was hoping that the animals had more on their minds than wanting to be at a party.  I guess they have a lot in common with college students.  The kids in the theatre got somewhat restless at some moments of dialogue, and the adults didn’t laugh as much as they did at the last Minions movies.  I would not be enthusiastic about a sequel.  One of the things that was missing was kids interacting with the pets.  Were there any children at all in this movie?  I took the buses back, stopping for a hamburger before I returned home.  I watched some of the news coming out of Dallas.  I watched the Partridge Family episode “Fellini, Bergman and Partridge” and the NUMB3RS episode “Hydra.”  Laurie showed a taste for art movies.  I liked the song “Hello, Hello.”  Charlie talked about human clones and the optimal number of children for a family.  “The Carpetbaggers” was on one of the movie channels, and I had to stop to watch it.  It had George Peppard in the main role.  It was a trashy movie, but I wanted to see how it was going to end.  This was after “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” but quite a few years before Banacek.  It’s amazing how much he aged in ten years.  The ending was flat.  The next movie was “Goodbye Charlie.”  It had Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Pat Boone, and Walter Matthau in it.  The director was Vincente Minnelli.  Some of the people who died on July 9 include Zachary Taylor (1850), Allen Ludden (1981), Rod Steiger (2002), and Isabel Sanford (2004).  Today is a birthday for Courtney Love (52) and Tom Hanks (60).

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