Fear and Trembling – June 17th, 2010

While the image above may seem innocuous enough it is what the information pertains to that is so horrifying.  Each orange triangle indicates a theater that beginning tomorrow will be guilty of showing:


It might as well be a nuclear fallout map!  The Northeast and Florida may never recover from that high of a Marmaduke concentration! Can you say “Alarmaduke?!?” Taking a gander at that map makes the idea of moving out to Wyoming or Montana an appealing proposition – we just need an overlay for theaters showing Sex and The City 2 to be sure it’s actually safe out there.

Here are some of the kind words from critics for the live-action canine flick based on the classic single-panel comic strip by Brad Anderson:

Wesley Morris – Boston Globe:

When one of the last sounds you hear in a work of family entertainment is a Great Dane passing gas, there’s only one conclusion to be drawn. The movie hates your family. That’s fine, since it’s likely that your family will hate “Marmaduke,’’ a sleepy carnival of talking animals based on a laughless comic strip that debuted in 1954 and refuses to go away. The movie bears a loose resemblance to its source material and makes the heart long for the crassness of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,’’ which is, if only by comparison, a work of grand ambition.

Keith Phillips – The A.V. Club

Well, even if you can’t, William H. Macy can, and it’s strange hearing his familiar Mametian cadence applied to the line. Strange, too, that writers Vince Di Meglio and Tim Rasmussen (License To Wed) would pack the script with references to The O.C., “Who Let The Dogs Out?”, and other pop-culture items that were popular before their target audience was born. Those sorts of allusions, whether or not they make sense, are just a post-Shrek obligation now. So is the filling out of the voice cast with familiar names, most of who sound appropriately bored. Marmaduke saves its farts for the beginning and end, but the stink carries through the whole movie.

Joe Neumaier – New York Daily News:

A live-action adaptation of the one-panel cartoon seen in newspapers since 1954, “Marmaduke” thinks that simply animating housepets’ mouths will make it funny. But even to the under-7 crowd, that trick wears off fast; today’s savvy kids need a witty script, an actual story line and human characters who aren’t merely accessories. Unless you’re the Son of Sam killer, having a dog talk to you for 89 minutes will likely make you drool from boredom.

But hey, who needs a critic to tell you how to feel about Marmaduke?  Here is the official trailer:

I’ve got a feeling that Toy Story 3 is going to have a slightly better opening weekend.

On a side note… In the spirit of the hilarious “Garfield Minus Garfield” site, one of our writers tried his hand at some similar character erasure projects, including “Marmaduke Minus Marmaduke.” The results were mixed at best.

Top Image: IMDB