If you are a dog person, this film will be a joy. If you are a cat person, well best look elsewhere. Cute kids, cute dogs, mean adults (save Don Cheadle), a run down hotel - recepie for a fun movie.
Bruce and Andi are orphan brother and sister. Bernie loves these two kids and tries to place them in a foster home together. Their latest home is not exactly nurturing, so the two turn toward the street and stray dogs. The stray they have had for a number of years, runs away from the dog catcher into an abandoned hotel. Eventually Bruce and Andi save many dogs and take care of them in this hotel. Bruce is 11 and happens to be brilliant at mechanical engineering.
Giving nothing away in this story, it's the evil dog catchers, the evil adults / foster parents, the not so bright police, versus the super smart kids.
It's a pleasant film, made better if you love dogs. It's very predictible. The cast is interesting. Don Cheadle as Bernie, has had much better roles, but he made do with the script he was given (Traitor is a hugely better film with Cheadle). Emma Roberts is sweet, pretty, and smart (Nancy Drew) - expect to see much more and better from her. Her brother, Bruce is played by a very capable Jake T. Austin. Kyla Pratt (Dr. Doolite 4 - Tail to the Chief) is a friend of the group, has probably peaked as an actress. The horrible singer and even worse strict mother is played by Lisa Kudrow (Pheobe on Friends), has been awful (this time also) in a series of not so good movies lately. Troy Gentile is the overweight kid that joins the group about half way through the film. He doesn't do a very good job here, but you may remember him in Tenacious D and Nacho Libre. Aside from Kudrow, a pretty decent cast.
Oh and don't forget the dogs. All shapes, sizes, breads, and ages. There's a dog in here that everyone will love.
Film wise - well the focus was always on, and camera movement was solid (not much handheld garbage). The sound was well recorded - dialog was clear. The editing was decent, it could use about a solid 10 minutes removed of the hour 35 minute film, but who's counting. There were some strange CG effects that made the movie look other worldly off and on. It's not clear if that was the point or they didn't spend enough money on the effects. The doves flying off at the end were just too far over the top.
Rated PG. There's a fair amount of poop humor (that was 5 things, no poop and pee are one thing, no I've stepped in them both and they are two things). There is a scene in the pound where a dog is taken to the back of the room on a leash. There is a cut to a few other scenes. Then the film comes back to the man with an empty leash reentering the room. For young children, that might require a bit of explaining. Otherwise, no violence, no strong language, and certainly no nudity. A film for all ages.
The DVD is chock full of the usual efluvia of more or less useless bonus features. In fact there is likely an hour or more of these features.
I took my son (4.5 years old), my daughter (10) and two other kids (11 and 8) to this movie over Spring Break. I didn't know much about it, but we all loved it. It's a good caper movie, featuring a teen girl and her brother's solution to keeping their dog in spite of living in a foster home. One thing I loved about it was the lack of crude humor (except a few dog bodily function jokes), and also the lack of romance. There was a little bit of romantic … more
Everyone deserves a loving family, but foster kids Andi (Emma Roberts) and Bruce (Jake T. Austin) have been placed with a flaky couple who care more for their aspiring rock careers than their foster children. Even though Andi and Bruce's mischievous tendencies repeatedly get them into trouble, the siblings are essentially good kids who care deeply for one another and their secretly adopted dog Friday. After a close call with the local pound, the kids end up searching for Friday in an abandoned old hotel where they find several stray dogs seeking shelter. The kids' compassion for the homeless dogs compels them to begin caring for the strays and they soon join forces with three other local kids to take in strays from across the city. Bruce is a clever inventor whose innovative gadgets ensure top-notch care and constant entertainment for all the dogs (as well as a multitude of laughs from the audience). Unfortunately, Bruce's and Andi's devotion to the dogs eventually causes them to pass up what may be their last chance for a better foster home. When the police storm the hotel and take all the dogs to the pound, the kids make a daring attempt to rescue the dogs that will likely land them in separate group homes. Can social worker Bernie (Don Cheadle) somehow convince the authorities, and perhaps a loving family, that the children were just doing what was right?Hotel for Dogsis a funny family film based on Lois Duncan's book of the same name and is appropriate...