Thursday, August 30, 2012
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Film Review
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties is a hilarious twist on Mark Twain's book The Prince and the Pauper. Directed by Tim Hill, it is the so-called sequel to the less than worthy Garfield: The Movie. In my opinion that movie was not as good as its sequel and so at first I was skeptical about watching Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties and I didn't think it would be any better than the first movie, but after watching it I've found it to be a better movie AND that you don't actually need to watch Garfield: The Movie to understand what's going on. With the voice of Garfield being done by Bill Murray and the voice of Prince, Garfield's rich counterpart, being done by Tim Curry, you're guaranteed a load of laughs. (Fact: Garfield is the only fully animated animal in the movie.) Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt reprise the roles of John Arbuckle and veterinarian Dr. Liz Wilson in this better-than-the-first sequel.
Watch the trailer at:
The movie's plot is a funny chain of events that will keep the whole family laughing. It starts out with a storytelling by a narrator (Roscoe Lee Browne, the narrator of Babe) of the cat Prince (voice by Tim Curry) in the "Once upon a time" fashion. It shows him living a life of luxury and being pampered. The storyteller then jumps to the other side of the ocean to tell the tale of an "equally pampered cat," Garfield (voice by Bill Murray) and his antics around the house as John (Meyer) is making dinner and setting the house up for a date and trying to get up the courage to propose to Liz (Hewitt). Of course, Garfield (Murray) wants none of this and he basically sabotages the meal and the living room so that by the time Liz gets to the house John's outfit is a mess and the engagement ring has been stolen by Garfield.
Liz has good news to tell John and is so excited that she fails to notice that John has carefully set up a nice dinner for her. She is excited because she gets to go to London to speak at conference and that she is leaving in the morning so she can't stay for dinner. After she leaves John is unhappy about this until he gets the idea to follow her and surprise her in London and propose to her there. So he packs up his suitcase and takes Garfield and Odie to the kennel to stay there while he is gone but after he gives them over to the staff, they escape the kennel and are able to jump into the back of his car, pull everything out of his suitcase, and stow away inside it for the flight to London. John discovers them when he sees them get out of the suitcase at the hotel he's at. He then sentences them to stay inside the room for the whole time but they escape and go wandering about London as Garfield plots ways to keep John from proposing to Liz. Meanwhile in a castle close by, the wealthy owner of Prince has died and, much to the displeasure of her nephew, Lord Dargis (Bill Connolly), left her whole estate to the cat. So Lord Dargis starts plotting ways to get rid of Prince permanently by killing him so that he can inherit the estate. One thing leads to another and Prince is thrown into the river and floats downstream all the way to London where he is mistaken for Garfield, by John and Garfield is mistaken for Prince, by the butler at the castle, Smitty (Ian Abercrombie, voice of Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated video and the video game of the same name). Smitty takes Garfield home where all the animals on the estate convince him to play the part of Prince, by claiming he's the long lost heir to the Carlyle Castle, so that Lord Dargis won't be able to keep the castle and so Garfield starts living a life of luxury.
After several plots to kill Prince/Garfield go wrong, Lord Dargis tries to get rid of the perceptive and suspicious butler by sending him away for a vacation. Gafield is caught and thrown into the jail cell in the basement. The other animals help him escape but Garfield has realized how much he actual misses John when he overhears the other animals talking bad about him behind his back and says goodbye to the animals and starts to leave through the garden to go back to London. He and Prince, who has made his way back from London, finally meet and decide together to help the other animals get rid of Lord Dargis. Watch Garfield and Prince meet at:
It eventually works out and John and Liz end up meeting at the castle as well and everyone sees the two cats together and John starts to propose to Liz but he can't find the ring. Garfield has since decided that it's okay for John to marry Liz and gives John his "blessing" by giving him back the engagement ring then and there. Liz accepts the proposal and the movie ends with a big animal pool party in the house.
The key actors portraying animals in the film, Bill Murray (Garfield) and Tim Curry (Prince), and the key actors playing human characters, Breckin Meyer (John), Jennifer Love Hewitt (Dr. Liz), Bill Connolly (Lord Dargis), and Ian Abercrombie (Smitty), all put together a laughable performance with good onscreen chemistry and they met the expectations I had for those comical characters.
The film techniques used were what I expect from a family movie comedy, going straight to the laughs with sometimes comical reminiscence to old cartoons on how those cartoon characters would get seriously hurt if it really happened but instead they bounce back up to continue with the story. Lord Dargis is one such character. The movie has only a few occasional location indication mistakes with the road signs written in Miles and not in Kilometers as they really are written in London. There were tons of puns relating to the different animals' names. Ex. Two ducks see Lord Dargis aiming a gun at them and one says, "we're sitting ducks!" Also, added into the movie are quotes from other famous movies including "Where's Waldo?" from Castaway and "[Before I eat your]...liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." from Silence of the Lambs. It even uses a famous quote from American history right after Garfield fails to "break" a British guard and then Odie succeeds in this endeavor by peeing on the guard's shoes and as the soldier chases them Garfield yells, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" just as Paul Revere was said to have done on his famous revolutionary ride. The music edited in fit the different scenes well and made for some nice montage sequences during the beginning of the movie right after Garfield gets to the castle they make a montage of Garfield getting pampered to the music "Movin' On Up" with a few of the lyrics modified to pertain to the film. During another montage, when the animals are making lasagna in the kitchen Garfield has someone hit the on button to turn on the vent over the stove on which a stuck-up and annoying parrot is yelling orders and the parrot gets sucked up through the exhaust vent. There's a close-up on Garfield and he says, "Proof, more accidents happen in the kitchen than in any other room in the house." Watch it by clicking the link below.
One more film technique that I noticed was the way the costumers separated Liz from the rest of the tour at the castle. She is wearing a beautiful little blue dress with some sparkles on it whereas the rest of the tour wears nondescript colors so that we immediately see where Liz is. (Personally, I want to have that dress, it's so pretty!)
Now, I would definitely recommend watching this film. I think the absolute best reason to watch it is to watch the montages, hear all the references to other movies and sit back and laugh. So, watch the clips I've put in this blog and go ahead and laugh and have a good time and then go watch the full video!