Friday, July 8, 2016

The Secret Life of Pets (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“Secret Life of Pets” Makes Public Why We Love Doggies
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

I’ve got a rescue dog and half a cat (don’t ask), so how could I not love “The Secret Life of Pets.” Any pet owner will.

In this new 3D animated comedy, you will discover what goes on when you leave your dog or cat at home while going off to work or out to dinner. In a word: chaos.

Yet, there your pooch sits, wagging his or her tail, happy to see you when you return, tongue hanging out as if nothing whatsoever has gone on during your absence.

“The Secret Life of Pets” is delighting audiences at Tropic Cinema.

Here, a terrier named Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) finds his life turned inside out when his beloved owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) brings home another dog, a big loutish pooch named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Duke gets Max into trouble when out with a dog walker, the pair facing off with a tribe of street cats (Steve Coogan et al.), gets picked up by Animal Control, is rescued by a white rabbit named Snowball (played by black comedian Kevin Hart), and then find themselves in the midst of human-hating critters who live in the Manhattan sewers, a ferocious pack known as “The Flushed Pets.” Meanwhile, Max’s neighborhood dog friends (Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress, Tara Strong) and a hawk (Albert Brooks) have set out to find him.

Sure, everything turns out swell, with everything back to normal by the time Katie gets home.

The story is diverting enough, but what will make you love the movie is its depiction of the dogs’ foibles, actions, funny movements, attitudes … well, dog-ness ... that any pet owner will recognize, a smile-worthy reminder of some beloved fur persons you have known.

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