Blu-ray
One to Avoid
2 stars
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Overall Grade
2 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
0.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
3 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3 Stars
Supplements
1.5 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
One to Avoid

Marley & Me: The Puppy Years

Street Date:
August 16th, 2011
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
August 30th, 2011
Movie Release Year:
2011
Studio:
20th Century Fox
Length:
107 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

I've got an idea for a movie. Let's take a semi-successful dramadey about the world's worst dog and make a prequel for it. Well, not really a prequel, kind of a mid-quel where the famous yellow lab Marley will go on another adventure. Only this time we'll add in crappy CG mouths so the dogs can talk to each other. You know, because that's what made people like 'Marley & Me' right?

'Marley & Me: The Puppy Years' has much more in common with Disney's asinine 'Buddies' franchise than it does with the original 'Marley & Me.' To put it bluntly, people who fell in love with the original movie will outright hate this corny, cloying prequel that only resembles the original in that it features a young yellow Labrador with the same name.

Marley is being watched over by Bodi (Travis Turner) and his mother Carol (Chelah Horsdal). Bodi is sent to spend some time with his grandpa Fred (Donnelly Rhodes) and takes Marley along for the ride. Bodi wants a dog of his own badly, but he can't convince his mother he's responsible enough, so he strikes a deal with her. If he can train Marley by the time she gets back in four days then he can have a dog. She agrees. Then, just by happenstance I'm sure, Bodi finds out that there's a dog competition involving an obstacle course. Bodi gets the bright idea to sign Marley up for it in the hopes of training him so well that he'll win.

Oh, and did I mention that the dog talks? If I did, it bears mentioning again. The damn dog talks. Moving CG mouth and all. It doesn't matter that Marely didn't talk in the original movie, they make him talk here. It doesn't make a lick of sense to have the dog talk who previously didn't talk, but who cares right?

Marley soon meets other talking dogs who have silly voices and funny accents. Falling asleep yet? Well you will be shortly. 'Marley & Me: The Puppy Years' is one of those annoying movies where everyone delivers their lines with a smile. Like we're watching a really bad high school play or a sitcom on the Disney Channel. Then they pause after their line is done like they're waiting for the inevitable laugh track to make us realize what they just said was supposed to be funny.

I seriously don't have much more energy to waste talking about 'Marley & Me: The Puppy Years.' Not to mention the "years" in the title doesn't make much sense since this movie covers about four or five days. The villain here is a no-good German dog trainer. No, I'm not making that up. Yes, it's as stupid as it sounds.

What a stupid movie. Plain and simple. This movie is so ridiculously stupid it has no feasible reason to even exist. Any movie that adds CG mouths to animals shouldn't be watched. Any movie that adds in CG hairballs that fly towards the screen and splat on the camera (yes, this really happens) should be burned with fire.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

20th Century Fox has packaged 'Marley & Me: The Puppy Years' in a standard Blu-ray keepcase. The movie is housed on a 25-GB Blu-ray Disc.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Marley & Me: The Puppy Years' comes complete with a 1080p high-def presentation that fails to wow. The entire movie has the look of a cheesy sitcom. The sets look utterly phony, and when enhanced by HD they look even worse.

Detail doesn't even near optimum levels, but there's enough here to attract the eye. Hairs and facial lines are visible but not as clear and concise as they could be. Soft shots are a frequent occurrence. Noise is non-existent though, and there weren't any really noticeable artifacts to announce.

They biggest annoyance here is the terribly fake looking CG mouths for the animal characters. Gah! I hate, hate, hate them. They look terrible and in HD they're simply an eye sore that may cause you to feel shooting pangs of anger in your brain.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

The audio is just as average as the video. The over cheery dialogue comes through cleanly. Directionality works well when dogs talk out of frame. The sanitized, merry soundtrack echoes through the soundfield making its way to the rear speakers on occasion.

Rear channel activity, aside from the musical soundtrack, is too quiet. Even during a dog show where large crowds are cheering, most of the sound is front and center. There's little to no ambient sound added in here. That's okay though, because the less you hear of this movie the better.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • 'Marley & Me: The Puppy Years' Goes to Training Camp (HD, 10 min.) — This is a making-of featurette that focuses in on what went into training the animals for the movie.
  • Part of the Family (HD, 2 min.) — Standard behind the scenes footage montage.
  • My Favorite Moments (HD, 4 min.) — The actors talk about acting with the animal performers and how much fun they had.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.

Final Thoughts

Whew! I'm glad that's over. Now I never have to watch that movie again. Seriously, what a waste of perfectly good Blu-ray discs. There is no reason why this movie should have been made or why it added cheesy CG lips to the animal performers. If you were thinking about picking this up because you loved the original you're in for a rude awakening. This is nothing like it. Don't bother with it at all.

Technical Specs

  • BD-50 Blu-ray Disc

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English, French, Spanish

Supplements

  • Marley & Me: The Puppy Years Goes to Training Camp
  • Part of the Family
  • My Favorite Moments

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