Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hotel for Dogs and Phoebe in Wonderland.

Hotel for Dogs is a very cute film. To hate it would be like kicking the proverbial puppy. Two foster kids get the ball rolling on creating the perfect home for dogs without families. They enlist other kids and gather some of the cutest mutts ever. I love the 'rube goldberg' feel of the film. The kids create all sort of devices and doohickeys to make every dog's dream come true. I think my favorite is a series of doors that whenever the dogs gather to bark at one causes the other door to knock or chime so the dogs have endless fun racing from one door to the next.

Definitely kids will like this one.

Phoebe in Wonderland is something of a problem for me. You can't reference 'Alice in Wonderland,' without getting a little darkness in the subtext. In Phoebe though it gets a bit much for me personally. It follows the meme of 'imaginary friends help child with life,' but there are a few problems. First I don't see the imaginary friends being much help. Worse, though, the child is not just delightful imaginative, or even "eccentric" she's on the verge of real mental illness. Her constant hand washing, and counting and such point to OCD, and she's having real anti social problems like spitting on other people. I don't think imaginary friends, or completely the school play are going to help in the end. I'm at least glad they are taking her to therapy. Visually the film is ok, but I found it odd that her imaginary films are clearly other actors in theatrical costumes of their alice character. Being that it is her imagination (or delusion) I would think that humpty dumpty would really look like an egg not someone wearing an egg costume. That's a minor bitch however. The film is well acted and I did find it engrossing. I always enjoy seeing Bill Pullman even in a minor roll.

Over all it is worth watching, but I don't know about letting kids watch it.

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