Wednesday, April 19, 2017

102 Dalmatians

Year 9, Day 109 - 4/19/17 - Movie #2,603

BEFORE: I had to report for jury duty today, got the notice about a month ago and I was classified as a "telephone standby juror", which meant I needed to start calling an 800 number last Friday, and then told whether to show up or not the next day based on my 4-digit ID code.  I skated the first day with a relatively high number, but then on Monday the recording told me to show up at the Queens courthouse on Tuesday at 9 am.  Who the hell has to be anywhere at 9 am?  Don't they know I work for a film studio that never opens before 10?  And that I'm hardly ever there before 11?  Geez, I had to leave the house at 8 am yesterday just to find this place before 9 - who schedules these damn things?

I really tried to answer the lawyers' questions honestly, which was probably a mistake, since I got picked for a jury and now I have to start showing up for real tomorrow, which means I'm losing hours and losing pay, just to do my civic duty.  I knew that voting in the election last year was a mistake, that must be what put me on the court's radar.  Umm, you millennials should all show up and vote next time, so I won't get called for jury duty so often.

I've sat on two juries before, one case was settled quickly and the other time I got dismissed on Day  after some witness said something on the stand that he shouldn't have, and rather than ask the jury to try and forget it, they decided to start over with a new jury.  Fine by me, if it meant I got to go home early.  I have a terrible feeling that this time I won't be so lucky.

Glenn Close carries over from "101 Dalmatians", obvi, as does one other actor, Tim McInnerny.

THE PLOT: Cruella DeVil gets out of prison and goes after the puppies once more.

AFTER: This feels a lot like the sequel that nobody asked for, and one where it seems like the filmmakers weren't even sure which direction to take the story in.  Cruella receives some kind of hypno-therapy that takes away her insatiable desire to turn animals into fur coats (as if that could be a bad habit, like smoking or something...) but then that just feels like a plot device that gets her out of jail and back into the world.  And that therapy proves to be short-lived, as the therapists accidentally discover that the specific chimes of Big Ben have the power to undo their hypnosis - which would only be a problem if Cruella lived in London and her parole officer's window overlooked that famous clock tower...

But once Cruella is back to her old self and sets her sights on skinning dogs again - turns out old dreams die hard - it turns out that hardly any of her old henchmen are still around, so it seems she has to hook up with a famous fashion designer, one who also shares her penchant for animal pelts.  And wouldn't you know it, another coincidental plot device, her parole officer also owns a family of Dalmatians (the "trigger" dogs for Cruella, apparently) and she also has an instant whirlwind romance with a man who runs a dog shelter, because the actors who played the couple in the first film wouldn't return for the sequel, either.

Other than that, it's really just like the first film, with no new ground broken, except there's also a parrot who thinks he's a dog, and therefore can't fly.  He also talks all the time, I mean really talks, like has conversations with people, except we all know that's not how parrots work.  They can only repeat things that they've heard many times, it's wrong to suggest that they have thinking brains and the power of speech.

I almost called a NITPICK POINT on the fact that Cruella escapes on the Orient Express train out of London, because I thought that ran from Paris to Istanbul, but after some research it seems like this could be possible, provided this film was made after the construction of the Chunnel.  But the IMDB backs me up, it says that she would have taken the Eurostar through the Chunnel, to catch the Orient Express in Paris. But since Paris was her destination, then that wouldn't have even been an option.

Also starring Gerard Depardieu (last seen in "The Man in the Iron Mask"), Ioan Gruffudd (last seen in "Horrible Bosses"), Alice Evans, Ben Crompton (last seen in "Les Miserables" (1998)), Carol MacReady, Ian Richardson (last seen in "Joyeux Noel"), Jim Carter (last seen in "My Week with Marilyn"), Ron Cook (last seen in "24 Hour Party People"), and the voice of Eric Idle.

RATING: 2 out of 10 legal loopholes

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