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Shaggy Dog, The (2006)

Reviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 03/10/06 21:32:07

"'Shaggy' is not the adjective I'd use. Ahem."
1 stars (Sucks)

A memo to Hollywood, as inspired by Disney’s recent remake of “The Shaggy Dog.”

The following is to be enforced immediately:

- If the Walt Disney Company cannot guarantee that remaking a favorite older film from their library will result in a new movie that is at the very least twice as good and twice as well-loved as the film being remade, then the Walt Disney Company will not be allowed to produce said remake. Instead, the funds set aside for such a project must be used to produce an original film not adapted from any source previously produced or published. If associates at the Walt Disney Company are upset by this decision, then they are reminded that they are capable of doing what the studio used to do decades ago: rerelease their popular films, allowing classics to grow in popularity with new generations, and with minimum cost to the studio.

- All other studios will follow the same rule. Riding the coattails of past successes will no longer be accepted. (Addendum: creating a new story but using an older, popular title will be considered remaking. “Reimagining” and other such terms will not be accepted.)

- When casting a married couple, the actress playing the role of the wife/mother must be of equal age (or greater) than the actor playing the husband/father. Instances such as that of Kristin Davis playing the spouse of Tim Allen, who is several decades her senior, not only prevents worthy actresses of achieving gainful employment, but it’s also just creepy.

- The following plot points will no longer be allowed to be used in the short-cut expression of a husband/father who has been neglecting his family: forgetting a spouse’s anniversary; forgetting a child’s parent-teacher conference; not noticing that a child would rather be doing one after-school activity instead of the one that he/she is doing in hopes of impressing said father; failing to follow through on promises regarding family vacations to Oahu (or any other similar destination). Other plot point short-cuts may be added to this list without notice.

- If producing a story about a person who acts like a dog, an acceptable actor must be highly capable of physical humor. The casting of a star just because he/she was in a series of popular Christmas-themed family comedies for your studio when clearly said star isn’t very good at comically acting like a family pet - and when clearly several other comically-gifted talents would be better suited to the role - is a weak move. Cut it out.

- Be certain that if animal testing, genetic mutation, and/or other such ideas that may go to paint the villain of your story as a crazed scientist are used in your film, then your film will not be otherwise designed with young viewers in mind. The inclusion of such issues are bound to go over the heads of the kindergarten crowd, while they are also most certain to be viewed as uninteresting to the older viewers that may be accompanying them to the multiplex.

- If, by chance, you are lucky enough to find Robert Downey, Jr., portraying the role of your villain in your dumbed-down, mainstream kiddie flick, do not limit his screen time to anything less than “excessive.” He will undoubtedly be the only thing worth watching in your movie, bound to deliver a carefree performance based entirely on the notion of seeing just how much he can entertain himself on what must certainly be a painfully dull movie set by pushing his character’s weirdness to extreme levels. This will result in his character being enjoyable in a most curious manner, and the thought of favoring some second-rate story (say, about how Tim Allen turns into a dog and realizes how much he’s let his family down) instead of focusing on this demented, gloriously self-indulgent piece of weirdness would be regretful.

- Casting Danny Glover in the role of someone about to retire and not letting him repeatedly comment about how he’s “getting too old for” the film’s goings-on will only lead to countless movie critics sniggering the thought to themselves anyway. So you might as well do it. (This is more a suggestion than a rule.)

- Casting actors as talented and as wonderful as Jane Curtin and Philip Baker Hall and then giving them but the tiniest fraction of screen time, when their mere presence clearly could have improved the piece, is right out.

- Anyone who includes the song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” anywhere within their film will be kicked in the shin, once a day, every day, for one full year, by a series of volunteers. This song has run its course, and its appearance in modern cinema is no longer welcome. No exceptions.

- Anyone complaining about the previous rule because “But I really like that song!” will be elbowed in the throat by members of the same volunteer group.

Thank you for your time. If these rules are not enforced before the arrival in cinemas of the next Hollywood remake project, please expect a visit from your local shin-kicker volunteer union. Good day.

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