Garfield

Crimes:

• Continuing Garfield's run as a banal, unfunny, low-effort comic strip via a banal, unfunny, low-effort film

• Slapping a CGI cat in among real people and animals in a constantly distracting, ugly, inconsistent visual mélange

• Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Defenders: Director Peter Hewitt, producer John Davis

Tone of commentary: Chirpy, repetitive, mind-bogglingly dull. Davis opens with "Pete's English, so he's going to be a little reserved as we go through this, but we both have a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for this movie." Sure enough, Hewitt is low-key throughout, while Davis desperately keeps things moving with lame jokes, reports on what's about to happen onscreen, praise for the Garfield computer effect, and softball queries for his co-commentator. "Pete, let me ask you a question…" is repeated ad nauseam.

What went wrong: Hewitt says working with animals was hard, but the animal unit handled that. Designing Garfield was hard, but the CGI crew handled that. From his reports, he seems to have been sleepwalking through the filming process as he sleepwalks through this commentary.

Comments on the cast: In a typically corny gag, Davis claims that stars Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt weren't actually supposed to kiss at the film's end, but Meyer offered the filmmakers $10 to script in some smooching, which required many takes to get right for some reason. Davis adds that since the Garfield effect works so well, "Maybe in the future, we could do away with actors altogether, and just CGI them."

Inevitable dash of pretension: Davis: "Now, is that real pasta there? Is that real lasagna?" Hewitt: "It is. And when we finished the scene, that's what we had for our lunch." "Ohhhhh, the realism, right?" "Mm." "Got it."

Commentary in a nutshell: Davis: "Let me ask you a question. What were you thinking when you shot this? What was his motivation? What did you tell Garfield? [Pause.] I'm not getting a lot of response here. Being English, Pete thinks that everything I'm saying is déclassé."

Filed Under: DVD

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