Thanks for the comment, dude. I've been thinking I might do Mouse Police after this. And double thanks for saving this liveblog from being “archived” for not having any replies in the past month. ;)
Sorry for the wait, folks! I’ve been inundated with school work all through November, and the LB has taken it on the chin. But today I decided, fuckit, I’m going to work on my liveblog. I still have papers and exams and assignments and group projects and unit presentations due next week, but forget ‘em! I deserve a break.
Sadly, my break involves Dingo Pictures. It is a sad existence.
Part 6: Dogs Playing Soccer
(Watch along with me here
FADE IN on an upbeat country music midi clip, over or under (does it matter?) the OMINOUS JUNGLE MUSIC. Good God, it never ends.
A soccer ball flies stiffly across a soccer pitch, missing a goal net composed of two moldy baguettes stuck in the ground. There’s some gaspy old man/cackling demon laughter, and we cut to a crowd of dogs jittering their heads slightly. Nothing funnier than missing a goal! That’s why soccer fans are always such a cheery bunch.
Country music cuts out, meaning we have nothing but the OMINOUS JUNGLE MUSIC playing for the next little while. The Poochie dog with sunglasses, a pink hat, and slingshot (stupidest dog design ever?) seems to have been neutered between clips—his voice is now incredibly high-pitched.
“I can do much better, with a real goal keeper,” he lies. You couldn’t even put in in the net without one! It's harder when there's something blocking you, numbnut!
“What takes Poochie so long,” says a gray dog. Actually, he says “Butcher,” not “Poochie,” but it honestly sounds like Poochie and I had to listen to it about four times before I understood what he was saying. As if the accent wasn’t bad enough, the VA also can’t enunciate.
This being Animal Soccer World, aka Speak of the Devil and He Shall Appear World, Butcher and what-his-face, the other little dog, what was his name, he was Sasha in Anastasia
... Cromell! Anyway, Butcher and Cromell show up about two-thirds of a second after the dog speaks. Maybe not even that long.
We’re treated to several seconds of glorious WALKING, and then Growlie the black dog/asshole captain of the team orders Butcher around.
“Finally at last what took you so long!” he growls. See, if it were me, I would have just chosen one
of those phrases. Three seems like overkill. “Butcher, get in net!” Dogs fucking hate definite articles.
“I only play, when Cromell also can play!” says Butcher, immediately after Growly speaks. It’s sweet that even missing half his brain matter, Butcher still cares about his friend.
“Cromell doesn’t play. He’s way too small,” says the gray dog, immediately after Butcher speaks.
“Well, then you have to find yourself another goalkeeper,” says Butcher, immediately after the gray dog speaks.
“That’s not possible, you have to play!” says Poochie, immediately after… you know what? Every time someone new talks, just assume there is absolutely no time between the first speaker’s last line and the new speaker’s first line. It’s machine gun dialogue. I’m sure this violates scriptwriting rules. I know it violates my ears.
Says Butcher, “No.” Then Butcher stares face-on at the audience. Beat. Holy shit, an actual beat. They actually stopped the dialogue long enough to make a beat. There was a moment between one character speaking and another character speaking. Call Harry, start the presses— Dingo Pictures added a beat!
But there is a slight problem: A beat doesn’t work here. You need more than a beat, you need a full silence. A beat is for a joke; a silence is for tension. You want tension. You need to cut to other characters, show Growly thinking, show Cromell worried, show Butcher remaining firm, all to build up the question of whether Cromell will be allowed on the team. And then, once you've pushed it so far the audience can't take the suspense anymore, then
you have Growly relent. That’s how you build tension. That’s how you make us care about what’s going to happen. Silence. Time between action. A beat doesn’t cut it!
... dope, I forgot, this is Dingo Pictures we're talking about. My mistake; pardon the rant. In the months since I last watched a DP movie, I’ve forgotten just how low I need to set my standards; I had them at “zero,” I need them at “negative thousandbillionty.”
So, about three seconds after Butcher says he won't play if Cromell doesn't, the team concedes. “Okay, okay, Cromell can practice… as a substitute,” says the big gray dog. But I thought Growly was the captain? Why is the gray dog calling the shots?
“Ey, what do you say Cromell?” asks Butcher, now channeling the Fonz.
“......... I agree,” says Cromell. There’s a long pause there, but it seems to me Cromell’s not considering his options—it’s more like Cromell’s voice actor is trying to find his place in the script. “Once they see how good I am—”
Growly interrupts. (I guess you’d call it growl interrupted. :D) “Can we all start practicing finally? Butcher, get in goal.” Yeah, you show those definite articles, Growly! You show ‘em.
Some excellent shots of Butcher WALKING toward the breadstick net as country music awkwardly cuts in. Pluto’s retarded hillbilly cousin runs (on two legs, while wearing a basketball uniform??) up to the ball, kicks it, and it stiltedly flies through the air. There is only one shot of a ball flying through the air in this movie, and it is the same slow, clunky, stilted shot over. And over. And over. And over.
Butcher runs toward the ball (I think they made new animation for this!), and blocks it with his head. Like he needs another concussion. I would make a “That’s using your head” joke, but I am so totally above that. Then he dies.
It’s weird. See, the ball bounces off his head, there’s this “piano slammed shut” noise barely audible under the country music and OMINOUS JUNGLE MUSIC, and Butcher fall on his belly, arms and legs splayed out. It’s almost like he’s having sex with the ground. This is a new shot, too—why would they draw this? Do they think it's funny?
“Oh. What a shot.” Obviously he's supposed to sound excited, but Cromell says this in the least interested voice I’ve heard in the entire past thirty seconds.
Butcher, now back on his feet but staring face on at the audience (I can see why Dingo prefers profiles and 3/4 shots), says, “Oo Oo Ooooh
, it hurts so bad!" So it doesn't hurt so good? "Ooo Oooh
Again, I think Butcher's pain is supposed to be funny, because the other characters are laughing, but the general incompetence of Dingo Pictures plus the somewhat sympathetic nature of Butcher makes it fall flat. Flat as Butcher splayed out having sex with the ground.
“Ahahahahahahahaheeeenn!” Jeez, that’s a creepy laugh. That’s the laugh you hear when supervillains hoist heroes over vats of acid. That’s Vincent Price stuff, right there. Who the hell made a sound that creepy oh jeez it’s FUCKING PUSS IN BOOTS! I KNEW HE WAS EVIL!
So we cut to Puss, hand behind his back, head jittering, laughing evilly. Did Nazis ever have red goose-steppers? Just a question.
Growly growls, “Hey! You’re interrupting us!”
“Oh, sorry,” says Puss, who doesn’t sound sorry at all. Whether it’s because Puss is a dick or the actor is incompetent, I know not. “I’ll will [sic] be on my way soon, I only have one question: Do you wanna be a liney or the referee?”
“I’ll be a referee,” says the glasses wearing dog (Professor Pooch). “That way I won’t have to run that far.” Something tells me this guy has never been a referee before… which makes sense, I guess, because this is clearly the first time this town has ever had a soccer match, despite knowing what soccer is. “I like that, yeah, I like that.” Repeating dialogue pads the movie, yeah, repeating dialogue pads the movie.
Puss leaves to find the other team so they can pick a linesman, and we get a HIDEOUSLY UGLY face-on shot of Cromell walking. And I thought Butcher's was bad. “Now it’s my turn,” says bored Cromell. Does he even have more than one tone?
Okay, what happens next is weird. The producers evidently didn’t edit the movie well (big surprise, I know), so the movie cuts to Puss WALKING, but the soundtrack is still back at the dogs playing soccer. I think they meant for there to be animation of the dogs, and they just forgot to add it in or something. So the dogs are still talking, but all we see on screen is Puss in Boots. And the dialogue, without the accompanying images, is very... suggestive.
Cromell says, “Now it’s my turn!”
A moment’s pause. Then Butcher says, “OH!”
Not, “ow”—- oh
“Cromell, not that hard!” Butcher groans. “I didn’t know you could shoot that hard.”
Uh. Uh. Uh. There is not enough Uh in the world to cover this. If everyone in the world got together, all six billion plus of us, and said, in the same voice at the same time, “Uh,” the “Uh” we made would not be big enough to convey the confusion I have over this line. It’s, it’s just… uh. Uh! Uh.
Dingo Pictures, why do you do this? This isn’t laziness—it can’t be. There is no way something this awkward happened by accident. First the Sexy Duck Narrator, then the Cree-Tio dinosaur Lolita relationship, and now intergenerational gay soccer playing dogs? It’s like something out of the dark side of the furry fandom. START. MAKING. SENSE.
I’m calling this section. I need a day or two to recover from the WTF. Thanks for the brain break, DP. Always appreciated.