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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.32%
Worth A Look: 7.37%
Average: 18.95%
Pretty Bad: 8.42%
Total Crap58.95%

5 reviews, 65 user ratings

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Garfield: The Movie
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by Scott Weinberg

"How to stretch a lifetime of feline banality into 75 minutes of Pure Hell."
1 stars

Because the first thing you think of when I say "Garfield" is "Yeah, now THERE'S something that needs to be made into a full-length movie!"

Nothing's funnier than talking animals. Seriously. Mister Ed ran for five seasons. The Francis the Talking Mule series produced seven movies within six years. The sequel to the remake of the adaptation of Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle grossed $113 million in North America alone. Cats & Dogs begat Good Boy!, both of which have sequels in the works. And there will also be a Kangaroo Jack 2.

So the question is not exactly "Why do we need a freakin' Garfield movie?" but "How did the movie take so long to show up?" - or, more importantly: "Why did it have to be such a base and terrible flick?"

The answer to the second question is most likely related to the state of today's visual effects technology. Try to make a Garfield movie in 1986 and you better be planning on a traditionally-animated affair. But through the questionable magic of today's whiz-bang computer toys, we are now able to have a movie in which a bizarre-looking CG cat can "interact" with actual actors. And by "actual actors" what I really mean is Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Ultimately, one finds himself wondering if you should be making a Garfield movie simply because you now can make a Garfield movie.

For those fortunate enough to have somehow avoided the omnipresent visage of the world's grumpiest orange furball for the last 20-some years, here's some background information on the character on which this entire movie is based: He's a cat. A fat one who likes lasagna and dislikes a dog called Odie. If there's anything more to Jim Davis' unending series of comic strips, I must have missed it. Garfield was hugely popular in the mid-'80s because he was unpleasant and selfish. Obviously a lot of us could relate with him. We were all selfish and unpleasant back then. Garfield would cut loose with these razor-sharp commentaries on modern society; stuff like "I hate Mondays" and "Feed Me Now". So popular was this fractious feline that many people took to sticking replicas of him right inside their cars!

But that's all ancient history, right? Who among us would still be considered the target audience for Garfield: The Movie? I'm betting a whole lot of us would, because if there's one thing that Americans are loyal to, it's a chintzy pop-culture icon from two decades past. Make Garfield a smash hit and you're paving the way for Alf: The Movie. I'll leave it to you to decide if that's a good thing.

Garfield: The Movie is an almost shamelessly atrocious movie, a project clearly constructed with nothing but big, gleaming dollar signs in mind. It's not as if someone had a deep and passionate yearning to bring Garfield to the big screen as if Jim Davis were JRR Tolkien or something, so clearly this is just a pop-culture name-recognition novelty-act of a feature film...which could be more or less forgiven were the end product something witty or clever or even the least bit entertaining.

Instead we're offered a plotless shambles of a movie, a 70-some minute showcase of one CGI cat (speaking through a very bored-sounding Bill Murray) who listlessly flings a ceaseless barrage of puns and strained witticisms at an audience which apparently has no idea that Shrek 2 and Harry Potter 3 are playing in the theater right next door.

This is a movie so shallow and lazy that screenwriters Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow literally plagiarize entire sections of their earlier work on Toy Story. Themes and scenes are lifted whole! Shameless, fellas. And sad. Speaking of 'sad', the way in which veteran character actor Stephen Tobolowsky is forced to humiliate himself here is beyond ugly. I bet the ASPCA was on this set to make sure the animals were being treated properly; perhaps the Screen Actors Guild should have done the same thing.

People, this is about as low as big-budget moviemaking gets. A soulless and empty movie based on a three-panel comic strip boasting the wit and complexity of a wooden spoon. For your eight bucks you'll get one lifeless CGI cat, a bunch of talking animals just like the ones you see in the dog food commercials, and a handful of actors who exist only to hold the Coke cans and Wedny's logos precisely at eye-level. Save your money for something better. Like the garbage disposal.

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originally posted: 06/13/04 15:07:25
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User Comments

1/29/10 Dane Youssef Sorry, just didn't work. All wrong. Garfield wasn't made 4 live-action. This isn't Garfield 1 stars
5/17/09 Buck Terrible, I've never seen a hot vet running around in a short skirt the whole movie. 1 stars
1/06/09 the dork knight who are you kidding? watch the damn cartoon instead 1 stars
12/04/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
9/07/08 Blargh TERRIBLE, NOTHING LIKE THE COMIC, since when was nermal a siamese?! 1 stars
3/23/08 Carly Great, enjoyable movie. Not a fan of the cartoon but a great movie. Good animation too. 4 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White just watch the belly jiggle and you have to smile 4 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK As if the cartoon wasnt bad enough, they had to make a feature lenghth. well, thanks a lot. 1 stars
12/22/06 David Pollastrini not horrible 3 stars
12/20/06 David Cohen Bill Murray hasn't been in a good movie since Ghostbusters, Viva Lorenzo Music! 2 stars
12/08/06 Stanley Thai A good, enjoyable film. VERY UNDERRATED! 3 stars
9/08/06 drydock54321 good conversion to live action 4 stars
6/09/06 CTT I like the comic strip, and still loathed most of this 2 stars
1/06/06 JM Synth Depends whether or not you like the comic 4 stars
10/31/05 mad mumma pretty good, as is the comic strip 3 stars
10/28/05 jess i was pretty cool u guys just wanna sound like stuck up critics 4 stars
8/19/05 ES Odie should have been animated! = dumbasses 2 stars
8/08/05 Del Not completely terrible 2 stars
7/21/05 Lydie Great film, great animation, I loved the dialogues 5 stars
6/20/05 darick Not true to the comic...predictable as plot, miscasts, inconsistent CGI, laughlessness, etc 1 stars
6/07/05 Neville Schoof Saw the preview.. that was lame enough 1 stars
4/16/05 Carol Conway Boy was this bad! 1 stars
4/03/05 Cindy As a cat lover, I loved the movie. It was very cute. 5 stars
3/31/05 hannaho What kind of debt did Murray have, that he had to make this? 1 stars
3/23/05 Suzanne Butler why does Hollywood think we need remakes of EVERYTHING?? 2 stars
3/16/05 Judith Musick OK FOR KIDS 3 stars
3/13/05 Jack Scallops Could've been better. Read the strip and watch the show instead. 2 stars
3/04/05 Chris Stephens the kids liked it 3 stars
3/02/05 David Tsung murray was in it for the money 1 stars
3/02/05 Maggie Dressler Even grownups - especially grownups - likes this one 5 stars
2/28/05 Diane Stedner not what you would expect 3 stars
2/26/05 Alice Colwell It's a kids movie 4 stars
2/26/05 Darlene Wright Good Kid Movie 4 stars
2/26/05 Joy Venters I THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY FUNNY 3 stars
1/28/05 Jack Scallops So-so, the show is better than both this movie and the comic nowadays 3 stars
12/30/04 Doremimi It's just too bad that "1 Star - Total Crap" is the lowest rating available. 1 stars
12/25/04 Freddy SUCKED and the dog is real and nothing like cartoon Odie. Don't waste time watching this! 1 stars
11/08/04 Brody Kenny no laughs and no charms 1 stars
10/15/04 eugene biggest load of fucking crap 1 stars
9/17/04 Helen Bradley Bill Murray as always great 5 stars
9/17/04 Kyle Wellcome Its a fun movie, no intelligence needed. 3 stars
9/15/04 Naka Total ass, plain and simple. 1 stars
9/14/04 Neo Garfield rox, this movie sux 1 stars
8/18/04 qemm very boring, even for cats and garfield fans 2 stars
8/04/04 8=====D this puts the cartoon to shame...SHAME I SAY!! :( 1 stars
8/03/04 alice Oh my god !!! WHY ?? I love Garfield! WHY ???? 1 stars
7/26/04 Alex Disgusting 1 stars
7/22/04 Whitney Bullard This is one of the worst animated movies ever!! 1 stars
7/21/04 April Gupton I COUD NOT wait for this to be over 1 stars
7/17/04 legend Bad cat! Bad cat! Awful film! Awful film! 1 stars
7/15/04 mdailey The 25+ product placements say it all. This movie sucks! 1 stars
7/09/04 Nathan Fuller Possibly the worst film I've ever seen 1 stars
7/07/04 Saigo Utter trash. 1 stars
7/06/04 Spiderfan720 I hate Garfield period but this was over the top!!! 1 stars
6/28/04 Ray CRAP 1 stars
6/28/04 KENT Horrible . . . just horrible. 2 stars
6/24/04 John Okay movie. Garfields nature is done great but the origin is just a mess. 3 stars
6/24/04 Gray Harmless fun 5 stars
6/22/04 Marc Basque Stupid, unrealistic yet harmless and funny 3 stars
6/19/04 Hilarium What a waste of Bill Murray. 1 stars
6/14/04 Chris Taylor I always thought "Howard the Duck" was the worst movie ever made. Until I saw this film. 1 stars
6/12/04 Brian At least we didnt get "Family Circus - The Movie." 1 stars
6/12/04 dave not fit to print 1 stars
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  11-Jun-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 06-Jun-2006



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