The Dog Who Saved Christmas (2009)
Zeus, a Labrador Retriever and a former police dog, has lost his bark after his barking ended up blowing off a five-year investigation and his partner can't shoot straight again and ends up at the pound. He is adopted by a father as both an early Christmas present and as a guard dog for the house, but the mom remains hesitant.
They'd have to tie me down, clamp my eyes open, and I would still avert my eyes from this loser. Totally boring, and, frankly, I am sick to death of seeing Dean Cain as the bad guy. He just doesn't suit the part. Unfortunately, he did suit the part of that creep that killed Stacey Peterson and her unborn child ... which pretty much destroyed his career.The acting is OK, when thinking about the other parts ... but the movie is, as already mentioned, a rip-off of Home Alone, and not even a good rip-off. And, actually, the dog was not that great either. So, walk away and find something better to do with your time. Unless you like being bored. Bottom line is ... nothing special here excepting for the holiday decorations, and one other part mentioned below ... and whom among us want to watch a movie just to see a few good decoration?Now, let us get to the part that infuriated me ... which is the part played by Elisa Donovan ... shame, shame! Why any woman would consider taking a part, such as this one, where a woman towers over the man, and basically treats him like a child ... well, shame, shame. However, seeing Adrienne Barbeau, as the cat lady, tickled me greatly. Adrienne usually plays the Hard Hearted Hanna roles, and to see her in this role was a lovely Christmas Surprise. We can use seeing more of her in the future ... she has been greatly missed!
The Dog Who Saved Christmas is a shamelessly derivative, predictable Christmas movie that really can't help but feel like the low-budget, made-for-TV movie that it is. It's a complete rip-off of other, and not to mention BETTER, Christmas movies. A lack of a joyous Christmas atmosphere is a real buzzkill and the cringe-worthy physical gags only lessen the fun.Although this review contains some major spoilers, I suggest you just read on. There's no reason for you to actually watch this (Willingly, that is).After Zeus, a former police-dog, loses his bark, he's sent to the pound (for reasons that are beyond me..) One day, he is adopted by George, a man in need of the security of a burly watch-dog with an intimidating bark. Of course, once he finds out that the dog is incapable of barking, him and his wife ponder taking him back to the pound. Before taking him back, they go to visit grandma for Christmas, and leave Zeus at home. As soon as they leave, two wacky, cartoonish villains break in and attempt to loot the house (for decorations, apparently). This is the perfect opportunity for Zeus to prove himself as a good watch dog. He sets up multiple booby traps and after about a half hour of the robbers goofing off and getting their ass handed to them by a dog, they are ultimately defeated. If you're thinking that this sounds an awful lot like Home Alone, but with a dog, you're right. The last half of the movie is an obvious rip-off and the writers made no attempt to hide it. In the end, the dog gets his bark back and the family decides to keep him. I bet you didn't see that one coming, did you? The stars of the film are people you've probably never heard of. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but when the acting is this terrible, it's probably best that it stays that way. Gary Valentine plays the role of George. His appearance, voice, and acting style are fairly similar to that of Kevin James, who I'm personally not a fan of, but if you are, you'll probably enjoy Valentine as well. The rest of the family's acting is subpar. The two robbers are probably the worst actors in the show. Their goofiness is too unbelievable and over-the-top.The script was terrible. With lines like "There better not be a dog in there! You know how I feel about dogs! I get panic attacks", it was far too literal and left nothing to the imagination. In fact, it kind of insults the viewer's intelligence. The style of humour is mostly slapstick physical gags with a few talking toilets and gassy fat guys mixed in. Although this doesn't personally tickle my funny-bone, I do realize that a sense of humour is subjective and everybody has different preferences. If this is your sense of humour, you're in for a blast; but if not, you'll hate this movie.The Dog Who Saved Christmas was a poor effort in basically every aspect. Horrendous acting, scripts, and humour detract from the overall quality, lowering the bar for the standards of made-for-TV movies. I really wouldn't recommend this to anyone, except people who are still in their diaper days.And you know what the sad thing is? Citizen Kane was on the other channel at the exact same time, but my cousins insisted on torturing me with The Dog Who Saved Christmas instead. :(
One of the worst made for anything movies... Unless it was made by a film student at a community college, thank goodness mini DV tapes are so inexpensive. So sad to see some respectable actors making a movie such as this. The location (SoCal) chosen to represent Connecticut, couldn't have been any worse. Sun Valley, Angeles Crest Highway, representing the East Coast, really?? Palm trees (not to mention chaparral, and evergreen tree lined streets, replacing snow, just doesn't cut it, on any level. The voice over acting or should I really blame the sound editors... In the same room, one actor's voice sounding like its in a can, while the other is respectable. How about wardrobe and props. The thieves were more than dusted with flour, however they were amazingly flour free. The house which was multiple level, I'll give the viewer that, would have the actors on one level... then on another level without taking the stairs. I can't go on... I'll let the viewer get a kick out of ripping this move apart!!
Since this movie makes absolutely no effort in concealing it's a knock off of Home Alone, I guess you can let it get away with it. The only difference is, an ex K9 cop named Zeus takes the place of Kevin.Done on a low budget, and clearly aimed at dog lovers. It's upbeat and silly, and uses slapstick comedy in every scene. Some of the humor is middle school level and below: dog drinking from a toilet, a guy who passes gas a lot, and one character that's a poor man's annoying version of Fred Flintstone. The one scene that echoes the booby traps of Home Alone is fleeting; there's only so much a pup can do, after all. The baddies here are as dumb as the burglars from H. A.Acting isn't bad, considering how the characters are written. Mario Lopez's voice-over work for Zeus is OK, although the low budget only allows Zeus to be staring at somebody as we hear his thoughts. Oh, Zeus never barks, and the reason is predictable. But it doesn't matter that everything is obvious; this is just some playful silliness for its own sake. Fun enough for a viewing, if you're going to be home (alone or not).