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a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, The Secret Life of Pets (2016), starring Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart.


©Universal Pictures

Per IMDb: “The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.”

Max (C.K.) lives in a Manhattan apartment with his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper). They do everything together: they run, they play, they cuddle, they do everything together. Max is high cotton. He doesn’t like it, though when she has to go to work. He thinks she’s gone forever. Of course, she always comes back.

One day Katie comes home and has a HUGE surprise for Max. A very large stray named Duke (Stonestreet). Duke takes over and tries to establish dominance over Max, even though it’s “his house.” Max is told by one of his neighborhood friends, Chloe, an obese and apathetic house cat played by Lake Bell, that he needs to become tough and establish himself as the alpha of the house. That kind of works, at least for a few hours.

Max and Duke are walked by a service along with several other dogs, including a pug named Mel (Bobby Moynihan) and a dachshund named Buddy (Hannibal Buress). Max tries to assert himself and Duke tricks him into going into an old alley. There he’s assaulted by a whole clowder of cats led by the evil Sphynx cat named Ozone (Steve Coogan). They take his tags and collar. Duke comes running around the corner and Max is relieved that he came back. But Duke wasn’t coming to save him, he was running from the dogcatchers. With both dogs sans tags the catchers thought they were strays. They are captured and put into the dogwagon along with a muzzled bulldog.

They are rescued by a white rabbit named Snowball (Hart) who is the leader of the gang called “The Flushed Pets,” a group of animals discarded by their owners over time. When Ozone alerts Snowball that the two are domesticated they try to kill them, but they escape. Or do they? What happens with them? Do their friends help them? You’ll have to watch to find out.

We watched this with 3B, his choice, and thought it was a very cute film. I have always thought about what goes through the minds of animals when their owners go away during the day. I liked how they showed the habits of the animals. Chloe ate a lot of leftovers. Leonard, a large poodle, listens to classical music while his master is home and thrash metal when Master is out. Gidget, a white Pomeranian who has a major crush on Max (Jenny Slate) is a bouncy little git. The stereotypical behaviors of the animals are represented nicely here. The voice acting which also includes Albert Brooks and Dana Carvey is superb. Well, acted, well directed, well written.

Was it a great film? Nope. It was a funny and entertaining film, though. It think it was pretty cool. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 74% Fresh with an Audience score of 63%. IMDb has it at 6.6 stars out of 10. I saw it on Netflix and I’m going to rate it 3.75 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? What did you think? What would you like to hear/read me review? Let me know.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“I feel heroic! And handsome! I’m a little wet, but I still look good. I look good.” – Snowball