Russell Madness (2015)
I didn’t really have many expectations going into the movie (good or bad), but I actually really enjoyed it. I really liked the characters and the banter between them.
This movie feels like it was made purely to piss off people who want good shows
Worth seeing just to witness how winsome it is.
My Grandma/guardian loves dog movie-mainly those you get at Walmart for $5 or at a garage sale because no one else gives a care. Except her. This movie, which is basically a kid's Rocky, was cute and not bad. It's not a movie I would re watch by myself but it was fine. The main pull back would be the fact that the dog pees over everyone. I do not like those kind of jokes thanks to this movie.It didn't bother me in The Long Haul, but here-why? If dog movies are for you, it should be fine. Otherwise, you can get a movie like The Breakfast Club for the same price at Walmart-that's a better buy.
From the Creators of "Air Bud" franchise, a series of movies in which talking animals are endowed with athleticism abilities, comes yet another entry directed by Robert Vince. This time around, it's a Jack Russell terrier, whom lazy ironic named Russell (Voiced by Sean Gianbrone) whom also happens to know-wrestling moves, which the movie, never explains, nor cares, that furthermore, manage by a talking-monkey named Hulk (Voiced by Will Sasso/ Perform by Crystal the Monkey). Without spoiling the movie, too much, while, this movie has plenty of in-ring combat like takedowns, dropkicks, and other fierce move sets. I don't think, most animal or wrestling fans, are willing to sit down, to see, muscular men try to beat up, small Jack Russell terrier in a wrestling ring. The premise of seeing that, is kinda cringe-worthy, when you think, deep about it, both in reel-world and in real-life. Not only that, but the movie goes a little overboard, by having a kid named, Max Ferrero (Mason Vale Cotton) team up with the dog, in the climax. It's a bit hard to watch & disturbing, once you see it. In real-life, the great state of Oregon, where this movie is set, would probably, sent Portland police to arrest, both the villains, Mick Vaughn (John Ratzenberger) & The Hammer (John Hennigan) & the heroes family, including father, Nate (David Milchard) for illegal dog-fighting, and child-endangerment in a run-down building. Anyways, even if there were those, in reel-world & real-life, whom would watch this contests, just to see that; they will end up, highly, disappointed, by the in-ring work. It's mostly short-minute cartoony action, fake-looking CGI spot mess, with little to no real sense of violence. This is intermixed with play-by-play commentators, TJ (Fred Willard) & Mike (Charles Robinson), whom has no idea, the glossary of wrestling terms, they are talking about. It's becomes, very clear, as the film goes on; that the many of writers that work on this piece, knew very little about pro-wrestling. Like other crappy movies on the subject, the writers also depict the in-ring matches, as a combat sport, when in truth, pro-wrestling contests are a performance art which all combative maneuvers are executed with the full cooperation of those involved and carefully performed in specific manners intended to lessen the chance of actual injury. It's mostly athletics mixed with theatrical performance, under predetermined outcomes to heighten entertainment value. Sadly, this movie doesn't get that, as it follows the same old clichés that other pro-wrestling kid movies, like 2015's 'The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown!' & 2014's 'Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery", had, with two rival characters doing outrageous real-life bets, in a shoot match. The slapstick that went along with this mess were not that funny. Only a few of the toilet humor & animals puns, kinda made me, giggles. However, I found myself, laughing more on how bad, the special effects by the computer animators, whom job, is it to move the sync, the voice acting with the movement of the animal's mouth, were. It was really bad dubbing. Added to the hilarious, was the overused of recycle animal shots. To save money, these shots were slowed down, sped up, and also recut in order to make it seem like animals were doing new things rather than doing the same old things. It was a bit jarring, if you keep a close watch. As for the pacing. I felt that the movie had way too much filler for a 92 minute film. Subplots such as Hunk's back-story weren't really needed. It drag the movie, a little bit. However, the human characters are not any better. I could careless of the subplot of the pet-store employee, Andrew (Michael P. Northey) trying to find Russell to adopt him. I found it, boring. Added to this, was the under-acting from the cast members, playing Max's family members. Gees, they were really monotone & bland. At least, Hennigan & Ratzenberger's acting as the villains, the WUF (World United Federation) was noticeable. I didn't mind, as much of their over the top acting. It, along with the costumes and set designs were some of the highlights. Nevertheless, overall: This movie simply wasn't that enjoyable to overlook it many flaws. While, the special features and seeing a dog defeat bad guys, might be enough for some children, find it, entertaining. I think, most parents and kids would find this, not up to the standards of other similar good animal talking films like 1993's 'Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey' or 1995's 'Babe'. In the end, it's a film, I can't recommended. It's pure dog crap.
'Russell Madness' is hands down the BEST movie I've ever seen that features a talking wrestling dog and a talking monkey for a wrestling manager. Not only that, this film has Will Sasso, John Ratzenberger, and Fred Willard lending their talents to the film. Not all is lost. Remember that film from 1997 called 'Air Bud', about a golden retriever dog who could play basketball and win championships?Well the same people who made that, made 'Russell Madness', which comes to no surprise as the first 'Air Bud' film made almost $30 million on a $3 million budget. Not only that, since 1997, the 'Air Bud' people have made dozens of sequels featuring talking animals that play sports and win big. Heck, they even opened their own studio to make these types of films, most of which are direct-to-video. One thing is for sure with each of these films is that this studio knows the formula that works, and that formula is geared to kids under eight years old.Yes, 'Russell Madness' is about a talking dog who wrestles WWE style and has a talking monkey named Hunk (Sasso) for a manager. But let's start at the beginning shall we? The dog in question is named Russell and is in fact a russell terrier breed who now lives in a pets store. I guess the creative people at the pet store were gone that day when naming a russell terrier, Russell. Nobody wants to take Russell home, because he literally pees on each kid that holds him, which is symbolic here as this movie might just be urinating in our face too.The big bad pet store leaves Russell in a glass cage of emotions with no food or water, but luckily he escapes and runs for some sausage. (I'm not kidding.) He then, is chased by a bigger dog who chases him into a wrestling ring where Russell lays the SMACKDOWN on a giant human wrestler. For all I know, Russell killed the guy, because we never see that wrestler again. Soon enough the Ferraro family sees Russell on the street and take him in as their own. The Ferraro family are dealing with the death of their grandfather, who was once a pro-wrestler who worked with a monkey, and owned a wrestling arena before his death. He passed the arena down to his family on a the condition that they take one year to try and make a profit, promoting wrestling shows. If not, the family can flip it and sell it.This is where monkey meets dog and the odd partnership is born. We have training montages with a monkey riding a segway and forcing poor Russell to pay him in bananas only. There is even a road trip sequence with the father, the monkey, and the dog where the monkey says, "What happens on the road, stays on the road." I laughed so hard, I cried thinking about what these three did while on the road, promoting wrestling shows. John Ratzenberger plays the Vince McMahon role here and might have something sinister up his sleeve, while Fred Willard plays his usual wrestling announcer/commentator role.None of it makes any sense really, then again, all of it makes total sense. 'Russell Madness' never really has a whole lot of suspense, nor does the dialogue pass over the cheese mountain, but kids will sure enjoy this movie. And if you're a parent who loves to see your kid laugh and smile, and are able to make light of a fairly terrible film, then this movie is for you, as it's definitely the BEST movie you'll ever see with a talking dog and monkey who love to give 'Stone Cold Stunners' to everyone who come in their path.
This film is hilarious, adventurous and much more! It will appeal to kids as well as adults and has a very unique idea. Russell Madness is a perfect family story that will be enjoyed by many. Russell Madness has a feel of comedy with a wrap-around of family ties, while still having a core of wrestling and a little sprinkle of suspense. The story starts when a family moves back to Oregon to take over an old wrestling ring which belonged to the family for a long time. It is a bit run down, but a new generation opens it back up. Then, during a first match, something very interesting happens. A dog named Russell (dompletely by coincidence) comes into the ring where a big tough and strong wrestler is. What happens next is absolutely unexpected and surprising. This film is stupendous! Something I really like about it is that Russell's coach is a monkey named Hunk. And yes, it is a talking monkey, played by a very smart and adorable monkey named Crystal, except for the talking parts of course, which I think is a great and smart idea. The acting is wonderful and the whole film has that perfect amount of cheesiness, cuteness and positivity to make it a wonderful family film. Also, the jokes are original and hilarious.My favorite scene is about the family's first encounter with Hunk. Hunk tells them to take in Russell as a family dog and offers to train Russell to be a wrestler. But, his price is many things doing with bananas. It is funny and an important scene in the movie. I recommend for kids ages 5 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic acting, production, directing, and unbelievable animal training. Don't miss it when it comes out in the spring of 2015!Reviewed by Gerry O, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, go to kidsfirst dot org.