February 23, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Film Review: Strays

FILM REVIEW
STRAYS
Rated R
93 Minutes
Released August 18th

I’m not usually drawn to movies with talking animals. “Strays,” though, is so skillfully made, with such an original take on canine culture and dog-human relationships, that I thoroughly enjoyed the film. This is director Josh Greenbaum’s second feature, his first having been Barb and Starr Go to Vista Del Mar, also a wonky comedy. This is no Disney movie, and it’s absolutely not a kids or family movie. It’s a treatise on our relationships with our pets and what they tell us about our culture and our psychology. It’s a raunchy road trip featuring canine protagonists using landmarks to find their way back home, their conversation dubbed from “dog language” into English by the likes of Will Ferrell, Jamie Fox, Isla Fisher, and Randall Park. The style is more Rap or Trap Music lyrics than children’s books. Our team of stray dogs navigates dangers that lurk in their environment, most pointedly from unstable humans, as portrayed by Will Forte as “Doug” and Bruce Gelman as “Willie.” 

The funny and revealing concept of how dogs perceive the humans around them is the genius of this movie. It’s a send-up of so many traits of our human personalities that we take way too seriously. The story includes a “Me-Too” Movement type of commentary on human abuse of pets with a suggestion that taking responsibility for our actions and helping others is an antidote to that kind of behavior. Due to the skill of the film’s animal actors, their handlers, the cinematographer, and the voice actors, these dogs become friends you want to root for. The line between dog and human personalities is blurred, as often happens in the real world, and the dogs can also make mistakes and perhaps destroy something unintentionally, as happens in reality. The difference between the dogs and humans is that dogs are more forgiving and loyal. 

The dogs in “Strays” are so much like people that we tend to relate to them like people, and that’s also the magic of real dogs. You will perhaps be reminded of all the dogs who have graced your life because they communicated with you on an instinctive level. The movie presents the world from a dog’s point of view, which is very refreshing because, as you may know, in addition to having an exponentially better sense of smell than humans, dogs also may have arguably a more unscathed emotional intelligence than a great percentage of us. “Strays” is a celebration of dogs.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

in News
Related Posts

Amid Delays, House of Pies Sets New Opening Date for Venice Spot

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

For About a Year, the Development’s Construction Has Seemingly Been Inactive By Zach Armstrong House of Pies, a popular L.A....

(Video) Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024 at Father’s Office in Culver City

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024  at Father’s Office in Culver City. The ticket got you two pours of the...

Culinary Bliss Awaits: Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Debuts in Santa Monica

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Welcomes the Inaugural Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Santa Monica is set to become the birthplace...

Indulge Your Cookie Cravings and Support Local Scouts: Girl Scout Cookie® Sales Now Open

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Multiple Ways to Purchase Iconic Cookies and Make a Difference You can satisfy your Girl Scout Cookie® cravings this season...

Popular Coffee & Tea Franchise Opens Another Santa Monica Spot

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

The News Comes Four Months After the Announcement of Its Third Santa Monica Outpost By Zach Armstrong Coffee Bean &...

Bruce Lurie Gallery Unveils “Give Us Our Flowers” Exhibition

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Philoche’s painting style incorporates vintage subjects to convey a tribute to the resilience of human spirit.  Bruce Lurie Gallery presents...

Portraiture Masterclass with Renowned Photographer Coming to Venice Beach

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Participants will explore the boardwalk alongside Alan, honing their creativity and engaging with the local community. Renowned photographer Alan Shapiro...

“Women in Jazz” Event at the Moss Theater to Benefit College Scholarship Program

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Scholarship Trains Students to be Ambassadors for Antiracist Learning and Teaching Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist Amber Weekes, an alumna...

Countdown to the 30th Annual SAG Awards: Celebrating Excellence in Film and TV

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

SAG Awards Ceremony Set for Feb. 24, 2024, to be Globally Streamed on Netflix The anticipation for the 30th Annual...

“20’s/20s” Exhibit at ARCANE to Showcase Emerging Artists’ Work

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Featured Artists Were All in Their Twenties During the 2020s ARCANE Space is set to host an exhibition showcasing...

(Video) If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at Vice President Kamala Harris’ Home in Brentwood

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The group held a Shiva or Jewish mourning ceremony as a protest. @smmirrornews If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at...

Atmospheric River Update for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu for February 19

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Road Closures, Mudslides, and Heaviest Rainfall of This Storm Still on the Way The City of Los Angeles intensified its...

A Sustainable “Air Taxi” Service Will Operate Out of West L.A.

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Based on Images and Videos, the Aircraft’s Design Mixes a Helicopter With an Airplane By Zach Armstrong Los Angeles is...

Upcoming “Liquid Grooves” Concert Will Have Ocean and Sea Theme

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Compositions Include “Pacific Grooves” by Tyler S. Grant and “Water Reflections” by Yukiko Nishimura The Emeritus Concert Band of Santa...

Los Angeles Gears Up for Another Slow-Moving Storm: Residents Urged to Prepare

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

National Weather Service Issues Flood Watch for Los Angeles County Even though Los Angeles County is still recovering from the...