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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

By
Joseph McAleer
Source: Catholic News Service

Doctor Doolittle meets James Bond in "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" (Warner Bros.), a clever and funny 3-D spy adventure for the entire family. This follow-up to the 2001 comedy "Cats & Dogs" seamlessly blends live action, puppetry, and computer animation as—unbeknownst to their beloved human owners—the two species of the title must join forces to save the planet from one very bad kitty.

Said villain is Kitty Galore (voiced with relish by Bette Midler), a former agent for the cat spy organization MEOWS who has "gone rogue." Abandoned after an industrial accident rendered her hairless and looking like Eartha Kitt, Kitty seeks dominion over all pets to make the world her "personal scratching post." Her weapon of mass destruction is the "Call of the Wild"—apologies to Jack London—a screech that will render dogs insane and launch a global cat-astrophe.

But the top-secret intelligence organizations on both sides of the yard have been working overtime to thwart Kitty's plan. Here "Cats & Dogs" mines the 007 canon to hilarious effect. MEOWS' canine equivalent is DOG, within whose subterranean world headquarters, dubbed "where Petco meets Las Vegas," agents train, are fitted with collars containing laser beams, test jet packs and rocket cars, and, in their downtime, play poker (of course).

"We take 'Man's Best Friend' very seriously," intones Lou (voice of Neil Patrick Harris), a be-speckled beagle who is leader of the DOG pack.

DOG needs backup, and finds it in new recruit Diggs (voice of James Marsden), a police K-9 German shepherd whose best qualification is his hatred of cats. He and his partner and mentor Butch (voice of Nick Nolte) set out in search of a sassy pigeon called Seamus (voice of Katt Williams), who holds vital clues to Kitty's plan. But feline intelligence is also on the case, and special agent Catherine (voice of Christina Applegate) puts her nine lives on the line for the cause.

With the fate of the world at stake, MEOWS top cat Tab Lazenby (voice of Roger Moore, channeling his Bond past) proposes a peace pact with DOG to bring Kitty down. As "Cats & Dogs" barrels along to its explosive climax, the allies visit "Dog Alcatraz," where the notorious feline felon Mr. Tinkles (voice of Sean Hayes)—clad in a Hannibal Lecter straitjacket and echoing some of Lecter's most famous lines—plays mind games.

As directed by Brad Peyton ("Evelyn"), "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" has plenty of excitement, gizmos, and cute-as-a-button moments to charm and enthrall the youngsters, while their parents will enjoy the inside jokes and grown-up references. A few of these, including Catherine's interrogation by what looks like water-boarding, and a hippy house in San Francisco where groovy cats are "hopped up on cat nip," push the boundaries of family viewing, but remain within the lines of good taste.

The Catholic News Service classification is A-I—general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested.

*****
Joseph McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.




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Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog We need do no more than we are doing at present; that is, to love divine Providence and abandon ourselves in his arms and heart.<br />—St. Padre Pio

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