Monday, December 10, 2012

Man's Best Friend

Turner and Hooch
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Cast: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson, Reginald Veljohnson
Released: July 28, 1989

This is one of those movies I loved as a kid, but recently re-watched and it just doesn't hold up. Of course, I still adore Hooch (the dog), a French Mastiff so ugly he's cute, but dang, do those dogs drool! All the time. It's really quite disgusting. Tom Hanks is (Scott) Turner, a tidy and organized detective who acquires the unruly beast after his owner is killed in his boathouse because he is a witness to some shady business going on in a seafood manufacture plant not far from where he resides. Since Hooch was the only "witness" (he was restrained inside and wasn't able to break free until his owner was already dead and the bad guy ran away), Turner takes him, in hoping he can gather evidence on who the murderer is.

Hilarity ensues when Hooch comes to live with Turner (who was always afraid of him when he visited the old man). He sleeps on the porch the first night and howls until Turner can't stand it anymore and takes him in to the garage, the only room in the house Hooch is allowed. While Turner is away at work one day, Hooch gets into the main house and completely obliterates everything and Turner has a (who can blame him?) conniption fit.

But of course, Turner learns to love the dog as his own when he spends more time with Hooch. I remember bawling at this movie when I was little, cuz I remember Hooch gets shot when Turner and the bad guy are having a shootout,  but I forgot what the outcome was as to whether he lived or died. I don't want to give any spoilers for a 23 year old movie, but let's just say the opposite of what I remembered happened.

Mare Winningham plays the love interest who also happens to be the town vet. She owns a collie and Hooch and the collie must have gotten together (I guess Turner didn't think to neuter Hooch!) because at the end of the movie there are a bunch of little puppies. Here's the kicker: there are about four purebred collie puppies and one purebred French Mastiff. All the puppies are cute, but I'm a little confused: If a collie and a mastiff mated, I don't think you would get purebred collie puppies and a purebred mastiff would get a puppy collie/mastiff hybrid you would make up a portmanteau for and call a Colliff or a Massie. So that was really stupid. Of course when I was a kid, that never crossed my mind because I was stupid, but now I know that could never happen!

What lesson did I learn from Turner and Hooch, you know, besides always get your dog neutered? I learned that movies I loved as a child may not be as good when you're a little older, a little wiser, and a little more cynical!

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