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R-16 ‘Strays’ reinvent formulaic dog movies

There's a new dog movie opening in Philippine cinemas next week. The catch? Unlike movies of this kind, it's not for children.

“Strays” is an R-rated (R-16 in PH) live-action comedy that trails the misadventures of an abandoned Border Terrier who learned to survive on the streets along with his newfound pals while trying to find his way back home.

The movie features the voices of Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Park Randall, Josh Gad, Sofia Vergara, Harvey Guillen, Robb Riggle, Brett Gelman and Jamie Demetriou.

Ferrell lends voice to Reggie, a naïve optimistic Border Terrier who found genuine friendship on the streets with a fast-talking, foul-mouthed horny Boston Terrier named Bug (Foxx), a smart Australian Shepherd named Maggie (Fisher) and Hunter (Park), an anxious Great Dane.

The core of ‘Strays’ is Reggie, a naïve optimistic Border Terrier Reggie, and his hilarious, disgusting journey of redemption and triumph over an abusive owner. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Together, they hatch a plan and embark on an epic adventure to help Reggie find his way home and make his owner Doug (Will Forte) pay for abandoning him. Reggie believes he has the best life, and owner ever. Blinded by love, Reggie doesn't see that Doug is repeatedly trying to ditch him. So, when Doug finally abandons Reggie on the streets, Reggie doesn't initially think that he has much in common with the stray dogs he meets.

Directed by Josh Greenbaum, Strays reinvents the dog movies while retaining what the world loves about dogs – on love, loyalty, and friendship. While the core of the adventure is Reggie and his hilarious, disgusting journey of redemption and triumph over an abusive owner, ultimately, it's the bond of ride-or-die friendship that develops between Reggie and his fellow strays that gives the film it's emotional bite.

Ferrell was immediately amused by the concept of an R-rated dog film, but it was the heart of it that hooked him, “I remember thinking it could be really great and could be something we've never seen before. The audaciousness of the premise and the sweet, earnest relationships between the dogs surprised me.”

Once the dogs completed production on Strays, any animal who didn't already have a permanent home with the trainers was found a loving one with screened individuals who would give their beloved new family member a fulfilling life.

In fact, one of the dogs was adopted by director Josh Greenbaum. “When we brought in two adorable puppy Border Terriers to play young Reggie in an early scene of the film, it was made known to me that these dogs wouldn't have a home after the shoot. So, I decided to adopt one of them and asked my kids to name him. They immediately said we've got to name him Reggie because he played Reggie in the movie. I came home after shooting the film, introduced Reggie to the family, and now I have Will Ferrell in my house.”

A dog film only for adults, rated R-16 by the local censors board, Strays is from Universal Pictures International and will open September 13 in cinemas nationwide.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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