If you’ve been listening to The Triple Feature for the last two weeks, then you know – in no uncertain terms – how I feel about Marley & Me. Specifically, how the film adaptation of John Grogan’s best seller is being marketed toward children and the timing of it’s release on Christmas Day.

I’ve obscured the spoiler Jared mentions in the first panel. But, if you’re curious, here’s a link to the article he references. OBVIOUS SPOILER TERRITORY AHEAD!

I’ve aligned myself with these taggers because (if you’ve read the book and know how it ends), it seems particularly cruel to market this film to the family audience over the holidays. I see them being particularly blindsided by the revelation.

Imagine if you will a happy family gathering for the holidays. The children tumble down the stairs early in the morning screaming in delight at the bounty Santa left under their tree. The family exchanges gifts while the children tear paper in tornadic glee. Grandpa quiets sips his coffee. The present-opening done, the family lazily starts to gather around the kitchen for holiday snacks before sitting down in front of a glorious meal. Stories are exchanged and everyone is laughing. People are happy.

“Hey, I have an idea!” exclaims one of the family members. “Let’s go see a movie!”

The family piles in the car and drives to the local movie theater.

“What do you want to see, kids?”

“I wanna see the movie with the puppy in it!” “Yeah, the puppy!” “Puppy! Puppy!” “WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!”

The family buys tickets to Marley & Me.

Cut to two hours later. Mom and Dad are trying to calm down their hysterical children down as they try to salvage what’s left of an otherwise perfect holiday.

Aaaaaaand SCENE!

Maybe I’m being a bit pessimistic to assume an Owen Wilson is going to ruin a family’s holiday. Well, at least at a higher likelyhood than your AVERAGE Owen Wilson movie. But I used to work at a movie theater. I had a mother come back to the ticket counter and demand a refund for Serial Mom because it was too violent for her 8 year-old.

For starters, it’s callled SERIAL MOM! It’s about A SERIAL KILLER MOM! Second, it’s a John Waters movie. Even if it wasn’t violent, his track record should tell you that there probably isn’t going to be a lot in his film that would be acceptable for an 8 year-old.

People don’t research the movies they see.

Originally my good friend Joe suggested that I go whole hog with my critcism of Marley & Me and spoil it six ways from Sunday. Although I know that’s more likely to follow Jared’s commandment of not spoiling a movie before it’s time, he was seeing the feedback we were getting during The Triple Feature broadcasts and saw that people were on the same page. It would have been a great opportunity to generate a little controvery for the site.

But I guess the holiday spirit got the better of me. I didn’t want to Scrooge people the same way I expect the movie to.

Sure, I could claim I was falling on my sword to protect people. But, ultimately, my actions make me no better than the movie itself. And, who knows? I could be totally wrong about the film. It might end up resolving itself differently than the book or with different emphasis on specific events. Then I would look pretty stupid.

Even though I have no interest in the film, Joe’s laid down an interesting challenge. He challenged me to see the film and judge it on its own merits, not on the book that preceded it. At this point, I almost feel obligated to do so. Truthfully, for as much chest-thumping I’ve been doing over this film, I need to either put up or shut up. So, stay tuned.

Real quick, I wanted to give you guys the heads up that there will be no new strips next week. There are two reasons for this. The big one is that I won’t be in town! Cami, my sister-in-law and myself will be going to California at the end of the year for a well-deserved break. We’re leaving Henry with my in-laws and skipping town for a few days. I’m really looking forward to it. This will be our first honest-to-goodness vacation since May of 2006. We’re due.

The second reason is because I plan on releasing a redesign of the website on Monday, January 5 and I need to make sure that everything is lined up appropriately to make sure the transition occurs as smoothly as possible. I’m not only introducing a new look and feel to the site, but I have also switched over to WordPress, so the back-end operates COMPLETELY differently.

I think you guys are really going to like the changes. I’ve been working on this design on and off since October of last year. Polishing it as I went along. I’ve had a lot of people help me along the way and I think it’s been refined to the point where I’m ready for it to set sail!

So be on the lookout for that in the New Year!

I the meantime, be sure to listen to The Triple Feature tonight at 9:00 PM CST. We’ll see you there!

↓ Transcript
I saw an article online about people in L.A. spray painting the ending to this movie over the bus stop ads and billboards.

I say more power to 'em!

Have you read the book? Do you know how it ends? That's a messed up thing to promote as a Christmas movie to kids!

So that makes it okay to commit The Cardinal Sin of movie going?

"Thou shall turn off all phones and pagers?"

"Thou shall not spoil any movie before it's time!'