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Beethoven with New Family
This is where it gets a little complicated for me. ‘Beethoven’s 3rd’ is the first film not to feature the original Newton family cast from the first two films. Instead it features a brand new Newton family.
This film was released direct-to-video in 2000, although I saw it in 2010 when my parents and I had the 3 film box set. In this film, the big dog joins the new Newton family on a cross-country vacation.
When I first saw the film in 2010, I recall enjoying it. It was such a long while before I saw it again to recall what it’s about. I enjoyed seeing it a second time, though my Mum said I was making fun of it.
Now for those of you wondering whether these new Newtons are related to the ones in the first two films, they are. In fact, George and Alice get mentioned when they send their dog to these Newtons.
But the fact they get mentioned doesn’t mean they appear. The new Newtons are meant to join George and Alice for a family reunion. But none of the original Newton family makes a cameo in this.
This is rather disappointing, considering you want a connection to the first two movies as well as to the new Newton family. And I know that the three original kids have grown up since then, but still?!
As I said, Beethoven joins these new Newtons as a passenger on their cross-country vacation. Things get chaotic as Beethoven causes trouble and almost ruins the Newton family’s vacation with antics.
The movie does have some really bizarre and over-the-top comedic moments. Some of these moments are pretty unbalanced and don’t hold the movie up to make it the masterpiece it could be.
Judge Reinhold stars as Richard Newton, George’s brother. I’ve seen Judge Reinhold in ‘The Santa Clause’ movie trilogy with Tim Allen. Unlike George, Richard does take a liking to Beethoven initially.
Julia Sweeney stars as Beth Newton, Richard’s wife. Beth is the opposite of what Alice Newton was like in the ‘Beethoven’ films. She isn’t happy when Beethoven joins them as he causes some messes.
This Newton family has two kids as opposed to three in the film. They are Joe Pichler as Brennan Newton and Michaela Gallo as Sara Newton. Both kids deliver decent performances during this film.
Brennan isn’t happy about this cross-country vacation his Dad’s taking his family on with him and he easily gets bored. Brennan is not too fond on Beethoven either, before he uses him in meeting a girl.
Sara is very much like the Emily of the original Newton family in the film. Sara instantly loves Beethoven. She looks out for him when he gets left outside. She also sleeps with him in the caravan.
The villains of this movie are two criminal hackers including Michael Ciccolini as Tommy and Jamie Marsh as William. This is where my annoyance comes to play. These two guys are way over-the-top!
I’m sorry, but I can’t take these guys seriously. They try to get a DVD copy of ‘The Shakiest Gun in the West’ that Richard Newton’s family have in their possession. They even follow the family to obtain it.
But every time I see these two, they’re so overly dramatic. Especially when Beethoven chases them off, they’re annoying. There are even some ‘Star Wars’ in-jokes said by these two idiots. Seriously?!
The film also features Danielle Weiner as Penny, a girl who Brennan meets and forms a crush on during the road trip. I actually like the semi-romance with Brennan and Penny since it’s rather sweet.
There’s also Frank Gorshin as Uncle Morrie Newton. Wow! Frank Gorshin! He played the Riddler in the 1960s ‘Batman’ TV series with Adam West. I was very disappointed he only appeared at the end.
I question the placing of when this movie is set, since it never gets mentioned. I mean okay, I guess you can assume the movie takes place two or three years after ‘Beethoven’s 2nd’ if you want to be brave.
But this is the thing. This movie was made in 2000 whilst ‘Beethoven’s 2nd’ was made in 1993. There are DVD players and laptops in ‘Beethoven’s 3rd’ compared to the long gap after ‘Beethoven’s 2nd’.
There’s also one scene I really have to address that puts me off. There’s a strange Western sumo-wrestling scene in the movie where the Newtons take a break. That scene was so off-putting to see.
I literally had my mouth hanging open from watching that scene. Seriously?! Why did they include that in a film about a big dog? Was there a subliminal message being sent out? It made me uncomfortable.
The film’s music is composed by Philip Giffin, who reuses familiar ‘Beethoven’ music by Randy Edelman. There’s also the song ‘On the Road Again’, performed by Lonesome Dave and the Soundmen. Or was it performed by Dana Cohenour from her album ‘Dana’s Best Travelin’ Tunes’? I’m not sure. It’s not very clear. At present, I can’t find a music soundtrack CD for the movie.
‘Beethoven’s 3rd’ is pretty average. I don’t dislike it, even though it has some odd comedic moments. But I don’t consider this to be as good as the first two ‘Beethoven’ movies which are great.
The DVD special features are as follows. There are trailers for ‘Beethoven’, ‘Beethoven’s 2nd’ and ‘Beethoven’s 3rd’.
I’ve enjoyed re-watching the ‘Beethoven’ movies with my parents. The first two films will always be my favourite, as I have fond memories of them when I was a child. I can’t take to the new films without the original cast in them. That is because I am more familiar with the originals than the new.
‘Beethoven’s 3rd’ rating – 5/10
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