‘Beethoven’s 4th’ (Film)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Beethoven the Paw-per and Michelangelo the Prince

How come there are more of these movies?!

As you’re probably aware, I’m keen on the first two ‘Beethoven’ movies, especially since they were theatrical releases at the cinema. I’m not very fussed on the latest films as they were released direct-to-video on DVD. My parents and I saw ‘Beethoven’s 3rd’ as a part of the 3 film DVD box set we had.

Now we have the first five ‘Beethoven’ movies in a 5-DVD box set called ‘The Pooch Pack’. There are more films after that, but the original five films are in the main ‘Beethoven’ continuity. At least that’s what they’re supposed to be. I have issues regarding the ‘Beethoven’ movie series continuity overall.

Because we have the first five ‘Beethoven’ movies in a 5-DVD box set, I decided to tackle the fourth and fifth films for completion’s sake. Is there value to be found in the fourth and fifth films? Will they be as good as the other ‘Beethoven’ films? From what I have seen…not really! Let’s take a look!

‘Beethoven’s 4th’ is a continuation of the story from ‘Beethoven’s 3rd’. It has Beethoven the dog back with his new Newton family of Judge Reinhold, Julia Sweeny, Michaela Gallo and Joe Pichler. 😀

The film was released in 2001, a year after the previous film. How does Beethoven’s story continue? Well, it does ‘The Prince and the Pauper Paw-per’ for a change. Gee, I wonder how this will turn out.

Yeah, there are two St. Bernard’s in this film. There’s Beethoven of course, but there’s also Michelangelo. Michelangelo is different to Beethoven since he’s well-behaved and perfectly-trained.

You can see where this film is going to go knowing that it’s a ‘Prince and the Paw-per tale. In many respects, this could be a funny idea if done properly in the writing. But that’s not what this film does.

Most of the time, I found the film doing things way-over-the-top in terms of the actors’ performances and how the slapstick comedy is done. Most of the time, I found it very cringe-worthy.

It was bearable enough for the most part in the third film, despite some of the stupider moments. But it seems to have got worse for this fourth film and that’s not a good thing with a fairly good idea.

Incidentally, Beethoven is due to be given back to the original Newtons who were in the first two films whilst the new Newtons take care of him. But we don’t get to see George and the others at all!

It would’ve been nice if George, Alice, Ryce, Ted and Emily made a small cameo appearance to connect these films together. But we don’t get that! We are to put up with the new Newtons’ antics.

Judge Reinhold returns as Richard Newton. I did find Richard oddly-behaved in this film, especially when he looks to Beethoven for inspiration with his painting and tries to make him disgusting again.

Julia Sweeney returns as Beth Newton. Beth hasn’t changed much from when she didn’t care for Beethoven a lot. She’s glad once ‘Beethoven’ seems to be behaving well and doesn’t want it changed.

I found it stupid when Richard and Beth tried to convince Jeff Coopwood as Bill for a painting ruined by Beethoven now replaced with a dog’s head. Bill did seem to take their lame argument a bit easily.

The two Newton kids Michaela Gallo as Sara and Joe Pichler as Brennan return. They’re keen to enrol Beethoven at an obedience school before he runs loose and he’s mixed up with Michelangelo.

I like Sara’s character the most out of the new Newton family. She’s the one who loves and cares for Beethoven more. She senses something isn’t right once ‘Beethoven’ is well-behaved all of a sudden.

Brennan isn’t supportive of his sister to enrol Beethoven at an obedience school first, but he’s interested once he meets a girl he likes. What happened to Penny from the third film? I liked her. 😀

On a serious note, Joe Pichler sadly went missing in 2006 after doing the ‘Beethoven’ movies he did. I am disturbed by this as I wonder what’s become of him. It’s shocking that he disappeared like that.

The film also features Matt McCoy as Reginald Sedgewick with Veanne Cox as his wife Martha and Kaleigh Krish as his daughter Madison. They’re Michelangelo’s owners and a dysfunctional family. 😀

There’s Mark Lindsay Chapman as Johnnie Simmons, the butler to the Sedgewick family at their big house. Simmons cleans up Michelangelo’s mess most of the time. I didn’t expect the twist with him.

Simmons turns out to be the villain when he wants to get ransom money from the Sedgewicks after capturing him. It doesn’t help he’s got this very pathetic henchman who turns out to be his brother.

Art LaFleur stars as Sgt. Rutledge, in charge of the obedience school Beethoven enrols at. Beethoven causes trouble for Sgt. Rutledge when doing the obstacle course, giving him a high-pitched voice! 😀

The film also features Dorien Wilson as Marlowe, Dr. Joyce Brothers as…herself, Nick Meaney as Nigel Bigalow and Patrick Bristow as Guillermo. Most of the cast’s performances are over-the-top. 😀

I was disappointed with how the film resolved the Prince and the ‘Paw-per’ issue. Beethoven and Michelangelo just meet each other in this one scene behind a wall before returning to their owners.

The Newtons and the Sedgewicks also don’t know that Beethoven and Michelangelo were mixed up during the film. I would’ve enjoyed it if they found out Beethoven and Michelangelo were mixed up!

The film’s music is once again composed by Philip Griffin who did the music in the third film. There’s also the song ‘New Dog Old Tricks’. It’s sung by Kip Lennon and performed by the Jeff Richman Band.

‘Beethoven’s 4th’ is not very good! It’s a stupid film that takes on a good idea of doing a ‘Prince and the Paw-per story in a ridiculous fashion. It was fun to watch and make fun of, but it isn’t a classic. 😦

The DVD special features are as follows. There are theatrical trailers for ‘Beethoven’, ‘Beethoven’s 2nd’ and ‘Beethoven’s 3rd’. How come they didn’t provide a theatrical trailer for ‘Beethoven’s 4th’?

‘Beethoven’s 4th’ rating – 4/10

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