Tuesday, September 19, 2017

More Movie Reviews

It’s been a while since I reviewed movies. There are a couple reasons for that:
  • Most of the movies I watch don’t involve dogs, so they’re not appropriate for a dog blog and
  • Most dog-related movies stink.
That being said, here are three dog-related movies that I’ve seen lately.

A Dog’s Purpose. I almost didn’t see this movie. Three weeks before the film opened TMZ aired secret video of a German shepherd supposedly being forced into the water during filming. Do you remember the controversy? Several days later it was discovered that the heavily edited video was an animal rights stunt. The Hollywood Reporter has a good breakdown of events in case you’re interested. The story is about a dog who lives, die, and is reincarnated (multiple times!) into another dog. Each time the dog is trying to figure out his purpose. The story is told from the dog's point of view.
My opinion: I’d give the film a resounding “Not bad.” I really like Josh Gad (the voice of the dogs). However, I'm not a big fan of reincarnation stories. If you're interested in this story, I think the book was better than the movie. (I talked about the book here.)

The Dog Lover. This one piqued my interest before it came out. It was supposed to have a limited theatre release and I had planned to go. However, the movie was silently pulled. I actually bought the DVD so I could see the movie. The story is about a woman from an animal rights group who takes a job at a large kennel with the mission of finding dirt on a supposed puppy mill. As time goes on she discovers that the kennel/breeder is not what she expected. Unfortunately, things go bad anyway. The plot is loosely based on the real-life case of Paul Upton and his German shepherds. The movie’s intention is to show that things aren’t as black and white as organizations like the HSUS want people to think.
My opinion: The message was good. The acting was mediocre and the production was obviously low budget. I’m super annoyed at the portrayal of animal control -- AGAIN. However, I recommend you watch the movie anyway.

Megan Leavy. The trailer for this movie was misleading. Fortunately, the actual story is richer than I expected. The movie follows a female Marine and her detection dog, Max, in the Middle East. Megan decides not to reenlist, but Max belongs to the Marines. This movie is based on a real story. Pictures of the real Megan and Max, along with a follow are shared during the credits. As a Navy veteran, a GSD owner and someone actively training in canine scent work, I found a lot to identify with. There was one scene where I yelled out "Trust your dog!" (My trainer would be proud.)
My opinion: Definitely worth watching. Have Kleenex ready. Even Hubby got teary-eyed a couple times.

And finally, did you know about the website Does the Dog Die? It’s a real thing! Type in the name of a movie and there are dozens of reviews about it. More importantly, everybody tells you up front if the dog dies or not. I have friends who won’t even watch a movie until they’ve checked the site. (I wish I had known about this before renting John Wick!)

I’m done ruining things for you. Enjoy the rest of your day! -- K