I recently just viewed the preview of Dog Story and found myself fully entertained by this Resevoir Dogs meets Benji twist in the contemporary noir inspired heist genre.
Filmed in rural eastern Oregon, the film concerns the efforts of Roy, an ex-cop desperate to pay back a debt to a local crime boss, to make one final score. Throw into the mix his wife, a dog, a crooked cop, two real menacing henchmen, a badly beaten up armed guard, a few rednecks and a small town Hugh Hefner and the result is a fast paced (at eighty minutes)crime caper.
Made on a very low budget, the film (granted we watched a rough cut) has some frayed edges that will be tightened up through time. The framing is obsessed with close one shots and the editing slices up sequences far too quickly. The film desperately needs exposition in the form of establishing shots.The script leaves character relationships loose and wide open and probably could have used some clarifying.It frequently seems far too intent on providing the one-liner in favor of creating fully inhabited human beings. We the audience are frequently unsure about the history of characters and their inter-relationships.
I appreciate the fact that the film attempts to have nearly as many characters found in a good crime novel. Movies are frequently afraid of populating the narrative with more than five people. I only regret that we don't get to spend more time getting to know them.
But why quibble, the humour is well placed and clever and, to quote Shakespeare in Love, "There is a bit with a dog." Actually there are several bits. The bits are all surprising and they will remain in the film.
The supporting cast, largely made up of local Theatre professors and actors all have fascinating faces.The film is well cast in terms of the potential stories written in the emotional road maps etched on their faces.
Writer/lead Adam Golumb certainly has a solid screen presence as does Maria Cina, portraying his wife. The film is certainly worth a look as it attempts to mix genres, a most rare commodity in today's "we have to classify things exactly" film world.
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