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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Tired and predictable. Seen it a hundred times before, and a thousand times better.

1/10
Author: ollie501 from Dorset, England
17 December 2003

This is a simple, straightforward film, about a family moving away from the city, to start a new life in a small country town. After being subjected to bullying, Sam Docherty, played with absolutely no emotion by Matt McCoy, is forced to make the right decision and testify in court against them. Within ten minutes, the family has moved house, and the eldest daughter is asking where the nearest mall is. At a small garage, Courtney spots the guy who predictably will later become her love interest. Upon paying for their goods, their credit card is declined, and you know from that point on that this entire movie is going to be predictable. Within 25 minutes we are introduced the customary `best friend', in the form of an adorable dog, whom it is decided is a stray, with no apparent regard for any owner it may have been fortunate to have. Enter Sam's new neighbour, `Gil', played by Billy Kay. It is instantly apparent that he is a troublemaker. He has a the stereotypical pierced ear of all young hoodlums. What follows is a feeble attempt at their bullying of Sam, followed by a feigned friendship in the hope of becoming closer to the beautiful Courtney. We also meet an elderly and slightly eccentric lady with a pie to greet the family. What follows is a tired, formulaic tale of a boy, his bullies and his ever faithful dog. `Earring boy', picks on Sam, is chased away by the dog, which looks for all the world like it will lick him death. Father of "earring bully" decides "I don't want you hangin' round new kid"...shortly after this point we learn that his mother died...father raises him alone...blah...blah. The scene of them climbing the fence, with "scared fat kid being scared" may well have been stolen from Stand By Me... The fairground scene equally predictable and nauseating as we see the "romantic interest" blossom, while bad kids steal fireworks, and you just know "sumthin' bad is gonna happen" There's even a "bridge crossing" reminiscent of SBM, at which point "bad earring boy" falls into lake, is naturally saved by boy, just before they all go over the waterfall that wasn't there 2 minutes ago, and the dog has disappeared only to make the customary reappearance at the end of the film when everything turns out happily ever after, the good and bad all become friends, and while playing chess (the way new best buddies always do), along comes baddies daddy, with a peace offering, and a hearty welcome and along comes doggie to be greeted with absolutely no emotion by kid, and they all lived happily ever after. From start to finish, this film is tired and predictable. Even the usually outstanding Paul Franklin Dano and Billy Kay cannot pull this film into life, as the scripting and direction are appalling. This is bland, predictable and formulaic. It is a genuine torture to watch. There are thousands of movie's in this genre, and nearly all do a much better job. If you're looking for a decent `sappy' family film, look elsewhere. Lassie, with Tom Guiry, is a much more enjoyable film, and while as predictable as most of these films are, is at least played out with some passion and enthusiasm. This film draws heavily on stereotypes, religious beliefs, and family values, in a lame attempt to cobble something remotely resembling a story. By the end of the film, the only thing more tired than myself was the film itself. Good points? It's a rather nice dog. Most definitely not recommended viewing; A total disappointment from start to finish.

Ollie

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Family Movie Hell

2/10
Author: spgorelick
16 January 2008

Every once in a while -- perhaps more frequently than that -- you watch a movie and marvel at the the notion that someone would spend the time and resources to transform a stunningly incompetent script into a feature film. This particular film is so lacking in plot and character development that it is almost a marvel to behold. The motivations of the characters are laughably non-existent. And there is a pervading blandness to the whole affair that would send even the most undemanding young viewers into deep coma.

I can't imagine why I took the time to slog through this unfortunate excuse for entertainment, although I did get a little bit of exercise from constantly shaking my head and wondering how much worse a "family film" could get. How Kate Bosworth and Jeff Fahey got involved is a question best answered by their respective agents.

By the way, the packaging on this DVD suggests, perhaps, that this is a "boy and his dog" movie. It is not. The dog is a random addition that is every bit as disconnected to the "story" as I was.

Avoid this at all costs, and add 90 precious minutes to your life.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Never, ever watch this willingly

1/10
Author: toucanhige from United States
5 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Single most god-awful movie ever created. There was absolutely no characterization at all, let me tell you. The characters? Some father and mother you barely even remember the names of, some random "hot" sister and a boyfriend I completely forgot about until now (just thrown in to keep her out of the way) and a dork of a son. It all starts out with the son being hit by a car by stereotypical jocks..err..well they were some stereotype. They move to the country where there were more stereotypical hicks to pick on him. Or something like that. A few characters were randomly thrown in so they could pretend it was intended to make sense (ex. Jamaican, old lady) but I'm not sure why they were really there. Mainly all you heard was choppy, barely audible dialog, then crappy background music blaring in the background while scenes skipped around like the west was won. Absolutely made no sense, a storyline overused x 10 (but at least the others made sense). By the end of the movie I still had no clue what was going on. World War Two? Maybe. Apocalypse? Perhaps. Brain-Eating Zombies? Well then I might have been interested.

Do. Not. Watch. Children of young ages will get bored easily as I have discovered, and anyone over 12 may jump off a bridge to get away from said movie. Don't waste your time.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Sappy and Predictable

3/10
Author: Sergei Scurfield from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
7 January 2001

A big city family that runs into financial difficulties relocates to a small American town to start over. After arriving in the new town the father discovers that he does not have the job he was promised and the wife takes a low paying job despite her husband's objection. The teenage children initially have trouble finding new friends and adjusting to the slow paced life of country living. The antagonist is the extremely unfriendly neighbor from across the street who, for no apparent reason, is openly hostile towards the newcomers. This slow moving film preaches that strong family and religious values will help a family overcome difficulties and prevail over hardship. This is a sappy and predictable film with average acting and no redeeming qualities. Don't waste your time.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Church play

5/10
Author: Mike Benjamin from United States
17 May 2014

Have you ever been driving from A to B, passed a random church to which you've never been, seen a sign that there was a family play about to start, and stopped to go in and watch? If so, then this movie is right for you!

This is a church play, without the communal or family connection you would actually have at your own church. There is a great moral story, but it is delivered by actors who although probably nice people exhibit the skill of a second grader trying to read aloud Shakespeare. The director seems to have at least shaken hands with a real director, perhaps at a Universal Studios Tour, and the music director is most likely the church choir's organ lady who has temporarily switched to a piano and continues to repeat the same three bars over and over for the entire length of the film, varying only slightly between the moods in each scene. I will admit, I think the cinematographer actually had more than a cell phone for the camera, and despite the sophomoric direction actually seemed to get some good angels and lighting. I half expected at each scene's end for the fade to black to be interrupted by curtains parting and the cast to appear on line, holding hands and bowing.

This isn't a terrible movie. Just don't expect anything more Hollywood than a play from a church.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

a simple movie to pass time...

Author: webpage-1 from United States
18 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's not a horrible movie. It's not a good movie. It's a nice, family friendly movie though. No cursing or such. Just a nice little movie about moving to a new neighborhood.

Overacting and underacting. Still, it was a nice to movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon while eating lunch.

A young kid doesn't fit in and the family moves to a small town. He still doesn't fit in...but by one heroic act he is finally accepted. Just a story about the struggle of a kid who wants to fit in...but it's nice.

I guess that's the one word I would use about the movie is "Nice".

Don't expect great acting, or great dialogue, or a fast moving movie. All they showed could have been condensed down into 30 minutes.

Give it a try if you have the time and like simple good feel movies.

Don't go out of your way to watch it if you have a bunch of others on the list.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Competent if lackluster

5/10
Author: Brad Hodges (brad461@earthlink.net) from Plainsboro, NJ
18 April 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** I rented this DVD because I wanted to see more of Kate Bosworth, the stunningly beautiful star of Blue Crush, and didn't expect much. The Newcomers, though, was okay, kind of like an episode of Seventh Heaven, or the old Davey and Goliath show. A family leaves Boston because the son, Sam, turns in a football player for damaging school property and is harassed by him. If only this were the only problem facing the inner city today! The father is some kind of construction worker and he figures they should pack up and move to the country, but he ends up buying a huge house in Vermont, so they must have had some money. This sad sack family ends up moving across the street from a bitter guy whose dead wife liked the house, and resents strangers because he thinks there after his job. The neighborhood kids terrorize Sam, and Kate Bosworth, who does little in this film except scowl and look good in tights, hates living in the hick town. She does a 180 though when she takes a shine to the gas-pump jockey. Finally Sam and his dog save the mean guy's son from drowning we all learn a lesson in tolerance. The filmmakers seem to look back in fondness to a Norma Rockwell America that doesn't exist anymore. Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh would love it. The kid who plays Sam is pretty believable, and again, there's Kate Bosworth.

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6 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

refreshing

7/10
Author: refpres from sf
1 April 2003

This is a refreshing story and film for children and some adults who would like a somewhat "realistic" film. This film makes you feel almost as though you were sitting right next to the actors while they go about their lives in the movie. Compared to other films, this one is not always "smooth," and some little acts don't always "fit," but you might appreciate the "innocence" and lessons taught by the movie.

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