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|Index||81 reviews in total|
I skipped "Red Dog" in Berlin... I don't like "dog" pictures...
BIG MISTAKE !
Fortunately, I had a chance to see it at Vail Film Festival, where it ran away with the "Audience Favorite" and it blew me away... it is a completely endearing tale of an isolated mining town in the far northwest of Australia, the bizarre characters that wash up there, and the unstoppable human drive to create community wherever we gather. And yes, the dog that inspires them to focus on what matters in themselves and in life. The characters, and in this town, everybody is one or they wouldn't BE there, are original, surprising, and compelling. And the landscape that holds them is truly other-worldy.
There is not one sappy minute in this film... but many genuinely hilarious ones, and quite a few touching ones. In it's emotional impact, it somehow reminds me of "the Blind Side", in all the best ways. Between the cineplex, on demand, and 2-3 film festivals, I see roughly 150-200 films a year. This is easily among the 2-3 best I've seen this year...some distributor is going to hit a home-run with this one.
i was lucky enough to see this last year in Melbourne for a exclusive viewing, then i got to comment on what i thought of it. This movie is amazing. it is now my favorite movie. Now i know that people will be like... whatever. but i joined this website and took the time to let as many people as i can know that this movie is by far the greatest Australian movie ever. It makes so laugh and cry. It makes you fall absolutely in love with red dog and really appreciate the companionship of animals. I have nothing bad to say about this movie. I really suggest everyone goes to see this in the cinema. I have already planned to see it another two times. 10/10
A beautiful film shot in one of Australia's most iconic locations that
reconstructs a true tale of an Australian larrikan in the manner that
these stories are meant to be told, serious, but with a nudge & a wink.
It was refreshing that the Director (Kriv Stenders) & the human actors
never tried to upstage the true star of the movie Red Dog (Koko),
letting him become the focus of the story.
It is important that Australian cinema continues to look at the 1,000's of little stories that make us what we are, the stories of towns & people that are often overlooked in our desire to be recognized overseas. Movies like Red Dog are a window to our soul.
Also, an Australian film without the painful slow pace & without the obligatory close up shot of something totally unrelated to the movie ... refreshing!
I saw this movie 25 May 2011 as part of Cinefestoz in Busselton,
Western Australia and it is AWESOME! It has to be one of the best
family movies that I have seen - and as far as animal movies - tops.
Yes, digitalized graphics for a few sections but no, the dog doesn't
talk, he doesn't dance and he doesn't do anything that a dog shouldn't
do. Koko the dog has expressions that would make some actors look
wooden. He steals your heart. The landscapes of the northwest show the
expanse of the area, whilst capturing the spirit of the 'settlers' of
Dampier, which is a real town. It's a wild country and the stubby
shorts the blokes are wearing are so 1970's I wonder where they got
them all. Josh Lucas is oh so gorgeous, and so is Rachel Taylor, and
the 'real characters' maybe cliché, but you know what, it doesn't
matter because it makes the movie even more real and enjoyable.
We laughed, we cried, we laughed, we cried and were moved by a story that crosses time and age and is based on a true story. Thank you for bringing it to us.
I am a dog lover and just absolutely loved this movie. It made me laugh
and it made it me cry (a lot). I was literally sobbing in one section.
Overall, it is just a lovely simple story that has a heart. The fact that it's based on true events makes it all the more powerful.
While the story centred on characters, what I love is that someone the actors don't overshadow the dog - he is the star and remains the star throughout the movie. I think seeing a movie, almost through a dog's eyes, makes this even more special.
Was is it a perfectly scripted and acted movie? Perhaps, not but all I know was that I was entertained from the minute it started to the minute it ended and I walked away feeling touched. Sometimes, that's all a movie should do.
I think everyone can take something from this movie.
I'll be sure to watch this again on DVD, it really does touch you.
I was lucky enough to see this movie in Western Australia.....the home of Red Dog. More than that, my West Australian wife grew up in Dampier and remembers a period of four or five days, where Red Dog decided to grace her family home with his presence...enjoying the steak dinners provided by my Father in Law. He then decided it was time to go, and moved on to another family. This is only one account of Red Dog, his story legendary, but no less true for that! This movie is a very uplifting true story, not only of Red Dog, but of a small community living on the 'frontier.' In an extremely harsh environment, Red Dog brought the community together. The movie conveys very well what it was like to live in Dampier in the '70s. The movie has some very sad and moving episodes, but also some real 'laugh out loud' moments. In the end, rather than feeling sad, I felt it was a celebration of a very special animal. The movie was so good, I ALMOST awarded a score of 10/10...pity I can't award 9.5/10.
Everyone will want but no one can have Red Dog. It's one of the
most beautiful things about him. And that kind of exclusivity is
This is the Australian Cattle dog that makes Lassie look lame and Rin Tin Tin look like an obedient idiot.
That's because Red Dog is a dog for the soul.
A new movie called Red Dog is the true story of a wandering pooch that brought people together and joy to a community. He exhibited ferocious, inspiring independence and fearless loyalty to freedom. This dog made Che Guevara look like he didn't give it his best shot.
He had the best qualities of every living creature while still sticking it to the man. No one owned Red Dog until he met a man and gave himself to that one man.
In real life, all this took place in North West Western Australia at a town called Dampier during the 1970s. There's even a statue erected in honour of Red Dog who had a reputation for sniffing out a party 600 kms away and turning up. He seduced and intimidated people into giving him free rides all over the country and, as legend has it, hitched a ride on a tanker to Japan for a spell too.
This dog was so clever, he even sorted free veterinarian care for himself kind of like scamming a fake medicare card.
I laughed a lot during the movie and cried 3 times. And after seeing the sale of spotty puppies go up after 101 Dalmatians and the sale of Clown fish go up after Finding Nemo, I expect the demand for Australian cattle dogs to go up too. But I hope it doesn't because they are working dogs, not city dogs and apartment living would be like a prison for these very active and intelligent canines.
The film is out August 4 and stars Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Noah Taylor along with one of the last performances by Bill Hunter. But the most kudos has to go to director Kriv Stenders (Lucky Country, Boxing Day, The Illustrated Family Doctor) for shooting a beautiful film in a stunning location while keeping the story elevated to the mythic status Red Dog attained.
Koko is the name of the real dog who plays Red Dog you can see his audition tape with Kriv at the end of this review. And producer Nelson Woss was so taken with Koko, he adopted him. There's a wonderful tradition of this in cinema. Johnny Depp adopted a one-eyed horse after a shoot when he learned the horse was going to be put down. And Viggo Mortensen kept the horse he worked with in Hidalgo.
The Australian Cattle dog has been a bit of movie star for a while now. One worked with Mel Gibson in Mad Max, Johnny Depp co-starred with another in Secret Window, Billy Connolly paired up with one in The Man Who Sued God and Russell Crowe shared the screen with one in The Silver Stallion. A few had lesser roles in movies such as Babe and Brokeback Mountain.
Famous people who have owned Aussie Cattle dogs include Owen Wilson, Kelly McGillis and Matthew McConaughey.
And for truly extraordinary stories of Australian Cattle dogs pulling off miraculous feats look up Sophie in Queensland. She swam 5kms through shark-infested waters then lived alone on an island for 5 months before being rescued and re-united with her family. Another one called Ben in South Australia became the primary witness in solving the murder of his owners neighbours reported that the dog didn't bark at all that day - alerting police to the fact that the killer was known to the victims and to the dog.
But back to the movie. I won't say too much other than go see it. We haven't had a film like this in Australia for some time. You'll want to see it again. And I reckon the world will go nuts for the movie, nuts for Australian cattle dogs and nuts for touring the Pilbara.
The soundtrack rocks too with lots of good ol' Aussie 70s classics.
Red Dog is a movie with heart starring a dog that's good for your soul.
** I'm co-hosting the episode of Movie Juice with Koko the star of Red Dog which screens Monday August 8 at 6pm on Starpics channel 415 and 8pm on Starpics 2.
Today's GV surprise screening wasn't what I had expected, and I mean
that in a good way. At first I thought it was going to be one of those
rom-coms slated for screening later this month or year, but what got
put out was way, way better than expected, even though it started a
little slow and bewildering (unlike most other surprise screenings
where one can guess what it will be), Red Dog was more than worth the
price of the discounted ticket, an Australian film set in the 70s
Western Australia in a small mining town based upon a folklore that
surpasses almost every conventional dog related cinematic tale put out
especially by Hollywood in recent years.
A trucker drives into town and pit stops at a bar, only to find a couple of burly men pining a dog down, with the sheriff about to pull the trigger, but for the trucker's intervention to put off their plan. Slowly but surely for any stranger riding into a new land, the townsfolk soon grow in numbers, as everyone started to pour in to the bar to seemingly pay tribute to the dog, christened Red Dog by everyone, with the narrative unveiling itself in episodic flashback nature with characters taking turns to tell their version and stories of how the dog impacted their lives and the lives of the mining town, and how the town got changed through their canine friend. These stories span a spectrum of emotions, and can be a simple, short scene, or an extended one especially when involving the principal characters of the film
Directed by Kriv Stenders, the film has its fair share of quirky characters and comedic situations, being funny without really trying too hard, go over the top or feeling too contrived. Everything felt as natural as can be, with excellent pacing to allow Red Dog to slowly grow on you. The tried, tested and tired route Hollywood typically takes is to load plenty of saccharine sweet, cutesy moments to deliberate tug at your heartstrings, which is why this Australian film is that fantastic breath of fresh air as it busts genre conventions, yet possessing enough pathos to lift the film into its emotional plateau, pulling you into the rowdy though genuinely sincere lifestyle the miners lead.
As for star power, Josh Lucas stars as the wanderer turned bus driver John who becomes the one and only de-facto owner of Red Dog as they form a loyal master-dog relationship, with Rachael Taylor (of Transformers fame) playing Nancy his love interest whom he met while serving the community, and she getting into a tussle with Red Dog on his bus. Their romance will form the crux which the story will revolve around briefly, although there are other stories which I enjoyed such as how Red Dog got into assisting an Italian miner Vanno (Arthur Angel) go after a nurse (Keisha Castle-Hughes), and a heart-wrenching moment involving the themes of loyalty and longing.
With an awesome soundtrack and beautifully filmed landscapes that captures the conditions of the mining town in very picturesque language, you'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll be moved by the time the movie pulls into its final reel. Now all that remains is for this film to find a proper theatrical release so that it can be watched, experienced and loved by a wider audience that it truly deserves. There may be famous dogs like Lassie in the US and Hachiko in Japan, so do add one to that list with Red Dog from Australia. Definitely in my highly recommended list as it goes into my books with the potential of being one of the best seen in this year, leaving its genre peers clearly in its wake.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Red Dog' is a film based on a collection of outstanding tales from
real people about a real dog in Australia, the thing that caused the
book to be so successful around the world was that it was about how one
dog was adored by the entire town and everyone had an individual tale
to tell about Red Dog.
This film nearly stamps out all realism. The film was already bound to do better in Australia than in any other country simply because it is based there but the makers have obviously tried too hard to please global audiences and it simply has not worked. It is a pretty good film apart from the parts where people have decided it needed more sentiment. Aspects like the love story between John and Nancy, and Red Dog dying next to John's grave is completely made up and makes the film too similar to many other films. In other words, the addition of these parts removes any unique qualities this story had.
Aside from this, the acting is good mostly, some actors let it down a little but it doesn't have a bad effect on the film. The dialogue between characters is very good and provides a lot of comedy in the film. The soundtrack works really well with the film's content and some shots of the Australian landscape are outstanding.
Overall, this film was a bit of a disappointment. The story was cluttered with too much cliché's and common Hollywood-type story lines when it simply did not need it.
I was lucky to see this film at the Australian Film Festival at the Barbican in London. It sounded like a heart wrencher - and it was! OK, so the performances can tend towards the clichéd or perhaps wooden and the story is a little slow in spots BUT I loved it. A really touching film, shot beautifully with some great Aussie scenery! A world that few get to experience. And Koko is amazing as Red Dog! I haven't read Louis de Bernieres story that is based on, or even heard of the "folk tale" that the movie is based on, but the story is compelling. Oh, and some great Aussie music forms the soundtrack. And of course a bit of crazy Aussie dancing (and fashion) that goes along with it!
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