6.8/10
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2 user 2 critic

Summer's Shadow (2014)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family | 24 August 2014 (USA)
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Bright and independent 12-year-old Summer Larsen rescues a sweet, stray dog and will stop at nothing to save him. And it's her determination that ultimately impacts those around her.

Director:

Steve Franke

Writers:

Liz Cardenas (as Liz Franke), Steve Franke
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Belle Shouse ... Summer
Bailey Bailey ... Shadow
Todd Terry ... Jeff Larsen
Liz Cardenas ... Jessica Riley (as Liz Franke)
Mark Hanson ... Cole Harrison
Aidan Langford ... Lanny Peters
Juli Erickson ... Mrs. Tupperworth
Bryan Massey Bryan Massey ... Billy Ray Johnson
Andrew Sensenig ... Mr. Knox
Claire Cooley Claire Cooley ... Zoey
Mika Abdalla ... Vanessa
Meredith Johnson Meredith Johnson ... Lara
Deanne Lauvin ... Mrs. Jones
Anthony A. Kung ... HOA Treasurer (as Anthony Kung)
J.B. Edwards ... Mr. Harrison
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Storyline

Difficult times have created infighting in the otherwise idyllic neighborhood where 12-year-old Summer Larsen has just moved. At the forefront of the controversy is Summer's father, who works for the developer. But it's a sweet, stray dog who ultimately changes Summer's life and those around her. Shadow, named for always following her, was destined to be Summer's dog. But for how long? And at what price? Summer is determined to do what she believes is the right thing no matter how difficult, and it's that strength of character, as well as her big heart, that have a profound impact on her father and the neighbors she befriends: the nerdy boy who is disapproved of by the popular kids, the reclusive woman who lives next door, and the rough-around-the-edges guy who happens to have a gentle soul. Written by Steve Franke

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes all it takes is a dog to find home.

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Sombra de Summer See more »

Filming Locations:

Dallas, Texas, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hungry Bear Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

And So We Are Forever
Written and performed by Goodfinger
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User Reviews

 
Sweet, simple and a film for the entire family.
13 July 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Sometimes when you critique films, it's nice to see a very simple and undemanding film--one that has no ambitions to win Oscars, be the next art-house film or make a bazillion bucks at the local theater. And, more importantly, it's nice to see a film you can show anyone without worrying about traumatizing the kids with violence or nudity or just plain nastiness. "Summer's Shadow" is just this sort of film--sweet and enjoyable for the kids BUT with enough to it that the parents won't be bored either.

The film begins with an old man taking his dog for a little walk. However, the man has what appears to be a heart attack and the dog is left without an owner. This is about as sad as the film gets--and I think little ones can do okay with this very brief and not especially traumatic scene because of the way it was handled.

Next, you see a divorced father, Jeff Larsen (Todd Terry), being given an unusual job by his boss. It seems that he is to move into a local neighborhood as his company's liaison to the neighborhood association. I have no idea if they have such things outside the US, but here in Florida where I live, they are VERY common. Their stated purpose is to ensure that the neighborhood is clean, well maintained and any difficulties are ironed out by the locals. HOWEVER, and this is important in the case of this film, you do have fascist personalities who try to dominate some of these communities. Heck, I lived in one place where the 'friendly neighbors' told me it was time to change my license plates on my car, that my trash cans were too visible from the curb and 1001 other nit-picky problems. It got so bad, that I soon moved to a less annoying place only a mile or so away! So, when you see the character Mrs. Tupperworth, she is actually based on real folks just like her that sometimes dominate these civic organizations. Of course, Mrs. Tupperworth is a very extreme example, but here in my home town, these organizations can be very, very nasty. Because of all this, I loved seeing the film make fun of nasty old Mrs. Tupperworth!

Jeff has a daughter named Summer (Belle Shouse). She is a pretty normal kid--with no superpowers, part-time modeling job or crime-fighting abilities. She's just a nice little girl--and Shouse did a nice job playing her. Summer runs afoul of Mrs. Tupperworth the very day they move in to their home. It seems that Tupperworth doesn't want Summer outside with her lemonade stand! While there are no rules against it, Tupperworth has spoken!! And, to keep the nasty old lady happy, her father has her move the stand elsewhere. However, this naturally is NOT the end of their problems with Tupperworth.

Into all this controversy are several new friends--a pretty but shy lady named Jessica (Liz Franke), a nice motorcycle dude named Cole (Mark Hanson) and an unpopular but nice little boy, Lanny (Aidan Langford). But another friend, but of the canine variety, is Shadow--the dog you saw at the beginning of the film. This lost soul wanders into Summer's life...but her father doesn't want a dog. Why? Because the two of them are always on the move with his job--and naturally this is taking its toll on Summer. So what's to become of all these folks? See the film, as I don't want to say more and spoil it for you.

Helming this film is director Steve Franke--what already has directed several dog films starring Bailey. I have no idea if these are any good or not, but judging by his hand in this film, I am interested in trying them sometime. I wonder if Franke ever thought most of his work would be with dogs?! And, are they easier to deal with than the actors?! But I digress....

The bottom line is that although this film was made on a small budget and has direct-to-video written all over it, it sure is a nice film. I am not sure if it will be coming out in the theaters or not, but regardless it's a decent film for the family. Will it change your life? Nah...but it won't insult your intelligence, talk down to your kids or make you wish you were somewhere else when your kids are watching it with you! And, that's something that can't be said about many so-called 'family films'.


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