- 1h 11m
A young girl and her dog make a daring journey into the wilderness where she discovers the true meaning of nature, sacrifice and life.A young girl and her dog make a daring journey into the wilderness where she discovers the true meaning of nature, sacrifice and life.A young girl and her dog make a daring journey into the wilderness where she discovers the true meaning of nature, sacrifice and life.
I really was hoping that this movie would be a hidden gem, but it just isn't. This is what a movie looks like when it's not vetted by a big studio, raw and blemished by poor decisions, from recycled footage, to poor camera angles (so often the character's back is facing us when they're talking), to an array of incongruous regional accents with no developed backstory behind them, to cheating the set, to horribly executed action scenes, horrible plot points (a girl supposedly carries an injured dog that looks to be about her own weight, for half a mile, if not more). This is just a quick rundown to prove that I really am speaking to substance, as it almost feels tawdry and asinine to break down point by point everything wrong with this type of movie, in great detail.
That being said, maybe it's a little more worthwhile to lend a few words to the actors, because realistically, showcasing them is the only value this film could possibly have. At the end of the day, at worst this film serves as nothing more than a vanity project for the director, and at best, an acting reel for the young actors, chief of whom would be Isabella Blake-Thomas, who sad to say, her entire life appears to be the vanity project of her mother, a fully fledged amateur director in her own right, who keeps casting her daughter in her HORRIBLE movies. The only question is, does young Isabella have the chops for it? I don't tend to think so, in this case, both literally and figuratively. She doesn't have amazing screen presence, though she would be cute if she didn't have this really annoying tendency to mouth-breathe. All I can think of when I watch her is that line from Forest Gump "You better tuck in that lip; you're liable to get that caught on a tripwire." NO ONE tells her she's doing it, and sorry to say, but when it comes to films, that type of thing is kind of important.
If you're audacious enough to make a movie, part of your job as a director is to make your actors look good, which leads me to a serious question. Is Isabella here because of her own ambition, or is she just here to live out her mother's delusions? One thing's for sure: no one's doing her any favors. I honestly can't tell whether she's a mediocre actor, or whether it comes down to the cheesy dialogue and sloppy direction. Realistically it's probably a combination of both, where the severity of one is directly offsetting the other. Pragmatically speaking, this tends to place most of the blame on the director, as he could have solved a LOT of this. That being said, the other girl in the film, Preslee Tucker, didn't seem to need all that much help, which serves as a fairly stark contrast.
To my opinion, out of the young cast, Preslee Tucker, by far shows the most promise, and certainly has a lot more stage presence than Elisabeth. Too bad for her that her mommy isn't a wannabe director/producer. Preslee just comes across as very natural on screen, and her lines are delivered rather convincingly. On top of that, she can dance, albeit terribly worked into the actual movie, but as I've mentioned, we're beyond that now. It's a throw-away movie, but MAYBE not all the actors are throw-aways. Ultimately I don't like to see anyone fail, NOT if they're able to prove themselves. I've seen it happen, aspiring young actors clawing their way out of these types of humble beginnings. Danielle C. Ryan comes to mind. Only time will tell.
- Dec 15, 2019