Sunday, September 4, 2011
TrustMovies wouldn't spend time watching straight-to-video* family films because there are just too many other important genres (and the films that inhabit them) to keep up with. That said, he's awfully glad he took a chance on FIRST DOG, a movie about America by Canadian filmmaker Bryan Michael Stoller (shown below) that comes down four-square in favor of the good stuff: adoption (of children and pets), doing the right thing, and a U.S. President who offers -- unlike both the current and immediately preceding resident of The White House -- something more than repeated lies to the American people. "Say one thing, do another" is not the operative position for the particular movie President shown here.
Eric Roberts (below), and although the film he's in, due no doubt to lack of a big budget, must cut corners on everything from extras to rehearsal time, still manages to tell its simple, even a bit simplistic tale well enough to hold the interest of kids from, say, 5 to 12 -- while offering enough of those eternal verities to hook their parents, too. The whole movie, in fact, appears to take place in a alternate universe in which we recognize the players -- Prez, First Lady, bodyguards and such -- yet the events (the opening of a school named after the President, the lack of security, the ability of our little-boy hero to outrun the secret service) hark back to a more gullible time when "innocence" trumped snark.
Jean-Paul Howard, below) who stumbles upon the "lost" dog of the U.S. President and then spends the rest of movie trying to get the dog back home.
Tommy "Tiny" Lister, below, right),
Paula Devicq, below and Tim Peyton, above, left)-- one seemingly helpful, the other not.
Dolly Parton, one of which, "Family of Friends" is a keeper. Full of coincidence and overall no great shakes, First Dog is still a nice surprise and an enjoyable experience. It takes you back to better time when lies were not sold as gospel and Presidents actually cared about the environment, humanity (the great lump of it, not just the rich) and even dogs.
Gaiam beginning this Tuesday, September 6, for sale. (Or you can rent it from the usual suspects, Netflix or Blockbuster.)
* I am evidently incorrect about this film going straight-to-video. According to John Dhabolt of CoveringMovies.com (which is pretty much the source of tracking a film's theatrical-release history), First Dog received some theatrical play via the Harkins Theaters chain in the vicinity of Mesa, Arizona, during the first half of July 2011.