Red Dog (2011) Movie Review

Director: Kriv Stenders

Writer: Daniel Taplitz (Screenplay) Louis de Bernieres (Book)

Starring: Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rohan Nichol, Luke Ford, Arthur Angel, John Batchelor, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Noah Taylor

Plot: Based on the legendary true story of the Red Dog who united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.


Tagline – Sometimes you pick the dog. Sometimes the dog picks you.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Red Dog starts as we get to meet the different characters who have been living in a remote community in the Australian outback, people from around the world that have come together with their own stories that are all connected to their own lives with Red Dog.

John (Lucas) does take Red Dog in as his own, despite the dog being friends with everyone around, with everyone knowing how important Red Dog is, helping them overcome some of their bigger problems they wanted to escape from.

Thoughts on Red Dog

ThoughtsRed Dog is a story that shows how one community of misfits were bought closer together by a stray dog who was just searching for his owner. The story is told through a series of stories that each member of the community remembers with their encounters with Red Dog, being told to a stranger, each one gets to give the supporting characters their moment to show the pain they have been through and how Red Dog helped them look to move on with life. We do have the main human that Red Dog becomes friends with that brings the added tears that we haven’t seen since Hachi, showing the pure loyalty dogs will show to their masters. The performances through the film are great, showing the different backgrounds the characters have come from and how they needed to escape their previous lives. The locations used show just how far away the community want to be from the world and how far Red Dog searches for his owner. This is a film that will leave you with plenty of tears in your eyes, you have been warned, even with a story of community being the main part of the film.

 

Red Dog is a tear-jerking experience that any dog lover will be left with floods of tears.

Rialto (2019) Movie Review

Director: Peter Mackie Burns

Writer: Mark O’Halloran (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Tom Glynn-Carney, Monica Dolan, Sophie Jo Wasson, Scott Graham, Michael Smiley

Plot: Colm is in his mid-forties, married, with two teenage children. Still grieving the death of his father, a destructive gure in his life, Colm struggles with his relationship to his own son, whilst at work a recent takeover threatens his job. Unable to share his vulnerability with his wife, Colm’s world is falling apart around him. In the midst of this crisis, Colm solicits sex from a young man called Jay. This encounter and his growing infatuation has a deep effect on Colm. He finds a comfort in Jay that no one else can provide.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Rialto starts when Colm (Vaughan-Lawlor) starts going through a mid-life crisis, his father has just passed away, his is becoming distant from his wife and kids and he is about to lose his job at the docks where he has worked his whole life.

As Colm starts to struggle with putting his own life together he finds a young man Jay (Glynn-Carney) who are first is just offering him a different sexual experience, before becoming the only person he can turn to when his life starts falling apart even more.

Thoughts on Rialto

Characters & Performances – Colm is a man in his mid-40s, he has a family, job, home, everything you could want at his age. His life does start to take a downward spiral when his father dies, he starts to realize he has become distant from his family and then he loses his job. He doesn’t know who to turn to for help, finding himself drawn towards a gay hooker who he pays for company, find peace in an unlikely place. This character shows us just how hard life can become suddenly on people without seeing it coming. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor is brilliant in this leading role, showing all the pain his character is going through, mixed with the confusion of how life has suddenly caught up with him. Jay is the gay hooker that Colm meets, he is defensive with his aggression in the world, being involved as a way to help raise his own child, he needs help but knows this is the only way he can make sure he can keep his baby safe. Tom Glynn-Carney plays this character very well too, giving us the character that is willing to be in a world where he knows it is for a bigger purpose. When it comes to the supporting characters we meet the family that don’t want much to do with Colm and his co-workers that are trying to be there for him.

StoryThe story here follows a middle-aged man that starts seeing his life falling apart around him, losing the stability he has built up and turning to a young man for help, the only place where he can start to feel comfortable in life. This is a story where we get to see how a normal working class person can see themselves fall into a routine, one that is comfortable and safe, which doesn’t prepare them for the changes that might hit suddenly. We see how people might have to turn to a place they would never have imagined for the comfort they need, showing us a mid-life crisis happening to the unsuspecting Colm.

ThemesRialto has us in Dublin, showing us the changes in area is going through, cutting back on jobs, seeing the unemployment going up to levels which can cause the strain on people, which is used as the backdrop to show us the struggles the character is going through.

Rialto is a powerful drama showing the harsh reality of a sudden mid-life crisis on the working class man.

The Free World (2016) Movie Review

Director: Jason Lew

Writer: Jason Lew (Screenplay)

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Boyd Holbrook, Octavia Spencer, Sung Kang, Frederick Weller, Austin Amelio

Plot: A recently released former convict becomes involved with a married woman with an abusive husband.


Tagline – Only love can truly set us free.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Free World starts as Mohamed Lundy (Holbrook) a convict released from prison, working in an animal shelter, always wanting to give them the best care he can. When Doris Lamb (Moss) and her husband bring an injured dog to the shelter, he tries everything he can to help it, only for it to pass away.

Mohamed discovers Doris in the shelter, looking to hide, learning she has killer her abusive husband, the police are still tracking Mohamed, believing he is trouble being back on the streets, with him needing to find a peace in this world.

Thoughts on The Free World

ThoughtsThe Free World follows the life of an ex-con who is trying to put his life back together without getting much help from the police on the outside, always looking to catch him out. He helps a woman in need, which only leads to him putting the spotlight on them, putting all his hard work on the line. This is a drama that does show us just how much people will looks to help others in need, no matter how difficult it might end up being for them, in a world that doesn’t want to give them hope. The performances in the film are great with Moss and Holbrook showing all their skills throughout the film, with a strong supporting cast to back them up.

Final Thoughts The Free World is a strong look at doing the right thing, even if you have to risk even more to do so.

The God Committee (2021) Movie Review

The God Committee – Brings All the Moral Questions

 

Director: Austin Stark

Writer: Austin Stark (Screenplay) Mark St Germain (Play)

Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Julia Stiles, Colman Domingo, Janeane Garofalo, Dan Hedaya, Patricia R Floyd, Peter Kim

Plot: An organ transplant committee has one hour to decide which of three patients deserves a life-saving heart. Seven years later, the committee members struggle with the consequences of that fateful decision.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The God Committee starts as we meet the transplant committee at a local hospital, Dr Andre Boxer (Grammer), Dr Jordan Taylor (Stiles), Father Dunbar (Domingo), Nurse Wilkes (Floyd), Dr Lau (Kim) and Dr Valerie Gilroy (Garofalo), as we follow the discussion they must have before making the difficult decisions about who can move up or down the list.

As Dr Boxer is looking to push through a new solution for the organ shortages coming in the future and his own failing health would leave him trying to push himself into the conversation to see his own ideas become reality, leading to the committee needing to show us how they decide before the organ expires.

Thoughts on The God Committee

Characters & Performances – Dr Andre Boxer is one of the committee members, he is the man that will go onto perform the surgery on the patients, which will see him having his fair say on whether the team should go ahead or not. He does have a desire to make the world a better place where he is working on creating organs instead of relying on doners, even if he is one of the people that will need an organ in the future. Kelsey Grammer is great in this role, he gets to bring the doctor figure we have got to know for years to life in a more hands on approach, being able to deliver the important lines his character must go through. Dr Jordan Taylor is the youngest member of the committee, she must learn the difficult decision-making process the team go through, with her personal relationship potentially getting in the way, she is willing to push past the moral dilemmas of the decision making process. Julia Stiles does get the scenes with the biggest impact, shining through them. Father Dunbar brings a different dimension to the discussion, Dr Valerie Gilroy, Nurse Wilkes and Dr Lau complete the committee, with each having their own way to bring something to the table on the medical side of things.

StoryThe story here brings us a group of medical personnel that are part of an organ transplant committee, that must discuss and make the difficult decision on who will get a heart, with three potential candidates waiting for one. This is a story broken up into a meeting and the aftermath down the line, which does hide the outcome for as long as possible, even if it does seem pretty obvious who was selected, showing the growth Dr Rachel Taylor goes through and the measure Dr Andre Boxer is going to try and find a smart solution in the future. It will offer the discussion in a way that will make you think about which one you believe should get the heart, but sadly never pushing this to the extremer limits we might have seen in a ‘House’ episode.

ThemesThe God Committee is a drama thriller that is discussion based, much like a courtroom drama, with each member of the committee putting forward their own case about who should get the heart, each part of the process will reveal more about the candidates being put forward, trying to keep us guessing who will get the heart.

Signature Entertainment presents The God Committee on Digital Platforms from 19th July

Final Thoughts The God Committee is a great thriller that brings a new light to one of the hardest decisions a doctor would have to make.

Before I Go (2021) Movie Review

Before I Go – Brilliant Life Drama

 

Director: Eric Schaeffer

Writer: Eric Schaeffer (Screenplay)

Starring: Annabella Sciorra, Willie Garson, Craig Bierko, Andrea Navedo, Robet Klein, Molly Griggs

Plot: A woman recalls her life and musical career choices in New York City through the years.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Before I Go starts as we meet Samantha (Sciorra) a woman in her mid-life that sees herself alone, working a dead-end job, filled with depression from the life that wasn’t. as Samantha continues to look at what could have been, she starts to sink into a depression, but he passion for music becomes clear and her kindness to strangers or other creatures will always put her on the radar as someone who wants the best in the busy world.

Thoughts on Before I Go

Characters & Performances – Samantha is a once popular singer who has seen her life fall into loneliness and depression, she doesn’t have anyone in her life, spending most of her days walking to streets of New York, helping people and telling her stories. She is always looking to do good, while finding her time alone more interesting than she thought. Annabella Sciorra is brilliant in the leading, her grounded performance shows us just how important this role is, as it could be anyone in life. When we dive into the supporting cast, we have Samantha’s father that is dealing with his own problems, always trying to support Samantha through her difficult stage in life. Anyone else Samantha meets gets touched by her kindness, as she looks to give everyone in her life an honest outlook on life.

StoryThe story here follows a middle-aged woman in New York that is filled with depression and is struggling with her life, despite always finding a way to make people feel better in the New York. This is a wonderful look at how people will struggle in life, but will do something to make others feel good in life. It shows that even alone, somebody in life will find you important and if we are kind to each other, we can make life better for everyone around us.

ThemesBefore I Go is a drama set around New York city, a place that I always feel is filled with an endless amount of stories and this is no different. Each corner does seem to have something new for Samantha to do in life.

VOD release of the feature film Before I Go on July 20, 2021.

Final Thoughts Before I Go is a wonderful drama that will prove how important to watch over others truly is.