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DVD TV Show Reviews
A Dog Year
Review by Suzanne 12/13/10
This is a good family movie, although there are some "bad words"
in it that you might not want kids to hear. It's a good film for dog lovers of
all kinds (it helps if you're a big Jeff Bridges fan, too).
It's based on a true story, which may explain why the plot is a
little thin. Frankly, while I did enjoy the movie, I thought it ended too
abruptly (and a bit predictably). Bridges plays a writer, Katz, who is
supposed to write his next book but is blocked. He has two dogs, a daughter, and
a wife. We never see the wife, who is traveling (they apparently are somewhat
separated), and a daughter, who is at college. She does drop by for a while,
He has two beautiful labrador retrievers, and he adopts a border
collie. This border collie has been abused, so he promised someone that he would
adopt him because he is supposed to be good with dogs. Turns out he's not
so good with "problem" dogs. Also, since he has a lot of his own anger
issues, he can't really help the dog until he helps himself (which is a little
We see many scenes of the dog misbehaving, and him chasing the
dog or yelling at the dog. Eventually, he moves to a house out in the
country, so that the dog won't get into so much trouble when he runs off, I
guess, and so he can have more privacy for writing. He meets with a woman
who is more of an expert on dogs than he is, and she helps him deal with his own
issues a bit, as well as the dog.
The problem is that we don't really see why he has these issues,
and he doesn't really have therapy or anything like that, and his book problem
is only solved because he writes about his dog. What does he do for his next
book? I have no idea. We also never see what happens with him and his wife. Do
they get back together, or not? I have no idea. Does he ever move back to
his old house, or stay in the country with the dog? And what happened to his
other dog (who does not go with him and the collie to the country)? One of them
we do learn about, and I don't want to spoil it for you.
I won't tell you the end, but like I said, it is abrupt,
predictable, and leaves you wondering what happened next. Now, as far as
the acting, Bridges is always excellent, and he does a fine job as usual, here.
I don't know why he bothered with this lightweight little movie, though. Maybe
he loves dogs and this was the best movie he could find to make about them. The
movie is mostly about him and the dog...the others are very secondary.
It is a great movie for watching dogs. There are lots of
adorable dogs in the movie, and because of that, and what happens, there are
some heartfelt scenes. Some parts were very sad, so I had to pause the DVD, hug
my dog, and cry a bit before watching the rest. I just wish the plot,
especially the ending, had more substance and more originality. It leaves me
wondering, why did they bother?
I think any kids, and any family would love the movie as a
Christmas gift, as would anyone with dogs. Just don't give it to movie lovers
otherwise because they will be disappointed.
There is one very short Behind the Scenes featurette on the DVD.
It talks about making the movie but doesn't really explain why the movie leaves
me feeling unsettled. I guess I will have to read the book!
Academy Award(r) Winner Jeff Bridges Stars in
A DOG YEAR
In Stores, Exclusively from HBO Home Entertainment(r) On December 7,
New York, N.Y., September 14, 2010 - Academy Award(r) winner Jeff
Bridges (Crazy Heart) delivers an Emmy(r) nominated performance in
original film, A Dog Year. Bridges stars as Jon Katz, a writer at
mid-life crossroads whose simple decision to adopt a dog turns his
world around. Available on DVD December 7, 2010 for the suggested
price of $26.98, bonus materials include a fascinating behind-the-
featurette with an interview by Bridges.
Based on the real-life memoir by New York Times best-selling author
Katz, the film tells the story of a writer in the middle of an
crisis who adopts an abused dog - a well-bred but high-strung border
collie who turns his life upside down. At first, the dog wreaks
the suburban inertia that Katz shares with two older, mellower
Retrievers. Suffering from writer's block and a touch of
attempts to rein in the school bus-chasing new dog meet with little
success, despite a reality-check visit from his college-age daughter
(Lauren Ambrose "Six Feet Under(r)"). A move to a rural farmhouse,
combined with insightful lessons in animal behavior from a tough-love
trainer (Lois Smith, "True Blood(r)"), begin to yield healing for the
and more importantly, for Katz. Ultimately, the experience transforms
man and dog in meaningful, though unexpected ways.
A Dog Year
Street Date: December 7, 2010
Order Date: November 2, 2010
Runtime: Approx. 82 minutes (including bonus featurette)
Price: $26.98 DVD Suggested Retail Price
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