DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Dog Park

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Elliott, Feb 11, 2004.

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  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Dog Park


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    Studio: New Line
    Year: 1998
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 91 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Retail Price: $19.95




    Andy (Luke Wilson) is a down on his luck, self described loser who has just lost his girlfriend to another man but to make matters worse she has taken the dog with her. Andy doesn’t understand why she would take the dog since she hated it so much but thankfully he’s got a friend (Janeane Garofalo) to explain life and its problems to him. The friend tries to explain to Andy that he hasn’t been single since the eighth grade so he has no idea what life is like to be single and that he will continue to have bad relationships until he realizes how to get along without others.

    To get the sorrow out of his heart Andy decides to go to a singles bar for some onion soup when he bumps into Lorna (Natasha Henstridge), someone also suffering from a bad relationship. The two do some small talk and decide to have a one-night stand but after puking in his lap, the two go off in separate directions dating other people. In this time Andy starts dating a wild woman who wants nothing more than rough sex but he keeps thinking back to Lorna knowing that she’s the right woman for him. He keeps going to the dog park where he hopes to meet her again while at the same time hoping to get his beloved dog back.

    Dog Park is another film in a long line of movies that tries to get a message across about love but anyone who has had at least one date in their life will come away rolling their eyes in disbelief because the film is so incredibly bad that you can’t help but be thankful this turkey only spent a few weeks in theaters after sitting on a shelf for over a year. I’m a die-hard Woody Allen fan but I’m beginning to think he put a curse on the world because he’s the reason so many bad films have been made because other’s try to recreate what he does but usually falls flat on their faces.

    The films message is the typical one that if you keep trying you’ll eventually find love yet the characters are so poor one doesn’t have to wonder too hard why they can’t keep a relationship going. As with other films of its type, Dog Park features a loser guy, a loser woman and their wonderful friends who give wonderful advice yet the losers never seem to listen to them. The first eighty-minutes of the movie features tears, heartache and dating but in the end we’ve seen this countless times before and we know how things will work out. As I’ve said before I’m often curious if these type of films use the exact same story outline and only slightly change character’s professions and the color of their hair.

    Luke Wilson gives a rather bland and completely forgettable performance, which isn’t a good thing for your lead actor. There isn’t a single moment in the film where he gives off any energy, which just makes the film all the more unbearable to get through. He delivers each of his lines so slowly that you can’t help but think he’s reading them off a cue card. Natasha Henstridge gives another bland performance but for some reason she feels her smile will carry us the way. Put the two stars together and we get no chemistry whatsoever, which again, doesn’t help matters. Janeane Garofalo, usually very reliable, doesn’t add anything either because she isn’t given anything to do. Harland Williams is the only bright spot in the cast but he’s only here for a few minutes.

    This was written and directed by Bruce McCulloch from Kids in the Hall fame and he shows nothing original in either department. Various scenes go on and on without any direction and I personally couldn’t see a point in any of them. There an incredibly stupid scene with a dog psychologist, which seems to be taking itself way too seriously even though what’s being talked about is so silly that one must wonder how any producer could have taken it to heart. The screenplay offers nothing new and nothing original so if you want to see a loser try to make a rebound then check out a Woody Allen film or just buy a dog to talk to. Either one would be more entertaining than this film, which certainly needs to be scooped up and thrown away.


    VIDEO---The movie is shown widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. Once again New Line delivers the goods with a very good transfer that’s certainly better than the film deserves. There’s some minor edge enhancement in a few scenes but nothing too distracting and you probably won’t notice this unless you’re actually looking for it. The colors are look very natural and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels are also very nice so rack up another nice transfer from New Line.

    AUDIO---The sound is Dolby Digital 5.1 and a Dolby Surround track is also included. The 5.1 track does the film just fine but don’t expect a knockout, which is what you usually get from the studio. This is a dialogue driven film and this here comes through perfectly clear without any problems. The music score also sounds nice, although various songs don’t pack a punch like they probably should have. The Surrounds are rarely used so the Dolby Surround actually is a little better than the 5.1.

    EXTRAS---The only extra is the film’s theatrical trailer as well as three trailers for other New Line films.

    OVERALL---How this film got made or even released is beyond me but New Line comes through a delivers a nice disc with a low retail price. If there are any fans of this film then they’ll certainly be happy with the disc but others are advised to either skip it or not pay over $0.50 renting it.


    Release Date: March 2, 2004
     
  2. DavidS

    DavidS Stunt Coordinator

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    So, are you saying you didn't like this movie?
     
  3. ColinW

    ColinW Agent

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    I enjoyed this movie, and I will probably pick up the disc too. Harlan Williams is great in his brief appearance, and I thought Luke Wilson did a decent job too.

    Maybe you don't like this whole genre of movie? It was pretty generic as you mentioned in your review, but I have always liked Natasha Henstridge, Luke Wilson, and dogs in general. This movie has all of that so I enjoyed it!

    Colin
     

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