Channing Tatum stars and co-directs the road trip dramedy Dog about an army veteran tasked with transporting Lulu, a canine member of his team from Iraq, to a fellow soldier’s funeral.
The Production: 3.5/5
Jackson Briggs (Channing Tatum) is an Army Ranger awaiting medical clearance to return to active duty in the Pacific Northwest. When one of his fellow soldiers commits suicide, Briggs is given the duty to deliver Lulu to her master’s funeral at the request of the fallen soldier’s family. Lulu has become a handful, being overly aggressive towards anyone that comes in proximity. Briggs has his work cut out for him, especially after Lulu chews up the seats in his Ford Bronco. During the trip, the two ultimately bond over their PTSD issues after several adventures that include an abduction at a pot farm and conning a 5-star hotel in San Francisco to give them a penthouse suite. That last caper almost sidelines their journey to the funeral in Arizona, and it is their stop in Los Angeles to visit Lulu’s trainer (Ethan Suplee) that shows Briggs what Lulu needs is more training to learn to be a pet and companion rather than a soldier, and that what he needs is to find a support group of like-minded individuals to help alleviate his own issues.
Dog does pull at the heartstrings, particularly as the film nears its third act as Briggs must confront Lulu’s destiny in a test of humanitarianism. It is well-directed by both Tatum and Reid Carolin (who also wrote the screenplay), who walk that fine line between drama and comedy without faltering too much. It’s not a great film but entertaining none the less.
3D Rating: NA
All I can gather from IMDB is that Dog was a digital production shot on Sony Venice cameras and completed as a digital intermediate, but no information available as to what resolutions were used. This is yet another MGM release thru Warner Bros that is being released on physical media on the Blu-ray format, but not 4K (although the film is available on 4K digital). That being said, this is a rather impressive 1080p AVC encoded transfer, retaining the film’s theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1 quite beautifully as photographed by Newton Thomas Sigel (Bohemian Rhapsody, Cherry). Colors are naturally vivid without appearing overly saturated. Detail is very good, with great clarity on items such as facial features, clothing and terrain textures, etc. Contrast is very good, particularly in brighter daytime sequences with well-defined highlights. Where the transfer falters somewhat is during darker night time sequences, where shadow detail falls off in the darker areas of the frame.
Dog comes with only two audio options, a very effective DTS-HD MA 5.1 track and a Descriptive Audio track, both in English. The 5.1 mix has some nice atmospheric effects in its discrete surrounds, such as chirping birds, and the needle drop song tracks have also been remixed in 5.1 with individual instruments spread out nicely throughout the listening environment (The Lion Sleeps Tonight is a real treat). LFE is strong, adding some nice low-end to many of the songs featured in the film. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.
Special Features: 1.5/5
Theatrical Trailer (1080i; 2:28)
DVD Copy: The film in 480i and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy in HDX (1080p) on Vudu, which also gives you access to the following featurettes: First Look (2:16); USO Tour (1:18); and Dog Training (2:13).
Dog is an entertaining film and an interesting directorial debut for Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin. The presentation on Blu-ray is quite good, but the disc itself lacks any extras.
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