Red Dog (2011)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
|Year Of Production||2011|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (31:04)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Kriv Stenders|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Louis de Bernières
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I always find it refreshing when an Australian movie is not a dark drama or story of true life crime, as many of them seem to have been lately. One such exception was a film I reviewed recently Tomorrow, When the War Began as is this film Red Dog. This film has been a major success at the box office here in Australia (over $20 mill) and won the biggest local award of the year, the AACTA Award for Best Film. It is now selling and renting very well on home entertainment formats.
This film is based on a true story of a dog from the northern end of Western Australia in the 1970s. He was famous for having searched the outback of Australia for his master for years, catching lifts from town to town. His statue stands near the remote mining town of Dampier. His story was immortalised in a book by Louis de Bernieres which is the basis of this movie, directed by Australian director Kriv Stenders. The film is a comedy and a heart string tugging emotional drama rolled into one. It is hugely entertaining, touching and amusing. One of the best Australian films in recent years.
The structure of the film is to tell the story of the dog's life in flashbacks, as the town gathers around after Red Dog has eaten a poisoned bait. The story covers 10 years from the time he was first brought to Dampier by Jack Collins (Noah Taylor) who is heading into town to run the pub. As he drives along with his wife, Maureen they find a dog sitting in the middle of the road, a long way from anywhere. When they stop to check on him he jumps into their car and they take him with them to Dampier. He soon becomes known around the town with many of the miners competing for his attention. These include Vanno, an Italian immigrant who constantly talks about the town he comes from, Jocko, a quiet guy who has a secret, Peeto, a big tough guy who has secret pleasures and a variety of other interesting characters. It is only when John Grant (Josh Lucas), an American wanderer, takes a job as the mining company's bus driver that Red Dog chooses his master. As the story develops John starts a relationship with mining company secretary, Nancy (Rachael Taylor) and Red Dog starts a long running feud with Red Cat.
To say much more about the plot would spoil the story, however, suffice it to say that Red Dog's life is made up of a number of stories focusing on the other characters. These stories bring joy, love, tragedy, sadness and humour to the film. The film features an impressive soundtrack of Oz and overseas rock from the era, which suits the film well. The photography is wonderful highlighting the rugged beauty of the Western Australian North-West. The acting is of high quality throughout, including Koko as Red Dog, who brings great personality to the titular role. Besides the actors mentioned above the movie also features a small role for Keisha Castle-Hughes and the last filmed role for Bill Hunter.
This film is whimsical, emotional, touching and somewhat old fashioned in style which I can only see as a positive. Personally, I don't really see it as a film for young kids because they might find it quite upsetting but others may disagree. Highly Recommended..
The video quality is very good for DVD. The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, although close-ups showed significantly more definition than backgrounds. Shadow detail was good.
The colour is very good for DVD and this film must look marvellous on Blu-ray. There were a few minor MPEG compression artefacts and some mild aliasing.
There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired, which are clear and easy to read.
The layer change at 31:04 was quite obvious, causing a noticeable pause.
The audio quality is very good for DVD. This discs contain an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s) along with a commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kb/s) and an Audio Descriptive track in the same format.
Dialogue was easy to understand throughout.
The music sounds great throughout and is the aural highlight of the film.
The surround speakers were only used for atmosphere. The subwoofer supported the music and some minor effects.
|Surround Channel Use|
Decent although somewhat repetitive set of extras.
The menus featured scenes and music.
The highlight of the extras. This is a quality commentary covering lots of interesting background including the cast, locations used, trivia, technical detail and much more. The commentators interact well and are not too precious about their film, despite obviously being proud of it.
Short featurette of the director talking to the dog, Koko and getting him to act. I don't think I believe it is an actual screen test. This footage or parts of it is repeated in a number of other extras.
Very EPK style making of with little insight. Most of the running time is scenes from the film.
The dog wrangler discussing the training process for Koko and the other 3 dogs. Not Bad
Extended versions of some scenes and a slightly rude joke about leg humping.
Storyboard to final cut comparisons for various scenes from the film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This movie only seems to be available in Region 4 at the moment.
A high quality Australian film.
The video quality is very good. The audio quality is very good.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|