Red Dog (2011)

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Released 1-Dec-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Making Of
Deleted Scenes
Storyboard Comparisons
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 88:33
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (31:04) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kriv Stenders
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Louis de Bernières
Daniel Taplitz
Rachael Taylor
Josh Lucas
Noah Taylor
Keisha Castle-Hughes
Luke Ford
Bill Hunter
Case ?
RPI ? Music Cezary Skubiszewski


Video Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     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.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     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.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Decent although somewhat repetitive set of extras.

Menu

     The menus featured scenes and music.

Audio Commentary - Director Kriv Stenders & Producer Nelson Woss

     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.

Koko Screen Test (1:47)

     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.

Making of Red Dog (10:04)

     Very EPK style making of with little insight. Most of the running time is scenes from the film.

Training Footage (4:22)

     The dog wrangler discussing the training process for Koko and the other 3 dogs. Not Bad

Deleted Scenes (3:22, 0:42, 0:38, 0:32, 1:41)

     Extended versions of some scenes and a slightly rude joke about leg humping.

Storyboards

     Storyboard to final cut comparisons for various scenes from the film.

Theatrical Trailer (2:14)

     Quality trailer.

R4 vs R1

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.

Summary

     A high quality Australian film.

     The video quality is very good. The audio quality is very good.

     Decent extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp 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 DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Why didn't they give you the Blu-ray for review? - John N REPLY POSTED
The animals are great - penguin (there is no bio)