Even the most committed of non-dog lovers can’t help but be moved

FORMER army ranger Briggs is not your stereotypical worthy war hero of the industrial military complex genre.

Played by Channing Tatum, he is obnoxious, a bit of a misogynist and doesn’t try to sugarcoat the violent acts he and his unit carried out in the Middle East while flying the flag of the Stars and Stripes.

There is a real sense of melancholy underscoring this movie, which sees Channing take to the director’s chair for his first feature filmCredit: Avalon.red

Not content with civilian life after being discharged due to a brain injury, Briggs wants to become a military contractor.

But to return to combat, he needs clearance from his former captain — and that approval comes with strings attached.

The former soldier is tasked with transporting Lulu, a traumatised Belgian Malinois military working dog, from Washington to Arizona to attend the funeral of her former handler.

Both human and canine carry deep scars and their journey is laced with obstacles, mostly self-inflicted by Briggs’ selfish tendencies.

From ill-fated hook-ups to an eventful hotel stay, the story often steers away from taking the obvious route to earn cheap laughs.

In fact, there is a real sense of melancholy underscoring this movie, which sees Channing take to the director’s chair for his first feature film, alongside Reid Carolin.

Behind the great quips, ad libs and physical comedy, Tatum delivers the repressed emotion of a man scared to show weakness.

But the joint performances of Lana, Britta and Zuza as dog Lulu ensure it’s not a one-man show.

Even the most committed of non-dog lovers can’t help but be moved by the sad looks and body language of this depressed and grief-stricken canine.

The co-directors balance the emotion and situational humour of each scene well — even the most slapstick moments are not overplayed.

But after laying the foundation to this man-and-dog relationship, the final-act resolution feels somewhat rushed.

And it does not quite achieve the cathartic ending worthy of the journey.

Still, as a film that manages to explore the post-war life of servicemen without getting on its soapbox, Dog is a funny and endearing vehicle for Tatum’s return to that sweet spot of comedy and drama.

By Hanna Flint

STEVEN SODERBERGH does his take on Hitchcock for the pandemic age.

This paranoid thriller written by seasoned blockbuster screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man) stars a blue-haired Zoe Kravitz.

Zoe Kravitz plays Angela, an agoraphobic tech worker

Zoe Kravitz plays Angela, an agoraphobic tech workerCredit: Avalon.red

Angela is an agoraphobic tech worker, based in Seattle, tasked with monitoring data streams from KIMI, a smart device that records its users to improve the product’s search function.

After discovering audio that could be evidence of a violent crime, she becomes the target of people hoping to cover it up.

There’s a real surveillance quality to the grainy camerawork and a claustrophobic unease that reinforces Kravitz’s superbly anxious performance.

She carries the tension of this well-paced, suspenseful tale, grounded in the reality of our technologically-enhanced lives, with every part of her body.

Through Angela, Koepp manages to bring the best parts of Hitchcock’s heroes and heroines together: she’s assertive, smart, sexual, determined, and courageous.

With some small but impactful support from Jaime Camil, Rita Wilson, Devin Ratray and Byron Bowers, plus a hefty classical score by Cliff Martinez, Soderbergh serves up an intriguing, highly entertaining housebound thriller with a climactic final act.

WITH moustache, bowler hat, big shoes and baggy trousers, performer Charlie Chaplin birthed a silent comedy icon who had “no language but who spoke to everybody”.

He became so famous that he once entered a Chaplin look-a-like competition – and came 20th.

Chaplin became the toast of Hollywood, but later on his political leanings saw him exiled from the States

Chaplin became the toast of Hollywood, but later on his political leanings saw him exiled from the StatesCredit: © Everett Collection / Everett Collection

Chaplin’s slapstick funny-man “The Tramp” remains one of cinema’s most recognisable figures.

Audio footage, archive material and actor reconstructions make up this film which explores the life and motivations of the man who played the character.

Narrated by Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts in Dr Who), this beautifully collated and edited biography from filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney charts the rise of Charles Spencer Chaplin, from the Victorian slums of Lambeth, East London to The Tramp and Chaplin mania.

He became the toast of Hollywood, but later on his political leanings saw him exiled from the States.

There are accounts from childhood friends that shed light on Chaplin’s workhouse past, a predicament that made him vow never to be poor again.

And there are personal life revelations, some deeply unpalatable, about his four marriages – three of which were to teenage girls.

Publisher

Total
0
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts