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Excellent actor goes to the dogs

Showtime with Sasha

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POSTED: February 18, 2011 10:59 a.m.
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Jeff Bridges shares the screen with a dog in "A Dog Year," which didn't get Sasha's fan.

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Most of you know I’m a fan of actor Jeff Bridges. Right here, I reported being a fan of “Crazy Heart,” “Tron: Legacy” and “True Grit.” So when I discovered the diverse actor had another little film coming out on DVD, I was quick to play fetch and bring it home.
Was it any good? Here are my two cents.
The movie is called “A Dog Year” and in it Bridges plays real-life novelist Jon Katz. Jon’s midlife crisis coincides with the introduction of Devon into his life. Devon is an abused border collie someone ships to Jon in hopes that the writer can help the wayward pooch. Much of the film focuses on Devon’s humorous and completely strange dysfunctions.
I love dogs and I love canine films, too. In addition to watching “A Dog Year”, I also checked out an amazing documentary from Nova called “Dogs Decoded”, which I highly recommend.
But this Valentine’s Day, did I fall in love with “A Dog Year”?
Nope, I’m not a fan.
It isn’t the lead actor’s fault, either. The script is definitely what is to blame in this case. It’s difficult to connect to the film and it ends in a funny place, as if the story isn’t actually over yet. Timing, in general, seems to be off throughout the movie.
If you’re in the mood for puppy cinema, you had better go with “Hachi” or “Marley and Me” instead, though most great doggie films also require you to bring a box of tissues to balance out the laughter.
Also, I have to say, if you have a troublesome dog at your home or one that you can no longer care for, please know that you’ve got options. There are several doggie foster associations in the area; there’s craigslist; and if your dog is easily recognizable as being of a certain breed, say a rottweiler or a poodle, there are breed-specific rescue groups that will take the animal off your hands. I’ve worked with the Georgia Poodle Rescue first-hand and they’re great. So don’t give up on your pup.

 

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