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Dolphin Tale Review

poster from the Warner Bros. Pictures film Dolphin Tale

I was up in the air as to what to see this week. On one hand there were cute dolphins and on the other hand there was an oddly enticing math-based baseball movie. In the end, Dolphin Tale won out over Moneyball, mostly because I couldn’t convince anyone to come see Moneyball with me. After hearing that it was produced by the people who made The Blind Side and directed by the guy who did Air Bud, I had high hopes that Dolphin Tale would be both cute and moving. The storyline revealed in the trailers seemed to bear that out:

A lonely young boy befriends a crippled dolphin he finds tangled in a crab trap and helps it learn to swim again with a prosthetic tail.

You’d have to try pretty hard to make a story about a cute animal overcoming a disability fail to move people – especially kids – to tears, but now that I’ve seen Dolphin Tale, I’m sad to report that it is possible. Dolphin Tale writers Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi managed to take the true story of Winter the dolphin and muddy it up with enough subplots and triteness to make it fall flat.

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Trailer Reviews for September 23, 2011

MONEYBALL



Call me crazy, but I actually do want to see this movie. And no, it’s not because it has Brad Pitt in it. I never really understood the whole “Brad Pitt” thing. And it’s definitely not because of Jonah Hill. I hate that guy. It’s not the baseball factor, either. It’s the world’s second most boring game (golf is #1). Could it be because of… math? After barely scraping by second year calculus in college (thanks, Jenny) I thought I was done with math, but there’s really nothing else it could be. I just want to see them make a baseball team with math. Me wanting to see a math movie may actually be a sign of the apocalypse. Call the National Guard, I think the world is about to end.

ABDUCTION



Ah, and so it begins – the attempts to cash in on the popularity of Twilight by hiring its lead actors to be in unimaginative genre films that will go straight to the $5 bin upon their release on DVD. I’m actually surprised that they waited this long. The idea behind the film isn’t too bad (it’s ripped off of The Face on the Milk Carton, a popular YA book) but the execution… so bad. You can tell just from the trailer. “Sometimes I feel different” (no sh** Sherlock, you’re a teenager) “Why would my picture end up on a missing persons website” (um, because you’re a missing person?) Apparently they didn’t think to include his NAME on said website, if he’s asking for it a few seconds later (in a flat, blank way characteristic of bad actors). Even the title is bad: “there’s an abduction in it, let’s just call it Abduction.” No thank you.

DOLPHIN TALE



Hee hee, it’s clever because it’s called Dolphin Tale and it’s about a dolphin’s tail! Get it? In all seriousness, though, I will probably see this movie because I have a crippling weakness for cute kids and cuddly animals. It’s like Free Willy, only a dolphin, and the story is true. Winter the dolphin even plays herself! Also, it’s not from the 1990s, which means a blessed lack of neon outfits and Jason James Richter. Those Blind Side people made this movie, though, so it’s probably going to make everyone cry. Just putting that out there in case you’re one of those parental units who feel like they have to spirit their children out of the theater at the faintest suggestion of sadness. Stick around and see the happy ending instead.

AFGHAN LUKE



In the beginning of the trailer, I was interested. I thought it would be one of those journalist expose movies about tracking down difficult truths in wartime, but funny. And then it took a left turn into nuttytown and I was like “… what?” When I saw that it was made by the Trailer Park Boys people, I finally understood what was going on. Or rather, I understood that the people who made this movie had no idea what was going on. Seriously, from watching this trailer it’s obvious that they can’t even decide whether they’re making a point or not. Serious moments, ridiculous moments, all combined into a confusing soup. At least Trailer Park Boys knew it was dumb. This movie thinks it’s smart. I doubt it is. After all, it was made by the Trailer Park Boys guy.

KILLER ELITE



“You and I got a lot in common.” It’s true, they’re both unattractive British actors who star in a lot of terrible action movies. And they both look stupid with facial hair. Oh, and let’s add Robert DeNiro into the mix for extra unattractiveness and cliches. And just so everyone knows it’s riddled with cliches, let’s throw in some cheesy one liners: “This guy is good!” “You have no idea!” “The gloves are off!” “This ends today!” This trailer gives no indication as to what the story is about, so I have to assume there isn’t one. It’s just a two hour montage of terrible mustachioed one-liners and things exploding. It’s supposed to be based on a true story, but this does not seem like the type of story that gets around, if you know what I mean. As in: no witnesses live to tell the tale of how half the city got destroyed.

And in other news, the Cape Breton Film Series is showing Jane Eyre. It’s an excellent adaptation of one of my favorite classic books. It’s already out on DVD, but if you want to see it on the big screen you can go to the Empire Theaters in Sydney this Thursday evening at 7pm. Click here to see my trailer review of it. I recommend seeing it and THEN re-reading the book. It really enhances the experience.

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