5:00 PM, 11th March, 2017
This Australian film – and it doesn’t get a whole lot more Australian than a red sunset over infinite red plains, with Bryan Brown driving a ute to a cattle station – is a prequel, sort of, to 2011’s Red Dog, also from director Stenders. We are introduced to a new story, set in the past, featuring a young red dog… though we can’t be certain it’s the same dog, he’s certainly no less lovable.
Mick (Miller), a young city boy, moves to the Pilbara with his grandfather (Brown) after a family tragedy. Uprooted from everything familiar, he is lost until he finds a friend in a red puppy – which he naturally names Blue. Together they explore this strange new world, populated by myth, mystery and a cast of crazy outback characters of all colours and species.
It’s not as memorable as the original film, perhaps because at times it feels more like a series of vignettes than a single cohesive story. It also seems to be targeted at a younger audience, though there are still some powerful emotional moments. Miller in the lead role is very likeable and the performances around him, if a little over the top at times, are all very good. Certainly Red Dog: True Blue is a funny and moving family film which won’t disappoint. Especially if you’re a dog lover.
7:00 PM, 11th March, 2017
The spaceship Avalon, in its 120-year voyage to a distant colony planet known as ‘Homestead II’ and transporting 5,259 people, has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result one hibernation pod opens prematurely and the one person that awakes, Jim Preston (Pratt), is stranded on the spaceship, still 90 years from his destination.
With no one for company other than an android bartender called Arthur (Sheen), Jim starts to wonder if this life is worth living (and grows a god-awful beard). He is saved from this contemplation when another passenger is awakened – Aurora Lane (Lawrence), a writer from New York.
Meanwhile, slowly but surely, the ship is starting to fall apart (literally in some cases). Malfunctions increase, including opening another hibernation pod. This time a crew member (Fishburne – or is it Samuel L. Jackson – Google it) has been awakened, which is convenient as now they can access the bridge and other locked areas. Now they can get to fixing the ship before the ever-worsening malfunctions wipe them all out.
This is a movie that should be seen on the big screen so you can take in the beauty of space in all its glory. And it’s nice that there are no nasty aliens threatening to burst out of anyone. Even though it is set in space, this is a story about human connections and what we need to live, not just survive. While it may not seem like it at first glance, this story will give you plenty to think about and/or discuss with your friends (or the Internet) afterwards.