Movie: If you ask any woman, chosen at random, to classify men, in general, using just one term, the most likely answer you will get will be "dog". It's stated as gospel truth pretty much anywhere a woman is in charge from print media, daytime television talk shows, the internet or even while discussing men online. Aside from the fact that stereotypes are not fair, I think it'd be interesting to figure out why so many gals believe this one. I suppose if they knew that the key to keeping a guy faithful is to keep him well fed and make sure he gets sex on a regular basis, it would somehow be offensive to them but that's been my experience over the years. In a movie designed to play a bit of fun with the stereotype of men as skirt-chasing fools, director Bobby Roth wrote and directed a little independent film called Jack The Dog.
The movie centered on a man, Jack (Nestor Carbonell), who is young, attractive and very persuasive when it comes to having sex with women, hot women, anytime he likes. He loves the hunt and enjoys sleeping with his super models (he's a photographer) but he wants something more out of life so he finds the right gal, Faith (Barbara Williams), and gets married. Over time, the couple has a baby and the romance/spark goes out in their marriage. Eventually, she spurns his advances, breaking Don's Rule #2, and he starts to revert to form. He gets caught cheating on Faith and Jack is separated from his young son. She gets custody of their child, Sam (Andrew J. Ferchland), and he is left with a longing for the love of his son. The movie details his attempt to regain his son and turn his life around, becoming more than the stated stereotype of being a dog, and enjoy being a real man.
Okay, the movie combined humor, drama and a solid idea with slightly mixed results. It was funny watching Jack attempt to keep from being caught and all the steps he took to teach his son how to avoid the pitfalls of becoming a lecher like he was. It was also interesting to watch him when things weren't humorous as he dealt with life's disappointments but I think if Faith's character had been better written, the movie would've been more poignant to the message it was trying to convey. The acting was generally decent enough and the direction was fairly standard on this low budget independent release but it seemed like someone else should've been collaborated with to flesh out the female characters in general (but especially Faith) in order to make her more than a vicious shrew (which is another stereotype).
The movie was worth a rating of Rent It to me for the above listed strong points and the general themes addressed. I'd have rated it higher but there was something lacking besides decent extras, higher quality production values and the aforementioned characterizations. Having come from a divorced household, I'm fairly well versed in the issues involved here and while it was a pretty good look at the themes, some fell short as only someone who's been through it would know.
Picture: The picture was presented in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color and not the 2.35: 1 ratio widescreen it was originally shot in. I greatly prefer the original aspect ratio to be used when a movie is transferred to DVD so this was a disappointment for me. The picture was also a bit faded with lots of grain and some video noise. I did notice some compression artifacts but they weren't frequent.
Sound: The audio was presented in Dolby Digital stereo English with no available subtitles for other languages. It sounded a bit hollow on the vocals but the music track was well mixed and had a lot of variety to it. The separation wasn't very noticeable but it was generally acceptable to listen to.
Extras: The only extra was the trailer to the feature.
Final Thoughts: I liked the movie enough to overlook the technical failings the DVD had but it was the conceptual weaknesses that bothered me the most. I think the parts between Sam and Jack were very well acted and this comprised the biggest part of the movie so I leaned towards upping the rating but I'll leave it where it is and suggest y'all rent it first and if you like it, get a copy. I'm not sure when the American release will come out or if it will have the proper aspect ration, better extras, and such but if it's modeled after this one, check it out first too.