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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2019) #17!

It’s time for the Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Jay Coyle, Grace Duffy and Ronan Doyle to discuss the week in film. Ronan has been away for a few weeks at the Irish Film Institute’s “Our Battle in Images” season, looking at (largely outside) perspectives of the Troubles and curated by Donal Foreman, and so discusses a few films that he saw as part of the season. Jay has been watching more Columbian noir on the Criterion Channel and took in the latest Liam Neeson action joint Hard Powder Cold Pursuit. Grace watched Colossal and took in her first Agnés Varda film. I watched The Dig, and took in a couple of classic Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

In film news, there’s a lot to cover, including the passing of director John Singleton. There is also the IFI Spotlight coming in early May, and the announcement of the latest batch of W.R.A.P. funding. As ever, we also cover the top ten and the new releases in a crowded week under the shadow of Avengers: Endgame.

The top ten:

  1. Five Feet Apart
  2. Little
  3. Missing Link
  4. Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun
  5. Wild Rose
  6. Greta
  7. Shazam!
  8. Wonder Park
  9. Dumbo
  10. Avengers: Endgame

New releases:

You can listen to the podcast directly here.

Non-Review Review: A Dog’s Journey

A Dog’s Journey is incredibly earnest.

To be fair, it kind of goes with the territory. A sequel to A Dog’s Purpose, the film fits comfortably in the same “narrating baby or animal observes the adult world” subgenre as the Look Who’s Talking films. The basic premise of the film finds a beloved family pet reincarnating over and over again in order to serve as a spiritual companion to a family across three generations. Voiced by Josh Gad across a wealth of breeds, genders and personas, this “boss dog” finds themselves drawn towards a family struggling to hold itself together amid incredible internal tension.

Hardly a crowning accomplishment.

The premise and execution are admittedly very hokey. The characterisation is threadbare. The actors vary wildly in terms of skill. The jokes are often hackneyed and overly familiar. The script is full of strange narrative cul de sacs and tangents that occasionally stall the forward momentum of the film. A Dog’s Journey is an exceptionally tightly (or even well-) constructed film. However, the almost aching levels of sincerity almost hold it together despite these sheering forces.

At the heart of A Dog’s Journey is an incredibly simple-yet-heartfelt idea of the relationship that exists between a dog an it’s owner. Late in the film, one character concedes to another, “It must be nice to have something that loves you unconditionally.” For all the film’s flaws, it never doubts the idea that the love of a dog for its owner (and perhaps vice versa) is truly unconditional and uncompromising, no matter how complicated the world around that relationship might become.

Fields of gold.

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