Three pedigree chumps learn that every underdog has its day in this freewheeling Irish comedy. In hock to the tune of 50,000 to a Belfast bookie and saddled with a dopey greyhound that wouldnt run if its backside was on fire, the likely lads head south on a road trip in the hope of seeing a man about a dog. Foul-mouthed and funny, Man About Dog is full of great craic.
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No doubt Paddy Breathnach watched some Guy Ritchie. The style andstorytelling is obviously the same. I don't mind this, since it's anexcellent and above all very entertaining style of film-making.Obviously it's not as good as a Guy Ritchie movie of the same style butit's surely entertaining enough.It's not as good since the comedy in the movie feels more forced andplanned out, rather than that it's cleverly and subtle writtenthroughout the story. The events happen as comical moments rather thanjust moments that happen to the main characters. But of course youshould perhaps not compare this too much to a Guy Ritchie and moreregard it as a movie on its own. After all, it's Irish and therefor hasa totally different atmosphere and lingo as well. In that regard thismovie is just simply a well made and definitely entertaining one.But was dog racing the best backdrop and choice for the main story? Idon't think so. Some sports are not really sports in my opinion andtherefor couldn't care any less about the movie its plot. I alsocouldn't care too much for the movie it's main characters. The actorsportraying them are obviously not amongst the most talented, thoughthey do a fair enough job playing average, regular 'normal' persons.So it's definitely a movie with some pluses and minuses. The style andfun in this movie is definitely good and makes this an enjoyable watch.I only wished the movie had picked another main-plot, to also make themovie more compelling and interesting and perhaps even a bit moreexciting to watch. After all, with these kinds of movies involving'sports' featuring an underdog, you already exactly know in advance howit's going to end.A pleasant watch but unfortunately no more than that. 6/10
If you are easily offended by swearing then you might be advised toavoid this movie, but if you do, you will miss the funniest film toever come out of Ireland.'Man About Dog' is about three Belfast pals who acquire a greyhound,fall foul of a local bookie/gangster and head south to Clonmel forIreland's biggest greyhound meeting. Along the way they have varioushilarious adventures, including a bust up with a gang of Travellers andan encounter with a 'Viagra' type substance. If you like dogs, watch it, if you enjoy a good laugh don't miss it.One of the funniest moments is where Gerry Adams replaces QueenElizabeth on.............. Well, you'll just have to watch the movie tofind the answer to that one.
Great funny film, three men in Ireland, penniless and trying their luckwith hilarious results. If you like gambling films, then you will love this film it has all thetension and keeps you on the edge of your seat, I could not help butcheer them on on their way.This film is fast paced and action packed, you join them on the road inIreland getting chased, getting into hilarious Situations, and tryingto race their greyhound while they are at it. I enjoyed this film very much and it made me laugh a lot, which I findthat many films cannot manage these days.I think that people outside the UK may have trouble understanding thebroad Irish accents though, however that aside the three maincharacters were brilliant in their roles. I recommend this film veryhighly.
Saturday June 11, 6:45pm Uptown Theater Sunday June 12, 1:45pm UptownTheater"You can pull a hair out of your arse, but you can't pull a rabbit."Smalltime gangsters, bookies, gamblers, various nefarious henchmen andtheir assorted weapons served up in a thick dialect we Americans canjust barely understand most of the time with an underdog hero whoscrambles his way through fast breaking mishaps in a race to surviveand make the "Big Score." Sound familiar? There was this Brit a fewyears back that made two hysterically funny flicks. He married some bigpop star, made an awful turd of a movie with her and then all butdisappeared. Ever since then I've been waiting for this same guy tocome back with more like the first two. Well, there is a new movie. Thecatch is someone else made it. But if you're starving for a film in thesame genre this is it with both barrels. Mo Chara sells everythingunder the damp gray Dublin sky from the back of his van but longs forbigger and better things. When a local bookie gives him a dog inexchange for a favor Mo and his mates are off to the races, the dogtrack that is, and a load of trouble. Director Paddy Breathnach usesall the slick polished and edgy style you remember in those othermovies, funny character names like Mooney the Looney, Old Bland Joe,and his gorilla Sixteen Cracked Ribs, clever dialogue, a hip upbeat popscore, a ton of camera and editing trickery, and it works! A good solidstoryline told in first person narrative by Mo, with a collection ofmishaps and quirky friends propels us along what becomes a verysatisfying and funny story. The stoner of the group Paulsy, nicknamed"Cerebral", delivers a hilarious pitch to an old lady who's advertisedher cat in the classifieds. Of course kitty is part of another schemeto run all the dogs off the track in the middle of a race. Mo and hisfriends answer another ad for their first dog, go to a broken down oldtrailer and are given a pooch that looks equally bad. "Handsome is ashandsome does" quips the dog's grimy owner. Mo soon dispatches this doghowever, to the disapproval of his mates. There are some moments ofdispassionate cruelty, "Come on Boots. Dead dog walking," but we neversee it on screen and the tone of the film shows more sentimentalfondness for dogs than abuse. Recall the treatment of dogs in thoseother movies and this also is very similar. The boys are threatenedwith their lives more than once. A close-up of meat extruding from alarge grinder pulls back to show them hanging on hooks in a cooler. Inanother scene they are taken for a ride to a quarry only to cut a dealat the last minute. When they finally get the right dog, Cerberus,named for the hound that guards the gates of hell, he has to work hisway up to the big race. When the dog loses Mo's friends sell him tosome thugs, change their minds and steal him back only to be chaseddown bumpy roads in Mo's van by guns, a crossbow and an enormouschainsaw ending in a game of chicken they ultimately win, "Balls onthem boys like Bengal tigers!" Man About Dog starts off with a bang butgoes a bit thin toward the middle, it is unoriginal and verypredictable but is none the less a great ride. In the Q and A after thefilm Breathnach had some funny antidotes about working with the dogsand also said he has no US distribution. His other films I Went Downand Blowdry are available and I plan on checking them out. Lets hopesomeone snatches this up so everyone has a chance to see it.
The Irish director Paddy Breathnach has a keen visual sense and seemsto me a born story-teller, (though he doesn't write his own material heshapes it in real cinematic terms). While "Man About Dog" isn't in thesame class as his earlier "I went down", (that was written by the greatyoung Irish playwright Conor McPherson), it is a highly engaging comedyroad movie nevertheless. Allen Leech, Tom Murphy and Ciaran Nolan playthree Belfast wide-boys on the make who inherit, lose and thenre-inherit an extraordinary money-making greyhound called Ceberus. Theplot is flimsy and one or two of the performances are shaky but thefilm has flash and a sense of energy. It is not strikingly original,(Breathnach borrows a bit too much from his better known Americancounterparts), but there is so much going on here and the lines havethe poetry and raw humour of the vernacular, you are prepared tooverlook the film's shortcomings. Give in and this is a comedy asrobust as they come.
A decent comedy following the misadventures of three young Belfast menwho happen into the world of hare coursing.Stylistically, this has the feel of a lot of British and Irish films ofthe past decade. It's aimed at the same market that made Trainspotting,Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch such big hits. On anumber of occasions I thought this was overdone; it seemed to be tryingtoo hard to be Belfast's answer to those films. This would beforgivable from a new director but it's less understandable from PaddyBreathnach. The acting is excellent. Allen Leech does a good northern accent,although it's not quite West Belfast. The storyline is entirelyunbelievable, but I wasn't expecting realism! 6 out of 10 because it's funny in spots, but not THAT funny. I alsothink that to really appreciate it you have to have some interest ingambling in general, and gambling on dogs in particular. If, like me,you have neither, you'll probably find it a bit difficult to get into.
Well good harmless fun if you do not mind a lot of swearing (it is setin Ireland after all). This pleasant little film about three chancersacquiring a greyhound that they end up entering in Irelands biggesthare coursing festival is a well made piece of escapism from thehumdrum of Belfast life. The film is well made running to a tight timescale with little to no wasted scenes, featuring good performances froma cast most of whom I was unfamiliar. Without ruining it for anyonethis is the sort of film where you can see the end coming a mile off,but because of this fact it makes it harder for the director toentertain you which they manage with aplomb. Some viewers may haveproblems with the thick Irish accents but it is well worth perseveringwith.
Mo Chara's father got him into betting on dogs and for better or worse(mostly worse) it has become his passion. His friends Paulsy and ScudMurphy go along with his judgement most of the time. When Mo letsbookie JP McCallion win a race in return for a dog from his stable, theboys get screwed and left with a fuzzy creature called Boots. They dumpBoots and agree to scupper another of McCallion's races in return foranother dog from a wealthy owner seeking revenge. They get the dog butMcCallion wants what he should have won from them Â fifty thousandEuros. With their options limited, the boys take their dog, theirbroken down van and head south into the Republic.I watched this because it was made (partly) in Northern Ireland and Ifelt that I should support the small film industry there with my timeif nothing else; other than that though I didn't know anything aboutit. The opening five minutes changed all that because the style, energyand tone of the film immediately told me that this was going to be oneof many films that tries to utilise the style that Guy Ritchie made hisname with in Lock Stock. Often I find this very off-putting and Ihaven't always got much from the films that jump on this new Britishgangster genre without a great deal to offer of its own. To a greateror lesser extent this film more or less falls into the same trapbecause the style and excess in the story is very much in the mould ofLock Stock.It works best when the film uses it sparingly because the film doesjust about have enough of its own about it to make it worth watching.The typically Norn Iron dark humour is infused into the laddishgangster action pretty well and, as a Belfast boy myself, I couldrelate to aspects of the characters in there. However too often it doesrely on Lock Stock tricks and style without really producing enough tohold up the style. It has a few "good" moments but mostly it is justamusing. The cast are pretty good but, like the script, they cannottotally make the film their own. Leech doesn't totally convince withhis accent or his leading man ability but he does OK nonetheless. Nolanis more natural and recognisable as the type of person I would expectin his situation but he is not able to raise the material that much Ânor Murphy (sadly recently deceased). McGinley is the only one I'ddescribe as a real "face" within the film.Looking at it coldly this is a rip-off of Lock Stock but set in Irelandbut it does just about have enough local content to provide enough tojustify watching it, but too often it gives in to aping the style ofLock Stock. Funnily enough the day I saw this film I also heard MarkKermode comment on Shrooms (the next film from Breathnach) that itlacked its own style and was trying to sell to other markets. The samecan be said of Man About Dog. As a result it is a so-so comedy but itcannot find its own voice due to the amount of time and energy spent onaping Guy Ritchie.
I saw this film in 2004, in a Dublin theatre. It's easily the funniest movie I've ever seen, and have been looking for it on DVD since. If you can get your hands on the DVD, do so. You won't be disappointed.
No doubt Paddy Breathnach watched some Guy Ritchie. The style andstorytelling is obviously the same. I don't mind this, since it's anexcellent and above all very entertaining style of film-making.Obviously it's not as good as a Guy Ritchie movie of the same style butit's surely entertaining enough.It's not as good since the comedy in the movie feels more forced andplanned out, rather than that it's cleverly and subtle writtenthroughout the story. The events happen as comical moments rather thanjust moments that happen to the main characters. But of course youshould perhaps not compare this too much to a Guy Ritchie and moreregard it as a movie on its own. After all, it's Irish and therefor hasa totally different atmosphere and lingo as well. In that regard thismovie is just simply a well made and definitely entertaining one.But was dog racing the best backdrop and choice for the main story? Idon't think so. Some sports are not really sports in my opinion andtherefor couldn't care any less about the movie its plot. I alsocouldn't care too much for the movie it's main characters. The actorsportraying them are obviously not amongst the most talented, thoughthey do a fair enough job playing average, regular 'normal' persons.So it's definitely a movie with some pluses and minuses. The style andfun in this movie is definitely good and makes this an enjoyable watch.I only wished the movie had picked another main-plot, to also make themovie more compelling and interesting and perhaps even a bit moreexciting to watch. After all, with these kinds of movies involving'sports' featuring an underdog, you already exactly know in advance howit's going to end.A pleasant watch but unfortunately no more than that. 6/10http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/