HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  My Dog Tulip Life's A Bitch
Year: 2009
Director: Paul Fierlinger, Sandra Fierlinger
Stars: Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave, Isabella Rossellini, Peter Gerety, Brian Murray, Paul Hecht, Euan Morton
Genre: Comedy, Drama, AnimatedBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: When he was over the age of fifty, writer J.R. Ackerley (voiced by Christopher Plummer) at last found the companionship he had been seeking all those years when he rescued an Alsatian dog from neglectful owners. For the first eighteen months of her life, Tulip was largely kept tied up in their yard, not getting enough exercise and certainly not getting the training she needed to get by in the world: Ackerley observed that Alsatians could likely be unruly at the best of times, so he had his work cut out for him when he saved Tulip and offered her a new start...

Although Ackerley's book was celebrated for its depiction of how humans interact with their canine pets as one of the finest of its kind ever written, watching this film adaptation you may well wonder if it was not designed to appeal dog haters as much as it was dog lovers. That was because the story was not afraid to admit that pooches could be just as much trouble to keep as they were faithful friends, and some of their activities as depicted here were frankly revolting. As brought to the screen by husband and wife team Paul Fierlinger and Sandra Fierlinger, they did not skimp on unpleasant detail.

Paul was actually in his seventies when he made this, a rare feature in a career made up of shorts and animated inserts to other works, but although there's a slightly musty charm about it, My Dog Tulip could easily have been made by a man a fraction of his age such was the sure hand on its style that kept it interesting. What this was not by any means a Disney version of animal relationships; if anything the Fierlingers went out of their way to make this as far from that anthropomorphism as they possibly could, so there was no hint of Tulip suddenly beginning to talk, yet neither was there his owner conducting imaginary conversations with her.

You would not get Lady and the Tramp eating vomit or shitting on the floor, that's for sure, but this was what you saw Tulip doing here in a successful effort to sustain her essential canine character, the implication being that while owners and pets had a connection based on love and mutual need, they could never quite connect intellectually, leaving their regard for each other on an alien level no matter how much they thought they knew one another. Yes, they could communicate basically, but a human couldn't understand the appeal of pissing on lampposts just as the dog could see no point in reading.

As for J.R., or Joe as the others call him, Plummer guided us through his thoughts in near-continuous voiceover, and the idea of him as a great British eccentric was what powered a story which could have been mundane in the extreme. Also appearing in voice form were Isabella Rossellini, as a vet who is able to tame the rowdy Tulip enough to tend to her innoculations, and in her final role Lynn Redgrave as Joe's sister who tries to tempt the dog away from him, only Tulip is too loyal. Much of the latter half was taken up with Joe's attempts to get his pet pregnant, a baffling endeavour when you later find out he had no intention of keeping the pups and indeed planned to drown them when they were born. Rest assured he cannot bring himself to do so, but at times the narrator is just as fundamentally a puzzle as what brings people and their pets together, according to this at any rate. Highly idiosyncratic, at times disgusting, at others very funny, this wasn't quite like any other animal film. Music by John Avarese.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2135 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: