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Dolphin Tale
BLU-RAY disk
Jan 17, 2012 By: J.A. Hamilton
Dolphin Tale order download
Director:
Charles Martin Smith

Actors:
Harry Connick Jr
Ashley Judd
Morgan Freeman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After a young boy (Sawyer) helps rescue and injured dolphin (Winter) they soon realize her tail needs to be amputated which will in turn lead to death. Determined to save his newfound friend, Sawyer enlists the aid of a prosthetist to help build Winter a new tail.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I've never been one for FREE WILLY-ish flicks (true or untrue) about humans interacting, helping, saving or being saved by animals. Sure, like most kids coming up in the eighties I watched all of the BENJI movies but that's about where it stopped. There are countless true stories involving animals, and great as they may be on paper, most times we see washed up actors at the end of their careers (or ones on their way there) show up on screen. We almost lost Paul Walker to EIGHT BELOW before FAST & FURIOUS (part four) revitalised his career. In this case, we have Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and Harry Connick, Jr. (who in my opinion hasn't done much of interest since COPYCAT) who all do well, especially Morgan Freeman, but again, it does feel like these actors are fishing for anything they can get on their way out.

From a story perspective this is a perfect film for families and kids. Dolphins are cool, don't get me wrong, I've swam with them at Sea World and I'll be honest it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I feel for little Winter, who ends up needing a prosthetic tail, and though I do sympathise with the bond between Sawyer and Winter I'm also a realist in today's messed up world. It's commendable to try and save a dolphin, a whale, polar bears and what have you, but the bottom line is we're destroying their habitats daily and without remorse. What fish we're not harvesting for food or sport, we're killing with pollution in the oceans. I mean pretty soon that good old saying "there's plenty of fish in the sea" won't even make sense anymore because before long there won't be any left. I'm not trying to preach, but Hollywood lobbing out one of two of these films a year isn't enough to pull the wool over this dog's eyes.

DOLPHIN TALE is what it is, a warm hearted, feel good flick about a boy and his dolphin who're out to beat fate and the world. I'm cool with that. There's also a lot of love and support going out to the disabled community, and make no mistake, this is THE sort of movie to inspire hope and courage when it comes to that topic. I'm very cool with that. However, at the end of the day this is still just another "inspired by true events" flick about us and animals to get people feeling all mushy inside. I hate to be the spoil sport when all's said and done, but as inspiring a tale as this may be, it pales in comparison to actually getting out there and doing something about it. Even now, all the local theatres are playing a Coke commercial about helping save polar bears and how they'll match donations pledged to the cause. I like seeing commercials like that much more than I like seeing movies like these.
THE EXTRAS
The Hutash Rainbow Bridge: This is an animated story about the Hutash tribe and kids falling off rainbows and becoming dolphins. I wonder who falls off to become great white sharks? There's also a second animated short about a pig, Ormie, which has absolutely nothing to do with this film or anything in it.

At Home with Winter: This bit explains the pre-filming relationship between Warner Bros. and Winter the dolphin. There's all sorts of cool tricks and thoughtful procedures used to get their star prepped for the big screen.

Dolphin Tale: Spotlight on a Scene: Here we get the deets on why the film's opening scene was computer animated and why it was chosen to be added in the first place. I thought it looked cheap myself, but that's me.

Winterís Inspiration: Here we get actual footage of Winter's rescue, her therapeutic road to recovery along with interviews with the ones who came up with her prosthetic tail.

Deleted Scene: Winter Meets Panama: One scene, two minutes long. Winter's put into the same tank as Panama. They become friends. Yay.

Gag Reel: Lots of water, lots of yelling, but nothing really funny. Of course, this isn't a comedy so I'm pointing fingers.

Previews: There are also some trailers and some BD-LIVE content if you're packing internet connection.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This isn't a terrible flick by any stretch, I'm simply not the ideal audience. If you've got little ones, or if you're one of those people who go for the tear jerker/ heart melting flicks, by all means have at it, you'll no doubt enjoy yourselves. If that doesn't sound like your particular brand of vodka, I recommend you drink elsewhere.
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