REVIEW: Dog Days (2018)

Directed by: Ken Marino
Starring: Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Finn Wolfhard

Written by Elena Morgan

Set in sunny Los Angeles, we follow the lives of multiple dog owners and their beloved fluffy pals. When these human and canine paths start to intertwine, their lives begin changing in ways they never expected…

Dog Days is in the same vein as Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Mother’s Day. However, it doesn’t have quite the A-List cast those three films have, and instead of being set around one day, dogs are what connect all the characters and their stories. All the characters have dogs in their lives, and a lot of them find romance and friendship thanks to their furry friends. There’s Nina Dobrev’s TV host who meets a former NBA player and Vanessa Hudgens’ barista Tara who fancies the sexy vet who works across the street, while Finn Wolfhard’s pizza boy helps an elderly professor find his lost dog. There’s a lot more characters and plots than that but if I listed them that’d take up this whole review.

Contrary to what the film’s title might suggest, the focus of Dog Days is on the humans rather than their canine counterparts. The cast all give decent performances and those whose character’s stories involve a romance, generally they have good chemistry with their love interest. The characters themselves are all pretty cliché and there’s no characters that stand out, for good or bad reasons. The various character’s stories are incredibly predictable but sometimes it’s nice to watch a film that’s nice and fluffy – in more ways than one!

Dog Days is a rom-com with dogs. The romance can be sickly sweet, and the comedy is a bit hit or miss with most jokes merely raising a smile rather than a proper laugh, but all in all it is satisfyingly sentimental. I’m a soppy dog lover so naturally there were a few moments that made me tear up, and there was one moment in particular that made me cry like a baby. In amongst the romance and friendship drama, these characters all love dogs and the relationships they build with their four-legged friends does tug on the heartstrings.

Elena’s Verdict:

3

 

We’re currently running a competition to win a Blu-ray copy of the film!

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘The Meg’ Swims To First Place Ahead Of ‘M:I Fallout’

Written by Dapo Olowu

Giant sharks, supernatural creepypasta, and the Ku Klux Klan. It’s a weird and wonderful weekend of film for U.S. audiences, and the Box Office shouldn’t disappoint either, as four wide releases look to enter the top ten biggest grossers. The hunt will be led by ‘The Meg’, the sci-fi-horror, action, adventure, thriller(?) about the endeavors to stop a Megalodon shark from causing chaos on a beach. The film stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, and Ruby Rose.

The joint-Chinese production was originally meant to be Disney’s, who bought the rights to the 1997 book ‘Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror’, but by 2015 it was owned by Warner Bros, who will benefit from a higher financial return from its Chinese gross.

This is especially welcomed news; the film should make a huge splash with international audiences, and like monster film ‘Rampage’ from April, its middling reviews (48% on the Tomatometer) won’t give it much bite in the U.S. Unlike ‘Rampage’, it doesn’t have the star power of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and with more competition, it won’t emulate ‘Rampage’s $35.8m either, but will likely open at around $25m.

Still, this’ll be enough to top the charts and swim above ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, which continues to hold impressively as the days go by. In its third weekend, the Tom Cruise-fronted spy-thriller looks to earn just under $24m, and aims to reach close to $170m by day 17 of its release – around $15m more than its nearest franchise competitor, ‘Mission: Impossible II’.

Disney’s Christopher Robin’ is next, and it should benefit from having limited Box Office competition, to gross close to $15m. Trailing in its wake is horror, ‘Slenderman’, based on a near-decade old meme about the ‘Slender Man’, a supernatural being characterized by incredibly long, slim limbs, and lack of facial features.

Why Sony Pictures are releasing the film now is a mystery; like last week’s ‘The Darkest Minds’, its popularity peaked years ago, and there’s a sense of missed opportunity with this late entrance. A 13% on Rotten Tomatoes could mean the writing’s already on the wall, but as with a lot of youth-aimed recent horrors, poor ratings doesn’t always equal a poor Box Office showing.

Lead actress Joey King’s (‘The Kissing Booth’) last horror, ‘Wish Upon’, opened in a similar number of cinemas with $5.5m and a similar gross could be in store, but we’re placing our bets on it making something like 2017s ‘The Bye Bye Man’s $13.5m, with a $10m opening.

Now here’s a tricky one: Spike Lee’s first wide release ‘joint’ in 10 years, ‘BlacKkKlansman’. Opening in just 1,500 cinemas but with 98% on the Tomatometer, it’s one of the best reviewed films of the year, but it’s tiny theatre account offsets a potential breakout opening. Its unflinching subject matter – a black policeman infiltrating the KKK – is both controversial and appealing, and we just can’t tell what this’ll do.

The film stars John David Washington as the aforementioned detective Ron Stallworth, as well as Topher Grace, Adam Driver, and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Laura Harrier. Per-cinema-averages on other biographical crime dramas, like ‘Black Mass’ ($7,100) and ‘Molly’s Game’ ($4,264), leave the film earning anywhere between $6.4m and $10.7m. An average gives us around $8.5m, but the hype train could push this to potentially over $10m, so who knows?

In its second weekend, ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ will earn roughly $6m, just above ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ with $5.7m, and ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ with $5.5m. Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Equalizer 2’ should hit the $90m domestic total, with a $5m take.

Coming in at number 10 is ‘Dog Days’, the romantic family comedy directed by Ken Marino. It includes a pretty packed cast, with Eva Longoria, Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, and Finn Wolfhard starring in the film that was released on Wednesday. Its Wednesday gross of $635k drastically reduced my original 3-day weekend estimates, as this should just manage to scrape in over ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ with $4.5m.

In a tight weekend across the chart, will we see ‘The Meg’ top the list, or will it be a weekend hattrick at number one for ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’? Let us know your thoughts, we’re on Instagram and Twitter at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Reel Women: August UK Releases

Written by Elena Morgan

Welcome back to Reel Women, a monthly feature where we highlight the films being released in the UK that are written and/or directed by women. What’s the perfect way to spend this ridiculously hot British summer we’re having? Spending time in an airconditioned cinema watching some films made by women of course! This August there’s something for everyone with documentaries, rom-coms and a couple of YA adaptations, proving that that genre is still here.

3 August

Damascus Cover
Directed by: Daniel Zelik Berk
Written by: Daniel Zelik Berk and Samantha Newton

A spy (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) struggles on an undercover mission in Syria when he falls in love.This is Samantha Newton’s first feature length writing credit. Trances, the short film she wrote, was shown at Berlinale in 2008.

Like Father
Directed by: Lauren Miller Rogen
Written by: Lauren Miller Rogen

When workaholic Rachel (Kristen Bell) is left at the altar, she accidentally goes on her honeymoon with her overachieving father (Kelsey Grammer) who suddenly came back into her life.

Lauren Miller Rogen is an actress who has appeared in films like Superbad and 50/50. This is her feature length directing and writing debut.

10 August

Dog Days
Directed by: Ken Marino
Written by: Elissa Matsueda and Erica Oyama

A group of interconnected people are brought together by their lovable dogs.

Dog Days is Elissa Matsueda’s fourth feature film. Erica Oyama is an actress, producer and writer who’s previously written episodes of The Eric Andre Show, Fresh Off the Boat and Burning Love, which she received an Emmy nomination for in 2013.

The Darkest Minds
Directed by: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Written by: Chad Hodge

Based on the book of the same name by Alexandra Bracken, The Darkest Minds is about a group of teens with powers who fight back against the adults who fear them and want to control them.

This Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s first live-action film after previously directed Kung Fu Panda 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3.

17 August

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Directed by: Susan Johnson
Written by: Sofia Alvarez

When Lara Jean (Lan Condor) gets a crush, the way she deals with it is to write the boy a love letter, but she never sends them. Then one day all her letters get sent out and they wreak havoc on her love life.

Susan Johnson’s is a producer and director, her previous film Carrie Pilby is currently on Netflix and is well worth a watch. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is Sofia Alvarez’s first film credit and has previously written episodes and worked as an executive story editor on the TV show Man Seeking Woman.

Distant Constellation
Directed by: Shevaun Mizrahi

A documentary about the inhabitants of a Turkish retirement home, telling anecdotes about their lives.

Distant Constellation is Shevaun Mizrahi first feature-length documentary, which she also edited, after previously working as a part of the camera and electrical department on multiple short films.

The Guardians
Directed by: Xavier Beauvois
Written by: Xavier Beauvois, Marie-Julie Maille and Frédérique Moreau

When war breaks out in France in 1915, the women are left behind to work on a family farm so that their loved ones will have something to come back to.

As well as writing The Guardians Marie-Julie Maille also edited it. She’s edited over a dozen short and feature-length films.

22 August

Load Wedding
Directed by: Nabeel Qureshi
Written By: Fizza Ali Meerza and Nabeel Qureshi

Load Wedding is a romantic social comedy starring Fahad Mustafa and Mehwish Hayat.

Fizza Ali Meerza also produced Load Wedding and it is her third produced screenplay.

The Spy Who Dumped Me
Directed by: Susanna Fogel
Written by: Susanna Fogel and David Iserson

Audrey (Mila Kunis) and her best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) get caught up in an international conspiracy when they discover that Audrey’s ex-boyfriend (Justin Theroux) is actually a spy.

Susanna Fogel is a writer, director and producer. The Spy Who Dumped Me is her second film.

24 August

One Note At A Time
Directed by: Renne Edwards

Documentary about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and how musicians use music to try and piece themselves together.

One Note at a Time is Renee Edwards’ first feature-length documentary. She’s edited over twenty different films and TV shows including episodes of Dispatches and Panorama.


That’s 10 very different films released in the UK this month, both in cinemas and on Netflix, that are made by women. If you get the chance to see any of them, we’d love to hear what you think of them.