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MAY (2003) (***1/2)

The buzz on this film has been building for a while. Some said it was the best horror film since HALLOWEEN. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is darn good. Most horror flicks these days go for cheap scares and gore. MAY has some gore, but what it has over films like JASON 6,256 is that it has solid characters.

Like Frankenstein’s monster, we care about May (Angela Bettis, GIRL, INTERRUPTED), because we can see a human being inside. May is a desperately lonely young woman who works at a pet hospital. She was rejected as a child and has had little luck making friends. She wears strange homemade clothes and has an infatuation with the gross nature of her job. More than anything May wants a friend and we hope things will turn around for her as we see her spiral out of control. She starts dating mechanic and wannabe filmmaker Adam (Jeremy Sisto, ANGEL EYES). He’s attracted to her because her weirdness is intriguing. Her co-worker Polly (Anna Faris, SCARY MOVIE), a lesbian, is also interested, but she soon starts to scare them.


JURASSIC PARK (1993) (***1/2)

Time heals all wounds, they say. The distance of years from film school has allowed me to enjoy films again. For years, I have spoken of my distain for JURASSIC PARK for its lopping off subplots and featuring a Deus ex Machina ending (i.e. the heroes in peril are saved by the cavalry arriving just in time). I still think the ending is weak -- the third installment in this franchise has a better ending in my opinion. However, after this viewing, I was able to get wrapped up in the awe of the film like the very first time I saw it in the theaters.

The film drips with the style and themes of director Steven Spielberg’s best work. The film’s science is well thought out and detailed. The emotional center of the film surrounds children. The plot is perfectly paced and flawlessly executed. Sam Neill (THE PAINO) as Dr. Alan Grant is the focal point of all the action. We can see in his character the true awe of seeing the living dinosaurs, a topic he has dedicated his whole life to. The park brings out the childlike side in him, which allows him to bond with park’s creator John Hammond's grandchildren Tim (Joseph Mazzello, SIMON BIRCH) and Lex (Ariana Richards, ANGUS) when the trio are stranded in the park with the dinosaurs.


EQUILIBRIUM (2002) (***1/2)

This sci-fi flick is part 1984 part MATRIX. The plot is completely borrowed from the classic sci-fi novels like the aforementioned Orwell novel, FAHRENHEIT 451 and A BRAVE NEW WORLD. The high-octane fight sequences are all MATRIX.

The story is set in the 21 Century after the Third World War. Humans have discovered that the bane of human survival is our emotions, which lead to wars. The Earth's populations are forced to take an emotion-numbing drug and those suspected of feeling are killed. Highly trained government agents called Clerics are sent out to find Sense Offenders. John Preston (Christian Bale, AMERICAN PSYCHO) is the top Cleric and, after his original partner is killed as a Sense Offender, he is assigned Brandt (Taye Diggs, CHICAGO) as his new partner. But after Preston arrests pretty Mary O'Brien (Emily Watson, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE) on Sense Offense charges, he stops taking his Prozium to see feelings from a rebel's point of view. Soon he can't hide his feelings, which makes Brandt suspicious.



Why is this film good? Two main factors: it re-introduced a long dead genre with style and excitement and Johnny Depp. Who would have thought such a good film could be an adaptation of an amusement park ride?

The story has the cursed crew of the Black Pearl pirate ship, lead by Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush, SHINE), out to find the last piece of Coronado’s stolen gold so they can lift the curse that makes them living skeletons. They attack a Caribbean port city looking for the gold piece, which was given to the young blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom, LORD OF THE RINGS) when he was a boy and was taken by the Governor’s daughter Elizabeth (Keira Knightly, PHANTOM MENACE, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM). The pirates kidnap Elizabeth, and Will pressures Commander Norrington (Jack Davenport, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY), the older suitor of Elizabeth, to rush out to save her. Norrington’s lack of speed leads Will to break the pirate Jack Sparrow (Depp, ED WOOD) out of prison to steal a ship and head out after the Black Pearl.


POSSESSION (2002) (***1/2)

This film has two love stories within each other. The key to that statement is love. Many modern love stories are about the explosion and not the suspense. Neil LaBute's film understands that sex and love start in the mind.

The first is the secret affair of a Victorian poet named Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam, GOSFORD PARK), noted for being a devote husband, and lesbian poet Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle, SUNSHINE). The second is Ash scholar Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart, IN THE COMPANY OF MEN) and LaMotte scholar Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE), who are secretly investigating the Ash and LaMotte affair.

The story works like a mystery. What’s refreshing about the story is the look at career scholars, who devote their lives to one topic. The first time Roland meets Maud, she uses her superior knowledge of LaMotte as a way of feeling superior to Roland. He has discovered a letter from Ash to LaMotte, which challenges everything she has thought about her favorite poet. Maud is the central character and through the journey of discovering more about LaMotte she is allowed to open up herself. Likewise, Roland has been burned in love so often that staying distant and in his head is safe.


GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997) (****)

This film is one of the best films of 1997, which contained a strong list of other contenders, including BOOGIE NIGHTS, CHASING AMY and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. Director Gus Van Sant gained mainstream success with this Oscar nominated production. The film received nine Oscar nods, including Best Picture. A wonderful mix of writing, acting and music, GOOD WILL HUNTING can be just as funny as it can be soulful.

The story follows Will Hunting (Matt Damon, OCEAN'S ELEVEN), a poor, hardheaded orphan who happens to be a Math genius. To save Will from jail, MIT professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard, BREAKING THE WAVES) offers to take him under his custody provided that Will works problems with him and sees a therapist. After going through a few psychologists, Gerald gets Sean Maguire (Robin Williams, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME), a community college psych professor who used to be his roommate in college, to help.


LILO & STITCH (2002) (***1/2)

It's taken awhile for me to catch this film, which came out about a year ago. Disney's traditional animation division has been turning out mainly average productions for nearly a decade now. Most of their big-budget failures were done in LA.. but this flick was greenlit with a small budget and done without the looming eye of execs in Orlando, Florida. What we get is a free-for-all from director, writer and voice of Stitch Chris Sanders' imagination.

The story is simple: an alien scientist Dr. Jumba (David Ogden Stiers, THE MAJESTIC) creates the ultimate destruction machine, Stitch, who is exiled from his home planet and sentenced to live on an asteroid. He escapes and ends up on Earth where, to avoid capture by Dr. Jumba and agent Pleakley (Kevin McDonald, TV's KIDS IN THE HALL), he poses as a dog and is adopted by Lilo (Daveigh Chase, SPIRITED AWAY) and her older sister Nani (Tia Carrere, WAYNE'S WORLD), who is trying to raise her little sister after their parents' death. Both Lilo and Stitch are perfect cases for anger management therapy and create havoc in Nani's life, spurring social worker Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames, PULP FICTION) to consider sending Lilo to a foster home.



This film is the thriller that all thrillers since have tried to be. The serial killer sub-genre has never been better. Anthony Hopkins was an established actor before this film, but his performance as the demented Dr. Hannibal Lecter made him a mega-star. I've seen this film dozens of times and with each new viewing I'm still thrilled and on the edge of my seat.

The story follows FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster, THE ACCUSED) sent by special agent Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn, THE RIGHT STUFF) to interview the serial killer Hannibal the cannibal. Her assignment is to elicit the notorious killer's insight into the newest at-large killer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine, HEAT). This begins the film's battle of wills. Lecter is a genius and Clarice gains his sympathy because she does not insult his intelligence. He is a crafty manipulator and pulls out past traumas from her mind like they're cotton candy. Will he get into her head before she can get into his?



With the critical success of THE ELEPHANT MAN and the mainstream flop of DUNE behind him, director David Lynch made BLUE VELVET, which truly announced his unique and original style to the world. Largely debated about what it really means, the film is still surprisingly simple and can be viewed as a moody mystery.

Set in the picturesque suburbs of an unnamed American town, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan, DUNE) finds a severed ear in a field one afternoon, which he takes to the police, spurring within him the desire to uncover the mysterious events surrounding the ear and a sultry voiced nightclub singer named Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini, WHITE NIGHTS). To help him, Jeffrey enlists the police chief's high school-aged daughter Sandy (Laura Dern, JURASSIC PARK). The deeper and deeper Jeffrey gets involved the more he is aroused by the corrupt underbelly of this home town that he never knew existed. Haunting Dorothy is Frank Booth (DENNIS HOPPER, RIVER'S EDGE), a violent man with a fetish for blue velvet and ether.


COCOON (1985) (***1/2)

With making his first big splash with SPLASH, Ron Howard followed up that hit with this quirky sci-fi flick about a group of retirement home inhabitants that find youthful rejuvenation in a swimming pool containing alien cocoons.

The film has two parallel stories that converge in the end. Firstly, Jack Bonner (Steve Guttenberg, THREE MEN & A BABY) skippers a boat and takes a group of human-looking aliens, lead by Walter (Brian Dennehy, STOLEN SUMMER) and beautiful Kitty (Tahnee Welch, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL), out to collect huge pods from the bottom of the ocean. Once Jack learns they're aliens, he is at first scared, but soon helps them and falls for Kitty.

The second and most central story is the four old men and their wives, who have been sneaking into the next-door neighbor's pool, which the aliens rent. Ben (Wilford Brimley, THE NATURAL) and Mary Luckett (Maureen Stapleton, THE MONEY PIT) are a loving couple, who share a good wit. They have a grandson named David (Barret Oliver, D.A.R.Y.L.), who likes to spend more time with his grandparents then with kids his own age. Joe and Alma Finley (Hume Croyn and Jessica Tandy, BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED) have been married for years, but once the "fountain of youth" gives Joe a new lease on life he starts to get a wondering eye. Art Selwyn (Don Ameche, TRADING PLACES) is a single man who gets the nerve to woo retirement home dance instructor Bess McCarthy (Gwen Verdon, MARVIN'S ROOM). Bernie (Jack Gilford, CATCH-22) and Rose Lefkowitz (Herta Ware, CRUEL INTENTIONS) are a scared duo, who must deal with Rose's growing struggle with Alzheimer's.


WE WERE SOLDIERS (2002) (***1/2)

Upon seeing the trailer for this film I thought "Oh goodness, Mel Gibson is doing a Vietnam version of BRAVEHEART like he did an American Revolution version with THE PATRIOT." However, I was surprised by the solid reviews and comparisons to BLACK HAWK DOWN. And after seeing the movie, I can say that I enjoyed this film better than BLACK HAWK DOWN.

The story follows the events of the first land battle in Vietnam where 400 U.S. soldiers were helicoptered into the battlefield and found themselves surrounded by 2,000 Viet Cong. The film begins in the U.S., introducing us to the various characters. Lt. Col. Hal Moore (Gibson) is a Korea veteran and a Harvard graduate who studied international relations. He's worried that he's leading his Battalion of the Seventh Cavalry, which was Custer's regiment, into an ambush. He's a strong man and a wise leader with a strong religious faith.


CASTLE IN THE SKY (1986) (***1/2)

If you've read my reviews with any regularity than you know that I love the films of Hayao Miyazaki. This film was recently released in the U.S. for the first time after being released in Japan in 1986. As usual, Miyazaki presents a unique imagination that is unmatched in cinema. He creates worlds so original that there is no comparison.

This film follows a young miner named Pazu (voiced by James Van Der Beek, TV's DAWSON'S CREEK), who dreams of flying. His simple life changes when a young girl named Sheeta (Anna Paquin, X-MEN) floats down from the sky after falling from an airship that was attacked by pirates led by the crone-ish Dola (Cloris Leachman, LAST PICTURE SHOW). Pazu and Sheeta go on the run trying to avoid the pirates, as well as the military, which is lead by secret agent Muska (Mark Hamill, STAR WARS). Along the way, Pazu and Sheeta learn about the legendary floating city of Laputa, an advanced society that once ruled the world.


BLOODY SUNDAY (2002) (****)

Gritty and powerful are the best adjectives to describe this movie. The film is a dramatization of the hideous events that transpired on January 30, 1972 in Derry, Northern Ireland, when British troops opened fire on a crowd of Irish marchers, killing 13 people and injuring 14, one of which succumbed to his injuries later. Some of the soldiers were later decorated by the British royalty.

The central character is Ivan Cooper, the Protestant Stormont Member of Parliament, who organized the march. Director Paul Greengrass (THE THEORY OF FLIGHT) uses a documentary-like style to its fullest extent. The viewer is given snippets of scenes setting up the planning of the rally on both sides, leading to the dreadful finale. The style is bold and striking and adds to the power of the whole film. One feels like an eyewitness. Greengrass is obviously leaning toward an Irish point of view, but the raw feel of the style makes its argument so convincing.


PUMPKIN (2002) (***1/2)

I read a lot of the public's reviews of movies on The first review listed for PUMPKIN loathes it. That person called it the worst movie of the year. You may hate it also, but I think it's one of the best. Some films that skirt the edge will get mixed reactions, especially if people just don't get it. The movie is a cross between HAROLD & MAUDE and a John Waters film (POLYESTER). It's not subtle and by no means is it PC about its subject matter.

The film follows super peppy sorority member, Carolyn McDuffy (Christina Ricci, SLEEPY HOLLOW) as she and her sorority sisters plan how they're going to win Sorority of the Year. They talk about how they desperately need to recruit the pretty "black" girl and the white looking "Filipino" girl because the Greek council likes diversity. But the crowning moment is their choice of charity work — coaching handicapped and retarded kids for the Challenged Games. Carolyn doesn't like the idea at all. She is assigned Pumpkin Romanoff (Hank Harris, MERCURY RISING), a wheelchair bound boy who can barely talk. At first, Carolyn is completely disgusted with Pumpkin because he makes her feel so uncomfortable. But soon enough she starts to like him, even setting him up on a double date with her and her big-man-on-campus, tennis star boyfriend Kent Woodlands (Sam Ball, THE LAST CASTLE).


SPIRITED AWAY (2002) (****)

Well my top ten list has changed so much since I sent it out in January and now that I've seen this film, we have a new #1. I was simply blown away. Hayao Miyazaki is quickly becoming a director that I eagerly await seeing what he will do next. PRINCESS MONONOKE was my favorite film of 1999 and I couldn't even imagine Miyazaki making a film to match it, but he did. In some ways, SPIRITED AWAY is better, but it's like picking the best of any great director who does diverse work. MONONOKE was one of the best action/adventure/fantasy films I've ever seen, while SPIRITED AWAY is one of the best children's fantasy films I've ever seen.

The story follows Chihiro (Daveigh Chase, THE RING), a spoiled little brat who doesn't want to move to a new home with her parents. On moving day, her father (Michael Chiklis, TV's THE SHIELD) takes a wrong turn and ends up in a deserted village. Chihiro's father and mother (Lauren Holly, DUMB & DUMBER) wander into a restaurant and before long are wolfing down food. As the sun sets, they turn into pigs and Chihiro finds herself stuck in the town, which is a recreational spot for spirits. She soon receives the kind help of the mysterious and magical Haku (Jason Marsden, TV's FULL HOUSE). To survive, she must get a job with the dubious witch, Yubaba (Suzanne Pleshette, TV's BOB NEWHART) who owns the bathhouse.


THE LOVED ONE (1965) (****)

The best way to describe this film is by quoting its own tag line, "The motion picture with something to offend everyone!" This biting satire starts out lampooning Hollywood and the cultural differences between the British and Americans then spends the last two acts attacking the funeral business and polite society in general. The film mercilessly makes fun of everything and anything that it can sink its teeth into.

The film's central character is Dennis Barlow (Robert Morse, THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES), a young wanna-be poet who moves to L.A. from England. He moves in with his gay uncle Sir Francis Hinsley (John Gielgud, ARTHUR), who ends up dying and leads Dennis to Whispering Glades funeral parlor where he meets the beautiful, naive make-up technician Aimee Thanatogenous (Anjanette Comer, THE PENNSYLVANIA MINERS' STORY). Competing with Dennis for the affections of Aimee is effeminate, momma's boy embalmer Mr. Joyboy (Rod Steiger, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT). To get a picture of what Joyboy is like think of Bill Murray in ED WOOD.


10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (1999) (***1/2)

This film falls under the guilty pleasure category, because it's funny and charming and the actors sell the material, which is based on Shakespeare's TAMING OF THE SHREW. The other selling point of the film is the breakthrough performances by young stars Julia Stiles (SAVE THE LAST DANCE) as Kat and Heather Ledger (FOUR FEATHERS) as Pat.

First thing that could have been a major problem was that Pat and Kat's relationship is based on a bride. I hate romantic comedies based on deceptions. However, Ledger captures the viewer and we are left feeling that the bribe just serves as a device to bring the two characters to meet rather than something that really affects their budding relationship. Though we get the big "girl runs away in horror after discovering the deception" bit, Stiles plays it well and we do get a nice believable make-up scene at the end. Plus, the premise of the bribe, which is that rich jerk Joey (Andrew Keegan, O) wants to date Kat's younger sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik, TV's THE SECRET WORLD OF ALEX MACK), but can only do so if Kat dates, and what transpires afterwards, do not leave Pat looking malicious.



Anyone who knows me will know that I'm a major fan of this film -- it's one of my favorites. I truly feel it's one of the most underrated films of the last decade. Director Lasse Hallstrom poetically visualizes Peter Hedges' angst-filled coming-of-age novel, bringing it to the screen in a funny and delicate way. Gilbert Grape has a quirky family, but you'll see a real family when you meet them. Brimming with originality, the character study not only builds one believable life, but a whole community of them.

It's a classic tale of a lethargic young man (Johnny Depp, ED WOOD), who lives in a small Mid-Western town named Endora and tries to do the right thing for his family. His younger brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio, TITANIC) is autistic and needs a lot of special attention — and even more patience — to deal with. Gilbert also has two sisters. The older, Amy, (Laura Harrington, PAULIE) was recently laid off from the local elementary school and the younger, Ellen, (Mary Kate Schellhardt, APOLLO 13) is a cocky teenager who works at the local ice cream shoppe. They all care for their 800-pound-plus mother, Bonnie (Darlene Cates, TV's WOLF GIRL), who hasn't left the house to years.


PRIMARY COLORS (1998) (****)

This political satire by director Mike Nichols (THE GRADUATE), in my opinion, is perfect. It looks at the American political process in a new way for a fictional film. A party is named, but the story is universal. Left- or right-leaning viewers can both enjoy this film equally. Political junkies will make a ball picking out the real life counter parts to the film's fictional cast.

Based on the book of the same name by Anonymous, the film follows the primary campaign for the Democratic ticket of Southern governor Jack Stanton (John Travolta, PULP FICTION). Okay, okay, it's Bill Clinton -- Nichols does nothing to really hide who the film is really about. Emma Thompson (DEAD AGAIN) plays the Hillary Clinton-like Susan Stanton. Both actors become their characters fully and I was blown away by their performances. I think this is Travolta's best. However, the central character in the film is Henry Burton (Adrian Lester, LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST), the son of a black civil rights leader and an activist in his own right. He is roped into becoming a campaign manager and soon falls for the charming and surprisingly honest Stanton.


SECRETARY (2002) (***1/2)

This is one of the craziest love stories you'll ever see. I guess many boss/secretary relationships are sadomasochistic, but no other film has ever made that so literal.

Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal, DONNIE DARKO) has recently been released from a mental institution because she likes to cut herself. Her family is neurotic to say the least. Her father (Stephen McHattie, BASEKETBALL) is an alcoholic and her mother (Lesley Ann Warren, TWIN FALLS IDAHO) is an overly pleasant smotherer. Lee goes to an interview at the law office of E. Edward Grey (James Spader, SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE), a man who goes through so many secretaries that he has an illuminated "secretary wanted" sign outside the building.


BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) (****)

If you haven't seen this one than I don't know where you've been since 1985? The film is a fun twist on your typical time traveler story. And from what I can remember it's the first (or at least most popular) time traveling flick that deals with the paradox possibilities of changing the past -- even slightly.

Michael J. Fox's (TV's SPIN CITY) portrayal of Marty McFly made the actor a mega-star. Just think Eric Stoltz (PULP FICTION, LITTLE WOMEN) was originally cast as Marty, but they fired him only a few days into shooting. If you don't know the plot here it is -- Marty goes back in time 30 years and interferes with his parent's first meeting, which creates a ripple in time affecting his own existence. Meanwhile, he finds the creator of the time machine, his good friend, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?). To send Marty back to the future, they must perfectly time the time machine hitting a wire as a lightning strike hits a clock tower.


MANHATTAN (1979) (****)

At face value the film seems like a romantic comedy, but it really is more about loves lost and New York itself. If Paris is the city of love than I think this film is saying that New York is the city of longing.

The film starts off with Isaac Davis (Woody Allen, ZELIG) giving a narration about New York, but he changes it ever so often and paints a different image of New York. I think Isaac the character and Allen the director see the Big Apple as a magnificent city in turmoil with its greatness and beauty, and its moral and structural decay. Don’t let that heavy sounding description scare you. It serves as the backdrop for the characters.

Isaac is an insecure two-time divorcee who is currently dating a 17-year-old beauty named Tracy (Mariel Hemingway, PERSONAL BEST). Isaac seems rattled by her devotion to him because she is so young and he is so weary of romance. There whole relationship consists of him trying to distance himself from her because she may genuinely care for him. To mirror that relationship, we have Yale (Michael Murphy, PRIVATE PARTS) who is cheating on his wife, Emily (Anne Byrne, WHY WOULD I LIE?) with neurotic socialite, Mary (Diane Keaton, ANNIE HALL). Adding to Isaac's mental anguish, his ex-wife, Jill (Meryl Streep, ADAPTATION), who's now with a woman, is writing a tell-all book about her marriage with him. Eventually, Isaac and Mary hook up which is more because they have no one else to talk to. Isaac's break-up scene with Tracy is quite ironic — it's set in an ice cream pallor.



I've seen bits and pieces of this film over the years, but never all the way through until now. I was surprised at how subtle some of the satire is and how dead on it is with some of its comments about family vacations. The ending has a nice sardonic touch, which satirizes American family values as well as the Walt Disney empire.

The plot is simple -- Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase, FLETCH) wants to drive his family from Chicago to Los Angeles to visit the Wally World theme park. Along the way they encounter everything that could go wrong. Chase is perfect in the role of the overachieving father, with a dialed down performance that is absent from the other VACATION flicks even the solid CHRISTMAS VACATION installment. His wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo, AMERICAN HISTORY X) loves Clark's enthusiasm and encourages him… up to a point. "Rusty" Griswold (Anthony Michael Hall, PRETTY IN PINK) is a typical horny teen and Audrey Griswold (Dana Barron, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK) is your typical boy-obsessed, rebellious teen. Rusty is just young enough to still dig his father's vacation plans and Audrey is just old enough to loathe the entire idea.



The first time I saw this film I thought it was only a three-star flick, but like many great movies they don't really hit you until a second or third viewing. There was a lot of hype about this film in critic circles in 2001 and I think I went into it expecting something different. If you have ever seen a Terrence Malick (DAYS OF HEAVEN, BADLANDS, THIN RED LINE) film then you know the style of this picture. The cinematography is warm and rustic, filmed when the sun is just about to set.

The story is slowly paced with no real plot. The film centers on a group of poor kids living in North Carolina. Taking place during one summer, they learn a lot about life, themselves and what they want from their future. George (Donald Holden) is the main character, who's a teenage boy with a skull affliction that prevents him from submerging his head in water. He often wears a helmet to protect his soft skull. He lives with his aunt and uncle, which we find out the reason in a moving scene with George's father later in the film. He's scared of his uncle Damascus (Eddie Rouse, JUWANNA MANN) because the man is cold, distant and mean to dogs. However, like all the characters in the film, he has a reason for being the way he is and we learn about his past in a touching scene between him and George.