The Dog

Classic Media

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: 50th Anniversary A dapper snowman (voiced by Burl Ives) shares a tale about a Christmas that almost wasn’t and the plucky little reindeer who saved the day. Sounds simple, but the adventure that brings Rudolph from his beleaguered youth through his adventures with misfit toys, a bumbling snow monster, an elf with dental aspirations and a surly ginger named Yukon Cornelius. Also, love. He has an adventure featuring love. Sure, Halloween just ended and we’re still a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, but does that mean we can’t start seeking out Christmas specials? Okay, yes, it does, but that hasn’t stopped the onslaught of holiday-themed releases from hitting DVD today. While most of them are easily ignored this 1964 classic deserves far more respect. This Rankin/Bass production is 52 minutes of pure stop-motion, sing-along joy, and I’m not just saying that because people felt for the longest time that I resembled Hermey the dentally-inclined elf. The bumble cave sequence, the time spent on the Island of Misfit Toys, the opportunity for Rudolph to step up and save Christmas — these are magical sequences, and even at half a century old their power remains. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes]


Drafthouse Films

August 22nd, 1972 was just another hot summer day in New York City, at least until two men walked into a Brooklyn branch of Chase bank and made a somewhat incompetent attempt to rob it. John “The Dog” Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturale were the two would-be robbers, and while you probably don’t recognize their names you’re most likely familiar with their exploits that day. The event — and the botched robbery most definitely became an event complete with hostages, intense media coverage and crowds of cops and civilians — inspired the Al Pacino-led film Dog Day Afternoon just a few years later. Naturale was killed by police as the situation came to a frenzied and suspenseful conclusion, and Wojtowicz went to jail, but The Dog’s story continued to grow well past his eventual release. By his own account, he had attempted the robbery so that his male lover could afford a sex change operation. That detail was disputed by none other than the lover himself, Ernest Aron, but by then the “story” of The Dog was already rolling and impossible to stop. Co-directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren followed Wojtowicz for a decade, speaking with him — or more accurately, letting him talk — and those in his life in an attempt to capture the truth and character of the man. There’s an abundance of the latter in The Dog, but it’s anyone’s guess how much of the former is on display. Wojtowicz enjoys not only the sound of his own voice but […]


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the dog fund this

You likely already know that Dog Day Afternoon was based on a true story. But did you know the inspiration for Al Pacino’s character didn’t die until 2006? His name was not Sonny Wortzik, it was John Wojtowicz, and there’s a new documentary about him titled The Dog. Directed by Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren, the film is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. The production needs some extra financial help, though, to continue working right up until the event and complete all the finishing touches in time. And for their campaign, Berg and Keraudren have gone with a new crowdfunding outlet called Seed&Spark, which lets you pick specifically what parts of the film you want to donate to from a “wish list.” This project’s options include archival footage and photo licensing ($25-$100 apiece), poster design ($500) and color correction ($25 per portion).

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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