Friday, July 29, 2011


Are you really going to write a movie review?

A little one.

A little movie or a little review?

A little review. I mean, how can I write an exhaustive review of a movie that I could condense into three sentences? The movie is Hachi: A Dog's Tale directed by someone that does that sort of thing and it has Richard Gere in it. Actually it was originally called Hachiko: A Dog's Story and they changed the name for very important reasons, I'm sure.

Richard Gere. That's a heavy hitter.

Actually, not in this movie. In fact, there are no human heavy hitters in the movie. All the human people are secondary to Hachi, a dog, an Akita.

Okay, what's it about?

Actually it is based on a true story of what happened in Japan back in the 1920's. In fact, in Japan the story has become part of its folklore. This movie is an Americanized version of it. It has been reported that the original Japanese movie is better than this one, but you would have to put on your glasses and read the subtitles.

Once again, what's it about?

Maybe it would be interesting to see what others have said of it.

You're really trying really hard to stretch this out, aren't you?

Someone called Surfer-Lancealot wrote: Well what can i say. I'm a guy i don't cry about movies i know its fake but i gotta say this one caught me by surprise even tho id watched the trailer and read a few reviews already. by the end of the movie i was in tears absolutely broken down crying my eyes out. and saying that i probably haven't shed a tear in about 8 years for anything but i love dogs and this is the most amazing story I've ever seen this is probably the best movie I've seen in about 10 years and i have seen almost everything.

Lorina Stepenciuc wrote: I'm not at all an emotional person,but this movie really touched me,i couldn't even stop crying after 15 minutes from the final.I just sat on my armchair,and started to cry. This movie,teaches us first of all about love,there is no power bigger than love,nothing compares to this strong feeling. I'm really objective when it comes about movies,and honestly no one till now,have cut me as deep. It's surprising...but true,that everything in this world,is ruled by love,and if you thought that only humans are aware of this,you did wrong. I liked the performance,i loved the music(it was so so calm)

Unknown Author: It is based on a true story and it's only natural that the movie is great because the real story itself is very touching. One of the things that sets this movie apart from the other movies that involve animals is how they stuck to reality instead of throwing in some a-little-hard-to-believe elements here and there just to make it more entertaining.

Sometimes they show things through Hachi's eyes as opposed to human eyes, which helps you relate to him and understand how he felt and what he thought then, as well as emphasizes that Hachi is the main character of the movie.

JapanGaijin said: I have never seen the original Japanese version of the movie but know the story well as I have been told by many people here in Japan. There is a statue of Hachiko that stands outside of Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Now the statue is the most popular place for Tokyoites to meet their friends before going out shopping or dining in Shibuya.

Unlike other Japanese remakes, this movie actually gives credit to the original story so that you don't get the sense that Hollywood wants to call it its own. All actors/actresses in the movie do a superb job in making you feel as if you were a part of the community embracing the dog. Compared to the original story, people were more accepting of Hachi rather than considering him a nuisance. Of course this is going to be released in the U.S. as a holiday movie so the goal is to make it uplifting.

Just a warning, do take many tissues. I am a grown man and can honestly say that I have never really cried during a movie. I think the score of the movie plus the dog being so adorable made me lose myself. When I looked around the theater though, every single person was crying and I saw a lot of red eyes as I left the Men's restroom. Any movie that can make me do that deserves a 10/10. 

Davor Blazevic said: Knowing the real-life story behind it, Hachiko: A Dog's Story (2009) has been made in a sort of staged documentary style, similar to the kind of movies often seen on documentary channels (e.g. NatGeo), however without a narrator so common in documentaries, and including well-known actors (Richard Gere, Sarah Roemer and Joan Allen), making it more suitable for theatrical distribution.

Before my last year's visit to Tokyo I've been unaware of the true-life story this movie is based upon. In time an occasion came up to meet a friend in Shibuya city, contemporary center of Tokyo's youth culture (shopping, fashion, nightlife...), and that's how I've learned about the popular local meeting point for all Tokyoites, the HachikĊ Akita dog statue just outside of Shibuya Train Station, but the real story behind it has been still eluding me ever since. After seeing this movie, and some additional research on the web, all pieces have fallen into place.

I get the sense that this is not an action packed...

Let me introduce you to Hachiko.
Hachi - The Pup
 And in memory of Hachi:

Hachika Memorial, Tokyo
When are you going to tell us about the movie?

I'm not. All I can say is I began watching it only half-interested while I munched on a sandwich. Within fifteen minutes I had finished the Fritos that I had with my sandwich and was making comments to Marilyn that I always liked Akitas. An hour and a half later I had a horrific sinus attack which resulted in dramatic sniffling and watering eyes. I guess Marilyn had a sinus attack too for tears were rolling down her cheeks.

You? You are brave and strong and dynamic....and you were crying?

I had a sinus attack.

How would you grade the movie?

Acting: C; Set Design: B; Dialogue: C; Music B; Special Effects: C

Overall Grade: A

Wait a minute. That doesn't average out. You are saying the sum is greater than its parts.


My wife, two days later is still talking about the movie. "It moved me," she said.

I recommend it.


  1. I have never heard of this movie and have no idea what it is about but now feel compelled to watch it. You have a gift. The studios should hire you....I'm just sayin'...

  2. I love it when a movie I've never heard of turns out to be so moving. I'll look into it!

  3. I have heard of this movie but haven't seen it. "sinus attack" You men crack me up!! LOL

  4. Never heard of it. I will rent it but sadly, I will fall asleep and have to watch it thirty times to get through the whole thing and because of watching parts over and over, I will have absolutely no idea what it's about. Maybe that will head off the sinus attack.

  5. your review has me searching for this movie. I guess I need a good sinus attack to clear my head :)

  6. Since you give it two paws up I'll look for it.

  7. My hubby and I watched this movie. It is a wonderful true story and we enjoyed watching it. I hope everyone who reads your post does see the movie.

  8. Gigi and TB: Let me know what you think when you get around to seeing it.

    Adrielle: I don't what's so funny about guys getting sinus attacks. We do cry at times -- like my team losing at a football game!

    Carol: You are like my wife....she will always doze off in a movie. I will say tho that this one kept her attention. She is an avid dog lover.

    Madame Motte and Travis: Tell me what you think.

    Babe: Whew! I'm glad someone agrees with me.

  9. Thanks a lot, Jerry... one more for my Netflix queue. :)

  10. Nuh-uh, no way, not happening. I've seen the trailers and read the reviews. I would be having a sinus attack before the opening credits finished. I had an akita named "Fuzzy" when I lived on Okinawa as a small child.

    I'm sure it's uplifting and moving, but it goes in the same category with the movie "Radio". I just can't handle them.


  11. Good review.

    I can tell because I hate dog movies and I hate tear-jerkers and I find myself strongly tempted. If for no other reasons than that you loved it and Richard Gere loved it.

  12. No way could I handle it. That dog is the same color as our beloved Akita, the late Howard Lee. I saw the loyalty, the bravery, the intelligence, and all the other wonderful traits firsthand.

    I still miss that dog every day.

  13. Hey Jerry!
    I would never see the movie because I really don't like Richard Gere, BUT, I'v been to Shibuya and touched the dog statue's head for good luck. A sad sad story...
    The think I remember most about Shibuya is the Russian restaurant we ate at. Some of the best food I've ever eaten.

  14. Aww, brill post I forgot how much I adore you xx

  15. Watched this film twice. Thanks for the post.

  16. I've heard this story before but I didn't know that there's a movie created. I need to look for a copy of it.