Directed by Debra Granik
Still Rolling Production (2014)
Unrated, 100 minutes
By Tammy Wanchena
I would like to share with you all a terrific movie I just discovered. I would like to, but I cannot. After four excruciating attempts to watch Stray Dog with an open mind, I have yet to make it through the entire two-hour film. But on a positive note, I did end up with a couple of wonderful naps.
Ron “Stray Dog” Hall is a Vietnam veteran dedicated to educating the world about his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is best described as a much heavier, tattooed and grizzled version of Bill Murray. He has an extremely dim view of America considering he has made his life about defending it. “Stray Dog” follows Ron on his journey as he manages his RV park, helps families of fallen heroes, counsels his grandchildren, and attempts to gain citizenship for his Mexican wife.
There is no background track to distract or add emotion. There is no suspense. There are no bar fights or adversaries. This is simply one man’s life story that quite honestly wasn’t terribly interesting or deserving of a two-hour movie in my opinion. This documentary won a ton of awards, but the hour I made it through after my four days’ worth of attempts did not deem worthy in my mind.
The one point I am taking away from the film is that when a bamboo cage is carried into an elementary school classroom carrying a prisoner of war, what are the kids thinking? I did appreciate watching burly bikers country line dance. Oh yeah, and there were a lot of bikes to check out, which is the reason I tried to do this review in the first place.
I would equate watching “Stray Dog” to how I felt sitting through church services at the age of nine. Time slows to a halt. I am desperately waiting for it to end. I know there is a message I should be paying attention to, but I am just praying for the end so I can eat doughnuts at social hour and get on with my Sunday.