Friday, May 27, 2011

Grizzly Falls

La légende de l'ours - French title
l’Ours - French title
Meu Melhor Amigo - Brazilian title
Abenteuer im Land der Grizzlys - German title
Sti skia tis fysis - Greek title
Grizzly Falls - la valle degli oris - Italian title
Wielka niedzwiedzica - Polish title
Pequeno gran gazador - Spanish title
Grizzly Falls - English title

A 1999 Canadian, British, U.S.A., French co-production [The Movie Network (Toronto), Behaviour Worldwide, Grizzly Productions (London), Western International (Hollywood), Le Sabre (Paris)]Producers: Alan Scott, Peter R. Simpson
Director: Stewart Raffill
Story: Stuart Margolin
Screenplay: Richard Beattie
Cinematography: Thom Best [Color by Deluxe]
Music: David Reilly, Paul J. Zaza (Paul James Zaza)
Running time: 94 minutes

Tyrone Bankston -  Bryan Brown
Joshua - Tom Jackson
Old Harry -  Richard Harris
Genet - Oliver Tobias (Oliver Freitag)
young Harry - Daniel Clark
young Jennifer - Chantel Dick
Joshua Jr. - Trevor Lowden
Mrs. Bankston - Marnie McPhail
house master - Ken Kramer
Lanky - Brock Bearden
Grits - Colin D. Simpson
Menke - Jim Bearden (James Bearden)
Wes - John Tench
boy - Hayden Simpson
Miz - Ali Oop
Miz’s cubs - Barney, Betty
black bear - Bonkers
grizzly bear - Whopper
Ridgeback dog pack - Bhoy-Bhoy, Kura, Ruti, Chica, Queda, Raleigh

The year is 1913 and young Harry is still mourning the death of his mother when he joins his estranged father on a wilderness expedition in the wild Canadian west. Dad, a world famous adventurer who's been gallivanting all over the world when a good father would have been at home bonding with his son, wants to capture a grizzly bear and plans to stun the beast with newfangled tranquilizer darts. A bear is spotted, but things go terribly wrong and the hunters wind up with nothing but her cute cubs. Mad as hell, the bear kidnaps Harry. Fortunately, even small children will realize that the bear isn't going to hurt the boy: The robustly healthy old Harry, whom we've just seen camping in the woods with his own grandchildren, is telling the tale in flashback. So it comes as no great surprise when little Harry realizes his abductor is a big old softy who's just bluffing when she rears up on her hind legs and looks as though she's about to tear someone's head off. Harry nicknames the bear "Mizzy" because she's such a miserable grouch, and embarks on a wilderness journey of self-discovery, while his father, wounded and exhausted, slogs through the woods, feeling worse by the minute for having been such a bad dad. It's all nicely photographed and competently acted, but even kids will cringe when Harry starts sharing his innermost feelings with Mizzy. Parents desperate for "clean entertainment" will find that this fits the bill, but that doesn't mean it's actually entertaining. ~ Maitland McDonagh

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