Movie News

Dolphin Tale

Dolphin Tale
Clint


By Mike Smith

Hollywood is full of films with stories that inspire us. “Rudy.” “Rocky.” “The Shawshank Redemption.” These are movies that, when you leave the theatre, stick in your memory long after the lights have come up. A new film opens this week that joins this short list: “Dolphin Tale.”

Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) is a young boy living with his mother in Clearwater, Florida. His father having long deserted the family, he looks up to his older cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell). A champion swimmer Kyle seemingly has the world at his fingertips. But rather than accept the many scholarship offers he’s received, Kyle joins the Army. Feeling he’s being abandoned again, Sawyer is not happy with the decision. Kyle assures the boy he’ll be back and gives him a gift inscribed “Family is Forever.” With school out Sawyer happens down to the beach. While there he comes across a dolphin caught up in some netting. Soon the dolphin is rescued and taken to a nearby marine aquarium. Sawyer follows and soon begins an adventure that will change the lives of everyone, and everything, around him.

Based on a true story, “Dolphin Tale” is a smart, funny film that packs a solid message. The cast is strong across the board, with youngsters Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, who plays Hazel, the daughter of the aquarium director (Connick, Jr.), giving credible performances. On the adult side, Connick, Jr. excels as a father figure for Sawyer. Kris Kristofferson offers sage advice as the elder of the family. Freeman, who really should be declared a national treasure, brightens the film every moment he’s on screen. But the real star here is the real star: Winter the Dolphin. Playing herself, Winter is a natural performer. The bond she develops with Sawyer and the others feels real.

Because of her run in with the netting, Winter loses her tail. Freeman’s character embarks on a mission to create a prosthetic one for her. As Winter’s plight and circumstances become public the aquarium begins to attract visitors from all over the country, with a majority of them being families where one of the members has a handicap. It is these small moments, when a child in a wheel chair sees Winter overcome her hardship, that the film is at its most inspirational. Director Smith, probably best known to film fans for his roles in “American Graffiti” and “The Untouchables,” frames the film handsomely against the natural Florida beauty. If I have any quibble it’s that the 3D is practically non-existent and doesn’t really add anything to the story.

Blu-ray details and extras :

Blu-ray and DVD combo deal here; extras include a gag reel, deleted scenes, numerous featurettes (the one on ‘Ormie and the Cookie Jar’ is fun) and a couple of other bits. Best of all though is the audio-video presentation, which is bright, fleshy and blemish-free.

Share this story!Share on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestDigg thisBuffer this pagePrint this pageShare on LinkedIn
(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Movie News
Clint

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole. Loves David Lynch, David Fincher... actually, any filmmaker by the name of David.

More in Movie News

FARGO "The Heap" -- Episode 108 -- Airs Tuesday, June 3, 10:00 pm e/p) -- Pictured: (L-R) Keegan-Michael Key as Agent Budge, Jordan Peele as Agent Pepper -- CR: Chris Large/FX

Key and Peele will end after current season

AshJul 27, 2015
arrives at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.

Michael B. Jordan to star in Just Mercy adaptation

AshJul 25, 2015
will-smith-jay-z

Will Smith, Jay Z developing real-life HBO miniseries

AshJul 25, 2015
veep

Veep stars developing college football comedy

AshJul 25, 2015
sandra

Our Brand Is Crisis gets awards-season release date

AshJul 25, 2015
Actor Garret Dillahunt arrives at the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on February 26, 2011 in Santa Monica, California.
2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA United States
February 26, 2011
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

To license this image (63699099), contact WireImage.com

Garret Dillahunt joins Rounding Third

AshJul 25, 2015
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 30:  Naomi Campbell poses during a photo call for Australian TV show, "The Face of Australia"  at Carriage Works on November 30, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Naomi Campbell checks in to American Horror Story: Hotel

AshJul 25, 2015
mission-impossible-rogue-nation-hunt-hostage_1920.0

Mission : Impossible – Rogue Nation : The Reviews Are In!

ClintJul 25, 2015
judygreer

Ant-Man actress nabs tiny role in Masters of Sex

Editorial StaffJul 25, 2015