Sun Dogs (2017)

Sun Dogs
Director: Jennifer Morrison
Writer: Raoul McFarland
Cast: Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, Allison Janney, Ed O’Neill, Eric Christian Olsen, J.R. Ramirez, Alexander Wraith, Xzibit, Jennifer Morrison
Seen on: 21.3.2021

Content Note: ableism, suicide

Ned (Michael Angarano) has one goal, and one goal only: he wants to join the Marines to fight against the terrorists who caused 9/11. He has been trying every year for three years since 2001, not realizing that he will never make it because of his disability. When he makes yet another attempt, the recruiter Master Sgt. Jenkins (Xzibit) tries to let him down easy by sending Ned on a mission at home, not anticipating that Ned takes this mission absolutely seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he even convices Tally (Melissa Benoist), a rather lost, young woman, that the mission is very real and that she can help.

Sun Dogs is sweet and warm, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it, I have to admit. Despite that, I’d say that the good outweighs the bad here.

The film poster showing the film's main characters. Front and center Ned (Michael Angarano), saluting while clutching a mascot head.
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Whiplash (2014)

Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist
Part of: Viennale

Andrew (Miles Teller) studies at the conservatory to be a drummer. A jazz drummer, to be exact. When the renowned professor Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) is looking for a new drummer for his school jazz band, Andrew does everything he can to get the coveted spot – and succeeds. But Fletcher’s teaching methods are built on abuse – only the ones with star potential will make it through. And Andrew is convinced that that’s him.

Whiplash is a tense, well-made and exciting film with a completely fucked-up message. The entire film I was hoping that it would end in exactly the opposite way than it did – and that ending makes me hesitant to really applaud the otherwise excellent film.

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