In Hollywood, not every dog has his day, but for Rexxx, every day is his day. That is because Rexxx is one of the biggest stars in Tinsel Town, canine or human. He is beloved by millions and rakes in millions, but sadly, his life is about to take a turn toward obscurity. No, his latest movie wasn’t a bomb, instead he took part in a dangerous skydiving stunt and was taken off course by some powerful winds. His keepers were heartbroken, as it seemed Rexxx was dead, but the pooch was alive and well, just lost on the mean streets. He is soon discovered by Shane (Josh Hutcherson), who doesn’t know Rexxx is a star, but needs a companion and names his new friend Dewey. After Shane’s father meets his son’s new friend, he decides to have his firehouse take in the hound, so Rexxx becomes the firehouse dog. But will his fame be secret forever and if the truth is found out, will Rexxx leave behind his new friends to return to the limelight?
This movie was finished in 2005, but remained dormant for two years before this home video release. A film like Firehouse Dog seems like an odd choice to shelve, since expectations had to be minimal to begin with, so I was intrigued. As it turns out, the movie isn’t that great, but still seems like a good direct to DVD product. The story is way over the top, at least in regard to Rexxx and his international fame, but it soon turns the corner to a more basic plot. The younger viewers will probably like all the wacky stuff the dog does, but adults won’t be so enamored. There is a good deal of low rent computer generated special effects, some of which don’t even seem up to Sci/Fi Channel standards. I think this is one that kids will have fun with, but adults will be less entertained, but in its defense, the movie is safe and harmless. So if you need a movie that plays it safe and younger viewers will enjoy, then Firehouse Dog is worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Firehouse Dog is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a solid visual effort on all fronts aside from a bit of softness, but never too much softness. The colors come through in fine form, with bright hues and of course, natural flesh tones. I saw no errors with the contrast either, as black levels looked right on and never murky in the least, not even for a second. I did some small flaws here, but on the whole, this is a more than solid visual presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a dialogue driven comedy and as such, the included Dolby Digital 5.1 track won’t overload your speakers. I wasn’t displeased with this mix though, as the music sounds terrific and the dialogue emerges in fine form also. The music is a good variety and always a natural fit for this material. The vocals come across in crisp & clear fashion, with no clarity or volume issues in the least. This disc also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There are a lot of extras here, but none prove to be that substantial. You’ll find several featurettes, but they’re promotional in nature and provide minimal insight. Then again, with a movie like this one, you can’t expect technical information, so the light, brisk tone is appropriate in this case. There is a Human Society PSA that seeks to educate the film’s younger viewers, as well as a storyboard to screen comparison and an alternate opening sequence. This disc also includes a couple of photo galleries, some deleted scenes, and the film’s theatrical trailer.