Hachiko was the name of the real dog this story is based on. Yes, it was a real story, a person with his loyal companion. Sure, it wasn’t in America where it all happened, but the story appears to be the same for the most part. Hachiko gained the spotlight in Japan for incredible loyalty to his master and inspired the entire country. In honor of this loyal dog a statue of Hachiko was placed outside the Shibuya Station in Tokyo where he waited 10 long years for his master to return until he died at age 11. Want to see the real Hachiko? Here check it out. Now check out below for our review, I hope you enjoy it.
They say that a bond between a man and his dog is sacred, that even in your everyday struggles he will always be there with unconditional love and loyalty. Rarely do we find stories that disprove this and more often than none we find impressive stories about a man and his dog. Little do we know how much a dog can change a man, a group of men, women, and children whether they are a tough guy, a sailor, a normal average person there’s no doubt how much their company can affect each individual. The story of this film is another testament of the loyalty of one animal to his master that proves yet again that a dog is a man’s best friend.
One night after returning back from his daily job at a University, professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) stumbles upon a lost Akita dog. Upon talking to his colleague Ken (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), Parker finds out what the symbol in the dog’s collar meant and that would become his permanent name, Hachiko or Hachi for short. Parker quickly falls in love with the dog and begins showing him tricks, making his family realize that Hachi had become much more than a lost dog to Parker, Cate, his wife, finally opens up to the idea of keeping him. As the years go by, Hachi and Parker form a bond that would amaze the entire town. Every morning Hachi would follow Parker to the train station to see him depart and would greet him every afternoon as he walked out the doors of the station. One day, what appeared to be the regular routine, Parker suffers a stroke and passes away. Hachi not realizing this remains sitting in front of the station await his master’s return that will never happen again. From that day on, Hachi would come back every afternoon hoping his master would walk out of the doors of that station where he saw his master leave 9 years ago.
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is a wonderful story and it was definitely not what I was expecting. I am not a huge Richard Gere fan so I weary of what could he offer for the film, but I am happy to have gone in without any negative bias. If you are a dog lover, you will realize how emotional this movie really is, I was moved, heartbroken and undoubtedly deeply touched by the way the story unfolds, just keep in mind this doesn’t occur to me often in fact those are words I would normally don’t use to describe my emotions. The acting was great; throughout the film you can sense the deep connection between Parker and Hachi especially towards the end when the loyal companion goes through extraordinary lengths to be right outside the station. Gere really opens up and gives that great vibe that makes this story and feelings so believable. I can’t complain about the film it gets to you it reaches your every level of emotion and of course the score of the film adds a more emotion to the story. The story is simply beautiful in every aspect, I never would have imagined that such a simple story could turn the way this one did. Simply a true story about loyalty and friendship.
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encode framed at 1.85:1. The film is soft for the most part, I am not sure if this is intended or not, but it manages to have a nice level of detail throughout. The colors are nicely reproduced specially during the outside day shots, you get a very good glimpse of the fall season. The black colors are bold and inky throughout this is a good thing since there are plenty of night shots involved in the movie. To top it all off there is a fine layer of grain. This Blu-ray isn’t the best looking out there, but it looks good.
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale arrives on Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. The film is dialog heavy so the surrounds are rarely used other than to output ambiance sounds like the trains arriving at the station or the people walking around, which by the way makes the film come to life. The dialog is clean, clear and crisp everything is easily reproduced through the fronts. Finally the score really adds to the key moments of the film and it comes out beautifully. This track does justice to the film with no doubt, there’s really no need for anything more robust the track fits perfect.
This Blu-ray release was a bit of a letdown when it comes with extras. Such a fascinating story that inspired a whole country and nothing more than a single featurette “A Bond of Loyalty: The Making of “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”, BD-Live, and movieIQ functionality is included. Overall there is not enough supplements to please those looking to find more about the movie or story in general.
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is perhaps one of the most difficult films I have had the opportunity to sit down and watch. Why? I am a dog lover, I can see the deep connection between the man and his companion, so it was hard to see the story unfold. Regardless of this I enjoyed the film it was very moving. The Blu-ray comes with a great video and audio transfer, but a disappointing amount of supplements. If you are looking for a great story I highly recommend it.