Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh Great. No US Release for "Hachi: A Dog's Tale"

I first heard about Hachiko, an Akita dog, via Japanprobe.com I generally dislike Japanprobe now, because I find them to be biased, irresponsible, and a big group of pompous douchebags. Kind of like Fox News.

Hachiko was owned by Hidesaburo Ueno, an agricultural professor at the University of Tokyo in the 1920s. Hachiko would see his buddy off at the front porch, and every day, Hachiko would be waiting at nearby Shibuya Station for the good professor. Hachiko knew which train his buddy would be on and when to wait for him.

Unfortunately one day in May, 1925, Professor Ueno died of a massive stroke in the middle of class. Nobody told Hachiko.

People that saw Hachiko and the good professor at Shibuya Station would bring Hachiko food while he waited.


Hachiko died waiting for Professor Ueno.

In 1987, Hachiko's story was made into a movie called "Hachiko Monogatari." If this sounds familiar to my fellow geeks, it should. Hachiko's story was the inspiration for the "Jurassic Bark" episode of Matt Groening's science ficiton cartoon series "Futurama."

On August 8th, 2009, "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" was released in Japan. It was directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starred Richard Gere, Joan Allen, and Jason Alexander.

In addition to directing virtually every ABBA music video, Mr. Hallstrom directed critically acclaimed films like "My Life As A Dog," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The Cider House Rules," and "Chocolat."

You'd think that with that sort of cast and director, and that the story was Americanized and shot in Rhode Island, that a US theatrical release would be a no-brainer. Film geeks would go on to presume that because this is a tearjearker with great talent behind it, that it would be a Winter release and thus a sure bet for Golden Globe and Oscar nomination.


Apparently some group of retarded assclowns calling themselves Consolidated Pictures Group had secured the rights to distribute this in the US. Unfortunately, they claimed they didn't have the time or money to properly publicize this movie, and they sold the distribution rights to Sony. The upshot of this is that while it has seen theatrical release in virtually every other fucking corner of the world, the closest the US is gonna get is waiting until January, schlepping out to a Wal-Mart, and picking up the DVD. Anybody who doesn't want to go to Wal-Mart will have to wait a bit longer than that.

No, I'm not kidding.

I was seriously looking forward to seeing this in the theater. I was looking forward to this more than seeing "Avatar," motherfuckers. So now I have to wait until after Wal-Mart's exclusivity retail deal on this ends before I can find it on Amazon.

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