Dish Dogs

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Morgan (Sean Astin) and Jason (Matthew Lillard) have a strange approach to life and in particular, the opposite sex. Both were college graduates who show superior intelligence, but they insist on a rather unusual and unstable lifestyle. The two move from place to place working as dishwashers and they feel that gives them an edge on life few other possess. As they wash the dishes, they have rituals they perform with chipped ones and also discuss all manner of topic in grand fashion. The main focus of these talks is women and in specific, why marrying one is a terrible idea. When one of their friends decides to take the plunge, they return home for the wedding and wonder why he would choose a woman over his principles. But the trip home seems to spark something within them both and despite their thoughts on the issue, both find themselves tempted to get serious with girls. With Jason she is an ex-girlfriend, and for Morgan the femme fatale is a stripper with a mind to match her body. Can these guys find a balance between their hearts and their principles, or will they end up loveless and hopeless?

Ever want to watch a movie about dish washing philosophers who dislike marriage, but love to have a good time? Me either, but this one just kinda stuck on me. I had been looking forward to this one for some time and now that I have the disc, I can tell you folks about this great and unique flick. I was skeptical at first when I read the synopsis on a retail site, but it had a nice cast and just sort of gave off a cool vibe I suppose. As such, I made sure to pick this one up once it hit the streets and I am pleased that I did. I know some of you will have a hard time seeing Shannon Elizabeth and Matthew Lillard as smart people, but trust me once the movie starts you will have no more doubts. The acting is very good and is the best I’ve seen some of these younger performers and while they do slip up at times, the more experienced cast is always there to back them up. The writing is also good and though it does become laborious at times, the main messages still squeeze through the dialogue. I highly recommend this offbeat & humorous movie as a rental, but fans will want to grab the disc for their own collections.

This film was directed by Robert Kubilos, who has a limited amount of experience but still delivers a fine effort with Dish Dogs. I suppose some of his success is due to the gifted cast, but I am sure Kubilos had some hand in it all. I mean really, the guy deserves some credit for getting a genuine and focused performance from Shannon Elizabeth if nothing else. Aside from culling some terrific turns from his cast, Kubilos also provides some great visuals in this film. The visuals seem to fit perfectly with the material, which ensures the total texture of the film is consistent. If you want to see Kubilos’ other films then be sure to check out Access Denied and Allyson Is Watching. The cast is very good here and I think the younger talent is especially impressive. Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie, Scary Movie) has always looked like a star, but in this film she finally acts like one. Her performance in this film is subdued and while she shows some flesh, she’s most memorable in scenes with her clothes on. Sean Astin (Rudy, Bulworth) and Matthew Lillard (Wing Commander, SLC Punk!) also turn in convincing performances and manage to carry the movie well. The supporting cast is also loaded with talent and includes Maitland Ward (Tv’s Boy Meets World), Leah Jediny (What Planet Are You From?), Richard Moll (The Flintstones, Tv’s Night Court), and Brian Dennehy (Tommy Boy, F/X).

Video: How does it look?

Dish Dogs is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. This is a terrific looking visual presentation that really brings the quirky, colorful scheme of this film to life. The colors are bright and vivid, while no smears or bleeds show up and flesh tones look warm and natural also. The contrast is super on this disc, as even in the darker scenes like the strip club detail is high. I did see a couple small compression errors, but nothing to be concerned with by any means.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is a dialogue driven flick so the audio isn’t that powerful, but this track does a fine turn in replicating the audio for home theaters. A few musically fueled scenes spark up the audio tone, but on the whole this is a laid back, low key audio experience. The strip club sequences are about as expansive as this track gets, but don’t think this track is flawed because it isn’t it, this material just doesn’t call for much kick. The main focus is on the dialogue and it comes through loud and clear in this mix. The vocals are clean at all times, while no volume or separation issues emerge. You’ll also find English, Spanish, and French subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This isn’t as loaded as a special edition, but it does contain some nice bonus materials. A brief photo gallery is included and within it are some candid photos as well as a few publicity shots. In a unique option, you can choose to view this with or without director’s commentary which I feel adds a lot of value to a more common supplement. A reel of outtakes & bloopers is also included and if you like Shannon Elizabeth’s ample breasts, this reel will be a welcome addition. The final extras are the film’s trailer and some cast & crew information.

Disc Scores