- Don't expect wonders 8/4/2002 12:00:00 AM by mik-19
I watched 'Gentle Ben' on the telly last night and was quite reasonably entertained. You need to rise above the movie's PC-eco-philosophical blandness and value the scenery, the acting of the boy, and the sheer marvel of being this close to a black bear. Don't expect wonders, but if you have nothing much else to do on a late weekday night, you might as well watch it.
- Gentle Ben a Gentle Movie 6/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by tricia-16
Never work with children or animals - so they say - but it worked.
This was a movie for all the family. This was a remake of the t.v. series(i must confess that i never saw the series)however Dean Cain, who plays Jack, the park ranger,in the movie version comes across as not being very comfortable when he has to become an instant father to his nephew, (not something he has a problem with in real life - being an excellent father to his 2-year old son)when it is discovered that his brother and sister-in-law are missing in a plane crash, again turned in an excellent performance. Reiley McClendon(Mark) - in what i believe - was his first movie turned in a good performance. Mark finds solace from his grief when he finds and befriends a bear, 'Gentle Ben' from the title. He appears a bit bewildered but that is understandable as most of his scenes were with the bear (whose real name i believe is 'Bonkers'). Cody Weiant (Ashley) was equally bewildered by the bear but again played her part well. Ashley Laurence played Dakota - Dakota could not hid the fact from anyone (accept Jack) that we was in love with Jack. I believe that Jack and Dakota's relationship will be pursued in the sequel as will the fate of Mark's parents.
BUT THE BEAR WAS THE UNDOUBTED STAR. I recommend this movie and i am sure it will be loved by all.
- pretty safe,harmless family fare 11/11/2007 12:00:00 AM by disdressed12
i think this is a fairly entertaining family movie.it's harmless fluff,really,and it can be a bit slow.but the characters are all likable,and it's suitable for kids of any age,except maybe really young kids.it might be a bit intense for them.and kids over 12 might find it boring.adults might not find it that entertaining.of course,it depends on your tastes.still,it's nice to watch a movie without any sex or violence once in awhile.with all the negative things kids are exposed to nowadays,this movie would probably be a welcome change of pace.just don't expect a lot of realism.and the story is pretty thin.but for safe,harmless viewing,you can't go really go too wrong with this movie.for me,Gentle Ben (2002) is a 6/10
- Gentle Ben in the wilds of Northern California with Dean Cain and Ashley Laurence 3/3/2019 12:00:00 AM by Wuchakk
A boy from Los Angeles (Reiley McClendon) visits his ranger uncle (Dean Cain) in remote Northern California where he tries to save a friendly black bear from poachers and a rancher who's convinced the bear is slaughtering his sheep (Corbin Bernsen). Gil Birmingham plays an AmerIndian ranger while Cody Weiant appears as a tomboy who assists the kid & bear.
Released to TV, "Gentle Ben" (2002) wasn't based on the late 60's TV series, which took place in the Florida Everglades as opposed to Northern Cal. The movie was popular enough to produce a sequel with the same cast the next year. It belongs to the family wilderness drama/adventure genre and comes across as a meshing of movies like "Prophecy" (1979), "Magic in the Water" (1995) and "Free Willy" (1993), albeit with a TV budget. (Yes, "Prophecy" is a horror/thriller but, like the other two flicks, was shot in the same general region, has an Indian side character and involves a threatened animal species).
Ashley Laurence from the Hellraiser series is on hand as the ranger's potential babe, Dakota. She's winsome and looks great in jeans; I wish she had a bigger role though. Ashley, the magnificent locations, the bear and the quality cast make this TV flick worth catching for those interested. Martin Kove even shows up as a genial mountain man.
The movie runs 1 hour, 29 minutes and was shot in Placer County, Northern California (Auburn & Foresthill).
- Gentle movie watcher, I confess, I would see Dean Cain in anything, including lovely films like this one! 2/13/2013 12:00:00 AM by inkblot11
Jack (Dean Cain) is a park ranger in the remote areas on California. Unexpectedly, his world is rocked when his missionary brother and his wife go missing and their nearly-a-teen son, Mark (Reiley McClendon) comes to stay with his uncle! There is a period of adjustment, for Mark is subjected to strange cooking and little to do. This improves when the young man makes a friend, a girl named Ashley. But, horrors, her father Fog Benson (Corbin Bernsen), a sheep rancher, is upset that a bear is stealing some of his flock. He demands that Jack find and destroy the culprit animal ASAP. But, Jack, who is more into preserving wildlife, is not certain it is a bear doing the dirty work. He proposes a more thorough investigation. Guess who's angry at this? Meanwhile, Mark and Ashley find a huge bear in a deep hole trap and try to figure out a way to set him free while they feed him on the sly. At last, Mark brings a ladder to the hole, hoping for the best. But, uh oh, Mark falls down in the hole himself during the operation. Will this bear attack? No, as it turns out, he seems to like the lad. Both of them scramble out of the trap and become friends, in secret. However, with Fog continuing to rant and rave, what will he do if Ben the Bear is discovered? This remake of a classic is very nice. Cain, one the best looking actors ever, with the sunniest smile, is terrific as the new foster dad while Bernsen makes a good villain, as always. The rest of the cast is wonderful, too, especially Gil Birmingham as a Native American ranger. Look out for William Katt, too, long after his "hero" days! Then, also, the setting is lusciously beautiful while the script and direction combine for plenty of action and animal stunts. Family film seekers who especially love nature flicks will find this a great view.