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February 15, 2018
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Isle of Dogs vs. The Nightmare Before Christmas
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on Apr 8
Simply fantastic. Shot up to the top and took over Tenenbaums as my fave film by Wes.
1 person liked this √
on Apr 15
Clunky. Unmemorable. I think Anderson has lost his charm with this one. The obvious criticism is style over substance, but the substance was almost all there, it just fit together in the most unintelligent way. It appears Wes shouldn't dip into allegory, because the one on display here is just...misjudged. If dogs are meant to recall our rejection of other humans...and their salvation is their obedience...I think that could have been better presented. Reminded me of a far superior animal film, Okja, which focused its implications in a cleverer way. This one was a huge let-down. Skeptical of Anderson from now on.
on Apr 16
2018 movie #9: Isle Of Dogs. The stop motion animation and character/location design saves this weak and clunky script that lacks emotional depth, has characters that lack personality and shies away from its messages. Not bad, you get what you expect and nothing more, making for a pretty forgettable affair. 5/10
Such a shame... the good stuff is so good it makes me wish I could overlook the stuff that isn't. The dogs are fantastic characters, and if this movie were limited to the story on trash island it could have been a masterpiece. Chief (Bryan Cranston) in particular hit really close to home for me and his story brought me to joyous tears. On the lighter side, Edward Norton and Jeff Goldblum are both hilarious as part of a bit of fun political satire.Sadly, half of the story takes place in Megasaki, which is a troubling and frequently insulting caricature of Japan. The chuckling cultural tourism is bad enough (several speeches, to drive home their intensity end in haikus, in which the third line is nonsense because haikus are weird and foreign, amirite? *groan*). The preponderance of imagery reminiscent of Imperial Japan and WWII propaganda cartoons is much harder to overlook. The white savior character of Tracy could have easily been replaced by a Japanese character and it would have not only been less insulting, it would have made more sense. There's a lot more to say both good and bad, but I don't want to write the longest comment ever. It's a gorgeous movie, one of a kind, and occasionally great. And occasionally f*cking awful.
I agree with other criticisms. The animation is great, as are the dog characters. But the script is weak and the human characters cringey. It’s no “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, and certainly doesn’t come close to approaching the heights of Anderson’s best, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.
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