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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Isle of Dogs 2018 * * * Stars

Isle of DogsDirector: Wes Anderson
Year: 2018
Rated PG-13
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray

Isle of Dogs (my latest review) is the best form of animation. Stop-motion animation that is. As a film about a young boy searching for his dog (via an island where illness outbreak pups are banished to), "Isle" is a technical triumph. It has director Wes Anderson using his required trademarks to make eye-popping grandeur a complete understatement. This is Anderson's ode to fictional Japan, his form of made-up dystopia that he was born to put out.

Image result for isle of dogs movie scenesIn Isle of Dogs, Wes gives us a rinse, repeat cycle of wide-angle clips, close-ups, various title cards, random flashbacks, and whip pans. Sure his narrative is a little choppy, his storytelling way overzealous, and his plot points too aplenty for a flick rounding out to 101 minutes. Still, "Isle" is a midnight stoner's dream, a feast of lushly framed scenes so detailed and itemized that you can't help but demand a second viewing.

For instance, check out a sequence where an animated chef is making sushi with a poisonous wasabi. Also, check out a depiction of a garbage bag filled with dumpster diving food. Finally, look for a sequence where a doctor persona is performing a blow-by-blow kidney transplant. Anderson is wise here to give us his signature camera shots from up above. It wouldn't work any other way.

Image result for isle of dogs movie scenesAll in all, the characters in Isle of Dogs are voiced by the likes of Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, and Liev Schreiber. Schreiber and Cranston handle the majority of the dialogue while everyone else sort of fades in and out. In truth, my favorite Wes Anderson film of all time has always been Rushmore. "Isle", with its beautified dirtiness, its form of deafening taiko drumming, its tongue-in-cheek squeak, and its V for Vendetta banality, comes in at a close second. Rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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