Isle of Dogs (2018)
In the future, an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that's a garbage dump. The outcasts must soon embark on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on the island to find his beloved pet.
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I don't have all the words right now but this film is a work of art.
The performances transcend the film's tropes, grounding it in characters that feel more complete than this subgenre often produces.
A terrific literary drama and character piece that shows how the process of creating art can be seen differently by those doing it and those looking at it from the outside.
Review: I'm usually a big fan of Wes Anderson movies but I really struggled with this one. The cast was amazing but the storyline was overcomplicated when it didn't have to be. He obviously didn't make this animated film about talking dogs, for a young market because I really can't see the political element being entertaining for kids. I did enjoy the emotional content, between the dog and the child, and the animation, which is the same as the Fantastic Mr. Fox, was unique but I did get a bit bored of the plot after a while. Anyway, the movie is set in the near future in Japan, were a canine flu virus spreads across the population, with a risk of crossing to humans. The mayor of Megasaki City, Kobayashi, signs a decree banishing all dogs to Trash Island, despite a scientist named Professor Watanabe insisting he is close to finding a cure for the dogs. The first to be exiled is Spots, who belonged to Atari Kobayashi, the orphaned nephew and ward of the mayor. Six months later, Atari flies to trash island to try and find spots but his plane crashes, and a pack of dogs, led by Chief, rush to his rescue. When Atari tells the dogs about Spots, they agree to help him on his mission but Chief, a former stray, is reluctant to help humans. Chief decides to follow them on there journey and to seek advice from Jupiter and the Oracle. Meanwhile, Professor Watanabe finds a cure for the dog-flu but Kobayashi refuses to lift the dog ban. After criticizing Kobayashi's decision, Watanabe is put on house arrest and is killed by poisoned wasabi in sushi. A radical American exchange student, Tracy Walker, suspects a conspiracy and begins to investigate. Kobayashi claims that Atari was kidnapped by the dogs and vows to kill them as punishment. During there journey, Chief and Atari are separated from the others, and they bond close together after Atari gives him a bath. When they finally rejoin the rest of the group, they come across a cannibal tribe of dogs but are ambushed by Kobayashi's men. Spot arrives with an army of dogs, and they fend off the assailants together. Spot reveals that he was rescued by the tribe, and he has become their leader. He has also mated with a female, who is pregnant, so he doesn't want to leave with Atari, even though he has risked his life to rescue him. He then reveals that Chief is his brother, so he transfers his protection duties for Atari, to Chief, even though Spot still loves Atari. The people of Megasaki believe that Atari is dead, and Kobayashi plans to exterminate all of the dogs in Trash Island, so when the dogs find out what is happening from a mysterious owl, they decide to make there way back to Megasaki. Meanwhile, Tracy is given the cure from Watanabe's ex-assistant, Yoko Ono, who confirms that her suspicions are correct about the corruption in office. When Tracy confronts Kobayashi with the evidence, he dismisses all of her information, and he orders her expulsion from Japan, back to the United States. When the dogs finally arrive at Megasaki, they prove that the cure works, which puts Kobayashi to shame in front of all of his supporters. He then revokes his decree but his right-hand man, Major Domo, insists on triggering the extermination. A fight then breaks out between Kobayashi and Domo in which the execute button is pressed but the poison backfires on the captors, thanks to some help from a hacker friend of Tracy's. Now you see what I mean about the movie being over complicated! With this amount of A Class actors, it didn't really smash the box office, and with the amount of hard work that goes into this type of animation, the movie should have been much better. The critics have given it high praise, and I personally haven't heard a bad word about it but it still wasn't my cup of tea. Dog lovers will be able to relate to the film in many ways, especially the relationship between Akira and Spot but I haven't got, or ever had a dog, which explains why I didn't get it. On the plus side, I did find some of the scenes funny, especially the smoked out fight scenes and some of the narrating but I expected more from this, somewhat warped minded director, who usually produces great work. Average!Round-Up: This movie was directed by Wes Anderson, who also brought you Bottle Rocket in 1996, Rushmore, the great Royal Tenebaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the enjoyable Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom and the brilliant Grand Budapest Hotel. He's not one to release movies often, so when he's working on a project, he really does give it his all. He has directed some of my favourite movies, which is why I was really looking forward to this film but it let me down, just like the Fantastic Mr. Fox did. Although his films don't smash the box office, he has the ability to get some of the best actors in the world, due to his unique and fun style, which will stand the test of time. Budget: N/A Worldwide Gross: $63millionGenre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Liev Schreiber, Courtney B. Vance, Anjelica Huston, and Roman Coppola. 6/10
The attention to detail is GORGEOUS. Just for the art alone it gets high marks. And the offbeat style was great, q.bit different and captured something that I hadnt seen in a while. I was accompanied by brothers and friends some who weren't necessarily fans but ended up enjoying it a lot. One thung I liked was how the Japanese was selectively translated. Also the political and ecologicalsituations harked back to the reality of today. The dogs were heartwarming. The people were wierd. It was a quirky movie. Awesome.
By this stage in his career, 22 years on from his debut film Bottle Rocket and follow-up break out hit Rushmore in 1998, you know what's in store when you sign up to watch a Wes Anderson film; oddball humour, arthouse tendencies and Bill Murray and for any acolytes of the esteemed indie filmmakers previous works, Isle of Dogs will be one of the years easiest to digest cinematic treats.Showing us all he was a deft hand with animation with 2009's memorable and very good Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson returns to stop-motion animation with his whimsical and fantastical Japanese set tale, that sees man's best friend banished to a trash island, living a life of scraps and canine disease, whilst felines are allowed a life of luxury in the imaginary Megasaki City.It's a unique and colourful tale filled with eye-capturing scenery and one that fits Anderson's sensibilities and imagination like a glove, yet while so much of Isle of Dogs is wondrous and engaging, there's a sense that the core tale of Anderson's fable isn't one of the filmmaker's finest moments, as we are thrown into a simplistic yarn about young pilot Atari trying to reunite with his old 4-legged friend Scraps after he was sent to Trash Island 6 months previously.Joining forces with a rag-tag collection of mutts led by Bryan Cranston's Chief and Edward Norton's Rex, Atari's journey starts off promisingly enough but unusually for an Anderson film, Isle of Dogs narrative begins to peter out as the runtime wears on and interest levels wane and despite the fine attempts of its voice cast and the beautifully constructed animation, Isle of Dogs is neither funny enough or thrilling enough to be considered up their Anderson's most assured works such as Fantastic Mr. Fox or more adult oriented dramas such as The Royal Tenenbaums.While its disappointing Isle of Dogs didn't connect more emotionally or nail its comedic oddball tone to a higher degree, there's no denying Anderson and his team's commitment to their hard to master animation technique is a genuinely remarkable achievement and filled with Anderson's creativity behind the camera, Isle of Dogs is abundant with visual wonder and acts as a colourful and memorable Japanese themed treat that is great for the eyes and senses, just not so much the heart or funnybone.Final Say - Some will be utterly charmed and dazzled by all elements of Anderson's newest creative offering, while others will find this appealing work slightly disappointing on a higher level. Hard to dislike but arguably harder to love than the best of Anderson's offerings, Isle of Dogs ends up being further proof that Anderson is a unique and unpredictable talent, to be forever copied, but hardly ever bested based purely on imaginary outputs.3 black owls out of 5
Isle of Dogs is an animated film with dogs as the stars. The human characters are secondary. Visually it is as good as it gets and the story is good enough to keep the audience watching. A mean mayor in Japan has banned all canines to an island due to a doggy flu. The cure is hidden from the public and a 12 year-old boy must come to the rescue of his pet and the rest of the dogs. A few Japanese language moments had no subtitles and I don't know if this was a mistake. Otherwise, Isle of Dogs provides some much needed distraction from the current news cycle.