Isle Of Dogs Review – Magical; Heartwarming; Stunning Animation

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs, from Fox Searchlight Pictures and Indian Paintbrush, presents a heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog after a disease causes all dogs to be banished to Trash Island off the coast of Japan.

Directed and co-written by Wes Anderson, Isle of Dogs stars the voice talent of Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Anjelica Huston, Roman Coppola, Courtney B. Vance, Live Schreiber, Fisher Stevens, Nijiro Murakami, Mari Natsuki, Ken Watanabe, Yoko Ono, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, Kunichi Nomura, and introducing Koyu Rankin as Atari.

Isle of Dogs opens with voice over narration, by Courtney B. Vance, detailing the canine flue affecting all dogs and with fears it would cross over into the human populations the feline friendly regime of Mayor Kobayashi, voiced by Kunichi Nomura, issues a decree effective immediately that would have all canines of Megasaki City banished to Trash Island off the coast of Japan.


Celebrity Interview: Talking with Dennis Quaid on the Making of I Can Only Imagine


Soon Trash Island is full of dogs of all kinds: once pampered pooches, Alpha Males, house doggies forced from the comforts of their homes and the owners who loved them, showered them with treats, played fetch and stood guard warning approaching trouble with a snarl to flee.

As necessity is the mother of all invention, in order to survive, the dogs form packs as they begin to lose their identities faced with their circumstances.

Chief, voiced by Bryan Cranston, carries a secret which the others do not know and wouldn't consider his advice worthy if they knew becomes the encourager to this pampered Alpha Males who are thrown into chaos.

Throughout the exile, the dogs, Rex, voiced by Edward Norton, King, voiced by Bob Balaban, Boss, voiced by Bill Murray, and Duke, voiced by Jeff Goldblum, learn even as they are cast into this deep pit of homelessness they are still the strong, who-rah, fierce defender of family, guard dogs.

Suddenly life on the island takes on purpose as Atari, voiced by Koyu Rankin, the ward of Mayor Kobayashi hijacks a Junior turbo prop plane and with no experience, flies to the island, looking for his guard dog, Spots, voiced by Live Schreiber, who was taken from him.

The story continues in both mainland Japan and on Trash Island, with the boy Atari willing to take on the army for his dog. As he and the Alpha Pack begin to search through the mountains of trash, traversing waste that has decomposed to become toxic poisonous gases, piles of unknown waste.

With dual stories, Atari's love for Spots emboldens him to face down an army and the Canines who don't become buried under their circumstances and lose themselves in the fight to retain their identity. And of course the mainland story of the corrupt Mayor Kobayashi, the team of scientists, and those tracking Atari.

I really enjoyed Isle of Dogs. It is an imaginative, fantastical, journey. The work of Wes Anderson, who micro manages each detail to its fullest and exactness.

Isle of Dogs is heavily influenced by the Japanese culture, and as one can see through all the messaging on the advertisements, during the films intro and ending sequences a trio of traditional Japanese drummers, in authentic costumes, so meticulously and painstakingly developed, playing a ferocious beat are alarmingly realistic commanding the attention.

As Isle of Dogs is a stop-gap motion animated film, which in translation means that each piece of every cahracter from the body to the thousand of facial expressions are made and changed out when it is necessary to reflect that look. It is a careful and conscientious process, to which an artist essentially creates however many facial expressions necessary to complete the film, thirty, fifty, hundreds or thousands.


Unsane Review – Powerful Psychological Thriller; Shockingly Truthful


The story is heartwarming, a boy and his dog, it has the same effect as when the usual devastating headlines are set aside for the one that reunites the family pet that was surely lost. Even as Isle of Dogs is set in the future the mainland story has the feel of 1950's Japanese Cinema.

Isle of Dogs is Wes Anderson at his best. It is charming, detailed, quirky, a story with heart. His "pack," an all-star cast of talent providing the voices to this whimsical fantasy create a home and hearth, a universal feeling, of comfort, courage, hope and even when the words are lost.

Isle of Dogs opens March 23, 2018. See it. In Japanese and English.

Haute Tease

  • Celebrity Interview & Review: There’s Always Woodstock Review - A Chick Flick Reminiscent of the Nora Ephron Classics

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    “There’s Always Woodstock,” from Gravitas Ventures and Sunrise Films, bring to the screen romantic comedy, filled with all the drama of modern life, the twists and turns, pitfalls and stumbles on the path to finding the one.

     
  • Born to Be Blue Review – The Fictionalized Docu-Drama Hits All the Right Notes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Born To Be Blue, from IFC Films and Sundance Selects, brings to the screen the tumultuous story of legendary trumpeter Chet Baker, who transformed Jazz and birthed West Coast Swing, and lived the majority of his life addicted to heroin.

     
  • Three Women Missing a Decade Found Alive

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, three Cleveland, Ohio, women, who had been missing for over a decade, were found alive held captive together, after a stunning escape.

     
  • ARES Opens the Doors on Flagship London Showroom

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    ARES, the Italian automotive atelier, marked the start of another exciting chapter in its success story as they, in collaboration with distribution partners the STREIT Group, opened its first ever boutique showroom in the heart of London’s Mayfair.

     
  • French President Promises Pitiless Retaliation (Speech Included)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    French President François Hollande, in the aftermath of the Night of Terror, has vowed “pitiless” retaliation against those who facilitated, funded and coordinated the attacks in central Paris that killed 166 and injured hundreds more.

     
  • THE POSSESSION, from Lionsgate and Ghost House Pictures, Bone Chilling Evil

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    THE POSSESSION, a shocking demonic thriller, from Lionsgate Film and Ghost House Pictures, recently hosted its press conference for select members of the media at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

     
  • Diana Nyad Becomes First to Swim from Cuba to Florida

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad, after four unsuccessful attempts, has become the first athlete in history to swim the Florida Straits from Havana, Cuba to the United States without a shark cage or fins.

     
  • Maya Smith, Celebrity Hair Stylist, Gives Straight Talk on Curl Care

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Whether they want to blow it straight, or create loose curls or maximize their tighter coils, people with wavy or curly hair are always looking for new products, tips and tricks to lock in their desired look.

     
  • HL Celebrity Interview: Whit Stillman Talks On the Making of Love & Friendship, Euro Art and Jane Austen

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Love & Friendship, the newest film release from Director Whit Stillman, is charming audiences on both side of the pond as the critics are calling the Jane Austen adaptation, one of the best, hysterical, an unconventional comedy.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Biden Assure Foreign Leaders; U.K./Brexit; Putin Gains Support; Facebook Squeezed; Gwen Ifill

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have spent the week meeting with foreign leaders and in telephone conference assuring allies on the future of international relationships and the hard-fought work of the past eight years will not be for naught.

     
  • HL London: New Music from the London Underground

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I'm away for a week from tomorrow, still working but from a beach rather than the office. I'm not sure whether I'll have access to a signal reliable enough to send music to you over the next seven days, so I'm sending everything now, please digest it all at your leisure! 

     
  • The 11th Hour Review – Riveting, A Terrifying, Stunning Nail Biter

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The 11th Hour, from Brainstorm Media, brings to the screen a suspenseful allegory of an against all odds unshakable faith in a promise, and the dark, frightening, deadly ramifications of following our own ideas to fulfillment.

     
  • HL Tech: Hot Fun In The Summertime - Ten Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From camping trips to backyard cookouts, summer brings friends and families together — in many cases, it brings them together outdoors. A new generation of wireless speakers can bring summer pool parties or family vacations to life, no matter where the fun takes place.  

  • Breaking News: Amtrak Derails Outside Philadelphia, 2 Dead; 35 Injured

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two are dead and nearly three dozen injured as an Amtrak commuter train, carrying 334 passengers, derailed outside of Philadelphia after striking a backhoe, in Delaware County, Delaware, Maryland, effectively shutting down the Eastern Corridor service.

     
  • WTC View Review – Impressive, an Attention Grabbing Powerhouse

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    WTC View, from Edgeworx Studios and Robert Ahrens Entertainment, brings to the screen a powerhouse indie film that tells the story of how many New Yorkers, post 9/11, struggled with the emotions and the psychological repercussion of the terrorist attacks.