Friday, April 20, 2018

Isle of Dogs is the greatest movie of all time

An island of dogs you say? I'm in. Also Wes Anderson. Fuck yeah. His typical ensemble cast and Brian Cranston. Stop-motion-animation. Japan. How can this not be amazing? But was it amazing... It was. It was the greatest movie of all time.

Some podcasts I listen to were giving this movie shit. Saying stuff like it doesn't make any statement whatsoever, there is no feeling to it, lots of cultural appropriation, and the story is garbage. To all of these people I say chill out. I don't really need a movie to make a goddamn statement in the Trump era. I go to the movies to to think about stuff that is not that. These are good dogs. Good dogs are the greatest, noblest creatures on earth. I love movies about them that don't involve humans losing them. This is a beautiful movie with a strong dog bias. So lay off, cat people. You've got Life of Pi and the internet. 

Pros: That Wes Anderson style and color usage are on point. Cute, sweet dogs everywhere on an island. Does a good job of telling what each character is about without overly explaining shit, which I loathe. It's the only dog movie I can remember that didn't make me tear up. 

Cons: Ludicrous story which occasionally gets lazy but it is fun. 

After a trio of canine diseases threatening to jump species infect most of the dogs in dystopian Megasaki City in Japan, Mayor Kobayashi (voiced by Kunichi Nomura) proposes the extreme action of quarantining all of the pups on the island where the city sends its trash. In a symbolic gesture, Kobayashi deports the family dog, Spots (voiced by Liev Schreiber), to the island first. This leads to his ward, his young, orphaned nephew Atari (voiced by Koyu Rankin), steals a plane and heads to the island in search of his pet/bodyguard. He is assisted in his quest by a ragtag group of pups with their own unique and interesting story. From there, a group of pro-dog advocates are inspired to question the government which ultimately leads to the uncovering of a vast pro-cat governmental conspiracy. It is sort of insane. 

The ensamble cast is super impressive, as Anderson's movies universally are. Voice actors for the main pack of dogs include Bob Balaban who was Russell Dalrymple (the head of NBC) in Seinfeld as King, Cranston as pack leader Chief, Jeff Goldblum as Duke, Bill Murray as Boss, and Edward Norton as beta Rex. Other dogs are voiced by F. Murray Abraham as Jupiter (the one with the brandy barrel), Scarlett Johansson as Nutmeg (the sexualized one), Harvey Keitel as leader of the cannibals Gondo, and Tilda Swinton as Oracle who speaks TV. Some notable humans include Greta Gerwig as the blond girl with the fro, two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand as Interpreter Nelson, and Yoko Ono as Assistant-Scientist Yoko-ono. 

He should sue
There are some that are weird going on here like in any Wes Anderson movie. Like Mayor Kobayashi straight up murders a dude by tainting his sushi with poisoned wasabi. This was suspected by fringe conspiracy theorizing pro-dog folks, they happen to be correct though, whom it is implied proved that Kobayashi offed the dude. After Kobayashi sort of has his redemptive moment, everyone is fucking cool with him again. He goes to jail because he is a fucking murder (not to mention extreme dog hater), but everyone is like "aw, Kobayashi-san!" Fuck that guy. Another guy that can go fuck himself is that Major-Domo dude who at the end when everyone is back on the dog bandwagon still tries to gas them all. Dude looks straight up like the giant from Twin Peaks, by the by. Just look at those mugs. The only thing in the movie that really annoyed me was the Japanese hacker kid from Tracy's newspaper extracurricular (Tracy is the chick with the fro) who saves the day at least twice in storytelling that is lazy AF. Also, I sort of just realized that Tracy is in high school and she has a crush on/ends up with Atari who is 12. Gross, main. 

Though a lot of those things are ridiculous, this movie still fucking rocks. I totes want to live on dog island and would if my girls got sent there. As a hardcore atheist, this is sort of my secret religion. Getting licks from all the dogs I've loved throughout time for all of eternity. Getting choked up thinking about it. And I'm crying.

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