Archive for April, 2018

Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson) 2018

Posted in What I've Seen This Week on April 4, 2018 by moviemoses

All of Japan’s dogs are quarantined onto a garbage island because of a dog flu. Atari, who is the son of the prime minister, goes to the isle to find his dog. If I were to briefly summarize this movie it would be cinematic cuteness, smothered with adorableness, and topped off with a dollop of “Aww”. You are seeing cute dogs in downright gorgeous stop motion animation (seriously this needs to be nominated for something artistic) on a whimsical adventure.

The main plot involves Atari finding his dog with the help of a pack of dogs led by Chief (Bryan Cranston). The main plot is well written and involves a good character arc for Chief who is a stray who eventually comes around to being a domestic dog. The movie got many chuckles from the audience I was with. This movie isn’t necessarily haha funny but as I said it is cute as we see the dogs discuss the lives they had before the quarantine and what their favorite foods were and so forth. I know some hate Wes Anderson for his, well, Wes Anderson-y nature but I find his animated movies (previously Fantastic Mr Fox) to be more accessible to general audiences than his other works. If for nothing else you see cute dogs going on an adventure.

Now if I did have a gripe it would be that we are kind of cheated on advertised voice talent. They bill people like Bill Murray and Jeff Goldblum to name a few but they are in the movie so little they might as well be cameos. It was disappointing to me just because I love those those actors. This movie is mostly about the young boy and Bryan Cranston’s dog and everyone else has much smaller roles. So just know that going into it so maybe you weren’t as disappointed as me. That being said, this was another great movie and I highly recommend it.

The Florida Project (Sean Baker) 2017

Posted in What I've Seen This Week on April 4, 2018 by moviemoses

The Florida Project follows six year old Moonee and her friends during a summer. She lives at a budget motel while her mother struggles to find work and earn money. I wanted to see this last year to complete my top 10 but this was a limited release film. I was interested not just by the reviews but of the director who did the also excellent Tangerine. Now by the description this may sound like a depressing tale of people on the edge of homelessness. However much like Tangerine, you can tell director Baker really loves his film subjects and shows them in a fun light. We go through the movie mostly through the lens of Moonee as she and her friends do childish shenanigans as they pass time during the summer. These antics are seen as playful and fun and it is a joy to see these kids make lemonade out of lemons. And through the eyes of Moonee we see the adult figures like the hotel manager/resident father figure played wonderfully by Willem Dafoe and Moonee’s mother who is both loving and immature.

Because the movie follows these kids it can get away with being both light hearted but also hitting us with powerful moments. Some of Moonee’s friends have to move out because their parents can’t find work, and without spoiling anything some truly heartbreaking things happen later on that are like a sucker punch that adds weight to everything. I could talk more about this movie but the thing is, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. If I had anything I could gripe about it is that it is a bit long at two hours and it doesn’t help having a meander-y feel since it is a slice of life instead of a structured narrative. But that being said I agree with YouTuber Nerdwriter in that this deserved a Best Picture nomination (not a win but a nom). This was an important film from last year and I really enjoyed it.