HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Isle of Dogs Hounded Hounds
Year: 2018
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Koru Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe
Genre: Comedy, Animated, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In a future Japan, there has been an outbreak of a disease among dogs that the authorities fear will be spread to humans, nicknamed dog flu. To counter this, all the pet dogs and strays have been banned, rounded up and carted to an island off the coast know colloquially as Trash Island which also houses the nation's garbage, the theory being that at least the animals will have something to eat there, as they can feed themselves on the scraps. Many of the dogs there miss their masters and mistresses terribly, though find they must fight amongst themselves as they begin to turn feral, but one boy, Atari (Koru Rankin), is convinced there is hope for the creatures and means to prove it.

Director Wes Anderson had made a stop motion animation before with another animal-themed effort, the Roald Dahl adaptation Fantastic Mr. Fox, but Isle of Dogs was an original concept designed to pay tribute to his love of Japanese culture. This outsider's view of the country was channelled into the dog characters' view of their former owners, in that they could understand what they wanted, yet did not understand every word of that; it was a neat idea that some observers dismissed as displaying a shallow concept of the Japanese, though nothing here indicated Anderson was making a parody or an attack, and his respect for the culture was certainly present in many scenes.

Maybe the trouble was that the film needed villains, and they had to be Japanese humans rather than Japanese dogs, which didn't sit well with the criticisers of the results, but Atari was assuredly a heroic little twelve-year-old who had dedicated himself to overthrowing the corrupt leader Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura), and not a stereotype. Indeed, this was so off the wall that stereotypes were thin on the ground, and any examples of Japanese life that were depicted were far less clich├ęs than local flavour as Anderson and his team regarded them. However, perhaps it was too bizarre to really gain acceptance outside of the Anderson faithful, as the tone and detail jarred otherwise.

The way it began as a story, with the incidentals to the important plot points, was oddly revolting, a concentration on the degradation of not merely the situation the dogs were landed in, but also the physical reality of being a canine, with all that came with it, eating anything no matter how disgusting, prone to ticks and fleas and scabs, needlessly aggressive with anything they don't recognise, all that stuff owners of pooches tend to ignore when they are rhapsodising over their pets. You started to wonder if Anderson liked dogs as much as the usual array of acting talent he had assembled to provide the voices, and was amusing himself by placing those voices in the mouths of puppets which were not always as noble as the plot demanded, at times downright offputting in practice rather than endearing.

Also, much of that aforementioned tone was curiously arsey, displaying an awkwardness more akin to the refusal of the animal kingdom to be as civilised as humankind than any great acceptance of the beasts as having their own quirks and foibles. Here they had to overcome their essential animal nature to succeed, and by the end were still following the instructions of the people instead of following their own noses to whatever they wanted in an act of self-determination; fair enough, those humans now had their best interests at heart, but for all the rebelliousness of the lead dog, Chief (Bryan Cranston), he wasn't half domesticated by the time the credits rolled. With an anti-vivisection theme added to the mix it appeared someone involved had seen the Richard Adams adaptation The Plague Dogs back in the eighties, there were similarities in the concerns of both, though the earlier cartoon had been more militant in wishing animals the space to be themselves. This was a strange experience overall, difficult to warm to unless you were already invested in Anderson's work. Music by Alexandre Desplat.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1116 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: