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have you ever seen a movie that you feel is made exactly for you? one so tailor-made to your personal tastes and preferences that you just cant believe it exists?
thats the case for me with isle of dogs. this film is everything i love condensed into an hour and 40 minutes. i wish i could be less predictable, but this is how i feel. japanese culture and aesthetics? animation, specifically stop-motion which i have a soft spot for (not to mention the sparse yet beautiful use of traditional 2d animation)? the entire species of dogs? top it off with an exceptionally engaging adventure plot filled with political intrigue and what you get is a pure, distilled made-for-iglian stew. as a result, this is probably my most personal five star film ever.
i really don't need to say much about the stop-motion here, it's all been said before. the attention to detail on display is frankly insane, all the sets, the puppets, every single tiny detail is immaculate. you can really feel the love and care that goes into every frame, just watch that one behind-the-scenes video for proof. not to mention, the animation itself is obviously breath-taking. hot take coming in maybe a bit early, but this might be my pick for the best stop-motion film ever made.
i mean, the movie isn't perfect. there are a handful of under-utilized characters, namely boss and oracle. uhhh. okay yeah, that's really my only flaw with the movie. not even joking, if they added maybe one more scene each focusing of both of those characters, this movie would basically be flawless for me. i mean, the only other thing i would consider a flaw is basically my own fault. the fact that i spoiled myself with any clips, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and tv spots i could find online. i'm sure that'll become a non-issue on future rewatches, though.
as for how isle of dogs compares to wes anderson's previous affairs, it's easily shot up to the number one spot, surpassing even fantastic mr. fox. speaking of, i might have to demote that film from a 5/5 to a 4.5/5. even though i really love it, it can't possibly share the same score as isle of dogs, which is just so much more ambitious and accomplishes so much more. this is wes at his best.
sorry to be a bit crass, but if you don't like this movie because of some claim that it's racist to the japanese or the equally inane "white savior tracy walker" meme, you can fuck right off. it's insane to me that this is even a controversy. it personally offends me that you can take such a lovingly made film in this age of cynically made cashgrab films and bring it down by marking it with the most idiotic claims of controversy i've heard in ages. it just makes me mad.
anyway, if you want a tl;dr for this seven paragraph review (you can thank daisy for that), it's basically just this: this movie is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. the endearing characters, the impeccable animation, the engaging story, the extremely hummable soundtrack, the wonderful writing. isle of dogs proves you can have it all and make it look effortless in the process. writing this ludicrous review, i decided to listen to the entire soundtrack on youtube. as i did this, i just felt a strong urge to quit writing and watch the film again. this is a new all-time favorite for me, and i highly doubt anything in 2018 will top it.
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