Isle of Dogs

Director: Wes Anderson
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 3.0

In neo-Japan (the director's creation), canines are exiled to their own island so they can't contaminate humans with their catchy doggy flu - Atari Kobayashi (voiced by Koyu Rankin), nephew of the despicable mayor of Megasaki City, defiantly flies into the island to locate his best friend, Spots (Liev Schreiber), and meets up with other lost and filthy pups, like stray Chief (Bryan Cranston). Some people took exception upon release that it was an American filmmaker 'appropriating' Japanese culture, and while they might have a point it strikes me as being more homage than anything - what's so wrong with showing respect Miyazaki? (or Gerry Anderson for that matter?) - while retaining his own trademarks, like songs from the '70's, long pauses, deadpan humor and a sometimes aggravating obsession with symmetry (it's a little 'stiff' in execution). It may lack the charisma of Fantastic Mr. Fox, but in its heart it's just about a boy saving a buddy: timeless, indeed.