Monday, April 09, 2018

This Week In Tickets: 2 April 2018 - 1 April 2018

Kind of a quiet week, between work and staying it to watch baseball in my nice warm apartment.

This Week in Tickets

Still, I was able to get to a nicely-timed show of The Death of Stalin, which is kind of a delight. I probably would have seen more on the weekend, but my schedule got disrupted by some last-minute stuff at work Friday and sleeping in Saturday.

Actually, I planned to see Isle of Dogs Saturday night, but it was sold out, and I didn't realize until came back to see it on the larger screen Sunday that the theater at Boston Common is apparently now covered by MoviePass again. I guess they couldn't strong-arm AMC and decided to put off trying again until later (and, in related news, they appear to have dropped their prices again to get more members and thus more leverage). No big deal, but if I'd known, I might have gone about arranging things differently and not done the double feature and the full-price ticket for Gemini.

Not that I'm cheap or anything, just a wee bit frustrated that those guys can sometimes seem to go out of their way not to deliver useful information.

Anyway, short week, but there's more BUFF reviews coming up, and my Letterboxd account is always updating.

Isle of Dogs

* * ½ (out of four)
Seen on 8 April 2018 in Somerville Theatre #1 (first-run, DCP)

From the very first previews of Isle of Dogs, the movie seemed to rub me the wrong way, though I hoped it was just my problem. And maybe it is; other folks in the theater seemed to like it well enough. Still, it seems like the phoniest of Wes Anderson movies to me, so determined to be charming and cool but unable to understand that those are two of the hardest things to force individually, let alone at once.

It would feel mannered under the best of circumstances, but there's something about its use of Japanese imagery that seems especially tacky. Using a foreign land to focus the audience on the dogs' efforts isn't a bad idea, but Anderson doesn't commit to it enough to make humans, rather than Japanese, the others and the bit where the white exchange student usurps all of her local classmates... Well it's not a good look (and there are plenty of people who can speak to this more directly than I can).

This doesn't make Isle of Dogs an awful movie, but it does diminish the good parts, which is a shame; there's a lot of quality animation and wit to it. There's just also a lot of Anderson's most obnoxious qualities to go along with his best.


The Death of Stalin
Isle of Dogs
Gemini

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