Tag: Jeff Goldbloom

Isle of Dogs

Fantastic Mr. Fox came out in 2009. It was not my first Wes Anderson movie, but it was the first Wes Anderson movie I really, really loved. Not saying I hated everything before it, no. In fact, at that time, I only had seen one of his movies which was The Royal Tenebaums. I maybe saw it too young and was not ready for its quirks, and still haven’t seen it for redemption, but I didn’t love it. The fox though? Yes. Every one of his movies since then? Yes.

But this is something different and special. This is 9 years later, and another goddamn animated stop motion movie. Can he recreate the magic of Fantastic Mr. Fox but with Isle of Dogs? More talking animals?!

At least with his last one, it was based on a previous book. But this is a new idea, based on dogs, a culture that isn’t his, and a sort of throwback to a cinema that he loves. I was certainly excited again, especially given how much shit 2017 gave us for the animated category.

Can I have all of these doggos? Please tell me no doggos actually die.

Set in the fictional future of some world that is similar to our own, we have to go to Megasaki City to find our story. In this city, the new mayor, Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura), is from a family with a long hatred of dogs. They are cat people and want to get rid of dogs forever! Well, that is great, because these dogs are gaining some sort of dog virus and snout flu, which has the ability to transfer over to humans! He declares that all dogs in the city must be sent over to Trash Island, in order to quarantine them until a cure can be found. Speaking of cures, Professor Watanabe (Akira Ito) thinks he is really close to getting a cure and hopes everyone will wait. But mobs be mobbin’, yo. And the dogs start getting sent that very night.

And now, a few months later, the island gets a non furry visitor. Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin), a young boy who is ward of the mayor, has crashed a tiny plane in the island, in hopes of finding his old dog Spots (Liev Schreiber) location. Although dogs cannot speak any form of human language, we the viewer are happy to note that the film translates their language into English! Yay!

He finds a group of alpha dogs to help him on his quest. These dogs include Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray), and Duke (Jeff Goldbloom).

Can these dogs find the missing dog for this little human boy? Can they also cure the dog flu, and put an end to this corrupt mayor? Well, maybe. I don’t know. Or if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.

Also starring the voices of Courtney B. Vance, Tilda Swinton, Yoko Ono, Ken Watanabe, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, and F. Murray Abraham.

The human has thumbs so he can do some interesting things with them.

I loved, loved, loved Isle of Dogs. A lot, very much so. Before I get into those details, lets talk about the controversy.

You see, there is a lot of talk of white savior complex, cultural appropriation, and more going on with this movie. It is set in a fictional future dystopian-esque Japan, or at least one city in Japan. And coming from a place of white privilege and all of that, I can honestly say I really don’t see it at all. The white savior thing just seems like it would be assumed by people who read a plot outline, not watched the film, because it is no where close to the normal problematic levels. The other issues I just also really can’t see well. I can’t say that they aren’t true, because I certainly don’t speak for Japanese people or their culture, but I can say that I didn’t really get that vibe at any point, and didn’t affect me negatively either for this movie.

Back to the film! Holy shit dogs!

What a totally immersive story. There were little quirks here and there that could remind you of it being a film, especially when it came to the various translation methods, but I just wanted to live there and run around and frolic despite all of the bad things that were going down. The dogs in particular all have their own personality and jokes that surround them, for good quick laughs.

I really enjoyed that I couldn’t understand the entire film. The Japanese characters spoke Japanese, and didn’t always have a reason to be translated or subtitled, and during those times, well, if you knew Japanese you could follow 100%. The audience was required to watch the facial expressions and to hear obvious key words to make sure we could follow. It was great to not get everything super dumbed down.

Isle of Dogs is an interesting adventure, a unique tale, and a story that just seems to have so many tiny perfect details that it would be fun to watch over and over again. Until though, I will just settle for a rewatch of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

4 out of 4.

Independence Day: Resurgence

What can we say about a film Independence Day: Resurgence? A summer blockbuster to one of the best summer blockbusters, Independence Day.

I loved Independence Day. It has good jokes, good characters, good action, great speeches, and a super patriotic feel by the end. It is wonderful. A sequel has a lot to live up to for it and one that would be really hard to match, let alone surpass.

But also, also. If you didn’t know, the studios decided to cancel all Press Screenings for this film, outside of like a world premier and day of screenings. My reps thankfully let us watch it the Thursday night of at a regular show time, so I of course went the full on IMAX 3D for the full on spectacle. But cancelling press screenings is probably the worst thing you can do to drive up hype. It didn’t work for No Good Deed, and it certainly wouldn’t work for this film.

Take that smug look off of your face Liam, you don’t know if this movie is any good.

Twenty years ago, the world stood up to an alien invasion and destroyed those fuckers to save the human race. Good job everyone!

This led to World Peace, as we knew our petty squabbles were complete bullshit. Earth Defense was the most important thing. So we all worked together and used Alien technology to rebuild. Our destroyed cities became more high tech (more TVs?). We got sweeter weapons. We got an Orbital defense system, sweet ass jet fighters that can go into space, and a fucking moon base!

Former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) is an old man who has strange dreams and keeps imagining some strange symbol. His daughter (Maika Monroe), grew up to be a fighter pilot as well and now works for the new president (Sela Ward). David Levinson (Jeff Goldbloom) is now an Alien expert working for the UN and currently in Africa to speak to a warlord (Deobia Oparei). The warlord killed a lot of aliens in combat, but is now seeing things and tech is being strange. Also in Africa is a Alien psychologist (Catherine Gainsbourg), and some reporter maybe who is a poor mans comic relief (Nicolas Wright). David, sadly, doesn’t hang out with his dad (Judd Hirsch) as much as he used to.

Oh yeah, speaking of fighter pilots, the president’s daughter is dating Jake (Liam Hemsworth). He is a hot headed kid, really great pilot, but a risk taker. His co-pilot is a smart guy/old friend Charlie (Travis Tope). The actual best pilot is Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), the step son of Will Smith’s character. Smith isn’t in the movie, because he died 11 years prior to this movie doing test pilot stuff. But the mom (Vivica A. Fox) is still around! And China’s best pilot is Rain Lao (Angelababy), people love her too.

So many people, so little time. Aliens are coming, bigger than ever. This time the spaceship is over 3,000 miles long! They really want our planet, damn it. Brent Spiner and John Storey return to their old roles, William Fichtner plays a general, and Chin Han is a moon base commander.

The aliens sure do have this planet on…lock down. Yeaaaaaaaaaaah!

When you have a sequel, you are allowed to compare it to its predecessor, no matter how long it took to come out. So let’s do it over and over again to get my points across.

In the first film, we have world wide destruction. All of the major cities get hit and more. Armies are wiped out. In the second film, the only places hurt are a moon base, some of Area 51, and wherever the ship decided to land its planks. Literally no big attacking or trying to wipe out of any threats.

In the first film, we have one of the best speeches ever given by President Whitmore. It makes me tear up thinking about it. In the second film, he gives another speech and it is pointless and lame. We also get a different half-assed presidential speech after that, also pointless, given how World Peace was already established.

In the first film, our leads were a president, a fighter pilot wanna be step dad and wanna be astronaut, and a smart dude who worked in television. In the second film, our leads are the president’s daughter, the pilot’s step son, a new character who is connected to the first two in age and experience, and the same smart dude with less quirks. A lot of new cast members we are supposed to care about because they are related to people we cared about in the first film, without developing them in anyway at all.

In the first film, our characters had heart, emotions, and as a viewer the whole experience was fun. In the second film, the heart and sadness is taken away, and I am not having fun, just waiting for the thing to finish.

Although the return of Dr. Brakish Okun was the smartest move on their part.

Independence Day: Resurgence had some nice moments. I liked what they did with the Queen at the end of the movie, giving us something unique. But our final explosions of the bad guy ships were practically non existent and ended quickly. Resurgence had a ton of editing issues, where so many parts felt rushed, yet the ending with its stereotypical count down clock dragged on and on.

There were so many characters introduced and barely used, yet the sequel is almost 30 minutes shorter than its predecessor. An African Warchief why? Because he had swords? Angelababy’s character was supposed to be the second best pilot or something and despite her role, her character’s name wasn’t even uttered in any form throughout the film. That pisses me off so much. I shouldn’t have to wait for credits to find out something as important as a character’s name.

There will be more Independence Day movies, but the future of this franchise is going to be something completely unlike the 1996 classic. In fact, a big part of this film is dedicated just to setting up future films and maintaining a pointless mysterious air, instead of focusing on the film at hand. It is no wonder they canceled the press screenings. They barely even released a coherent film this time around. You’d think after 20 years they’d be able to focus on this one task and not have their eyes towards the future.

1 out of 4.


I wanted to see Mortdecai. Really I did, when it came out. But something came up and I wasn’t able to go to the screening.

So I went home and waited. I saw as the pages and pages of reviewers and critics talked about how bad the movie was. What? How can this be? I liked the trailer. I thought it would be amusing. But I still find some of the more quirky characters that Depp plays to be quite endearing.

I was even more excited to find that the movie was rated R. So it wouldn’t be some just zany family movie, “Oh teehee, look at my moustache!” or anything. We might get more creative and raunchy jokes.

So I waited even further. Still with the hope that maybe everyone would be wrong about Mortdecai, in my head. Much like they were wrong about The Lone Ranger.

Rumor has it that Depp literally sexually assaults all of the viewers of this movie.

Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is an eccentric rich man. Or at least, he used to be rich. They are on their last legs and just putting up a false front now. He also has decided he wants to grow a mustache. It is a tiny thing. But all of his family in the past had them, and he wants one now! This mustache is more of the main plot than the art aspect of it all.

His wife, Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) hates the mustache and more or less refuses to interact with him throughout the film because of it.

A famous painting is stolen from a home by Emil (Jonny Pasvolsky), that is then stolen from another thief, and everyone is up in arms over it. So Inspector Martland (Ewan McGregor) comes to Mortdecai for help, due to his art knowledge. And yeah. You know. A comedy heist-esque movie about finding a painting and other secrets. Mortdecai also has a loyal man servant, Jock (Paul Bettany), who is great a sex and making sure Mortdecai doesn’t die.

And of course there is Jeff Goldbloom as an Art guy with his nymph daughter played by Olivia Munn. And Paul Whitehouse is in this movie, but I was sort of unsure of what his overall role was. Besides an art enthusiast/collector.

Slick Back Hair
Ewan bringing back a pseudo mullet. I can’t say I approve. 😐

Fuckkkkkk. January movie gonna January I guess. Like I said, I thought it looked amusing. I thought it could have been great. I figured it would have earned the R rating, but it felt like a regular PG-13 by the end of it. Shit, outside of Mortdecai’s desire for sex and the sex references to his man servant, it felt like it oculd have been PG.

But that is also because I don’t remember a lot about it. At all. I just watched it and I am sitting wondering why I kept going. It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t even too original. Art movies in general tend to e pretentious sorts of things, and I believe it was attempting to mock that pretentiousness, but fuck even that failed.

I think I am mostly disappointed in the all-star cast giving me this overall dud. Maybe one recurring joke throughout made me amused, which involved Jock continually getting injured. But that is it.

Mortdecai is 107 minutes long, making it roughly 115 minutes of your time wasted. Added in extra for bathroom breaks and time thinking about actually w atching it.

0 out of 4.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Hah. Wes Anderson. For those that don’t read every post I make, Wes Anderson is a strange guy for me. Every movie I reviewed for the site that he directed, I have love love loved. But that was only two movies. The other one I saw I just didn’t really get, and thought it was weird. Yet still, I was excited for this new one.

So excited, I am pretty pissed off that they forced The Grand Budapest Hotel to be a limited release. It broke some records for its release. Like, most money gained from a super super limited release. But only two cities? That is crap. There is no reason for that. I am lucky I even got to see it so soon as I had to drive three hours to see it, weeks after its “release date”. Maybe I am more annoyed because it wasn’t even advertised as a limited release, so I have to imagine it was just a last minute change.

But I guess I expected Anderson to be a dick if he could, so there is that.

This story in a story is about The Grand Budapest Hotel, as you might have guessed. It used to be a…grand old place, but recently, it has gone under some bad times. The clientele is no longer the elite, the staff is no longer extremely efficient, and really it is in shambles. That is why a young writer (Jude Law) is so interested to meet its current owner, Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), to hear his story about he acquired the hotel and his vast fortune.

M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) is a man amongst boys. He used to be the concierge, a god amongst men. Working morning to night, every day, he made sure the rich guests felt welcome at the hotel and would do anything to please them. Including the extremely rich Madame D (Tilda Swinton) who stays at the hotel for weeks every year.

Well, she dies, mysteriously. Also, her will was changed last minute as well it seems. Apparently M. Gustave was left her priceless painting, pissing off the ungrateful and evil family. Now, they also think M. Gustave killed her!

It is up to the help of his Lobby Boy, Zero (Tony Revolori) to help prove his innocence, get him out of jail, and in general, save the day!

Also featuring a shit ton of people. Here they are, roughly, in order of importance: Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldbloom, Saoirse Ronan, Mathieu Amalric, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson.

This scene represents birth.

Ahhhh, quirky Wes Anderson movie!

This one took a little bit to get going, trying to figure out just what the movie would be about. It takes place over three time periods, technically, so the story needs time to get started.

But when it does? Man. This movie was hilarious. Ralph Fiennes, although I don’t know how to say his name, is a terrific actor and a charismatic character in this film. You can’t take your eyes off of him whenever he is on the screen. And it works so well. Much laughter, much ridiculousness.

This film has a lot of Anderson standards, with his camera work and use of colors.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is also a bit more crass than his other recent movies. Some nakedness, some death scenes, all a bit extreme. But I think that made it a little bit better.

Definitely as good as the trailer made it seem to be, and one of the best early movies of 2014.

4 out of 4.