(*homocinematically inclined)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Dearest Reviews: An Odd Couple


The latest from the brilliant auteurs behind such cinematic quirkfests as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Moonrise Kingdom and Shortbus:

Isle of Dogs:
Outside of Tim Burton, no other filmmaker working today has such a unique visual style as Wes Anderson, who returns to the medium of animation (specifically stop-motion animation) nine years after his fantastic Fantastic Mr. Fox. This time it's an original story (boy, is it), an odd yet endearing dystopian adventure yarn about a boy in search of his devoted dog, who was shipped off to the titular location when all canines are banned following an outbreak of a mysterious disease. In addition to creating a world only-just-slightly askew from our own, Anderson imbues it with a sly, deader-than-deadpan humor, perfectly delivered dryer-than-dryly by an all-star cast (including Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton), gamely voicing a motley crew of mutts and mongrels. Unrestrained by physical limitations, Anderson really blossoms with animation, and the results, while maybe not for everyone, are eminently more watchable and far more entertaining than most other studio-funded toon features of late.
(8/10) Now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties:
First, let's get one thing out of the way: that teen movie-ish title is stupid and misleading and hardly has anything to do with the plot, so don't let that deter you from checking out this quirky charmer from director/co-writer John Cameron Mitchell, which is ultimately more Rocky Horror Picture Show than American Pie. Loosely based on a Neil Gaiman short story, this sci-fi punk romcom takes you to a 70s-era London where the young misfit Enn (Alex Sharp) and his mates stumble into, well, an alien orgy, where he meets Zan (a fearless Elle Fanning), a comely visitor from another planet who is fed up with her group's cult-like ways (and its impending deadly rite of passage). Mitchell's film isn't quite as hip as it clearly wants to be, but any movie that features color-coded rubber costumes designed by Sandy Powell, an unexpected bisexual threesome and Nicole Kidman as a cockney has-been punk goddess is worth checking out in my book.
(7/10) Now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

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