I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.
James Cole Clay // Film Critic
Filmmaker Wes Anderson has been fairly dormant since his largest financial success, 2014’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, went all the way to the Oscars. His latest and second stop-motion animated film ISLE OF DOGS is set to release March 23, 2018 with a flurry of famous voices, including Edward Norton, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, Billy Murray and Greta Gerwig, to name a few.
Personally, Anderson’s previous stop-motion work, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, is one of my all-time favorite animated films. It brings his signature dry and practical sense of humor, mixed with rich detail and colors that set an atmosphere and draw the audience close.
ISLE OF DOGS seems to be more of the same, but with a more complex plotting that goes international. The first trailer shows a lot of the plotting and provides a taste of Anderson’s visual style. Check out the official trailer below:
I’m sold on the film as a whole and very excited to see what ideas Anderson comes up with. For example, in FANTASTIC MR. FOX, he had George Clooney and Meryl Streep record their voice-over sessions in barns and inside trees to get a more organic, outdoor feel. Well, whatever he has up his sleeve, its bound to make arthouse film fans rush to the theater. And if Fox Searchlight is lucky in their marketing, they can attract some kids as well, which will help the box office receipts.
ISLE OF DOGS tells the story of ATARI KOBAYASHI, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
ISLE OF DOGS opens in theaters March 23, 2018.