Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
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.