At the advance screening for Isle of Dogs I attended, there were several moments within the film that got laughs, gasps of delight, and rounds of clapping from the audience. As of this post’s writing, Isle of Dogs sits at 93% on Rottentomatoes.com. It is a stop-motion movie about dogs with an amazing voice cast, a creative if not super complex story, and a delightful look. I should have liked it.
I did not.
Maybe it’s because I’m not a Wes Anderson devotee and am not inured to his unique voice, comedic flourishes, or banter. I enjoyed The Life Aquatic and outside of that I have few impressions of his films, other than they employ bright colors and have a lot of neurotic people struggling to manage family relationships.
Although Isle of Dogs did many technical things very well, it did some pretty major things poorly. The story is not charming or heartwarming enough to compensate for these missteps, and ultimately the whole thing felt like the film version of an ill-conceived rainy day craft project.
Happy belated Star Wars day! May the Forth is Star Warth Day, ath everyone knowth.
Unfortunately life has ramped up, and I didn’t have time this week to write up my piece on stop-motion animation. I will go ahead and disappoint you ahead of time by saying I won’t have time next week either, OR the week after. Although I will try to get something done, I can’t promise anything and it makes me sad. Work basically exploded, so it’s keeping me mega-busy with no time to blog. It sucks, but hey, it’s a new opportunity to learn some neat new stuff. So, a mixed bag!
In the meantime, please enjoy reading about two new species of Tarsier that were discovered. If you don’t know what a Tarsier is, here is a helpful video.
Have a great couple of weeks! Look after yourself!
In honor of National Pets day, which was Tuesday, today’s post is about Herzog – Herzog the cat, not Herzog the German director known for probing the existential depths of the human soul. Although Werner Herzog is tops, too. After all, my cat is named after him.
This is Herzog.
Neutered male tabby, 15 lbs, about 40 inches long, age 8.
Long enough to stand on his back legs and pull things off table tops or the kitchen counter edge.
Very good health.
+5 Lung capacity for extended caterwauling sessions at 4 AM/PM.
+10 strength – can pull me while wearing his harness if I am on wheels.
Does tricks – Sit, Lie Down, Roll Over, and Up. Recognizes ‘Bedtime’ means it is time to go to bed, ‘Blender’ presages a loud sound such as a blender, garbage disposal or vacuum, and ‘Hop Up’ warns that I am about to get up and he must vacate my lap.
Will not perform ‘Speak’ on command; never shuts up otherwise.
Alternate names: Bubs, Bubbins, Mr. Mittens, Mr. Muffins, Mr. Meowsers, Fiddles, Cuddles, Cuddle-Bear, Snuggle-Bear, other nauseatingly cute things.
Food – Making a chicken under the broiler tonight! I am excite.
Hair – Last night I tried the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil conditioning hair masque. It smelled like cookie dough and made my hair amazingly shiny and curly, which is of course ruined by my sleeping on it. I have not mastered the art of “pineappling” and upon removing my scrunchie resemble some kind of slightly flattened tumbleweed. Ah well! I am almost done with the Coconut & Hibiscus products I got, and next I am going to try Dragonsblood & Coffee Cherry, which smells amazing (I’ve been peeping it at Ulta) and is supposed to give curly hair volume.
Books – I am reading Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope, which I got for two dollars at the used book store. BEST EVER. I would say it’s helping me cope with the current state of politics, but really it’s helping me hold on to my fantasy that Obama and Biden are setting up a secret shadow government to save us all. It will be run from Biden’s garage, powered mostly by brewskis, and there will be 24-7 grilling in the backyard. When Michelle texts Barry that she’s coming by, there will be a scurry of activity in which bags of Doritos and nacho platters are hastily hidden from sight, and clouds of cigarette (and other!) smoke waved out.
In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of someone’s Grandfather and a goose wearing shoes.
One day, Nebraska inventor and local kindly person Gene Fleming noticed a goose awkwardly hobbling around his sister-in-law’s yard. Inspection revealed the goose had been born without feet, and it was doing its best to get around on stumps, but its skin was raw and would become infected without intervention. Touched, Mr. Fleming tried to help. After a few false starts, he settled on a pair of leather baby shoes stuffed with cotton slipped over the ends of the goose’s legs. The goose was delighted, and was soon running around the yard unassisted. He was an unusually good-natured goose, and didn’t seem to mind the attention or handling. Unable to stop tinkering, Mr. Fleming continued to improve the shoes.
Andy, as the goose came to be named, enjoyed a short brush with celebrity. He appeared on the Johnny Carson Show, and Nike began sending him free baby shoes. Mr. Fleming carried him around, his head nestled in the crook of his arm, his feet dangling like a child’s on a swing.
Unfortunately Andy’s story ends sadly, so I’ll just cut it off there. Here’s a link to the whole story if you want to depress yourself. I just focus on the good work of Mr. Fleming and all those people who were delighted by a goose in shoes.
Welcome to Apples and Oranges! This is an occasional feature where I compare two things, related or not. Today we’re looking at the 1967 and 2016 versions of Disney’s The Jungle Book. In the interest of doing a really comprehensive comparison, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
After seeing the 2016 version in theaters last weekend (and loving it) I couldn’t help but compare the two versions and mull over what the remake did better, worse, or just plain differently. The 1967 version was a huge part of my childhood; I had a massive crush on Mowgli (first saw it when I was six, I think), and was so inspired by his clambering around the jungle with only his animal friends that I spent hours in my backyard, climbing trees and doing gymnastics. I even had a stuffed Bagheera.
So when the trailer came out last year, showing little Neel Sethi running through the steaming Indian jungles as an orchestral refrain of ‘The Bare Necessities’ swells in the background, I was BEYOND excited. Cynics might believe Disney is just cashing in on nostalgia with all these remakes, but honestly, The Jungle Book has been the best of them, with the most heart. Continue reading “Apples and Oranges: The Jungle Book(s)”