Disclosure: I took the miss to see Crazy Rich Asians for two reasons with the most important one being my desire to support a major release in the U.S. with an all Asian cast. Being of Asian descent, this type of breakthrough is of extreme importance. So with that, the second reason was that I could do that and also tally this one as the annual or semi-annual romance movie we watch.
That's right. I am not a rom-com type of dude. There are very few throughout the years that are in my faves. There's Something About Mary and Crazy, Stupid Love come to mind. Crazy Rich Asians is not a movie in those veins. That doesn't mean its not a good one. Its just not my normal cup of Oolong.
That said, it hits on all the right fronts for what its trying to do. Its a little Cinderella, a little Rat Pack, all wrapped up in Chinese culture both eastern and American. My parents would love this movie. My girlfriend really liked it. Me, I thought it was ok, but I am glad it got made and I'd go see the next ten movies that are like it if they had all Asians in it too.
The mind of Wes Anderson is something else. That remains a consistent throughout the man's career. Isle of Dogs is no different with a unique tale of a metropolis banishing man's best friend to an island after the animals come down with a vicious virus.But when the nephew of the mayor who issued the decree crashes on the island trying to find his dog, he is befriended by five canines who join his search.
Anderson and co-writers Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola have created a distinct setting that is all their own. The interactions between the various dogs with their own quirky personalities are a gem to watch. Voiced in that soft-delivery style Anderson likes by an all-star cast, the banter is funny and engaging and leading to a belief that any future Anderson animated entries are must watches.
Beirut is a merely adequate spy entry that could have been much better. It involves a former diplomat to Lebanon (Jon Hamm) who is now a labor dispute negotiator after a tragedy forced him out of his career a decade earlier. But after a spy is kidnapped in the same region he used to work, current US security forces call on him to return after the spy's captors ask for him by name.
Beirut's foundation is interesting, but ultimately the pieces fall in standard formation without much to be excited about. I like Hamm, but this one was nothing we hadn't seen before.