Steve Stebbing

Breaking down all things pop culture

In an attempt to bring you the best of what’s out there I give you my “High Spots” of the week, three noteworthy things you need to check out:

1. Isle Of Dogs – Wes Anderson makes a triumphant return to stop animation, following up what I think the crowning achievement of his career was, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Dogs is a gorgeously crafted story about an island of exiled dogs living off of the coast of Japan and has a brilliant voice cast including Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton and, of course, Bill Murray. The films momentum may have been deterred a bit by some insane cultural appropriation claims but, simply put, this is my favorite film so far this year.

2. Ready Player One – Nostalgia and break neck action sequences, this is what Steven Spielberg’s driving force in his adaptation of Ernest Cline’s best-selling book. Depicting a world more than twenty-five years into the future where everyone immerses themselves in a virtual reality world, there is a progressive message of disconnection from the real world that is rampant in this film before it becomes a bit lost in the immense shuffle of gorgeous imagery. Ready Player One may not be anywhere close to perfect but it is a damn fun ride.

3. The China Hustle and Shut Up And Say Something – Usually I would just reserve this spot for one film but we have two really stellar docs that opened this past weekend. The China Hustle is a financial horror story about the buying and selling of Chinese businesses from afar, a barrage of information sure to make your blood boil. Shut Up And Say Something on the other hand is an inspirational and emotional journey in the life of Canadian spoken word beat poet Shane Koyczan.

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