The Tweelight Zone: Wes Anderson and Isle of Dogs (New Substandard)

In this latest episode of the Substandard (subscribe, leave a review, tell your friends), we discuss Isle of Dogs and the Wes Anderson oeuvre. How twee can he get? JVL argues that Anderson reached his peak in The Royal Tenenbaums and that it's been downhill ever since Owen Wilson stopped cowriting (he's a great actor and underrated writer, we all agreed). But JVL also conceded he hasn't seen The Grand Budapest Hotel, which Sonny and I hail a triumph.

There are two reviews of Isle of Dogs. Sonny's is the more appropriate one (and you can read his written review here). The other review will have tongues wagging! Sonny also has thoughtful rankings (Moonrise Kingdom does not fare well.)

But wait, there's more! It was a good weekend for parenting: Sonny rewatched Frozen with his daughter (that's two times now, 998 more to go). JVL got minor league season tickets for his kids. And I took my own children to a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant so they could share in my own experience of growing up with a love for old-school Chinese food. We had tea, spare ribs, roast pork fried rice, and sweet and sour chicken. Plus wonton soup, fortune cookies, and orange slices. What's not to love?

My wife, on the other hand, grew up in Norman Rockwellian Connecticut and did not frequent Chinese restaurants with her family. The first time the two of us went to a Chinese restaurant, the menu simply overwhelmed her. My family, on the other hand, went for Chinese at least once a month, including dingy basement establishments on Mott Street in Chinatown (as a rule, don't ever look at these kitchens, just enjoy the food). We even went whenever we traveled abroad—we found one in Mazatlan, Mexico, and several of us got sick. But hey, we got to eat Chinese!