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DID YOU READ

Every Wes Anderson Movie Ranked in Order of Twee-ness

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twee /twē/ adj.
1. Excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental.
2. When the scout leader character arranges his compass collection on a desk and then enters a pup tent to listen to a Herman’s Hermits B-side on a Peanuts record player.

Critically acclaimed director Wes Anderson has amassed a loyal following with his collection of whimsical movies filled with idiosyncratic characters. Distinct in their colorful art direction, playful camerawork, and childlike sensibilities, Wes Anderson movies are a polarizing lot. Some appreciate the offbeat sentimentality. Others would prefer to smash the life-sized diorama with a monogrammed Underwood typewriter. But wherever you fall on that spectrum, most movie lovers will have at least one Wes Anderson movie to appreciate, maybe even enjoy.

But in order to safely recommend a Wes Anderson movie, one must rank them on their levels of cloying sentimentality and have the viewers decide how much they can stomach. Here’s every feature-length Wes Anderson movie ranked by twee-ness.

8. The Darjeeling Limited

Although rife with quirky bickering stemming from childhood squabbles, the sibling rivalry and familial themes of The Darjeeling Limited are the least twee among Wes Anderson’s filmography. Maybe it’s because the main characters are only halfway emotionally stunted, or perhaps it’s the fact that nothing much really happens. Whatever the reasons, cinematic diabetics should be fine.


7. Rushmore

Dead mother? Check. Blackmail letter in crayon? Check. Serpico as a school play? Check. But there’s a certain feeling to Rushmore that’s antithetical to mawkishness and sets it apart from Wes’ other movies: anger. Reflected in its muted color scheme and how Bill Murray’s foil is more of a sad sack than a petulant man-child, this movie has a darker edge that many fans miss from Anderson’s later work.


6. Bottle Rocket

In his first feature-length picture, Wes Anderson incorporates his own trademark themes that went on to grow exponentially in his future work: arrested adulthood, callow exuberance, Salinger-esque relationships, and puppy love from a hopeless romantic. And while Bottle Rocket is certainly less twee than his more recent work, the twenty-something’s adolescent approach to wooing a motel chambermaid could invoke a sickening sugar high in some viewers.


5. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Chasing Claymation ocean life in Jacques Cousteau getups, the cast of The Life Aquatic is clearly living out Wes’ childhood fantasy. Their exploration vessel is detailed as a real-life clubhouse cross-section, their diving helmets come equipped with a transistor FM radio, and the sole female crew member is perpetually topless. Add a rocky relationship between a son and an estranged father, and it’s no surprise how Anderson could make a pirate attack seem cutesy.


4. The Royal Tenenbaums

Complete with POV character introductions, dry Alec Baldwin narration, and identifying dollhouse wardrobes, this is where Wes Anderson really began upping the stakes on the twee-ometer. Three lapsed child prodigies with steamer trunks of emotional baggage reunite under one roof to care for their supposedly ailing father. Children camp out in a museum, grown-ups cuddle in a tent listening to records, a puppy is run over: This is orange alert-level twee.


3. The Grand Budapest Hotel

A hypercolor madcap romp, The Grand Budapest Hotel is like The Great Muppet Caper broke out on a Marx Brothers set. Featuring characters with names like Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe und Taxis and Inspector Henckels, as well as a flabbergasted bellhop and a snowsled chase scene, the threat of overdosing from whimsy is a clear and present danger when watching this movie. If it wasn’t for the sudden bursts of violence, we’d give this one the top spot.


2. Fantastic Mr. Fox

Before the trailer hit the web, moviegoers wondered how Anderson could put his signature touch on a stop-motion adaptation of a children’s story. But upon seeing the trailer, everyone realized, “Oh, it’s basically a woodland Wes Anderson movie.” With a movie palette that allows childlike sensibilities to soar, Fantastic Mr. Fox is exactly the sort of handmade film that a Wes Anderson character would act out from inside their pup tent.


1. Moonrise Kingdom

The cinematic equivalent of doing a kegstand with high fructose corn syrup, this is Wes Anderson at his most Wes Anderson-iest. An orphaned Cub Scout and a wise-beyond-her-years local girl give in to their prepubescent hormones, run away from home, and dance in their underwear to a lakeside record player. Practically ripped from the diary of a lovestruck adolescent and dragged through the shelves of a vintage thrift shop, this movie makes Garden State look like Chinatown. In other words, this is a make-it-or-break-it litmus test for the staunchest of Wes Anderson’s devotees.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

ecoli-computer

IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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