Series Review: What We Do in the Shadows – Season 1 (2019)

Once upon a time, some very creative and funny people from New Zealand made a gut-bustingly hilarious movie called “What We Do in the Shadows”. Several years later, they take the opportunity to adapt it for television. And now that the first season of said show has come to an end, we can talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “What We Do in the Shadows” season 1!

The story follows a group of vampires (Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Mark Proksch) who all live together in a house on Staten Island, as they get into various misadventures while they’re just trying to live their lives. And I have to say, I really enjoyed following the stuff that happened here. It retains the overall tone of the movie, without feeling like a rehash of the kind of stuff that happened there. The show takes the general idea of the movie, but carves its own, silly path. And It’s a ton of fun to follow.

The characters in this are colorful, unique, charming, and really entertaining. The four people playing the vampires, Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, and Mark Proksch all bring something really fun with their performances. Combine that with the stellar writing for each and every one of them, and you get some absolutely delightful characters that I couldn’t get enough of. Then we also have Harvey Guillén as Guillermo, the familiar (fancy word for servant) of one of the vampires. It’s kind of fun to see his dynamic with the crew, as he’s the only human of the group, which makes for some really fun times. And Guillén does a good job in the role. There are other actors showing up throughout the show as well, and they all do well in their respective roles too.

There isn’t a whole lot of music in the show, but when there is, it’s pretty good. The score itself was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, and when it shows up, it’s alright. Not exactly memorable, but it works. The occasional licensed track exists too, and they work fine.

Based on the 2014 movie of the same name by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, the show was created by Clement, and written/directed by him, Waititi, and various other cool people. And their work on that front is really solid. The show of course keeps the documentary-style direction of the movie, and it just adds to the surrealness of it all. The writing in itself is fucking hilarious, but I feel like the mockumentary style adds another dimension to it that somehow makes it even funnier. So yeah, I laughed, a lot. This is one of the funniest show I’ve watched in recent years.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10 and is ranked #247 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

Season 1 of “What We Do in the Shadows” took my already positive expectation and somehow blew them out of the water. It has a fun plot, great characters, great performances, okay music, great directing, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “What We Do in the Shadows” season 1 a 9,89/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “What We Do in the Shadows” season 1 is now completed.

BAT.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 4)

Ho ho holy shit, it’s the fourth fuckin’ part of this god damn series of mine. So let’s get into it.

Are you a bit of a Grinch? Need something with a little less holiday cheer than most other christmas movies? Then “Bad Santa” is for you. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is a drunk, foul-mouthed, horny mall Santa who only does the job so he can pull off a heist at the mall with his partner Marcus (Tony Cox). And one year during their routine heist planning, Willie “befriends” a kid (Brett Kelly), and that complicates things a bit. As you probably gathered from the introduction, this isn’t exactly your typical holiday movie. The main character is a miserable drunkard who steals shit… at christmas time! And for those of us who get a bit tired of the usual “Lalala, christmas and magic and happiness”, it is a perfect thing to mix it up a bit. Billy Bob Thornton is fantastic as Willie, the titular naughty Claus. He gets the foul-mouthed, drunk, pervert character across flawlessly and it makes for something quite unique for a christmas movi. Tony Cox as his partner Marcus is terrific. They play off of each other very well. Brett Kelly is great as this innocent, naive, slightly stupid kid, and his relationship with Willie is a blast to watch. Then we have Lauren Graham as a woman that Willie forms a bit of a relationship with, and there’s something inherently funny about Lorelai Gilmore having a bit fetish for Santa Claus. Then we have the scenes featuring John Ritter and Bernie Mac, both gone way too soon. Seeing these polar opposite characters have a conversation is fucking hilarious and probably the highlights of the movie for me. I seriously miss them both, rest in peace, you awesome people. “Bad Santa” is an incredibly mean-spirited christmas comedy that I highly recommend to every person out there. Grinch, christmas lover? Doesn’t matter! “Bad Santa” is awesome.

What do you think about “Bad Santa”? Do you think we need more cynical holiday movies in our lives? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments, I’d love to know what you think.
Have a good one.

“Deadpool 2” teaser!

Hello three, ladies and gents of the internet. Time for some trailer talk. So let’s just jump into it.

So we have our first teaser for “Deadpool 2”, the sequel to last year’s surprise hit. Now, we did technically get a teaser for this earlier this year, around the time that “Logan” was released, but that was more a proof of concept rather than an official look at the movie. And now we have our first actual teaser for the movie. But for those that didn’t exist last year, here’s a quick recap of what “Deadpool” was all about. The movie was about a super powered mercenary named Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) who was trying to find the guy who made him super powered and also ugly as hell. The movie was self-aware, action-packed, funny, exciting, violent as fuck, and it’s one of my faves of last year. All caught up? Great. So what’s this about then? Fuck if I know, all that happens in this trailer is that Deadpool (again played by Ryan Reynolds) does some silly stuff, and then we get quick glimpses of the carnage that will ensue in the movie. It’s a quick teaser, and nothing else. But I laughed at the silly stuff, and the action looked badass. The movie is also directed by David Leitch who co-directed “John Wick”, so we know that it’s in good hands. So yeah, I’m really excited for the movie! “Deadpool 2” is set to be released in June of next year.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Deadpool 2”? And what did you think of the first? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the teaser!

Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

The Month of Spooks continues! So what is the theme today? Vampires again… cool.

Ladies and gentlemen… “What We Do in the Shadows”!

Wellington, New Zealand. We follow a documentary team as they document the lives of three vampires (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonny Brugh) who share an apartment. And really, it’s just a look into what these guys do in their everyday lives. From cleaning the apartment to going out on the town… it’s just the mundane lives of some vampires. And I thought it was a good plot. It’s a fairly simple mockumentary that just has a fun sequence of events that we get to follow. Seeing what supernatural creatures are up to in modern day society is a fascinating idea, and it was really fun and interesting to follow here.

The characters in this are all unique, quirky, slightly incompetent, and just incredibly fun. And I’m gonna keep all of this fairly vague because the characters and their “arcs” are best experienced rather than being told to you. Jemaine Clement plays Vladislav, a ladies man and the oldest of the main trio. And I’m not gonna say more other than that Clement is great in the role. Taika Waititi plays Viago, a somewhat naive and good-hearted vampire. And Waititi is great in the role. Then we have Jonny Brugh as Deacon, the youngest of the three, and the bad boy of the group. And Brugh is great in the role. And then we get a whole bunch of solid supporting performances from people like Cori Gonzales-Macuer, Ben Fransham, Jackie ven Beek, Rhys Darby, and more.

This movie doesn’t exactly have a typical score, but instead has various songs done by a group called Plan 9. I’m not exactly sure how their contributions work, but I can say that the music in this movie works very well, helping to elevate the silly and off-kilter mood that they clearly want to convey in this movie. And it’s all quite a bit of fun.

This movie was written and directed by both Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi. And they did a really good job. I think the mockumentary approach was the perfect one for this movie, especially since they were working on a fairly small budget (as far as I know). But sometimes you got to work with your limitations, and they did a great job with that. And since this is a comedy, let’s talk about the humor. It is absolutely hilarious, I laughed throughout it all. Some chuckles, but mainly loud laughs like an idiot. They manage to blend dark humor with an overall silly style to make some of the funniest humor this decade.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“What We Do in the Shadows” is one of the funniest comedies I’ve seen in recent years. It has a good plot, great characters, good music, really good directing, and great comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “What We Do in the Shadows” is a 9,89/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “What We Do in the Shadows” is now completed.

I don’t have anything clever to put here…

Movie Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)

Remakes. Love ’em, hate ’em. And by that I mean love the good ones, hate the shit ones. Yeah, that’s all I got, let’s just get into the review.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to… “21 Jump Street”.

Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are a pair of cops who aren’t necessarily the best at their jobs. But they’re given a second chance to truly prove themselves when they get transferred to the “Jump Street” unit, a group of cops who get to infiltrate high schools because they kind of look like they could be in high school. So Schmidt and Jenko get assgined to infiltrate Sagan High School to find the distributor of a drug that killed a student. So now we have our screwball mystery. I say screwball mystery because part of the movie is Schmidt and Jenko goofing around high school, and part is a surprisingly interesting mystery when it comes to who is distirbuting the drugs. Now, the mystery isn’t as deep, intriguing, or interesting as in “The Nice Guys”, or “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, but it’s definitely more interesting than I anticipated. But this is really a fun, simple, and straightforward plot that I really enjoyed following.

The characters in this movie are fun, interesting, and just all kinds of entertaining. Jonah Hill is the sorta fat guy who compensates by being quite smart, and Channing Tatum is the handsome jock who is good at the more physical things in life, but is instead not too bright. So these guys are friends to sort of complement each other. And I thought Hill and Tatum worked very well together, their performances overall were good and they had excellent chemistry. And they were both quite funny. We get Ice Cube as the angry police captain, and he’s just awesome. We get Brie Larson as a girl that Schmidt kind of falls for, and she’s really good in the movie. Dave Franco plays one of the popular kids in the school and he’s really good. This movie is filled with great talents. Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, Chris Parnell, Jake Johnson, Nick Offerman… plenty of talent here.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh and it was really good. It was based both in your typical orchestra-based sounds but there’s also a lot of electric sound here. And it all surprisingly fits the movie. It’s often quite intense and kind of badass, but it still works very well within the movie. There are also a few licensed tracks throughout that fit their scenes very well.

This movie was directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the men behind the surprisingly great “Lego Movie”. And they did a great job directing this movie. Their direction has a lot of energy to it and helps give the movie a very fun a fast-paced feel. And when action happens (’cause this is a cop movie) it is pretty good. So how is the humor in this comedy? For the most part it is really funny, I laughed quite a bit throughout. There are a few jokes that don’t really land, mainly because they are repeats of previous jokes. There’s a lot of immature dick humor and such in this movie, and while I found most of it funny, there were a few points where they went on a bit too long with it. But it didn’t bother me too much, because I did laugh a quite a lot (like I said). And it’s not only dick jokes, because there are some really fun riffs on cop/action movie clichés, and as someone who recognizes a lot of those clichés, I found them hilarious. Just don’t bring your grandma to watch this… unless she’s fine with crude, R-rated humor, because if that’s the case then you should totes let her watch it.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 85% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 69/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“21 Jump Street” is a surprisingly awesome reboot of the beloved 80s TV show. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “21 Jump Street” is a 9,77/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “21 Jump Street” is now completed.

“Fuck you science!” – Jenko.

Movie Review: The Nice Guys (2016)

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In a world filled with crime and scary stuff, cops have their hands full. And that’s basically why there are private investigators, so the cops don’t have to take care of all the bullshit out there… at least I think it is like that. If not, then I don’t know what the fuck their purpose is.

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to… “The Nice Guys”.

Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), two somewhat different people. One is a somewhat dim-witted private investigator, the other is an enforcer. These two people have to team up to try to investiagte the disappearance of a girl and the death of a porn actress. The cases may seem unrelated, but our “heroes” soon find out that they might actually be related in some strange way. And from that premise we get a surprisingly layered and intriguing mystery set in Los Angeles in 1977. And as you may suspect from my choice of words, I loved the plot of this movie. It’s just such a fun and interesting and odd mystery that we get to see these guys go through in this movie, it’s really something we never see in film these days. But we got to now… and it was great!

The characters in this movie are all unique, interesting, and so damn entertaining. Ryan Gosling is terrific in this movie as this dim-witted and often drunk private investigator. Ruseel Crowe is also really great as the enforcer guy who seems to have a little bit more brain behind his skull. But what makes this even better is the chemistry between these guys. These guys play off each other very well and they really make some magic together. We also have young actress Angourie Rice as Holly, the fdaughter of Gosling’s character. And to tell you the truth, she was fucking amazing. Usually having someone as young as her in a movie can turn out really bad, but she was awesome. Her performance was really good and her character actually helped get shit done in the movie. She was really a standout in the cast. And the cast also has some more great actors in it, such as Keith David and Kim Basinger. There’s also a really badass character that doesn’t show up until late in the movie, but let it be known that he is awesome!

The score for the movie was composed by John Ottman and David Buckley. And it is perfect. Okay, it’s not something that I would jsut listen to at pure random, but it’s perfect in the sense that it perfectly fits the movie. The music really harkens back to the stuff you could hear in 70s crime movies/shows… and that’s perfect because this is a crime movie set in the 70s. It fit the movie perfectly and is overall very well composed. We also get a lot of great 70s tunes played in various scenes. We get everything from KISS, to America, to Earth, Wind  & Fire. Yeah, this movie got some great music.

This movie was written and directed by Shane Black, and like his directorial debut (which he also wrote), “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, he has created a movie with great directing and pitch-perfect writing. The shots look great and Black’s directing really helps sell the 1970s setting. And the writing… oh my fucking god, it is some of the funniest stuff that I’ve experienced in some time! Really, this movie made me laugh pretty damn hard. Maybe that’s just because I have a dark sense of humor, because there is some dark stuff in the movie that really got me laughing pretty hard. But that is also kind of like “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, Shane Black’s dark buddy-comedy from 2005. What I’m trying to say is that this movie is fuckin’ hilarious. I can also say that this movie has some action scenes and they are all fun and exciting. Really, Black did a great job here.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“The Nice Guys” is the type of movie that doesn’t really get made these days. It feels so different to the majority of Hollywood stuff we get these days. It has a great plot, great characters, great acting (and chemistry between the actors), great music, great directing, and some really hilarious writing. Time for my final score. *Boogie woogie*. My final score for “The Nice Guys” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “The Nice Guys” is now completed.

A movie written by Shane Black that isn’t set during Christmas? Holy shit!

12 Songs of Christmas (Part 11)

We’re almost at the end, my friends. Only one more of these dumb things after today. So I guess we should take our time with this one since it’s the second to last christmas song shared (for this year). Or we just do this and see how long it’ll become. Fuck it, let’s do this.

The song I chose for this day is one I have wanted to use for quite some time but knew would fit better near the end of it all. It is “The Season’s Upon Us” by Dropkick Murphys. As the song starts it sounds a lot like your typical happy christmas song, but as it goes on it gets meaner and meaner while also giving us a bit of insight into the most dysfunctional family of all time. In the song we hear about how the narrator (as I call him) hates his family and don’t want to celebrate the holiday with them. He hates his sisters, he thinks their husbands are losers (and so are their sons) and there is even a bit of child abuse in there as well. And all of it, combined with the video makes for one of the most hilarious christmas things ever. The video is funny, the lyrics are funny and honestly, the overall composition of the music is superb. This is a really great christmas song that I love to listen to and that is why I shared it.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: Thank You For Smoking (2006)

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I have a very mixed feelings about corporations and the people who work for them. Doing all kinds of dirty and terrible businesses while having some skilled and equally slimy face to the outside world who will distract people from the bad shit. And while I don’t condone that type of work, I have to admit that it’s pretty fucking clever.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Thank You For Smoking”.

The movie follows Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) who is the spokesperson for Big Tobacco. Nick is in a little bit of a dilemma as he is trying to speak for cigarettes and make people actually keep buying them while at the same time trying to be a bit of a role model for his young son, Joey (Cameron Bright). That’s right, this movie is centered on a man saying smoking is cool and good for you, the usual villain thing… and it aboslutely works perfectly. No, I don’t mean that I wanna go out right now and buy a pack o’ smokes, I am saying that it is a damn clever way of delivering the story. I mean, the moral at the end of the movie (no spoilers) is actually the smartest way of handling this type of thing. And since this is meant to be a satirical comedy, is it funny? Yes it is funny, I would even say that it is pretty fucking hilarious, it made me laugh a lot. And since the the movie managed to deliver a smart & interesting story while also making me laugh, I really have to give it some major cred.

The characters in this movie are colorful, well rounded and incredibly entertaining. And you know what makes them even better? The actors. Aaron Eckhart is aboslutely fantastic in the role as Nick Naylor. He is perfectly on that line of slimy public figure while still remaining as likable as one can be. And you actually root for him in his struggle to balance his job and the relationship to his son. And like I said, Eckhart is terrific in the role. William H. Macy plays the senator who Naylor is constantly butting heads with and he is also great in his role. Cmaeron Bright is really good in the role as Naylor’s son. And then we have J.K. Simmons as Naylor’s boss and of course he knocked it out of the park because he’s J.K. Simmons. There are so many moe names I could mention, but I don’t feel like going through the entire list. But I do really think every actor did a great job in the movie.

What I like about the soundtrack is that it’s kind of a mixed back of styles. No, not in the “Cowboy Bebop” sense where you will basically hear any and all genres possible, but rahter to get a decent mix of stuff. The original score for the movie was composed by Rolfe Kent and it is great, kind of Henry Mancini-esque in it’s style. Then we have a lot of licensed tracks relating back to smoking in some way and they all perfectly fit into the movie when they are used.

This movie was directed by Jason Reitman (Sidenote: Son of Ivan Reitman who directed “Ghostbusters”). And you can really notice that it is one of Reitman’s movies since it has his style that would be noticeable in his movies. Okay, to be honest I have only seen “Juno” prior to this, so I don’t have too much to go on, but according to people who have seen more of his movies they have said that he has a very unique style. Very snappy, very stylish but still very conventional. And I guess that is kind of what I really like about his directing style. I can also say that the movie features some fantastic writing (also done by Reitman) that both made me laugh out loud and think “Yes, this shit is true”. What I am trying to say is that it’s both funny and thought provoking. Fun fact: this movie is based on the book of the same name by Christopher Buckley… just wanted to throw that out there.

This movie has been well received. Om Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Thank You For Smoking” is a very clever satire of not only cigarette companies, but of the American conglomerate in general. It has a smart & well-crafted story, great characters & acting, great music, really good directing, great writing and it is really hilarious. Time for my final score. *Huff puff*. My final score for “Thank You For Smoking” is a 9,90/10. It most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Thank You For Smoking” is now completed.

You wanna get better at rhetorics? Listen to Nick Naylor.

Movie Review: Jaws – The Revenge (1987)

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Guys, we are here at last… the final review in my series of movie reviews based the “Jaws” movies. It has been a tumultuous journey to say the least, but it feels good to finally be here. We made it through all of the movies. From the incredible 1975 original, to the mediocre sequel, to the unholy abomination that is the third one. And now, let’s finish this son of a bitch off.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the finale of this series… “Jaws: The Revenge”!

Where “Jaws 3” had potential for a great plot and fucked it up, this movie has one of the most ridiculous and also hilarious plots ever that you could never make genuinely amazing. In this movie we follow Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary), the wife of Chief Brody who apparently had a heart attack between the last time we saw him and this movie. After her son Sean (Mitchell Anderson) is killed by a giant shark, she starts believing that a giant murderous shark is actually following them around, apparently wanting revenge for his three shark buddies getting killed by the Brody family in all other movies. Yeah… this shark wants Revenge… with his Jaws… (I’ll show myself out now). I love this plot, but not in a “Oh my god, this is so great” sense, but more in a “BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” sense. While the plot is terrible, it is also hilarious.

Here is something kind of positive I can say about this movie; compared to “Jaws 3”, the characters in this movie seem to have some real chemistry. In the last one it was like the director simply told them “Hey actors, speak the lines from the script and then we can all go to lunch”. In this you could actually believe that they are family despite the fact that there aren’t any good performances in the movie. Okay to be fair there are a few performances that are… fine, at best. And those are the ones of Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest (He plays Mike Brody) and WHAT THE FUCK IS MICHAEL CAINE DOING IN THIS MOVIE!? Don’t get me wrong, I love Michael Caine, but I am seriously wondering what he is doing in this movie. Not so fun fun fact: He couldn’t be and accept his Best Supporting Actor Oscar trophy because he was busy making this movie… oh lord.

The score for this movie is… not that bad. Don’t get me wrong on this one, it is not as great as the John Williams original, or even the score from the second movie, but it is at least better than in “Jaws 3-Dick”. Does it build suspense? Nope, no suspense here. But at least it is enjoyable to listen to in certain parts. The quality is definitely better than in the third movie. Thank you, Michael Small.

Joseph Sargent directed this one and it is decently done. Great? No. But again, better than “Jaws 3-Dick”. The shots look pretty good and everything flows pretty well. But what the director failed to do, which is a big sin when it comes to this franchise, is the fact that he never managed to create suspense or tension. *Sigh*. Also, the ending “action” scene is not good… although it is pretty fucking hilarious. And just to save you the trouble of having to watch it, I will spoil the shit out of it. I know I am breaking my own code here, but I feel like I can do it with a big piece of shit like this. They go out in a boat to the middle of the ocean, they put a… thing in the shark, they activate the thing, they stab the shark with the tip of the boat and it goes KABOOM! Stupid? Beyond belief. Good? Not in the slightest. Hilarious? I burst out laughing at that part. Oh also, the shark roars in the movie despite the fact that sharks don’t have vocal cords.

This movie has been incredibly poorly received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 0% positive rating (Ouch). Roger Ebert gave this movie a thumbs down which I can only assume is the lowest possible rating from him. And on imdb.com it has a score of 2,8/10. I even remember seeing it once on imdb’s “Bottom 100” list.

“Jaws: The Revenge” is an atrocious movie that really shouldn’t be watched unless you have the right crew with you. You need people who can help you talk smack about it while laughing at the stupidity. But at the same time, I like more than “Jaws 3”. It has better characters, better music and slightly better directing… but it’s still awful. Time for my final score. *GAAAAAAH*. My final score for “Jaws: The Revenge” is a 4,00/10. I think that you should just skip it.
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YEEEEEEEES! I AM FINALLY DONE WITH THIS SHIT! NO MORE SHITTY “JAWS” MOVIES! AAAAAAHHHHH!

While you’re at it, go watch Chris Stuckmann‘s review of the movie.