Series Review: What We Do in the Shadows – Season 2 (2020)

Taking a break from my dive into my own country’s filmography, just so I can talk about a show I’ve watched over the past ten weeks.

Ladies and gentlemen… “What We Do in the Shadows” season 2!

We once again follow  Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), as they deal with all sorts of supernatural hijinks throughout their daily lives. All the while their human familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) tries to keep his recently discovered vampire slaying legacy secret. So it’s another season of vampiric shenanigans. And just like the first season, the story here are quite a bit of fun. They really went for a deep dive in exploring their own world, as well as old school vampire mythology. And I found it all very entertaining. Sure, there are parts of the show where it dips every so slightly, but generally I have nothing negative to say about the stuff going on here. It’s a silly bit of fun with a surprising amount of thought behind it all.

The characters are colorful, charming, funny, and overall just really interesting. Some of them even go through a surprising amount of development throughout the season. The returning lead cast of Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, and Mark Proksch are all terrific once again. And the guest stars this season (that I won’t mention by name, because it might spoil things) are terrific too.

The music for the show was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, and I think it’s really good. Really captures the sort of gothic, semi-Victorian vibe that they go for with these centuries-old vampires, while still keeping a somewhat cheeky/silly vibe to it. Really fits the show splendidly.

This season was written and directed by a whole bunch of different people, and I think they all did an excellent job with it. The directing is great, they really make the most of the mockumentary format, making for a lot of energetic cleverly directed scenes. The editing is also really good, a lot of good cuts and such going on throughout. And since the show is a comedy, I guess I should briefly touch on the show’s sense of humor. It’s really funny, at times even gutbustingly hilarious. It’s very silly, relying on a mix of wordplay, slapstick, and a hint of raunchy stuff. Sure, the show’s sense of humor might not be for everyone, but I certainly love it.

This season/show has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10.

Season 2 of “What We Do in the Shadows” continues the show’s winning streak, with another ten episodes of funny supernatural antics. It has fun stories, great characters, great performances, good music, really good directing, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “What We Do in the Shadows” season 2 is a 9,80/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “What We Do in the Shadows” season 2 is now completed.

BAT!

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.

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: We Make Movies (2016)

Full disclosure: The people who made this film offered me a free copy of it in exchange for me reviewing it. And since I’m a greedy sucker that doesn’t say no to a free movie, accepted. I just wanted to let you know that. I’m not letting the kindness/generosity of the filmmakers cloud my judgment of the film, but I still felt like it would be best for you to know about this sponsorship (for lack of a better word). Alright, let’s review this thing.

Ladies and gentlemen… “We Make Movies”.

Stevphen (Matt Tory) is a young, ambitious, and kind of arrogant filmmaker who wants to make a movie that he can show at the local film festival. So he gathers a bunch of friends to make this “masterpiece”. And we then follow them through the ups and downs of this process. And this plot was handled quite well. I found it quite fun to follow these people go through all the steps of making an ambitious movie on a ham sandwich budget, with all the problems that comes with it. It’s quite entertaining following the “behind the scenes” antics of this crew. It even manages to be a bit inspiring with how they never give up despite clearly running into more problems than Wile E. Coyote. The plot here is simple, but good.

The characters here are all distinct, interesting, and quite entertaining. Matt Tory plays Stevphen (no, I didn’t have a stroke, that’s how it’s spelled), the determined yet arrogant and selfish director of this “masterpiece”. He’s a fun character even if he is a bit of a dick. And Tory is good in the role. Jordan Hopewell plays Donny, Stevphen’s nerdy friend that is helping him out on this movie, and while he is portrayed as the typical nerd character, they don’t overdo it and he never feels annoying… as a matter of fact, he’s quite fun. And Hopewell is good in the role. Jonathan Holmes plays Garth, another friend of Stevphen’s, a slightly more serious and logical man. And Holmes is good in the role. Zack Slort plays Leonard, a “method actor” that the crew brings in to play the main role in their film. He’s kind of pretentious, but that’s what makes him fun. And Slort is good in the role. Anne Crockett plays Jessica, a young woman that joins the production to be their film’s female lead. And Crockett is good in the role. We also have Matt Silver as Curtis, a dude that shows up every now and then throughout the movie. he’s very chill and Stevphen just doesn’t like him. And Silver is good in the role. Really, all actors in the movie do well for themselves.

When it comes to the music in the movie, there is no real original score, but they instead used music from various artists throughout. But there’s not too much music in the movie, it’s used pretty sparingly. And that is fine, too much music might not have worked with the movie’s overall style. But when music was used it was used well.

The movie was written and directed by the star, Matt Tory. And I think he did a really good job here. The movie is shot documentary style, with fake interviews and everything. I think this style really helps the movie out as a “normal” directing style wouldn’t have worked that well with the story they wanted to tell. And since this is a comedy we should talk about the jokes… and they’re funny. And while I admittedly never had a laugh out loud moment at any point, I still found myself laughing at most of the jokes. And the ones that didn’t get a laugh at least got a smile out of me. The humor (to me at least) was never boring or cringey, it was genuinely funny. It’s also a sense of humor that actually gets elevated by the mockumentary style.

This movie barely exists on the sites I usually refer to in this little “critical reception” section. At least it exists on imdb.com where it (as of writing this) has a score of 8,3/10.

“We Make Movies” is a fun little indie comedy that I really enjoyed. It has a good plot, good characters, good performances, good music, good directing, and really good comedy. Time for my final score. *ACTION!*. My final score for “We Make Movies” is a 9,57/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “We Make Movies” is now completed.

Once again, huge thanks to the filmmakers for giving me a free copy of the movie! Really appreciate it! Now, if any of you reading this wants to check it out, you can find it on Amazon.