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.

My most anticipated movies of 2019

Hello and happy new year, guys! I’m back from my… two day break. Okay, I wasn’t gone for long, but I’m excited to be writing again. New year, new opportunities, new movies! And it’s that last one that we’re talking about today, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you guys, since this blog is mostly built on movie stuff. So since the year just started, I think it’s only appropriate to talk about some movies that I’m excited for this year. Will all of them be amazing? Probably not. But I’m just looking forward to watching them all, and I thought I’d share some of them here with you today. A few stipulations for both of us here.

Number 1: Please be respectful. I’m asking you to have the exact same opinions as me, I’m fine with disagreement. Just don’t be a dick about it. I’m all for friendly discussion, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Just be nice. This is a friendly space, yo.

Number 2: I’m not gonna talk about movies that had limited releases in 2018 that then get worldwide releases in early 2019. This is for those that have their first release in 2019. Understood? Cool.

Number 3: These are not ranked. These are just a bunch of movies I’m looking forward to a fair bit.

That should be it. Let’s get into the movies.

Glass.

First movie on the list is the first one I’ll probably see in the cinema this year… which would be pretty much unlikely a few years ago. A January movie by M. Night Shyamalan? Ew. But this is something I am genuinely excited about. So spoilers for previous Shyamalan movies, I guess. In 2000, he gave us “Unbreakable”, and it was amazing. In 2017, he gave us “Split”, and it was really good. And at the end of “Split”, it was revealed that it was a secret sequel to “Unbreakable”, which blew my fucking mind. And now we get the culmination of those two movies with “Glass”, and I am really hyped.

Avengers: Endgame

Yes, I talk about a lot of superhero movies. And yes, I am aware that a lot of people are either sick of or just don’t care about them. But you can’t deny that what Marvel has done with their cinematic universe is really impressive. And now we get the ending to it… sort of. It’s the sequel to 2018’s “Infinity War”, and it will be the end for a lot of these actors in this universe. It’s kind of bittersweet. Bring on the endgame.

Captain Marvel

Another superhero origin. This one starring Brie Larson. She’s a good actor. This looks pretty good. Has a stellar cast. It’ll be fun.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

I am a fan of the 2014 “Godzilla” movie, so I was already excited for a sequel. Then it was revealed that some classic monsters would be involved in it, which got me even more excited. Then this trailer came out and showcased some gorgeous imagery, and it got me even more hyped. So yeah, this is one of the biggest ones for me this year.

Star Wars Episode IX
It’s “Star Wars”. The end of this new trilogy. It’s “Star Wars”. How could I not be excited? “STAR WARS”.

Spider-Man: Far From Home
I am a huge Spidey-fan, been for most of my life. And this is a sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, which I liked a lot. Tom Holland is a fantastic Spider-Man. So I’m excited. Plus, Jake Gyllenhaal.

John Wick: Chapter 3

“John Wick” was one of the biggest surprises of 2014. “John Wick: Chapter 2” was a great sequel. And in 2019 we’ll get the third part in this series. The hype for this one is real.

Knives Out
No footage. No on-set images. All we have is a good director, a star-studded cast, and the vague premise of a murder mystery. And that is enough to intrigue me. Let’s go.

In the Shadow of the Moon
Like with “Knives Out”, we know practically nothing about this. But at least “Knives Out” has a vague premise of what it could be… this one on the other hand doesn’t even have that. So how could I be excited? Well, it has several good actors involved, and it’s directed by Jim Mickle, who I’m a big fan of. I’ll be supporting him any way I can.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

What do you get if you take one of the most star-studded casts even assembled and combine it with the mind of Quentin Tarantino? You get “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. Anything that Tarantino makes, I’m already excited for. But add all those cast members and an interesting setting, and you most likely have my money as well.

Lucy in the Sky
*Starts humming The Beatles*. Oh shit, you’re still here. Right, so what’s this? It’s a sci-fi movie, starring the likes of Natalie Portman, Dan Stevens, Jon Hamm, and Zazie Beets, and it’s written/directed by Noah Hawley, who brought us two of my favorite shows; “Fargo” and “Legion”. That’s all I need. Bring on the weirdness.

The Irishman
Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro. Joe Pesci. Al Pacino. Bobby Cannavale. Harvey Keitel. Jesse Plemons. Excited yet?

Jojo Rabbit

A World War 2 satire from Taika Waititi? With said Kiwi playing Adolf Hitler? And a good cast surrounding him? Yes please, hell yeah, this is interesting.

So those were a bunch of movies I’m looking forward to. I’m sure more will be revealed throughout the year, but these are my current picks. But I also wanna hear from you guys. What movies are you excited for? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one!

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

“Avengers: Infinity War” is almost here, and I am incredibly excited. So let’s talk about one of the latest entries into the MCU.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Thor: Ragnarok”.

After he gets banished to the planet of Sakaar, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has to find a way to return to Asgard to stop the evil Hela (Cate Blanchett) and the doomsday event known as Ragnarok. So now we have our Marvel space adventure. And I really liked it. The plot here is fun and keeps a fast pace that keeps it from dragging. In a lot of ways I prefer it to the other “Thor” plots, because it aims for a fun comic book adventure rather than trying to be convoluted (a la “The Dark World) or Shakespearean (a la the first one). But as much as I enjoy the plot here, I do have a problem with it. My problem is that it feels a little disjointed at times, since it tries to both do “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Planet Hulk” in it’s entire thing. Yes, I enjoyed it all, but those bits almost feel a bit disconnected, which makes me have to knock it down a little bit. But with that said, it’s still a really fun plot with a decent emotional core to it.

The characters in this are all entertaining and interesting in some way. First up we have Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the titular god of thunder. Here we see a somewhat different side of Thor, a changed Thor, a Thor that has learned to lighten up a bit. And while he is generally a more lighthearted person compared to previous movies, he still feels like the same character as before, only having gone through some evolution. And he’s a really enjoyable character. And Hemsworth is great in the role. Next up we once again have Tom Hiddleston as Loki, god of mischief and adoptive brother of Thor. He’s still a sneaky fucker, but you can still tell that he does kind of care about his brother. He’s still such an enjoyable presence. and Hiddleston is great in the role. Next up we have Cate Blanchett as Hela, the villain of the story. She is the goddess of death who has come to claim Asgard for herself. She’s a suitably intimidating villain with an interesting connection to the characters. While not the strongest Marvel villain, she works quite well for the story here. And Blanchett is really good in the role. Then we have Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, a badass lady that Thor runs into on Sakaar. Not gonna say too much as her story is unveiled in the movie, and it’s pretty cool. But like I said, she’s a total badass. And Thompson is great in the role. Then we have Mark Ruffalo returning as Bruce Banner/Hulk. He’s been on Sakaar for quite a while, and they play around with that in a few interesting ways in the movie. And Ruffalo is really good in the role. Then throughout the movie we get supporting work from people like Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum, Taika Waititi, Idris Elba, Clancy Brown, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel House, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, and I really liked it. Part of it is of course the big, dramatic, and emotional orchestral tunes that one would expect from a big comic book action movie like this. But then there are tracks here that take inspiration from 80s synth soundtracks, which makes this score stand out a bit, and just adds to the overall fun factor. And there’s a licensed song used in this movie, and if you don’t know what it is, I will not ruin it. But let’s just say that when they use it, I got chills. A great song that was used amazingly. Yeah, this movie has some great music.

This movie was directed by Taika Waititi, and I think he did a really good job with it. His directing here is fast and filled with tons of energy, making the movie feel really fun and breezy. The action scenes too are a lot of fun, with a lot of Taika’s energy being brought into them. The visual effects too are great. Yes, there’s like a moment or two of less than stellar green screen, but those moments are brief, and not too bad, so I’ll let it slide. This movie also features some of the most beautiful shots I’ve seen in a Marvel movie. This movie also has a lot of comedy in it, so much that this movie is even classified as a comedy. And is it funny? Yeah, I laughed. From chuckles to belly laughs. It’s an insanely funny movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is a really fun space adventure, and by far the best “Thor” movie. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing/visual effects, and hilarious comedy. As previously mentioned, my one flaw with the movie is that it can feel a bit disjointed when going between certain plot points, but it doesn’t ruin it for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Thor: Ragnarok” is a 9,20/10. So I’d say that it’s definitely worth buying.

My review of “Thor: Ragnarok” is now completed.

“AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”. 

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…

We now have a trailer for “Thor: Ragnarok”!

Hello there, ladies and gents! Another interesting trailer has come out so now I will talk about it.

We have now gotten a trailer for “Thor: Ragnarok”, the third part in Marvel Studios “Thor” series and the 17th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’m not the biggest fan of the first two “Thor” movies, but I was still interested to see what they’d do for this third installment of his solo series. So what do we have here? So in this movie, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) gets captured by the evil Hela (Cate Blanchett) and then gets forced to fight Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in a big arena. So basically it’s “Gladiator” with a lot more color and much less wheat. And all this weirdness is set to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. So what did I think? Holy fucking shit, this looks like so much fun! Badass action, fancy effects… JEFF GOLDBLUM! Yeah, I was a little skeptical about it before, but now I am pretty damn excited. “Thor: Ragnarok” is set to be released in late October of this year.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited about “Thor: Ragnarok”? What do you think about the other “Thor” movies? And just for fun, what’s your favorite Led Zeppelin song (if you’ve listened to them)? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Movie Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Ah, the woods. Despite being filled with insects and sometimes murderous animals, I love the place. The smells, the sights… it’s all great. Really, I like hiking and camping. That’s it for now, let’s move on to the review!

Ladies and gents… “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”.

After Ricky (Julian Dennison) goes missing in the woods, his foster uncle (Sam Neill) starts looking for him and eventually finds him. But soon they decide to stay in the woods which triggers a nationwide manhunt for the pair. So now we have a wacky adventure that was heartfelt, fast-paced, and incredibly entertaining. There’s a surprising amount of layers to the plot. Not in a “complicated and emotional Oscar-worthy drama”, but in a way where it’s not just some typical one-note adventure-comedy. There are a lot of nuances to it that makes it really interesting. So yeah, this movie has a great plot.

The characters in this movie are all very quirky, unique, and endlessly entertaining. Sam Neill is fantastic as this old and grumpy man who doesn’t really want to take care of the troublesome kid at first. Julian Dennison does a really god job as the kid that really is the cause of the entire manhunt. I also want to mention that he and Sam Neill got excellent chemistry and I never got tired of seeing them interact with each other. We also got Rachel House as the child services lady that is after our “heroes” throughout the entire movie and she was great. We also got Oscar Kightley as an officer that follows Rachel House through the entire movie and he was really good and the two actors worked very well together. Overall I’d say that it’s a great cast, with all of them giving great performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Moniker and it was really good. I mean, it was a really odd and unique score, but I think that is why it was as great/fitting as it was. It has a very odd sound that I don’t know how to explain, but it wasn’t your conventional movie score sound, but I like that… makes it stick out a bit more. And like I said, it fit the movie very well. There were also some licensed tracks used throughout the movie that were overall good and also fit the scenes they were used in very well.

This movie was directed by Taika Waititi (who also makes a cameo in the movie) and I have to say that I thought he did a great job. It’s a very good looking movie with several shots in the movie making me go “Wow!”. But what I like the most with his directing is that it helps to elevate the humor in the movie. Speaking of humor, since this is a comedy… was it funny? Yeah, I laughed quite a bit. There’s a good mix of both visual humor and punchlines. There were points where I chuckled and there were points where I laughed out loud. So overall I’d say that the comedy in this comedy was pretty fucking funny.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is an incredibly charming adventure with tons of heart and personality. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great humor. Time for my final score. *Kaw kaw*. My final score for “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is now completed.

Shit. Just. Got. Real.