Ty Watches "What We Do In the Shadows" Series Premier

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Two weeks ago a show that I have been waiting on for almost a year now finally premiered. "What We Do in the Shadows" aired its pilot episode, and I have to say, it was tremendous.

I was a teeny tiny bit worried, because I adore the movie so very much. But, they knocked it out of the park. I shouldn't have been so wary because both Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi were both attached, and gave their blessing. And man did it deliver. The pilot was pretty much like the first 10-15 minutes of the movie, with some added for TV type stuff. And it was so, so funny.

Right off the bat we meet the four main characters as they gather for a house meeting. The main vampire, the one who holds the meetings, is named Nandor, played by Kayvan Novak. He is so good as the typical fish out of water, that just wants things to run smoothly. He wants to have house meetings. He wants things to look nice for guests. He wants to make sure that the house is cleaned up after they have their feedings. He wants everyone to get along. One of my favorite scenes in the pilot revolved around him going to the store to get decorations for a big visitor, and he keeps calling crepe paper, "creepy" paper. It was hilarious. He also lights a paper skeleton on fire with a snap of the finger because he finds it classless.

We then meet the married vampires, Nadja, played by Natasia Demetriou, and Laszlo, played by Matt Berry. Nadja is a riot. She clearly doesn't like Laszlo, but due to circumstance and situation, it is best for her. She also creepily stalks a guy that she thinks is a reincarnation of a former lover of hers. The way she laughs is also very awkward, but also very funny. Matt Berry is a treasure. I am a big time fan of his, and to see him, finally, on a main stream, network-ish type show is well overdue. He is funny. He is dry and he rules. He also is pretty unhappy with his arrangement, but he accepts it. He loves to go hunt for food at night. He doesn't care for the house meetings, and voices his opinions loudly. And he sure loves to turn into a bat because he can fly instead of walk, which he doesn't care for either. I'm so excited to see where they take his character from here.

We also meet Nandor's familiar, a human that works for the vampire, Guillermo, played by Harvey Guillen. He is so sad and lonely, but Guillen plays it hilariously. To see him talk about why he wants to become vampire, due to a role by Antonio Banderas, was great. To see him clean the house, riotous. And to see him get "food" for his leaders, just tremendous. He is so funny. He clearly just wants to be turned into a vampire, but it seems like it will never come.

We also meet an energy vampire, and this was, in my opinion, the funniest part of the whole pilot. The energy vampire is named Colin, played by Mark Proksch. He is hilarious. To see him explain why he is a vampire made me howl. He talks about being the guy in the office that either talks about nonsensical things until the person is so bored they fall asleep, or to enrage people. To enrage people in the office, they show him jam a pencil into an electronic pencil sharpener over and over again. It was great. The other vampires also despise him. When they have people over to feed one night, they hide him away. But, he ends up talking to the victims, and he has bored them so much that their blood has no nutritional value. Again, it was so funny.

I'm so excited the show is finally on, and that it lived up to my personal hype. I cannot wait to watch the rest of the season, and to see it get renewed, hopefully, for many, many seasons. It is a treat.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He likes to annoy people in his office with demands like eating vegetables and taking naps. It is a good thing his office is his house and the other tenants are his kids. Otherwise it would just be creepy.

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Cloves and Fedoras: Go See the Incredible Movie "Hunt for the Wilderpeople"

Cloves and Fedoras is Seed Sings reviews for little known pieces of pop culture.  Feel free to contact us with your own submissions of undiscovered gems that must be known.

Over the past weekend, I got the chance to see "Hunt for the Wilderpeople". I had been looking forward to seeing it since I saw the trailer and heard that it was directed by Taika Waititi. Waititi hit a home run with "What We Do in the Shadows", so I assumed his follow up would be just as good. I really enjoy Waititi, and he makes funny, but also kind of moving movies.

Well, "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" was not only as good as "What We Do in the Shadows", but, just as a movie in general, it was better. Sure, "What We Do in the Shadows" had more laughs, but that movie was made as a straight forward comedy. It did it's job. "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" definitely had it's funny moments, but there was more heart and more sweetness to this movie.

The movie is, if you want the bare bones, about a young, troubled kid that gets taken in by a lady and her husband. The couple can't have kids of their own, so they figure this is the next best way. The lady, Bella(Rima Te Wiata), or Aunt Bella to the young boy, was a very happy go lucky lady. She was always smiling and seemed to enjoy every moment of life. She always had a story to tell or a compliment to give. The husband, Hec(Sam Neill), or Uncle Hec, was more of a low key, keep to himself type of person. He much preferred hunting and hiking, usually, by himself.

Then, there was the boy, Ricky Baker(Julian Dennison). He was a ruffian. He had been in and out of juvenile hall. He didn't know his dad and his mom gave him up when he was a baby. He liked to cause trouble, and wherever he was, trouble usually found him. The Child Protective Service people found a home for him, and it was Bella's and Hec's. The lady that was in charge of CPS, Paula(Rachel House), was no nonsense and didn't take any of Ricky's crap. When they drop Ricky off at the house, he is hesitant to stay. He doesn't like being in the wild, Bella and Hec live in the New Zealand bush. He has no cell service and TV is not really an option. Ricky tries to run away the first night, but being the portly young fellow that he is, he doesn't get more than a hundred feet away before Bella finds him the next morning.

Bella and Ricky strike up a friendship after a few days. Bella is very nice to him, and she wants him to have the childhood he never really got. She shows him how to do things around the farm that need to be done. They pluck fur off animals. They shoot rifles. She even takes him hunting, and when Bella guts a pig, Ricky is freaked out, but he also kind of grows to respect Bella even more after seeing this.

Unfortunately, Bella unexpectedly passes away. We see Hec crying over her dead body, and Ricky walks up to this travesty. The funeral scene follows, and in classic Waititi style, something that can be so somber and down is made very humorous. Waititi plays the pastor laying Bella to rest, and he is one great comedic line after another during this scene. I'm not lying when I say that this funeral scene is one of the funniest funeral scenes I've ever seen in a movie. It's truly remarkable. Afterwards, Hec tells Ricky that he never really wanted him, so CPS was coming back to get him in a few days.

Ricky decides that he doesn't want to go back to that life, so this time he opts to run away for real. He even burns down a barn to try and get CPS off his trail. He again doesn't make it too far until Hec, finds him. After they get back together, a great story of a budding friendship and the love for family ensues. Everything that happens from this point on in the movie is great. There's humor, there's love for family, there are touching moments, there are not so happy moments. It really is just perfect. Even the chase between Ricky, Hec and CPS is fantastic.

This is a very, very good movie, that not enough people are going to see. The story, the directing and the acting are tremendous. Sam Neill is wonderfully quiet and subdued in the movie. He plays the role of wannabe loner and hiker very well. Rima Te Wiata, aka Bella, is very good in her limited role. She is so funny and springy and happy. She was great. Rachel House, as the CPS badass Paula, is great too. She constantly states, "no child left behind" over and over again, and it is equally as funny every time. But, the real star of the movie is Julian Dennison as Ricky. He is so good. He plays the rough and tumble kid with a heart of gold to perfection. He delivers some of the best lines of the whole movie. His timing and reactions are so on point. He is a revelation. If you go to see the movie for one reason, make it for Dennison's performance, it's that good.

I can't say enough good things about "Hunt for the Wilderpeople". It is definitely one of 2016's best movies, and I think it deserves, at the very least, some mention during Oscar season. I don't want to give away the whole plot because I think everyone should go and watch this movie. It is a great role for Sam Neill, and showcases some New Zealand actors and actresses a lot of us don't know, The movie also provides excellent side performances from the likes of Waititi and Rhy Darby. The film shows that Waititi is a very adept filmmaker, who is on the rise, but most importantly, it introduces the whole world to the talent of Julian Dennison. Go see "Hunt for the Wilderpeople". It is a wonderfully great movie.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. You can hear all about Ty's current thoughts on the 2016 Olympic Games and Rio by listening to the latest X Millennial Man Podcast. Download it for free. You need to also follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Great Movie Comedies Vol 1: "Caddyshack" & "The Big Lebowski"

The greatest jokes ever live on the reels

The greatest jokes ever live on the reels

As you all know by now, I'm a fan of comedy. I've written and talked about it a ton both on the site and podcast. I love stand up comedy, television comedy and, today's topic, comedy movies.

Today I'm going to talk about 2 specific comedies that I adore, but there's so many others I could talk about. Movies like "Billy Madison", "This is Spinal Tap", "What We Do In The Shadows", "Napoleon Dynamite", the list could go on for days. Those are all great and all classics. I really love a good comedy. A movie that makes me belly laugh and doesn't take it self to seriously, it gets no better than that. A great example of that, "Anchorman", but that's not one of the two I will talk about today, but it deserves mentioning. There are also older, classic comedies that still hold up to this day. Movies like "Some Like It Hot" or "Duck Soup" or "Kentucky Fried Movie". All older, but all still absolutely great and worth checking out. But, the two I want to specifically talk about today are "Caddyshack" and "The Big Lebowski". Not only are these two of my favorite comedies, they're two of my favorite movies of all time. They're both timeless, hilarious and just flat out well made movies. Everyone involved with both movies really hit a home run. The actors, writers, producers and directors really struck gold.

Let's first talk about "Caddyshack". This has to be one of the most quotable movies ever made. Talk to anyone that's seen it and I guarantee they will quote something from "Caddyshack". There is so many famous lines and speeches in this movie. Bill Murray has multiple moments that are absolutely splendid. Take any scene, be it when he is pretending he's at the Masters and smashing flowers or when he is ogling the older women and telling them to "bark like a dog for me" or when he cleans the pool after what is believed to be feces floating around and he picks it up, smells it and takes a bite and exclaims that everything is okay and the rich lady passes out. Bill Murray is the star of this movie by far. But, we get excellent performances from Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe, Sarah Holcomb and Rodney Dangerfield. Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield are phenomenal in this movie. They too, much like Murray, have equally quotable lines and moments. Chevy Chase's scene when he is putting and talking to Danny Noonan(O'Keefe) about life and handing him lessons is very, very funny. And everything Dangerfield does in this movie is comedy gold. Rodney Dangerfield truly did not get the respect that he deserved. He is one of the greatest comedy actors of all time. "Caddyshack" is a classic.

"The Big Lebowski" is almost the exact opposite of "Caddyshack", but that doesn't make it less funny. Where "Caddyshack" had great improvisers and great comic actors, "The Big Lebowski" is one of the best written comedies of all time. The Cohen Brothers dabbled in comedy, with the excellent "Raising Arizona", but they're more known for their more dramatic stuff. What makes "The Big Lebowski" great, they blend drama, action, and most importantly, comedy to perfection. This has to be one of the weirdest, yet most hilarious movies I've ever watched. It is so good. It starts out great and continues to be great for two hours. It's also very weird, but that adds to its charm. Any scene involving Jeffrey Lebowski(Jeff Bridges) and Maude(Julianne Moore) is absurdist comedy gold. The scene when the two of them are talking about sex and her weird roommate is just sitting there listening, reading and laughing is genius. It's so bizarre, yet hilarious at the same time. John Goodman and Steve Busecmi are spectacular in this movie too. Goodman is the loud and obnoxious ex Vietnam vet and he is so good. When he pulls the gun on the guy for going over the line and forces him to mark it 0 is awesome. Also, when he talks about "the Jesus"(John Turturro), and his troubled criminal past, absolutely hysterical. Busecmi is great as their quiet bowling buddy that just wants to be involved. The arguments he and Goodman get into are great. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is also very good in his limited role and so is Tara Reid. But, Jeff Bridges is the star and he totally nails this character. He's so good, I associate Bridges as "The Dude", no matter what role he's playing. Everything he does is memorable and he is very believable as this stoner stuck in a crazy situation. And what makes is so well written as I wrote earlier is, everything that comes out of the actors mouths was all written. There's no improvising in a movie that seems it's almost exclusively improvised. That's some next level writing and the Cohen's are some of the best. "The Big Lebowski" is a terrific and bizarre comedy that everyone should see.

These are just two of my favorites, but I wanted to single these two out because they're different, yet equally hilarious. If you haven't seen either of them, stop what you're doing and watch them now. When you are done laughing, you will be thanking me.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Tomorrow you can hear Ty talk all about great comedy movies on The X Millennial Man Podcast. Ty is on twitter, go follow him @tykulik.

The SeedSing (half) Year in Pop Culture: The Top Five Movies of 2015

Time to fire up the projector

Time to fire up the projector

Being that the new year is coming up on Friday, I'll be doing my best of 2015 all week. Today, I'm going to start the week off with my top five movies of the year. Everyday I'll do a different top five and today I want to start with movies.

I see a lot of movies. Some I see in the theaters and others, I watch at home. I love movies and this has been a pretty good year for movies. So good in fact, movies like "Inside Out" and "Me and Earl and The Dying Girl" and "The Wolfpack" didn't make my top five and I really, really liked those movies quite a bit. So, on with the countdown.

Coming in at number five, we have a tie. My number five movies are "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Kingsman: The Secret Service". These are both blockbustery type movies, "Avengers" way more so. "Avengers" was fantastic. Go back and read my review. This was an absolutely breath taking super hero movie. There was action, adventure and even a bit of a love story. We also got Hawkeye's back story, and that made me like a character I once never really cared for. My favorite scene was when the Avengers were fighting Ultron and his army of robots and everything was in slow motion and we got to see each hero fight in super slow motion, it was excellent. "Avengers" Age of Ultron" is one of the greatest superhero movies of all time. "Kingsman", on the other hand, was a gory, action heavy, hand to hand and weaponry combat movie for the ages. This movie was criminally under the radar. I heard almost nothing about it while it was in the theaters and I didn't watch it on DVD for about five months. But, I'm so glad that I took the time to watch because this movie was incredible. My review was put up fairly recently. I loved pretty much everything about this movie. The opening fight scene with Colin Firth and the bar patrons was phenomenal. The fight scene in the church, once again featuring Firth, was one of the coolest things I've seen in a long, long time. The tests given to the future Kingsman were heart racing and incredible to watch. The main character, Eggsy, was expertly played. Samuel L Jackson was excellent as the villain. "Kingsman: The Secret Service" is the perfect summer action movie. Go check it out if you haven't seen it and I promise you, you'll love it.

My number four movie is "The End of the Tour". This is one of the most quiet, yet most poignant movies I've seen. Jesse Einsenberg is great as Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky. He plays the jealous, yet enthralled writer perfectly. I cannot picture anyone else in this role. Jason Segel, as David Foster Wallace, is absolutely phenomenal. He plays Wallace so realistically, it's almost like watching a documentary. He shows vulnerability, anger, sadness and genius all very, very expertly. He one hundred percent deserves an Oscar nomination for this role. This movie is basically just these two talking for two hours, but it never seems boring or dull. I was into the story and the movie the whole time. "The End of the Tour" is great.

Coming in at number three, I have "Ex Machina". This movie was so creepy and eerie because something like this could very well happen in the very near future. I mean, honestly, how far away are we from having robots walking amongst us? It's going to happen. Some rich, eccentric genius is going to create a humanoid robot and it will only grow bigger and bigger from there. Oscar Issac plays that eccentric genius billionaire so well. He is every bit creepy as he is lonely in this movie. He has his own lush home in the woods and he invites an employee, played by Domhnall Gleeson, to come out for what seems to be a vacation. It couldn't be more different. He is thrown into a type of lab project to see how he interacts with a female robot played so well by Alicia Vikander. This is another movie small in structure, but huge in story. As I said, something like this is going to happen very soon and this movie made me terrified for that future. It was haunting and terrifying and I'm not looking forward to the robots taking over. The final scene, I won't spoil it, was one of the scariest things I've seen in a movie in a very long time. It still aunts me. "Ex Machina" was the best horror movie of 2015, even though it's categorized as science fiction.

My number two movie is "What We Do in the Shadows". This was the funniest movie of the year by far. "WWDITS" follows the lives of vampires living together in a flat in New Zealand. Being that it was made by Taika Waititi, one of the "Flight of the Conchords" primary directors, it was so funny. It was done mockumentary style and it was perfect. Jermaine Clement, playing Vlad the Poker, was so great. A once powerful vampire, he now was not so powerful after his break up with "The Beast". He was excellent in this movie. Taika Waititi played Viago, the pretty boy vampire, and he was great as well. He was worried about keeping the flat clean and he longed for his lost love that was now in her mid to late 80's. The scene where he lays paper down to keep the blood of a victim off the couch, then hits a vein and bloods spills everywhere, is hilarious. The star of this movie, to me, was Johnny Brugh who plays Deacon. Deacon was a German vampire during the reign of the Nazis and he fled to New Zealand after stating, "if you are a Nazi, people hate you. If you're a vampire, people hate you. If you're a Nazi vampire, forget about it. I had to get out of there and flee to someplace safe". His character had me in stiches the whole movie. "WWDITS" is the best comedy of the year by far.

My number one movie should come as no surprise to anyone, "Mad Max: Fury Road". What else is there to say about this movie that hasn't been said already? It's the best action movie ever. It has the best social commentary. It lets a female be the lead badass. It has the best imagery in a movie in about 30 years. I mean, this movie is perfect from start to finish. Tom Hardy is excellent as Max. He's just as understated and hard core as Mel Gibson was in the original "Mad Max". Hugh Keys-Byrne was so creepy and so good as the ultimate bad guy, Immortan Joe. His breathing apparatus he wore still scares me when I watch the movie. Nicolas Hoult, playing war boy Nux, was surprisingly badass and totally cool. All the young ladies that played Joe's wives were awesome for many different reasons. But, Charlize Theron as Furiosa was absolutely phenomenal. She was the biggest badass, the toughest fighter and the smartest person in the whole movie. She was so great. Much like Segel for "The End of the Tour", Theron one hundred percent deserves not only an Oscar nomination, but she deserves to win. She was so perfect in this role. She beat so much ass and won at the end of the day. Theron was incredible. "Mad Max; Fury Road" is not only the best movie of 2015, it's probably the best movie I've ever seen. It's that good.

So, there you have it, my top five movies of 2015. Tell me what I left out in the comment section and come back tomorrow for my top five albums of the year.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He is lover of movies and a passionate lover of good movies. Feel Ty's love by following him on twitter @tykulik