Probably “What We Do in the Shadows” is the most obscure title of all time, as it gives no hint that it’s a mockumentary about Vampires. “Stakes” would have even been better. (*when one of the writer’s last names has the funny words of wait titi, there’s no excuse for an unfunny title:)
But that’s nagging, as this is a cute fluffy piece written by Jermaine Clement, so funny in the HBO series Flight of the Concords. My favorite line (the movie co-written by his co-star Taiki Waititi*) of the film is elicited by the Alpha male in the werewolves gang, Rhys Darby, when he chides his fellow wolves, “We’re werewolves, we’re not swearwolves!” Priceless.
After finishing a rather depressing New Yorker article about our apathy re. financial inequality “Richer and Poorer” by Jill Lepore March 16, 2015 (‘fun fact’ from the article, our f.i. is “greater than in any other developed democracy is not much disputed”(26), the only real choice these days is comedy.
As a culture, there doesn’t seem to be any personal responsibility any longer (also mentioned in Lepore’s article), hence most dramas seem absurdest to anyone with a moral high ground and common sense. Watching House of Cards seems to be simply acknowledging how dystopic our political system has become. Kevin Spacey admitted so much on Charlie Rose recently, saying that after a show had been shot and life was imitating art, that he thought for sure someone would accuse them of simply writing non-fiction.
Even Jon Stewart has given up on satire making any difference.
Life ain’t a cabaret old chum, it’s pure absurd comedy. Thank you to Clement and Waititi for allowing me to escape briefly to grab a giggle.
I love Chris Rock. I loved his recent SNL opening monologue where he said (and I paraphrase) that he wouldn’t go in the new Freedom Tower (former World Trade Center site) if Scarlett Johansson was naked lying in a plate of ribs. I love that he called Ben Roethlisberger the original white Cosby. I love his edge and would endorse him for stand up comedy writing as one of my TOP FIVE. Preceding him would be Louis CK#2, my recent fixation with Tom Papa#5, Doug Benson#4 (because I Love Movies), Jon Stewart #1, and Bill Burr#6.
What’s that you say? That Chris Rock#3 plus that list equals 6? Well, that’s part of the screenwriting wonders of Rock’s Top Five, where he and his posse name their top five rappers of all time. A cute conceit, yet it’s just one of the many semi random non-flowing elements of this film.
The story just wasn’t believable simply because Chris Rock has a comedian face. Meaning, his big beautiful eyes are always on the search for his next punchline, so when he wants to deliver any kind of dramatic response, it’s just seems contrived. And the story writing, well? Again, as with Horrible Bosses Two, at the very least Rock gives hope to aspiring screenwriters. Formula is not hard to write; the Hispanic aunt who loves Cosmo explicit magazine articles, the ‘hoes’ who want their money from the pimp like comedy show promoter, the diva girlfriend/star of reality show. Two dimensional characters are not the sign of genius.
And speaking of characters, I like Rosario Dawson and fell in love with her performance in Rent long ago. However, she delivers her lines quicker in this film than a side effects announcer in a Flomax commercial. her entire spiel about Cinderella, an important set up for the movie, was delivered machine gun style and tough to take in at the pace it was delivered.
Back to my Linkedin endorsement: Your stand up Mr. Rock, that I highly endorse and consider you in my top five!