Daredevil Season 2 Episodes 5-13 Review


By William Shelton

Okay, the first thing I ant to clear up is that I was wrong about the first four episodes being their own arch. While they did clear up most of the “Daredevil vs Punisher” stuff that was promised in the trailers, the next 9 episodes did continue on as one continuous story. As a whole the show changes focus from episode 5 on, but I was expecting the first four episodes to be largely disconnected from the rest of the series, and that simply wasn’t the case.

Spoilers below.

Episode four ends with Daredevil saving a wounded Punisher from the Irish and Turing him over the police. As Matt Mudock returns home he is greeted by Elodie Yung as Elektra Natchios. We soon learn the two aren’t on the best of terms, so when Elektra asks him to represent her in a business meeting she is having the next day it’s no surprise that he says no. While Elektra leaves after this, she was clearly undeterred by his answer, as the next day a huge amount of money has interned the bank account of Nelson and Murdock. Matt knows instantly where it came from and goes to get answers. Using his super-hearing he spies on the meeting from the roof of a near by building.

Once the meeting is done Matt Makes his way to where Elektra is staying. Elektra reveals both that she is aware that Murdock is Daredevil, and that the two are about the be ambushed by Yakuza in retaliation for a stunt she pulled at the meeting. After the two of them fight the few goons sent their way Elektra explains to Matt the Yakuza are planing something, and her meeting was to uncover who they were working with. Matt agrees to help her so long as she agrees not too kill anyone.

Round the same time as all of this is happening, Matt and Foggy decide to represent Frank Castle, The Punisher, in an attempt to get the charges reduced on his sentence. But as Matt is spends time helping Elektra he begins to miss court, putting more pressure on Foggy as a lawyer and on the two men’s friendship. This doesn’t seem to matter much as no matter how well they do in court it seems like Frank is actively trying to sabotage his own case. This inevitably leads him to prison, where Wilson Fisk is waiting for him.

Upon learning that The Punisher would be making his way to the same prison, Fisk beings planing on ways to use this to his advantage. Even though the character is only in the show for a few episodes this season, actor Vincent D’Onofrio reminds everyone why he was the best part of the first season, and I can’t wait to see what they do with him in the seasons and spin offs to some (I’m hoping he’ll be the big bad for the Avengers like group series The Defenders). Once Fisk is done with Castle he tries to have him killed, but when that doesn’t work he uses his now considerable connections inside the prison to have Frank escape.

The information the Daredevil and Electra find leads them to the same place the now lose Punisher is heading, leading the two men to meet up at a dock where a massive heroine shipment has come in. Unfortunately for the two they didn’t find the person they were looking for, only a decoy.

The Punisher counties his search for the man behind his family’s death as Daredevil movies on, having to find his mentor Stick (the worst part of season one, and sadly the same here) who’s been kidnapped. Daredevil and Elektra find Stick, though they have apposing views on what to do with him as he and Elektra had something of a falling out a few episodes prier. We learn Electra’s back story which, from my understanding, is quite a bit different from the comics, as well as what the villain’s plans have been.

And in the end, it was a whole lot of build up to not much at all.

In fact the Elektra stuff turns out to be the worst part of the show. Elodie Yung does just fine in the role, but it’s the role she was give that’s the issue. I’m okay with the MCU making changes to the comics well established cannon if it helps create more interesting characters, but they literally strip Elektra of any character she might have had. Everything that could have made her interesting was set up either by Stick or by her “destiny” (which is probably the trope I hate the most) and the character herself has no real agency in her own story. And with how much time they spend on her story it really drags the season down. And the sad thing is that this had all the ingredient to make a fantastic bit television. Matt Murdock constantly ruining his own life at chances at real, mature happiness by his own religious need for self destructive pence manifesting itself in his attraction to a woman he knows he shouldn’t be with but can’t help himself while around her….that’s good shit in my opinion. I hope Yung returns in a later season, but I really hope the writers figure out something better for her too do.

In the end, season two was all together better than season one was, but now that we have Jessica Jones to compare both seasons two it’s hard not to see Daredevil as the “Thor” of the netflix based MUC project: serviceable but ultimately the lest necessary of Marvels projects. Daredevil is still worth a watch, and it’s given us one of, if not the best incarnations of The Punisher (who I hope gets his own Netflix show at some point), but it’s the one project they’ve done that I wouldn’t exactly miss if it were scraped all together. I can see a lot more being done with the show and its characters, and I hope the show reaches that point, but this season just didn’t quite reach those possible heights.

Overall I’d give this season

3.5/5

Daredevil Season 2 Episodes 1-4 Review


By William Shelton

Marvel Daredevil was pretty much everything I wanted it too be when I heard the the Netflix branch of the MCU was aiming to be a darker and more mature. The fight scenes were brutal and more striped back than the more family oriented film, Matt Murdock’s internal conflicts were much deeper than anything the A-listers had to deal with and the show had my favorite villain the MCU has produced by far. Unfortunately for out man without fear, the next marvel based Netflix show was Jessica Jones, which blew it out of the water in almost every way. So now the question is: will Daredevil’s second season be able to recapture the magic the first season had before it was outdone?
Short answer: no, but like season one it’s still pretty great.
The season opens strong, with Daredevil taking down a group of baddies without ever showing us Daredevil himself. This leads to what would have been a nice reveal of his costume if we hadn’t already seen it at the end of season 1, but it’s still a well paces opener. We are soon introduced to The Punisher in a similar fashion as he guns down a group of Irish moddsters with near surgical precision without ever being shown. He’s so proficient at killing that at first Matt Murdock and company believe they are up ageist an entire squad of trained killers. As good a killer as he is, even the punisher misses sometimes and one of the Irish managed to make it out alive.
By either coincidence or plot convenience Grotto (the Irishman from punisher assault) makes his way to Nelson and Murdock seeking to trade information for witness protection. While meeting with our “avocados at law” Grotto passes out from a gunshot he took and is taken to the hospital. Karen even stays behind and tries to pass herself off as his wife inorder to hind him from the punisher, who they’ve been assured will come looking.
This doesn’t work. The Punisher shows and….pisses me off.
Okay, taking a small break from the plot synopsis and getting to the political side of this. I’ve always liked the Punisher, but he’s a character that you really have to now how to write. Especially in the age of mass shootings. Who ever wrote this episode is not one of those writers. While I’m okay with the punisher shooting a bad guy in the hospital (that makes scenes with his character), when he does it here he goes I with a shotgun. The Punisher starts shooting in a crowded hospital, full of innocent people with a gun made to spread out it’s shoot range to hit targets in a wider area. This is not how the Punisher should be handled. Latter on he even cocks a gun at an unarmed elderly man. While some lip servant is paid to this all being an act and that he made sure innocent people wouldn’t have gotten hurt nothing he does here backs that claim up. While the dialogue is well written through out the season thus far and Jon Bernthal kills it in the role, this isn’t how the character should be handled….if he’s meant to be a hero. And that’s where this becomes an interesting talking point. Bernthal said he wants his role to get people talking about gun violence in America, and I can see that happen. Personally while I’m all for that pushing that conversation, I wish that did have to come at the expense of the character. For example, in the hospital scene, why give the punisher a shotgun? Why not a pistol or rifle or something more accurate? That at least would have at lest given some credence to the idea that he at lest made some effort not to kill those who didn’t deserve it, while still starting that political conversation.
Getting back on track, the first four episodes are dedicated to the fight between the Daredevil and the Punisher’s fight (which is why I’m not doing my normal 6 episode review) and it makes a pretty good mini arch. However, what made both Daredevil and Jessica Jones so great is that they were both one extended story, so having this not be the case here almost makes this season feel like a lesser entity than either of those. Not helping matters is the fact that Vincent D’Onofrio isn’t returning as Wilson Fisk, who was with out a doubt the best thing season one had going.
With all that said it’s easy to think I’m not fond of this season, but that’s not the case. It has it’s issues to be sure, but i’ve still had a blast watching it. Charlie Cox and Jon Bernthal both sell the hell out of their roles as two men on similar yet vastly different paths in life, and each scene they share is something too look forwards too, whether they’re fighting to talking. However, it’s Elden Henson as Foggy that really makes the show for me. Not only is the character funny as hell, but Foggy’s take no shit approach to lawyering and dedication to protecting the his clients makes you wish more law professionals were like him. While he may not be “the badass” of the show, he’s the guy I personally want to be like: honest, smart as hell and loyal to a fault.
The fight scenes are also better this time around, with one tracking shot fight down a stairwell being the highlight of this arch for me personally. However, I wish they’d try a little harder not to go back to under lit hallways. Last season’s “Oldboy” inspired fight was a season highlight, I’m glad we all agree, but the constant call backs to it feel unnecessary. I mean, I know there’s only so much you can do with a locations as confined as this, but fights this good shouldn’t be healed back by repetitive environments.
As of right now I’m not sure any of this will matter in the long run. Will any of this play a part in the seasons over all plot? That remains to be scene, but so far it’s been a hell of a ride none the less. I’m still of the opinion that Jessica Jones is the better show, but this is miles above what they did with season one, and I can’t wait too see what comes next.

Captain America: Civil War Trailer 2 and Impressions


I have two complaints with this trailer: 1) i wished they had cut just after Cap’s shield gets taken away an the end and left the Spiderman reveal for the movie itself and 2) i think they gave just a little too much away. I’m pretty sure nothing here is “shocking” for the fans that have been keeping up to date with the MCU, but even then this trailer comes off as a plot-line highlight reel. I’m sure the film will still be worth the price of addition, but i almost wish i could go in knowing less.

Deadpool Review


By William Shelton

Director: Tim Miller
Screenplay By: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Release Date: February 12, 2016
Run Time: 108 minuets
Rating: R
Score: 3.5/5

There is a lot to like about Deadpool: it’s funny, action packed and a rather nice change of pace from the more family oriented superhero films we’ve been getting the last few years. The biggest issue is that most of what there is too like has been in the trailers. Most of the best jokes and action stunts were featured in at lest one of the trailers, which made watching the actual film not as entertaining as it could have or should have been. It also doesn’t help that the movie just isn’t as funny as I was expecting. Yeah, I said it.
There were chuckles throughout the film, don’t get me wrong, but the films best joke comes right at the beginning with the opening title crawl, and nothing afterwards hits that same high mark. This could be due to overexposure from watching the trailers as much as I did, but even then it’s hard to excuse the movie as the film makers should have known better. Even Deadpool’s trade mark 4th-wall breaking was done in such a traditional manner that I have to ask how uninspired the creative team had to have been to not do more with it. Sure, lines about Fox’s X-men time line being a mess and a jab about the low budget of the film were funny enough, but more could have been done. A lot more.
At it’s core Deadpool is really only two extended action scenes with bits of back story to break up the action and to make sure Deadpool’s comedy shtick doesn’t begin to grate, and I found this format to be rather effective. At the heart of the whole thing is a rather touching love story. While the film tries to toe the “Guardians of the Galaxy” line where they undermine any scene that comes close to “sweet” or “sentimental”, I found the chemistry between Reynolds and Baccarin’s to be so good that this sincerity undermined the films attempt at undermining itself. It’s even pretty progressive in the area as (mild spoiler warning) Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa enters the film as a sex worker. It could have been easy for the film to make jokes about the relationship between her and Wade (the tired kind that assumes that strippers and prostitutes don’t feel any kind of real emotions ever), the film never goes there. It does make 3 or 4 rape jokes that I could have done without tho.
While the central romance is all well and good, it’s the action that keeps this movie firmly in the realm of entertaining to me. Again most of the big stunts were shown in the trailers but unlike with the jokes, what wasn’t already shown was just as good. Even just a few little things that got cut from scenes in the trailer made those bits better than I was expecting.
Everyone in the cast does a great job with Reynolds obviously being the best thing in the movie. As far as I’m concerned this more that makes up for “X-Men Origins” and “Green Lantern” (both of which the film lampoons). However, special mention must be given too Brianna Hildebrand as “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”. Not only does she do a phenomenal job in the role, but having the character there in the first place was a pretty bold move. Her entire presents is just about having a teen age character (what I’m sure will end up being the core audiences of the film) who “gets” Deadpool and just does not give a shit about him. Her entire job is to lampoon the film itself when it starts getting too pleased with itself. My favorite example of this is when Deadpool refers to her as “Ripley from Aliens 3” and her respond is simply “f**k you’re old”. Her presence forces Deadpool, both as a character and as a movie, to up his game and not rely on overly worn call-backs and pop-culture references. While I still stand by what I said about the movie just not being as funny as I wanted it to be, I can only imagine how much worse it would have been had the creative team not thought in advance to have this character.
I can’t lie, I wanted more out of Deadpool than what I got, but I still enjoyed myself. I don’t think anyone other than the underage kids sneaking into the theater will think of this as a classic superhero movie in time, but it’s well worth seeing. It’s an enjoyable film, just not a great one. And for a movie coming out in February, i’ll take “just enjoyable” over what we normally get this time of year.

Fantastic Four Trailer #2 and Impressions


My Thoughts:

This is the trailer Fox should have lead with. While there is still a lot about the trailer i don’t like (mostly the muted colors) i do have to say that this trailer sold me a hell of a lot better than the one that came out before. unlike the last trailer there are jokers here, there is a scene of comradery among the main cast that i like seeing in a team movie, but more importantly it made the movie seem less lifeless than before. I’m not going to lie, i’m still not sold 100% yet, but this is a vast improvement, and if we see more footage like this i may be convinced to go see the movie.

Daredevil Ep. 1-4 Mini Review


If you fallow me on Twitter then you know that last night i watched an loved the first three episodes of Netflix/Marvels “Daredevil”. After watching episode 4 today, i thought i’d give you guys a brief run down on what i think so far. i’ll do a “proper” review once i finish the season. First things first: the cast kicks ass. There has yet to be an actor (even in minor roles) that has bothered me in any way. Personally, i would say the stand outs are Charile Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson and, surprisingly Skylar Gaertner as young Matt. Normally i hate children actors (9 times out of ten if i know a child actor is one of the main cast i wont see the film), But Gaertner sells the hell out of the recently blinded Murdock, and the chemistry he shares with John Patrick Hayden (as Jack Murdock, the boys father) makes each of the “origin story”-esk flashbacks just as enjoyable as the fight scenes. Cox is also amazing at playing both Murdock and Daredevil, and who ever will be casting the next casting the next “Batman” in it’s inevitable reboot should look to Cox’s performance as the standard to be held. However, i’d say my favorite character so far is Foggy. Henson really makes the character likeable, and i found myself enjoying the him more than i thought i would like any secondary character in the show.

But in the end, this is Daredevil’s show, and like most comic book characters, the character is only as strong as their villains and the action. So how do those elements hold up? Pretty well actually. As it is with all the Marvel properties the focus is on the hero, so none of the villains are up to par with, say, The Joker, but i would say these are the best Marvel has put on screen so far. This is, in part due to how it’s a TV show and not a movie, thus we are give more time with each character. But when it’s time for the Villains to shine, they shine. The end of Episode 4 has one of the most brutal moments either Marvel or DC has shown, and i’m looking forward to when Daredevil has to face off against the man who delivers the beat down. But as anyone who has ever seen a bad action movie can tell you, great action means nothing if it’s poorly shot. Luckily for everyone the choreography and cinematography here are pretty spot on. There’s even one fight in episode 2 or 3 that reminded me of the hallway fight from “Old Boy”. While the show may not be as fun as “Guardians of the Galaxy” or as exciting as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, over all i do hve to say that this is a nice addition of the MCU.

The Last thing that i can’t praise enough is how much diversity there is in the show. So far one of the main trio is a woman (not uncommon), another returning character is a Latina Nurse, and another reoccurring character is and African American Reporter. Both these characters are intelligent and have agency over their own actions. Even when Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temle becomes a damsel in distress, its due to her inability to let a good man suffer. She made a choose and it had consequences. While i can;t say this is a huge win for diversity in media, it’s still nice to see a version of 21st century New York that doesn’t look like a “rabbit in a snowstorm”.

Now, on to the…i don’t want to say “negatives”, but criticisms. The first is that this does feel somewhat out of place with the rest of the MCU. It’s not so much the darker tone, but the overall look of the show. Up-till now each of the Marvel films have been distinct, yet felt tied together through a somewhat uniformed look. Here, that look isn’t present, making the show feel more like it’s own thing, yes, but also making it feel less apart of the same universe. That may have been the intention, i don’t know, but how instantly i noticed it has made each wink to the rest of the continuity feel…odd.

My only other criticism is that the show, as a whole, feels like it’s trying just a tad to hard to be liked by critics. So far i think the show works, but every episode seems to be trying to say “please don’t judge me as just a superhero show”. because of this you can see some ideas of other critically acclaimed shows Frankensteining their way in this. Again, everything is working, but the need to be liked as more than just  a comic book show irritates me as a comic fan.

In the end though, i really like this show and cant wait to finish the season. What aout you? Have to started watching Daredevil yet? what did you think? leave a comment below and let me know!

What i Want In…The Avengers: Age of Ultron


HOW DID I NOT ALREADY DO THIS?????? I have failed. I failed you, i failed myself, i failed my country. Dishonor on me, dishonor on my family, dishonor on my cow….okay…i’ll calm down now.

1) More comic book  weirdness.

like i said before, the first phase of Marvel movies did what comic book movies always do: tear away as much of the comic-book-y ness as they can to make the characters more palatable for an audiences that hasn’t memorized and internalized nearly 60 years of continuous and interconnected history. However, in Phase two it seemed like Marvel wanted to add in as much as they could, a decision i appreciate. So now that Phase two is coming to an end i want them to really commit to this and add in as much of it as they can.

2) A damn good explanation for what Hawk Eye has been up too.

Does this need explaining? Jeremy Renner was under-used in The Avengers, spending most of his on screen time under Loki’s control, and out side of “The Avengers” he’s had no real screen time in any of the other movies. What was he doing when SHIELD was under attack? Was he on a mission? Was he being tortured for information? Was he feeling like crap for attacking his own people? Or was he sitting on his ass at the farm of his not doing much of anything? I wanna know.

3) A world Ruled by Ultron

Number 2 is the dark one. In almost every trilogy that rule holds up. So what could be darker that The Avengers losing half way in, seeing the devastation caused by their failure. Sure the hero’s will come out on top, but this needs to show way we need them to begin with.

4) The Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver being more than extended cameo’s

I don’t exactly care about either of these characters, but with how much they’ve played a part in the advertising and hype for the movie, if i watch the movie and come out of it saying they could have been removed from the movie and nothing would have changed, I’m going to feel a bit cheated.

5) A real Death

So far you can summarize most of the Marvel movies by saying “A Character dies, but not really”. That needs to end. Some One needs to die and be gone forever. maybe Marvel is saving the “their really dead” card for when Robert Down Jr gets t be too expensive but This is where i feel it needs to happen.

So, what about you? What do you want in the next Avengers film? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Fantastic Four Trailer: Fantastic might be too Strong a Word


My Thoughts:

This simply doesn’t look good. Sure it looks 1 million times better than i was expecting it too, but let that stand as a testament of just how low my expectations for this film were to begin with. So why do i hate this trailer so much? Well, lets take a look.

First off is the age of the main cast. This casting choice would imply that most of the inspiration for the movie is coming from Marvel’s Ultimate universe. This was mean to be an updated version of their main characters to bring in new readers, and it i almost all universally crap. So to see the film makers going with the Ultimate universe high school age Reed and friends just makes me angry from the start. Then there is the issue with the god awful new costumes. Why does Johnny Storm have vents on his suit? I mean, i get the idea behind it, but who thought that this was a good idea? It doesn’t help matters any that the overall love of the film isn’t that great either. I can’t quite put my finger on why i dislike it so much, but i’m sure it has something to do with the color pallet. And now we’ve come to the big issue, the tone. This just reminds me way to much of DC’s recent out put of superhero movies that seem to have a big “no fun allowed” sign hanging just below the tittle.

I had been wondering why no one at Fox thought to advertise this yet, especially after hearing that the film finished shooting around five mouths ago. After seeing this trailer, i’m wondering why they didn’t just bury it altogether.

Antman: Yellowjacket costume leaks online


yellowjacket

Actor Corey Stoll will dan the costume as the films antagonist, Darren Cross. I don’t know much more than that, but it;s nice to see something from the film other than another story about production issues.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer and Impressions


My Thoughts:
Marvel announced that they would air this trailer after next weeks episode of “Agents Of Shield”. Many fans, including myself, couldn’t wait. Well, it turns out that some fans took that expression a little too far and leaked the trailer online. Marvel responded in what is probably the best way they could have: they made it official and simply released the trailer ahead of schedule. Thank you Marvel, and thank you what ever brave soul leaked the footage to begin with.
So, what do i like about the trailer? Simply put: everything. I know, that is the laziest answer imaginable, but it’s true. I love the costuming, i love the music, i love the how Ultron looks. I love the fight between Iron Man and the Hulk. I love the way Quick Silvers powers look in motion, i love the part were Natasha drops out of the jet on a bike. Just…God…This looks really good. I’ve watched this trailer several times already and each time i fall in love with it all over again.
With 10 movies already under their belts it’s only a matter of time before Marvel makes it’s first big stumble, but after seeing this i’m pretty sure this will be another win for them.
What do you think? Are you excited for “Age of Ultron”? What was you’re favorite part of the trailer? Leave a comment below and let me know!