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.

Daredevil Season 2 Trailer and Impressions


There has been three Punisher movies made so far (1989, 2004 and 2008) and i love each one (although 2008’s War Zone is the only one i’d call a good movie). So i think it’s safe to say i rather like the character, and it would be safe to presume i’m glad to see him make his way into the MCU, right? You’d be correct. And while i do thing Jessica Jones will end up being the better remember of Marvels Netflix shows, i really enjoyed Daredevil and am looking forward to seeing the characters return. I do wish they had held off on making this until Luke Cage and Iron Fist had their shows come out, and i’m a little worried this may be Netflix’s “Iron Man 2” (the rushed sequel only made when a character no one was expecting to get popular became an over night sensation), but other than that i say bring it on! Plus i think my spring break starts around the time the show starts, so whoo hoo, i’ll get to binge the whole thing in one sitting….i mean watch at a reasonable pace over afew days…..yeah…..that’s what i’m going to do…..totally

Jessica Jones Trailer and Impressions


Even thought i believe in adding more diversity in media i am one of the few Marvel fans who really just did not care to see a Black Widow movie. I love the character and i love Scarlett Johansson in the role, but i’ve been wanting their first female lead superhero movie to be a more interesting an unique character. And this is exactly why. While it does kind of suck that this has been relegated to the small screen, its kind of hard to care when the show looks this damn good.

While i’ve always held that the general posativity of Marvels movies has been one of their biggest strengths, i really did enjoy the darker tone of Daredevil, if for no other reason than it was a change of pace. But more importantly, then went dark the right way, by not backing down from the subject matter but still having a clear division between hero and villain. Jessica Jones really seems to be running with that idea and i’m loving the look of it so far. Tennant‘s “Kilgrave” is looking to be an awesome villain (even if his name is really stupid. not as bad as “Blackheart” though) and Krysten Ritter’s take on Jessica really works for me.

This is, by far, what i’m most excited for TV/Movie wise for the rest of this year.

“Captain America: Civil War” Fears


marvel_s_captain_america__civil_war___re_logo_by_mrsteiners-d84h9nyWarning: In order for me to talk about this, I have to talk about the end of “Age of Ultron”. It’s not a huge story spoiler, but it was meant to be a reveal to the audience. If you haven’t seen the film, this wont ruin it for you, but it may take out some of the impact of the last scene.
So, at the end of “Age of Ultron” the original Avengers Team breaks up. Bruce Banner is in hiding, Tony quits the team, and from the looks of things Thor is going to be too busy in Asgard to continue the partnership (but I may be wrong on this). In the last scene of the movie we meet our new team:

Steve Rogers/ Captain America (Chris Evans)

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Natasha Romanova/ Black Widdow (Scarlett Johansson)

Avengers_Black_Widow
Rhodey Rhodes/ War Machine (Don Cheadle)

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Sam Wilson/ Falcon (Anthony Mackie)

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Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)

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and The Vision (Paul Bettany)

no good pics online yet sorry.

no good pics online yet sorry.

This Team switch has managed to address a major issue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Diversity. While I am sad to see Robert Downy Jr. and Mark Ruffalo leave, I think this is a welcome change. So, what’s the issue? In short, “Civil War”. While i’m sure the movie will be on par with the rest of the MCU so far, I’m worried about that the film may undermine this step towards better representation.
For those who are unaware, the story of “Civil War” will revolve around this new team of Avengers getting a lot of people hurt while on a job. This causes The government to try an regulate the Avengers, telling them when they can and cannot intervene. This course of action doesn’t sit well with everyone on the team and soon in fighting breaks out. At the same time a new villain comes into the fold, and the Avengers have to deal with them too.
While i’m not too sure just how much this will barrow from the 2006/2007 comic arch of the same name, my major concerns revolve around what this can mean for the new team. This is all speculation as of right now, but this is just what’s been on my mind.
The first thing that’s on my mind: why now? In both Avengers movies the team Manages to save as many people as they could and keep the battle as contained as possible. But now with the team is showing more diversity, they go the “we can’t save everyone” rout. Now, i’m sure this was planed before they made the decision to switch the team around, so I can’t be too mad about this one, but it is something that made me stop and think.
The bigger issue is, what will this mean for the team? In the comic the superheros are split pretty evenly among those who agree and disagree with the proposed actions. And if I remember correctly, a lot of heroes died in that arch. So we could potentially be seeing half the team leave in there first outing, or get killed. If the movie goes this rout that means that the diversity so many of us had wanted, and seems to have gotten, could be gone just as soon as it came.
“Captain America: Civil War” comes out next year, so we have some time to wait before we get any idea if these fears are rational or not, but as for now, i’m just going to sit here, rocking back and forth chanting “please don’t screw this up” to my self nonstop.

Daredevil Review Part Two


Going the “Dark and Gritty” rout for superheros is one that I feel rarely pays off. Too often these stories are just juvenile, steeped in a mentally 13-year-olds nihilistic/pessimistic attitude that is always out of place when coupled with stories of people trying to save the world. Because if this, I was a little worried going into “Daredevil”, knowing that is was Marvel Studio’s first attempt at “dark”, and that it would have a “TV-MA” rating. So, if you are like me and are hesitant to try the show, let me just say this now: Daredevil is freaking terrific. This is how you do dark.
The question is, what makes Daredevil different? What does Daredevil do that other, lesser competitors in the “dark and gritty” arena fail at? Easy. Daredevil is a hero. For juxtapositions sake, lets compare this show too the biggest creative failure in the “dark and gritty” realm, “Man of Steel”. The first thing we see in “Daredevil” is a young Matt Murdock saving some old man from getting hit by a truck, losings his eyesight in the process. In “Man of Steel” we watch as Clark Kent saves a group of kids trapped in a sinking buss, only for him to be scolded by his father. While this does set up an interesting dilemma for Clark, the fact is, when it comes time for him to suit up and be a hero we are given no real context as to why he would choose to do so. The first thing we learn about Matt is his thought process of “people matter an I want too help them”, where as Clarks is more “people matter and I want to help them but, gee, maybe I shouldn’t” and we never get a clear sense of when that changes. It also helps establish that Daredevil is a hero as we are constantly watching him help and save people. The highlight of the entire show comes in the 2nd or 3rd episode when a bloody an beaten Daredevil enters a five minuet fight scene against Russian mobsters in order to save a young boy. Throughout the episode we are constantly shown how bad Daredevil is, how he can hardly stand and so on, yet in the end, he’s the hero and he has a job to do. Now compare that to the fight against Superman and Zod, when the two are seem to be in competition to see how many buildings they can each destroy.
Another thing that helps is how the show gets dark. While there is a part were Matt has to question whether or not he wants to kill the Kingpin, that’s not the main focus of the “darkness”. While the easy way to darken up a superhero is to make their actions more questionable, make you winder if the character is in fact a “hero” or just a vigilante. Daredevil goes a different (and in my opinion, better) rout. The darkness comes from not shying away from the brutality of the villains. In an early episode we watch a man brutally take his own life out of fear after giving up the name of the Kingpin, and a little latter we understand where that fear came from. In the end, I think this is why I like the show so much. We are given a hero that stays a hero, and we are also given a villain that demands the attention of that hero.
I talked about performances in my mini-review (witch, ironically, may end up being longer than this one), and for the most part not much changed. However, I do think that the actor playing Foggy didn’t handle the character’s change from “happy-go-lucky” friend to “bitter-and-angry-asshole” near the middle of the season, but the change is short lived, so I can’t complain too much. Other than that, the only time when the show falls flat for me is episode 7, “Stick”. While a lot of the show takes inspiration from Mark Millars run on the comics, this is the one episode that feels like a Mark Millar creation, a he specializes in the kind of dark storytelling I don’t like. At lest it wasn’t Frank Miller they took inspiration from…
In the end, this was a great show and a great step outside Marvels comfort zone. If the rest of the Marvel/Netflix shows can maintain this level of quality, then the climatic “The Defenders” team-up series may be a true equal to “The Avengers” films.

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…Marvels Spider-Man Movie


spider manNow that it is confirmed that Spider-Man will be joining the MCU, i have a list of Demands i want fulfilled. Or at the very lest, here as some things that i think would be cool.

1) No Origin Story.

By now i’m pretty sure Spider-man is as well known to pop culture as Superman is. We have had two big budget spider man series, each with their own origin story. By now you either know how spider-man became spider-man or you just don’t care. So skip this part and just give us a good story and good action.

2) Donald Glover as Spider Man

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And no, i don’t want him playing the crappy Ultimate Universe Spider-man, Miles Morales. I want him playing the original and iconic Peter Parker. Why? For four reasons. The first is Marvels nearly unbearable lack of diversity. Giving a role this iconic to an actor of color wouldn’t solve all their problems, but it would be a start. Secondly Donald Glover is awesome and needs more love. It’s that simple. third, it’ll help audiences understand better that this is in no way connected to the crappy “amazing spider-man” movies. Fourth, for why he has to be Peter parker: i really just hate the Marvel Ultimate Universe and don’t want it getting any more creditability or attention than it has already. Childish? Yeah, but true none the less.

3) One villein at a time.

While i think a super hero movie with more villeins could work, they haven’t for Spider-man so far, so lets just keep it simple for right now, yeah?

4) Show us the Marvel Difference.

I know i personally have had fun making fun of how badly Fox and Sony have done with their Marvel licenses lately (when i’m not busy being sad over how badly Fox and Sony have done with their Marvel licenses lately) but now Marvel needs to prove this is where there hero’s belong. If we waited this long and the movie sucks i’d ratter just see the silver-screen version of this character die.

And for right right now that’s what i want to see. How about you? What do you want to see from this next Spider-man movie? Leave a comment Below and let me know.