Final Fantasy 15 Brotherhood Episode 1 and Review

It has taken 10 years for Square Enix to give fans a release date for “Final Fantasy 15”(September 30th according to one source), but now just a few months before launch they give us a prequel anime AND Movie? I’d almost dare to say Square have some issues with priorities. It’s hard to be too up set though, because this was pretty good. While this doesn’t make up for the over long wait and whatever clusterfuck that forced them to changed the game from “Final Fantasy Verses 13” to “Final Fantasy 15”, but in all honesty I’m okay with anything that helps us move past and forget FF13.

As I am including the episode here and it’s only 11 minuets long, I’m going to skip over the plot synopsis and you can watch it for yourself. Instead, I’m just going to jump into the things I liked. First of which is the art. Not being the worlds biggest anime fan I’m not quite sure how to describe the art style, but I found it to be simple stunning to look at. Kind of like the game…..they one that was announced 10 years ago……yeah if you cant tell I’m still kind of sore about that. Anyways, good visuals.

I also liked how they incorporated game powers into the fight scene. With the exception of any magic, this fight included all of the combat abilities i’ve seen be used in game play used here: the teleporting attacks, the switching weapons, even helping out party members….i’ve seen all of that in game play. I’m sure it would have been easier for everyone involved if they just picked one main combat option and focused on that, but I’m glad they made such an obvious effort to go beyond the superficial in making this a “FF15 anime”.

That fight scene also might have answered a question i’ve had for a while: what’s the game’s rating going to be? With the demo being attached to “Final Fantasy Type 0”, the first M rated eatery to the franchise, I started looking at the combat and recently began wondering if Square were planing on this being the first Main-line entry to receive the “Mature” rating. But once I saw that most of the enemies you’ll be fighting are going to be robots, that may be a sign that they are still planing on going the T rout by showing us that we’re not going to be carving up real people. I’d be fine with this going either way, but it’s funny that this comes out right around the same time the question popped into my head.

All in all, I enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next episode. How a bout you? Leave a comment below and let me know what you thought.


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


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.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2 Trailer and Impressions

I ignored Kimmy Schmidt when it first came to netflix, and in fact just got through season one a couple of days ago. and with the exception of one uncomfortably racist subplot i really enjoyed the show. So i was looking forward to see Kimmy’s journey to continue and was excited when i heard the season two trailer had dropped. Unfortunately this trailer reminded me of why i chose to ignore the show in the first place. While it does introduce some interesting plot lines for the season to follow, this was not a good trailer. I’m hoping this is just a bad cut and not indicative of the season as a whole, but there is very little here to get me exited.

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.

Doing Sexy Right: A Look at Ghost in the Shell’s Major Motoko Kusanagi

5By William Shelton

Earlier this month Metal Gear Solid 5 was released and with it came controversy over the design of one of the female characters. I haven’t played the game yet so I’m not going to comment on Quiet’s clothing but I will say Laura Kate did a great video summing up her thoughts and you should all go check that out. What I want to talk about is the anime Ghost in the Shell which I started watching for the first time a few days ago. I’m only about eight or nine episodes in, but one of the things I’m loving about this show is how well the creators handled the sexulisation of the main character, Major Motoko Kusanagi.

1The first thing I noticed about both the show and Kusanagi’s character was her ridiculous outfit. The Major’s default costume is little more than a corset and thong. It was impossible to ignore the titillating nature of the outfit or how absurd it would be to ware into combat, but I rolled my eyes and went with it. Comic books and other anime have long since taught me to except this kind of ridiculousness so long as the character was well written. I mean, what could you reasonably ask for in an anime, a woman in sensible footwear and body armor that protects all a characters major organs, yeah rig…..

2Oh….this changes things. I don’t remember if the Major underwent this costume change in the first episode, she did in the second which was more of a combat operation than the first was anyways. This simple costume change helped to establish a lot about the Majors character and in my
opinion it also helps justify the “corset and thong” she wares throughout the show. By having the Major switch into combat armor for the more action heavy segments we learn that she’s well aware of the danger that comes with her job and that she’s not foolish enough to go into battle unprepared. She’s a Soldier and more importantly she’s a Professional and she acts like it. This is expanded in a later episode when she is undercover at a press conference wearing a Formal Uniform. Again the viewer is shown that the Major knows what’s appropriate for the situation at hand; she’s attending a professional event and she dresses accordingly.

3“Okay,” I hear you ask “but how does that justify the sexual nature of her normal outfit”? Personally I feel that this helps sell the idea that she just likes looking sexy. While there are plenty of valid arguments against the justification that a fictional character “chooses” to dress sexually, to me it works better here because, unlike so many other female characters, the Majors sexual dress never puts her in danger. You wouldn’t be able to disrobe her in a fight and her armor covers the parts of her that are actually important, not just the fun “important bits”.
I still prefer her more toned down look in the spin off…reboot…reimagining…thing that was Ghost in the Shell: Arise, but I’m still glad the original show brought us a character that was allowed to be sexy while also knowing when to drop the titillation. Kusanagi’s sexuality never infringes on her ability to be bad ass because the creators crafted a character who knew when not too be sexy. Nor is it possible to ignore her sexuality because she has so little issue flaunting it. She looks good, she knows it and she wants you to know it as well….just not in the middle of a firefight.

4I completely understand why some women may disagree with me on this issue, and I’m not going to attempt to say their wrong for feeling that way. If you’d like to discus this further please feel free to take to the comment section.

Doctor Who Season 9 Trailer and Impressions

I wish i could be excited for this, i really do. I love Doctor Who; i think The Doctor is one of the best Sci-fi characters ever invented and I’d rather journey around in the TARDIS rather than the Millennium Falcon, The Enterprise or Battalestar Galactica. But there is one major reason why i just can’t get excited for this season: Steven Moffat. He is, by far, the worst show runner the series ever had. There are better people to talk about the more problematic aspects of his work, but for me his run has mostly just been boring. The fun and excitement of the show just left once he took over. The sad part is, he has a quote that is a perfect summation of why i love Doctor Who, but he has never done anything with his time on the show that proves he believes it. He said once:

“When they made this particular hero, they didn’t give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn’t give him a tank or a warship or an x-wing fighter, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help. And the didn’t give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat ray, they gave him an extra heart. They gave him two hearts. And that’s an extraordinary thing; there will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the doctor.”

I love that. I love that idea and understanding of the character. But i hate Moffat’s time as show runner and to be honest, i think i’m just going to skip this season, and probibly every other until he leaves.

Retraction: Netflix Unfortunate Events Trailer Fake

It has come to my attention that this trailer, expertly made as it is, was a fake. While the bulk of my feelings on the show remain the same (ie, if they keep too much to the books it may throw ff the pacing, killing the show) it’s unprofessional of me to make judgments or offer observations on a product from a source that does not accurately represent the product. While i know i’m not the only one that made this mistake, i still offer my apologies for not looking for not looking for a better/ second source before uploading my post.

A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix Series Trailer and Impressions

I can not begin to explain just how much i love Lemony Snicket’s 13 book saga. I read all the books at lest three times (yes, all 13) and even forced my sibling to get into them. So it probably wont surprise you that i was…underwhelmed…by the 2004 Jim Carry movie. Because of this i’ve been eager to see how Netflix would handle the franchise for a while, as i;ve seen this go wrong before, and a television series comes with it’s own complications.

The thing that has me the most worried is the pacing. i know alot of people say that books should be turned into TV shows instead of movies because then you can ad more of the book, but that also means dealing with all the superfluous crap that drags down the pacing of the book. With books this isn’t so bad as you control the pace more (you can read faster, slower whatever you need), but you can’t do that with a TV show. In fact, it was the poor pacing that killed Sence8 for me. So if the creative team can deal with that one major issue, we should be good.

Probable pace issues aside, i like what i saw in this trailer. I mean, the tone is just spot on, from the look of the leeches, to the color pallet to the great choice of music, missed me by the dresden dolls (by the way, if any of the film makers are reading this, i’d be 100% ok if Amanda Palmer did the soundtrack for the show).

All in all, i have high hopes for this. What about you? Are you looking forward to another adaptation of the books, or should people get away from the TV and read all 13 books? Leave a comment below and let me know.