Month: April 2015

The show without Fear: Marvel’s DareDevil

Marvel is pretty much running the show right now. Their cinematic universe is on the top of its game ready to roll out Phase III. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have improved incredibly since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Agent Carter was an amazing miniseries. They just seem to know what they are doing. We have been waiting for the Netflix phase to get off the ground, and they have done it. The first of, what I will call, The Defenders Series’ has hit the ground running. Marvel’s DareDevil is here. DareDevil stars Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Bob Gunton, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin Wilson Fisk. Produced by Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goodard and is based on the Marvel superhero of the same name. Word of warning, this review will not really have many actual Spoilers, but there may be minor details of the shows plot. SO if you want to know nothing about it before you see it, then stop reading. There will be a spoiler at the end that pertains to how a character is written, but I will mark it appropriately so you can skip that paragraph.

Marvel’s DareDevil tells the story of Marvel’s superhero by the same name. Matt Murdock is a lawyer who as a child was in an accident that causes him to lose his sight, but causes his remaining senses to function with near superhuman peak ability. Tired of seeing his city, Hell’s Kitchen, fall to criminals and dirt bags has decided to take up a quest as a vigilante. On the flip side. A near practical ghost of a business man, Wilson Fisk, has decided to rebuild the city, though while Murdock’s tactics are morally right, Fisk believes the means will justify the ends. Thus pitting the two on a collision course of mass repercussions.

I was very pleased with the casting. I was weary of Charlie Cox going in because I was not very familiar with his work. 2 episodes in and I realized he was perfect for the role. So perfect that I expect to see him in the films. I want to see Cox reprise this role in Civil War, and Infinity Gauntlet. I also would mind a S.H.I.E.L.D. cameo. Ann Woll is very functional and she grows as the series drives forward. I didn’t really like her at first but her character arc and her portrayal is great. A stand out star is Henson as Murdock’s law partner Foggy Nelson. Not just comic relief, but brings a lot of heart to the show. D’Onofrio is good in his roll. I have issues but I will get into that a little later.

Let’s talk positives. DareDevil is not like anything you have seen in the MCU. This is kind of a staple for Marvel. Each film has its own feel to it; this show takes its own identity too. It is dark, and gritty and violent. You haven’t ever seen this much violence from a Marvel property since the Blade series. It is the perfect change of pace. And speaking of, the pacing is great. It flows very well with right amount of vigilante/lawyering percentages. The story is very fluid. Filming for Netflix and being able to run everything at once lets them eliminate the “monster of the week” format that a lot of these shows can have, and lets them tell a more fluid singular story.

But I’m not just going to turn a blind eye. Remember, being a fan means being able to recognize problems. One of my issues is the character of Wilson Fisk. Kingpin is one of my all-time favorite villains. I have always enjoyed him. But to me he needed to be more intimidating then this makes him out to be. Again I don’t want to get too much into it right here, I will in a moment. Another issue I had was the lack of tie-ins to the MCU. There are a few references to New York, and The Avengers, but nothing that really made the connection strong. And honestly, that’s just about all I have for complaints. So I’m going to delve into the one thing I really found to be the main issue with show. This might have some SPOILERS! So if you don’t wish to know plot details you might want to skip the next paragraph.

SPOILERS! You have been warned. So I mentioned my issues with Wilson Fisk. That is nothing against Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance. He is great, he disappears into the role. The problem is the character himself. He is written nearly as a whiny little bitch. Through flashbacks, he is shown to have an abusive father and a poor childhood. I understand that the character along with DareDevil are two sides of the same coin. He is meant to be portrayed almost as an antihero. He wants what Murdoch wants, he just has questionable methods. Now as the season came to an end, I realized this something I hadn’t thought of. I had been thinking of this not as an origin story, but just jumping into this world. By the end you see this season is an origin. An origin of DareDevil, and for Kingpin. There is a scene when Fisk breaks out of police custody, and in that scene I saw the Kingpin I know and fear. My hopes are that in season 2, we get more of this Kingpin.

NO MORE SPOILERS! IT IS SAFE TO CONTINUE READING!

So in closing, I found DareDevil to be a great show. One that I hope will continue and mix in with the MCU for years to come. It has made me excited to see the rest of The Defenders series’ that will be coming out later this year and next. I gave Marvel’s DareDevil a score of 4.6, with a .4 bonus for its grounded, gritty dark undertones and fun action. Giving us a Jeebus Score of 5.0. So what say you Jackass Nation? Did you enjoy DareDevil? Have you binged on it like me? what else are you looking forward to from Marvel? Sound off in the comments.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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Furious Seven: #ForPaul

This movie is ridiculous! And that is not necessarily a bad thing. We are now at the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. SOme franchises would be getting stale. However in recent installments this one has been picking up steam. WHile i will always contend that Tokyo Drift is the best, due to its guilty pleasure status, Fast 5, and  Fast & Furious 6 definitely stepped up the game. Furious Seven once again stars Paul Walker in his final performance, aswell as Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese, Ludacris, Lucas Black, Elsa Pataky, Jordana Brewster, and The Rock. It brings on newcomers Jason Statham, Kurt Russel, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, and Djimon Hounsou. Taking over for Justin Lin at the directors chair is James Wan. Now what I’m about to say may sound like i am bashing on it, but hang in there. I’m really not.

negatively the story is all over the place. There are times that you kinda feel like you are watching two separate films. In a franchise built on over the top action and car races, this one really takes the cake. There are times that plot holes are so big, and i mean grand canyon big, that you kind of sit back and say to yourself, come on now, that is completely unreal. The dialog is very cheesy, and the like the action way over the top. I’m pretty sure Dom says “Family” around 300 times. The Action scenes, while pretty cool, are shot in typical James Wan style. Close ups, high frae, and rapid editing. Not to be mistaken for shaky cam, but definitely misses Justin Lin’s crisp vision. One thing that reinvented this franchise was the addition of The Rock. However this film takes Rock out for a good amount of the film. I also feel Jason Statham was underutilized.

Now that may sound like a lot of issues, but most of them are not the films fault. Look, despite what Vin Diesel says, this is not an oscar contender. Nor should it be. It is the kick off to the what is my favorite part of the movie calendar, the Summer Blockbuster Season. ANd this one kicks it off with a bang. The tory is weak, but that’s not what you are here for. Not to mention, the production was riddled with problems. THe biggest of which being the untimely passing of star Paul Walker. Which probably lead to many many rewrites and direction changes for the franchise. So you can’t fault the film.

While i say that the dialog was cheesy and over the top, it is a perfect 90’s action film type of movie. The one liners are off the chart, and incredibly witty while being cheesy. WHich is hard to accomplish. Tyrese is on top of his game in this film. He is your comic relief and he is very good at it. THe action is spectacular and steps it up from the last film, which you probably didn’t think was possible. It goes into an unbelievable realm of action and stunts, and it is just fun to sit there, eat some popcorn and have a good time at the theater.

The passing of Paul Walker was a devastating hit to the production, and to the world. Everything I ever heard of him was positive. They say he was full of life, and always smiling. The film does an incredible job sending the character off. And I won’t lie, I cried at the tribute at the end. The film wraps up the series well, but that’s not to say the franchise is over. This is a fun film. It is going to make money, and it should. Hopefully in the next installment it can scale things back a little, and start to focus on Luke Hobbs(Rock) and Toretto(Diesel). All in all im scoring Furious Seven 3.6, with a .4 bonus for the handling of Paul Walker, giving us a Jeebus Score of 4.0. While not as good as 5 or 6, and deff not the best of the series, it is worth seeing if you are looking for a fun time at the theater. #ForPaul

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.