Recently (as of last week) Netflix held what it called Geeked Week, and aired a bunch of new trailers for shows that it will be airing this year. Some of these don’t actually have dates, or just say they’re coming soon, and then there are the movie trailers that are still being released daily. Here are a few that caught my eye.
The first trailer was a tease of this one. Now I don’t know why we need to be teased about a real trailer that’s coming later, but this is what movie studios are doing now, so alright. I have to admit I know very little about Black Adam outside of him being an enemy of Shazam, with a lot of the same superpowers. I didn’t read any of the comic books which featured him, but I did read a few Justice Society books. The Justice Society is the DC version of The Avengers, I think, but I know more about some of the other characters than I know about him.
I’ve read a few of the Hawkman books (not a lot) but I’m excited about Aldous Hodge (from Leverage) as this character. I love that actor. I’ve read quite a number of books on Dr. Fate’s adventures though, and I never pictured a greying Pierce Brosnan as this character. Dr. Fate is sort of the DC version of Dr. Strange. (It doesn’t matter to me who came first at all.) I thought someone much younger would be chosen. The last Dr. Fate book I read starred a young Asian man as the new Fate, so I was kind of hoping for an Asian actor, but I see the casting company decided to go old-school for this particular iteration.
Well, it looks interesting. I don’t know that I’ll go to the theater to see this because I’m not overwhelmed or anything, but I like Dwayne, and the movie looks kinda fun, with plenty of adventure and explosions.
Yeah, I never even heard of this until a few days ago and I don’t know any of the actors here. I’m not sure what to think of this yet. I will probably check out the first couple of episodes but only because it looks like a Horror version of a superhero movie. Once again this is just a teaser, so maybe after I see the full official trailer I might feel some type of way.
Wednesday Addams is my spirit avatar (and that of a lot of other snarky young women, I imagine). I did watch the Youtube series that aired a few years ago, and that was a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to this version and I hope it’s good. I heard it’s going to be somewhat like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as she goes to live on her own, and fights various supernatural creatures. I like the look of the actress as she seems to have captured the attitude in just this brief glimpse. The actress is actually Latina as befits the daughter of Gomez Addams, and Morticia Addams, who are being played by two of my favorite Latine actors, Luis Guzman, and Catherine Zeta-Jones! Also Christina Ricci will be playing a character in the series, so YAY!!!
This too is just a teaser so when I see a full trailer my opinion may change, but I like this okay.
Wow, I don’t even…
I remember watching this television series as a child, and this Rob Zombie adaptation is so faithful to the original that it’s hilarious. I can tell that this is Rob’s love letter to a TV series that probably influenced his sensibilities for the rest of his life. Everything on the screen feels so authentic, from the makeup and costumes to the attitude, that I wonder how this is going to be different from the original. Once again, this is just Netflix teasing us, so my feelings may change after I see the full trailer.
Oh yeah, Cassandra Peterson, ( The Great Elvira) also has a cameo, so now I’m actually curious.
Prey (Hulu Series)
I would not ever refer to myself as a fan of this franchise although I have enjoyed several movies in it, but this looks intriguing. This is the first television series based on the original film, basically, it’s a prequel, and I’m okay with that. This looks like it’s getting back to the original terrifying roots of the mythology. I remember watching the first movie with Arnold Schwarzeneggar and being frightened out of my pink bunny slippers because no one knew what the hell was happening. Since then we’ve all gotten very used to the Predators thanks to some of the less effective sequels, but I like this one, and I’m going to check it out.
I know. I know, I always say things like that and then I never write a review, or mention it again, but I actually mean it this time.
I like how this trailer just doesn’t explain anything. Is this some future Earth that’s been invaded by an alien lifeform? Are these humans exploring some weird planet? Is this a Lost World story? Who knows! I love weird wildlife movies (like Annihilation), so I will probably give this a look once it starts streaming somewhere.
Yeah, I’m not paying the cost of a mortgage on an unknown quality like this. I’m gonna wait for a safer, less costly venue, the TV in my living room.
The Sea Beast
I don’t know what to think about this beyond that little girl is absolutely adorable but in keeping with most little kids in movies, she’s also kinda annoying. On the other hand, I love monsters, especially monsters from the ocean, so I will probably watch this for the actual Seabeast mentioned in the title. This looks like a buddy movie for kids, and I support that. Maybe I’ll watch this with my ten-year-old niece.
Yup! I got no idea what this is about, but I like historical series set in this particular era, so it has captured my attention. Don’t know that I’m gonna watch it, or that I’ll stick with it beyond the first episode, but it at least looks interesting.
I like the animation here, and it has an Afro-futuristic feel to it, so I’m interested. I don’t normally watch romances either, but the voice actors are a great list, with Kid Cudi as the starring character, and Timothee Chalamet as his smoked-out best friend. It has a great cast of Rap artists and actors (like Jessica Williams from Fantastic Beasts 3) and I like the music.
Synopsis:Entergalactic is an original, animated story about a young artist named Jabari — voiced by Mescudi — as he attempts to balance love and success. Finding the latter brings Jabari a step closer to the former, when moving into his dream apartment introduces him to his new neighbor, photographer it-girl, Meadow — voiced by Jessica Williams. An explosion of art, music, and fashion, Entergalactic takes place in the only city that can handle all three: New York.
Now this one I’m very excited about not just because it looks like hella fun but because Jamie Foxx and vampires just sound like a winning combination to me. Hopefully, this will be funny too, because Jamie is a great comedian, and we need more funny vampire movies.
Overall, I liked this movie a lot. I can’t say I was especially enthused when I heard they were going to be making it, because at the time I was clamoring for a Black Widow movie, Disney insisted on not giving us one, and I felt that this movie was too little too late, and I had a strong desire to be petty, but I also decided to show some appreciation for what was given.. I wouldn’t call this movie a joy to watch, because if you saw Avengers Endgame, you know why, but it was a lot of fun, and that was largely due to Florence Pugh.
The first time I saw Miss Pugh she was having an English food mukbang on Youtube, which I found enjoyable, even though I had no idea who she was at the time. The last time I saw Miss Pugh was in Midsommar, where she did an exemplary job as a woman in distress, and she shows her range here. She is the best character in the movie, right next to David Harbour’s Red Guardian. I barely remember anything about Rachel Weisz’ character, other than she was present and delivered her lines. I kind of felt the same way about Scarlet, but then I was predisposed to dislike her because she has tried very hard, in the past five years, to get on my last nerve, and succeeded. Perhaps Scarlett Johansson needs to shut up when someone holds a microphone up to her face, because she is sure to put her foot on top of it. Nevertheless, despite my feelings for her, she did turn in her usual competent job as Black Widow here, and even managed to have some really good scenes with Miss Pugh.
The story is pretty basic, although its not done in a basic manner. There’s the usual going back to clear up one’s past regrets, some familial dysfunction gets cleared up, and there’s some origin story stuff thrown in for good measure. I was mostly into the family stuff, which was the strongest part of the movie, and the action scenes, which were pretty good. I could’ve done without the “pseudo rape culture” type stuff in the plot, with the villain and his armies of brainwashed little girls. That was just “ewww”, but I guess that was the point, making him as unlikable as possible.
It was kind of weird watching the opening scene, where we see Natasha as a little girl, playing in the park with her sister, only to find out that wasn’t her sister, her parents were not her parents and she’s probably not Russian. I felt some type of way about seeing that, but I’m not yet sure what type of way that is yet. I loved Pugh as Yelena, though. She really nailed it as Natasha’s annoying little sister, the put upon daughter, and the badass government agent, and she made her interactions with Natasha very watchable, and funny, so much so, that I don’t remember much of Natasha’s other interactions with anyone. Pugh just kind of stole the whole movie, and I could watch an entire movie of her and David Harbour interacting with each other.
After the first hour, the film follows the usual formula of a quiet opening, and we follow these characters to the bombastic ending, with lots of explosions, and turnabouts, and falling buildings, and what not, although for me the most exciting action scene was watching Natasha escape her captors at the beginning of the movie. That was very smooth, and showcased just how good Black Widow is at stealthy maneuvering.
This isnt a great movie, and it doesn’t even crack my top ten of MCU films, (coming soon!), but its not a bad film either, and worth the watch. If you decide to skip it, that’s okay. Your life will not be upheaved.
A Quiet Place 2
My mother and I had been greatly looking forawrd to this movie. I don’t think she liked it a whole lot. She thinks there might be yet another sequel. I’m not anticipating such, but will take these movies as they come. I thought this movie, while not as enjoyable as the first, was well worth watching. I’m not really heavily into the apocalyptic genre, but I will enjoy the occasional end of the world scenario, and these movies are very well made, and move pretty quickly as far as the plot. I have a thing about children surviving the End of the World, I guess, because I thought well of movies like The Road Warrior, The Girl With All the Gifts, and The Road.
The opening sequence is very exciting, and shows what happened when the aliens first landed, I’m assuming this was an accident, and that the aliens were on their way somewhere else? You can watch the first five minutes of this on Youtube. Its all very terrifying, and I can only assume that it all happened so fast that humanity reality didn’t have time to rally against them, although we also learn there might be more of humanity left than we thought, since the aliens can’t swim.
The movie takes up where the last movie left off, with the remainders of the Abbot family moving on from their place of safety, since it has largely been ruined by flood and fire. They walk out into the world armed with the knowledge they learned about how to defeat the aliens, and wanting to share that information with the rest of the world. They meet other survivors, both good and bad, and Regan Abbot, the deaf girl from the first film, plays a much larger role of that of world savior, which I was okay with, because I like that actress a lot. I still have questions about how no one else in the world discovered what she did about the aliens, but Imma let that go, because the movie is otherwise very entertaining. I could also have done without the absence of PoC, and the deaths of the only two Black men in the film, but I’m long used to that kind of racial wtf*ery in Fantasy/SciFi movies, and there is a tiny part of me that couldn’t help but laugh at the (rather politically incorrect) idea that PoC are just loud, and maybe we’d be hardest hit by all of this.
This is a good enough movie, but I don’t know that this is the kind of movie that will become a classic over the next couple of decades. Sometimes I get a good feel for that sort of thing. I knew that about Bladerunner, Alien, and The Thing, but sometimes I don’t get any feel about that at all, and have to wait and see, just like everyone else, but there are few alien invasion films that make my top ten SciFi list, and these do, so that must mean something.
Blood Red Sky
This is one of the most popular Horror films on Netflix right now, and well worth the watch. I even managed to get my Mom to watch this, and she said it was alright, which is very high praise coming from her. I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I sat down to watch this, but I was interested because “vampires!” It wasn’t what I expected, but it was very watchable, and and full of suspense, although I wasn’t particularly scared. If you’re expecting 30 Days of Night levels of suspense, than this isn’t your movie, because things are not quite that harrowing, although it does make a serious effort. But if you liked Army of the Dead, and Snakes on a Plane, then this is basically Army of the Dead on a Plane, only without the humor.
The lead character is a woman who was bitten by a vampire just after her son was born. She’s been raising him for the past ten years, while fighting against her vampiric condition, and is now headed to NY for some type of experimental procedure that will cure her of her “blood disease”, when their plane is hijacked by thieves, who are setting up some innocent Muslim passenger to take the fall for the hijacking. Her son gets caught in the crossfire between the thieves, the passenger, and the vampires. Disaster ensues with a bittersweet ending. For me, the film’s weakest point were people engaging in a number of questionable behaviors, but I didn’t feel like people were being stupid, and I actually liked some of the characters (especially the passenger and the little boy), and that went a long way towards the film’s general likability.
It’s not a great film. I don’t think this will ever become a classic, but its well worth the watch if you like vampire movies, and its a great choice for Halloween viewing. There’s also a certain amount of violence, and gore that comes with it, and of course there’s some child endangerment, if that’s something you can’t abide.
This movie was somewhat disappointing, but only because I had high, John Wick level, expectations, and I was really enthusiastic to watch it. I enjoyed the second GI Joe movie, which starred Dwayne Johnson, hated the first one, and was kinda lukewarm about this one, so I will probably watch this again, and see if I feel any different. Right now though, I feel this could have been better, although it wasn’t a bad film. It looked really good, and the action scenes were alright, but there was no there there. It lacked emotional depth and appealing characters, but was otherwise a competent, middle-of-the-road, Action flick, set in Japan.
I’m a sucker for the whole Urban, Japan, Bladeruunner aesthetic. You could draw me into watching any movie with the those types of visuals, but in this case I felt the visuals were all promise and no payoff. Like I said, it looks really cool, there are some interesting martial arts and sword fighting scenes, but I didn’t care much about the characters. Plus, I think I’m starting to get a little tired of the Japanese criminal empire themes found in so many of these films, which starts to smack of The Yellow Peril stereotypes of the early 20th century.
Y’all know I go off on character development, but the characters here, while certainly pretty and watchable, merely go through the motions of the plot, and none of them resonated with me, although I tried really hard to like them. I shouldn’t have to try so hard to like the characters, and I eventually gave up, and didn’t finish the film. You may get more out of this movie than I did, because it does look gorgeous and cool, but its character development is on par with the other GI Joe movies in the franchise, in that there’s no one to emotionally really latch onto.
My mom and brother both hated this movie, claiming that it wasn’t much like the first film, and that there wasn’t enough killing in it, I guess. I was not a fan of the first film, because it centered a white character in a cast that was otherwise entirely Black, and Candyman killing members of the community that sort of invented him made no sense to me, (althouhg that is in keeping with the kind of thing that happens with urban legends). This movie tries to make sense of what Candyman is in a way the first movie didn’t really satisfy for me. That was also a movie you could tell was filmed by a white director. In comparing these two films, you can see where that director’s priority was, versus Jordan Peele’s priorities as a Black director. I GOT this version of the movie, in a way that I didn’t get the first one, which wasn’t particularly scary to me, despite the presence of Tony Todd.
This isn’t actually a remake or a sequel in the way that one thinks of those things. I mean, it is a sequel, but its a sequel that, rather than simply picking up where the first movie left off, (although it does do that, sort of), appears to be having an updated dialogue with that film, and it’s a discussion that prompts you to go back and watch it in a new light. I accepted the movie in the spirit in which it was made, while a lot of the people I saw panning this movie as not being as good, were people who held the first one in such high esteem, they really expected this movie to just be more of the same, and Peele and DaCosta had very different ideas about the direction in which they wanted to take things. Some people seemed to want a Slasher movie with the occasional, light, touch of social commentary. This movie is a little heavier, along with a couple of interesting, and unexpected, plot points that I thought made for a much richer film, and I especially liked the ending, and how it creates a mythos that could spawn more sequels.
I was satisfied with this movie. And yeah, I did think it was scarier than the first one because of the implications being made. I’m not sure a lot of the fans of the first movie quite got what was being said, though, since Peele’s productions tend to be rather dense with meaning, but that’s something I especially enjoy in the films and shows he’s worked on, so Candyman worked for me.
Star Wars: Visions
One of the reasons I was so excited to watch this anthology series was because I thoroughly enjoyed Japanese animator’s interpretations of Batman, in Batman Gotham Knight, a few years ago. That and Batman Ninja are two of my favorite American superhero anime, so I was really looking forward to the stories that would be told here. As the lore goes, George Lucas was heavily inspired by the Samurai films of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, when creating Star Wars, and I was really eager to see what the Japanese would do when given free reign to play in a galaxy far, far, away.
It was not as excellent as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to eek out about four episodes, from the 9 in the anthology, that worked for me, but ultimately, I expected better, and I didn’t get that. I think perhaps I should not have binged all of them one after another, because that made me see the series flaws in a way that I might not have, if I’d just watched one per week. Most of the time, either the animation, the dialogue, or the characters, just fell flat for me, and there was a distinct lack of width, and breadth in the type of stories that got told.
Now, it is possible that the animators were given a set of parameters they had to work within, like maybe the stories had to be about the Jedi and Sith, which is why, given the entirety of that universe to play around in, those were the only subjects of every one of these episodes. I like the Sith and the Jedi, but we know just from the films, that this galaxy consists of so much more than just these two groups of people fighting each other. After a while, I didn’t feel there was any objective to it. They’re simply fighting each other because it’s in the script. The Sith are evil because that’s how they’ve been cast, and the Jedi’s job is to beat them up. In a galaxy full of planet sized predators, Cantinas, Bounty Hunters, robots, Jawas, desert dragons, and Max Reebo, all I got was ten episodes of Sith and Jedi antagonistics, and I expected a little bit more than that.
That said, the episodes that I enjoyed were really awesome, and stood out to me for mostly two reasons, plot and/or animation style, since they weren’t really long enough for me to grasp onto character. I really liked the first one, The Duel, which has a classic American Western approach, where a man with no name protects a town from the depredations of a group of Sith-led bandits, which ends up revealing his true nature. I liked the twist at the end, the animation took a moment to get used to, but is different enough from the rest of the series that it stood out, and the coolness of the tech and characters was definitely a factor. There’s some classic Kurosawa imagery in this one, so if you liked the movie Yojimbo, there’s a few images straight from that movie, and I got a thrill from seeing them.
My ultimate favorite though, was the 5th episode titled The Ninth Jedi. The plot, the tech, the animation, and again, the little twist at the end, made this a winner for me. Episode 7, The Elder was a serviceable piece of work. It wasn’t great, but it was watchable. No twists at the end, but I really didn’t see much of a point to the story, beyond some of the philosophical issues brought up by the characters. And finally there was Akakiri, where I was captured by the animation style. The characters, plot, and dialogue, were serviceable, but it was the nice, clean style of the animation that pulled me in, and again, there was the tiny little story twist at the end that made it worth watching.
Overall, I give the anthology a C+, because I liked almost half the episodes, and there was only one that I actively disliked, and that was episode 3, The Twins. So, once again, your mileage may vary, and you may well enjoy watching all of these, but this was just how this particular series impacted me.
Y: The Last Man TV Series – Episode One
I was interested in this because I read a few of the comic books ,and found the premise intriguing. What would happen to women if all the beings in the world with a Y chromosome were to become extinct. The comic books were written by Brian k. Vaughn and a woman named Pia Guerra, so I didn’t expect the usual blind spots, including the reaction to the deaths of transgender men, and the existence of transgender women, which gets addressed in the most cringe-worthy, transphobic manner possible in the books. Also, take into account the racial angles, where once again, even in future imaginings of the world, even the dystopian ones, white people are still all of the primary movers and shakers of the story, with women of color as side characters, or living along the periphery of their decisions.
To the book’s credit there is some acknowledgment of women of color ,although most of the time I thought the plot was kind of well…dumb. And a bit over dramatic? I didn’t get far enough into the series to know how faithful it is to the books, though. I hope its not too faithful because the books got some issues. Its not that the books are so bad, but there are moments that are going to make you scream at it, and probably throw the book across the room.
The first episode is interesting as we get to see the reaction of the women characters to the deaths of all the men, and the collateral deaths of many women in the aftermath. There is a nod to the idea that without men, the human race is pretty much extinct, except for the existence of some sperm banks that some of the women fight over, in an effort to preserve the human race. The primary theme of this battle is embodied in the existence of the last man left alive, (although I found that hard to believe), named Yorick. This is a name I immediately disliked, I still have no idea why. I just hate that name. But I had questions, too. If there’s one man alive, why wouldn’t there be others, and why wouldn’t the women simply think he was a transgender man? Anyway, Yorick is a wannabe escape artist, who was kind of drifting through life before the apocalypse, and is now drifting through the actual apocalypse, with his pet monkey, named Ampersand, which is a name I liked. Go figure.
Now, I’m gonna have to stop here, because watching the first episode left a bad aftertaste for me. Ultimately, I’m not going to be able to get into this as a series, not because its a badly made show, although it definitely needs some work when it comes to the depiction of women of color and transgender men, but because, there is, yet again, another idea I can’t get past, and I’m not sure why its bothering me here, when its not particularly bothersome in other shows, and that is the idea that white creators are incapable of imagining any type of future in which PoC are the dominant characters, rather than white people. Even in stories that prominently feature PoC, its always white people who are still in charge, making all the decisions, or they are the ones around whom the story revolves. Apparently only PoC can envision ourselves in the future not living according to white dominance.
And now I’ve gotten sidetracked by one of the short films that got made in the run up to the movie Bladerunner 2049, called Nexus Dawn, in which Niander Wallace meets with a political council of some kind to discuss the prohibition of replicants on Earth. The short was directed by Luke Scott, the son of Ridley Scott!, and stars Benedict Wong. I was fascinated by the imagery because the four person council is made up of 2 men of color and one woman, and thinking about that, led me to think about The Matrix trilogy, and how the Wachowski Sisters envisioned a future of PoC and women (except for that one lone white guy who was in charge?). Okay, I’m going off on a tangent here, but watching this series first episode had me thinking about everything except what happened in the actual episode, and that’s a problem.
So no. I probably won’t be watching any more episodes of this, especially when I can’t concentrate on what is actually happening in the show, and keep getting sidetracked by issues that don’t seem to bother me in other shows!
I won’t be doing my usual weekend reading post. I’m taking a bit of time off until next week so I can work on my long form posts. I’ve got about 5 or 6 long form posts Ive been working on for the past month, and life (illness) and work (full-time) keeps interrupting my publishing of them.
I have been watching what shows I can, when I can . I watched some episodes of Iron Fist, but was ultimately disappointed, despite actually liking a couple of episodes. I’ll have more on why later. I watched The Mayans, which wasn’t bad, but didn’t hold my interest much. I generally do not watch crime shows involving PoC, and it’s about Mexican bikers, so I kind of knew I wasn’t going to fall in love with it, but I didn’t hate it either. I just watched an episode of some show on HBO, called Random Flyness, which was really, really weird, unabashedly Black, and kinda soothing, like a freeform version of the show Atlanta crossed with an episode of Key and Peele. I want to write about that.
I’m most excited about American Horror Story Apocalypse. I did watch the first episode and I have a lot to say about it. I don’t know that I’ll post a review every week on it but that first episode deserves its own post so I’m starting work on that.
Right now I’m working on a post about landscape as an essential narrative element, and my highly ambitious second and third posts about White Male Pandering in Entertainment, along with a couple of review anthologies where I write about multiple shows.
Since the racist cartoon of Serena Williams was released, and the man who drew it claimed to know so little about a profession in which he fully takes part, I’m thinking of doing a post on the history of racist caricature, to explain exactly why what he did was racist as fuck to anyone who knows anything on the subject, and even a few who don’t. Beyond the drawing itself, I’m livid at the idea that this man claims to know nothing of the history of his craft of political cartooning.
I’m an artist. I’ve been a visual artist since I was a pre-teen. I was considered a talented draftsman, and even won local awards for my skills. I’m no cartoonist but even I know enough about the history of political cartooning that I would know a racist caricature if I drew it. I made it a point to learn about the history of my craft and improve, improve, improve. You cannot improve in your craft if you don’t know the history of it. I’m incensed because the man is being lazy and stupid (or just lying) about what he did. Either reason is equally shameful, and I have something to say about that, not just as a Black woman, who felt incredibly attacked by that image, but as an artist as well. Here are some other people who felt some kind of way about what happened:
This article may sit behind a paywall so be aware. Some of it is about the racial history of Australia, and how these images of Black people have contributed and enabled racism in Australia and the US..
Warning: This website is an archive of racist cartoons. I wanted to add this for informational purposes, for those who haven’t really seen such images before, and you can contrast and compare the image in the Australian newspaper, to the historical caricatures of Black women.
The two articles above reference some of the Australian imagery like “The Golliwog”, and the Jim Crow Museum has images of this doll on the site. It also discusses the racial history of Australia, and why and how the doll was created.
There is also a drop down menu under The Museum, which goes into the details behind many of the images, what the various images are called, and the history of their creation, like The Mammy, The Jezebel, and the Black Brute.
Despite the fact that this movie involves Sam Worthington, I was really looking forward to seeing it. I don’t like Worthington, not just because he’s a lousy, one note actor, but because I’m still mad at him for playing a disabled man in Avatar, a movie I hate. (My problems with Avatar run deep, btw.) I was looking forward to watching this movie. I like movies about people being transformed by alien DNA ,and I was lead by the trailers to believe that’s what this movie would be about.
It is not about that, and that’s not my first disappointment, in this movie.
My first problem was with the basic premise. Humans have so fucked up Earth that one of the ideas they come up with for helping the human race to survive is moving to another planet. Specifically, humanity makes plans to move to one of Saturn’s moons, called Titan.To that end, the plan of the lead scientist in the movie is, to genetically modify human beings to be able to survive on Titan. The movie’s volunteers are given a series of injections and surgeries to change their bodies to be able to live on Titan. And no, no alien DNA was involved at all. It involves genetic resequencing or something. I don’t know anything about that, but the movie didn’t do a good job of selling me on it, as a legitimate science.
I objected to this premise because no matter how much I love space travel (and yeah I do think we should move off Earth eventually) I don’t think our motivation should be abandoning Earth because we treated it like a garbage dump, while we were on it. I don’t think humanity needs to get in the habit of moving from planet to planet, like a plague of locusts, after we’ve used up a planet’s resources, and that’s exactly the premise of this movie. In the movie they spend several million dollars trying to get a handful of people to Titan, rather than using that money to fix the planet they’re already on.
Now, just because I’m an artist doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy science, and I do know something about the moon Titan. I did not get the impression that the makers of this movie knew anything about Titan, or the importance of any of its physical attributes, in crafting a creature that could live there. There’s a lot of emphasis on people holding their breath underwater, and being able to swim. I didn’t think either of these skills would be helpful on Titan, which is cold, with a really dense atmosphere full of nitrogen. Scientists think there’s liquid water on Titan, and despite all the breath-holding, and swimming, I didn’t get the impression the creators of this film knew that.
The program calls for twelve volunteers, only one of these volunteers survives to the end of the movie, which is disappointing to say the least. One by one, the volunteers die horribly, or go insane, until only Worthington;s character is left. He then gets chased by the scientists who created him, before he gets captured, and sent to Titan by himself, because he’s not physically equipped to live on Earth, which defeats the purpose of the entire chase sequence at the end of the movie. Frankly, I think all of the volunteers should have started dying in Earth’s atmosphere the moment they started transforming. You would think the kind of lifeform that could exist on Titan is not going to be able to run around causing too much havoc on Earth without some kind of life support.
What’s Worthington gonna do on the planet by himself? How the hell is he gonna make more of his kind? Are more of them coming? We don’t know and I have no idea, (or I wasn’t paying close enough attention.)How is humanity supposed to survive with this one guy on Titan? Of course, now that he is on Titan and transformed into a conveniently humanoid creature that lives there, then he really isn’t human anymore, as far I’m concerned. He’s just a human offshoot, who is all alone on this planet, unless the scientists who created him have other plans to torture some more people into being able to live there. The volunteers were all young, pretty, and fit human beings, and they all died.
We also don’t get to see any of the environmental devastation the movie claims to be about, and everyone looks pretty healthy. I mean everyone, their kids and wives. Even in Bladerunner we got some idea of the environmental devastation that humans are escaping to the offworld colonies for. The Titan takes place in a kind of desert oasis set aside for the purposes of the Titan program. We are simply told about Earth’s ecological devastation, and shown not a single visual of any of it. We spend our entire time at the scientific oasis, so we have nothing to compare the volunteers present living conditions , to whatever it was that made them desperate enough to volunteer for a mission they most likely wouldn’t survive. What are they escaping from? What made each of them volunteer? None of this is explored very deeply in the movie, which would’ve made it much more interesting to watch.
What is not interesting though is watching the lead characters wife. We spend most of our time chronicling her growing mental and emotional anguish at watching her husband transform into a being unable to communicate with her, and I get that it would be upsetting, but I really started to get exasperated with her. It was my understanding that she sort of knew what she was getting into when she and her husband volunteered for the program, so all of her histrionics rang a bit hollow, and pointless, for me. She swings uncomfortably close to the stereotype of the nagging wife who argues that she needs to keep her heroic husband all to herself and her family, because he’s given enough to the world, and not enough to his family. This trope is seen in just about any movie about a married man, who gets tasked with some dangerous activity, and I’ve seen it in everything from Red Dragon, to World War Z.
The Titan doesn’t work as a horror movie because there’s no horror in it, (Alien) and it doesn’t work as a science movie because none of the science makes any sense, or is very convincing (Europa Report), and it lacks any sense of awe, (2001: A Space Odyssey). It doesn’t work as a drama either (Gravity) because the dramatic tension feels pointless, and contrived.
The Titan also requires that the audience go along with the basic premise of the movie, that we abandon Earth as a species because we fucked it up. Although, I guess there is a certain amount of hope here, because the Titans think so differently from human beings, that they won’t do to Titan what humans did to Earth. The movie managed to get that idea across, at least.
So Pilot reviewing season is here in a month, and its time for me to nimble up my fingers, as I type furiously to keep up with all the new genre shows coming this Fall. Some of them will not be watched, some of them won’t even get reviews. As we get closer to September, I’ll eventually whittle it down to the handful of pilots I’ll be reviewing, along with my regular reviews of returning shows, like Supernatural.
Tonight on July 24th Midnight Texas will be airing on NBC. It’s a show based on the Charlaine Harris trilogy of the same name and involves Supernatural creatures all living in some podunk town in the middle of nowhere Texas, who need to protect themselves from outside discovery. I’m looking forward to watching this.
This is coming to the DirecTV Network, called Audience, this fall. Some of you may not have access to this network, so I’ll watch the pilot and review the first episode, for when it eventually makes it to DVD. This is based on a Mystery trilogy by Stephen King, about a former detective who gets called back into action after a serial killer starts sending him taunting letters. I don’t normally watch cop shows, but this is Stephen King. Yes, it does look a lot like the show Bates Motel, which I only partially watched, but I like Brendan Gleason, and feel like he’s a good choice for this character. In the novel, he has a Black teenage neighbor who helps him navigate technological stuff , and a neurodivergent female assistant, that I hope gets cast for true. You do not need to have read the books to follow the show, but they are very good books, with a minimum of gore, and only the slightest touch of the supernatural, if that has you worried.
Star Trek Discovery
Okay here’s, the extended trailer for the new Star Trek Discovery. Remember guys this is, a Bryan Fuller Joint, the same showrunner who worked on Hannibal, and who just finished, the critically acclaimed, first season of American Gods. Fuller also has some Star Trek experience, as he used to be one of the writers on Deep Space Nine. The show follows lead character Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, who grew up on Vulcan, and was raised by Sarek, Spock’s father.
The final season of Teen Wolf will be airing this weekend, and I’m not real crazy about it, although I may watch it in support of Scott McCall. Over the years, the show has engaged in a great deal of whitewashing ,as it started out with a good amount of diversity, but has slowly been replacing all of the PoC each season, with new White characters, something which has dulled my enthusiasm for the show. The word “final” is in the title though, so I feel compelled to at least look at the pilot. I hope for a happy end to the series.
The Incredible Jessica James
If you liked Jessica James when she was snarking at the public on The Colbert Show than check out her new show on Netflix, coming this Friday. Remember, she was offered the job as the new host, and famously, turned it down, because she was looking at other plans. I will definitely check it out. I loved her comedy on the show, and I’m looking forward to see what she’s gotten up to here.
Here’s an extended trailer for Netflix’s new show starring Will Smith. I’m a big Will Smith fan, and I’ll be on vacation then, so yeah, BingeWatch! It doesnt look as funny as I’d expect from Smith, but its got some great imagery. We get to see Will Smith wielding a sword, and snarking at some Orcs. This wil lbe released on Dec. 22nd.
The Walking Dead
Yeah, this looks as harrowing and intense as the last season…so no change then? I’m already tired of Negan, and will be glad when he’s locked up, or whatever they’re gonna do to him, but at least things look a little more energetic than the last season, which wasn’t one of my favorites, except in those few moments when it was. I see that Carol “Terminator” Danvers is back with the gang, and Morgan and Jesus get to have a smackdown. Also there’s a lot more Ezekiel, which is okay for me.
Westworld Season 2
I really enjoyed the first season of this show, so I’m definitely here to watch the fallout of the robot’s rise to sentience, and how that affects things in the park.
I’m cautiously excited about this because Iron Fist is in here, and watching his show was traumatic. On the other hand, I like everyone else in the show and there’s this lady in here that’s uhm…C’MON, ITS FREAKIN’ SIGOURNEY WEAVER, PEOPLE!!!
Oh okay, I’m sorry for yelling but, yeah, I did mean to do that. Uhm, there’s some fightin’, explosions, and Luke Cage, and stuff, too.
This is another one of those shows that I dont know why I watch it. It’s not a bad show, although its gone off the rails a bit since its beginning. I just like the characters, the accents are fascinating, and there’s some gore and swordfights. Its not as complicated as Game of Thrones because the characters seem to have much more prosaic concerns. This is the final season. Apparently, I can’t resist the word “final”, in any description of a show.
This trailer looks waay better than that first one which seemed created to make you mock the show before its airing. Yeah, Medusa’s hair still looks cheap, but at least they remembered PoC exist in that world. I’ve always been a huge Black Bolt fan, but I don’t know how to feel about the actor playing him. Hopefully, he will change facial expressions, during one of the episodes. So far, none of these trailers for the show, are garnering the enthusiasm that I feel The Inhumans deserve.
Nope. I have no plans to watch this beyond the Pilot because, from the description, it sounds like Riverdale in Space, and I won’t watch that either.
I think this sounds intriguing. I dont know if I’ll watch it beyond the first episode, (probably not), but it looks like an interesting premise.
I’m far more likely to keep watching this, because I like period shows, and I have a soft spot for this particular actress, ever since she starred in Man on Fire, with Denzel Washington. The book, by Caleb Carr, was pretty good too, and I’m interested to see what the creators do with it.
Not sure I want t owatch a Star Trek parody, and I’m uncertain of the lead actors humor, but I did laugh a few times during this trailer, so I’ll at least give it a try.
Stranger Things Season 2
I didn’t see the first season of Stranger Things but I heard a lot about it. i thought maybe it was an “It” ripoff, but it turned out to be a little bit more than that. This trailer goes a long way towards making me want to see the second season, which is a feat, considering I found the first season not particularly interesting.
Next up :Part Two of the New Fall Releases, and Returning Shows
The second season of Sense8 has already begun. The showrunners are still the Wachowski Sisters. Well one of the sisters, anyway. The show has run into some criticism for its depiction of its characters of color, but is lauded for having some of the best depictions of LGBTQ characters in the genre. There’s also Freema Agyeman in the cast, which is always a plus. I’m planning to binge it this weekend, if I can, because I enjoyed the first season. I may or may not give a review, depending on how I manage my time.
I know nothing about this show other than the title, how much I’ve been meaning to watch it, and that it’s been getting some very good reviews. One of these days…
Twin Peaks – Showtime
The return of Twin Peaks is being eagerly anticipated. I was never a huge fan of the original show, but I heard a metric ton about how wonderful it was. Every critic talked about this show. I know bits and pieces about some of the characters, and that’s it. I’m including this here because I know some of you still love the show. It still stars many of the original characters, and my understanding is that, like The X-Files, it’s a limited continuation of the series. I won’t be watching this because I don’t subscribe to this network, but I will be monitoring it through reviews and trailers, just in case things get out of hand, and I need to jump into action.
Still Star Crossed – ABC
People have been eagerly anticipating a date for this, and it’s almost here. I’ve liked the various adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, I’m a fan of Shakespeare, and since this is a little racebent, I thought I might enjoy it. Apparently, it takes place after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, and involves the coping and machinations of their two families. This is a Shondaland Joint, and while I don’t normally watch any of her shows, I have tremendous respect for her, and this looks like something I could get into. It’s on regular network TV though, and I feel some kind of way about them canceling the show the moment I start to like it, because that’s how they roll.
Fear the Walking Dead – FX
I think the original The Walking Dead is enough zombies for me in one year. I don’t dislike this show. It looks pretty good, and it gets good reviews, but The Walking Dead is such a heavy show, I can’t subject myself to another show that’s just as heavy, and about zombies, so soon after the finale of the original. (I’m just so taaahd!) Seriously though, The Walking Dead needs a cool-down period, an after-party, or something.
Shadowhunters – Freeform
I wasn’t as impressed with this show as the fans on Tumblr. I thought I’d try it out because it keeps scrolling across my dashboard, and all the actors are really cute. The show strikes me as a combination of Buffy/Riverdale Lite. Although I wasn’t impressed, even though I like the character, Magnus, and the show has some good LGBT representation in his relationship with Alec, I’m no longer watching it . There’s too much schmacting in it for my taste, but I respect that some people really love it.
Dark Matter – Syfy
I just started watching Dark Matter last season. The plot was compelling enough to hold my attention, and the characters were likable. I do remember not liking any of the characters when it first aired, but the plot and characters have shown tremendous improvement, and the show has some good representation of women and MoC. I’m looking forward to the new season, but I won’t be reviewing the series.
Wynonna Earp – Syfy
I checked out of this series about halfway through the first season because I didn’t have time to watch it. I’ve heard good things about it though, and it too, has some adequate LGBT representation.I remember I sorta liked the first episode but I didn’t keep up with it much after that. I’ll be watching the new season, and we’ll see if I can pick up where I left off, without getting too lost.
Blood Drive – Syfy
Okay, this show sounds utterly batshit. It’s a kind of Mad Max hybrid, where people have run out of oil, and vehicles now run on human blood. I don’t normally watch this kind of grindhouse, Robert Rodriguez, type stuff, but I’m going to give it a try. I know the show looks, and sounds gross, but c’mon…it has cannibal in it, and cars that eat people!
The Mist – Spike
It doesn’t look as scary as the movie, but I’m going to check it out, and give you guys a report. It looks like it’s got all new monsters than the movie, and that may be due to budgetary constraints. It also looks like it’s taking place over more than one location, so that’s on the plus side. I also hope we get to see the pharmacy event. In the story, we only encountered the aftermath. A large part of the actual story is taken up with the sounds of the mist, so I hope the show pays attention to the audio factor, as that will go a long way towards capturing the dread.
Preacher – AMC
I totally loved the first season of this, and I’m really hoping it will blow up the same way Into the Badlands did, after airing on Netflix. I love shows with crazy plots and characters, so this is just right for me. (Yes, I have been watching Fargo, just in case anyone was asking.)
Killjoys – Syfy
I got away from watching this because of time limitations. The Syfy Network has really turned itself around, but now it has so many good shows, that I don’t have time to watch any of them. I also like Z Nation, The Expanse, and several others. I’ve heard great things about the racial representation of these shows, and want to support them. Please do not tell me to record anything else, though. I already have a bunch of shows, on my DVR, that I’m not looking at. Killjoys will probably become one of those shows.
Midnight Texas – NBC
I’m really looking forward to this. I’m still dithering on whether or not I should read the books, or watch the show and just go with the crazy. I only hope it’s as good as True Blood’s first two seasons.
Game of Thrones – HBO
Every season I say I’m going to watch this show, and then I dither around and skip the first five, or six episodes. Then, along comes that one episode per season, that everybody talks about, and I end up finishing out the rest of the season. I do not consider myself a fan of this show though. I watch just enough of it to know who everyone is, and I don’t like most of the characters anyway, so I guess I’m gonna follow my usual pattern of indifferent viewership.
The Defenders – Netflix
I am cautiously excited about this, despite the presence of Danny Rand. Probably because, even though I hated the series Jessica Jones, and Daredevil grew increasingly annoying, these characters are quite enough to offset my dislike of Danny Rand. Also, Finn Jones acting (and fighting) looks a little bit better than when he was in his own series. (Finn Jones is still a total douche, but that ain’t none of my bidness.) I’m also probably just excited to see the interaction even between characters I partially dislike. Sometimes a character, by themself, can be extremely annoying, but if you pair that person with the right foil, they become great.
Teen Wolf – MTV: will be ending its six season run sometime this Summer, but I don’t have a solid date for it, yet.
The new trailer for Bladerunner came out this week. I’m sort of on the fence about seeing this. I hate to sound like this, but I am just exceptionally tired of these all- White futures. Where in the fucking Hell are all the PoC? And Hollywood keeps doing this shit! You mean to tell me they can imagine snakes made out of water, flying cars, elves, living statues, and zombies, but can’t imagine PoC living in the year 2049? This also prompts the disturbing question of where the Hell we all went? Was there some sort of mass exodus to our own planet? Were we all killed off by the plague, White people, rabid bunnies? Wtf?
Anyway here’s the new trailer. See if you can spot any PoC:
Okay, is it just me, or does Ryan Gosling always look like he’s about to start crying, but never actually does. He always has this weird, half-smiling, facial expression. I don’t know anything about Mr. Gosling, having never watched even one of his movies, but I know he’s a huge deal to some people, and this would be my first time watching him in anything. (That is not a bid for recommendations, becuz I just know y’all gonna come in here to try to give me some!)
Bonus Bonus Round:
Yaaay!!! I just finished reading American Gods. I do confess that I mostly listened to the audiobook, but it was still pretty cool. It has a veeeery interesting plot, and I’m kinda mad I had not read this book sooner. I just kept putting it off.
So there! I am officially ready to provide any and all spoilers for the American Gods TV show. Tag me! I’m Spoiler Adjacent!
*So far, the consensus seems to be that Ghost in the Shell is a merely okay film. I haven’t seen it and had no plans to do so, not because of the Whitewashing, although that’s a big issue, but because I’m more than a little tired of looking at Scarlett Johansson.
There’s quite a lot of spectacle but yeah, there’s the little issue of Whitewashing, not just of the film itself, but actually referenced in the plot, where the identity of an Asian character, Motoko, is erased and placed in the body of a White woman.
According to the critics, it is possible to watch this movie and not care about any of the social issues involved, but this movie is never gonna be a classic, and doesn’t have the depth of the original anime. It’s never going to be Bladerunner, or The Matrix either, no matter how much it apes those movies aesthetics. According to the critics, it’s a gorgeous film that lacks warmth. It’s at about 51% on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. The reception of the movie, even by audiences, has been rather lukewarm.
There are a handful of reviews giving it a rousing endorsement, like Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Telegraph and The Chicago Tribune (Roger Eberts old employer). But the critics who panned it, come from more Geek oriented online sites, that skew much younger than the ones mentioned above, with a millennial audience who grew up watching the original movies and series, and I guess they’re unimpressed by the story.
*Bottom line: if your character’s backstory features him punching a gobdamn dragon, to obtain his superpowers of being able to punch shit, and you don’t show that shit on screen, you need your entire ass thoroughly kicked. So far, we’re stuck with Finn Jones as Danny Rand but this can be fixed. He’s never going to look good as a martial artist until he gets some serious training. Put him in some intense stunt training, so that he can at least look as competent as the actors from The Matrix. Get a brand new showrunner. And this time find someone who gives a shit about Danny’s Rand being Iron Fist, cares about his martial abilities, and is willing to do the research to make it look good.
*Just to cheer us all up, here are some Logan reviews. I loved this ugly, bittersweet movie, so much.
I’m still on the fence about this one. I’m just really dubious about watching this. It’s not that I hate the idea. It’s the awful reviews this show has gotten, along with the distinctly lackluster trailers I’ve been seeing.
Don’t get me wrong, I will be watching Iron Fist, as I don’t have to work this weekend, so I’m free, but when I think about watching it, I cringe. Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to what critics feel about something. I like to make up my own mind and critics have hated plenty of things I absolutely adored, like Suicide Squad, and the current movies of M. Night Shyamalan, but then again, they sometimes get things right. I was bored out of my head with Batman vs Superman, for example.
I think I may skip over some episodes though, and start with the third or fourth one. I don’t think I want to binge the show straight through. Nevertheless, I do promise to try really hard not to hate-watch this show, and lay out its good and bad points. I do not however promise not to be snarky. It’s one of my skillz. I’m also going to try really hard not to compare it to my favorite Martial Arts show, Into the Badlands, which is airing this weekend, right after The Walking Dead. I’m not promising anything. I’m just gonna try.
<It does not help matters that Finn Jones is just as much of a clueless dick as his character is rumored to be.>
AMC has announced that “Preacher,” the hit drama based on the Vertigo comic series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, will return for its 13-episode second season on Monday, June 19, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. That marks a move from Sunday to Monday, which has become AMC’s second night for original programming.
*Here is a partial list of cast members for the new Star Trek Discovery, produced by Brayn Fuller. I love this cast, some of whom I recognize from other favorite shows. Even if I wasn’t geeking out over Soniqua, I’d still be there for Michelle Yeoh, and Doug Jones.
Bryan Fuller is pretty good at remembering that PoC exist in the future. He used to work on Star Trek DS9, so he’s got some Trek cred. And after his interpretation of Hannibal Lecter, I’d follow him anywhere.
I‘m told that the only way to see the intial episodes of this show, is on the streaming service called CBS All Access, which is 5.99 a month for the ads added version.
Netfix is producing a movie starring Steven Yeun and Tilda Swinton titled Okja
Netflix is producing a zombie show set in medieval Korea
ATLANTA Actress Zazie Beetz Has Been Cast As Domino In DEADPOOL 2
‘Thor: Ragnarok’: Photos Show Chris Hemsworth’s New Haircut and Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster
*Look for Will Smith’s new movie coming sometime soon, titled Bright. It looks like an adaption of Maurice Broaddus’ Kingmaker series, so if you like Arthurian Legends set in an Urban landscape, check out that series, too.
*Charlize Theron is getting her version of John Wick. It looks like a lot of fun, but I probably won’t be seeing this. I like Charize, and all, but I already saw Salt, and I’m not paying to see the same movie twice. The title is kickin’ tho’.
*Here are some new trailers and clips for Alien Covenant, due in April, I think. Michael Fassbender is being creepy again as a new robot.. ahem, Artificial Person, named Walter.
*This is a kinda cool riff on the dinner scene from the original Alien, and a good way to be introduced to some obnoxious characters.
*If you enjoyed Train to Busan, than Seoul Station, the animated prequel, will be available in the US this Summer. It appears to be every bit as harrowing as the live action movie.
*I’m pretty sure Netflix doesn’t give a flying shit about butt-hurt racists boycotting their streaming network because they don’t like some of their programming. I don’t know why they think this would even work. When there’s shit on Netflix that I don’t like, you know what I do? I don’t watch it. Why? Because there’s about a bajillion other things on Netflix to look at.
At any rate I’m always up for trolls getting trolled on Twitter.
*Okay, this one made me laugh and cry. It really does feel like a break-up, doesn’t it?
*When I first heard about this, I was just Wow! She just straight the fuck lying to our faces at this point. I have no more evens left. I just can’t. Twitter needs to drag this woman more often than it does. Well, in this political climate, people are definitely honing their Twitter skills.
Oh, did I mention I was a Henry Rollins fan, and that I liked him long before he starting showing up in some very interesting (and occasionally pretty bad) films. I’ve been a fan since he was the lead singer in, naturally, The Rollins Band, and then he had a show called, naturally, the Henry Rollins show. He would say things I thought were pretty subversive for TV. Things that appealed to the…
Oh, did I mention I was a Henry Rollins fan, and that I liked him long before he starting showing up in some very interesting (and occasionally pretty bad) films. I’ve been a fan since he was the lead singer in, naturally, The Rollins Band, and then he had a show called, naturally, the Henry Rollins show. He would say things I thought were pretty subversive for TV. Things that appealed to the young radical in me and I liked him for that.
You may remember him from bad movies like Jack Frost or Johnny Mnemonic. Some of his better roles were in movies like Bad Boys II, Feast, Lost Highway, and a minor role in Heat (with Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino.)
But now he’s doing slightly subversive movies like He Never Died (and Gotterdamerung with, of all people, Grace Jones and Iggy Pop). Some of you Hannibal fans will like this movie. Its about a cannibal whose been trying to suppress the impulse to feed on people, unlike Hannibal, Rollin’s character is the total opposite of Lecter. He’s not upper-crust at all. He’s not refined, rich, or looking for love.
Actually, he’s a pretty unhappy, mopey person. I guess you would be too if you lived forever, and had a craving for human flesh. He plays a man named Jack who has a very regular routine of visiting the local diner, and playing Bingo, at the local church. Jack doesn’t wander too far from his lane. If he sticks to this rigid routine he can avoid giving in to his craving for people. But its not to last because Jack’s life is about to be up-heaved, in the form of his daughter, Andrea, and some amateur mobsters named Steve and Short, who are looking for his “blood-dealer”, Jerry, a nurse who owes the mob some money. There’s also a waitress named Cara, who has a crush on him, but so far he’s been able to ignore her.
He finds Andrea at the behest of one of his ex-girlfriends, and the two of them do some light bonding. Jack is still a gloomy-gus, but starts to come out of his shell a bit more after interacting with her. She’s no Manic Pixie Girl, though, and I like her for that. She’s snarky and pragmatic, and just her presence alone makes Jack start deviating from his set routines. They both start seeing an old man in a hat, hanging around near Jack’s routine places, though, where previously only Jack could see this person.
Thanks to Jerry though, Steve and Short are now on his trail and trying to kill him. During one attack, Andrea witnesses him kill Short and eat his flesh. They’re both horrified but for different reasons. He’s scared he will hurt her, because the craving is back full force, and she’s just squicked out by what he’s done. Jack kicks Andrea out of his apartment, but when her mother is killed, and she gets kidnapped by the neighborhood mob boss, named Alex, Jack has to go rescue her.
After a series of adventures where he keeps trying to start fights with people who turn out to be good guys, he stumbles across a small gang and kills and eats them when they attack. He also manages to enlist the aid of Cara, the waitress, to find Andrea, by offering her a million dollars. He and Cara manage to find and save Andrea. Alex confesses to having kidnapped her because he remembers that Jack is the same man who killed his father many years ago. Jack is about to kill Alex and eat him too, when he is interrupted by the old man in the hat, who reveals that Jack is actually the Biblical Cain, and that he’s been cursed to walk the world as a man-eating monster for having killed Abel.
Jack curses the old man out but ultimately decides not to kill Alex. Jack doesn’t tell Alex who the old man is ( or even that he’s there) but when he leaves with Cara and Andrea, the man in the hat approaches Alex with an offer, revealing himself to be Satan.(A good sequel would be if Alex made a deal with the devil to get revenge on Cain.)
I had some clear expectations when I saw the trailer for this movie. It looked fun and funny and I enjoy watching Rollins’ nonchalant style of acting, which goes a long way towards making the movie as funny as it is. The actors are pretty good at matching his style, especially the two amateur gangsters, who act like they’re extras from Boyz in Tha Hood, and Alex, who thinks he’s in The Godfather.I knew going in that the movie would be about Cain because I’d heard the phrase “he never died”, in reference to to his name before, and Rollins just looks like I picture Cain might actually appear, if he were a real person. I also thought it was going to be about vampires. It’s not, but I was close enough.
The plot is not excessively complicated, and most of the humor, like the movie “What We Do In The Shadows”, comes from the characters attitudes towards what’s happening, and not the actual plot. One of my favorite moments is when Andrea asks Jack what he does for fun and he takes her to Bingo session, and she seems to find it a pleasant activity. Another is when Steve and Short try to pick one of several fights with him, and he keeps warning them not to do that.
I liked the depiction of the two women, who are at first incredulous, but then very matter-of- fact about Jack’s invulnerability, as they start to take it in stride. There’s a kidnapping, but no beatings or rapes. Yeah, sure the daughter is the damsel in distress, but she’s atypical just in general. In fact, the women are never treated as sexy floor lamps, even thought the movie isn’t about them. They’re just regular women caught up in something very, very weird. Henry Rollins is the star of the movie and he fills most of its screentime.
The movie is not especially gory or even very talky, as Jack has almost nothing to say to anyone and is out of practice at being sociable. There are lots of action scenes, which the creators managed to make pretty funny, as Jack shrugs off various attacks on his person. What I especially liked is that the Biblical storyline wasn’t offensive to me. If you’re not a believer, you won’t be offended by the plot, as you are not asked to believe anything in it, and if you are, the plot isn’t asking you to believe anything that goes against your Christian tenets, which is a thin tightrope to walk.
On the other hand if you are offended by light gore and cussing, its best to miss this one.
Correction, Andrea does get hurt pretty badly in the film. I remember she’s mostly unable to walk, by the end of it, as Cara helps her to their car. I can’t exactly remember how she gets hurt though, only that it happens after her kidnapping, so if watching characters hurt women is of especial concern for you, please exercise caution at that point in the movie. I know watching women get beaten can be triggering, or bothersome, for some people, so I wanted to give fair warning that the film may have such scenes.
This episode is very Elektra heavy, as it chronicles how the two of them met, and why she left him the first time. I tried really, really hard to like this character and finally concluded that she’s not meant to be likable. Let me be blunt here: Elektra is an asshole. She’s everything I hate in a female character and she even displayed a couple of new qualities I detested.
Anyway Matt, who evinces about as much personality as a hedgehog, in the flashback scenes, is totally smitten with her because she’s a risk taker, who loves danger. I don’t mean jaywalking, or sticking a fork in the toaster type danger. I’m talking about stealing cars and beating each other up as foreplay danger. The two of them have less chemistry than Matt and Karen though, no matter how much heavy breathing she and Matt engage in. (And Elektra does that breathless talking thing, a lot!) Don’t get me wrong, Elodi Young, as Elektra, is abso-tively gorgeous and her martial arts moves are adequate, but I hate the character. I’m not sure if its the acting, or the horrible dialogue, though. Elodi acts like she’s in a series that’s waaay sexier than the one in which she’s currently starring.
Anyway most of the episode is spent in flashback, as we see Elektra and Matt meet, fight, steal cars, make love, and then the deal-breaker for Matt, breaking into the house of the mobster, (now in hiding), who ordered the death of his father, so Matt can torture and kill him. Matt’s perfectly willing to vandalize the man’s house and beat him up, but killing is going too far, and he declines her invitation to commit murder. Elektra promptly walks out on him. No, really! She acts extremely gleeful about him killing a man, looks completely unhinged while encouraging him to do it, and when he says no to her, she just walks out of the scene.
Ah yeah, incidentally, I’m not impressed by love scenes where the characters grope each other like rabid hamsters. I think that type of acting is meant to convey how they just cant keep their hands off each other, and are in some kind of “people heat”, but I mostly find that kind of shit deeply annoying. (A better love scene would be Richonne’s first, from The Walking Dead.)
I thought, surely, there was a way they could have made Elektra look less batshit, but the writers decided not to go that route, I guess, in favor of making her seem like a version of “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”!
(Otoh: The fight scene where Elektra and Matt meet-cute is still a thousand times better than the movie version, between Affleck and Garner.)
Back in the present day, there’s some shady business dealings she wants to hire Matt to help her with that involve the Roxxon Oil Corporation and the Yakuza. Once again, Matt has to tell her “no”, but he is willing to spy on her to find out her true reason for coming to NY. There’s some computer hacking involved, and when her business partners discover her involvement, they hire thugs to visit her apartment, where she and Matt are waiting to kick their ass. Matt is there because Elektra has been spying on him too and knowing about his nigh-time activities as Daredevil, stole his suit.
Oh, yeah. Karen and Matt go out on one of the most awkward dates ever. Awkward and gaudy. This scene hurt my eyeballs.
This episode is mostly about some courtroom type stuff involving Frank Castle, and Matt and Elektra breaking into a building owned by the Yakuza to steal a book. Every step of the way Matt could make different choices but doesn’t. He is seemingly unable to stay away from Elektra and her exciting world of physical danger, even though he keeps saying he wants nothing to do with her.
Karen develops a rapport wit Frank Castle as his trial begins. Reyes, the DA, wants the death penalty but Murdock and Assoc. decide they will represent Frank in court, and perhaps they can unearth exactly what’s wrong with Frank, why his family was killed and what Reyes has to do with any of it. Karen visits Frank’s home. He hasn’t visited his home since his family died.
Matt interrupts his court case to run off with Elektra and attend a party, break into a vault and steal a book. So not only is he keeping his Daredevil life a secret from Karen, he’s keeping Elektra a secret too. This is not going to end well. Foggy is mortified at having to take on Reyes, by himself, and for the second time they fight about Matt’s extracurricular activities. This appears to be a theme this season. Apparently, Foggy has had enough of this shit.
Things come to a head when Matt reveals his night-time activities with Elektra is what’s distracting him from his court case. Foggy and Karen let him have it about his irresponsible behavior, and their relationships become strained. As Matt neglects his duties in The Punisher court case, Foggy ends up having to do all the work, including the opening statements, which he hadn’t planned.
Matt and Elektra are still running around getting into fights with the Yakuza. These fight scenes were a lot of fun and definitely reminded me of scenes from the books, where Matt fights against dozens of ninja assailants. But for some reason I couldn’t enjoy them too much because these scenes are interspersed with scenes of Foggy, hard at work, trying to save Frank Castle from life imprisonment. I kept thinking about all the work Matt was neglecting because he prefers beating people up at night. Ah yeah, Elektra is in there somewhere, and she gets wounded.
Incidentally, a lot of the fight scenes are filmed in so much darkness that I have no clue about Elektra’s fighting style. I’m used to watching Matt fight and Charlie Cox is always spectacular, but couldn’t get a clear picture of what Elodi Young was doing and hence don’t really remember how she fights. Sadly, the most memorable thing about her is her looks.
I have no idea exactly what Elektra and Matt are trying to accomplish in their endless fighting with the Yakuza, either, as its somewhat murky. Its hard for me to really care about the fight scenes because I’m not entirely sure what all the fighting is about beyond simply fighting. What do the two of them stand for?
I also don’t like Elektra because she is a distraction from his day to day life, and Foggy rightfully calls him on it. I also suspect she has ulterior motives beyond the reasons she states for showing up in NY and enlisting Matt’s aid. She doesn’t need Matt’s help to do any of the things they’ve been doing, and why now?
If you pay close attention, you can see that Daredevil is a distinct personality, that is mostly separate from Matt Murdock, the lawyer, but you can also see elements of Daredevil’s personality bleeding into Matt’s everyday life. Wonderful acting on Charlie Cox’s part here.
Guilty as Sin:
So all is revealed as Matt and Elektra are attacked by ninjas, Elektra is wounded by a poisoned sword, and then saved by Stick, Matt’s teacher and mentor. It turns out that Elektra does have ulterior motives for getting Matt into all these endless fight scenes. She works for Stick and has been assessing Matt’s preparedness to join in Stick’s ongoing war against The Hand.
Matt emphatically states that she and Stick are insane and he’s not joining their little war. He and Stick argue, and Matt kicks Stick out of his home, but not before Karen has a chance to stop by and catch Elektra recuperating in Matt’s bed. Welp! I saw that coming!
Matt does agree to take Elektra back if she leaves Stick alone. Elektra goes to Stick and tells him she’s leaving him for Matt. Before they can go through with any of their plans, they’re attacked by an assassin, who is little more than a child. Matt stops just short of killing him, but Elektra, impulsively slits the boy’s throat, while a horrified Matt watches. The first time they had a falling out it was because Matt wouldn’t kill. Til now, he’s been in control of their relationship, and encouraging her not to kill in their many fights. This time their falling out will be because Matt won’t accept her killing people.
He really is a stickler about that sort of thing, even though it strikes me as a bit hypocritical. Beating the crap out of people, breaking their bodies, terrorizing and torturing them for information, is all okay, but he has to draw the line at killing, because life is precious, or something.
Yeah, okay Matt. But it would be nice if he could draw the line at committing violence. This isn’t arguing about self defense. Going out and violently inserting himself into situations is something he chooses to do, outside the law, every night. And he thinks it’s okay to do these things because nobody’s dead by his hand.
Murdock and Associates lose their court case when Frank takes the stand and purposely blows his own defense. Frank continues to be a puzzle to me. Every time Foggy and Karen try to mount a defense for him, he either deliberately blows it, or refuses to abide by it. Its like he wants to go to prison. I suppose I could see that. After all, he won’t have to look so hard to find the bad guys and he can beat up as many as he wants.
Foggy blames Matt for their courtroom loss, and Karen ain’t too happy with him, either. Frank goes to jail, where he is led to a meeting with The Kingpin. (Its nice to see D’onofrio again being his usual excellent self.)
So, we’re a little over halfway through the season and things are moving apace. There are some parts of the narrative I really just don’t find very interesting. Or rather, they’re not as interesting as I thought they’d be. One of those plot lines is the one about The Hand. I liked the fight scenes well enough. They’re very exciting but I didn’t care very much about them because they just seem like fight scenes added to have action and with no particular meaning.
But maybe that is the point, to show Matt engaging in pointless action for action’s sake. Nothing gets resolved, no one’s life is saved, he and Elektra aren’t fighting FOR any philosophy. His fight scenes with her are essentially meaningless, so maybe that means his relationship with her is essentially meaningless, too. The fighting didn’t become interesting until Stick showed up (or maybe I was just excited to see Scott Glenn).
I’m bored with the Frank Castle/ DA Reyes intrigue, probably because much of it consists of Karen reading, and rustling papers, or sitting and writing notes, although I like the dynamic that was created between her and Frank. She doesn’t let him bully her and stands her ground with him when he tries to push her away, and I like that. She’s determined to help him. She’s also dealing with the emotional aftermath of killing Wilson Fisk’s Majordomo last season, after he had her kidnapped, and I’m glad the show hasn’t forgotten what happened the previous season.
I’ve developed an amazing respect for Foggy, and Eldon Henson, the actor who plays him. Foggy is a much better lawyer than he thinks he is. I also like that he’s pushing Matt to make a decision about what he wants do with his life. Does Matt want to abide by the law, or be a vigilante, like Frank? Foggy’s argument is that Matt cannot serve two masters, or rather, serve one master, badly.
We’ll see how this all plays out in the last five episodes.
This recap is for episodes 1-4 of season two of Daredevil, titled, in order: Bang; Dogs to a Gunfight; New York’s Finest; and Penny and Dime.
Season Two of Daredevil is probably one of the hottest tickets in town right now. You can find reviews of it everywhere. I don’t normally review things that everyone else is reviewing. I do on occasion, because I watch these shows too, but I like to find those shows that no one is paying a whole lot of attention to, or shows that people might not have access too, like the ones on PlayStation, Netflix, or certain movie channels.
So, yes, I have been watching the new season of Daredevil. I don’t want to do a play by play recap but I will list some highlights of the first four episodes.
Mostly of the first episodes are devoted to the The Punisher storyline. I know some of the ladies who read my blog don’t necessarily read comic books, and have no idea who The Punisher is, so some background may be in order. The Punisher is a guy named Frank Castle, who has decided to kill as many criminal organizations and people as physically possible, and that’s a hell of a lot.
Its the cliche movie plot about a guy who loses his wife and daughter and decides to take revenge on the men he thinks are responsible. As a general rule, he avoids killing innocents, but he is not above a certain amount of carelessness in killing them too. It’s your typical “fridging” of women in order to spur one man to kill more men.
Frank, is excellently played by Jon Bernthal. I fell in love with him as Shane in The Walking Dead. Yeah, Shane was an asshole, but I loved the actor anyway. Here, he’s playing another asshole, but he’s an understandable one, kind of. The benefit of a story that takes five hours is that you can spend an entire episode just getting to know one character, as they get a chance to espouse their philosophy.
The creators of Daredevil are extremely good at fleshing out their villains. They did it with Kingpin last season, Killgrave in Jessica Jones, and they do the same thing for humanizing Frank in this show. You still don’t like the villains overmuch, but at least their motives can be understood. They’re not one-dimensional, mustache twirling, laughers, impressed by their evilness.
There’s an amount of professional lawyerly intrigue going on between Foggy, Karen and a corrupt DA named Reyes, which I didn’t follow nearly as closely as I followed the fight scenes. Foggy gets some of the best lines in the series, when he goes toe to toe with Reyes, who tries to sweat him about keeping one of their clients, who is the only man to survive one of The Punisher’s assaults.
Daredevil spends most of the first half of the season investigating who is massacreing all the local gangs, including the Irish mafia, and a local biker gang, from whom they just got their latest client, who wishes to go straight now. Daredevil has also been attacking gangs in the city but he doesn’t kill them, and he and Frank are in competition. Matt objects to the killings because, like a good Catholic boy, he believes everyone deserves a chance for redemption, including his new client.
The first couple of times he and Frank meet, it’s a draw, but Matt gets shot, which results in a brief bout of deafness later in his apartment. The show is giving us some idea of just how incredibly important Matt’s sense of hearing is for connecting him to the world. He is completely unable to do anything but sit in one spot, and hope his hearing comes back, which it eventually does. This was fascinating to watch actually. Our senses connect us to the world. If they’re lost, or become unreliable, how do we even know anything at all? He’s certainly not going to be able to fight crime while deaf and blind.
We have seen a tougher, more ruthless, Matt Murdock in these opening episodes. Again, Charlie Cox, while very pleasant as Matt, saves most of his energy for being Daredevil. He and Foggy argue about vigilantism at the top of the show,as Foggy urges him to stop. Karen still doesn’t know what’s going on, but she’s not stupid, and can see that something is happening. Matt may be blind but there’s only so many times blind people can fall down stairs, or bump into things, is her reasoning.
The survivor of Frank’s attack on the bikers is in the hospital but Frank won’t let it go. He hunts him down and tries to kill him, putting Karen’s life and the lives of the nurses, doctors and patients in jeopardy, as he shoots up the hospital. Karen manages to speed away with her client in tow. We get some brief Night Nurse action between Foggy and Claire, as he questions her about Matt’s whereabouts, after his kidnapping by Frank. We don’t get to see nearly enough of her, but maybe there’s more in the next few episodes.
When DA Reyes crafts a plan to draw Frank into a trap, (using the survivor from his attack on the bikers), to capture him in an effort to further her career, Foggy objects. Daredevil catches up with Frank during the trap. They both get shot by snipers during a fight on a rooftop. I loved this fight,but then I’m a sucker for rainy fight scenes. I don’t know why. I liked all the fight scenes, though. They’re not as good as the fight scenes from first season but only because some of the novelty is gone. The fights themselves are as wild and messy as they always were, especially one of the first scenes Matt has with the biker gang, in some constricting hallways, which seems to last forever.
The Punisher spirits Matt away to another rooftop and ties him up. They have a long philosophical conversation about killing people. Matt, as a lawyer, insists that criminals should be brought to justice, unaware that some people could see what he’s doing as being self serving, because who are these criminals going to call on to help them in court. Thats right! Pro bono lawyers, like himself. Of course, since Matt has redeemed more than a few lost souls this way, he firmly believes in it. He’s had experiences with criminals that Frank hasn’t had and that’s what informs his opinion of them as just people.
Frank’s philosophy is that there is no redemption for such creatures, they are evil, and should all die. After all, killing them will absolutely insure they will never commit another crime. This is sort of the same argument that is had in the DC Graphic Novel Kingdom Come storyline. (If you haven’t read it, you should check it out for the artwork alone, as it’s gorgeous.) This is also part of the argument from Jessica Jones series when the characters discuss killing Killgrave. Maybe this will be a theme throughout Netflix’s Marvel Universe.
At one point Frank tries to get Matt to kill his one client. He gives him a loaded gun and tells Matt that if Matt doesn’t shoot him, he will. This doesn’t work for me for two reasons. Frank had to have known, after their discussion, that Matt wouldn’t shoot anyone, including him, otherwise why give him a loaded weapon. Matt shoots himself free and attacks but Frank gets away.
Frank gets captured in the park by the family members of the Irish mafia he attacked at the top of the show. He also stole their money, which is primarily what they seem to be interested in, rather than familial revenge. But stealing their money was just a ruse to draw them to him. It’s booby trapped to blow them up.
They kidnap him and take him to their, I don’t want to say lair, but that is what it looks like. He tells them where their money is, after some amount of torture, including threatening a dog he’d rescued from them earlier. There’s people dying all over this show but I’m deeply concerned about the dog. I don’t like to watch animals get killed, but people are fine, I guess.
Matt swoops in to rescue Frank after learning his whereabouts and the two of them team up to take out Frank’s kidnappers, which was a lot of fun to watch. I don’t like it when my favorite superheroes beat each other up in the comic books. (That won’t stop me from watching the new Captain America movie, though.) I much prefer it when they team up on the bad guys. Although this doesn’t change Frank’s philosophy, their team up is, for me, an indication that Frank, at least, respects Matt’s position. (Remember what I wrote before, about fights between competing philosophies, and whoever wins is the person whose philosophy is most correct.)
Matt, and a severely injured Frank, retire to a cemetery. Frank talks about his dead daughter, a lot. We feel for the guy even though he is a murderer several times over. It’s okay, Matt has enough compassion for both of them as Frank gets taken away by the police. I loved their little team up during the last scene and hope to see more of it later. Jon Bernthal tore it up as Frank Castle. I’m not calling him Punisher yet, because he’s still kind of new at this and hasn’t become that yet.
There’s some romantic shenanigans as Karen puts the movies on Matt, letting him know she’s interested. I know their eventual storyline from the books, so I’m not worried that Elektra, who shows up in the last second of episode four, is going to be a problem for their relationship in the future.
I think the next four episode are going to be exciting for me as The Hand story line is introduced. Not that I don’t like Elektra, or didn’t enjoy these first episodes, but I’m less interested in her and The Punisher, than The Hand.
Full disclosure, I was mostly interested in the fight scenes. I didn’t pay close attention to most of the lawyerly intrigue between Karen, Foggy and Reyes. I like to read mysteries but am uninterested in watching detective work on TV shows, for some reason. I expect to be even more distracted by the fighting, as the series continues, and Stick, Matt’s mentor from season one, makes his entrance.