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Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 1 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for another one of those big reviews that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, I am talking about the final Netflix show before Defenders comes out later on this year, I am of course talking about Marvel’s Iron Fist season 1. Now this show’s had one hell of an interesting ride before and during its release with early episodes getting pretty negative press from critics and then having fans slamming critics for their opinions because they think the show’s great. Either way my hype for Iron Fist super high, but the early reviews did make me worry. However, I finished the show yesterday, I’ve had some time to think about it and I’m ready to share my thoughts.

So what’s the story for this show? It can be described as the following: “Danny Rand returns to New York City after being missing for years, trying to reconnect with his past and his family legacy. He fights against the criminal element corrupting his world around him with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.”

Okay, so Iron Fist’s story. The words that immediately come to mind especially for the first half of the series would be dull, frustrating, repetitious, contrived and convenient. Those are words I never expected to associate with this show. Now none of the previous Marvel Netflix shows have been able to fully escape moments of bordem or tedious material, but show has them from the beginning. Unlike previous shows where I was on board within three episodes, this show took until episode six for me to start to get into it which was crazy. On paper this story sound like all sorts of fun and with Danny’s backstory and how it ties into what’s happening in New York with the criminals running around, it should be captivating, and yet we spend too much time on small/unimportant things, take too much time on plotlines that spread over several episodes instead of one or two or set or mention certain things that have no pay off (like the mysticism and backstory with K’un-Lun). I think it the script that does the most damage to this show with dialogue and scenarios that felt unoriginal, weird and silly. The show felt incredibly slow and it honestly felt like a chore to get through, sometimes I stopped completely paying attention to mess with my phone or play some video games. By the time the show ended I was curious as to why things unfolded in the way in which they did and if the writers had shortened, changed or simplified the story from what we had gotten, the show would have benefited from it immensely. That being said, there’s still some redeeming qualities in the story, mythology and characters especially from episode six onwards, while not consistently good there’s still elements to appreciate.

Episode highlights include:

  • Immortal Emerges from Cave
  • Felling Tree with Roots
  • Black Tiger Steals Heart
  • Dragon Plays with Fire

When it comes to the cast, I think they did their best considering the material they were given and some actors/actresses were good while other didn’t fare as well. Firstly there’s Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist, here’s the thing, I like Jones as an actor and I thought he did the best that he could, that being said I didn’t like Danny Rand that much. He was a well-meaning guy with some cool martial arts talents and a sense of justice, but my god he was such an annoying, naive and frustrating person to follow. I understand the he’s endured a lot with the loss of his parents and the years he spent in K’un-Lun isolated away from the normal world, but he came across as a very childish, irrational and illogical individual. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing fared a heck of a lot better, she had an interesting personality, code of conduct and her initial story and character moments felt far more engaging than Danny. Unfortunately because of the writing I felt like she ended up doing a few things that made her less engaging to watch but otherwise she was solid.

Tom Pelphrey and Jessica Stroup as Ward and Joy Meachum really fluctuated in terms of how much I liked them. At first they were both incredibly dull, surface level characters with no interesting qualities and I wondered why they took up so much screen time besides the fact that they were tied to Danny’s childhood. It wasn’t until later when Ward’s story started to get interesting and I was curious to see where his character went and Joy, well I liked her, but she seemed to change her motivations and moral code a few too many times for me to like her on a long-term basis. David Wenham as Harold Meachum was a lot of fun at times, but then other times he was a little generic and plain, Wenham committed to his material hundred percent and I thought he did well in his role. Ramón Rodríguez was really effective as Bakuto, he had a very cool and intimidating presence, and seeing the return of Wai Ching Ho as Gao was great though not utilised to her fullest. Sacha Dhawan as Davos was awesome, he was a stern, aggressive and badass warrior who stole a lot of shine from Danny and was one of my favourite parts of the show. And finally Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, man I love this girl. While her integration in this show wasn’t as natural as the previous shows, she did have some of the best charisma, humour and logic of all of the characters, at this point she needs her own show or at least a more meaty role going ahead.

As for the presentation, well, it was significantly less impressive than I had hoped. Like the previous Marvel Netflix shows it is shot well for the most part and the style and presentation of New York is lovely. What was a little hit or miss was the action scenes, anyone who has read this blog knows that I LOVE me some well choreographed martial arts and considering who Iron Fist is and his comic book source material I was expecting something on another level. However, what we got at best was some interesting and fun fight sequences that borrowed from some classic and more recent films, but then were times when the fights looked okay to really dull lacking a sense of urgency, style, flair, impact and speed that was really required for characters so closely associated with martial arts. As for the soundtrack by Trevor Morris wasn’t all that impressive, unlike previous Marvel shows (especially Luke Cage) the score has no presence or does little to elevate what’s happening on-screen. The most memorable piece of music is the opening theme and that’s all because it reminds me of “The Game Has Changed” from Tron Legacy.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist is a disappointment. The show is not complete garbage as a lot of critics have made it out to be and there is some fun to be had once you get into the latter half of the season, but as it stands, I feel like the bad outweigh the good with a lot of issues relating to the dialogue, pacing, characters and most importantly the martial arts. It isn’t fun, there’s no real sense of personality or flair and compared to the comics and the shows that preceded it, it should have been much better. If you love the show, more power to you, but I can only recommend this show if you’re curious or a completest of MCU material.

So have you seen season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist and is so what do you think of it? And how would you compare it to Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Luke Cage Season 1 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one of those beastly reviews and today I’m reviewing something I’ve waited ages to see, I am of course talking about the first season of Marvel’s Luke Cage. The funny thing is, even though Mike Colter’s Luke Cage was one of the best aspects of Jessica Jones, I wasn’t too hyped about him getting his own show initially. However, over time when I watched and read interviews with the cast, producers and showrunner, my interest increased, but it was after the Comic-Con trailer dropped in July that I was down for this show. So now that I’ve seen it all, how is it? Well read on and find out!

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So what’s the story for this show? Well our protagonist, Luke Cage is an ex-convict who was experimented on in prison and given super strength and durability, however he escapes and now resides in Harlem hiding in plain sight. However when problems arise in the city, Luke has to step  up and confront issues past and present in order to keep everyone safe.

What I appreciated the most about this show immediately its sense of identity, Luke Cage is totally different from Daredevil and Jessica Jones in style, tone and story, however, it shares enough similarities that in certain elements that it fits into the same universe as the previous shows. Straight from the beginning you notice the show’s sense of presence, charisma and sophistication that you don’t see with a lot superhero TV, and as someone who has been following this show long before the marketing started, it was fascinating and rewarding to see how showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker’s vision come to life in such a vivid manner after reading and watching all of those interviews. The show also does a really good job of telling its story slowly and methodically, having a lot of the key superhero story plot points, but also telling a story which felt smart, realistic and relevant to social and racial issues that are happening in the world today.

I would also like to note that Luke Cage might be the most consistent of all the Marvel Netflix shows so far, Jessica Jones‘ episodes tended to fluctuate in terms of enjoyment and relevance and the same can be said for this year’s Daredevil season 2, and even Daredevil season 1 there was a dip in quality in the final three episodes (not so much the finale though). As I was binging Luke Cage every episode had content that was felt compelling, fun, interesting, dramatic and most importantly relevant, none of it felt like filler, though I have heard some say that the final two episodes felt weaker than what came before and while I can see that point of view, at the same time they didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the show. I also liked how the show took some chances and made some surprising turns with the overall story and use of certain characters. Oh and the references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe might be my favourites so far with ties to specific characters, events and technology from a few of the films and previous Netflix shows being used to great effect in verbal and visual ways. With all that being said the show wasn’t perfect, firstly there was a misuse of certain characters over the course of the season. Secondly there were some plot points that were brought up but never got properly concluded or didn’t have as much of a satisfying pay off as one would expect. And for all the references that were put into the show, I felt like some of them were teasing certain things that never came to pass unfortunately.

Episode highlights include:

  • Moment of Truth
  • Code of the Streets (personal favourite)
  • Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?
  • Step in the Arena (personal favourite)
  • Just to Get a Rep
  • Manifest (personal favourite)
  • Blowin’ Up the Spot
  • DWYCK
  • Take It Personal (personal favourite)
  • Now You’re Mine

When it comes to the cast they were all really good, and I found it intriguing how a lot of them had surface level personas, but as the season went on you discovered their real selves, though some stood out more than others. Firstly there’s Mike Colter as Luke Cage, damn this guy is good! Colter bring such a sense of fun, charisma, subtlety, magnetism and depth to this character who’s already endured a lot in his life and has more personal struggles ahead of him with the villains and scenarios he gets into. I also adored how grounded and relatable Luke was, he was an every man, like he belonged among non-superpowered people unlike Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock who feel anything but normal and have questionable personality traits. Mahershala Ali was beyond great as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, here we had a character who is your standard villain but in all the right ways, he’s charming, intimidating, smart and has some really compelling personal history that enriches him as a character, and every time he was on-screen you wanted him to come back. Simone Missick as Misty Knight was also very good, at first I really appreciated her no-nonsense/cocky attitude, but it did take me a while to feel connected to her and thankfully due to the use of the character in the story and some terrific acting from Missick she ascended into my favourites department. Theo Rossi as Shades was someone I thought would be a throwaway character, but he quickly became one of my favourites due to his totally chilled out demeanour, sense of style and character motivations, plus Rossi’s acting made him so likeable.

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Alfre Woodard was fabulous as Mariah Dillard, this lady was driven, committed and proactive, though the actions of Luke and Cottonmouth created some issues morally and personally for her as time went on. There was a lot more to this character than I expected, and the reason I liked her so much was because of Woodard’s acting, bloody hell I forgot how good she was and she has some really great material at certain points. Rosario Dawson did well as Claire Temple and had a fair amount to do, far more than I expected when it came to learning more about her and see how she fits into main story, and Dawson just brings that passion, charm and beauty that she’s known for in full effect. Then there’s Erik LaRay Harvey (who I remembered from Boardwalk Empire) as Diamondback and he was pretty good too, while his character wasn’t nearly compellng or fleshed out as the rest of the cast, at the same time he was pretty scary, perceptive and ruthless and it really helped that Harvey excels in these kind of roles. A powerful arms dealer who is Cage’s half-brother, and framed him for the crime that sent him to Seagate Prison. You also have Frank Whaley as Rafael Scarfe and Ron Cephas Jones as Bobby Fish, both characters have ties to the main characters (Scarfe with Misty and Fish with Luke), and they have some really cool, hilarious and notable moments in this show. And finally there are some wonderful cameos from characters who first appeared in Daredevil and Jessica Jones and they are used to wonderful effect, especially one key character who you’ll know when you see him. 😀

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As for the presentation, it fabulous. Visually the show looks very nice and consistent with the previous shows, but I feel like there was a lot more attention to detail when it came to the framing of certain shots and general cinematography. I also loved the way the filmmakers captured Harlem in all of its areas, it makes you feel like you know the area and you get in on the ground level from the fancy areas to the dark back alleys. And I have to talk about the action scenes, while not as impressive as Daredevil (obviously because Luke’s no martial arts expert) I really enjoyed the way the show depicted Luke’s strength and durability, but also how he fought in his action sequences which were frantic, hard-hitting and sometimes hilarious. Oh and that intro with the visual imagery and song, fabulous! As for the soundtrack, composers Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad made something damn special, their score for this TV show has such a beautiful sound that feels intricate to the show and has a variety in its sound, but calls a lot a 1970’s funk/disco sound with some hip-hop vibes. Oh and that the choices of music from real life musicians whether they were life performances or just placed within an episode were fantastic and captured the mood and style of the show so well.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s Luke Cage is a damn good show and I would say it’s miles better than Jessica Jones, but not quite as solid Daredevil‘s first season, though it’s damn close! This show has a lot to say over with its themes, issues and story aspects which were explored in such a thoughtful, emotional and engaging manner, and with such fabulous performances and an incredible soundtrack it is impossible to deny this show’s quality. It does have some issues with the use of characters and unanswered story elements, and some may not enjoy the slower pace, but overall it’s some damn good TV which I highly recommend.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen season 1 of Marvel’s Luke Cage and is so what do you think of it? And how would you compare it to Daredevil and Jessica Jones? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2016 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, after all the waiting and waiting and WAITING, we’re here in 2016 and Marvel’s Daredevil season 2 and I’m here to review it. I adored the first season and made mention of that in my review, and after an epic binge over the course of Saturday from midnight to nightfall, I binged the hell out of this show coz I’m crazy and I’m an addict. So how does the second season of Daredevil fared? Well read on and find out! (Oh and careful for spoilers from Daredevil season 1, though I can’t imagine why you’d be reading this if you weren’t aware of transpired last season)

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So what’s the story for this season? Well Matt Murdock is still a blind lawyer by day and continues to fight crime at night as Daredevil and things seem to be going well after the incarnation of Wilson Fisk, however new challenges come in the form of the dangerous Frank Castle/ Punisher, and Matt’s ex-girlfriend Elektra Natchios, things get a lot more complicated as Hell’s Kitchen becomes home to all new levels of crime and chaos.

From the beginning things kick off pretty quickly as you’re filled in with what’s transpired since last season and then get introduced to the new plot elements and characters that will inhabit this world for the forseeable future. This season is all about morality, the value of life, relationships past and present, and when you take the law into your own hands, how far is too far? And with those themes comes new layers of darkness, psychological issues and sensuality through the storytelling and character moments that’s so incredibly dramatic, engaging and heart racing. This season also gets into some thought-provoking areas when covering the Punisher and Daredevil’s different ideologies and brings up questions like: Is the criminal justice system enough? Where does one draw line? Is it right to take a human life? And if one crime is worse than another does that person deserve death or a shot at redemption? We really get into the mind space of what it means to have rules and whether they should be abided by or not when they don’t work, and seeing both sides of the argument really adds some perspective not only to this part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also for superhero adaptations in general.

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I would also say that this season is better with its pacing and storytelling resulting in more consistent and satisfying episodes than before which just made me want to jump on the next episode immediately. Another aspect of note would be legal material. More so than last season, the lawyering is at the forefront and there’s a lot more conversations dealing with the law and how it works, the research, evidence and how it can help and hinder certain cases, and court room drama too which is very good and full of suspense and tension. Nelson and Murdock are really put through their paces and have interesting new hurdles to overcome and it is really well written and captivating stuff. Oh and the references to the comics, last season and Jessica Jones were awesome, it was nice world building too. And that’s all the stuff I can tell you, believe me there’s so much I want to share about this show, but it’d be giving away too much good material, suffice to say that there are plenty of surprises and moments that’ll frigging blow your mind! XD

Episode highlights include:

  • Bang
  • New York’s Finest (personal favourite)
  • Penny and Dime (personal favourite)
  • Kinbaku (personal favourite)
  • Semper Fidelis
  • Guilty as Sin (personal favourite)
  • Seven Minutes in Heaven (personal favourite)
  • The Dark at the End of the Tunnel
  • Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen

When it comes to the cast, the returning members all do such great job as they’ve settled into their roles but have also gained additional layers too, while the new players do really well to change things up and yet stay relevant to the main plot. Firstly there’s Charlie Cox who is once again wonderful as Matt Murdock/Daredevil. He’s still very smart, courageous and cool, but he’s still flawed and has issues with his duality as a superhero and lawyer that make his life a lot more complicated and the way it unfolds is such a whirlwind of emotions, and Cox handles his material so well. I also believe this season also dives a little deeper into the mind of Matt; what drives him to do what he does as Daredevil and how it affects the people around him. Elden Henson also steps up his game as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, this season he’s in a more interesting place not only because of the legal material he has to deal with but also the lies and complexities that come with being friends with Matt and hiding his secret. Deborah Ann Woll does a fantastic job as Karen Page too, unlike last season she had her uses but was primarily a background character, here she’s a lot more pro-active, has her own agendas and her efforts are quintessential to this season’s story and characters.

The newcomers are just as important, so let’s start with the man who nearly steals the whole show, Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle/Punisher. This is how you do the Punisher justice. Prior to this series both Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson have portrayed this character in 2004 and 2008, and while both of them had elements of the character done right, neither of them had the full package, but Bernthal has it. Here we have a man on a warpath, who is calculated, strategic, driven and scary as hell, but behind all his exterior there’s a tragic story that almost justifies his actions and makes him human/relatable. Bernthal really has a good lock on what makes the Punisher so engaging to watch whether he’s fighting, shooting or giving speeches, this man is like a hurricane of different things, he moves like the T-800 and yet has a depth to him that’s beyond your average killer. And then there’s Élodie Yung who is so sexy and deadly as Elektra Natchios, Jesus Christ! This woman is perceptive, smart, vivacious, playful and all sorts of trouble, and the backstory she has with Matt is one of most intriguing, fun, destructive and sensual relationships I’ve seen in quite some time. Their relationship in one of passion and toxicity and just seeing how things unfolded in the past and present was incredibly satisfying thanks to some incredible chemistry from Cox and Yung. I also enjoyed the appearances from Michelle Hurd as Samantha Reyes and Stephen Rider as Blake Tower who added an intriguing new dynamic to legal side of things.

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And finally there’s some of my favourite returning characters too. Rosario Dawson once again shines as Claire Temple offering her services both as a nurse and counsel for the good guys was great, Royce Johnson also returns as Brett Mahoney and it’s so awesome to see more of him in this season, and of course the cast wouldn’t be complete without Scott Glenn as Stick who is just as rude, sarcastic, funny and hardcore as ever. There are also some other returning faces but I’ll let you discover those on your own. 😀

As for the presentation, it is just as good as ever. Visually the show’s received a bit more of budget for new locations more intricate camera movements, better lighting, more digital and practical effects and more detailed make-up as I think the show’s a little more violent than before. Just like last year the action is badass with some beautiful fight choreography, gun fights, explosions and the introduction of ninjas just made everything better. Also John Paesano returns again to craft the soundtrack and it is fairly dramatic, emotionally gripping and awesome.

So are there any problems with this season, well yes there is. This will really depend on the individual, but for me there were certain storylines that didn’t pay off in the way that I’d hoped, and you could argue that Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk left such a major impression on fans last season, that this season definitely a little empty without him being the primary focus of Daredevil’s missions. Plus while most characters get moments to shine, certain people (me included) will be disappointed with the amount of screen time and specific character arcs that they’ve gotten.

In conclusion season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil is absolutely fabulous, I cannot praise it enough. While it may sound like I’m just a biased fanboy, if you really looked at this season as a whole, it takes the foundation of first season and improves on it in every way with such incredible attention to detail with the story, character development, action sequences and expanding this world’s mythology. I think your appreciation for this show will depend on what you want from this season and whether you loved the first one or not, but in my mind this is easily the best TV-based superhero material available. I’m already hyped for season 3 and I’ll probably be sure to watch this season again very soon. 😀

Rating: 9/10 (Even more fun than the first season)

So have you seen season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil and is so what do you think of it? Did it meet or exceed your expectations? And I’m also curious to know which did you prefer, season 1 or 2? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2016 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Men In Black 2

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #6 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. After reviewing Men In Black yesterday, I decided why not continue with the sequel, Men In Black 2.

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So MIB 2, the sequel not liked by many fans or critics. I actually didn’t see this film until 2005 and after all the hate that it’d gotten I was surprised by how much I liked it and back in my teenage years I used to watch this film a lot of DVD (mainly because I didn’t own the first film). But its been ages since I saw it last time so I was curious to see how it held up.

The story can be summed up as the following:

“Agent J must bring Agent K back from retirement when the evil Kylothian, Serleena comes to Earth looking for the Light of Zartha, a source of great power that could destroy the entire Earth if it doesn’t leave the planet soon.”

The story in this film is a decent one full of interesting mythology when it comes to the M.I.B.’s history and development of Agent K’s history with this organization, however it is definitely a step down from the last outing. While the stakes are higher and the danger is at the forefront of the film, it just felt like the quality in the storytelling got weaker. Jokes weren’t as funny, the story felt a little muddled and a lot of the time the film felt like a rehash of the last one except with some role reversal stuff for Agents K and J and some slightly different dangerous circumstances for Earth’s destruction. Oh and the film just has a very silly and wacky nature about it that takes away from some of the more serious and dramatic elements. That being said I still found this story to be quite charming, funny and there are some wonderful emotional moments sprinkled throughout the film that make the relationships between some of the characters really special.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K/Kevin Brown is great. It is interesting to see K having a normal life and adjusting to this former life he used to know, but it is also great to see him get back into his MIB groove and be the same humorless, grumpy and witty man we know him as, and Jones is lovely. Will Smith returns to great effect as Agent J/James Darrell Edwards III, this film is definitely more of the Agent J show with him becoming more seasoned as an Agent and having to show K everything that he used to know. While it does feel like Smith is just going a bit overboard with his material, overall he’s still really funny and awesome. Even though some of the humour doesn’t always work, for the most part Jones and Smith are just as good together as they were before, their banter and overall chemistry make this film work.Lara Flynn Boyle as Serleena, damn. I know this is a generic guy thing to say, but Serleena is frigging hot yo, but it also helps that she’s confident, aggressive and cheeky. Johnny Knoxville as Scrad & Charlie, erm, I wasn’t too keen on them. While there are a few moments where I chuckled, ultimately these two were just weird, annoying and their presence was just distracting and unnecessary. Rip Torn returns as Chief Zed and he was just as fun as he was before with some great dialogue and more screen time.

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Rosario Dawson is lovely as Laura Vasquez, Laura is the sweet and innocent lady who just happens to be at the of the crisis and she has some really good moments with Agents J and K. Dawson, is such a pretty lady and it also helps that performance is the right balance of sweet, sad and funny too. Tim Blaney as Frank the Pug is lovely, it is interesting to see this character get more screen time and moments in the spotlight, Blaney’s voice work for Frank is great as he’s so talkative, strange and funny. Patrick Warburton as Agent T is awesome, the dude is a dumb as bricks but is so funny that you can’t help but love him. Warburton is one of those actors you just can’t dislike and he does a good job in this film. Tony Shalhoub is once again pretty great as Jack Jeebs , he has some really good moments in this film and seeing David Cross return as Newton is great as he provides some good moments of humour in the film. Oh and the cameo from Michael Jackson as Agent M, frigging awesome, it is so random and odd but so jokes at the same time.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is really good, the practical effects for the aliens still look really detailed and fancy, and the use of CGI for all of the fancy-looking aliens and big action set pieces are great, though I feel like there was an over abundance of CGI here and it made the film feel a little less realistic. But I have to give a shout out to the visual effects people from crafting all of those crazy alien designs. As for the soundtrack, Danny Elfman returns and does such a brilliant job crafting a score that is  just as fun, sassy and full of style and charm. Elfman retains all of the themes from the last film but creates some new ones and somehow finds a way to make the music even more energetic and upbeat.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Like I stated in the MIB1 review I’ve never read any of the original comics so I unfortunately can’t comment on it at this point in time.

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So to conclude Men In Black 2 is still a decent film, it has a serviceable story, great performances again from Smith and Jones and has some pretty sweet action sequences. That being said it definitely felt like a disappointing follow-up the 90’s classic with not so funny jokes, a lot of CGI and not so interesting story. I don’t like this film as much as I used to but it’s not a total waste.

Rating: 6.5/10

That’s 6 reviews done, only 24 more to go. So have you seen Men In Black 2 and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Top Five Review

Howdy people of the internet and welcome to another film review and today’s review comes in the form of Top Five, the latest film from Chris Rock in which he stars and directs. Now I had been waiting to see this film for months after seeing the trailer and its initial release in the US, and luckily my local Cineworld were actually showing the film so I saw it and now I’m ready to pass judgement.

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The plot for the film came be summed up as the following:

“A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancée talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.”

Overall I thought this film’s story was pretty good. What I liked about it so much is that while it was comedic, there was also a lot of drama and truth to some of the subject matter involved. This film deals with issues of truth, identity, relationships, talent and knowing the difference between what is right and what is easy among other things and it is handled nicely. I like how to the two main characters butt heads at first but then start to warm to each other, help each other out later on down the road. While the film’s story feels familiar, it at least tells a compelling tale that is funny when it needs to be but is also heartfelt and relatable when it needs to be too. The film also felt kind of self-referential to Chris Rock and his career (I guess that was intentional), and it was interesting to see certain parrells from Rock’s character to himself, and it kind of felt like Rock was saying, “I still have it. I may not be in the spotlight anymore, but I still have the funny factor that you love.”

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Now let’s talk about the cast, it is comedy central as there are comedians left, right and center and it is awesome. Chris Rock as Andre Allen is very good, as the star he would have to be, but luckily this character has just the right amount of humour, charm, arrogance and heart to make him a well-rounded character. Rock is essentially playing himself here, bit unlike some of his previous comedic roles, Andre feels more fleshed out and realistic because of his career choices and similarities to Rock’s natural persona. I felt like Rock wanted to portray a certain kind of character in this film because he was directing as well acting and he really acted quite well. And then there’s Rosario Dawson as Chelsea Brown who was great as the journalist interviewing Andre. Chelsea is a smart and witty who asks all the juicy and important questions, she wants a good story and is not afraid to get under Andre’s skin to get them. Dawson as always looks incredible, but she is also very likeable, fun and heartwarming in her role. Together Rock and Dawson have lovely on-screen chemistry. Gabrielle Union was very nice as Erica Long, Andre’s fiancée. Erica was a light-hearted, happy and spoilt little lady who was pretty much trying to get her 15 minutes of fame, she’s quite irritating and mean, but behind all the smoke and mirrors you see that she has a heart and Union played her part well.

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J. B. Smoove is great as Silk, Smoove is pretty damn funny whenever her shows up in a film or TV show and here he’s great too. The only other person who shows up and leaves as big a an impact se him is Leslie Jones as Lisa, this woman is really funny and had some of the best lines and moments, I wanted to see more of her. OH and Cedric the Entertainer as Jazzy Dee, what a legend. Cedric, that guy kills me sometimes with his comedic roles and Jazzy Dee is no exception, he’s off-the-wall and strange but also super hilarious too. Tracy Morgan as Fred, that guy was also funny and I love Morgan in general as he finds ways to make the simplest of things funny to watch. Kevin Hart even shows up for a bit as Charles and as usual he’s pretty good. Also Sherri Shepherd as Vanessa she was lovely and had some good moments in the film too. There are also some unexpected cameos in this film as well, I won’t ruin them for anyone who wants to see the film but I will say that their appearances are great. Oh you know what? Screw it. MINOR SPOILER AHEAD… The is a scene with Andre and DMX in jail and it was one of the most random, bizarre and hilarious moments in the film, so weird and yet so great.

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In the end Top Five is a good film and was a very different film then I was expecting. While this film doesn’t reinvent anything and there aspects of the story that have been done before, on the whole it is a well-made, funny and dramatic film. This is the most notable piece of work that Chris Rock has done in years and I’m happy to see that he can still be entertaining but can also direct too.

Rating: 7.5

So have you seen Top Five and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Daredevil Season 1 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, today I come to you with my review of Marvel’s Daredevil. You know the show’s only been out since Friday, but I just had to binge it as best I could while having to go to work on Friday and Saturday night haha. Since I already did an impressions blog post on the show, I don’t want to repeat myself for those who have read it, so I’ll try to focus on points that I didn’t mention before and abbreviate previous topics. So how has the first season of Daredevil fared? Well read on and find out!

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So what this show about? Well, the show involved Matt Murdock, a man who at a young age was blinded by chemicals and because of that incident his other senses were raised to superhuman levels. So by day he is a lawyer but at night he fights crime and tries to improve the state of Hell’s Kitchen as costumed vigilante, Daredevil.

This show’s structure has been described by the actors and producers as a 13-hour movie and rightly so, this show has a sequence of episodes that all connect to each other, whether it is from episode to episode or if there are elements in earlier episodes that come to pass in the latter half of the season. Everything is connected and it gives off a great sense of continuity and cohesion. I also like how some episodes bleed into each other, like say how certain events that take place at the end of one episode will be picked up immediately in the next, it again makes things feel connected.

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The show feels like a crime drama but also mixes it together with a lot of the cool superhero codes and conventions and references we’ve come to expect, there is an origin story but it is handled in a brief and smart way through flashbacks that relate to the action at hand (like Arrow). What this show does well with the stories is that there is a lot of mystery, intrigue, humour and drama, it is all mixed together in a very natural and fulfilling manner. The consistency for the most part is great, from the first episode you a given a very gripping near hour of TV and that quality continues as the season advances, and that in turn makes the show very addictive. I also like the pacing of the show, this show moves fairly quick, a lot of story and character elements are set up and established, but it never feels like things are moving too fast as there is enough time delegated for all of the events in the episodes.

Episode highlights include:

  • Into the Ring (personal favourite)
  • Cut Man (personal favourite)
  • In the Blood (personal favourite)
  • World on Fire
  • Condemned (personal favourite)
  • Stick (personal favourite)
  • Shadow in the Glass
  • Speak of the Devil (personal favourite)
  • Nelson v. Murdock
  • Daredevil (personal favourite)

When it comes to the cast, the cast do a really good job at establishing these characters and give such wonderful performances. Firstly there’s Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, he is great, he rides the line between good and evil very well, Murdock is as a person who wants to do the best for his city and protect the people he cares for, but goes to very extreme measures to get what he wants. Cox is very charming and convincing in this role and I love what he’s done with this character. Equally or more impressive is Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, wow, what a beast! This version of Fisk is a little socially awkward and is a little more vulnerable than what we’ve seen before, that being said, when he’s angry, he’s like a bloody force of nature and the stuff he does in this series is nothing short of insanely brutal. D’Onofrio was perfect for this role, he has the right level of subtly, mystery and anger and I loved his scenes when he was delivering the pain, but also when he learnt more about his backstory.

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Elden Henson as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson is another strong character. He could have been a one-note character because of his comic relief nature, however he gets into the thick of the action, is a very charismatic and resourceful person who has an importance to the story. Together Henson and Cox have great chemistry and you really by the friendship that Foggy and Murdock have. Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page is great too, she is a valuable person in this show as she brings a lot of fun and emotion to this show, she’s surprisingly tenacious and stronger than she appears. She has some great chemistry with both Murdock and Nelson too. Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple is lovely, I appreciated that she approached her situations with a calm, yet firm and realistic manner, and Dawson acts with such care and beauty, whenever she was gone I wanted to see more of her. Toby Leonard Moore is awesome as James Wesley, he was Fisk’s right hand man and I liked how confident, suave and efficient he was. Moore was so good as being such a reserved man, but on occasions showed just how smart and dangerous he could be. Then there’s Vondie Curtis-Hall who did a great job as Ben Urich, Bob Gunton as Leland Owlsley offered a lot of interesting and tactical flair and Ayelet Zurer was very beautiful and impressive as Vanessa Marianna. And finally Scott Glenn as Stick, what a legend. The played the gruff, emotionless teacher that trained Matt in his early days and has a mysterious connection to other mysterious parties beyond America. Glenn was so slick, cool and funny in this role and his contribution to this show was one of my favourite parts.

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As for the presentation, it is gorgeous! This show looks incredible, so much attention has gone into the visual style of the show with the great cinematography, use of colour and lighting and the crisp detail of the picture quality. Oh and the action, OH MY GOD! I love fight scenes in film and TV and this is some of the best work that’s been produced in the MCU, fights are ferocious, aggressive, rough and wonderfully choreographed. Beyond the cutscenes the stunt work is incredible, all of the running, jumping and flipping for Daredevil and some of the enemies he fights is SO good, the stunt work is lovely. Also the soundtrack by John Paesano is pretty good, at times it feels like he is tapping into The Dark Knight Trilogy style of music, but for the most part this music is dramatic, energetic and badass.

So are there any problems with the show, yes, unfortunately there is. I would say that there are moments where some of the characters and story elements aren’t quite as compelling as others and certain decisions made towards the end of the series I would not have agreed with. In addition to that, as I stated before the level of consistency for the quality of this show for the most part is excellent, however, the two episodes prior to the season finale were not nearly as compelling as the episodes that had come before.

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In the end the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil is awesome, I had so much hope for this show and luckily it delivered the goods. This show is violent, action-packed, dramatic and just a lot of fun to watch especially if you are binge watching it. While it is not perfect, when it comes to TV-based superhero adaptations, it doesn’t get better than this and I cannot recommend it enough. This has given me much hope for Marvel’s other upcoming Netflix shows, and I can’t wait for season 2, I’m ready for more! Woo! 😀

Rating: 9/10 (Solid, exciting and brutal fun)

So have you seen Marvel’s Daredevil and is so what do you think of it? As a fan of the source material are you impressed with it or think that more could be done? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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QUICK IMPRESSIONS: Marvel’s Daredevil (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, today I wanted to come and do a quick impressions blog post on Marvel’s Daredevil, the new superhero TV show that hit Netflix yesterday. While I do have a review on the way, my thoughts honestly couldn’t be contained, so I just HAD to give you impressions on the show so far. The reason I say so far is because I’ve only seen 7 episodes so far. But I can easily say, without a doubt that this is easily the best comic book TV show right now and is one of the most awesome comic book adaptations that’s existed. Fact.

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So what makes this show so good? Well, how about EVERYTHING! Okay, so that’s not a proper answer, but it is hard to fault a show that’s done so much right so far. Daredevil from the trailers promised a lot, it was said to be a gritty, adult crime drama set in the roughest area in New York which would be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but would be a very different from what we’ve seen so far… And it is. This show is everything I hoped it would be and then some, it dark, violent, action-packed and full of drama and at the center of it all you have characters that you care about, that you are engaged with and you want to see what happens next.

I think the show’s biggest strength lies in its consistency, to keep giving you episodes that are engaging, fun, dramatic and add more layers to the stories, characters and overall world. From the start the kicks things off with and bang and it just keeps going, the episodes move at a swift pace, but not too quickly, there is plenty of time for character building, story and action. What it comes down to is pacing, it is good and it never feels too slow or fast, and with each episode things get more and more interesting. The first two episodes are especially impressive as it establishes the world, tone and characters and it does so in such a fantastic way, I was hooked after the first 15 or so minutes, that’s how good this show is.

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It also helps that the visual presentation is excellent with such beautiful cinematography and wonderfully choreographed fight sequences that are cool, slick but not over-the-top for the characters involved. Oh and the violence it is delightfully vivid and on display in a wonderful way, there is blood, breaking bones and other gruesome stuff I cannot get into because of spoilers but suffice to say it is some of the most aggressive stuff you’ll ever see in the MCU. And then there’s the characters who are great too. Charlie Cox does a really good job as the title character, he’s very charming, funny and understandable, but also aggressive and badass. Oh and Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin, bloody hell, I knew he’d be great, but this was much better than I had ever anticipated. D’Onofrio brings a level class, style, imposing menace to the proceedings, but he is also very different and human than what we’ve seen other adaptations, and D’Onofrio is such a beast! All I have to say is episode 4, those who have seen know what I’m talking about. Deborah Ann Woll brings a lot of fun and emotion as Karen Page, Rosario Dawson is also very good as Claire Temple, Elden Henson is also very funny and interesting as Foggy Nelson and Scott Glenn is such a badass and brutal man as Stick.

So is the show perfect? Well that remains to be seen, I haven’t really come across anything I didn’t like or hated so far. I will admit that episode 3 was not as interesting when compared to the first two episodes, but that isn’t because the episode was bad, it was still very good, it was just because some of the character and story elements weren’t as interesting for me personally. But that’s the only nitpick I have.

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In the end Marvel’s Daredevil is pretty badass so far, it has surpassed so many of expectations and proves that when you have the right team together and want to make a badass TV show, dreams do come true. The show is just so fun, aggressive, violent and dramatic and I’m addicted, I just can’t wait to see the rest. The show has really shown me just how far we’ve come in the world of comic book adaptations and really makes me excited for where TV could take other superheroes that might not make it to the big screen. Oh and this show so far has proved that Punisher needs his own TV show, MARVEL, MAKE IT HAPPEN!

So have you seen Marvel’s Daredevil and is so what do you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Daredevil Trailer #2 Review

Howdy people of the internet, how are you all doing? With Marvel’s Daredevil bring around a month away now it seems like the advertising is definitely on the increase as we have a new trailer that dropped today. I really liked the first trailer so I was really interested in seeing more footage for sure. So is it good? Read on and find out!

Here’s the trailer:

So what do I think after seeing this teaser? I’m already down for this, give it to me now.

This show is looking better which each new image and video released. I’m not even the biggest Daredevil fan, however, I know enough about the character and it’s fan base to understand how much of a big deal this show is. The show seems a little darker, mature and edgier than what’s come before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sure, those descriptive terms have been used for this show for AGES, but it is hard to describe the look and feel of this footage without using them.

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Now this trailer shows us a fair amount of what we’ve seen before in terms of seeing Matt Murdock in and out of the suit, seeing him fight at night and look mashed up in the rain. However there is a greater emphasis on the characters (especially Kingpin) and story, there is also some additional footage that gives us a better look into the world and how certain events will play out.

This trailer seems to confirm what we’ve come to learn about this series from the producers and actors behind the show like:

  • Matt Murdock will not be invincible, he will get better as a superhero but will get beaten up a lot along the way
  • The black suit will be the primary suit until the classic red costume comes along later on
  • Hell’s Kitchen is full of crime and danger
  • Kingpin will be a force to be reckoned with

What I appreciated about this trailer is how much emphasis there was on Daredevil and Kingpin when it comes to their ideals, how they take the law into their own hands and how they plan to change New York into a better place. Matt Murdock becomes a hero because he believes with his abilities that he’ll be able to save the place he grew up in, whereas Kingpin seems like a straight up criminal but perceives his actions as moral. I’m loving what I’m seeing from Charlie Cox as the main character, he’s really cool, aggressive and has a good screen presence. But then there’s Vincent D’Onofrio who is looking more and more like he’ll be the most badass version of Kingpin ever. D’Onofrio has this menacing aura and looks rough as heck from the way he speaks and beats the crap out of people. It looks like Daredevil and Kingpin are two sides of the same coin and it looks like they will work their way to up in popularity until they have to fight each other. Seeing more of Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson and Scott Glenn as Stick is nice too.

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I also really like the way this show looks. I am  person who appreciates good visual presentation in film and television and in the last five years shows have really stepped up. I have to say that the cinematography in this show looks very strong, it is sharp and detailed, striking with its colour and looks especially good at night with lovely lighting. And you can’t talk about the visual presentation without talking about the action and it looks pretty slick so far. The action looks great with varying degrees of violence ranging from people jumping through windows, explosions, firefights and of course hand-to-hand combat with people being punched, kicked and knocked to ground. And of course there’s blood which may not sound like a big deal but with the MCU being the way that it is these days, a bit of extra violence is welcomed.

But of the best parts of the trailer was at the end with the one guy who says “Maybe if he had an iron suit or a magic hammer, that would explain why you keep having your asses handed to you.” Some could see that as referencing that’s unnecessary or too on-the-nose, but I think it is nice that with one sentence, hardcore and casual fans get a confirmation that this is linked to the films and is part of the MCU as a whole. As a fan you can’t help but smile or get a little giddy to know all of these characters inhabit the same world.

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In the end the second trailer for Marvel’s Daredevil is looking very promising. The more footage I see of this show, the more I’m starting to fall in love with it. It looks rough, adult-oriented, action-heavy and character driven. I honestly think this is the most hype I’ve felt for a comic book TV show for a while, and if it delivers then I can see this show making some big waves for not only other Marvel shows but the films as well.

So have you seen the second trailer for Marvel’s Daredevil and is so what do you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television

 

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LATE NEWS: Daredevil TV Series Information & Media Released!

Howdy people of the internet and welcome to another blog post relating to news in the world of comic books, now recently there was some news from the New York Comic-Con that I feel was worth mentioning. Now let’s talk about Daredevil!

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So I’ve been following this series for a while now and the more I’ve seen and heard about it, the more excited I’ve become. While there hasn’t been much in the way of images and footage, the early pieces of media that have been released on the internet gives me hope for the future for sure. And then we had New York Comic Con recent and Marvel Studios released a whole chunk of information and media on it. Firstly, let’s talk about the first photos released which you can see below:

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These images look pretty cool. The first one gives us a look at DD’s suit, probably a prototype before donning the classic red outfit later on possibly. What is nice about the outfit is the fact that 1) It looks practical and realistic and 2) It is taken from Daredevil: The Man Without Fear comic, which loads of people regard as one of the best runs of DD ever. As for the second image, it is Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and I think he looks pretty good, I didn’t really see Cox in the role prior to filming being done, but I believe he is looking nice.

In addition to the images there was a good deal of information released especially when it comes to the panel itself, including some footage, which unfortunately none of us will ever get to see until a trailer is released later on. You can see the full New York Comic-Con Daredevil Panel below for additional information:

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All in all I’m down with this adaptation of Daredevil, all I need is a trailer so I can get a feel for what it will be like. So what do you think of all the news relating to the upcoming Daredevil TV series and how do you feel it will compare to the old 2003 film? Be sure to comment below and give me your thoughts yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Media, Television

 

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Rosario Dawson Joins Marvel’s Daredevil!

Good day to you ladies and gents, time for some news from the world of upcoming comic book adaptations and today I’ll be talking about a casting update relating to Daredevil. Now I talked about Charlie Cox’s involvement in the show, since then Vincent D’Onofrio was announced as Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin) and now we have another face to add to the show The following information comes from superherohype:

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Marvel and Netflix announced today that Sin City and Kids star Rosario Dawson is set to join the cast of “Marvel’s Daredevil,” the new 13-episode series coming to Netflix in 2015.

Dawson will, according to the press release, play “a dedicated young woman whose quest to heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen brings Matt Murdock unexpectedly crashing into her life, while her own journey forever alters the course of his battle against the injustices of this broken city.” She joins Charlie Cox (previously announced as Matt Murdock) and Vincent D’Onofrio (previously announced as Wilson Fisk).

Although its purely speculative at this point, that character description does fit the Marvel Comics character “Night Nurse,” who was reintroduced to the Marvel Universe during Brian Michael Bendis’ run on “Daredevil” in 2004. The character also played a major part in Brian K. Vaughan’s “Doctor Strange” miniseries in 2006.

“Rosario Dawson is one the most charismatic, talented and powerful actresses in Hollywood, so she was always at the top of our list for ‘Marvel’s Daredevil,’” said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television. “Her role in the series is absolutely critical to Matt Murdock’s journey to become the hero we know as Daredevil.”

Well I think this is the biggest casting news to come out of this series so far and to be honest it is the most interesting. Dawson has been on my radar of actress since I saw her in Men In Black 2 (yeah sure it wasn’t a very good film, but she wasn’t bad it in), ever since then I’ve enjoyed her performances in films like Sin City, Trance, Clerks 2 and Seven Pounds. She’s a fine actress and she is a gorgeous woman too and I for one am happy that someone of her caliber is being added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As for who she’ll be playing, I’m not sure. I know nothing of the characters that reside within the world of Daredevil besides the main character himself and a few of the villains and allies. As for the character that is speculated in the article, I done a bit of reading up about the character and this Night Nurse character sounds pretty important and would really fit into not only this show but also the connected world Marvel Studios are trying to create with these Netflix shows with Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones.

So what do you think of this casting news? Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Media, Television

 

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