TV Show Review : DAREDEVIL Seasons 1, 2, and 3!

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The first season of DAREDEVIL, was and remains game changing , ground breaking TV. In terms of action choreography, and initial complexity of storyline, and some amazing performances.  It remains an astounding season of television, however it didn’t quite stick the landing.

There was something rushed and not quite satisfying in the ending. Something that did not quite live up to the AMAZING buildup.There was always a slight worm in the apple, and that was what was best and most enjoyable and most likable about the series, what was really brilliant about the series, was never the main three protagonists, the great acting of the series was done by the so-called villains such as Wilson Fisk, Alexandra, Wesley  and by the supporting characters such as Ben Urich and Stick.

What was annoying about season 1, was Karen Page, and she got increasingly more annoying, like nails on chalkboard through the season. Her remaining on the show, when two other astounding characters met violent ends, really for me weakened the show going forward. Also Matt Murdock, his maudlin approach, begins to wear thin at the end of 13 episodes.  But all those caveats aside, the strengths outweigh the failings of that first season. A solid A- of a season.

 

Fast forward to season 2 , which has a strong first half, but disintegrates in the 2nd half, Karen Page gets more annoying, Matt Murdock gets more whiny and maudlin, and Elektra storyline doesn’t do much for me. Karen Page playing girl reporter, just emphasizes everything I find annoying about that character, and how much the character of Ben Urich is missed.  Season 2 has its moments, largely due to the Punisher in the first half, but overall is strictly fast forward material through much of the 2nd half of season 2. This season is the definition of uneven, coming in at a C+/B-.

 

Daredevil Season 3 Review

 

The DEFENDERS series plays very much as DAREDEVIL Season 2.5. Because we get to minimize exposure to the weakest parts of season 2, namely Karen Page. Even though the Elektra/Black Star storyline is largely nonsensical and uneven (she can take blows from Power Man, but is affected by blows from Daredevil. Nonsensical.) the series moves at a fast clip, and seeing these actors together, enjoyable. Overall, inane ending excepted, a fun series. Grade: B+.

 

That brings us to the just finished third season of DAREDEVIL. It starts off intriguing, But quickly, particularly in the later episodes, drowns in all the unlikeable characters.

Karen Page is show stoppingly annoying every-time she is on the screen. Also three seasons of watching Matt Murdock suck all the joy out of everything, is just tiring. “Ooh, I have special powers, to make up for being blinded, I have friends, a good job, a great apartment… Oh I’m so angry!” what the hell does he have to be mad about all the time? 🙂

Just a joyless, depressing performance. And I am not saying it is badly acted, the actor is good, it is just he is written with nothing to do but complain all the time.

By comparison all the so-called villainous characters are far more interesting, to the point I was rooting though the later episodes for Fisk and the Mystery Villain 🙂 to take out Karen Page (Again, a fine actress, she is just written with nothing to do but eat the joy out of every scene. And what works in a few scant panels in a limited story, over three seasons… tires), and beat Matt Murdock.

I felt the ending was very unsatisfying.  Matt Murdock/Daredevil just comes across as much a psychotic as those he fights, and a hypocrite on top of it. And again the character flaws that work briefly in panels on a comic page, does not wear as well over three seasons. Add Karen Page to the mix, and you have a season 3 that I lose interest in whenever the three so-called leads are on camera. (To be fair, I quite liked the character of Foggy. He was the one thing that worked in that triangle.)

Overall a very dissatisfying wrap up to DAREDEVIL Season III. Karen Page survives, where yet more good characters die in her stead. I bought the first DAREDEVIL on BLURAY,  I bought the first LUKE CAGE on Bluray, and will be buying the 2nd season when it is available. I might buy the DEFENDERS, its flaws aside, overall it worked very well, and what IRON FIST couldn’t do in his own series (be good) he manages to pull off in the DEFENDERS and LUKE CAGE Season II.

With Luke Cage having been canceled, I don’t see anything to bring me back to the Netflix/Marvel Properties.  Not a fan of PUNISHER Season 1, Jessica Jones I fell off of, Iron Fist show was a train-wreck, and DAREDEVIL can not get out of its own way. Should a MOON KNIGHT show pop up, or a WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, I would definitely give those a look, but for now it appears the great Marvel/Netflix ship of success… has capsized.

 

DAREDEVIL Season 1 A-

DAREDEVIL Season 2 C+

DAREDEVIL Season 3 C+/B-

Overall Grade: B

 

 

 

 

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Youtube Channel of the Day : CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT and why Physical media Matters in the age of Digital!

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsVgZNzzvedehALS-dTIFhA

 

CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT –  Is the only Youtube channel devoted to physical media, DVDs, CDs, Blu-Rays, etc that I am subscribed to. Just a great channel, with a personable host, showing his love for physical media.Love his channel, highly recommend it for all fans of physical media. They have a nice recent episode, perfect for Halloween, and the films of the great Vincent Price.

For those of you saying either ‘what is physical media?’, or ‘boo! hiss!’ to physical media, here is me… about to break it down.

Here is the thing, streaming is fine, and VOD is fine, and Hulu is fine, and Spotify is fine, but at the end of the day, it is all vaguely out of your control. And we live in a Millennial age where the mob thinks nothing of bigger issues such as Anti-Trust and eradication of public domain and setting up a Monopolistic regime, with no viable competition, just as long as they get to see Avengers in the same movie as Fantasic Four. If you don’t understand that, do a search for Disney, and add all those words i just mentioned… and maybe when the searches return… a lightbulb will go off.

We live in an age where the masses think nothing about the loss of privacy and human rights, as long as they get to easily scream at people in their MMOGonline game.

 

Between you and your entertainment is various levels of gatekeepers, from your ISP to your cloud storage, to your streaming platform. And we live in a bullshit age of witch-hunts and ‘me too’ bs bandwagon jumping, where people can get fired and vilified before they have a day in court, and programs and movies  can be censored or altered based on the screaming of the uninformed mob, or soundtrack altered due to rights issues.

Where you don’t have to be proven guilty, you just have to be attacked like you are.

So suddenly that movie you love, may or may not be available depending on licensing agreements, and it may or may not be the same edit of the version you grew up with. It could be censored to comply with the sensibilities of fools, or the fear of companies , that faceless twitter trolls will say bad things about them.

‘I hate, hate, hate… Peter Pan!’ In my best Dustin Hoffman, Hook Voice.

God bless the child that has his own.

Here’s the thing, gatekeepers, businesses are always behind the curve, and seldom do anything for the good of the people, or posterity. They do it because of expedience and the bottom line, and that is contrary and in direct opposition… to culture. The health of it, and the growth of it.

We here in the 21st century have access to movies from the Silent age of cinema, and radio shows from the dawn of sound, and TV shows from the infancy of the medium, not because of businesses, but in spite of them.

It was collectors decades ago, when businesses could not perceive the idea of a radio show being listened to over, or a television show being re-watched, or a movie after its initial run being rescreened, it was collectors, just normal people like you and I, who preserved these things, when the gatekeepers, burnt the films, and erased the tapes, and recorded over the video tapes, it was collectors who saved much of the early history of mass media. And it was collectors who ultimately taught them, the gatekeepers, the businesses,  to value these things, if not for the love, then for the monetary value it could generate.

But still, for all the teaching, Businesses and the Gatekeepers, while they have definitely learned to monetize, and secure the rights to everything they create, they still have not learned to respect the creations.

The creations remain to them as mercurial and open to change as a ledger balance. While they control art, the gatekeepers and businesses do not understand art. And therefore art will always be at risk in such hands. Will always be at risk in the hands of accountants.

So end of the day, I love having all these shows and movies and music, available via gatekeepers, via VOD, and Hulu, and Spotify, and Itunes, etc.

But end of the day, have your hard media to fall back on, against the day that ISPY or AIRPLANE or HOUSE OF CARDS or insert show here, is not politically correct to view or hear or watch.

End of the day, do not trust the things you love… to gatekeepers. Own the shows you love in a form that no gatekeeper can edit at their whim, or remove, or bar you from.

So that is one reason I’m a fan of CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT. It is a reminder that physical media is still out there, and can be picked up affordably. And is worth picking up.

Here endeth the rant! 🙂

Where to buy NEW comic books right now, Sept 2018 Pre-orders! And What books to get! ALL THE REST EDITION!

This is the last day to preorder books that will be shipping in December at a discount.

Here are my suggestions for the books worth your time:

MARVEL COMICS

Nothing. I can recommend nothing from Marvel Comics. Marvel is GROSSLY overpriced.  Save your money and either pick up these issues for a $1 or $2 each in a few months, when they are no longer new, from the secondary market. Or wait till they get collected into trade paperbacks and read them from your local library for free. Or buy them used online for a fraction of what getting the individual issues would cost.  I grew up with Marvel Comics, and i think they still have some fantastic creators I would love to read on a monthly basis, Ta-Nehisi Coates CAPTAIN AMERICA , comes to mind. After much hate from the moronic bigoted internet crowd, the moronic antisjw nazis, it turns out Coates CAPTAIN AMERICA is shaping up to be great. The same with just about anything Al Ewing touches. Unfortunately these great creators are sabotaged by a unsupportable comic price, and horrible editorial and marketing decisions.

The movies quite frankly are a lot better, and a lot less disorganized, stupid, and at times ingrained bigoted than the comics. The comics play lip service to diversity, and it is great to see creators like Coates and Walker get a chance to start their vision, but inevitably Editorial steps in and ruins/aborts their process/ending. The comics back pedal from everything to try to pander to the racist anti-change and anti-diversity mob, who typically don’t even read the comics they complain about.

The movies so far under Feige’s reign have embraced diversity with no back pedaling or moronic denigration that makes up so much of what goes on in the comics when it comes to characters of color (‘Oh Well we can’t have the Black Nick Fury be his own man. Let’s explain him away as the son of a White Nick fury.’ What????? Yeah this is the stupidity and racist great ideas that is happening in Marvel Comics, by there non-writers of color and editorial department.)

So yeah, so far the movies are actually better by far than the comics. So stick with them for now. Or until they start following the stupidity of the current comic books.

DC COMICS

Unfortunately DC that was doing a good job of keeping their prices under $3 a comic, ever since hiring the trojan horse of Brian Bendis, they have adopted Marvel’s disastrous and customer offensive pricing policy. Of charging $4, $5, $6,and $7… for COMIC BOOKS!!!!

Absolutely immoral.

And I like Brian Michael Bendis as a creator, but I despise him as a shill for the company, and his arrogant frat boy attitude to companies milking the audience, and  his basic ‘ah they will pay the higher price. Lower prices do not sell.’ I’m ten years of proving Bendis is wrong. It is not diversity that is the cause of Marvel Comics’ inability to keep from bleeding readers, it is the bloody price of their books. Add to that the over abundance of ads, poor placement of ads, and atrocious paper quality and you have a company that is repeatedly slapping their customers in the face, then wondering why the customers are not sticking around.

DC will soon find they will have the same issue as Marvel Comics. They will keep the die hards for a while, the sheep who buy multiple issues and variants, and the speculators, but that is  a far cry from the millions of people a publishing arm of Times Warner should be reaching.

Besides their last $2.99 books, which word is they are going away soon… The only book over $3 that I get from DC, that I make an exception for, is Christopher Priest’s brilliant DEATHSTROKE. And that is going to change, as editorial has decided to reward the critical acclaim that series has received, by mixing it into their editorial marketing ploy, basically gutting Priest’s ability to tell unhindered stories with the character. Once Priest leaves, so do I.

So what is worth getting?

Here is my list for September Pre-orders:

Beyonders 4 On order 1 $2.59
Bitter Root Cvr D Williams 1 On order 1 $2.59
Cavewoman A Wizard A Sorceress And Meriem 1 On order 1 $2.59
Cemetery Beach 3 On order 1 $2.59
Cinema Purgatorio Vast Cvr 16 On order 1 $4.54
Dark Ark Cvr A Doe 11 On order 1 $2.59
Deathstroke (2016) Cvr B Var Ed 37 On order 1 $2.59
Dick Tracy Dead Or Alive Cvr B Tommaso 3 On order 1 $2.59
Feast Or Famine 1 On order 1 $0.98
Gideon Falls Cvr B Suayan 8 On order 1 $2.59
Hillbilly Red Eyed Witchery From Beyond 4 On order 1 $2.59
Infinite Dark 2 On order 1 $2.59
Infinity 8 7 On order 1 $2.59
Jook Joint 2 On order 1 $2.59
Leviathan Cvr B Guillory 4 On order 1 $2.59
Lightstep 1 On order 1 $2.59
Lodger 2 On order 1 $2.59
Magic Order Cvr A Coipel 6 On order 1 $2.59
Moth And Whisper 3 On order 1 $2.59
New World Cvr B Moore And Muller 5 On order 1 $2.59
No World Primer 2018 On order 1 $0.16
Oblivion Song 9 On order 1 $2.59
Outer Darkness 1 On order 1 $2.59
Proxima Centauri 6 On order 1 $2.59
Raid Cvr B Photo 4 On order 1 $2.59
Red Sonja Cvr A Caldwell 23 On order 1 $2.59
Rick And Morty Cvr A 44 On order 1 $2.59
Rick And Morty Presents Pickle Rick Cvr A 1 On order 1 $3.24
Shadowman Cvr C Veregge 9 On order 1 $2.59
Sideways 10 On order 1 $1.94
Silencer 11 On order 1 $1.94
Sink Cvr A Cormack 6 On order 1 $2.59
Skyward 8 On order 1 $2.59
Spawn Cvr B Mattina 292 On order 1 $1.94
Stellar 6 On order 1 $2.59
Terrifics 10 On order 1 $1.94
Unexpected 6 On order 1 $1.94
Walk Through Hell 6 On order 1 $2.59
Warning 1 On order 1 $2.59
Whispering Dark 2 On order 1 $2.59

Order yours here:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/subscriptionservice?AffID=200301P01

And tell them HT sent ya!!!!

🙂

 

 

The worst thing that can happen to movies and free news is for Disney to gobble up Fox Studios and yet another news channel..

There is a reason a hundred years ago antitrust laws , and labor laws and child labor laws and unions came to be… because we learned the hard way… unchecked capitalism and greed is indistinguishable from tyranny and murder.

Companies were literally killing people to make a penny more in profit.

Let us not go backwards.

Say no to Disney gobbling up another studio and another network and news division. That would make them even more, the makers of truth..

Too much power for any company or any man.

Comcast is no prize, but in this situation, having them buy the Fox portfolio, it is clearly the lesser of two evils.

 

Here endeth the Lesson.

 

My All Over the Place Rant… Beware, there be Dragons here

It’s 0330 dark of the morning and I’m listening to Disaster-Piece’s IT FOLLOWS film score on CD (not something I would particularly recommend if you are in the house by yourself at this time of night), and I’m thinking…we are all adrift in the fields of the Lord.

That’s what I’m thinking.

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And I’m thinking of Carlos Castaneda and a Yaqui Indian called Don Juan and truths and fictions, and how the one becomes the other and the other the one.

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I’m thinking of the quality of person that would have actually voted for Resident Trump and be not ashamed.

I think the clinical term would be somewhere between fool and sociopath.

I’m thinking of seas relatively unspoiled by man, and islands far from this benighted shore.

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I think…

I think there are other worlds…

but this one is not quite done with me.

I think of duty and honor and truth and justice and loyalty, words co-opted by the venal to keep a nation of young men killing and dying and being mutilated and maimed for the 1%ers’ Dubai pleasure nations.

I’m listening to track 9 of IT FOLLOWS, the stereo panning in my Avanti Headphones, is working for me. Left, right… left, right. My brain relaxes, and formulates something beyond questions and answers.

It is a truly brilliant album, to accompany one of the standout horror films so far this 21st century.

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I’m thinking I can’t get down with media lynchings, especially by a notoriously untrustworthy and historically lynching obsessed nation as America. So the more they tell me to demonize anyone, whether a Cosby or Simpson or insert famous Black male target of the day, the more I have to question it. In a world full of evils to fight, it’s funny to me how the press never tackles the evil that really controls and infects their viewers lives.

Like the evil of Pharmaceutical companies that are getting rich selling you not ready for human use drugs that have more dangerous side-effects than the conditions they are created to combat. “Oh you have acne, oh use our product, but oh, it might sterilize or kill you. Heehee… but we told you up front so we’re not liable.”

No you pieces of offal, that’s not how it works, if someone buys a hamburger from me and it is laced with arsenic, that may make them very sick or kill them, that’s called attempted murder. Even if the burger was a good tasting burger, did its advertised job, side effects of food poisoning and possible death are not acceptable or allowable risks to eating a hamburger.

So that burger is not ready for human sale or consumption and is recalled, pulled from the market.

The pharmaceutical companies instead market you these not ready for human usage products, and lawyer up against their products being filled with arsenic.

The actions that would get an individual arrested for attempted murder, these companies are using to get rich on the sick and desperate . Now that is something the press should for 3 decades be raging against. Not a suspect celebrity murder case, and not an even more vacuous charge of sexual assault.

So when the press avoid the crimes of their rich corporate sponsors and overlords instead to pile on with, ‘what Black celebrity can we pull down today’, well that’s a train I’m not going to board, and that is a Dachau I’m not going to populate.

There are lots of racist cops walking around free that have committed worse crimes than either Simpson or Cosby have been accused of. There are lots of you judging them, Cosby, Simpson,… that should be wary of casting that first stone.

Simpson I don’t care about, except that the fact of a white owned media embroiled in demonizing him over 2 decades after his acquittal shows clearly the new face of lynch mobs. We have young men and women coming back from parts of the world we didn’t even know we were still fighting in… damaged, and having damaged, for reasons that stink of lies, and true evil, and rather than the press demonize the real monsters that fill our nightly news with blood, they want to waste energy on cases that in the scheme of things while significant to the families of the victim and the families of the accused, to the larger body of society, are not of import.

As far as Cosby, Cosby I was raised on, and in a world that would have you be less, he was one of the ones breaking barriers and opening doors so that a whole generation of young Black men and women could be more. There are very few people drawing breath on this planet that can claim to have done the good that Bill Cosby has done, and if you can not equal a man’s good, you are unfit to judge his evil.

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If he committed a crime, that is to be determined in a court of law.

But a man’s falling down does not erase his standing up, including the many times he stood up for a castigated people. So to take arms against him now is beyond ungrateful, it is cowardice of the highest order.

To let yourself be so crudely used, in this war of Black and White.

Now transitioning to another rant…

Why is local autonomy in nearly every walk of life being replaced by autonomy of these very few companies and oligarchies and families.

Once a blockbuster movie meant not only the studios did well but the regional independent local theater did well. These days theaters are mostly studio owned, so we have this incestuous chain of the studios getting paid in every part of the process, and local economies are obliterated by it. Reduced to only the most minuscule piece of the proverbial pie.

AVENGERS makes a billion Dollars, I don’t really care.

I care that it is or isn’t a good movie, but do I care if a Billion dollar studio make more millions and billions? Not in the least.

As it stands now these studios such as Disney and Fox and Warner Brothers (pieces of larger snakes) should have been broken up years ago and their anti-competitive and local economy suppressing monopolies ended decades ago.

The best thing that could happen to America is a nation where all the Disney Properties, most of which are over 50 years old went into the public domain where they belong so everyone can legally make money off of them and be enriched by them.

An America without the endless shadow of Disney and its lie of family values would suit me fine.

The album is over, the clock has moved on, and my rant…

My all over the place rant… ended.

For now.

“Come back and throw stones later, Mother will be more receptive”

—LION IN WINTER

DAREDEVIL – The Final Review of NetFlix’s game changing 13 episode series!

daredevilposter

DAREDEVIL – Finally finishing this 13 part series, that everyone (quite rightly I think) is raving about, and it is a sea change of a series. Phenomenally good and had me captivated to the end, as those of you who have followed my previous posts can attest. It is and should be, justifiably lauded. That said, having finished the series, it is not perfect.

I think sticking the landing is the hardest thing for any series to do, and after 12 fantastic episodes, I don’t think this series quite stuck the landing with the 13th episode. [Spoilers Follow]I think the series had such smart writing throughout but the ending felt a bit disappointing and by the numbers and a bit stereotypical.

I found the character of Karen Page, while stunning, the weakest and most annoying and unlikeable character, part of this is in the writing, and part in the portrayal. And she gets progressively more annoying till the final episode. And the fact that great characters (both in terms of writing and acting) get killed (directly and indirectly) because of her, leaves an extremely bad taste.

The loss of Vondie Curtis-Hall’s character of Ben Urich feels particularly egregious and formulaic and a bit stereotypical. “Oh a strong Black male character in a genre series, of course he needs to die in the noble savage role, sacrificing himself for the non-colored” 🙂. Like I said for a series that was so bold and smart throughout, it felt like dumbed down, lowest common denominator choices toward the end, which made the Karen Page character all the more unlikeable.

The only person nearly as unlikeable as Karen’s character is the character of Matt Murdock. But that works because there are enough other facets to Charlie Cox’s great performance, and enough time spent away from him with more interesting characters, to assuage the more psychopathic parts to the character’s nature.

But it does leave you with a final episode where it is not with Matt Murdock your sympathies lie, but with Vincent D’Onofrio’s brilliant Kingpin. It doesn’t help that the final Daredevil suit is pretty solidly a disappointment, and has one wishing for the return of the man in black.

I’m still looking forward to more Daredevil, but I do think the lack of Vondie Curtis-Hall, the ludicrous costume, the too brutal Daredevil, and the grating, and annoying character of Karen Page has me less interested than I should be for a second season.

Still and all kudos to fight coordinator Philip J Silvera, who makes this series one of the most adrenalin fueled of all time. All the more impressive since this appears to be his first long term Fight Coordinator gig. And of course kudos to Show Runners Drew Goddard and Steven S. Knight who spearheaded the birth of this first season. And of course to the writers and directors and actors.

A second season has been green-lit but without Steven S. Knight of SPARTACUS fame, instead it will have show-runners Douglas Petrie (He wrote one of the best episodes of Season 1, STICK)and Marco Ramirez (who also wrote 2 solid episodes of season 1, RABBIT IN A SNOWSTORM and CONDEMNED)so they have the chops to make the 2nd season their own. Here’s hoping they do.

If you like the fight scenes in DAREDEVIL another series to try for some solid fisticuffs is season 1 of HUMAN TARGET. While not as brutal it is quite well done. Get the series here:

Human Target: Season 1 [Blu-ray]

Now Watching : Netflix’s DAREDEVIL and WRONG TURN AT TAHOE!

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The Entire 1st season of Netflix’s first Marvel Studios series DAREDEVIL has  dropped, and one episode in and it feels like… it feels like faith rewarded. From the first frame to the last, the show is pitch perfect.

From the direction, to the writing, to the performances, to the action. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, the Man without Fear is revelatory.  Charlie Cox in that first scene, with the speech in the confessional about his father, and letting the Devil loose, he defines the damaged nature of the protagonists, and this world. The initial costume is perfectly fine, a work in progress. I really hope Netflix will offer this up on Blu-Ray with commentary and features. It clearly deserves it.

Episode 2 here I come.

 

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Cuba Gooding Jr, has made his share of questionable movies. That said, in the largely direct to video world that has become the domain of most actors, in the last decade or so he has made some gems. WRONG TURN AT TAHOE is one of those gems, and following my first episode of DAREDEVIL, I find the film a nice counterpoint to the Netflix series. Cube giving a wonderfully poised and understated performance… yet full of menace. A great film from beginning to end.

Strongly recommended. Grade: B+