Perhaps you’ve been wondering where my buddy Danny and I have been hiding? Well you see, sometimes our opinions are a bit too forward for some people to stomach so we have to go frolic someplace a little less supervised for a while until we’re asked to come back (since we’re actually beneficial to this site and stuff.) Anyways, here we are a year later and back on track to talk about things with you that pop culture is either doing right or doing completely wrong. So where do we start? Actually right where we left off…Daredevil!
By now we’ve given you enough time to finish the season, we know there are those of you that binge watch in a day and we know there are others that like to take their time. Daredevil season 2 was admittedly darker than the first especially with the introduction of Frank Castle a.k.a. “The Punisher” and the devious ninja clan known as “The Hand.” It also explored more raw magic elements and has seemed to calm down off the coattails of the events from the Avengers that we had previously seen during season 1. This time around was more focused on tying into the other Netfilx series of “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage” since the timelines are so close together. We also are rewarded with a costume upgrade that was much talked about amongst fans during the first season, nice to know the creators are listening to our feedback and acting on it.
I felt that during this season more areas were explored, for example we saw that Nelson & Murdock’s law firm was actually pictured working instead of just an empty office where the disgruntled employees spent their late nights before drinking while Matt is bleeding inside dumpsters. The relationship building between Karen and Matt was explored and even a glimpse at Claire Temple’s hospital shifts were pulled in again. It leads us to believe that things have gotten better since the capture of Wilson Fisk and that perhaps some normality has returned to the lives of Matt, Foggy and Karen but alas there was a s*** storm ahead!
The introduction of the Punisher and his story line throughout the season was filled with guns, brutality and one hell of a vengeance streak. There was even a puppy! Frank Castle certainly stole the show this time around with a rock solid performance by Jon Bernthal. I had a very large hesitation when he was initially cast but can honestly say I take back my doubts and give him a round of applause. (Check it out I said something nice! that’s what the people who own this site prefer me to do) The Punisher pulls Karen Page into another whirlwind spiral of chaos and shows just how damaged the relationship between Matt and Foggy has become once the introduction of Elektra was brought in.
Though I did enjoy the look that Elodie Yung brought to Elektra, I was battling between liking her representation and not. Sometimes I felt like the bipolar craziness was more forced rather than believable to the character, after all I admired the comics for Matt trying to love the crazy out of her. But as the season progressed I learned to like her more once it came to her rising up and helping Matt to bring down The Hand towards the season’s finale. All in all season 2 was fantastic between a near perfect representation of The Punisher, a “Hallway fight scene 2.0” which upgraded to a stairwell, and a very welcomed and surprising appearance of Vincent D’Onofrio as King Pin again. I feel like we can give Daredevil season 2 a solid 9 out of 10 stars and sit waiting for season 3 with much anticipation. Now I will hand this article over to Danny because I have a pile of artwork to do, oy!
And this is why Courtney is the nice one!
On the flipside of the coin, Daredevil and his Netflix-verse buddies were not the only things in nerd culture to blaze onto the scene. A little independent film, few people might have seen (and I feel sorry for the millions that did) Batman V Superman came out to a thunderous worldwide opening and then sharply fell off a cliff to be impaled on the jagged rocks below.
Warner Brothers unprecedented “day and date” release for such a wildly anticipated film, probably to counteract two things, one the potential for piracy cutting into the foreign market since by the time a film gets through the hurdles of getting clearance to the Asian market it’s already in wide-release in other countries and watchable copies are available on black market sites that usually drive down ticket sales in Eastern markets.
The other thing, probably the most important thing, is that this was a terrible, terrible film. A self-aware dumpster fire that there are very few redeeming qualities about. I do pity Henry Cavil who looks like The Man of Steel brought to life, but in two outings he’s not been given much to work with. Instead of being a shining beacon of hope that serves as a Yin to Batman’s dour Yang, he is this mopey emo God that you don’t really care about, and if you feel anything toward him it’s mostly pity that he’s the only one in this universe that seems like he wants to do anything heroic.
I won’t go into a full review, as there is already one on this website, and anyone who follows me or Courtney on Facebook/Instagram/whatever probably already has heard our problems, but instead let me encapsulate the major flaw. No one had the patience to introduce these characters properly, and in doing so made the Justice League a bunch of uncaring assholes for sake of getting as many super-heroes on film prior to the Justice League movie.
This film was very much a response to Disney’s success with the Marvel brand. As much as Snyder and the Warner Bros execs want to pretend they are not copying Disney’s formula they very much are, just badly. They left money on the table being too timid to take chances on building franchises on lower-tier characters however Disney was able to turn a profit on a film about a guy who shrinks the size of an ant.
Fox’s Deadpool has made just as much money domestically as BvS, with a smaller budget of $57 million opposed to Warner Bros budget of over $250 million, plus advertising.. Despite the film taking over two years to get made, much of it feels rushed and disjointed, despite the original cut being over four hours long, the truncated two and half hours of what adds up to putting 4 distinct comic book timelines in a blender and hitting puree.
The rush for release was also in response to Disney’s Captain America: Civil War. (Which I am willing to eat crow, because a year ago I said they’d never do Civil War, but much like Age of Ultron it seems to be more in name only and not tied to that ridiculous Mark Millar storyline.)
Disney won the release date war, Warners moved up their super-powered beat down film by a month, hoping that it’s franchise juggernaut could slow Disney’s runaway train of blockbusters. But with the meta critic scale showing Civil War’s handling of an overstuffed cast was done more deftly than WB’s does not show “studio bias” as so many in fan press like to claim but a “bias for decent storytelling”. It’s often said, that any time one adapts a large story to the slapdash ADHD world of TV and film, often times nuance gets lost because they want to move from ‘big shot’ to ‘big shot’. Much like in the early 90s Image Comics that were chock full of pretty pin up pages but very little narrative that leaves them scarcely remembered outside of nostalgic whimsy of the allowance money spent on their potential during our more innocent days.
While time will see, when it’s released in a few weeks on May 6th if the film has legs where BvS did not but with the positive reaction going into the film and the excitement for what will come after it’s hard not to see that Disney will cement itself as the studio of the “Summer blockbuster”. The studio understands, just like the comics it adapts, it’s not enough to have a pretty package but you have to be emotionally invested in who these characters are and why they do what they do. That’s what keeps you coming back.
Recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live ,we were treated to the Doctor Strange teaser trailer, staring Benedict Cumberbatch (spellcheck’s worst nightmare) headlining an all star cast of heavyweights. As I am wont to do, after these film trailers are released (BvS, Civil War, Dr. Strange) I like checking out the YouTube reactions. The reactions, while understandably confused in giving credit to people like Chris Nolan , for the types of storytelling tropes comic books have been doing for decades before he picked up a camera, largely the response is “I don’t know much about Doctor Strange but I look forward to learning more about him.” and that is the key. Making people care enough to be invested. Creating fans that in turn become repeat customers.
When you have brand like DC or Marvel, or Star Wars or Star Trek, the point is to connect with the audience and take their imaginations on a wild ride so the next time they see something come from your production even if it’s a little weird (ie: Guardians Of The Galaxy or Ant-man) they are more willing to give it a chance as “they haven’t steered me wrong yet!” Which is a metric I feel WB has failed to achieve. They have a chance to get people back with the upcoming Suicide Squad, but they also run the risk of their villains becoming more heroic than their heroes.
So there you have it another peek into the minds of the Internets greatest celebrities, Danny and Courtney (funny, no one really cares who we are but they care about what we have to say.) If we don’t destroy the fabric of space time with our opinions again we shall be back next week with more stuff and thangs.