Jessica Jones-A-Thon: AKA Ladies Night

Welcome, True Believers to the commentary on the first episode of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

The first thing I noticed was that Jessica Jones is a co-production between Marvel Television and Netflix, which I don’t recall during Daredevil’s credits.

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The second is the music, by Sean Callery, gives the series a very noir feel and is vaguely reminiscent of the soundtrack of Anatomy Of A Murder by Duke Ellington (in terms of feel).

Which is a HUGE complement.

Supposedly Kristen Ritter was in Breaking Bad, though I don’t recall her, though here she’s unforgettable.

Ritter brings a vulnerability, a brokenness to the role that she hides behind a facade of arrogance and cockiness.

Though she’s afraid–and with good reason– because she’s faced Kilgrave before, and knows what he can do.  Sight unseen, he haunts her, which she drinks to deal with.

It’s worth mentioning that Marvel Studios features are often criticized on the strength of their villains.  While some of it is justified, a lot of it is just hyperbole.

That being said, there are few villains that approach the creepiness and subtlety of Kilgrave (David Tennant).

He hasn’t even been properly introduced, but the menace and ruthlessness he exudes through the lives he’s touched is devastating.


Hemlock Grove: The Final Chapter – Official Trailer

On the whole, I enjoyed the first two seasons of Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, but with caveats: the biggest being that it was at times hard to identity the creatures that were involved–and when your series is about monsters, human and otherwise, this is not a minor thing.

For instance, what the hell was Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen)?  Her son was apparently a vampire, though she was something other.  And now that I am speculating, what was it with Dr. Johann Price (Joel de la Fuente)?  I recall he had some sort of disorder that increased his strength (or he couldn’t feel pain, something like that) but he seemed creepy-strong and way too in-tune with all the weirdness that was going on around him.

And that lizard-thing at the end of the second season?  It was cool in the sense that it was totally unexpected, though I couldn’t make heads or tales why it was.

That's gotta hurt!

That’s gotta hurt!

Though the werewolves?  And The Company Of Wolves-style transformation?  That I liked.

Jessica Jones Teaser Trailer – “All In A Day’s Work”

Despite being an avid comic reader, prior to Netflix’s Jessica Jones I barely knew anything about the character.  I still don’t but I like the way–if the teasers are any indication–where it’s going.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller, Guardians Of The Galaxy was Marvel’s interpretation of a space opera. Daredevil (Netflix’s version) was Mean Streets or Serpico, with superheroes.

Jessica Jones?  I have no idea what Marvel is going for, but I get the feeling that they’re going for a Fatal Attraction-sort of vibe, but who knows?

Thought I really want to find out.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones – Teaser Trailer #4

People, typically idiots with something to prove, like to talk about how things are equal between mean and women.  We all know that it’s nonsense, though what’s particularly galling is that the people from whom the suggestion emanate do as well.

What does that have to do with the latest Jessica Jones teaser trailer?  Relatively little except I was reading the forums of a certain superhero website, where someone commented on the lack of vehicular traffic, which I assume was meant as some sort of problem with the trailer.

Or something equally as silly.

And sure, there’s no traffic.  Then again, the trailer was never meant to realistically represent traffic patterns in Hell’s Kitchen.  And you know what?  I’d have less of a problem with the commenter said if it weren’t for the fact that the teasers for Marvel’s Daredevil were done in a similar fashion, though in that particular instance there happened to be two cars.

Daredevil Teaser Trailer Scene

Two vehicles. Hardly typical for a New York Street.

Two cars.  Hardly typical of a New York street at virtually anytime, though for whatever reason the dearth of traffic in this instance went seemingly unnoticed, yet now it’s an issue worth commenting upon?

The Beast Of XMoor – Review


Luke Hyams’ (no relation to Peter HyamsThe Beast of XMoor (X Moor) at first glance reminded me of Daniel Nettheim’s far superior The Hunter, which also revolves around the hunt for a cryptid (according to Wikipedia, an animal or plant who’s existence had been suggested but not discovered by the scientific community).

In the case of Nettheim’s movie the animal in question was a Tasmanian Wolf–which actually may still exist–while The Beast of XMoor‘s seek some sort of panther they suspect is hiding out on the moors.

The most immediate problem with the movie is that it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be.  It begins as a search for an a cryptid, then makes a Wrong Turn, with two very rapey Scottish folk, then turns to a confusing serial killer story.

What’s worse–if that were possible–is that the killer is less a threat to the aspiring cryptozoologists than they are to each other.

The Beast of XMoor isn’t a terrible movie, it’s just very unfocused.  If it were just about a cryptid–an interesting subject in and of itself–then it would have probably been a much better movie.

If the director had jettisoned the whole cryptid storyline, and instead made a movie about a serial killer, then it might have been a much better movie.

Or if the cryptid and serial killer storyline were abandoned, and instead the story revolved about a bunch of mad Scots, then it would have probably been much better movie.

But all three?  It’s a bit too much.

Brave the moors of X Moor via Netflix, because otherwise there are too many ways to die.

Why Superhero Fatigue Is Nonsense (With Zombies!)

Superhero fatigue” seems all the rage among some, but it’s a dubious concept at best, and easily disproven.  Reason being, if superhero fatigue were a thing, it would have been proceeded by ‘zombie fatigue.’

Look at the 2013’s World War Z, the Brad Pitt-starrer that was for awhile looking like the Fantastic Four of its time.

Except that it wasn’t, and despite a $190 million budget it went on to earn over $500 million and spawn a sequel.  And zombies haven’t only been successful in movies.

And speaking of zombies, whether or not they shamble (as God and Romero intended) or run despite the fact that their muscles should have atrophied as much as their bodies have, they clearly aren’t going anywhere.

AMC’s The Walking Dead has not only spawned a spinoff, Fear The WalkIng Dead, but the show continues to be a ratings behemoth for the cable network.

And for the life of me, I don’t quite understand it.  Where I used to work I was the first person to sing its praises (I didn’t have cable, so I purchased the first season via iTunes) and introduced it to anyone that would listen.  The fifth season has recently turned up on Netflix, and I have been watching that too, and its pretty good.

Though what it’s also, is relatively one-note in that while the cast may change, very little about the series itself does.  Not really,

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The scene above, from season 5, episode 10, Them possessed a bit of gallows humor the series sorely misses on a regular basis.

Though there are relatively rare instances when it rises above its humble origins, like in the picture above, though that’s the exception because, except in relatively rare situations, the series refuses to embrace the absurdity of the situation.  It’s as if the writers and directors have a mandate (like the one DC Entertainment supposedly has toward humor), and that mandate is that things will be as grim, as relentlessly bleak, as possible.

And I understand that.  After all, the series exists in a world were dying isn’t quite what it used to be.  The thing is, what the series misses–a lot–is that there’s humor to be found in the bleakest situations.

So, The Walking Dead has lasted over six seasons and shows no sign of slowing down and consistently remains one of the highest rated shows on television, while also being, sometimes literally, a pretty grim slog.

So if a series as repetitive–though admittedly enjoyable (in a end-of-the-world hopeless kind of way) as The Walking Dead–can not only grow, but thrive, then I expect that superheroes, be they in movies or on television, will as well.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones – Teaser Trailer

The latest teaser trailer for Marvel’s Jessica Jones is perhaps one of the best trailers I have seen–for anything–in a long while.

And while some might think that that’s hyperbole, take a look at it, and you’ll see what i mean.  So much information about Jones is given in a very short span of time, which is impressive.  You can tell that she lives in a small apartment, she’s flirting with alcoholism, is a bit of slob, has a problem with rules (no one sets their alarm at 9AM when there’s no pressing need to do so) has superpowers, and parties pretty hard.

All of that just from a camera panning across her room for a few seconds.

I have seen whole television series that have had less character development.