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Iron Fist, Season Two – Review

I binged–a word I have every intention of continuing the use of–the second season of Marvel’s Iron Fist last week and it was…okay.

It course-corrects from first season, which seemed to spend as much time with Joy and Ward Meechum (Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey) as it did with Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Finn Jones).

One issue that remains–perhaps the most pressing the problems–is the approach to the entire series (one shared with Marvel’s Luke Cage, it’s worth mentioning) in that it keeps doubling down on the realism, when they should be leaning into the more fantastical elements of both characters.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Here’s the trailer for The Five Deadly Venoms which I include because this is the sort of action that should inspire Marvel’s Iron Fist.

And sure, it’s a bit over the top, but that’s the point. It should be! We’re talking about people with abilities beyond those of mortal men.

The filmmakers shouldn’t be be afraid to lean into that (and sure, such an approach would likely facilitate greater use of stunt people, but I think it would be worth it).

Not-So-Bright Mistake?

I just finished watching Bright on Netflix, and it was okay (review forthcoming) though a few minutes prior I noticed an email from studioADI (the guys who supposedly–a word I use because I wasn’t there, and have no idea of what went on one way or the other–did a lot of the practical effects on the movie) saying that their entire crew was left out of the credits!

And that’s really, really odd and something I’ve never heard of happening before.

Colony, Ep. 1 – Review

Screenshot 2015-12-23 21.34.30.pngWhen we first meet Will Bowman (Josh Halloway) he’s preparing breakfast–or at least attempting to–for his family, that consists of his wife Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies, most recently of The Walking Dead) and three children, before he heads out to work.

Though one of his sons is missing, and Will is doing all he can to put on a brave face for his family.

The feeling that things aren’t quite right not only with the Bowman family, but the world they live in, permeates Colony.  People barter for the most basic goods and Los Angeles is under martial law, and is surrounded by a huge wall evocative of John Carpenter’s underrated Escape From L.A.

And if that weren’t bad enough, order is maintained by a mysterious black-suited military force of unknown origin.

The how’s and why’s are revealed grudgingly so, while there isn’t yet enough information to understand what’s happened and why things are as they are, it adds an extra level of interest beyond people making do the  best they can in what amounts to a police state.

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Carlton Cuse, the prolific producer of The Strain and Lost, has created a future that visually resembles our own (though the technology in some instances is a bit more advanced) but with the addition of an unknown threat that has turned the place where dreams are made into a nightmare.

Colony premiers January 14 on USA.

Jessica Jones-A-Thon: AKA Smile

“You don’t scare me.  You’re not my first.”

-Clare Temple to Jessica Jones

Last episode we witnessed why they call Luke Cage, Power Man.  And if anyone deserves the title, it’s him because strength-wise he’s in Captain America territory (though I don’t think Cage would beat him in a fight because Cap is too well-versed in various combat techniques.  Cage’s strength and steel-tough skin can only go so far).

We’ve arrived at the last episode of the first season and Cage is being taken to the hospital after Jessica did the only thing she could to stop his Kilgrave-fueled rampage.

And Clare Temple (Rosario Dawson) makes an appearance!  If Matt Murdock or Foggy Nelson turn up I might splooge all over the monitor (apologies in advance for that last one).

The title, AKA Smile comes from (possibly?) Kilgrave’s last request of Jessica.

Jessica Jones-A-Thon: AKA Take A Bloody Number

 

 

Jessica makes peace with Luke Cage, after he learns that Kilgrave isn’t a figment of her imagination.  We also get a little more information as to how Jones got her abilities.

And speaking of Cage, The more they show of him and his abilities, the more I want to see Iron Fist because as individuals they’re cool, though as a team they’re awesome.

I also don’t see how they can’t at least introduce Danny Rand during Cage’s own series (which is currently in production) because they are best friends and there’s groundwork to be laid if his appearance in his own series is to sync up with Cage’s.

The way Kilgrave gets people to kill themselves grows in grisliness (some vaguely remind me of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, except scary).

Kilgrave is also attempting to boost his abilities, because Jessica is no longer under his sway.

The title, AKA Take A Bloody Number refers to the second thing Kilgrave told Luke Cage when he met him.

Jessica Jones-A-Thon: AKA 1,000 Cuts

Screenshot 2015-11-21 00.21.20I think I finally get it.  If you’ve seen the episode of The Twilight Zone, It’s a Good Life you know Kilgrave–despite the fact that it aired 50 or so years prior.

That story revolved around a little boy who had the ability to manifest anything that he desired.  The adults around him were so cowed by his abilities that they did whatever he asked to told them to, for fear of being banished to the corn field (a place where all the horrors he created eventually ended up).

Kilgrave is exactly the same in that he has a a god-like ability to command with a word, yet due to a brutal upbringing, and the realization that he could have anything he wanted with just a word,  he never gained the wisdom, the discretion or the self-control to use his abilities in anything but a selfish manner.

He’s a child in the body of an adult, with the power to command the world with a word.

Jessica’s plan to force a confession from Kilgrave goes horribly awry, and he compels Jeryn to drive him to a doctor.

We also learn that his abilities are viral, due to the experiment his parents were doing on him.  He emits viral particles, which enables him to control people.

The title AKA 1,000 Cuts refers to comment made by Wendy (Robin Weigert) about Jeryn (as well as a really terrible way to die).

This episode is BRUTAL.  You’ve been warned.

Jessica Jones-A-Thon: AKA Sin Bin

“I wish that I had a Mother of the Year award, so I could bludgeon you with it.”

-Jessica Jones

Now that’s some snappy writing!

Welcome to what is likely the culminating day of the Screenphiles Jessica Jones-A-Thon!  We’re currently on the ninth episode of a thirteen episode 1st season.

Jessica has Kilgrave trapped, and tries to get a confession from him, while Trish tries to get Will to the hospital.  And speaking of Will, there’s more to this guy than meets the eye.  I don’t know if he has an analogue in the Marvel Universe, but I get the feeling that he’s someone I ought to know.

They’re also implying that something other than Kilgrave’s voice is the source of his abilities, mainly because he can’t influence anyone over a microphone–so he can’t call you and compel you to do something–which implies that they are very much sticking to the comics (which make pheromones the source of his abilities).

Whether or not Kilgrave was born bad or learned, he is what he is, a monster without remorse or regret:  a sociopath with the ability to make whatever he wasn’t reality just by saying it.

The title AKA Sin Bin refers a childhood hero of Kilgrave’s.

 

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