Daredevil (2015) Ep. 2: Cut Man

Battlin' Jack Murdock 2An important difference between the portrayal of Daredevil and most other superheroes is that he’s human–a well-trained, durable human with a radar sense and enhanced hearing–but all too human nonetheless.

Which is why ‘Cut Man’ begins with him in a dumpster, after a fight with opponents we never actually see.

The story goes into Matt’s relationship with his father, and draws parallels between it and what drives him to do what he does as Daredevil.

A “cut man,” the title of the episode, is someone who patches up boxers during a fight, a role that Matt often played for his father, who would come from his fights bloodied.  His father, “Battlin'” Jack Murdock, was in a sense a professional punching bag in that he was paid to throw more matches than to win.  He’s fighting Carl “Crusher” Creel, who will be later known as the Absorbing Man (He’s already made an appearance on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

This episode also serves to introduce Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), who’s in a sense is a “cut man” as well in that she’s based on the Marvel character known as Night Nurse, who’s takes care of physical injury-related problems for superpowered-types.

This episode is less Daredevil-centric than Into The Cut, and spends a bit of time exploring the lives of Karen Page (Deborah Ann Wohl) and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson).

What’s also interesting is that, despite being accustomed to Daredevil’s red costume, the makeshift black one really works.  It makes sense and I find that I am not even missing the red one (which is good since it hasn’t shown a sign of appearing)–though I am curious as to how he comes by it.

The physicality of Charlie Cox’s interpretation of the character is particularly fascinating in that he really gets across the idea that what makes Daredevil so dangerous is less than his physical ability–though he’s an impressive fighter–than that fact that virtually no matter what you do to him, he won’t stop.

And in an impressive fight scene, vaguely reminiscent of Chan wook-Park’s Oldboy, you really see what I mean (when he hits someone in the head with a microwave is a particularly high point).


The Ugly Side Of Fandom

If you’ve seen videos of cosplay or the various ‘Cons’ the first thing you notice is that they feature all sorts of quirky, colorful (and often brilliant) costumes, which is why it’s understandable if you thought that that was what comic geek culture was all about (besides costumes and the–virtual–worship of certain movies and comic characters).

And for the most part, you’d be right, though there are instances when a comic character that began “life” as a white person, and is reinterpreted as a person of color in the movies (Oddly, when a male character was reinterpreted as female, in the case of 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica, when Starbuck was underwent gender reassignment, fans only offered token resistance while most were relatively sanguine about it) when you often see the ugly side of fandom.

Before I begin, you’ll noticed that I deliberately don’t use the term “race” because, besides being a misnomer, it has always bothered me because white people are genetically identical to black people, yellow people, beige people, and so on.

I bring this up because the reaction to John Boyega, dressed as a stormtrooper in the beginning of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, has been pretty distressing for some members of the fan community.

Comic book fans tend to be sticklers for detail, which to a degree I can understand. If someone has been following a character for the better part of their lives, it probably feels amazing to see the character on the big screen; till that is, they see that the character has been interpreted in a manner opposite to what they have known and anticipated.

That being said, it feels that whenever an actor of color is cast in a prominent role in a comic book movie, some in the fan community lose all sense of propriety, and logic goes out the window.

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The Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer – Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Edition

Kevin Feige, you cheeky bastard.  It appears that you pulled a fast one.  When the trailer for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron was leaked prior to it appearing on Marvel’s Agent’s Of S.H.I.E.L.D. I assumed that that was the end of this story.  Sure, Marvel Studios handed things pretty gracefully, but I thought it was time to move on.

How wrong I was.

The trailer that was released during S.H.I.E.L.D. is quite similar to the leaked trailer, but not the same, and as anyone knows, the Devil is in the details.  The fist, and most noticeable difference is that there’s an extended party scene (which the first trailer only touches upon), where Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr) and Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle) attempt to lift Thor’s hammer.Tony and Rhody Attempt to lift Thor's hammer

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) doesn’t bother, because she knows that boys will be boys.

Though things get interesting with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), otherwise known as Captain America, tries.

Thor's expression

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) appears mildly concerned, especially since he knows that one has to be deemed worthy by the magics that permeate the hammer to lift it, and who’s worthier than Captain America?

From that point on, the trailer mostly follows similar beats as the first one, though there are small differences.

Such as the image below of Black Widow staring at something…

Black Widow staring

Which was followed by this image of the Chituari scepter from 2013’s The Avengers (and what we learn give the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver their abilities from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Ctharia weaponCombined with earlier scenes of Captian America breaking into a castle, I believe that they show his his search for the origins of Winter Soldier, and that he finds the hideout of Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann).

Though there’s an image that appears in both versions that I am very curious about, which is of an attractively-lit room that’s serving as a ballet studio, though why is it in the trailer?  Did Joss Whedon (who may not have cut it) want to add a scene of beauty to contrast all the larger-than-life heroics that proceeded it?

Ballet Dancers

Maybe, but I doubt it because it’s too obvious.  I suspect that the dancers may have something to do with the Scarlet Witch, if only because it’s not exactly the style of Black Widow or Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

Steven DeKnight On ‘Daredevil’

I found this interview with Steven DeKnight, the showrunner for Netfilix’s upcoming series based on Marvel’s Daredevil, on Superherohype.  He actually give very little away, but does say that the series takes place in the 1970’s and that Vincent D’Onofrio is a really scary Kingpin.

He also mentions that things are going really well, though I suspect that he could be making the next Heaven’s Gate, and he would probably say the same thing.

Has Marvel Found Its Punisher?

Punisher skullWith Marvel Studios’ Guardians Of The Galaxy coming August 1st, there’s a lot of speculation as to what other characters they will bring to the big screen.

That combined with Marvel being interested in working with Aaron Eckhart on an unnamed project, I wonder if it’s a relaunch of the Punisher.  It’s important to notice that the article was written 11 months ago, before Marvel had regained the rights to the character.

There were three movies based on him, with Dolph Lundgren in 1989, Thomas Jane in 2004 (who also starred in a short film, The Punisher: Dirty Laundry in 2012) and most recently, Ray Stevenson in Punisher: War Zone in 2008).

Lundgren’s portrayal was actually pretty decent, but also tends to be the most maligned in terms of public perception (it didn’t help that he lacked certain characteristics that the Punisher is known for, like the skull insignia on his chest).

Aaron Eckhart certainly has the physical chops for the role, so if that’s Marvel’s plan, he’d be great for it.  Another important point to mention is that there are numerous fan films based on the Punisher, two of which I featured here.

They’re a tribute to the popularity and longevity of the character, and I hope that Marvel can see that people want to see more of Frank Castle.

The Punisher: Dead Of Night

The Punisher: No Mercy



‘Dracula Untold’ Trailer

I have to admit that when I heard of the central idea behind Gary Shore‘s Dracula Untold–essentially the story of Vlad Tepes before he became Dracula–the first thing that crossed my mind was:  “Who cares?  People don’t watch Dracula movies for what he was before he became a vampire!”

Then again, Vlad Tepes isn’t just anyone.  What we know historically about the man is arguably as interesting as anything in Bram Stoker‘s novel, Dracula.  He was supposed to be a warrior of remarkable, in fact legendary, brutality and cruelty–impaling enemies on stakes was a particular favorite–and he was supposedly without mercy.

Dracula Untold appears to take a similar tact as Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Dracula, namely treating the character as more of an anti-hero than an outright villain.

By the way, doesn’t Luke Evans look just like Doctor Strange?  Scott Derrickson‘s Marvel Studios movie hasn’t been cast yet (as far as I am aware) but he’s the splitting image of the character from the comics.

‘Big Hero 6’ Teaser Trailer

Sunfire & Big Hero Six For the first time Pixar is taking on a Marvel property.  Big Hero 6 is a superhero team that–at least in the comics–has ties to Marvel’s X-Men.  In fact, the comic where they first appeared was called “Sunfire & Big Hero 6.”

Sunfire being a mutant from the X-Men comics.

And seeing that connection and the fact that mutants, like Sunfire and the X-Men, are licensed to Twenty-First Century Fox it implies that the contacts are either a bit labyrinthine (or convoluted, depending upon how you look at such things) and you can never be too certain which characters licensees can or cannot use.

And after watching the trailer you can tell that they’re taking a few liberties with the material, though I like what I see because it’s a really amusing trailer.