Netflix A-Z & TV Binge: Daredevil [Season 1, 2015]

Sorry for the lack of Netflix A-Z this week.  I was trying so hard to find time to watch Daredevil and it just ended up being put later.  I had wanted to review Danny Collins but I didn’t really feel like watching that and everyone has been raving about how great Daredevil is.  I had started it a month or two ago and fell asleep (because of fatigue) but never got back into it.  What’s a better time, right? Perfect timing, really because I’m hearing that Daredevil and Jessica Jones are just a part of a bigger series in the making by Netflix called The Defenders.  I wonder how that is going to work out or if even the superhero-verse will not out-do itself by then. Still, this deserves a fair shot. I mean, 98% on Rotten Tomatoes?

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Daredevil [Season 1]

daredevil

Creator: Drew Goddard
Cast: Charlie Cox, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Vincent D’Onofrio, Toby Leonard Moore, Rosario Dawson, Bob Gunton, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Wai Ching Ho, Peter Shinkoda

A blind lawyer, with his other senses superhumanly enhanced, fights crime as a costumed superhero.- IMDB

Marvel’s Daredevil is onto something good.  I promise you that.  However, I must disagree with the 98% Rotten Tomatoes score. There are much better shows out there that haven’t even merited that score.  Daredevil is full of great characters and the story is good.  It gives us a good idea of who Matthew Murdock is and why he chooses to become “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen”. There’s a lot of character building for his character.  I guess the best place to start is that Matthew Murdock looked so familiar to me and then I learned he is Charlie Cox.  What does that mean? He is the romantic guy in Stardust.  Wow! That guy to Daredevil? Its quite the transformation. I applaud him for a job well done. His character is well put together.  We get his back story from his father, growing up, his mentor, discovering his gifts and just why he became this masked vigilante in the shadows trying to save Hell’s Kitchen from what he can’t do in his day job in the courtrooms.

daredevil

Except any series isn’t complete without the supporting characters,  lets start with Murdock’s best friend, Foggy and office assistant, Karen played by Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll respectively.  First of all, I’m pretty happy that Deborah Ann Woll is getting a more substantial role with a lot more character development.  I liked her in True Blood but playing something like this hasn’t exactly reached depth but her character has truly grown with the events that have gone down in Hell’s Kitchen.  She’s no longer the scared girl at the beginning of the series caught up as a victim. However, on a much more feel-good level, Foggy is a great character.  The bromance between Matt and Foggy is a huge focus, especially near the end of Season 1.  They are quite awesome together, just like scenes with Karen and Foggy are also really great.  One of things that comes into focus is that Matt seems to forget about his friends because of the bigger issue he is focusing on but there is a change when it starts to show a bond growing between him and Karen also.

daredevil

 In any superhero sort of movie, its excellence grows from its villain.  Many times, I don’t appreciate certain movies because the villain did not live up to be the threat that they should have been. In this one, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen’s foe is Wilson Fisk.  The series takes a long time to build on who Fisk is and what he wants to achieve.  We even get a chance to see that he is human, that maybe he is looking for something, maybe even something noble just not in the right way.  Yet, something about Fisk is off and there is some imbalance and discomfort about his character.  Maybe its his awkwardness in his voice or his interaction with others.  Maybe its not knowing what other secrets he holds and who his secret organization is and what its all about.  Whatever it is, the onion is peeled open bit by bit.  Wilson Fisk, played by Vincent D’Onofrio is built so well as a character and a villain.  There were times I’d kind of sympathize for him and then he’d make me change my mind to really hating him.  It was a really good casting choice.

Daredevil

On the terms of supporting cast in smaller roles, one of the most compelling goes out to Fisk’s assistant, Wesley.  He would go “Hmm” frequently and then be like the master of tactics, pulling strings and playing the cards in the open, covering for Fisk in the shadows.  Toby Leonard Moore plays this role and I can’t recall seeing him anywhere else.  There’s always a tension and I kept thinking that there was something else floating around in his brain, wondering what he’d surprise us with next.  Aside from him, in very much a cameo is an older character that was only for one episode but such a compelling character called Stick, played by Scott Glenn.  That’s not to mention the masterful and cunning role played by Wai Ching Ho as Madame Gao.

daredevil There are many, many things done right for Daredevil.  Yet, I can’t say that I’d give it such a high score that Rotten Tomatoes did.  Its really that I didn’t enjoy the pacing.  I can understanding building the characters and giving it layers, increasing the thrills and tension, improving and breaking relationships.  All that is present here.  However, what we got in the whole 13 episodes was questions after questions, deaths and people caught in crossfire and then more questions and it was a cycle of building on whatever was before.  There was no resolve.  Madame Gao came up with a sort of twist and some profound bit about whatever we saw isn’t the end goal; there was a hint of someone bigger being behind all this; and yet, still more questions.  Sure, the ending kind of wraps up the story of the 13 episodes fighting the big bad villain, aka Wilson Fisk but this is no resolve or even hints of what is the further mystery.  My point is that if you weren’t going to build on it more, why show it in the first place, right?  I guess I can and should be more forgiving because TV series should give the audience to watch the next season but its just really in my face.  There are so many questions that remain unsolved that I feel like the season shouldn’t have ended with that many loose ends, or maybe its for those that know the source material (which I don’t).  Whatever it is, something is missing when the season wrapped up.  I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, because I did and I thoroughly thought that finale was great and the characters were great, but at the same time, even TV series need to be a little more self-contained sometimes.

Have you seen Daredevil Season 1? What are your thoughts on it? Am I missing something? 

For the next selection, E..it should be fairly easy as there is limited choices for 2015 releases. Any guesses?

Advertisements

Jurassic World (2015)

Its taken me a LONG time to get back to the theatres.  I missed Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2 and Tomorrowland. But, I absolute was NOT going to miss out on Jurassic World because it just looks fantastic.  I love dinosaurs and Jurassic Park is an awesome movie that just transcends time.  I can enjoy the trilogy well enough but Chris Pratt has been a promising actor and the dinosaurs in the trailer looks fantastic so this one is just a must-see on my list for summer blockbusters. I’m hoping it’ll meet my expectations. I don’t expect for it to rise above Jurassic Park but I do hope it will be a great popcorn flick/summer blockbuster.

By the way, do you guys have TimePlay? I finally got 1st for this time! Yay! 🙂

Let’s check it out!!

Jurassic World (2015)

jurassic world

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, BD Wong

Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitors’ interest, which backfires horribly. – IMDB

Jurassic World

 Jurassic World is an immersive summer blockbuster experience full of entertaining and intense sequences.  The story itself isn’t very unique and can sometimes be predictable in how the plot flows however, it can be overseen by the quality of the visuals and just the environment this fictional revival of Isla Nublar has brought.   What I truly enjoyed was that the story was paced perfectly to generally understand our characters and their nature and motives along with the management and essence of what Jurassic World is based on. The structure will seem very similar to the first Jurassic Park but just on a bigger, badder and meaner scale especially with the introduction of the giant sea dinosaur (that I can’t remember the name of) and the whole genetically modified mysterious one named Indominus Rex (I think that’s how you spell it).  Still, Jurassic World is a fun world.  When the movie entered into the park, I felt like the first time I was watching Jurassic Park.  Just feeling mesmerized and completely in awe with where this is, even if you know things are going to go bad really quick.

Jurassic World

How I see Jurassic World is a bit like a two part thing.  On one hand, the first part is pretty much showing us around Jurassic World and whats happening in front and behind the scenes on both fronts.  There are some mysteries and then some more tense moments, some exciting and fun ones depending on whether we’re looking at the grown-ups and their dinosaur “training” and the facilities or whether its the kids here, Zach and Gray as they explore the park.  The second half is pure intense. Once the our feature dinosaur is loose and its a salvage/protect/escape plot, its full one hold your breath exciting, entertaining, immersive fun summer blockbuster.  Its been a while I haven’t felt so into a movie.  One of the parts actually made me yelp out loud because I was so nervous, totally knowing that the character would be safe but buying into that situation completely.  Thats what a movie needs to do for me, especially a summer blockbuster.  Its really as simple as that.  I didn’t expect it to be perfect and I’m sure the majority of us would not expect that it would rise above the original because Jurassic Park holds a place in our hearts (if you’re a fan) but this one was one fun ride.  Plus, they gave it a few jokes/witty remarks here and there to help ease the intensity here and there and it works really well with the story.

Jurassic World

 I’ve raved on about the movie for pretty much two paragraphs but I think one of the most impressive parts is realizing how Chris Pratt has grown as an actor.  He has found a sort of movie that works for him: action-adventure definitely works because he can pull off the action and he can pull off the witty remarks to create a balance.  His character in this one was great and I enjoyed a good bunch of it.  The charisma the brings to the screen (something I never thought I’d say) is just fantastic.

Aside from him, I always get a little worried when I see kids in these sorts of movies.  Why? Because kids make dumb decisions or they are incredibly annoying and whiny.  These kids are actually pretty decent and smart.  While the older brother Zach doesn’t seem really into this thing and he doesn’t care much in the beginning, the bond between him and his younger brother is an angle of character development that I liked.  That always helps 🙂

While I’m talking about characters, I really liked the supporting characters here from Jake Johnson to Vincent D’Onofrio and Omar Sy.  I’m only naming a few roles that I felt did well.

Jurassic World

Overall, Jurassic World is a fantastic summer blockbuster. Sure, it has a few predictable plot flaws but the story itself is paced really well.  Two hours in that theatre doesn’t feel that way because there is constant action and adventure.  The dinosaurs and the Jurassic World park itself is mesmerizing and visually appealing.  Its not going to rise above Jurassic Park, just as I expected, but it doesn’t need to.  However, what it does deserve is a round of applause for working hard to incorporate and remain respectful to Jurassic Park from memorable scenes to some of the gear from the old park.  With a compelling leads to complement everything, Jurassic World is definitely a summer blockbuster you should try to catch in theatres! 🙂

Have you seen Jurassic World? Are you a fan of the Jurassic Park franchise? What do you think of Chris Pratt as an actor?