Benz Eye View: Iron Fist

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Iron Fist

Pros: 

1.) I do appreciate the references on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (particularly the Marvel Netflix Series).  It reminds me that this takes place in world with Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Man, etc.  It is a nice touch (especially since returning characters like Claire Temple and Jeri Hogarth are in this series).

2.) Um…the last few episodes are tolerable.  That is just fine…

 

Cons: 

1.) …Unfortunately, I cannot really say the same thing to the series as a whole.  Where do I begin?  Let’s start with the characters: None of them are compelling.  Either I have seen these characters before, or they are not interesting enough for me to care.  There are moments when I start caring, but they are brief and get replaced by something stupid.  The only characters I actually truly care are the returning characters from previous Marvel Netflix series like Claire Temple or Jeri Hogarth.

2.) This series is excruciatingly slow.  If you want to see plenty of action, or a mixture of dialogue scenes and action scenes, you are going to be very disappointed.  There is more talk than action, and it is written poorly.  It would be fine if the characters are not stale, and some of the events are at least slightly unpredictable.  Not to mention since Danny Rand keeps mentioning K’un-Lun so much, I rather watch the series that takes place in that ancient city instead of New York.

3.) Let’s talk about the Iron Fist himself: Danny Rand played by Finn Jones.  You would think that since this is his own series, he would stand out more than any of the characters in a good way.  Not true in this case.  Before I explain, I like to explain the casting controversy.  Many people were not happy that Iron Fist was going to be played by a white actor instead of an Asian actor.  Two things I like to say about that.  First, Iron Fist is white in the comics, so they are just following the source material.  Second, as an Asian person myself, I really do not care.  He could have been played by a black actor for all I care as long as he performs well.  In this case, Finn Jones is probably the worst actor in the series.  In certain cases, I can tell he is trying, but his acting conviction seems to be lacking in many scenes, especially when he tries to look sad and angry, but he ends up looking like he needs to go to the bathroom.  Ironically, there is a minor villain played by an Asian actor that performed pretty well in his role, and he actually auditioned to play the Iron Fist.  I prefer him over Finn Jones any day.  As for the character, you might as well call him Batman or Iron Man except he only has kung-fu powers, and he is kind of stupid.  And if I hear him say “Because I am the Iron Fist” one more time, I will call Jackie Chan and ask him to show Iron Fist how a true martial artist works.

 

Overall: 

While Marvel is busy with their cinematic movies, they also have created their own TV series.  In the case of Netflix, they created four series to eventually coincide in a crossover series called The Defenders.  Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage are all great in their own ways, and now we have the last Defender in this new Marvel Netflix series: Iron Fist.  Does this new series punches hard in the right place to earn its place alongside the other Marvel Netflix series?  Unfortunately, I have to say that this series is one big blunder.  I feel like they were obligated to make this series so they can finally have that Defenders crossover.  This series is so bad that there are more cons that I can talk about here.  The series can be preachy, there are plenty of poor fight coordination, annoying repetition, and moments that are built up well with poor execution.  The series is not completely terrible since there are moments where I actually started to care what is happening, especially in the last few episodes.  The only reason I would recommend this show is to prepare for the upcoming Defenders series.  Otherwise, watch the other Marvel Netflix series or even Agents of SHIELD.  For the Iron Fist, its fist ends up with a serious damaging bruise.

Pass

 

Benz Eye View: Luke Cage

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Luke Cage

Pros: 

1.) Luke Cage has invulnerable skin, correct?  So I wondered, “How are they going to make a conflict on a character with that ability?”  Turns out, they found a way.  Give him legitimate and well-written emotional conflicts.  He may be bulletproof, but that does not mean he is invulnerable to emotions.  Not to mention that his friends do not have those powers, so that gives him a bigger reason why ends up being a hero in this series.

2.) Speaking of Luke Cage, the characters throughout the entire series are well-written and interesting.  Added to the fact that they all acted very well, they all have purpose on what happens to each other, and at Harlem.  Even Claire Temple from Daredevil and Jessica Jones fits well in this series.

3.) Speaking of Harlem, they surely got the atmosphere and setting of the series well enough.  They mention so much black and Harlem culture, it feels like I entered a new world, and enjoyed the good and bad people in it (even if I do not understand some of the people that they are talking about).

 

Cons: 

1.) This is a minor con, so it is not that bad.  I understand why Luke Cage is not exactly happy with his life all the time, but that can go on for so long.  I am a bit tired of him complaining that his powers are a curse or something.  I get why you are unhappy, but you need to lighten up.

2.) Something happens in the middle of the series that I will not spoil.  I will say what happens is…extreme, and I like it.  However, that ends up changing…something.  I am OK with it, but it dulls the series a little bit.

3.) I find the ending a bit anti-climactic, and the final battle is a little bit silly.  I am not going into detail on what happened, just to say that it goes a bit into the comic book exaggeration, and the battle between Luke Cage and the main villain is not exactly satisfying.

 

Overall: 

The Marvel Netflix series continues with this new superhero, Luke Cage.  He appeared in Jessica Jones, and he finally gets his own series…and it is great.  Marvel is doing an excellent job with its Netflix series, and with Iron Fist, the Defenders, and even Punisher series coming up, they do not seem to be stopping.  With great themes, writing, and acting, Luke Cage may not have that many super-heroic moments, but it is another welcoming addition to the Marvel Netflix series.  We await for the Immortal Iron Fist!

Watch It

Benz Eye View: Daredevil (Season 2)

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Daredevil (Season 2)

Pros:

1.) The action scenes are well-choreographed and painful in certain moments.  Although it can be a bit ridiculous at times, those scenes are much bigger than last season, and they still managed to pull it off (for the most part).

2.) All the original characters are back and better than ever.  Even the new characters are interesting.  Frank Castle (a.k.a. The Punisher) has an awesome backstory and motivation on what he is doing, and Elektra Natchios is a great femme fatale who is Daredevil’s equal.

3.) The plot line with Daredevil and the Punisher is the best part of the entire second season.  In one episode, they spout out their ideologies and beliefs on how they want to stop the criminals in Hell’s Kitchen.  It stresses how these two are different from each other, and it makes it a moral dilemma for Daredevil.

 

Cons: 

1.) On the other hand, Elektra’s plot line seems a bit forced in the show, making this season having a bit too many plot lines.  Even though the character is engaging, it would have been better if she’d appear in the third season of Daredevil, because it is interfering with the much better plot line with the Punisher.  

2.) Even though I mentioned that the action scenes are great, I cannot say the same thing with its cinematography.  There are plenty of moments where I can tell that the punches and kicks did not land on the person.  It is very distracting, and it makes these characters look like wimps.

3.) Some of the cons I had with the first season are still relevant in the second one.  I do not know, but maybe there is something about the show that does not make me a big fan.  It is not because of the characters or writing (although the writing in this season is not as good), it is probably because I am not a fan of the atmosphere.  Not too sure, but I will get back on that when I can.

 

Overall: 

With the success of the first season of Daredevil, it is only natural for Marvel and Netflix to make another season.  I stated before that I like the first season of Daredevil, but not as much as everyone.  With the second season, I thought it is not as good as the first one, but only by a slight bit.  The best thing about this season is the conflict between the Punisher and Daredevil.  The one between Elektra and Daredevil is fine, but it seems like that the creators of the show are shoving in a bit too many plot lines that have little to no relations with each other.  Not to mention that some of the issues I had on the first season are still noticeable in the second season.  It is not a bad season, just not as good.  Not enough to make me sway with the much better Jessica Jones.  Go and watch the show if you have the time, and we will see how Luke Cage will do in a few months.

Occasional Viewing

Benz Eye View: Marvel’s Jessica Jones

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Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Pros:

Most, if not all the characters are very interesting, and compelling.  They all have their own reasons why they do what they do, and good motivations to reinforce their actions.

There are some amazing acting going on this Netflix series.  The best actors of the bunch are Kryistin Ritter as Jessica Jones, and David Tennant as Kilgrave.

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I mean, come on!  You got the Tenth Doctor to play one of the most terrifying villains I have ever seen.  Also, his performance is a great example of acting.

There is great tension and a real sense of danger throughout the entire series.  There are even moments where you cringe, because they are really disturbing and dark.

Cons:

Jeri Hogarth’s subplot is the only one that I do not really care about, especially since I do not like this character (you will see why when you watch it).

Just like every Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins, there are some foreshadowing on what is going to happen in future installments (i.e. Jessica Jones’s origins of her powers is not fully explained), and that may not make some people happy.

The ending is a bit anti-climactic for me.  I understand what they are doing, and how the climax is meant to happen, but I kind of hoped that it would have been a bit better.

Overall:

Marvel’s Netflix series is certainly doing well, especially with Daredevil being such a huge success.  Now, here is the next installment of the series that just came out yesterday.  With a dark and brazen tone, fantastic yet disturbing story, wonderful yet grim characters, and powerful yet understandable villain, Jessica Jones is another great addition to Marvel’s Netflix series if not the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  However, this IS a dark series.  How dark?  Dark enough to make me want to watch Daredevil again, because that series pales in comparison with this one.  Despite that (and some of its themes that I question), Jessica Jones is a fantastic Netflix series, and probably the only female superhero to do well in TV/film media (correct me if I am wrong on that).  Keep in mind, this IS very dark, so this is not for everyone.  I only recommend it to adults, and people who can handle its themes.

For those who are new, I rate TV series differently (if I do TV reviews at all).  The ratings will go on like this: Pass, Occasional Viewing, or Watch It.

Watch It