Why Daredevil might be the best thing Marvel’s put out yet — January 18, 2016

Why Daredevil might be the best thing Marvel’s put out yet

(*I’m referring to the film and television branch, not the comics, which in a way I sort of categorize as it’s own thing. )

I’m on episode five of Daredevil and I have been so impressed by what I am seeing I can’t even wait till the end to write a review. I have never been a big DC fan because it’s too brooding, but sometimes Marvel can be waayyyy to campy, and I think they have found a wonderful balance with Daredevil, which is dark and violent but still maintains a humor and incorporates lighter moments. It’s definitely the darkest Marvel creation I’ve ever seen, but it still maintains that iconic marvel tone just enough to make it a really enjoyable experience.

the acting is amazing. A lot of times you see blind people with still faces, staring fixated on one spot, but here you see so much expression and emotion. His eyes move around all over the place, he just never makes perfect eye contact. I don’t know anyone blind so I can’t vouch for this, but it just seems so much more realistic.

The story itself is very interesting, there is something so compellingly contradictory about a Lawyer by day and a vigilante at night. Traditionally, superheroes like in a world with incredibly incompetent police and (a) judicial system(s), causing them to take it into their own hands, sweeping in a being all super-hero-y.  So I don’t know, the fact that he is a good lawyer and a super hero just makes it so interesting. I also really like that he isn’t hardly even a “super hero” in the traditional sense. He isn’t unbelievably strong, or wealthy, or genetically engineered. He didn’t fall into a vat of radioactive waste and develop near magical powers. He is a man who grew up learning to strengthen his senses without the use of sight. He is a man who trained and aspired to be more like his father, the boxer. The story is definitely unlikely, they are in fantastical situations, but it feels so much more grounded than,say, Captain America or The Flash.

THAT CINEMATOGRAPHY THO. Beautiful. I think that film is an art.Storytelling is obviously incredibly important but to me, the way it is done is equally important. It’s 50/50, all the way. This show is a masterpiece. The lighting, the stunt blocking, the camera movements, the framing. The editing. It’s all absolutely gorgeous, and contributes to it’d darker, more realistic feel.

Of course, I have to point out the violence. What got this show it’s M rating. In case the title sequence didn’t convey this well enough; it’s brutal and there is a lot of blood. You see our very human protagonist pulling off outrageous stunts but getting very, VERY, hurt in the process. We see people  slamming their heads through metal spikes heads getting bashed in with fire extinguishers and bowling balls. 40 minutes into episode 5 a particularly disgusting scene unfolds in which a mans head is smashed in a car door repeatedly until we see his brain fall out in bloody chunks onto the pavement.

I am terrible at wrapping things up, especially when there are such loose and unconnected thoughts, but here you go: You should definitely watch daredevil. 9/10 rating. I really can’t see anything wrong with it. There hasn’t been as single thing that I would have done differently. I would definitely recommend it for older audiences, 15+ probably, but it’s great and can definitely hold older audiences attention.

RIP Alan Rickman — January 14, 2016

RIP Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman died age 69 of cancer today. What extremely sad news. He was an amazing and deeply loved actor known for Die Hard, Galaxy Quest, Sense and Sensibility, Robin Hood, and of course, Harry Potter. His last role was in Alice in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass, which will be released this spring. He gave an invaluable contribution to the film industry and I don’t think I’ve ever been so personally affected by the death of an actor. He will be truly missed.

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Examining the relationship between River and the Doctor. — January 11, 2016

Examining the relationship between River and the Doctor.

River is really confusing. Here is a flow chart that explains her timeline. Ten meets her first in the Library, where she dies and is uploaded to the library database. We never expected to see her again, she was a mysterious character for one episode, who had the Doctor’s screwdriver and new his real name. But no. That was just the beginning.  We see River again with Eleven and Amy, with no real explanation except it is implied that they have crossed paths again since the Library. This new relationship with River is very flirtive and for the first time it is suggested: is River your wife? O.o IS she? There’s also a deeper explanation of the journal used to keep track of their timelines. They are both time travelers and therefore, their timelines sort of go…in reverse. Try not to think about it too hard. For the rest of season five River remains a bit of an enigma, and sexual, confusing enigma. Things really start getting interesting around Season Six. We learn that she is Amy and Rory’s baby from the future. Yeah. She’s also their childhood friend who they named their baby after. Again, try not to think about it too hard. I’m jumping over that primarily aside from the quick note that this changes the dynamic a lot as it does make Amy and Rory the Doctor’s in-laws.

Through the next seasons, as they become more serious and eventually get married, the relationship blossoms into something really beautiful. There’s been some debate over how much he really loves her, in which case I point you to the season finale of season 7. When the Doctor, talking to post-library River. (dead River) says “I can always see you and I can always hear you,” you know. You know that he lives along side her constantly. She is his wife. For better or for worse, and frankly I don’t think he takes that lightly. Look at the way he kisses her in this scene. Go back and re-watch it if you have to. Look at the gentleness with which he touches her.  Look at the pain in his eyes as he let’s her go. He hold’s back through most of the serious because it hurts him too much, but in this final moment between them he let’s himself go and he’s honest.

There’s another great episode that displays their complex relationship in a really good way in season 7, “Angels take Manhattan.” this is an important episode for other reasons, but for now, this is about River. Important moments to note; when he gets upset she can tell, and she tries to work with him, but he gets angry and yells at her to fix the problem by herself. “It’s called Marriage, Sweetie.” So she breaks her wrist for him. And she hides it. He gets all happy and puppy-dogish and then he realizes. And you see him yelling at her. She takes it, she absorbs it. She does all this for him. Because she loves him. “Oh God yes, she loves him!, absolutely ferociously!” (Moffat) And then he realized that he’s hurt her emotionally and he tries to fix it by fixing her physically and she gets angry and storms off. And there’s this very intimate moment with her mother where we realize how hard it is for river. Married to a god with the face of a twelve year old, who would rather rip out the last page than read the ending. that’s a harsh moment because you see that she’s afraid that if her sees her aging and realizes her mortality, he’ll leave her behind.

Through all this, I’m going to go back to that first episode. Her last moment with the doctor. There’s a moment where she’s trying to comfort him, and she reaches up to his chest as if to straighten his bow tie and then realizes it’s not there and I think that’s a great display of her pain throughout this.

“He looks right through me and it shouldn’t kill me, but it does.”

Looking back on all this, her last day with the doctor and they are strangers.

 

Why Doctor Who is still my favorite show after all these years —

Why Doctor Who is still my favorite show after all these years

Doctor Who. Charming, scary, exciting, adventurous. Funny. Heartbreaking. The perfect entertainment cocktail. But it’s complexity and strong, poignant messages are what have kept me in love with it since I first started watching it when I was twelve.

There are a lot of things I was interested in a long time ago that I still love now, Harry Potter, Merlin, Percy Jackson…but they’ve taken on a sort of nostalgic quality and my interest in them have admittedly faded away a bit. But Doctor Who has stayed consistent, on not just the new episodes either. They are so relevant to my life, to anyone’s life.

Let’s start with the doctor. Classic who is charming and interesting, but right now I’m going to focus on Modern Who, which is what I’ve been watching the longest. The Doctor is a man who ran away and goes on glorious adventures and explores. But the 8th doctor, the Doctor in-between series, he suffered. He murdered two whole species, including his own in order to end a never ending war. No More. He made horrible decisions for the right reasons and he has to carry that weight now. Each incarnation of the Doctor carries that weight in a different way. 9, fresh from the war, remembers his wrong doings and is probably the kindest doctor, the largest pacifist of the post-war Doctors. One of my absolute favorite lines from Doctor Who is when 9 is asked if he wants to be a hero or a coward and he says “Hero, Any day.” 9 might look dark and sullen but that’s where people read him wrong. He is happy and in love and has a strong moral code. Nine chooses to loose instead of causing loss.  I’m going to come back to Ten so bare with me but right now I have to skip to eleven for just a moment to point out something: nine chooses to give up being a god. Eleven pretends to be a god. Nine would be a merciful god. Eleven is a vengeful god. Nine is a puppy in a leather jacket. Eleven is a killer in a fez. What bridges the two is Ten.

Ten. By far the fan favorite. He is joyful and adventurous but as time has pasted and the sting of his decision has worn off, he has grown bitter and angry and I do think Ten is the most depressed Doctor of the lot. He has continued to loose and to make mistakes and in a very human way, the Doctor feels injustice.  This Doctor, this Doctor is still in love very much with Rose, and he holds himself back, he restrains himself, and as the universe treats him, it takes her away. And the man who deserves so much ends up again with nothing. “You gave me hope and then you took it away, and that’s enough to make any one dangerous.” Ten has a lot of scary moments. One that is genuinely terrifying is when we see him stumble in Water On Mars. That bone chilling moment when he says “The Laws of Time are Mine and they will obey me” and “For a long time now I thought I was just a survivor. but I’m not. I’m the winner.” And again when he points a gun at the head of the man who killed his daughter and you think for just a second that he’s actually going to shoot.

“He Never Raised His voice. That was the worst thing. The fury of the Time Lord. And then we discovered why. Why, this Doctor, who had fought with Gods and Demons, why he’d run away and hidden. He was being Kind.”

That gives me chills every time  I hear it. He was being Kind.

I have to acknowledge Tens soft side thought, as it was absolutely amazing. Mr. ‘Always take a banana to a party” was an absolute joy for four long seasons. He was great at making people feel special. The best example of course is Donna.

Donna was a brilliant move on the writers part because who can’t relate to the ‘I’m not special I’m not important” feeling.Donna. Ugh, I can’t handle Donna. Over and Over and Over again he re-affirmed to her that she was so special, not just to him but that she mattered in the universe.  And that is the Doctor we know and love. We know the Ten who, when asked “help me” responded kindly with “two words I never refuse.” Ten was angry, and bitter, and he regretted his mistakes constantly, but that is what kept him human. He made mistakes, he made bad decisions, he had lost Nine’s wisdom in that way. But he recognized them and regretted them.

And then came eleven.

Eleven is my favorite Doctor; I want to clear that up right now. But I do think he is widely misinterpreted so here’s my say: A killer in a fez. Ten regrets; Eleven forgets. Two alternate endings to the same story. Here’s this fresh face, this new version of the same man, younger, no companion to tie him to his old self. And he makes a decision, from the moment he lands in Amelia Pond’s garden: he decides to forget.To ignore.  Eleven is the silliest Doctor, the most joyful. . Most people see him as having a childlike innocence but I choose to see it as recklessness. He’s having adventures and lying to his friends as he destroys lives. Eleven did some good things, most definitely, (the Van Gogh episode draws tears every time) but I think it’s important to recognize that this new Doctor is not innocent. He is the most fearsome incarnation of them all. Demons run at the sight of this doctor. Without even realizing it, he’s relapsed. He’s brought back the killer.

That depressing note aside, the whirlwind ride Matt gave us was an unforgettable experience. He’s the one who says “something new and dangerous; let’s poke it with a stick.” He’s the one who says “Technically, no. In reality, also no. Still, let’s give it a go.” He is the Doctor who came back twelve years late and spent the rest of her life making it up to her. This new Doctor’s story isn’t science fiction; this story is a fairy tale.

The Doctor once again holds that magical quality of reminding it’s audience that everyone is special. When I was feeling depressed, these were messages I really needed to hear. I know I’m not the only one who got hit hard by lines like “In all of time and space I’ve never met anyone who isn’t important”, “the way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things”, and “Why be happy when you’re going to be sad later? The answer, of course, is that you’re going to be sad later.”

Eleven may be deceptive and destructive, but he is also the Optimist, the hoper of far flung hopes, the dreamer of improbable dreams. His story is a fairy tale, and it’s a good one.

Review: The Abominable Bride (spoilers) — January 6, 2016

Review: The Abominable Bride (spoilers)

 

So…Sherlock. There’s kind of a lot to say about this episode, so I’m just going to go chronologically.

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Let’s talk opening scene: the parallels between a study in pink and the first ten minutes of the Abominable Bride were ingenious. It helped to familiarize our audience with the story and remind them this is the same Sherlock, in a different setting. It was a perfect blend of the Sherlock Holmes traditional style and the modern adaptation. tumblr_inline_o0b38c5oJg1tve0ow_500tumblr_o0dvz4s9QT1rpby98o1_400

The story was fishy from the very beginning. My mom pointed out that it felt a bit like Scooby Doo. Except with a tad bit more pure terror. A crazed bride kills herself, then comes back from the dead to commit vengeful murders on bad husbands. (more on that later.) This was also quite clever because it paralleled Sherlock’s Moriarty puzzle really well. Sherlock was very emotive in this episode, all things considered, and it really showed how frustrated he was that he couldn’t figure his enemy out.

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Moriarty. Yep, he’s back. can I just say greatest reveal ever (next to the pool scene.) the scene that shorty followed is one of the most well acted scenes I’ve ever watched. Andrew Scott and Benedict Cumberbatch are masters of their craft. In this scene in particular though, I have to sing the praises on Andrew Scott in particular, who has done a great job and being eccentric and terrifying, yet oddly likable. I don’t think anyone has ever conveyed complete insanity as well as he does.

There are a few complaints to make. For example, what was that unnecessary, poorly conveyed feminist message? It’s not like the show to put a social commentary into their stories. Or anything human or even socially acceptable, for that matter. Sherlock is an apathetic jerk. And if we’re honest with ourselves, that’s why we watch the show. So anyway, yeah I wasn’t a fan of that. Another problem was that, although it was supposed to be a dream, it did get too cartoonist for me at some points, specifically in scenes with Mycroft. It was also confusing and jarring, almost to the extent of being difficult to watch.

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To switch over to some positives, the visual was stunning and incredibly high quality, as always. Sherlock sets  a seriously high standard for television. The cinimatography was very well thought out and the period clothes and sets were nice. They managed to convey a very sherlockian feel, were London is innovative and clean and sleek, which you don’t see very much in most Sherlock Holmes shows and films, where they prefer the more gritty, grim, jack-the-ripper look. They were very creative in some aspects, Sherlock’s mind palace is a great example. And of course (BIG SPOILER) when it switched to the plane everybody watching lost their minds. That was genius. I love that the show still manages to surprise it’s audience.