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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Initial Impression On Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Note:After watching the show for a while, I've felt more and more conflicted about this review. I have decided instead of deleting or editing it, I will leave it up as an initial impression and possibly post another review later.

Another note:My second review is now up.

Premise:Members of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division band together to investigate strange happenings.

Cast:Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons

Genres:Sci-fi, fantasy, action, drama

Notes:Takes place after the events of the Phase One Marvel films. Poster taken from Rotten Tomatoes and belongs to ABC.

Pros:A cool plane and technology. The third episode's BAM! Did you see that? ending. The Thor:The Dark World tie-in episodes.

Cons:Flat characters and storylines. Mediocre acting. Needs more super-powered people.



During the alien attack on New York, Agent Phil Coulson died in action... or did he? Meanwhile, Grant Ward, a highly trained agent who sticks close to protocol has been brought in. He often takes issue with non-agent Skye, a hacktivist who starts out as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s enemy. I've little doubt they'll end up a couple. Completing their team are Melinda May, who's annoyed about being brought out of retirement, and Fitz-Simmons, a pair of enthusiastic young scientists.

If you're expecting a lot of superpowers, don't hold your breath. A couple have shown up, but the focus seems to be mostly on dangerous and unusual technology. That's unfortunate, because the episodes centered on "gifted" individuals tend to be more interesting.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Movie Review:Daredevil

Premise:A blind vigilante seeks to bring down the city crime boss who put a hit on his girlfriend.

Cast:Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios, Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin, Colin Farrell as Bullseye, Derrick O'Connor as Father Everett, Scott Terra as young Matt Murdock, Jon Favreau as Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, Joe Pantoliano as Ben Urich, David Keith as Jack Murdock, Erick Avari as Nikolas Natchios

Director:Mark Steven Johnson

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for action violence and some sensuality.

Genres:Science fiction (emphasis on fiction), drama, action

Notes:There are two versions of the film; I'm reviewing the theatrical version here. I'm told the director's cut is better (it's also rated R). Images taken from Rotten Tomatoes.

Pros:Fair acting. Emotional moments that actually manage to be emotional. Bullseye.

Cons:Stretches your suspension of disbelief to ridiculous levels. The plot makes little sense. Bad costumes. Cheesy fight scenes.


After being blinded with toxic waste as a child, Matt Murdock's other senses hit superhuman levels. As an adult, he's a lawyer who occasionally breaks out the spandex to fight crime. And then he meets this beautiful woman who just might be a match for him (in more than one sense).

As I said above, this film will stretch your suspension of disbelief to an outrageous degree. I realize that most movies do, especially superhero films. But expecting me to find Matt's radar sight plausible is just a little too much. There are several factual errors as well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Plot Devices I'm Sick Of

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about stuff I like and dislike seeing in my entertainment choices. Here are a few more things I wouldn't mind seeing less often.
                     

Bickering = Love
Made this myself.

Every couple fights at times. This one never stops. They eventually realize they yelled at each other so much because they were in love. Really though, who wants to be with someone you're constantly arguing with and just generally can't stand? At least find a guy you can be around without starting a fight every two minutes. Some would justify this by saying indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love. While they may have a point, others take it farther by suggesting if you hate someone, it means you actually care about them. Seriously? No. Just no.


Impractical Outfits for Heroines (This one isn't really a plot device, but who cares?) 
It's not exactly secret that most costumes for female action heroes are designed mainly to look good. The high heels, low necklines, and bared midriffs are evidence of that. If someone actually wore something like that in real life, she'd trip over her own feet and wind up with bad injuries. High time someone wear clothes that would actually work.

Instant Soulmates
This is the opposite of the argumentative pair above. In fairy tales and romantic comedies, two people will often fall madly in love overnight and then, after dealing with a witch (literal or not), live happily ever after. Because apparently, you can get to immediately know someone without being telepathic. This also happens fairly often in dramas and action movies.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Thoughts, Theories, & Trivia:Iron Man

Image credit:Danny Choo's Flickr

Click here to see the review.


Let's face it; this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing.
-Not by a long shot.

  • Based on the dates given here and in Captain America, I'd guess Tony was born in the sixties or seventies. (Iron Man 3 confirmed this.)

    • Out of all the deleted scenes on the DVD, the only one I liked (i.e. the only one I might have included in the film) was called "Tony Comes Home." The rest were kind of lame.
                            
    Spoilers past here.

    Tuesday, November 05, 2013

    Movie Review:Iron Man

    Premise:After terrorists kidnap him and use his company's own weapons against him, irresponsible playboy billionaire Tony Stark builds a robotic suit.

    Cast:Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane, Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes, Paul Bettany as the voice of JARVIS, Shaun Toub as Ho Yinsen, Faran Tahir as Raza, Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan


    Director:Jon Favreau


    MPAA Rating:PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief suggestive content.


    Genres:Action, sci fi


    Notes:Images taken from IMP Awards and Rotten Tomatoes and belong to Marvel.


    Pros:A rather flawed yet still likable protagonist. Well-done action scenes. Looks good. Fair acting and characters. Good villain.


    Cons:Doesn't do all it could with the characters. Some dated pop culture references.


    Tony Stark couldn't have it better. He runs a successful weapons company, dates supermodels, owns an estate in Malibu and can afford just about anything. Things are just going great!

    (You know something bad's about to happen, don't you?)

    Sure enough, it seems some unsavory types would like a missile of their own. And Tony's just the guy they kidnap to build it. Shockingly, Stark's not too keen on letting them have one. But he still has material. And so, Iron Man is born.

    Saturday, November 02, 2013

    Important Things In Storytelling (To Me, At Least)

    Image credit:Rosenfeld Media's Flickr

    I managed to not post anything about Halloween this year. Oh, well. There's always next year. Anyways, we all have preferences when it comes to what we Watch Read And Play (WRAP). Here are some of mine.

    •  Good:Likeable characters. Can I feel sympathy for them? Do I want them to succeed in their goals? Would I care if they died (and not because I won't have to deal with them anymore)?
    • Bad:Annoying protagonist. Some heroes aren't so heroic, but I should still be able to like them most of time. Wanting to punch them is a bad sign. And if you're going to make him a jerk or an antihero, actually admit that he is one instead of pretending he's entirely justified.