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Showing posts from July, 2018

What's going on with Marvel's Iron Fist: Season 2?

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On September 7th this year, Netflix will release the second season of Marvel's Iron Fist - a series almost universally panned since the release of its first season last March, and heavily criticised even in its early stages of development. Since then, the character was better received in Marvel's The Defenders cross-over miniseries, but was still seen as a weak link. More recently though, the character guest-starred in the second season of Marvel's Luke Cage, to which the general fan response has been one of acclaim. Personally, while I'm still not 100% sold on Danny Rand as the lead in his own standalone series, that Luke Cage guest appearance reworked Danny into a much more likable and entertaining character, and one I hope to see again in his own series.

Interestingly though, Marvel Television and Netflix seem determined to play-up how different (and how much better) the second season of Iron Fist will be. The San Diego Comic Con panel introduced fans to the new sh…

Venom (2018) - Official Trailer 2 Reaction

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I should start calling this series "Pete moans about 'Venom' every so often".

Despite salvaging its train-wreck of a teaser trailer with a decent-ish (until you start to think about it) proper trailer a few months ago, 'Venom' seems to be back on the speeding train heading towards a wreckage with this latest trailer. Ruben Fleischer appears to have made an angst, edgy film that seems to determined to show off how cool and badass and adult it is that it comes across as a cringe-worthy thirteen year old's idea of a Spider-Man spin-off film. "We'll eat your arms and your face and your organs and your legs and then you'll be all dismembered and I'll seem all cool and badass" says Venom at one point in the trailer. Sort of.

It shows a complete lack of appreciation for the Spider-Man universe in general. The appeal of Spider-Man is how down-to-earth the character and his struggles are, and how outlandish and colourful his villains are. Su…

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) - Written Review

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There are now officially six Mission: Impossible films starring Tom Cruise, and yet the franchise doesn't seem to be stagnating or over-saturating the film industry in the same way that (arguably) franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, JK Rowling's Wizarding World, X-Men, Worlds of DC (or whatever you want to call it), Fast and Furious, etc. have. Perhaps this is because the series has been going for about twenty years now, so each instalment has felt quite spread-out. Besides, the series has only really had four good films, so we're still technically only on the fourth solid entry into the franchise.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is a direct sequel to 2015's Rogue Nation, and serves to continue the leftover ominous presence of the Syndicate by transforming them into a new threat that's as equally disposable and serves to undermine their IMF-equal status established in the last film. Sean Harris' Solomon Lane from Rogue Nation too returns here, and is j…

Incredibles 2 (2018) - Written Review

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Fourteen years of waiting and anticipation later and Incredibles 2 has finally been released. Except we in the UK had to wait another month to get it. And then I had to actually find the time to go and see it. Sooooooo...as you can imagine, it's been a bit of a drag. It feels like most people on the planet have already seen this movie, and those who have haven't been too kind to it. Is Incredibles 2 a disappointment? Well, yes, obviously, but is it a worthy successor to the original?

The ultimate problem with Incredibles 2 is the fact that the script doesn't quite manage to resolve everything it sets up. Mr Incredible's arc throughout the film reaches a sudden end just before the third act kicks into gear; the villain Screenslaver seems like social commentary that never actually manages to mean anything; Frozone is teased to be joining Elastigirl (which never happens); there's a team of superheroes set up to fight crime with Elastigirl, who simply exist as power f…

Marvel's Runaways - Season 1 Review

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In their latest effort to branch out their broad-appeal multi-billion dollar franchise, Marvel has teamed-up with America site Hulu to present Runaways, a new television series based upon the fairly recent and popular Marvel comic book series. Blending teen drama with superheroes seems like a potential recipe for success in terms of popularity, and given how acclaimed Buffy the Vampire Slayer was with blending teen drama with horror, it seems like a natural follow-on from that.

It's just such a shame that Marvel's Runaways is so sloooooooooooow...

This first season is divided into ten, roughly hour-long episodes, but most of this time is dedicated to building up mysteries and creating as much character drama as possible. One of the series' main characters disappears for the last two episodes and no one seems to care because all of the other main characters (and believe me, there's a lot) are spending so much time arguing and debating amongst themselves. Very little in …

Aquaman (2018) - Trailer Reaction

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At long last the first trailer for DC's Aquaman has surfaced - the latest installment in Warner Bros' Worlds of DC series (crikey, that's an awkward brand name), following on from last year's Justice League and expanding on the character and mythology surrounding Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) in his adventures through the seven seas.

James Wan has really made a solid career for himself before branching out from horror to tackling a big-budget superhero movie, but from the looks of this trailer he has absolutely hit it out of the park. The shot composition, the production design, the visual effects, the use of colour...it all looks astoundingly good, and there are a variety of shots I could easily frame on my wall. Wan has taken the ridiculous, often seen as campy, nature of Aquaman and made something considerably more impressive and awe-inspiring, without trying to make it "dark and gritty" like so many other adaptations.

The little bits of dialogue we get are …

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 5, Episode 19 Review

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The question I keep coming back to with this episode is a very simple "but why?" And how the writers didn't pick up on the fact that they were contriving their greatest plot twist in order to rocket this season towards a finale fans weren't expecting. Any sense of narrative or character arc is forgotten in a short moment that serves to undermine the rest of the season. Thankfully, there's only three episodes left and not much time for any real damage to be felt, but enough time to hopefully retroactively justify such an awkward plot contrivance.

Anyway, "Option Two" is a surprisingly standalone installment of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, mostly revolving around the Lighthouse being attacked by Qovas (yeah, I did have to look that up) and the Confederacy, who are after the Gravitonium. Most of the episode consists of characters running around the locked-down Lighthouse to try and stop Qovas and his men, and from that premise we get some interesting li…

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 5, Episode 18 Review

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"All Roads Lead..." is an interesting example of serialised television; on the one hand, very little really happens in the episode itself, but as one installment in an ongoing narrative, the episode concludes Ruby's story-line effectively in such a way as to set-up the following episodes' narrative thrust.

The presentation of the gravitonium as storing peoples' clashing personalities is an interesting concept, and one that the episode attempts to tackle with Creel and Ruby, but alas the blending of archive footage into the episode serves to only act as a hindrance. Had the series brought back the respective trapped characters, perhaps this inner conflict could have been explored to a greater extent. Perhaps if this was even a Netflix original, or subscription-based series, the creative team could have shot a back-log of these scenes with the respective guest stars to feature in a few episodes. Agents of SHIELD is, however, a standard network show, and that sort …

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 5, Episode 17 Review

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I'm writing this about a week after having watched "The Honeymoon", so I apologise in advance if this review isn't as detailed or specific as it probably could have been, but it's worth mentioning that this episode is much busier than previous installments this season, so much so that I was stunned how much was achieved by the first ad break.
Ruby finally had her first big showdown with Daisy, which was a well-choreographed action sequence, even if I was hoping for it to take a more interesting turn. I suspect that now Ruby's going after SHIELD on her own terms we'll get a much more interesting second round between the two. Ruby herself is a bit of an odd villain, partly because she's been designed from scratch to be the most effective killing machine ever, and yet doesn't seem to be a strong as quite a few other "strongest" henchmen characters that Hydra's thrown at SHIELD over the years. Ultimately though, this episode very much p…