andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
2017-08-26 10:19 pm

The Defenders

Despite having watched The Defenders within four days of its release, I feel like I'm well behind the rest of the internet in commenting on it. Still, here are my thoughts!

Brief, non-spoilery version: I enjoyed it a lot, despite not finding the central plot very interesting. However, even though I was over the Hand two Netflix series ago the character interaction was great and I adored what they did with the soundtrack and the colour palette. (Some people mind find the colour scheme too obvious and attention-grabbing, I guess, but every colour-coded frame delighted my vidder heart. Can't wait to see what fans do with the footage ...)

Netflix and Marvel have been promising us this team-up for literally years, and it's the relationships we see forming or developing here that make it worth watching for fans. Both inside and outside of the core team, there's a lot of interesting conversations going on here.

Who missed me? )
andraste: Chibi Starscream (Lil' Formers Starscream)
2017-08-06 09:39 pm

Iron Fist, Or Thirteen Hours Of My Life That I Am Never Getting Back

So, I have finally finished watching the first season of Iron Fist. It was ... not good. And enraging because Marvel and Netflix could have been spending their money and time on something that was not terrible instead.

After seeing the first episode, I debated not bothering with the rest, but I have watched every other MCU thing, and I do want to watch Defenders, and after it was successful despite the awful reviews I didn't feel too bad about giving it another pair of eyeballs. First time ever I have given the Thumbs Down to a Netflix show I watched all of, though. At least I got a lot of Pokemon hatched while it was on?

Previous Netflix/Marvel co-productions have had their issues - some pacing problems, plus the Hand plot in the second half of Daredevil Season Two was weak. (That was probably a bad sign given what Iron Fist is about ...) But they all worked because each of them is about something.

Daredevil is about the difference between justice and what various characters are willing to do to protect the society they live in. Jessica Jones is about rape recovery and personal responsibility. Luke Cage is about what it means to be a bullet-proof black man in contemporary America.

Meanwhile, this show wants to be about legacies and traditions and making your own life after you find out the world is not like your parents told you it was. None of that is a bad ideas for an Iron Fist show. However, none of the parental or quasi-parental relationships in the series have enough weight to make the theme work.

Spoilers about why if anyone cares. )

There was a lot of (justified) criticism about the casting of the lead in this show. I have no idea if Iron Fist would have been good television if Danny were played by an Asian or biracial actor, but I do know that it might have forced the show to ACTUALLY BE ABOUT SOMETHING other than boring corporate machinations and boring ninjas, and that could only have been a good thing. There were individual scenes and moments I enjoyed, but if I never have to hear about the Rand Corporation or the Hand again I will be happy. (Yeah, I know there is more Hand coming, but fingers crossed it will be enlivened by the interactions between Matt, Jessica, Luke and Danny.)

Still, I have hopes that Danny Rand will work better as a character in an ensemble show. Finn Jones wasn't charismatic enough to make this watchable, but he was far from the worst thing about the show. And unsurprisingly Iron Fist is getting a new showrunner for Series Two, so maybe they can even turn it around if Raven Metzner has an actual story to tell and not just thirteen episodes to kill before Defenders starts.

At least I enjoyed watching Sacha Dewan? And Jessica Henwick. Please, Netflix, give us Daughters of the Dragon and put this unfortunate interlude behind us.
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
2016-05-09 12:07 am

The MCU Top Fifty Countdown

Several years ago, I started keeping a list of Marvel characters that might show up in the cinematic universe, purely for my own curiosity. What can I say, I enjoy lists and the making thereof. Post-Civil War seems like a good time to update it, and I thought I'd post it here so I can look back at it in a few more years and see how wrong I was about who they'd put on film. (Because let me tell you, I would not have guessed that Scott Lang would make it.) The previous version of the list has been quite reliable, though.

I used comicvine's list by appearance function to compile a list of the fifty most frequently appearing Marvel superheroes and villains that haven't made the transition to the MCU yet. This only takes volume of appearances into account, and while that's a reasonable guide to popularity over the long term, it's a metric that breaks down for characters invented more recently. I think it's safe to say that Ms. Marvel would be a more popular addition to the MCU than, say, Speedball. But Speedball has been around decades longer and thus had more time to build up the numbers.

This list does not include people Marvel Studios clearly do not have the film rights to - all X-Men and X-Men adjacent characters belong to Fox, and so do the poor Fantastic Four. (I am actually fine with Fox keeping the mutants. I like what they've done with them from the most part, and I don't think that they would benefit from being included in the MCU or that the MCU needs them. I do sincerely hope that they stop abusing the FF, Doctor Doom, Galactus and the Silver Surfer and hand them over to people who might have some idea of what to do with them. Surely this has to be cheaper and less humiliating than making movies that bomb just so they can keep the rights?)

There are a couple of Civil War spoilers below the cut, and also casting spoilers for a bunch of MCU stuff that isn't out and in some cases won't be for several years. I also mention a couple of rumoured characters for Thor: Ragnarok, but who knows if the rumours are accurate.

Like I said, spoilers below the cut. )
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
2016-04-30 11:07 pm

Captain America: Civil War

Well, that was about nine million times more fun than the comics event of the same name.

They certainly could have billed this as Avengers 3, but in the end I'm glad they didn't, as it puts the focus on Captain America, and that works for the narrative. (It also gives them a reason to leave out Hulk and Thor, and the film already has plenty of characters. Besides, they would have raised the level of unfortunate property damage even further.)

Reasons why under the cut. Also spoilers. )
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
2016-01-09 12:29 am

Jessica Jones

I thought I was going to binge watch this with everyone else, but actually I ended up drawing it out as long as I could stand because I loved it and did not want it to be over. I'm sure everyone already said anything I wanted to say about it over the last month and a half. I do have two thoughts:

1. You know you are a real comic book nerd when someone says technically this is a spoiler ) and you start waving your arms, swearing and saying 'noooooooooo!' at the television. All of which I literally did. The character has such a generic name that I missed who they were until that very moment, but there's, um, precedent for what happens to them in the comic universe.

2. I really, really want a Hellcat Netflix series, like, yesterday. Because that would be awesome, and somehow I am not tired of 'It's Patsy!' jokes yet.
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
2015-05-11 06:04 am

MCU Dot Points

So, having stayed up marathoning the rest of Daredevil, I am finally caught up. Instead of actual thoughts, I have dot points.

1. You know, at this point, if everything they make in the future sucks - and I do have serious misgivings about Ant-Man and Civil War - I will not feel like they owe me anything. Eleven films and three TV shows that I have enjoyed is a pretty impressive achievement.

2. It never ceases to amaze me that they consistently pull of making something that appears to a mass audience and draws high-pitched noises from people who know who Melvin Potter is.

3. Nobody should ever let Wanda and Wilson Fisk come within a hundred feet of one another unless Fisk is safely restrained. (And I think we're talking vibranium shackles here.)

4. So Gao is from pure speculation. )

5. In conclusion: Nelson, Murdock and Page, the finest avacados in the land!