Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Well . . .

Yeah, I've been a bit busy. I'm hoping I get more free time soon, but I don't think I'll be able to have a real post up until June or so. I just can't concentrate long enough to make a decent post. But I'll try to put some smaller posts up in the mean time. Sorry about this. I really wish I could do better.

But it is what it is.

See you next time!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Under the Sky So Blue

"Rem, I will continue to believe in you. And I will continue to look to my own words for guidance." ~ Vash the Stampede, Trigun

From the final episode, the final lines spoken in the original Japanese version. Might not mean anything to anyone but me, and that's why I'm posting it.

Have a good week.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Not Much

Not much to say this week. I've been a bit busy, but no real excuse for not writing anything this week. Hopefully I should have something next week instead!

Until then, here's hoping you're having good April showers. We've earned this Spring!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Daredevil: the Good, the Bad, and the Human

Daredevil has gone up on Netflix and I managed to see all the episodes. So, what did I think?

Well, first let's start with what people will probably hate.

The first is that it's rather slow as a whole, not filled with wall to wall action. There is a lot of character interaction and development from our hero, our villain, and just about everyone else in between. Anyone going into this expecting explosions every five minutes will be sorely disappointed.

The second issue is that it's rather dark, but not in a grim-dark way. There are moments of light shining into the darkness, nothing is painted black, and there is no nihilism. "Dark" these days usually means a story where everybody dies and nothing means anything, which is possibly what a lot of folks are expecting. But this is not what Daredevil offers.

You see, Daredevil is a reflection of good vs. evil in the classic sense. In a modern story we would hear about Wilson Fisk's tragic back-story and the production team would do their best to make him sympathetic and a misunderstood hero. But that's not what happens. Daredevil, despite showing the darker side of Matt Murdock (our hero) and the lighter side of Wilson Fisk (our villain), never tries to insinuate that Murdock is trying to do anything other than the right thing and Fisk isn't ever doing anything that isn't wrong or woefully misguided. Black is black, white is white.

And this is what makes Daredevil the best Marvel TV show so far.

From Jack Murdock's march to his approaching death, to Stick saving the one gift he had ever been given, to the friendship Wilson Fisk shares with his assistant, the characters are given much depth in only one thirteen episode season. The line between good and evil is skirted by just about everybody, but we are never told that it is not there. In fact, one character asserts this early on and is proven to be wrong fairly quickly.

I've never been the most knowledgeable on Daredevil when it comes to superheroes, but his portrayal by Charlie Cox might be my favorite version of the character now. A Catholic man trying to keep his head about the world on fire he lives in, Matt Murdock gets beaten, broken, and bruised, but he will not stay down. His ability to see what is really there underneath the grime of the city and criminal scum infecting Hell's Kitchen is used to incredible affect despite his blindness of the surface level. It is a fascinating power that meshes well with the character's faith and resilience which easily puts him over the top to one of my favorite live action superheroes up there with Chris Evans' portrayal of Captain America.

But Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk is just a perfect foil to out hero. Where Matt is hard and resilient, Wilson Fisk is a big man prone to letting emotion overwhelm him. A man obsessed with tearing down the world and rebuilding it from scratch, Wilson Fisk is a man who can't come clean and can't get a grip. He tries to shut off emotions, to put up a front, but it doesn't hold. Evil falls apart when it attempts to come together for a greater goal, and that is what Wilson Fisk's whole life is about.

So while the pace is slow, the thirteen episodes of Daredevil are a watch well worth having, leading to a conclusion that shows exactly how evil always manages to end up and where one who fumbles around in the dark searching for the light may one day end up.

Marvel has another winner on their hands. Now here's hoping they get started on season two as soon as possible!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Daredevil starts this week!

I used to be a comic fan. Back when I was a kid and the stories used to be about good vs. evil and heroes overcoming the odds. They aren't really about that anymore.

The stories I used to love as a kid have moved on from being about the guy (or girl) you wish you could be and are now about the crazy guy who wears spandex and oh boy isn't that lame, huh? Post-modernism run amok. Nothing means anything, so why try? Instead it's become about being PC and pointlessly grimdark. I gave up years ago.

Meanwhile, Marvel Studios have taken their properties to television and the movie screen and remembered to bring what it was that we loved about those old stories. The heroism, the action, and the excitement, have all brought Marvel tons of money and left audiences cheering for more.

Daredevil, from unnamed sources, appears to continue that tradition of classic stories brought to the screen and left shining. Of course, we can't know for sure until it's out this Friday, but given Marvel's batting record so far, I'm willing to give them the benefit of any doubt.

Daredevil is a blind vigilante looking to clean up the streets of Hell's Kitchen where the Kingpin,Wilson Fisk, has made his coup own it. Of course comparisons could be made to Batman (there is a Frank Miller connection, after all) but Daredevil is a bit more personal that Batman. Our hero is backed into a corner and left with little choice to stop evil, where Batman goes out to find it. This direct confrontation between good and evil is what gives Daredevil his appeal and what makes him such a fan favorite character.

So, this Friday (or weekend), you could do a lot worse than giving Netflix's Daredevil show a chance. It's only going to be 13 episodes long. Chances are, we'll all be begging for more when it's done.

I'm fairly sure that I will be.