Marci Sischo

Writer, news junkie, student, social media geek.

Tuesday Reading List (4/21/15)

5-DollarLEDLightFromPhillips

I began my morning by stalking and murdering a giant quarter-sized brown spider who was terrorizing my desk area. I actually had to move furniture to get it. I don’t really mind spiders. They don’t scare me or anything (until they get up into the “big enough to read the expressions on their faces” sizes), but I have very firm spider cohabitation rules. Spiders of any size are required to stay out of sight and at least five feet away from me at all times. Failure to follow these rules results in termination. Read More

Two quick things, then I’m out of here.

SupermanVBatman

First thing: Zack Snyder tweeted the “first Batman v. Superman” video last night and, um… Well, take a look.


It’s all BWAAAAMs and suits, guys. Marvel kicks out almost two minutes worth of the Hulkbuster vs. Hulk fight, Daredevil, a bunch of other Avengers goodies, and a pretty spiffy Ant-Man trailer, and DC responds with BWAAAMs and suits. They got nothing. This movie’s gonna be so bad. So. Bad.

Second thing: #SuperVillainPickupLines is trending on Twitter, and it’s pretty funny. Here’s a few of the more clever ones I spotted.


Okay – off to work.

Netflix & Marvel scored a big win with ‘Daredevil.’

DaredevilCredits

(This review is spoiler-free.)

I’m not a big Daredevil fan. I definitely read the comic growing up, but it was never the first comic I grabbed. My clearest memory of Daredevil’s comics is that one issue where he spent the whole comic having a conversation with Mephisto, and even then, I only really remember a couple of panels and leafing through it with growing boredom. Daredevil never struck me as the guy who should be having anything to do with Mephisto, you know? I always figured that was more Ghost Rider’s job. Daredevil, to me, was always at his best when he was dealing with mob bosses and that kind of thing.

Netflix' & Marvel's Daredevil

Daredevil on Netflix (If you haven’t used up your free month trial for Netflix, this show is a great reason to do so.)

So when Marvel and Netflix announced their Daredevil miniseries, I was like, “Meh.” I mean, I wanted it to be good, and I had every intention of watching it, don’t get me wrong. At this point I’ll watch cheese burn in a microwave if you slap a Marvel logo on it. I just wasn’t wild about it.

Boy was I wrong. This show, you guys. Holy shit. I mean, just, holy shit.

The fight choreography? Amazing. Lots of people are waxing poetic about that, so I won’t waste your time, other than to say damn, y’all. That’s what fights should look like. Also, for my money, that last fight scene at the end of episode 2 was the best one in the run, and it was brilliant.

The cinematography and directing were stunning. No holds barred, stunning. Some of the shots in Daredevil should be shown in film schools. There’s a fantastic example in episode 5, I believe, “World on Fire,” where the scene is set from inside a taxi cab, and the camera revolves around, panning back and forth with deliberate slowness. First pan, there’s Daredevil at the edge of the screen in plain sight standing silently, like frickin’ Slenderman or something. Second sweep, he’s gone. It’s creepy as hell, and the whole scene is tense and eerie and just beautiful.

The lighting is fantastic – everything looks bruised and filthy and exhausted. The pacing is slow and steady, methodical. Nothing is a surprise. From the first moment of the show, you know exactly where everything is going, and usually that would be a bad thing. In Daredevil, it just makes everything feel dreadful and inevitable. The series is filled with that slow, terrifying sense of illness you get when you spot the beginning of a traffic accident. You know what’s going to happen, you know it’s going to be awful and people will die, and you know there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

The characterization is like nothing I’ve seen in the superhero genre. Because we get 13 hours with these folks, we get time to know everyone, and the Daredevil crew uses this to full extent. Everyone has a purpose, and everyone moves the plot forward. Everyone gets development, even – especially – the villains. There are no cardboard cutout characters in this show. No evil overlords, no damsels in distress. Notably, the closest thing we get to a “damsel in distress” frees herself, beans her captor in the face with a baseball bat, and later takes the opportunity to set him on fire (sort of, and snickers about it).

Of special note is the characterization of Wilson Fisk, played by Vincent D’Onofrio. Everyone in Daredevil did a fantastic job with their character, hands down. The acting all around was stellar. D’Onofrio blew them all out of the water.

I didn’t like his Fisk at first. D’Onofrio plays Fisk as hesitant, awkward – some are saying “autistic” in his awkardness. He’s lost, frequently frightened, isolated. I didn’t like it. I was like, “This is not the Kingpin I know from the comics.” Along about episode seven, I realized, exactly, this is not the Kingpin from the comics. That’s because Daredevil is as much the Kingpin’s origin story as it is Daredevil’s.

Daredevil is as much about how you build a villain as it is how you build a hero. It’s about why we fight, how we fight, and why that matters. It’s about what drives us to the things we do, and how we find our way in the world.

This show is brilliant. It is as brilliant in its technicalities – the writing, the lighting, the directing, the score – as it is in its execution – the acting, the humor, the fights.

Daredevil isn’t perfect. A couple of episodes drag, there’s a ridiculous ninja that totally didn’t fit the tone of the rest of the show, and there’s a whole episode devoted to Matt and Foggy yelling at each other all day. The dialog, which I think was aiming for noir, was clunky in a lot of spots (although the actors did such a good job you’d hardly notice).

The rest is so goddamn amazing, the flaws don’t matter.

If this is what Marvel and Netflix intend to bring us in the rest of their efforts, we are in for a hell of a ride, people.

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