‘It’s too late for heroes…’ ‘Hero’s your word, not mine’ – Netflix’s Marvel’s The Defenders

The Librarian’s juggling a lot at the moment and because she’s so busy and I was around, she asked me to come and take care of you guys for this week. So, hi, it’s me again, the Man on the Silver Mountain and I thought we’d take a look at something this week which has turned out to be kinda divisive; Netflix’s Marvel Cinematic Universe series, The Defenders.
The Defenders is the culmination of two seasons of Daredevil, and one season each of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Ironfist. It’s essentially the ending of phase one of the Marvel Netflix shows. So to discuss the ending of this part of the MCU we will be discussing the previous shows as well so consider this a spoiler warning for all the Marvel Netflix shows from this point onwards.

21148562_10154672104100458_227189257_n

The corridor fight scene, a staple of all Netflix Marvel shows – The Defenders, Netflix, 2017

So, since it aired The Defenders has had both positive and negative reviews as did Ironfist, the series that came before it and which leads directly into this show by providing the main antagonists for the majority of the show. I feel though that whilst these shows have their flaws they’ve been slightly blown out of proportion by the expectations people had for the show. It seems like a lot of people were expecting this team up series to be more similar to the Avengers team up movies but in a different format. Some people have felt let down though by the fact that it’s less Avengers and more Law and Order: Superhero Unit.

 

The story in broad strokes is this; The Hand (the bad guys from Ironfist and Daredevil season two) are continuing to cause more trouble but after everything that’s happened so far in the other shows they’re consolidated their forces in New York and they start making waves. This draws Ironfist back to New York and gets Daredevil to return to the streets as a costumed hero, which he’d given up after Daredevil season two and the not-quite-end of Elektra. Thanks to the power vacuum in Harlem that after Luke Cage took out Cottonmouth in his show and Jessica Jones’ role as a private investigator they also get caught up in the web of shady dealings the Hand have laid out across the city. After a little bit of investigating by all heroes they end up meeting up and finding out that they are ultimately the only thing that stands between New York and the collapse of the entire city, including the deaths of many of the inhabitants and they take the fight to the bad guys.

21148257_10154672114845458_1467888171_n

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Ironfist punching Luke Cage – The Defenders, Netflix, 2017

Let’s talk about the good stuff first before we get into the weaknesses the show has and some of the complaints that have been voiced.
First big positive for me is where some of the fights in the previous shows have been a little wonky, either clunky in their choreography or inconsistent in regards to how strong the two super strong characters have been, but in The Defenders they actually seem to have finally found the best balance between letting the brute force heroes do their thing whilst letting our more agile, martial arts-based heroes do theirs without problems occurring or it pulling you out of the action.
Next big positive was the slow build up, which I know not everyone will agree with, the way they let the characters develop and bump into each other over time was interesting to me, it let the mostly isolated shows we’ve had so far overlap organically and gave us, what I feel was, a good way to see how Ironfist’s Danny Rand is still the naïve rich kid on a mission, Luke Cage is not the well-meaning guy with a more street level view of the world but who has no real idea on where to start making things better for those around him, Jessica Jones is still showing the world nothing but a hard exterior whilst tackling her post-Purple Man trauma but her caring nature gets the better of her and how Matt Murdoch is trying to return to his live as a lawyer and not let down the people he loves and cares about whilst haunted by the ghosts that keep coming back to him again and again. After they all get together and agree to take the fight to the bad guys the chemistry between the characters and the way each character grows from the experience of being on a team is something I really liked and I’m looking forward to seeing where those developments take them in the next seasons of each of their respective shows.
The last big success for the show was the cast of villains they had in the show led by the ever-awesome Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra who I thought was a really great villain to stand up alongside the other leaders of the hand that we’ve seen a fair bit of in the other shows like Madame Gao and Bakuto.

 

21216115_10154672117905458_646014021_o

A picture of Sigourney Weaver because she’s glorious – The Defenders, Netflix, 2017

Okay, with the good stuff out of the way, let’s talk about where the show fell down a little. First and foremost, as much as Alexandra was a great villainess as a character, both she and Sigourney Weaver’s considerable talent as an actress don’t seem to be put to the best use, often having her float around in the background as a puppet master without actually giving her many puppets to play with. I wouldn’t have wanted to see her be a brawler like some of the other leaders or a mystic like Madame Gao but at times she just seemed to be there without an awful lot to do besides quietly hope her plan worked.
Also relating to villains, this show seems to suffer from the same problem that almost the entire MCU both TV shows and movies has; they kill off all their villains way too fast. I kind of understand why, these aren’t comics, the movies and the actors that star in them have finite amounts of time that they can really continue for, so in killing off a villain completely it counts a story as complete and the franchise can move onto the next thing without loose ends being left around. With all the hand gone though, it means greater instability for some heroes which will breed interesting stories in the future I’m sure but it also just leaves some characters without much direction and whilst being with direction could be a really interesting story in and of itself I don’t feel it would be a story that would complement the other things that have happened throughout all shows thus far.
My last negative point; where are all the other heroes? Yes, I understand the separation between the movies and the TV shows due to filming times and trying to organise between the two but in The Defenders there’s hardly even a reference to the Avengers, something the previous Netflix shows have at least included a little. Even though the Avengers aren’t based wholly in New York anymore you do still have the likes of Spider-Man or Doctor Strange around and both the street level organised crime and mystical activities of The Hand would surely draw their attention as well. Whilst I don’t expect to see Spider-Man and Daredevil working together closely as we’ve seen at various times in the comics, I would like to know what the Avengers and the other heroes in and around New York were doing both at the beginning and end of the season where earthquakes were happening or entire skyscrapers were collapsing.

I realise this is getting to be a pretty long post here but there’s one last thing I want to address and that’s the criticism Ironfist has gotten, both from his own show but also in this one. Lots of people were annoyed at Finn Jones being cast in the role, which personally, I don’t think he’s a bad actor and I don’t think he’s been bad in the role. Other folks have been annoyed at how out of his depth the character seems to have been but and how childish he is in his pursuit of his goals. I feel like that’s pretty much who the character of Ironfist was at the beginning, from the comics I’ve read it seems reasonably in keeping with the way the character started out in at least a couple of iterations. Finally, the thing I’d like to bring up is that being the only character with powers that aren’t always easy to explain but that also come with a duty attached to them, I feel like The Defenders does a good job of dragging Danny Rand as a character kicking and screaming towards at least trying to be more of the character people want him to be. Between the continuous jokes and sarcasm from the others around the origins of his powers to the ending of the season that seems to have the most substantial effect on Danny more so than the other heroes, they’ve started pushing him towards being more grown up about the way he sees the world and maybe more enjoyable to watch as a character for those who were disappointed previously. Maybe we’ll even see him in an costume in Ironfist season two, who knows?

Catch the trailer below!

Either way guys, let us know what you guys think of the show down in the comments and thanks for reading. Your Librarian should be back next week with something good for you but for more from me you can find me on YouTube at Man on the Silver Mountain.

What did you think of Marvel’s ‘The Defenders’? Are you for or against Iron Fist, or wish it was just Jessica Jones? Man on the Silver Mountain would love to know and start a heated debate in the comments! Leave a comment below! 

(Header Image: The Defenders, Netflix, 2017)

Advertisements

‘Maybe we’ll all get to watch her slam her head into a five tonne slab of granite’ – Outlander Season 1 and 2

Firstly, let me apologise for being a day late with the post! My only excuse is that I have been so tired from binge watching Outlander – I just HAD to get it finished.
Yes, folks, you heard me correctly. I have been learning all about the Jacobite revolution! I have learnt a surprising amount about the Jacobites, and I actually wished it was taught in schools.
Now I can’t do this post without spoilers, so SPOILER ALERT!

 

Outlander-Claire-Frank-1-670x388

Claire and Frank Randall on their 2nd honeymoon to Scotland. – Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present

Outlander is a British-American adaptation of a series with the same name, based around a woman named Claire from the 1940’s who mysteriously travels back in time through the stone circle at Craigh na Dun. She’s on a 2nd honeymoon with her husband, Frank, getting to know him again after being separated during WWII. Travelling back in time obviously takes a huge toll on Claire, who has no idea where she is nor fits in at all – her clothes, her accent, her mannerisms all give away her 20th century-ness. Good thing that none of the men from the 18th century have any idea about that! They just think she’s a very weird woman.

 

 

 

Outlander 2014

Claire and Jamie, plus their ring (which I love!) They’re almost like star crossed lovers – Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present

Claire is forced to marry Jamie, to save herself from being handed over to the evil Black Jack Randall, a man who is an ancestor of Frank Randall, Claire’s 20th century husband. The only downside to her new marriage? She falls head over heels in love with Jamie. Which makes me happy, because I am ‘Team Jamie’!

 

Claire is tried as a witch, and Jamie (in an attempt to save her life) he tries to put her through the stones again. But she doesn’t go, because she loves Jamie more than she ever loved Frank. Their love spawns not one but two children, one whom unfortunately dies (as do lots of 18th century children) and one who is born in the 20th century, which sounds very confusing – you’ll just have to watch the 29 episodes and find out what on earth I’m on about!

Catch the trailer for Season 3 down below! – 

 

Have you seen Outlander? What did you think? Feel sorry for Frank or are you team Jamie 100%? Looking forward to the 10/11th of September for Season 3? Leave a comment down below! 

(Header Image: Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present)

 

‘I’m fluent in Google Translate’ – Dr Strange, 2016

I’ll be the first to say it, I struggle to keep up with Marvel’s films. I wasn’t really into comics when Iron Man came out, so in my head the character is a bit over-rated. I have seen Avengers #1 and #2, Antman and now Dr Strange. I had always wanted to see it due to it having Benedict Cumberbatch (who’s name I was sure was a fake name until 3 seconds ago when I wiki’d it). It was on Sky Cinema, so as I was at Luke’s house he decided to put it on.

161102_MOV_dr-strange.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2

Strange learning how to magic with Mordo – Dr Strange, Marvel Studios, 2016

Dr Steven Strange is a world renowned brain surgeon – the beginning of the movie shows him operating, while dancing to a 1970’s song I can’t remember the name to. Unfortunately, his career comes to a steaming halt as he has a car crash (after basically texting and driving! Don’t do it kids!) His hands become unusable; they shake uncontrollably and he undertakes multiple operations to become healthy again. All of these fail, his hands still shake and he is now out of money – he presumably had to sell the dozens of fancy watches he owned to pay for his treatment. He travels to Japan for “treatment”, Jonathon Pangborn (a man who had no use of his legs and can now walk) tells him where to go, and our valiant hero Dr Strange is born.

EyeBar640

The Eye of Agamotto, worn by strange as one of his legendary artifacts – Dr Strange, Marvel Studios, 2016

He’s kind of thrown into the deep end. Without prior warning he’s told he has to basically save the world – be an Avenger for the mystical. The Ancient one basically decides that he’s the next messiah, even though she has powerful Mordo by her side, and tells him he has to save the world. Without giving too much away he does, and he uses that clever little Eye of Agamotto to do it. If it’s used too often the user happens upon a time loop and repeats the same place in time again and again and again.

b7015df8af3c0ed28bd5bfc89f308ea3

KISS HIM PROPERLY, CHRISTINE! The cheek doesn’t count! – Dr Strange, Marvel Studios, 2016

My one issue? Christine Palmer and Steven not kissing. I spent most of the movie on the heights of sexual tension; looking at each other, making jokes about children (the Palmer-Strange / Strange-Palmer technique)
The one time she gives him a kiss it’s on the cheek! I was so mad! I like a good romance in a film, and I thought there’s was cute – exes who still work together and still obviously like one another.

All in all I really liked Dr Strange, and look forward to the next one. He’s probably one of my favourite Marvel heroes, he’s smart and arrogant but has a softer side about him. Perhaps his American accent will be better next time! Now I just need to watch all of them in order!

Check out the trailer below!

 

Have you seen Doctor Strange? What did you think? Did you like the character? What about his American accent? Leave a comment below! 

(Header Image: Dr Strange, Marvel Studios, 2016)

‘Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!’ – Rick and Morty, Season 1-3

I don’t know about you, readers, but I love Rick and Morty, and have done ever since it came out. It’s like all the fun of The Simpsons or Family Guy plus science! When I attended university, I was told to watch it by a lecturer and I can say I have never turned back!

59a53e0f53775f63f1284ac54b86c5ab

A family photo – Rick and Morty, Adult Swim, 2013-Present

Rick and Morty is an Adult Swim production, based loosely on Back to the Future, Rick being Doc and Morty being Marty. It’s a very obvious link between them, crazy scientist and rather lackluster kid who ends up becoming the sidekick. Season 2 introduces another sidekick in the form of Summer, Morty’s older cool-girl sister, who is actually quite naive inside. Beth, their horse-heart-surgeon mother and daughter of Rick, and Jerry, his really bland and useless dad, have a very tumultuous relationship which has now ultimately (since S3 – SPOILERS) lead to a break up of the marriage. This has had a profound affect on Morty and Summer, and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out in the end of the season – but hopefully there’s another 20 episodes before that happens!

960

Let’s get Swifty! – Rick and Morty, Adult Swim, 2013-Present

Rick and Morty is 100% adult, and it’s important to not show it to your kids without at least being there! Not only will they not appreciate all the butts and rude jokes, they probably won’t get the references – link to some you probably missed here!

I really suggest watching Rick and Morty, even if it’s for a good laugh and a wonder about what on earth is going on.

What do you think about Rick and Morty? Did you watch Back to the Future and love it? Want some more crazy Doc shenanigans ahead? Did you expect Beth to divorce Jerry? Leave a comment below! 

(Header Image: Rick and Morty, Adult Swim, 2013-Present)