Daredevil Season 2

In this season Matt, Foggy, and Karen cross paths with Hell’s Kitchen’s newest vigilante, the Punisher. Daredevil is ripped apart at the seams by his double life. An important figure from Matt’s past, Elektra battles against the mysterious ninja cult called The Hand, and Hell’s Kitchen become divided over what a hero is and what kind of hero it needs.

Season two draws its influence from a rich comic book history, taking aspects of ‘The Man without Fear’ series and ‘The Devil in Cell Block D’ storyline, as well as Garth Ennis’ Punisher tale “Kitchen Irish”.

After an incredible season one, Daredevil season two improves on everything that was great about the first thirteen episodes.

If you liked the fleshed-out characters of season one, this season will not let you down. The writing delves even deeper into Matt’s turmoil of doing what’s right without going too far. The disregard for his own self and the sacrifices he makes as Matt Murdock so that he can protect the city he loves as Daredevil is a fascinating downward spiral that will knock the wind out of you and never let you get up.

The introduction of the Punisher, who antagonizes Daredevil as something that will never ultimately fix Hell’s Kitchen, is intriguing enough to make you question your own ethics. But his portrayal by Jon Bernthal as a man over the edge and the remarkable way this character is presented, as one man’s operatic tragedy of violence, is explosive.

The creators of this show have taken a one-dimensional, one-note character from the comic books and added dimension, depth and heartbreak to breathe something new into Frank Castle. He becomes a violent force of nature over the course of the series: you fear him, you despise him, you empathize with him, and you eventually cheer him on before realizing that you still fear him.

Speaking of characters you cheer on, the growth of Foggy Nelson in this season could be its own show. You’d tune in to see his legal exploits and loveable hopeless good guy personality week in week out if this is all the show was.

The same can be said for Karen Page. If you want a show about a strong female character that doesn’t bend to conventions, forget Jessica Jones. You won’t need that. Karen went from damsel in distress to strong female lead in season one. In season two she builds immensely on that and is one of the truest and well-crafted characters on TV today. The writers have given her agency that is rare in any genre.

Unfortunately, the show’s intended ass-kicking female, Elektra, isn’t as well crafted. Her flashback story with Matt provides the viewer with an adrenaline rush of on-screen romance and sexually charged tangoing. But as a vigilante, she is the least fully realized character and doesn’t work as well as the other parts of the show. Even this, though, isn’t a major complaint, just something to develop in the inevitable season three.

The handling of violence in this show has to be mentioned. If the hallway scene in season one was what you’re looking for more of, you will be pleased. There are at least three set pieces like it in this season that exceed the bar set by season one. The fights are innovative, to say the least.

And while this is gruesome and bloody, it’s all in aid of the realism, it’s not gratuitous. It’s well choreographed, well shot and every bit as balanced and entertaining visually as the show is well written and acted. You will watch season two of Daredevil, experience every high and low and feel like you have come out of a great legal drama, Kung-Fu flick, revenge tale, romance, or human drama. You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped out of a great movie that gave you exactly what you asked for and then some.

You’ll forget that it’s television.

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War is the latest entry into the Marvel cinematic universe. It picks up after the events of both the previous Captain America films and Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the wake of destruction left by events of any Marvel moment when someone throws a superheroic punch, the Avengers are being held accountable for their actions and are asked to sign a U.N backed accord. Iron Man agrees and becomes the figurehead of the new act, Captain America doesn’t and the heroes from previous films, plus new additions Black Panther and Spider-Man, choose sides.

What do you expect from a Marvel film?

Whatever you answer with, guaranteed, this movie has it. Marvel has got its formula for pleasing all audiences 100% right by now. They’re the new Pixar. They can do no wrong.

The action set piece in the center of the film is more satisfying than anything in the whole two hours and 21 minutes of Age of Ultron. This is THE definitive example of the spectacle you sign up for when you pay to see these films.

The performances from the entire cast exceed excellently. There needs to be a new term to replace “scene-stealer” because this film goes beyond that.

You will admire Paul Bettany’s portrayal of Vision trying to understand his humanity.

The internal conflict you will feel when deciding who to side with will tear you apart.

You will go back and watch Ant-Man again after this and love it more than you did before.

You will look (even more) forward to the coming Spider-Man film and will wonder why you ever questioned plans for a Black Panther movie.

You’ll even watch Hawkeye and wonder where the hell THIS was in both Avengers films and why he hasn’t had his own film yet.

It’s not riddled with faults. There are no questionable editing decisions or cheesy sound choices. It doesn’t suffer from bad writing or confusing cinematography. It’s clean. It’s polished… And when your excitement dies down. When you leave the cinema, get back in your car and stop gushing about it with your friends or online for five minutes you’ll realize this movie is just “process” now. There’s no real ultimate consequence…

I mean… There is implied consequence… (Cant…go… into detail…trying…not… to spoil). But it lacks change.

It’s just another of the now numberless moving parts of the mighty Marvel movie money-making machine.

Civil War, The comic that this movie gets its title and basic framework from on the other hand. That was a game changer.

There WERE consequences.

The story world landscape was changed for a long time afterward.

There’s a reason it’s widely considered in the world of fandom as the greatest Marvel universe story of the last thirty years.

Civil War the comic follows the same major plot as its film version. After a disastrous, destructive event… the heroes of the Marvel universe are asked to register their powers and identities with the government. Heroes (and villains) choose sides.

Villains (and heroes) switch sides.

People die. (No…NO!!! no spoilers…NO SPOILERS DAMN IT!)

The art was incredible… clear, detailed, emotional… The writing had gravity and rang surprisingly true for something based in such a fantastical world. It was born out the events of 9/11, it placed a real problem into a fictional world and asked how heroes define themselves, where their conscience lies in the face of a world that has never been further from black and white. It treated its themes with dignity, with respect and honesty that most people wouldn’t expect from the four colour medium of comics, but by now probably should.

Captain America: Civil War is a well-made meal.

You’ll eat it, even if you weren’t hungry, even if you didn’t NEED it… You’ll eat it all up. But you won’t be dying for another serve afterward.

You’ll just feel like… “I’m full now. What else is there to do?”