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Iron Fist (2017)
It is the weakest of the Netflix Super Hero series, the plot, the script, the fight choreography and the acting were very average. Each of the series before had some hallmark freshness to them, this time around felt Netflix went back a decade to old superhero series like Arrow, only more mediocre production budget. The pacing was terrible, there was not enough suspense or shock creation, some of the actors felt like noobs fresh out of collage but I think the biggest fault would goes with the direction. Still it is entertaining and I did binge watch it a day, just not to the standard I was expecting.
Luke Cage (2016)
Mix Bag (Review of Season One)
First half of the series is amazing, second half equally lame.The series starts of great, with the character of Luke Cage already been establish in the series Jessica Jones, time is given to establish the place Harlem, its culture, its music, its sole. The way each episode have its own stand out musical performance, along with the 70's feel is awesome. The series got excellent casting & performances. The direction & writing were excellent in the first half of the series and takes a nose dive from episodes 7. The initial episodes while the villains were never a competition to Cage, they fitted perfectly with the theme of the Harlem. The later episodes tends to go away from Harlem & focuses more on Cage's Nemesis. The bringing of a bigger villain to face off with Cage frankly didn't fit well with the word of Harlem.
Mike Colter is great as Luke Cage, he brings the power man image out with his attitude and his physic is natural perfect fit for the bullet proof man. The supporting cast were a mix bag, while Mahershala Ali's Cornell 'Cottonmouth' Stokes & Alfre Woodard's Mariah Dillard were great as Harlem muscle/political manic, the characterization of Shades & Diamonback were lame, mind you it's there characterization and the script they got which are terrible and not there acting. Same is with the NYPD, I initially enjoyed Simone Missick's Misty Knight, a strong women character but felt her to be weak & useless as the series progressed.
It's a great show just the writing teams in the second half were really bad.
The first half of the series were 9/10 series, the latter half a 4/10 for an average of 6.
The Pacific (2010)
Bleak side of a war
I was really excited to watch the series knowing this was a Companion piece to Band of Brothers (BOB) covering the Pacific Theater of Operations during WW-2, the series covers 1st Marine Division's battles on islands such as Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa. As a standalone series Pacific is excellent, but BOB being there a comparison had to be made and when done I felt Pacific to be a notch lower in almost every department. It's a different series than BOB in covering more on depressing side of the war than the heroic side.
The series visualizes the war from the view point of three individuals of 1st Marine from very different backgrounds, getting into their private life. Its show how normal citizens become hero, some are heroes by action during battles, some by just surviving the war and not turning into monster. A lot of time is spend away from action, an episode covers a year spent in Australia, one recovering from battle trauma, another on finding love & getting married. The series focuses more on individual emotions & bonds, frankly the time spend away from action is not entertaining as mostly it covers the gloomy side of war, the damaged soldiers & there condition. The sad part is the time spend on war also gets repetitive after a time with most of the islands being similar in nature, the jungles with its malaria, rains, heat & the unrelenting japs.
The action shown in the series is more gory then heroic, the series probably sets out portray wars as grim thing and not grand stuff and is successful at it.
Band of Brothers (2001)
Best War Drama Mini-Series (actually the best series ever)
The series is based on Easy Company, a part of the 101st Airborne Division during World War Two. The ten part series covers the company from the start of the war till the ending, there training in USA to their jumping into Normandy followed by another jumping into Holland, their participation in Battle of Bulge to them entering Germany. It's a facts based picturization covering all the major & minor details of the time and events.
Many of the episodes are shot from the point of view of individual character to give the storytelling continuity, the episodes have been covered from the point of view of the commanding office, the NCO, the medic and the other notable trooper.Some of the performances by the cast are outstanding, Damian Lewis as Major Richard "Dick" Winters is superb, he is the lead for the series being the commanding officer of the company. Other notable performers are Ron Livingston as Captain Lewis Nixon, Major Winters' best friend & Neal McDonough as First Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton. The series got superb casting, few of the minor roles starer went on to become big name in Hollywood. Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, James Mcavoy, Simon Pegg & Colin Hanks all played minor roles and this was among their first break on television.
The direction is great, being ranked No.1 TV Show on IMDb is the testament of that. With a budget of about 125 million (this is 2001), it's got higher production values than most Hollywood movies at the time. The accuracy in details of weapons and costumes seem authentic.
This is my third watch for the series in the last 15 years and I believe I may end up watching it again in another 5 years' time, this miniseries is that good.
Best Action Series on Television (Review for Season 1 & 2)
Daredevil stands apart from other Comic based Super Hero series running on television by being a notch better in almost every department. Its darker than the other similar series in presenting some gory details, the martial arts used is way superiors, the action sequences are great, the cast have been great at their roles from the first episode without needing time to settle in, the plot has been solid all throughout the two seasons without any silly fillers or wasted episodes. This is one of the few series where the second season was better than the first one. With a genuine long term plot planned out the future only looks brighter for the series.
Season One introduces us to Matt Murdock the Daredevil who is played by Charlie Cox and he is great at this portrayal. The supporting cast also give us great performances with a lot of screen time given to the bad guy Wilson Fisk who is played by Vincent D'Onofrio. While I like the part of screen time given for development of the bad guy, I just didn't like the Fat Man characteristic for the boss villain. Wilson Fisk the character was only disappointment for me in Season one. The action choreography for the season was just awesome. I did feel the ending to be lackluster but it kind of added to the motto of the series to keep building the story for the future. (9/10)
Season Two just blew me away, with the introduction of two superb characters and their journey, Jon Bernthal as Punisher and Elodie Yung as Elektra. The show just became more gory, fun, complex & entertaining. The first few episodes on Punishers dealing out mayhem took violence to another level. Then the introduction of Elektra and her history with Matt and her demands on his time puts a new angle his relationship with his partners at office. This season is not about the final fight with an evil bad guy (it does have that) but more about characters exploring there life, what they want to be, where they want to go, its more about relationship between all our favorite characters. (10/10)
Jessica Jones (2015)
Entertaining (Review for Season 1)
Was refreshing to see a Superhero series without any spectacular action or CGI effects and still being good. Marvel's Jessica Jones is a Drama relaying on good acting, solid plot & detective PI work to get the work done. The series is targeted at adults with believable action sequences, depiction of sexuality and the darker side of Crime. My complaints are the show could have been shorter, could have easily given us the same story in a crisper manner. Also Jones always seems to be using her super power in very controlled manner unlike the brazen use by the bad guy. I felt it's more to do with the lack of CGI budget, why make a super hero action show and skip out on action sequences!!!
Jessica Jones with her abrasive personality is a difficult role to play but still Krysten Ritter does a good job of it. With Jones what you see and what you get are just opposite, she looks delicate with her petite body frame but has super strength, she is an alcoholic but got a quick mind, always sarcastic & rude but got a caring heart.
David Tennant's shines as Kilgrave, the smartly dressed bad guy who has the power of mind control. His portrayal of a narcissistic sociopath is the best part of the series.
The show got great supporting characters that give excellent performances and each and every one have this unique/weird chemistry with the Jessica Jones. Mike Colter as Luke Cage brings in the guilt ridden love interest, his intriguing past and characterization propelling him to get a show for himself. Rachael Taylor is great as Trish "Patsy" Walker, step-sister & at times side kick, emotional pillar for Jessica Jones, her charming characterization at times overshadow the Jones. Carrie-Anne Moss is good as the cold blooded lawyer although felt she was underutilized.
This is a not a Superhero series, it's more a vigilantly PI vs Super villain series and a good one at that.
Agent Carter (2015)
Gem of a Show, Thriller with Fun (Review for Season 1 & 2)
I really enjoyed the show, it's a Spy based series inspired from Captain America movie during the 1940's post WW-2 America. The series got great production values most of the show felt like a movie rather than a series, loved the 1940's costumes & props along with Howard Starks gizmos. Hayley Atwell's reprising the role of the center character Agent Peggy Carter is superb, she is supported with excellent supporting cast. James D'Arcy portrayal of Edwin Jarvis brings in the comic relief and we get a see the man who inspired Iron Man to name his AI "Jarvis". Dominic Cooper reprising of womanizer young Howard Strak makes Tony Strak from Iron Man movies look like a choir boy. Another performance which blew me away was Bridget Regan role of Super-Spy.
The show focuses on solid plot, storytelling and acting instead of special effects and mindless action as is the case with other comic book inspired shows. It's probably the most mature/believable themed comic book show on televise, a true noir production.
Season One was a pure spy/detective arc, no superpowers or superhuman involved, instead we get an edge of the seat thriller. (10/10)
Season Two moves to LA and we have the first superpower world saving incident, still in sticking to more Sci-fi theme than mindless action the series holds its own. (8/10)
This series deserve to be out there, can't understand why it was cancelled.
Great adaptation from the comics
I really enjoyed the occult detective series, it had something new to offer every episode. The show is a thriller drama with a touch of horror and lots of intrigue. The casting of Matt Ryan as the lead was great, he suited the role perfectly and did a great portrayal of John Constantine. Rest of the supporting cast were also good especially Harold Perrineau & Angélica Celaya. The plotting and storytelling is solid, the pacing smooth, normally all series end up having filler or irrelevant episodes this one didn't have any of those, every episode was fresh with the interesting plots, we keep discovering new things with a lot of world building still to happen. The special effects were good for a television series. I was really disappointed that the series was cancelled as the suspense was only getting better. Hope they renew the series.
The Flash (2014)
Entraining Review of Season One & Two
The Flash has had a solid plot with great pace and unexpected twist. The seamless incorporation of superpowers & concept like time travelling make the show a great work. The cast and there performances has been superb.
Grant Gustin as the Flash is instantly likable with his boyish charms & awkwardness. The supporting cast is also superb in there characterization and acting. Danielle Panabaker & Carlos Valdes brings the seriousness and silliness to the team with Tom Cavanagh bringing in the mentor with intriguing agenda. On the family side of Flas Jesse L. Martin is perfect as the step dad.
Season One The Flash starts off with a bang with its young adorable cast does a great job of introducing Flash, his beginning and how he and his many enemies came about. We get a great nemesis's in terms of Reverse Flash. The plot is solid with some drama, romance & even tragedy. The action sequences are done up pretty well, especially the CGI Gorilla and a Tsunami. The season ends with a grand finale. (9/10)
Season Two It was a high benchmark to match season one and got to say they did a pretty good job at it. Felt everything improved a notch, be it the acting, the new characters or the new twist in the plot. I really enjoyed the introduction of Earth 2 with its doppelganger having their version of our favourite characters. Zoom turned out to be darker and creepier villain then the yellow flesh. The action sequences and CGI effects were even better than the previous season, King Shark looked amazing. My only real disappointment was the overuse of time jump concept and confusion in this regard. (9/10)
Goes from Fun to Frustrating Review for Season One to Four
The series starts off on a high but keeps falling to new low as the new seasons come in. When the show was only about an arrow drawing vigilantly, it used to be fun, but each new season introduces ludicrous plot. Now we have super humans, magic, people returning from dead and lots of stupid script and plotting.
Season One Introduces us to Oliver Queen aka Arrow, didn't know much about him although a lot of parallels could be drawn with Batman. This season has strong plotting, intriguing story, witty humor & good cinematic action sequences. The acting starts on a low but the cast find their feet by the end of the season. (8/10)
Season Two It's about the reformed non killing Arrow & the story supports the agenda perfectly. Lots of character development for the supporting cast making for an overall better team, we get to see a lot more of DC universe and it look promising, we get cameos of the Flash & the Suicide squad. The plot revolves around a Demon from Arrows past, the intrigue of past made for a fun watch. The bad guy in this season was probably the perfect antagonist to the Arrow. Besides being a better actor, his presence and skill were just superb. The finale of the season did get overblown with the introduction of superhuman and the ending was not as strong as I had expected, still a superior season than the first one. (8/10)
Season Three Starts on a high then loses itself until an exceptional mid season episode of a dual high up in mountains and then spirals down for a new low by the end of the season. The way League of Assassin was used turned out to be a botched up job. This season had better actors & acting just the script and plotting were terrible. The policy of not killing a non-reform-able mass murder was so frustrating. (5/10)
Season Four The plot was ridiculous, spoiled it all for me. Enjoyed the cameos of Flash, Vixen & Constantine but the guys from Arrow itself had only self-pitying or obnoxious roles. The show has turned into a romantic soap-opera having good action sequences. (3/10)