‘I am a match for any man’ – The White Queen, 2013

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope we all got over ‘Blue Monday’ (the 3rd Monday in January – apparently it’s the most depressing day of the year) and didn’t have too much snow during the week! I’ve had an up and down week, but I am back to feeling better! Hooray!
This week’s tele came around a little differently than normal. I saw a trailer for the new STARZ tv show The Spanish Princess

The Trailer for The Spanish Princess – The Spanish Princess, STARZ, 2019

… and then remembered that there were other STARZ shows in the vein of Reign (semi-historical romance dramas – right up my street!) So I went out of my way to find copies of The White Queen (this weeks review) and The White Princess (a future review). Without further ado, let me tell you about The White Queen!

King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth, expecting another child. Was it a girl? – The White Queen, BBC/STARZ, 2013

The White Queen is set in the War of the Roses – a time when Britain was divided by two houses both vying for power. It revolves around the women who were influential in it; Elizabeth Woodville of York – who marries Edward to become Queen, Margaret Beaufort of Lancaster – Mother to Henry Tudor, and Anne Neville, who changed sides from York, to Lancaster, to York – wife of Richard III – each manipulating things to go their own way. Although the series is called The White Queen, it adapts 3 of Phillipa Gregory’s books – The White Queen (focused on Elizabeth), The Red Queen (focused on Margaret) and The Kingmaker’s Daughter (focused on Anne Neville). It begins in 1464, 9 years after the beginning of the war, and finishes in 1485. With no spoilers to be wary of, as it’s actual history please find a brief recap of the history here.


King Richard III and his wife Queen Anne Neville – The White Queen, BBC/STARZ, 2013

People should know by now, I love a good historical drama. See my reviews of shows like Outlander. Give me a period outfit, with corset and braided hair any day!
I love the conflict in them, and kind of feel like I’m learning stuff all at the same time. As with a lot of these shows, things move through time quite quickly, and the adults don’t age – so their children end up looking the same age as they do. The acting is quite good, and I do feel immersed. I never find that STARZ shows have ‘bad’ acting. Sometimes eye-rolling plot, but the actors are never the reason for that. I am excited to watch the sequel, The White Princess and The Spanish Princess after that!

Have you seen The White Queen? What did you think Are you as into period dramas as I am?

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“Which one of you is my Grandad’s girlfriend?” – Trust, 2018

Good afternoon, Monday-ers! How are we all this week? I hope well! I’ve had my first week of my PGCE, which means that I am officially a trainee-teacher, woo! But this does mean I’ve had less time to watch and read things than I would have liked – it’s all been tiring! Therefore, what I’m reviewing I admit to not having finished. I am half way through. This is unlike me, and I hope it won’t happen again. But I just had to talk about it! So, without further ado, I bring you Trust, a story about the Getty kidnapping. It’s a bit shorter than my usual reviews, but that’s purely because I’ve not seen all of it.

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John Paul Getty III getting kidnapped – Trust, FX/BBC, 2018

Before I begin this review, I think I should explain the kidnapping itself. John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in the in Rome when he was 16. He had toyed with the idea of getting himself kidnapped by petty criminals but he changed his mind because both of them started getting work modelling for photographers. He was blindfolded, transported, and imprisoned in a cave. The kidnappers issued a ransom note demanding $17 million in exchange for his safe return. When that message arrived, some family members suspected that the kidnapping was merely a ploy by Getty III, as he had frequently joked about staging his own kidnapping to extract money from his wealthy grandfather.

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Donald Sutherland as Getty Snr. I think he really looks the part! – Trust, FX/BBC, 2018

I have really enjoyed watching this show. I am engrossed with all of it. From what I’ve heard it does a better job than the Scott movie adaptation, but this I need to watch. Perhaps when I’ve done that I can give a comparative review of both.
Where I’m at currently at in the show is a little… boring? It’s the explaining of how he was captured, but I feel like it’s too explanatory. I think it would have been better to see most of the story from Gail’s (Getty III mother) perspective in this part. We’ve seen her going crazy over it, but I feel like we should know what she’s doing more to get Getty Snr’s attention. I am hoping it picks up later on, when we see his body parts being cut up and sent back to his family – to show that the kidnappers are not joking.
The acting is superb though. Even though there has been a few slumps in pacing, I’ve not felt like I haven’t engaged with any of it. I want to find out what happens next. I mostly want to see how it ends – How Getty III came back to his parents and grandfather, how his grandfather lived his last three years of life, if anything else crazy happens to them! I wasn’t alive when this originally happened, so I can’t wait to find out what does!

If you can get on to the BBC iPlayer, I really recommend watching it. I know it was on FX in America, but am unsure where you can see it there. But please do! It’s well worth the watch!

[Header: Trust, FX/BBC, 2018]

‘Danger, Will Robinson’- Lost in Space, 2018

Happy Monday everyone! How was our weeks this week? Assignments are nearly all done, and I am getting all ready to enjoy some time off before starting my dissertation. Going to enjoy the sun whilst I can! I binge watched Lost in Space this week, whilst I was writing and dying in the heatwave we’ve been having this week (Hope you’ve all been drinking to stay hydrated!)
Without further ado, here is my thoughts on Lost in Space!

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Family round the table, discussing some plan or another – Lost in Space, Netflix, 2018

Lost in Space is a 2018 reimagining of the 1965 show of the same name, with all the characters having the same name too – but slightly different jobs. This is the 21st Century after all! An object, dubbed “The Christmas Star” crashes into Earth and threatens to wipe out humanity (we see Maureen and Penny wearing gas masks in one scene). Maureen begins to work on the team that works on the “Resolute”, a way off of planet Earth and to find a new colony on another planet – No this isn’t Star Trek, I promise. Though “No Man” has “boldly gone” this way. The Robinson family is selected for the 24th mission off of Earth, but before they reach their destination, an alien robot breaches the Resolute’s hull. Colonists crash land on a habitable nearby planet where they attempt to find a way back to their ship.

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Will and his Robot. Danger – Lost in Space, Netflix, 2018

I loved every moment of this show, like every moment… okay that’s a slight lie, but I’ll explain in a second. This will be easier if I just talk about character here, so off we go! (We’ll go in reverse age order!)
Will is probably the most traumatised kid in the whole of the universe. Everything just seems to go wrong for him, and he doesn’t cope with stress well (you’ll see what I mean when you watch it). I think he was a perfect addition to the family. Without him we won’t have the Robot, and he grows through his metal friend.
Penny has some of the best lines in the whole series, she’s just like her Mum in her free-spirited-ness. But obviously, Penny can be a bit more carefree than her mum. I don’t remember when it was, but at one point I had to pause the show because I was laughing so hard at something she said.

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Maureen and John on the planet they never name – Lost in Space, Netflix, 2018

Judy, the eldest of the Robinson kids, is a super smart 18 year old girl. Like her brother, she’s taken on the family trait of super intelligence. But they’re very different – Judy is much more like her Dad than anyone. Which is obviously a talking point for the show.
Maureen and John have a tumultuous relationship to say the least. They were barely talking when they left Earth, and being shoved together could either be a detriment to them or  could help them fix their issues. I was so committed to their relationship throughout. I will say their parenting skills need a little work though.
Dr Smith is the antagonist, like the original show. I kinda wished I didn’t hear so much about her back story though. That’s the one issue I had from earlier. But that’s it. So that’s really good.

To all you who saw the original show, you’ll still love this. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be a remake of either that or the movie. I loved every second.

Have you seen Lost in Space? What was your thoughts? Love or hate it? Think it’s just another remake? Leave a comment down below!

[Header Image: Lost in Space, Netflix, 2018]

 

‘Who’s is the mask I’m wearing?’ – The Grinning Man, 2016

Happy Easter, readers! I hope you ate lots of chocolate and didn’t get caught out by too many April Fools Day jokes! I was going to give you a usual review of a game or movie this week – that was until I went to the theatre in London on Saturday night, with my friend Daisy, and I just need to tell you all about it! The journey to see this musical was a weird one – we had booked tickets to Coraline the Opera, didn’t realise it was a matinee and so missed the show (woops!) We then struggled at 4pm to find something to do, until we saw that under 25s can see some shows at some theatres for only £25! So we booked some good seats and went!
Plus, the main character was inspiration for the Joker, so this counts… right? Without further ado – here is The Grinning Man.

Disclaimer – I obviously understand that this is a limited run (there are still tickets on sale), and not everyone can go see it, but I really enjoyed it, so wanted to share. ON WITH THE REVIEW!
Oh and… reviewing something from memory is harder than it looks, so bear with me! First times etc…

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Operating the puppet of Grinpayne – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The Grinning Man is a tragicomic musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel The Man Who Laughs, and is brought to us from the director of War Horse – it uses puppetry in the same way as War Horse, the use of skeletal animals (in this case a wolf, not a horse) and the children within the play.
It unfolds as a crazy fairytale – slightly horrish, slightly whimsical, completely awesome. It’s framed in a huge pair of bared teeth, a bit like Grinpayne’s unfortunate face.

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Dea and Grinpayne – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The music was amazing. The score was equally as eerie as it was intriguing, and I liked that the orchestra was underneath the stage, we could only see “Hans” the conductor and pianist from where we were sat in the audience.
It breaks the fourth wall a lot, “I hate the theatre” “Puppetry’s not as easy as it looks” etc., via it’s clown character, Barkilphedro. He spends most of the time he’s being the comic relief, but other characters do help with that too (mostly David Dirry-Moor, one of the three royal siblings). Other characters are other stereotypes from Victorian England, including, but not limited to; Josiana (sexually liberal Duchess), Angelica (mentally unstable Princess), King Clarence (King Henry VIII-esque character, fat and angry). I found most of it hilarious, the gags kept coming, even when you thought they were going to end they would happen again, like the potion feeding scene.
Even when a blooper happened, they got on with it; Barkilphedro rolls off stage at one point and his hat got stuck on a light. Cue a hand gingerly coming out of the side of stage to try and untangle himself. Whilst the audience, including myself, laughed, the actors on stage kept a very straight face.

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Grinpayne in his crazy state – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The actors also get involved in the audience a couple times. They bustle their way through, sitting with people in the audience, making them move all their stuff. It makes the audience feel like they’re actually a part of the freak show. They also make a reference to an audience being there a couple of times whilst on stage. My new claim to fame is Louis Maskell, who plays Grinpayne, stepping on my foot as he went past and leaning down to whisper “Sorry” to me. Very nice of him.

It was honestly the best thing I’ve seen on stage for a long time. I honestly can’t recommend someone go see this more. Under 25s can see this show for only £25, no matter what seat they pick.

Have you seen The Grinning Man? Do you want to go? What else have you seen on stage? I’d love to know! Leave a comment down below! 

 

‘Relax… this pot is making you aggressive…’ – Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Good morning/afternoon readers! How are we all today? Recovered from the loss of sleep from the clocks going forward? I know I haven’t!
Todays review will be slightly different – I’ve been watching a lot of movies recently, but none of them have been ‘comic book appropriate,’ so I thought screw it, let’s just talk about something I’ve been watching! I mean… at least it’s an adaptation… right? Without further ado, let’s talk about Eyes Wide Shut.

Warning – this review is not for minors, 18+ please! 

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The Movie Poster – Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999

Eyes Wide Shut is an erotic drama (quote wikipedia on that one, not me) based on Traumnovelle (Dream Story); written, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick (fun Kubrick fact – he lived in a manor house incredibly close by to where I am). It was the last movie he ever worked on, making it a pivotal movie for me – I’ve watched a few Kubrick films now, and his style has changed throughout. Like other Kubrick adaptations, this film verges so far from the book it’s barely the same anymore, but significant plot points are not omitted. I find it very interesting that Kubrick hired Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise to be his main characters, these two were a married couple at the time of this film – and definitely adds to the sexual tension of the piece. Throughout, we have callbacks to it’s original setting, with the use of old Victorian buildings etc.
The narrative follows the sexually charged adventures of Bill, a medical doctor , who is shocked when Alice his wife, says she had contemplated having an affair a year earlier – which is shown in the first few moments of the movie. Bill is called away during a party, leaving his wife to the hands of another man who gets her slightly too drunk. Extremely upset Bill embarks on a crazy night, in which he infiltrates a massive masked orgy of an underground secret society.

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The weird mask things – Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999

One issue I always have with Kubrick’s work is how long his films are. When he was writing them it was shocking to have a movie over 2 hours long, and (according to my select button) this movie is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. There’s got to be a lot of this movie that’s pretty superfluous, it goes on a little bit too long. I’d have struggled to sit through it in a movie theatre/cinema that’s for sure.
I also have a real issue with Bill’s first port of call to be “cheat on wife with prostitute.” Learn to talk things out with your wife dude! You’re married with a kid! Whilst I admit that what she did was wrong, she didn’t kiss the naval officer, whereas he instigated an affair with a prostitute. At least it didn’t go further than a kiss. It makes me laugh that the way that Bill gets into one of these crazy parties is by wearing a tux with a hood and a mask, talk about weird!
The Master of Ceremonies bit is weird, the constant imagining of Alice having sex with another guy is weird – the whole movie is weird. And I think that’s it’s appeal. It’s weird, because it’s Kubrick, but at the same time it’s weirdness is alluring. I want to find out what happens in these underground sex cults, whether it’s true or not (I presume not), and it makes me want to keep watching.  I will watch any of Kubrick’s work any day, which I will finally get around to doing soon!

Eyes Wide Shut is classic Kubrick weirdness, but honestly I loved it for that. His distinct directoral stance can be seen throughout; the sex scenes reminded me a lot of A Clockwork Orange (which I also loved and thought was crazy).

Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? Are you a fan of Kubrick? I’d love to chat about him with you all! Leave a comment down below! 

No Review this Week! – 6/3/18

Hey everyone! Hope you all enjoyed a snowy week and built lots of snow-librarians (those are a thing right?)

I have been swamped with univeristy work this week, and will be up until the end of April – just need to get it all done and then you have my undivided attention!

I’m so sorry it’s been so patchy recently, I feel awful for it, honestly I do!

Next week I shall be giving you the low down on all the games I’m playing at the moment and the ones I just love so much and just havw to share -mmos, adventures, point and clicks – you name a genre I’ve probably played something in it!

I aim to make it a bumper post, there’s a lot to fit in, so it gives me a week to play a bit more and perhaps give you some screen-caps of my characters and some detailed background info on it all!

Stick with me through this next month or so please! I promise it will be worth it!

I really am sorry that I can’t give you all my undivided attention! Is there anything you’d like to see my review – it can be any medium (book, movie, comic, game) and doesn’t have to be an adaptation! Leave a comment down below!

‘Coming back from the dead is a bitch. Every single time.’ – Altered Carbon, 2018

Happy Monday, everyone! And happy 1 year birthday to us! That’s right, 1 whole year ago we began our crazy journey into reviewing, and boy have I loved every minute. Hopefully you have too, because I don’t plan on stopping any time soon!
This week Altered Carbon came out, which I first heard about on the One Show on the BBC a few weeks ago, with an interview with James Purefoy (who plays Laurens Bancroft). From the get-go I knew I wanted to watch this, and I knew Seb would do too. We knew what we had to do this weekend, and we sat down and binge watched it over 3 nights – he wanted to do it quicker, but I like that thing called ‘sleep’ too much!

 

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Takeshi Kovacs brandishing his gun – Altered Carbon, Netflix, 2018

Altered Carbon is set in the distant future where people use “sleeves” instead of one fixed body. Their consciousness is transferred to “stacks”, which are placed at the base of the/inside the vertebrae, and a person can only experience a “true death” if someone is to kill this stack, otherwise it is just placed from one sleeve to another.
The long and short of it – death is a thing of the past, people can just re-body and move on.
Because of this re-sleeving, people can almost come back from the dead, and this happens to Takeshi Kovacs, an Asian born man now placed into the “first body” (not really but spoilers!) that can be found – a military grade white man after 250 years “dead”. As an Envoy, a man of the rebellion from hundreds of years ago, he’s unused to the world that’s he’s come into – especially because people keep recognising him and he has no idea what they’re on about.
Kovacs is accosted repeatedly by Kristen Ortega, a detective in the BCPD, who seems to have a thing about not letting him get hurt. People beat him up for absolutely no reason. Everyone seems to have an issue with him before he’s introduced himself to people! You’ll have to watch to find out why!

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Sassy Kristen Ortega doesn’t take any crap from anybody! – Altered Carbon, Netflix, 2018

I love the fact that multiple people play characters within this show, without it feeling wrong on a cultural level. Even though a white man is playing an Asian man as the main character, we get constant flashbacks of his life as an Asian man, and see him flipping through sleeves like they mean nothing to him. It’s really interesting to see a sleeve that he’s not willing to let die, and makes sure he patches it up as best as possible.

 

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Takeshi Kovacs (in his birth-sleeve) and his sister Reileen Kawahara when they get reunited! – Altered Carbon, Netflix, 2018

I loved Lizzie Elliot’s story line, a woman that had such a fractured mind that she can’t have fixed unless she’s put into virtual reality. She’s literally a boss. I loved everything about her. Amazing actress too! She was by far my favourite character, and I was glad that she, along with her mum and dad, such main characters in the show. It was really cool to have a badass family; hacker mum, military dad and Lizzie the (insert mega spoiler).

 

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Poe, an AI hotel (yes, a hotel). He is The Raven, and has a huge love for humans. ‘Specially Edgar Allen – Altered Carbon, Netflix, 2018

There’s so much I want to enthuse about with Altered Carbon but I don’t even have the words to put down! It’s full of life, story and amazingly well rounded characters. Even though there was so many, it doesn’t feel over saturated with storylines. Each character has their own parts of the episode, so it’s easy to differentiate what’s going on, and I’m sure I can remember each character’s story if you quizzed me. Other than why Kovacs has a pink backpack, but Seb cannot remember that either, so I hope we just missed it and it was actually explained!

Altered Carbon was by far one of the best Sci-fi/Cyber Punk shows I’ve seen in a long time – which admittedly isn’t many things I’ve seen, but I’ve seen enough to have an opinion. It was well filmed, well told, well… well I loved EVERYTHING so yeah… I guess I didn’t care for as much of the past stuff as some people might, I kind of wished he had remained more of an enigma to the audience but it also worked that we found out about Kovacs as we watched, so I won’t complain! Plus, I can’t complain about how much sex there was – very much on par to Game of Thrones or Outlander! I actually like that sex is being normalised by tele!

Have you seen Altered Carbon? Loved the adaptation? Want to read the book? Maybe you hated every second and can’t wait to rant about it? I’d love to chat! Leave a comment down below! 

[Header Image: Altered Carbon, Netflix, 2018]

 

 

 

‘My daughters are trained for battle, sir, not the kitchen’ – Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, 2016

I apologise for missing a day! I’ve been pretty hectic with work and preparing for my MA which starts Thursday (eep! Scary times!) and I completely lost track of days. I was sure that it was Sunday, not Monday, until I just looked at the calendar. Oops! Anyway – onto the review!

At university I did English Literature, so I was obviously going to come across Jane Austen. While I didn’t read Pride and Prejudice there I read it at school for my GCSEs and at college for my A-Levels. I remember sitting in a Waterstones when I was in my teens and seeing this parody. I just knew I had to read it. And there I sat for hours, reading (and not buying, I know naughty naughty) Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. 

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The Bennett sisters, with their martial art skills! – Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, Lionsgate, 2016

My favourite thing about Pride and Prejudice (and thus Pride, Prejudice and Zombies) is that it is set in Hertfordshire. Because of this I half know where things are, being Hertfordshire bred myself. What makes me laugh about this adaptation, however, is the idea of zombies running around our countryside.
In Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, London is where the zombie apocalypse has been quarantined. Or so they thought. The film begins with Mr Darcy, travelling to a stately home in Hertfordshire, as he has been told there has been a zombie sighting nearby. He carries carrion flies with him, which are how he detects zombies living among humans. In this adaptation becoming a zombie is not instant. After being bitten one can live among humans for some time, even if they know they are to be changing into the undead sometime soon. Carrion flies have a unique ability, Darcy tells the people in the house, they can detect undead flesh before it has changed.

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Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley watching their respective (future) ladies – Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, Lionsgate, 2016

While this movie got some rather bad reviews (scoring barely even 50% on Rotten Tomatoes), probably by those who don’t believe in changing the classic or creative-license, I really like this movie. There’s something about it that captivates me – it’s cast is amazing and very much like the characters in the book and adaptation. I really enjoy the idea of people getting on with their lives, in the 19th century no less, and occasionally beating up zombies.

One of my favourite things was how useless Mr. (sorry, Parson) Collins is. He’s the Bennett’s cousin, but unlike them was not trained in the martial arts of China. He merely lets the women kill and stands there looking pretty gormless. I don’t think religion will save him here!

Did you watch Pride, Prejudice and Zombies? Did you like it? Were you angry it was adapted to include zombies? Leave a comment down below! 

[Header Image: Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, Lionsgate, 2016]

‘Children want to read Fairy Tales. Adults want to read Superheroes’ – Superheroes Decoded,

I hope you enjoyed last weeks review from Man on the Silver Mountain! He’ll be back many times in the future, so look out for more posts from him!
In other news, I spent my time researching and came across Superheroes Decoded. It talks about the story of America and the history in conjuction with the Superhero story. From the 1930s to the blockbuster films of today, it details how they evolved to become a modern mythology – Superman equating to Hercules. The documentary includes film clips, vintage comic artwork and interviews with creators, experts and fans – including new creators such as Patty Jenkins, the director of 2017’s Wonder Woman, as well as George RR Martin or Neil Degrasse Tyson the scientist. They also have Stan Lee on, which is amazing because he literally wrote half of the Supers we know today!

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Even the Supers couldn’t get enough! – Superheroes Decoded, History, 2017

This documentary is amazing. It goes into some of the immense detail of each superhero, linking them to the history of the time.
Our first superhero, Superman, became a run away hit for Action Comics (later DC). He’s first seen throwing a car over a cliff. He was the first superhero to have a television and radio show, his own merchandise – his popularity was through the roof. His origin story is a modern legend – everyone knows that Jor El sends his son to Earth to save his life.
Our next big superhero was Batman, a complete opposite from Superman. Not a symbol of hope but almost a symbol of darkness. “Bring me something like superman but not Superman” – Batman is a superhero with a dark side.
Our next big supers were during the 1940s, which were our favourite captain, Captain America. The attack on Pearl Harbour threw Cap into the forefront of World War II comics. He is created as a super soldier, but his super power existed way before the serum was injected into him. Wonder Woman was created in 1941, empowering women to fight against Nazis and enemy spies at home.
This episode was a real indepth look into how our supers were formed, and it was an amazing watch. I found out things I never thought I would have known!

 

Episode one talks about our love of Legends, the Superheroes that have stayed with us forever. Episode two however talks about those breaking the mould. Not every hero wears a cape! This story is about the outsiders that were made to redefine what it means to be a superhero – think Defenders, Guardians of the Galaxy etc.

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1950’s comic history, here we come! – Superheroes Decoded, History, 2017

For instance, the X-Men are one of our rebels. The foundation of the Xmen; “We’re different but the same as everybody else.” The Sentinels were supposed to be bigots – the X-Men theme of fighting prejudice was an allegory about society, about how blacks fought back against whites. There are two factions in the X-Men; Charles Xavier who believes that they can all get on and Magneto who believes that X-Men are better than humans. This story is the story of the relationship between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X – King wanted an integrated society whereas Malcolm X wanted to keep fighting against society. Storm became the first female and black leader of a team, made to subvert the idea that only white men could be leaders. Jean Grey, no longer the token female, was changed into the super powered woman she was today – the woman we know as Phoenix. She has to be one of my favourite characters, her struggle for power, a woman that eats stars, versus her strive to do good.  The heroes and antiheroes of the X-Men really helped bring everyone together!
This brings us to The Falcon – Stan Lee wrote this to change the stereotypical idea about blacks and whites. He was significant, he was there to show that blacks and whites can and should work together. According to the documentary, he was made just after the Civil Rights act, the bringing together of people.
And what about Luke Cage? The man with the most amazing fashion sense and the best catch phrase “Sweet Christmas!” Cage’s origin is a man treated unfairly, going to jail for something he never did.

If there’s one thing I recommend you do, it’s watch Superheroes Decoded because if I explained EVERY SINGLE THING I wouldn’t have enough time to write everything! Catch it online or repeated on the History channel!

Catch the scene about the sexualisation of women in the ’90s below!

 

Did you see Superheroes Decoded? What was your thoughts – love the history or don’t really care? What was your favourite fact? Leave a comment below!

[Header Image: Superheroes Decoded, History, 2017]

‘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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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)