“And you, good sir. What brings you here?” – The Council, 2018

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas (for last week)

My review this week is a bit different. In that you’re going to get my thoughts as we play! This week I give you whole game play with @sebonthesilvermountain. Before the end of 2018 we’re going to get through as much of it as possible! (Ignore my croaky voice, I am progressively sicker during this game play!)

We’re playing The Council. A game set in 1793, we’re playing Louis de Richet, a member of a secret society, who has been invited to a private island off the shore of England, by Lord Mortimer. We’ve joined a tonne of well known historic guests – Napoleon and Washington to name a few. Join us as creepy tales ensue!

Below is episodes 1-3 of The Council

We’ll be streaming on Seb’s channel on New Years Eve! Come play with us!

Have you played The Council? What did you think? Would you have played it like us? What about your own gaming? Have you played anything good recently? Leave a comment down below.

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No Review this Week! – 12/02/18

Hello everyone! I have been struck down this week, quite badly, and therefore have not had the strength to do anything then watch My Little Pony on repeat – yes, I will admit to that, just this once! As much as I would love to, I know you guys wouldn’t want a review of that – especially when it could just be a drug-fuelled mess! – so I won’t be giving you guys a review this week! I am sorry!

Next week you’ll have to tune in for Seb’s (@sebonthesilvermountain) ‘Top 10 TV shows and Movies’ – things that he’s really liked! Some I have spoken about, but I’ll let him explain them better! I’ll be out of the UK, enjoying some winter sun.

See you in a couple weeks!

Sorry I’m sick guys! Any of you feeling the winter flu? While you’re here, why don’t you tell me what things you want to see here for 2018? Leave a comment down below!

‘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)

‘Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters’ – The Mummy (2017)

Hi, I’m the Man on the Silver Mountain. Your Librarian’s out this week so as I was down finding something in the library to keep me entertained whilst I wait for more people to visit me on the peak so as The Mummy has just come out in cinemas and as I’m more of a fan of the old Universal monster movies than the Librarian is she asked me if I’d tell you guys a little about it. So far it’s gotten some bad press as well which I don’t think it deserves.
To do this justice I feel like we have to go back to the beginning, not just of the movie itself but where this movie has come from. Right back to 1932 where Boris Karloff took on the role of our undead title character.

There is a few spoilers within this review (but most of them are just from the trailer). 

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Boris Karloff looking severe as Imhotep in The Mummy in 1932 – The Mummy, Universal Studios, 1932

That movie had adventurous archaeologist Sir. Joseph Whemple and his associate Dr. Muller find the mummified remains of the priest Imhotep (the same character found in the Brendan Fraser Mummy movie from 1999). Imhotep had been mummified alive as he had committed acts of sacrilege by attempting to resurrect his dead lover who happened to be a princess by using an artefact called the Scroll of Thoth. Thanks to one of Sir. Whemple’s assistants reading the Scroll aloud the Imhotep is revived and flees with the Scroll and disappears. Time passes until Imhotep, now passing as a modern Egyptian helps other archaeologists (one of which is Sir. Whemple’s son) to find the Princess’ tomb, around which time he also encounters Helen Grosvenor, a woman that seems to him to be the reincarnation of his long lost love. He decides to kill her, mummify her and resurrect her so that she can be his bride and the two can be together forever. During his attempt at this, Helen remembers her past life as the Princess and cries out to the goddess Isis for help, the goddess hearing her and incinerating the Scroll of Thoth – in turn destroying the source of Imhotep’s power and causing him to crumble into dust whilst Helen returns to the world with the assistance of Sir. Whemple and Dr. Muller.

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Sofia Boutella raising hell as Princess Ahmanet in The Mummy 2017 – The Mummy, Perfect World Pictures, 2017

The new movie starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella has many of the same elements but have been reworked not just for a modern audience but also as the start of Universal Studio’s Dark Universe Cinematic Universe (DUCU). In this film we find Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his friend Chris Vail in the middle of Iraq and searching for trouble. Finding themselves in over their heads they uncover the tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess, Ahmanet (Sophia Boutella), that had been removed from history and mummified alive due to her attempts to use an artefact called the Dagger of Set to draw Set, god of chaos into a physical body to be her immortal lover and ruler. As a result of removing Ahmanet’s sarcophagus from its tomb she wakes up and chooses the one who released her as a worthy host for Set to inhabit. Nick dies in a plane crash as Ahmanet sets herself free, sacrificing himself to save Jenny Halsey, the archaeologist that he found out about the tomb from. Nick wakes up in a mortuary without a scratch on him, revived by the curse Ahmanet has placed on his to keep him alive until she is able to use the dagger to draw Set into his body. Ahmanet hunts Nick down, plaguing his thoughts with waking nightmares and continuing to draw him towards her. Just as it looks like Ahmanet has got her way Prodigium turns up, a shadowy organisation directed by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe), who capture Ahmanet and bring her back with them to their base where they look to permanently end her, and find a way to help Nick with his curse problem.
Now, as I was asked to avoid spoilers, I’ll round this up quickly; Ahmanet breaks loose, Mr. Edward Hyde shows up, bad stuff happens and Nick ends up having to come to terms with being cursed to fight back against Ahmanet… and save Jenny.

As you can see from the two plots we’ve got most of the common elements here; a Mummy character entombed alive for some form of sacrilege, the Mummy in the modern age searches for a vessel to either resurrect or possess via use of an artefact with a god’s name attached to it, and our heroes have to confront the new reality the Mummy shows them in order to fight back. The differences between the two mostly being in the gender of the Mummy and the nature of the rebirth they seek.

All-in-all, I felt that this was all handled pretty well turning what was quite a slow plot in the 1930s into a superhero-esque action-horror movie in 2017. The highlights for me were Russell Crowe’s performance as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the fact that this movie was a pretty good mirror to the older film that it had taken as inspiration.

My only negative remark is that there is a lot of exposition, sometimes rehashing the same piece of information two or three times for no reason which did slow things downs at times when it didn’t seem to need to.

Final thoughts – it’s a good start for the DUCU in my opinion; a good movie that was a lot of fun, paid homage to where it had come from and was looking to plant seeds for the rest of this new cinematic universe to grow from but not in a way that took over the whole film.

Catch the trailer here!

Thanks for reading guys and for more from me you can find me on YouTube at Man on the Silver Mountain

What did you think of the NEW Mummy? Should they stopped at the Brendan Fraiser runs, or are you like The Man on the Silver Mountain and loved the new one? Looking forward to the new Dark Universe? Leave a comment down below! 

(Header Image: The Mummy, Perfect World Pictures, 2017)