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Luke Cage Is Timely and Engaging While Adding To Marvel’s Netflix Legacy – Television Review (Spoiler Free)

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Marvel become the Target of television and film, while there are many stores like it, the quality separates it from all the others. With Daredevil being the golden standard thus far, we were given Jessica Jones shortly after, a second season of Daredevil, and finally Harlem’s very own Luke Cage. A character created in the blaxploitation era in the 70’s, Cage has always represented a black excellence, but beyond his color, a hero every man and woman can call their own. Marvel cast Mike Colter, an near flawless actor in terms of fitting the build (literally) of the title character, and with an afrocentric soundtrack that bumps like acne we are taken for a fascinating look at the streets of Harlem set in the Marvel Universe.

Like the two previous shows mentioned, this stands on it’s own in a world that doesn’t need Iron Man, Captain America, or any of the other Avengers because they tell different stories. Luke Cage is a man working in a barbershop for a respected Harlem figure who requires the young and old men to hold themselves with respect while in his shop. That dynamic evolves and exists frequently through Cage and sets up the powerful character early and effortlessly. With every character we get introduced to, we are seeing important perspectives of figures who have plenty of fruitful things to say. It’s like actually being in a black barbershop in the city in most cases which gives the show a surprisingly warm feel while a Daredevil gave a more gritty look into the streets of New York.

DISCLAIMER: There is definitely some usage of the n-word in the show so don’t get taken by surprise

For the first five episodes I was glued to the screen, constantly wanting to see where the story was going to take me, and I absolutely loved where it was going. Sadly, the show takes a short period to slow us down and tell us the histories of certain characters (that’s expected), but to some degree it almost didn’t need to explain anything just yet. To be fair, I’m sure they needed to fill the episode quota, and fans would have clamored for explanations anyways so maybe that’s just me. Beyond that, the villains in this show end up taking the reins as the most compelling of all the characters in the show beyond the return of a certain Daredevil character that fines and I included loved.

For me, the show always look nice aesthetically, but doesn’t pack as much a punch as I would have hoped as far as action. Instead, I’m given more of a great drama, which, if I had known would be so culturally relevant would have made the show that much better. I’m starting to think the show didn’t need any super-powered characters to be gripping and compelling original television. The characters alone are enough to sell it for you, but in the long run, a black man in a hoodie who just so happens to be bulletproof is enough to sell most of us into watching it.

The show falters the hardest by not allowing certain characters to develop further. What we get is a plethora of bad guys that just seem to be growing like hydra heads without anything really stopping them, which in the long run may be what makes them so threatening… Nonetheless, the show is worth the watch and it backs some emotional punches as well as humorous banter between a few of the characters like any good show ends up doing while also engaging you with a more humanistic story rather than about a character who just so happens to be bulletproof. I’d say this makes the list as the second best show Marvel has ever done thus far, sorry Jessica Jones, but you were just too boring for me.

SCORE: B+

John Wick Chapter 2 Proves That John Wick Can’t Stay Retired For Very Long – Trailer Review

What is it about the first film that we love so much? Is it the fact that it took no time at all for sane people to openly state how badly someone deserves to die after killing a puppy…that’s exactly why. Maybe it’s our love for nonstop action and colorful set designs and fight choreography, but either way, we love us some John Wick.

Wick is back, but in Rome this time and he looks to be taking on even more enemies with the boogie man style of murderous action that we loved from the first one. He seems to have a new dog with him, but I don’t think I could handle them following that formula from the first film. Please just don’t kill the dog!

I’m glad to see Common is the villain in this one, but I also said that when I heard he was in Suicide Squad and he couldn’t have been more of a throw away character. I’d hope he gets more to do in this film as the bad guy, but not so much that it detracts from the neon lit action sequences like what we got in the first film.

Matthew McConaughey Appears to Have Struck ‘Gold’ In A New Trailer – Trailer Review

McConaughey may have had his first few misses during his McConaissance over the years, but he appears to have found gold quite literally in this true life story. I’ve never heard of this real life story set in the late 80’s, but I’m all types of interested thanks to this trailer. Alongside Edgar Ramirez, a more noticeable face in the past few years with roles in Joy, Hands of Stone, and his next film The Girl On the Train.

The film is directed by Stephen Gaghan, the writer for the award winning film Traffic directed by Steven Soderbergh. Michael Mann was originally set to direct this film with Christian Bale in the lead role, shocker that Bale is wanted for everything, but McConaughey has since taken that role and will star.

I think this is a fun and not too serious trailer for a film I know little about. It seems like a movie that will have a lot of real life events that shock and awe me along with another classic McConaughey performance to put under his belt while showing off another impressive ensemble piece for the actors to show off their talents.  It will be released in prime Oscar viewing season aka Christmas day and could be the counter programming to Star Wars and other films during that time.

Stranger Things Is The Definitive 2016 Must Watch On Netflix – TV Review

I never review television of any kind, not because I’m above television, but because my attention span normally can’t withstand following a show for season after season without getting closure or what have you. With Netflix Original Series’, I get freely told, usually uncensored storytelling in a way I want and like as an adult. When I heard about the 8-episode sci-fi mystery series that people couldn’t get enough of I had to give it at least one try. Turns out that one try turned into a mere night and a half of binge watching one of the most entertaining shows I’ve watched since Daredevil.

The original show follows a small town in Indiana during the 80’s and the mystery that surrounds the disappearance of a young boy. With inspiration from nearly all the classic 80’s films and novels by Stephen King, Spielberg, and John Carpenter, we were able to follow the townsfolk search in different ways for a boy that isn’t just lost, but simply not there…or is he? While the rating is TV-14, the suspense and imagery for the early episodes are suspenseful and spine chilling.

The cast that includes a paranoid Winona Rider (who’s terrific) as well as David Harbour, Matthew Modine, as well as some incredibly talented kids. Everyone serves as an enthralling and well developed character which is rare in both TV and film most of the time, but you get a realistic sense of who the characters are and which era they live in. The kids actually sound and act like kids as they swear and go on dangerous adventures like nerdy boys and girls would do, but they are also naturally funny and sensible in their roles which makes you want to follow them for at least another season. The adults are the same thing with Rider giving which may be her best performance in years since I saw her in Beetlejuice, but the break out star is a young girl of few words.

The real show stealer is Millie Brown, a young girl with a shaved head and telekinetic powers and every scene she delivers feels like you’re watching a young Natalie Portman. She’s terrific and emotionally captivating beyond her years as an actor with more to be seen if she continues to take on acting as a permanent profession. Her presence brought a gravitas to a show that was great without her, but she only elevates the cast and the plot like you would have hoped for from a show we all seem to rave about, but if I had a small qualm with the show, it had nothing to do with the acting.

I jokingly told my mom that you could make a great drinking game out of the series for how many nods to 80’s sci-fi film the show makes and not many will catch them all, but if you’re like me, you will see them like the kids see monsters. That’s the only real gripe I would have and that’s not even a real issue, it’s just that the head nods to old films can be cool once in awhile, but at some points film makers and creators have to be careful that they don’t completely steer away from the originality of their already terrific storylines at hand. Other than that, the show is a pure success that has room to grow into one of the many other great Netflix series that they have and has the options to go in all different directions if they wanted too.

SCORE: A+

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