Tag Archives: MCU

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Punisher’ Season Two (2019)

Release Date: January 18

Network: Netflix/ 13 episodes

Starring: Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Georgia Whigham, Amber Rose Revah, Josh Stewart, Annette O’Toole, Corbin Bernsen, et al.

***

The major theme of The Punisher season two is family. On different fronts, the show tries to explore what that word really means. Frank, Curtis and Russo’s history in the army easily comes to mind; but there’s also the fact of Russo (now Jigsaw, in a manner of speaking) banding together another set of war veteran misfits looking to fight another war into his Frank-Castle-Killing-Club. Billy Russo, even with his PTSD and memory loss, is worse than ever, and easily motivates these persons into fighting his personal war with the Punisher. Talk about a charismatic leader.

There’s also Amy, the girl without a family, and how some wrong life choices land her in Frank Castle’s laps long enough for him to begin to see her as his daughter. Lastly, there’s the person of religious assassin John Pilgrim, and how every murder he’s committed in the name of the Schultz has been in service of his two sons and (eventually) late wife.

This central theme of family spins two entirely separately stories connected only by the antihero – Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Even though he doesn’t really do much punishing anymore as at when the season begins, it doesn’t take long for one (or two) nasty persons to do something to get him angry enough to willing murder gratuitously. In this case, it’s a group of crazy people who shoot at his newfound bartender girlfriend (or more accurately, sex mate he was beginning to catch feelings for). This is enough motivation for Frank Castle to be drawn into the many crazies of Amy’s world, which all turned out to be the Schultz parents sending assassins (including John Pilgrim) after her simply because she’s using photos of their son kissing another man to blackmail them.

The second plot is what really retcons both seasons of the show. It deals with the consequences of the fallout between Frank Castle and Billy Russo in the season one finale. After Frank successfully enacted his revenge on Billy by brutally disfiguring him, the doctors manage to salvage his face, but with severe memory loss and PTSD from the events of that night ay the park, Russo is still a bitter, angry man desperate to fill in the blanks. Some things never change. But luckily for him, he has a psychologist with a sad past enough to get her triggered as she helps him heal. Together, they go further down the drain – committing unspeakable crimes in their bid to stay together as destined true loves.

Agent Dinah proves to still be an interesting addition to the show. I enjoyed every moment with her dealing with her fallout from Russo last season. PTSD is a big deal and, just like Russo, she too has her fair share of it.

Frank Castle’s war veteran friend Curtis features more prominently this season, and manages not to be much of a bore.

For the better part of it, The Punisher‘s second doesn’t really improve upon its first season, I thought it was a tad weaker. But it’s a wonderful watch, with enough emotion to go with the grit allowing you care about Mr. Castle and Russo and all the death and destructions they cause in their wake.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

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Rinzy Reviews ‘Daredevil’ Season 3 (2018)

Release Date: Oct. 19, 2018

Network: Netflix/ 13 episodes/ 50 minutes

Starring: Charlie Cox, Vincent D’onoforio, Deborah Ann Wool, Wilson Bethel, et al.

***

Without a doubt, Daredevil is the best Marvel show in the Netflix corner. Its first season was wonderful, easily undoing all the wrongs of the 2004 movie starring Ben Affleck as the titular character; its second season gave us the gift that keeps on giving in the person of The Punisher, and with that singular gesture has cemented itself into a special corner of our hearts.

At the end of the events of The Defenders, the miniseries that saw characters from all four Marvel-Netflix shows team up, we were left guessing what would become of Daredevil post Midland circle collapse; the kind of line the character would toe now that there wasn’t any Elektra or shady Hand organization to worry over. 

The Matt Murdock we meet this season is unlike any we’ve known since we first met the character five years ago. He’s troubled, heavily tormented by the tolls of his double life as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. More than ever, the agenda on the top of his plate is stopping Fisk, albeit this time he hopes to do so more permanently.
Every villain needs a hero, and Wilson Fisk is one helluva villain! Goddamit. The guy’s a real master planner. For every step you take he’s already taken three and is far ahead of you. 

I was skeptical when I first heard Vincent D’onoforio was returning in a series regular capacity as Wilson Fisk for this season; this was because my brain, limited at that time, couldn’t fathom the reason for his return, something about him not being the only villain in Marvel’s roaster worthy of Daredevil’s attention. My joy was increased, nonetheless, when I found out Bullseye would be featuring – a part of me wanted to see everything wrong with Collin Farrel’s 2004 iteration corrected. And I got my wish.

Back to Fisk. The guy does know how to put on a show, a fact echoed by a trivial character in the gang round table gathering of episode 9. Slowly, whilst pretending to be a changed man, Fisk took his time and regained the empire he once had unchallenged dominion over. He took the game further and, through systematic planning, boxed up every key player of the FBI with a boner against him (oh, poor Special agent Nadeem. RIP!) and trapped them into doing his biddings. If for any reason you’ve had the urge to be a villain, Wilson Fisk is the man you want to be like, trust me.

One of the things Fisk is good at, as pointed out by Matt Murdock in episode 5, is exploiting people’s weaknesses. This is one talent he exploits early in the season, when he identifies Dex as a man of many talents and one with special needs. Proving once again he’s the man who has what you need when you need it, he slowly but eventually creeps his way into a special place in Dex’s heart and gets the bull at a place where he’s very comfortable to do all his biddings. 

When we first meet Special Agent Dex in episode 2, he starts out as the convential American TV hero – good looking FBI agent with very sharp shooting skills and a tongue fully laced with snarky remarks. In him, we got to meet the man behind the facade, the man who needs to stick to a regimented lifestyle in order not to lose his shit; something Fisk successfully capitalizes on in episode 5 when he got him to attack the Bulletin Newspaper dressed as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

Dex is so broken that he needs a purpose to function at all times; albeit broken, it still passes as functioning. This disability is the real reason Fisk is able to easily penetrate his psych because, in all fairness, Dex is really just a puppy in search of a master and in desperate need of approval. 

Dex is extremely talented, no doubt. I liked how even the smallest, seemingly harmless thing becomes a weapon in his hand. I liked the backstory the show gave to him; I like the fact that entries into the MCU continue to stand apart from. Their comic book source materials. So, even though he never gets to be called Bullseye for once (look how long it took then to call Fisk Kingpin) or that he spends the bulk of his time impersonating Daredevil, I don’t mind. I’m happy with the character, his arc, development and resolution.

Talking about characters arc with strong boners, let’s open the playbook of Karen Page. 

Ms. Page is one annoying character beautifully brought to life by the talented Deborah Ann Wool. One thing I don’t like about Karen is her compulsive need to always dive head-first, without thinking, into danger. It’s a constant thing about her character since we first met her in the first season, and it’s as though she’s learnt nothing, not even after her very, very dangerous encounters with  Frank Castle  a.k.a. The Punisher.

Karen knows how dangerous Wilson Fisk is but refuses to tread cautiously. Probably is the aftereffect of spending too much time with Matt, who himself never thinks things through. That scene where she goes to visit Fisk at his five-star prison and confesses to killing Wesley still irks me out. It was thoughtless, senseless, and, even though it’s true to character, it does more disservice to her as it paints her as a person who never learns, hence is marked for a certain gruesome someday.

Karen’s arc hurts me even more whenever I think about Foggy’s. Now, Mr. Nelson has been involved in Matt’s shit longer than Karen’s, if we’re considering their backstory, so, technically, has had more time to learn to adjust to all things Matt. That’s points for Karen. But I’d like to point out that Foggy wasn’t in any known danger then. The real drama, conflict and pains started when the series began. This season, we meet a Foggy that has learnt his lessons; a Foggy who is more cautious about throwing himself in danger; a Foggy that’s made his peace with death and life (as can be seen in his reaction after the Bulletin killings by December dressed as Daredevil). In other words, this season we met a better and improved Foggy, and I hope something like that happens to Karen, she deserves it.

I did like episode 10 that gave us a bit of her backstory. It gave us a look into the kind of relationship she has with her father and a better understanding of the principles guiding her relationship with others. 

The fight scenes on Daredevil are impeccably choreographed, we know that already. It’s one of the things that made us fall in love with the show in the first place. The passage fight scenes have been a staple of the show from the very beginning and this season is no different (checkout the prison scene of episode 4). The thing I’m more excited for has more to do with the inclusion of a character more than that of a technicality in production. The inclusion of Matt Murdock’s mom, Sister Maggie. For non-comic-book lovers, she added some much needed air of mystery in the earlier episodes; easily raising the question of why a would nun show so much interest in a self-proferred devil? 

The season does a shaky good job of tying up Daredevil’s vendetta against the Kingpin. We get to see Matt bask in all the rage and hatred he’s accumulated over the years against his nemesis and in one moment of decision and fleeting emotions decides to send him back to jail as oppose his initial decision to kill him. With this, we might still see Fisk again in the future in a prominent role; history has shown that some people, like him, are bigger than the law, the only way to silence them is death.

Daredevil killing Fisk will become a defining moment for the character and take the show in a whole new creative direction.

Stray observations:

1. We never get a backstory of how Dex got his Bullseye talent.

2. It’s interesting to see Vanessa is actually an evil person.

3. We don’t get to see Matt on his red uniform, not even once.

4. Wilson Fisk’s monologous responses when asked a question is dope.

5. Dex and Matt’s fight scenes are a delight to watch.

6. It’s funny how Matt’s seen through Vanessa’s deceitfully calm facade; just like her, husband, Fisk, he knows she too is evil.

7. The final shot of the season tells us Bullseye’s still lives. Wicked. πŸ˜‹
Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Iron Fist’ Season Two (2018)

Network: Netflix

Release Date: Sept. 7, 2018

Starring: Finn Jones, Sacha Dawan, Simone Missick, Alive Eve, etc.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

***

Since the first season of Daredevil arrived in 2015, Marvel has had much luck with their TV shows on Netflix. This lucky stride changed when the first season of Iron Fist arrived in 2016, what used to be all tongue-in-cheek, easy-win fiesta for the mouse house owned body turned into a critical fiasco.

Expectations were almost non-existent when plans for a second season were announced. Even as the release date drew closer, no one seemed to care. I knew no excitement brew in me even thought I knew I was going to eventually watch it.

I’d like to state that season two of Iron Fist is a much better installment: remarkable improvement from the first one; it shows Marvel/Netflix listened to most of what viewers saw as the shortcomings of the first one and did something about them. 

We see a slightly better Danny Rand (Finn Jones): the martial artist, leading the march for a more meaningful story, arguably tighter than that obtained in the first season. But it is the improved production quality that really got me excited. It doesn’t take a genie to notice the acting is far better, the fight scenes, too, reflect better choreography; this time Finn Jones portraying a martial arts experts is certainly believable.

Danny used to be the show’s weakest link in the first season. He mostly came across as arrogant, annoying and impossible to root for, and I believe this changes this season. Though Danny doesn’t magically become the world’s best character, you don’t feel that pressing need to punch him hard every time he appears on screen anymore; this time you just want to punch him very little. πŸ˜‚
Moving on, let’s welcome Iron Fist 2.0, aka Davos (Sacha Dawan). 

Remember how throughout season one of Iron Fist and The Defenders Danny wouldn’t let us rest a second without him repeating the name K’un-Lun or the story about him facing the great dragon to acquire its heart, which gave him the fist? Well, some things don’t just change. We still get hear those boring tales, though less frequently. But it isn’t until the arrival of Davos that we get to understand a bit of what happened during Danny’s 15-years away on that mystical land.

I enjoyed the bits and pieces of Danny and Davos’s history we were fed with in earlier episodes; all the tidbits of how they used to be brothers until, according to Davos, Danny stole his birthright (the iron fist) was fun while it lasted.

In Davos, we get a villain scared and shaken; someone who wants to do the right thing, but doesn’t know how to go about it. Even when he gets honest advice from Joy on how to proceed differently, he honestly doesn’t know what to do with it. I saw in him a man who wants to change the world, but can’t because he’s driven by misguided policies.

Enter Mary Walker 

More interesting than Davos is supporting villain of the season – Mary Walker or rather, Walker. Actress Alice Eve does an excellent job showing us portraying two characters at war with each other in one body. Mary’s vulnerability and Walker’s feistiness which she brought to life made literal the phrase ‘there’s good and evil in all of us at war with each other’. Dissociative Identity Disorder is a serious issue some people battle with and I liked that we were reminded of the people in society battling with the condition. 

Personally, I’d have loved if Walker (the evil alter) took a more prominent role as villain of the season. The way she and Mary (the other one) were written made them appear to have more depth in terms of character history, which obviously made them more interesting. Instead, she was limited to being buddy with Joy, who I honestly didn’t recognize this season, and we’re forced to endure Davos’ repetitive chant of him changing the world as the Iron Fist. Should Walker have been made the main villain, I’m almost certain things we’d have had a more interesting story than the path travelled with Davos. 

Joy and Ward

Joy, this season, was full of surprises. Transformed and with a much better sense of purpose, a character who initially bored me in the first season quickly became one of my favorites. Her alliance with Davos to hurt Danny for returning to her life and bringing hell with it and also Ward shows how much growth her character has attained since the first time we met her. She obviously isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty any more and that’s an important milestone for any one to cross. 

As for Ward… He easily becomes one of my favorite characters. His sneaky one-liners and hard man stares got me chuckling almost everytime he was on screen. Sadly, he doesn’t get much this season other than knock up his woman-friend/counsellor, beg Joy for her forgiveness and trail after Danny as a sidekick.

Everyone’s favorite detective, Misty Knight (Simone Missick), is back and she might just be taking the role that made Claire Temple very popular in this corner of the Marvel universe. She appears in about half the episodes and is a delight to watch every single time, as always. She and Colleen Wing team up once again, after the events of ‘The Defenders’, in what continues to look like a set-up for Daughters of the Dragon, and I love every moment of it. Though it takes Colleen a while to come around to fighting again, once she starts there’s no slowing her down and things continue to get even more interesting with Detective Knight by her side.

The final moments of episode 8 opened a new plot that dangles into the future. The way the season ends changes things drastically for everyone. It hurts I can’t give specifics (sorry, no spoilers this time) but it does leave the possibility for things to be more interesting moving forward.

I also want to say the shorter 10 episode arc helped make the story tighter, Nerflix should consider effecting this change throughout the other Marvel shows in their catalogue.

Thoughts And Questions I Had After Watching ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Some SPOILER filled thoughts and questions I’ve had since I first saw ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. If you still haven’t seen the biggest movie of the year, even with the release of its digital version, you’ve got yourself to blame. Sorry. πŸ€—.

I never thought Heimdal would be the first to die. I didn’t even think Loki would die in the first act. Oh well, someone’s got to die first for others to follow.

I wonder if Pepper was among Thanos’ snap casualty? If so, it means there’s no more wedding, which means we’re left with a madder Tony. Which brings us to:

What if by the time we return to the MCU everyone who didn’t fade away from existence starts to forget those who did? That’ll be very very very scary.

I can only imagine what was in Wanda’s mind before Team Cap’s arrival, when she defended Vision, without much success, from Proxima Midnight and Corvius Glave.

That moment Gamora stabbed Thanos in the gut was a shocker. I was like… ‘Is that it? Is this the villain we deserve after all these years of build up?’ Thankfully, it was just the power of the reality stone at work. 😁.

Imagine you were Gamora. After all these years, would you have warmed up to Thanos or still resent him for killing your people?

Is it just me or is Star Lord and Gamora’s love not-so-believable?

Star Lord is quite silly; after foiling his teammates’ plan to defeat Thanks he still asked if they lost. What a drunk fellow!

What kind of destiny causes one to kill his own daughter? 😒

Tony and Strange’s subtle animosity is funny.

The Avengers vs. The Guardians brief scuffle on Titan was a very funny one. The easily silly line ‘Why is Gamora?’ rendered by Drax lends credence to the fact that he might just be the silliest character in all of the MCU. 

Do you think Drax can ever be sensible? πŸ˜‚

Do you think Loki is truly dead?

Who do you think is the man – Thor or Star Lord? 
Are you a fan of Vision and Wanda’s romance?

Where was Thor all the while Thanos decimated the rest of the Avengers on Wakanda? He just had to wait for another triumphant entrance.

Do you remember the names of the children of Thanos and the order with which they died?

The battle at Wakanda should be termed ‘The World’s Most Orgasmic Battle’ and the chant Yibambe ‘The Most Orgasmic Chant’. 😝.

It isn’t coincidence all the founding members of The Avengers survived Thanos’ onslaught.

Rinzy Reviews ‘Antman And The Wasp’ (2018)

Release Date: July 6, 2018.

Budget/ Box Office: 

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lawrence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, etc.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

***

Fun and light-hearted, Antman and the Wasp is the perfect follow up to Avengers: Infinity War and all the heartbreak Thanos brought along with his children.

Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Rudd) had been placed under house arrest for two years. With just three days to the end of his sentence, what could go wrong?

I’m just going to state how pissed I am that Scott and Hope (Lily) we’re written to end up as a romantic couple. Can’t we have a movie where the lead male and female doesn’t have to catch feelings for each other? The sterotype is sickening. The signs have been there since the first Antman movie, but I’ll still prefer them to not be romantically involved.

Every hero is only as good as the villain he/she has to battle and surmount. But what happens when you’ve got two headlining heroes? You’ll need a villain twice as capable. Does Antman and the Wasp deliver on this? No, it doesn’t. Though the ability and backstory of Ava/Ghost (John-Kamen) is impressive, the writing of the character is lacklustre and easily forgettable. Nothing else asides her costume is memorable. 

On a plus side, the humour of this movie was decent. I wasn’t rolling over the floor, laughing my ass out, but I had a smirk on my face for the better of it; like when the regulator on Scott’s new suit caused him to alternate between weird body sizes; the multiple scenes where the mobile lab was being chased all over town; and the scene were Scott’s mind was taken over by Janet were among those that stood out for me.

The action scenes, too, were good.

For Marvel’s first female title character, Evangeline Lily’s The Wasp is pretty good. Fierce and intimidating as she was in the first Antman movie, she ones again proves she’s capable of being the boss of her own self, and does it wonderfully well having to team up with Scott Lang. Her action scenes were easily the bestin the movie, especially those against Ghost. I sincerely hope she somehow gets featured in next year’s Avengers 4. 

Before I round up, I mustn’t fail to talk about Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet Van Dyne), and how hot they both are in their advanced ages. I think of just how much sex appeal they had in their earlier years… Basic Instincts and Batman Returns easily come to mind. I know we’ll see more of them in the MCU. Marvel didn’t spend two movies introducing us to the quantum realm just to let it take a back seat when we need it the most. Since time works differently in that realm, as said by Janet Van Dyne, I believe it’s the answer to undoing the great damage Thanos caused with the snap of his finger.

Rinzy Reviews ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2 (2018)

With a sophomore season that’s arguably better than its first and a villain that’ll be remembered as one of the MCU’s finest, Luke Cage season 2 is one hell of an awesome ride. 😍. 

After last season’s weak villainous baddies in the name of Cottonmouth and Diamondback, I was apprehensive on the direction new villain Bushmaster would take. His seeming obsession with correcting Mariah’s last name from Dillard to Stokes in the first few episodes cast a certain light of worry on the season’s run, causing me genuine worry. The beauty of any story rests in its hero, but a hero is only as good as the villain they’ve got to take down, and nothing makes a good villain as one with a relatable backstory as proper motivation for his/her actions. Bushmaster had all of this and more, which translated into an enjoyable season run. This is a big win for Marvel, as they seem to completely be shaking off their villain problem. They deserve some accolade…πŸ…. 

The story this season takes us on a rollercoaster ride 🎒 and solid character development for practically all characters. From Misty to Mariah to Shades to Luke to Luke’s father and even Iron Fist – everyone gets an opportunity to shine and better flesh their character than what was obtainable in season one, and, in turn, what we get is a well written season that knows its onion. Even though I still maintain the 13 episodes season order by Netflix continues to hurt the Marvel shows’ pacing, Luke Cage’s second season manages this shortcoming with awesome writing. Kudos to the writers πŸ‘. 

Luke Cage’s second season leaves things at a very different place from where it started. 

(SPOILERS ALERT!!!) 

Mariah Stokes is dead; Shades is in prison; Bushmaster lives at the end of the season; Harlem is still standing, and Luke Cage might just be the new villain of his own show. Yeah, I know, the last one’s interesting. πŸ˜‚. Mariah played one last, big joke on everyone, especially her daughter, before bowing out by gifting Harlem’s Paradise to Luke… Talk about the biggest, baddest bitch of them all. 😈. With the way I’m feeling now I can use another season of ‘Luke Cage’ next month. 

Side notes:

1. Alfre Woodard (Mariah Stokes Dillard) is a terrific actress and deserves so much accolades for her performance this award season. 

2. Claire and Luke’s relationship is so silly, especially the way they broke up. 

3. The person who played Tilda Johnson (Mariah’s daughter) was superb. I want to see her and Bushmaster do villainous things next season 😈. 

4. Shades is a terrificly complex character… And he looks good, too. 

Rinzy Reviews ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2018)

Release Date: April 27, 2018

Budget and Box Office: $400M and $1.814B

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, etc.

***

What’s arguably the most anticipated movie of the decade arrives after a 10-year wait, and the world isn’t exactly ready for what followed. That shocking cliffhanger.

I had high expectations going into the cinema. Were they met? Some were, some weren’t. But that’s normal for every theatrical release; there’s no way a movie can please everyone.

But I want to state here that Avengers: Infinity War is the Greatest Comic Book Movie yet!πŸ‘Œ.

We all knew we’d be losing some of the characters we’ve invested time and energy following. The painful realization that some of the earth’s mightiest heroes might not make it out alive battling the Mad Titan Thanos was just excruciating to contain. The road leading to Infinity War’s release didn’t make it any easier to deal with. But the roaster of the dead we got was shocking, could pass as laughable (considering almost all of the dead have confirmed sequels in the MCU), and further butresses the point that huge losses are coming in the still untitled Avengers 4Β movie scheduled for a May 2019 release.

Okay. Moving on to more specific plot points from the movie Avengers: Infinity War, I’ll like to scream SPOILER ALERT!!! πŸ˜‚. So, if you still haven’t watched the movie now’s the right time to leave. Bye, see you later… βœ‹.

As revealed by The Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 1, there are six infinity stones in existence, with each bearing a unique power that contributes to shaping the existence of the universe as we know it. Β Thanos, the ultimate villain of the MCU, had a relatively straight forward mission – find all six stones and with the snap of a finger erase half of the universe’s population, using a highly complex, magical algorithm, to strike perfect balance to life. Talk about misguided beliefs. SMH. πŸ€•. The heavy sacrifices The Mad Titan makes to achieve his goal, which includes murdering the one person he loves the most, appear to bear fruit as can be seen at the last scene of the movie when he has that wry smile on that says ‘I finally did it!’

With a heavily decimated roaster and a villain that’s at full strength now, how the Avengers will defeat Thanos in the next movie can only be left to the imagination. One thing is certain though – time travel will play a major role in it and Captain Marvel 😍. How? I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out. πŸ‘Œ.

PS 1: I predicted Infinity War would earn above $2B and a lot of people doubted me. As at the time of writing this article we’ve just crossed the $1.9B mark. Who’s the liar now? 😁

PS 2: I don’t know why all members of the Black Order were decimated. πŸ˜”. I loved Ebony Maw and wish for him to return in the sequel. Am I alone in this line of thought?

Directed by: The Russo brothers

Rinzy’s Rating: 4.5/5