Daredevil tv Netflix review

This the big one. This is the show that has really been the flag for Netflix in the last two years. It has boosted them bigger than ever, and it features a Marvel comic character whom most people either didn’t know or had forgotten about.

Well, some may have well remembered the Ben Affleck version of Daredevil in cinemas in the early 00’s. Personally I kind of did like that film, it’s honestly not all bad at all. Here though, we get a very different Marvel comic event.

We’ve had almost a decade of hugely successful Marvel comic movies at the cinemas, but here a deal was made to take some of the less well known superheroes onto small screen. Would that be a truly terrible idea? I mean, Marvel on a small budget, on small screen?

Well in recent times, we’ve actually seen several DC comic adaptations working very well including Smallville and now Arrow and The Flash where DC really struggle in cinema. But can Marvel equal them on small screen?

Daredevil isn’t on regular prime-time mainstream tv. This is a Netflix show, which means no watershed censor limitations, budget can be fairly bigger, shot in different ways.

I was actually kind of sceptical when I saw a good few early images from Daredevil. It looked very cheap, very basic. I was not in a huge rush to see it really. Eventually a couple of months ago, we got Netflix in our house and so at that point I decided okay, let’s try it out.

I wasn’t expecting it to look like and Iron Man or Avengers movie, of course not. But then I had read that it really was a very good show, something about the writing and style of it. This is true. It does start off basic-no colourful costume or theme tune as daredevil chases down supervillains. No, it starts when he starts being Daredevil. No real costume, no clear idea of what he is really doing or exactly why or how just yet.

The good writing in Iron Man and other Marvel recent movies, we see here with even more time to understand and explore the central main characters. We get to really know what shapes Matt Murdock and his friends, and soon we also get very close to the force pushing down on Hell’s Kitchen, Kingpin. It isn’t all just emotions, and feelings though. This show gives us equal amount of really fantastic fight scenes and well filmed action sequences every episode. The whole first season is one fantastic event. I did watch most of it in just over one week I think.

Then we have season two. Well I knew that this time we were going to see the Punisher and Elektra characters brought into play. This did mean less time with some of the very likable main characters from last time. Basically the first half of the series focuses on the Punisher-who is he? What is he? Where is he from? Why is he doing what he is doing? This is possibly the best on screen version of the character so far. I did think perhaps the actor was slightly too young or not as physically big as he perhaps should have been, but he does really get right into the kind of headspace of the character. It almost becomes like a tv series of Scoresese’s Taxi Driver until he clashes head-on with Daredevil. Even with less main focus upon Daredevil and Wilson Fisk/Kingpin for some of the time, the writers still manage to keep up serious tension and dramatic interest. And this Punisher is a fruitloop brutal killer for sure.

The pace does maybe drop a little and falter when he is brought in, and the beautiful and mysterious Elektra returns to the life of Matt Murdock. They do some really great work with her- a modern femme fatal, she is seductive, manipulative, deceptive but flawed. The tensions between her and Daredevil takes us to the end of the series through much escalating very comic-book action and wild set pieces.

Yes, this thankfully did turn out to be a really great new show, and it seems somehow Marvel are transferring well to small screen with few problems it seems. There will be more, after Daredevil unites soon Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist in the small-screen superhero group show The Defenders.


Sense8-tv show review

Was I just too hopeful? You may be familiar with this Netflix original small screen series by now. This was the next project for the Wachowski duo, after their recent sci-fi adventure romp Jupiter Ascending. That movie seemed like it may have been the last sure chance for them to show fans and audiences that they were still capable of really spectacular and original work.

That space opera movie sadly was not at all received well, considered laughable, derivative, camp and simply a real let down. It may be a good while before we see another Wachowski movie. But very soon after that failure, this tv series arrived. Sense8 was a very different proposition.

The very basic idea of it sounded instantly intriguing-the Wachowskis known for the biggest and most carefully planned state-of-the-art huge budget sci-fi cinema movies, here they would be confined to small screen for the first ever time. Besides this, we have a multicultural cast of characters, a story which takes place all over the globe at the same time. Just what would we get from the directors this time? What could they actually give us? If they were these days increasingly bad with huge Hollywood budgets, maybe a restricted small screen style would produce something at least interesting.

Well, that is Sense8 and much more. From the first episode we are introduced to all eight main characters in their individual international locations as a dramatic and mysterious event connects them together.

Now look, from the trailers and reviews from magazines I respect and follow often for guidance in film and tv, it seemed that actually this really was a very special series. It had somehow taken the best aspects of the Wachowskis from the big screen and pulled them down into this series which was longer that any movie or the Matrix series. It apparently did have similar Matrix-style martial arts and many well choreographed stunts all over the place, but the writing of the story and characters I was led to believe was different in a more positive way.

There are around 13 episodes, which gave them 13 hours to explore and reveal to us the characters, all eight of them, and plenty of time to unravel the sci-fi mystery tale. So, it is a novelty from the start to see so many international locations and cities brought together, so many cultures, faiths, genders, lifestyles next to each other.

Is it the fantastic show they were telling me? After seeing the entire series, well I may have been expecting more. Not just Matrix style action to blow my jaded mind, but some kind of super-fantastical and dense story to really challenge me as a viewer. We don’t really get this, well not all the way. It is a good, mysterious story, but really after a couple of episodes it moves much more slowly as the show becomes much more about how the eight characters meet and get to know and understand and help each other. This is interesting and entertaining. It has many good points as it depicts trans and LGBT characters in fairly realistic and positive ways which many people have very happy with. So the show does take a large amount of time to explore international cultures, values, outlooks on life and living.

The series perhaps works so well because the Wachowskis are only partly involved-they  not direct and write all episodes and so this saw them working with other writers and directors on the same project, which probably did them some good in creative terms.

So this series may not have been as ‘science fiction’ as I might have been expecting from the directors of the Matrix trilogy. It also may not have been the most utterly mind-blowing experience on the small screen ever but it does have many really great moments, many clever scenes written, some strong performances from the interesting characters and it does look amazing regularly with the various international locations used.

A second series is planned and will still be curious to see what might happen with the concept next time.