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  #31  
Old 11-22-2017, 07:50 AM
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So I powered through Episode 9 last night. 4 more to go.

I keep getting the feeling that this show wants to be about something, but has no idea what it's stance is on that something at any given moment.

ENTER GUN CONTROL!

In one of these episodes ( I don't know which one and that's a problem*) they're suddenly having a VERY INTENSE RADIO DEBATE between SENATOR WHO LOVE GUN CONTROL and JOURNALIST. And the senator goes "As a senator I think gun control is good" and the journalist goes OH YEAH HAVBE U EVAR HAD TO SHOOT A MOB KINGPIN'S 2ND IN COMMAMBD IN AN INTENSE STANBDOFF (WATCH DIRGE DABBLE S1 ONLBY ON NEDFLIXX)?!?!?!?!!!! and the senator is like "I do not understand that reference because I only have a hulu subscription". And then 20 minutes (Or 2 hours?**) later the senator is hiring BAD GUY having SHADY CONVERSATIONS the point of which feels like it might be HAHAH I AMA HYPOCRITE ABOUT GUN CONTROL WHICH I SAID IS GOOD AND THAT'S BAD EVEN THOUGH THE PERSON YOU KNOW IS A GOOD GUY JUST SAID GUN CONTROL IS BAD AND THE'RE GOOD. BECAUSE I'M BAD! (MAYBE!!)

And I'm just sitting here Going... what? I mean, I'm following the plot just fine, it's not all that complicated, but taken as a show with a MESSAGE, are you FOR guns or AGAINST guns or for JUST A FEW guns or... What exactly are you trying to say, Marvel's the Punisher Only on netflix?

Unrelated aside: If you can understand the last paragraph at all, then you have been hanging out with me too much. Don't stop doing that though. I appreciate and value your friendship.

*The fact that I am completely unable to mentally link any event to any episode still drives me nuts. Like, I bitch about the CW DC shows at every opportunity for every reason all the time forever, but at least their episodes are episodes.

**I mean fucking seriously.
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  #32  
Old 11-22-2017, 09:07 AM
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SHOULD Marvel's the Punisher only on Netflix even TRY to address gun control? I am turning this over in my head.

REASONS IT SHOULD
  • It's a Marvel series in the year 2017.
  • They have 13 Hours to fill.
  • Media should be about something.
REASONS IT SHOULD NOT
  • It's already juggling being about several other somethings such as
    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and survivor's guilt
    • Mental Illness
    • Justice and when it's "okay" to kill someone.
    • Torture
    • Private Millitary Corporations
    • Corruption
    • The ways in which people are swayed to extremist ideologies.
    • Surveillance
    • Some other stuff I probably missed because I was playing Mario while I watched.
  • It's Protagonist is MURDER GUNS MAN, the man who murders people with his many guns, and if he doesn't have lots of guns with which to do murders there is no show.
  • It's set in downtown CRIMEVILLE in SUPERHEROWORLD, where the largest arms manufacturer recently pulled out of the guns business to focus on SUPER FIGHTING ROBOTS and also there are NORSE GODS dropping by every now and then, so maybe real-world gun control proposals aren't a good 1-1 match here.
  • Just because a show has ALL THE GUNS doesn't mean it has to be ABOUT guns. I mean, John Wick stuffed 10 times as much guns into 1/6th of the Punisher's Runtime, but it wasn't about guns. (It was about grieving.)
I think it's good and important for shows to bring up important topics, but I don't think this important topic is a very good fit for this show. I mean, their attempt to portray the gun control "Debate" was between someone saying "Background checks are good" and someone we watched shoot a mobster to death after he put his gun in front of her and went "I BET U CAN'T SHOOT ME 2 DETH".

Maybe they'll resolve all this in the remaining 4 episodes, but as of right now, I'm thinking it might have been a better idea to just not touch that one.

Last edited by BEAT; 11-25-2017 at 03:53 PM.
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  #33  
Old 11-22-2017, 09:57 AM
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I honestly think it would be disingenuous for this show not to address gun control in some manner. It and Daredevil are already covering the nature of vigilantism and what it means when the vigilante in question is willing to kill people vs. not killing them. Combined with Frank being a military vet and the real-world situation where a lot of pro-2nd-amendment people are involved in the military, I don't think it could avoid the issue and still try to be a "realism" show. And on top of that, gun control is pretty entangled with a lot of other issues you mentioned the show is already dealing with -- PTSD, extremism, mental illness. I don't think the show is advocating anything about it either way (not yet anyway, maybe by the time it's over??). Which is kind of a problem.
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  #34  
Old 11-22-2017, 11:19 AM
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I get that they sort of felt the urge to say something about gun control, but if they didn't have anything coherent to say, maybe they should have resisted the urge.

Episode 10 Did nothing to alleviate the total lack of coherent message RE: the control of guns BUT-

1.) It actually worked as an "Episode" as in a full story with a beginning, middle and end that stood apart from the others in this show that just feel like watching a random chunk of a very very long movie. And

2.) It was FUCKING BADASS with awesome fighting and action and shootouts and tension and OMG WHY IS SO LITTLE OF THE SHOW LIKE THIS?!

So yeah def the best part so far.
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  #35  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
I get that they sort of felt the urge to say something about gun control, but if they didn't have anything coherent to say, maybe they should have resisted the urge.
I feel some overlap between the show's TACKLING THE ISSUES problem and Netflix's strange collective allergy to episodic structure.

like, when Garth Ennis did the Punisher MAX series, it is structured like a couple seasons of television. 60 issues, 10 six-issue arcs. and some of them are About Something -- like, there is a story about sex trafficking, a story about Vietnam and Iraq, a story where the Punisher kills Enron by blowing up a cruise ship in shark-filled waters -- but they tend to be about one thing at a time, and so there's a clarity to the story's handling of each subject.

anyway, it seems to me that the show would have an easier time with this sort of thing if it were laid out in discrete chunks as opposed to a big ol 12-hour continuous mish-mash. I dunno.
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  #36  
Old 11-22-2017, 11:13 PM
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Goddamn the climax was brutal. Fuck.
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  #37  
Old 11-24-2017, 09:49 AM
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So that sure was a show.

It was... okay?

I dunno, I feel like they ran out of actual plot before they reached the end of the series resulting in a "Climax" without the guy who was supposed to be the primary antagonist present. The fucked up kid subplot just sort of came out of nowhere untill suddenly it took over the entire show for awhile, and I'm maintaining my position that if they had nothing to say about gun control, they should have said nothing about gun control instead of the weird MAYBE BOTH SIDES ARE BAD angle they ended up on which was just... PAINFUL.

THAT SAID

It did have some really great MEAN NASTY action, and the Punisher was at least pretty okay most of the time.

Better than Iron Fist and Most of defenders, I guess.
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  #38  
Old 11-24-2017, 09:56 AM
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If I was being generous, I think the show's actual statement about gun control is "Weapons are only as effective as the person wielding them," which isn't necessarily a pro- or anti-gun stance and plays into the themes of the show being about moral character and mental health, but it sure was a superfluous collection of scenes and dialogue.
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  #39  
Old 11-25-2017, 12:10 PM
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legit funny visual gag: in episode six or seven or something there's a dream sequence where a bunch of dudes shoot up an imaginary Thanksgiving dinner. toward the end of the sequence they throw in a split-second close-up on a shelf of board games. freeze that and look at the details.
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  #40  
Old 11-26-2017, 05:21 PM
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Finished dis.

Overall it was better than I expected, and held together in terms of tone, plot and momentum a lot more cohesively than most of these Netflix Marvel shows do. I was worried that the Punisher couldn't carry a series on his own, but Jon Bernthal inhabits the role with an impressive range and likeability. I liked the entire supporting cast, too, with Micro and Madani being standouts.

A lot of Frank's plans seemed to depend on him knowing the future. He knew that Sarah wouldn't recognize The Punisher when he was standing in her driveway, and also that she'd be texting or whatever while pulling in and wouldn't see him until the last possible second so she could gently run him over and they would thereafter become BFFs. He knew that Russo would free one of his hands so he could enter the password in Micro's lair himself rather than just demanding he give it up, and also that no one would find the knife he had hidden right behind the gun they found. He knew that Russo would go to Curtis' apartment but also be chill enough to let Curtis walk around and open the curtains so he could get his snipe on. Eh.

Anyway here are the official power rankings for Marvel's The Netflix:

1. Daredevil S1
2. Jessica Jones
3. The Punisher
4. The Defenders
5. Daredevil S2
6. Luke Cage
7. Iron Fist

I agonized for a while about who would claim the top spot, but JJ gets real dumb about Kilgrave's powers towards the end, and I think DD just edges it out on the back of Vincent D'Onofrio's legendary performance. Middle of the road is exactly where The Defenders deserves to be (what a shame!). Daredevil S2 and Luke Cage both have first halves of varying strength and then absolutely miserable back halves that drag them both down. And the less said about Iron Fist the better.

What's next? Jessica Jones season 2, right? Shit man, I can get hype for that.
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  #41  
Old 11-27-2017, 07:00 AM
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Default WU TANG CLAN AIN'T NOTHIN TA FUCK WITH. WU TANG CLAN AIN'T NOTHIN TA FUCK WITH. WU TA

I can find no fault with Vaeran's list. It is a perfect list.
Quote:
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I agonized for a while about who would claim the top spot, but JJ gets real dumb about Kilgrave's powers towards the end, and I think DD just edges it out on the back of Vincent D'Onofrio's legendary performance.
I wanted to like JJ more than I actually liked it. When it was good, it was almost transcendent! But when it got bad it was just agonizing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaeran View Post
Middle of the road is exactly where The Defenders deserves to be (what a shame!).
The defenders ends on Four Superheroes Kung-Fu Fighting a shit ton of magic ninjas inside the skeleton of an ancient dragon god set to Protect Ya Neck by the motherfucking Wu Tang Clan.

And SOMEHOW, actually seeing it play out ISN'T THE MOST AWESOME THING YOU'VE EVER SEEN?

That shouldn't' even be POSSIBLE! I mean, just a straight description of it makes it sound like the sickest fucking thing ever!

"What a Shame" is the the only possible way to describe Marvel's the Defenders only On Netflix.

Last edited by BEAT; 11-27-2017 at 09:19 AM. Reason: NG CLAN AIN'T NOTHIN TA FUCK WITH. WU TANG CLAN AIN'T NOTHIN TA FUCK WITH. WU TANG CLAN AIN'T NOTHIN TA FUCK WITH. WU TANG CLAN AIN'T NOTHIN TA FUCK WITH. WU TANG CLAN AIN'T NOTHIN TA FUCK WITH. WU TA
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  #42  
Old 11-27-2017, 08:24 AM
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I have seen six episodes of this show. There's maybe an hour in there so far of what I'd want to see in a Punisher show. It's okay to show the cops pursuing him, but it seems like Madani gets more screen time than Frank sometimes, which is just off. And like Beat said, it has subplots that have nothing to do with what the show is ostensibly actually about.
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  #43  
Old 11-27-2017, 08:33 AM
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I expected there to be a lot of Frank machinegunning roomfuls of dudes to death, and wasn't really looking forward to it. While there is some of that, I was surprised and pleased that the show found other stories and other action beats to take up the majority of the running time.
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  #44  
Old 11-27-2017, 08:34 AM
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If you make a Punisher show that isn't about the Punisher murdering people, what are you really making?
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  #45  
Old 11-27-2017, 08:36 AM
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Someone call me when they show the Punisher murdering a cop who ducks charges on a shooting. Otherwise it's just more right wing fantasia meant to get more skulls on SWAT team gym shirts.
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  #46  
Old 11-27-2017, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Someone call me when they show the Punisher murdering a cop who ducks charges on a shooting.
Has anyone ever done a Punisher run like that? (Because tone is complicated online: This is a sincere question. I have no idea!)

I always thought he was the manifestation of those comments in the arrest sections of websites for local newspapers full of emotionally stunted middle aged dads talking about how the police should let me have a crack at the criminals (the ones that Matt Christman talks about all the time).
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  #47  
Old 11-27-2017, 09:23 AM
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I can't think of anything that specific, but his "only criminals" rule has overridden his "no cops" rule in the past.
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  #48  
Old 11-27-2017, 09:25 AM
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I could see the Netflix version of Frank taking on cops, but they would probably wind up corrupt in the more Hollywood sense and less in the Black Lives Matter sense. And that's only if the show runners had the chutzpah to do that storyline at all.
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  #49  
Old 11-27-2017, 10:06 AM
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I mean. The whole season is about him targeting people in the security industry who screwed him over.
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  #50  
Old 11-27-2017, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Someone call me when they show the Punisher murdering a cop who ducks charges on a shooting.
There's a Punisher MAX story where Frank sends a corrupt cop to eastern Europe as a messenger to one end of a sex trafficking ring, the message being a tape of the New York end being burned alive. We are left to imagine his fate.

but yeah, I don't recall that being a can of worms anyone has ever fully opened.
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  #51  
Old 11-28-2017, 03:03 AM
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So I finished The Punisher last night. I was gonna keep up my one-episode-per-day pattern, but after last night's episode I decided to watch the final two right away.

It was.... good. Easily the best Marvel Netflix series from the year of our Lord 2017, and pretty good in its own right too.

Since we're doing rankings:

1&2: Daredevil S1, Jessica Jones (Tie)
3: Luke Cage
4: Punisher
5&6: Defenders, Daredevil S2 (Tie)
7: Iron Fist

I'm cheating with that first slot, but I like both of those seasons equally, really. Man, remember that first year of Marvel Netflix shows when it was just those two and the thought of a crossover Defenders series was exciting? Man. Also I bumped Luke Cage up to 3rd mainly on the strength of its first half, and Cottonmouth.

Anyway. The Punisher was a lot better than I was fearing it would be, especially after Iron Fist and Defenders this year. It still had some problems, though. Many episodes dragged, and while this didn't bother me too much it was easy to spot where the problem areas were. Weirdly enough the series seemed to drag more in its first half than its second, it's like MarvelNetflix figured the best way to solve its 'these series start dragging in the second half' problem was to just shift the dragging bits to earlier in the series, rather than eliminate them.

There are two larger problems with the series. One is all the gun control talk and how badly the series fumbles it. They clearly had to talk about it because it's the fucking Punisher and America already had several mass shootings this year and probably will have another one by the end. But the gun control advocate is painted as an NRA caricature of a 'gun stealin' cowardly lib'rul', and the gun rights advocate is split between a looney tunes conspiracy theorist and a vet with PTSD who, despite murdering said conspiracy theorist runs with those conspiracy theories. Also Karen I guess. This framing does the argument no favors. And it doesn't even really have a resolution, we don't see this thread again after episode 10! It would have been nice to at least have a follow-up with Karen and the politician to see how the events of episode 10 affected things, but... eh!

Man, Episode 10 though. That was a great hour.

The other problem with the show is the justification of Frank's killing, and it uses the aforementioned vet with PTSD to frame it, but it's like the show isn't sure what it should be saying. Frank talks about how he isn't sure what he'd do if he went up against a soldier following orders (he kills men sent to kill him in the woods who, for all he knew, were soldiers even if the audience knew they were mercs), insists he looks people in the eyes before he kills them (he uses a sniper rifle several times in the show) and says he'd never use a cowardly weapon like a bomb (he uses explosives when anvil attacks him at Micro's hideaway). Ultimately we're left to assume that Frank is right because we know that Frank is right, that the people he target deserve to die, and the other kid is wrong because we know it's just conspiracy theory bullshit and rage driving him. And that's the moral I guess!

The finale was a bit weird, too, because Frank got his big revenge in episode 12, but then the last episode is Frank chasing this one other guy who isn't responsible for his pain at all, but still betrayed him personally I guess? That's how the show ends? Ok. The final action setpiece was alright, though it was a bit weird that two random as fuck teenagers got dragged into it. Badguy needed leverage I guess but, it's still weird, isn't it?

Then at the very end Frank got a second chance as Homeland Security gave him a way out of his past crimes because of just how messy the entire situation was. This doesn't bother me too much, but it is a bit too easy. Especially considering his rampage in DDS2.

But these problems aside, the show was pretty good, and I'd even say it was great in a few moments. Frank is charismatic as hell, and his relationship with Micro is the best part of the series, I'd say. And most of the action scenes were entertaining as hell, and each one was different enough from each other so that it didn't feel like a repetitive series about Marvel's The Shooty Bang Bang Man, which I feared it would be.

So yeah, The Punisher was, ultimately, good. Flawed, but good.
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  #52  
Old 11-28-2017, 07:27 PM
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I figured out what this show reminds me of. It's basically an average season of Homeland. Featuring Frank Castle.
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  #53  
Old 12-01-2017, 06:10 PM
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I have the flu, so I wanted to watch something dumb that didnít require me to pay too much attention, and boy, did Dr. Netflix prescribe the right show for me!

Has there been a comic where, to get rid of the Punisher, a villain uses time travel, dark magic, or other means to save Frank Castleís family?
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  #54  
Old 12-01-2017, 06:39 PM
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...and now that question is all I care about in the world.
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  #55  
Old 12-01-2017, 08:09 PM
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Believe that is a no. There was a brief run in the '90s where Frank was going to be employed by Heaven as a literal avenging angel, through which service he would eventually be reunited with his family? Then another writer took over and no one ever spoke of that notion again.

The Punisher: Born miniseries has a very weird ending that suggests the death of Frank's family was supernaturally inevitable, but it (deliberately I think) doesn't explain itself very well. (They also did a What If...? story somewhere along the lines where Frank's family survived the mob hit in the park only to just get shot somewhere else.)

There was, now that I think back, a time travel story involving the Punisher, but instead of going back in time to save his family he went even further back in time to kill Al Capone.
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  #56  
Old 12-01-2017, 08:48 PM
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addendum: went back and read this (issue #8 of the 2001 Punisher Vol 5), and in fact the idea is that Frank gets Nick Fury and Reed Richards to send him back in time to kill Al Capone *because* doing so will totally disrupt the development of organized crime in America and as a result prevent the deaths of Frank's wife and kids.

then he wakes up and it was all a dream. (this was a fill-in issue written by some dude I don't recognize between the end of the Garth Ennis run and the beginning of the Tom Peyer run.)

There is an oddly prescient line (we're before Civil War here) where Frank considers that Reed Richards would be pretty dangerous if he ever went bad and he makes a mental note to go back and kill Reed when he gets a free moment.
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  #57  
Old 12-04-2017, 06:12 AM
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One time The Hood was running a super criminal network and offered to magically resurrect Frank's family to keep him from messing with the good thing they had going. He turned down the offer. Not long after Norman Osborn had Dakken cut his head off and he was brought back to life as Frankencastle but that's another story.

I finished the show. Those last couple episodes were uh... pretty violent!
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  #58  
Old 12-04-2017, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaeran View Post
Finished dis.

Overall it was better than I expected, and held together in terms of tone, plot and momentum a lot more cohesively than most of these Netflix Marvel shows do. I was worried that the Punisher couldn't carry a series on his own, but Jon Bernthal inhabits the role with an impressive range and likeability. I liked the entire supporting cast, too, with Micro and Madani being standouts.

A lot of Frank's plans seemed to depend on him knowing the future. He knew that Sarah wouldn't recognize The Punisher when he was standing in her driveway, and also that she'd be texting or whatever while pulling in and wouldn't see him until the last possible second so she could gently run him over and they would thereafter become BFFs. He knew that Russo would free one of his hands so he could enter the password in Micro's lair himself rather than just demanding he give it up, and also that no one would find the knife he had hidden right behind the gun they found. He knew that Russo would go to Curtis' apartment but also be chill enough to let Curtis walk around and open the curtains so he could get his snipe on. Eh.

Anyway here are the official power rankings for Marvel's The Netflix:

1. Daredevil S1
2. Jessica Jones
3. The Punisher
4. The Defenders
5. Daredevil S2
6. Luke Cage
7. Iron Fist

I agonized for a while about who would claim the top spot, but JJ gets real dumb about Kilgrave's powers towards the end, and I think DD just edges it out on the back of Vincent D'Onofrio's legendary performance. Middle of the road is exactly where The Defenders deserves to be (what a shame!). Daredevil S2 and Luke Cage both have first halves of varying strength and then absolutely miserable back halves that drag them both down. And the less said about Iron Fist the better.

What's next? Jessica Jones season 2, right? Shit man, I can get hype for that.
Rene power rankings:
1. JJ
2. Punisher
3. DDs1
4. Luke Cage
5. DDs2
6. Defenders
7. Mighty Whitey


Anyway: very last scene was harrowing. I think making the whole thing not about killing mafia types, as hinted at in e1 and rather about the nature of patriotism, institutional corruption in the american war machine, ptsd a lot more interesting. Previous versions of the Punisher is Dirty Harry/Death Wish level exploitation fascism. This is tempered from that, quite a bit. The violence is sparse but totally brutal. I just watched Brawl in Cell Block 99, and this had shades of that. Also the tight manson song in ep11 was great. Tyler Bates is Mansonís guitarist.

Making Jigsaw a war buddy recontextualizes him from z-grade Joker as well


GOOD STUFF.
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:56 PM
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R.R. Bigman R.R. Bigman is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Knoxville! Knoxville! Knoxville!
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Five episodes in. One Eyed CIA Man is going to hire ANVIL Beard Man to kill Punisher in the next few episodes, right? I am 105% sure that is going to happen.
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gait detection software , marvel , marvel cinematic universe , netflix , smiling angelic dead wife , the punisher , welcome back frank

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