Live Blog Of Marvel’s Punisher

Live Blog Of The Punisher

Friday 17th of November:

Episode One:

A bit of a slow start – Frank Castle has gotten his revenge on those who have killed his family, he’s under a different name, working as a builder. But when other builders get into trouble with a loan shark, Frank gets involved. New characters have been introduced, and the plot is slowly being revealed. Took me a while to get into it, but I’m invested now, so bring on episode two!

Episode Two:

The plot thickens – Frank’s family were not killed by accident, it was on purpose. And Frank is not happy about it. He’s being threatened, Micro is somehow involved, time to track him down and get some answers. Murders have increased now, things are getting a bit more violent like I wanted from this show. Getting excited now!

Episode Three:

Frank has found a ‘man in the chair’ – someone who can help him find the people responsible for all of this, the people who used him as a hitman, and everyone in between. This series is a lot more hard-hitting than I expected it to me. I was expected a lot more violence and less plot, but this is very plot-heavy, and really zeroes in on PTSD and the effects of war on a person. I have no idea if this is accurate to PTSD in the real world, but I like the attempt to highlight it at the very least.

Episode Four:

I don’t trust Ben Barnes’ character, at all. There’s something about him that screams ‘don’t trust me, I’m up to something.’ Even if his army friends trust him, I don’t think I do. Think I’m missing something about why Frank has highjacked a Homeland Security operation, but that could be explained later. That or I’ve missed it because the main TV is on and it’s louder than my laptop, so I keep on missing bits.

Episode Five:

Some good, bloody fight scenes in this episode, which I thoroughly enjoyed. One thing that’s getting to me though is the completely inaccurate medicine or lack thereof. Frank is shot in the shoulder with an arrow, and shot with a bullet in the side, yet manages to run through the woods and taken down several soldiers, before dragging his injured friend through the woods. Frank should surely have died from his injuries, or at least not been able to shoot and fight, yet he managed to take down an elite squad. It was an awesome scene, but medical accuracy people, it is a thing. You can get away with it when you’re talking about Demi-God’s and Hulk’s and superheroes in super suits, not so much with completely human characters.

Episode Six:

PLOT. TWIST. ENDING. But now I sadly have to stop watching for the day because it’s time to get dinner and settle down for some Strictly – It Takes Two, Children In Need and The Last Leg.

Current thoughts – Punisher is a pretty good show, and totally not what I was expecting. I was thinking that this was going to be a lot of mindless blood, guts and gore, but instead, I’ve been given a complex storyline. I’m not totally taken with it, as I’m not really into shows about the army, war and conspiracy theories, but I’m enjoying it well enough. I think Frank needs a superhero like Matt to bounce off of though, that could just be me though, but he felt a lot more interesting and human in Daredevil.

Monday 20th of November:

Episode Seven:

Things are starting to spiral for Frank and several other characters, things are not going to plan at all. The plot twist connection is being explored more in this episode and leaves it on a bit of an ‘oh dear GOD’ kind of moment. It took me a minute to get back into this again, due to a two-day break, but still really enjoying it.

Episode Eight:

It’s really interesting to see how Frank interacts with kids, especially after losing his own. It’s also really interesting to watch another father struggle to be away from his family, especially when they are struggling with his ‘death.’ Billy is a complete psychopath though, and I think he may be my favourite character, simply because he’s constantly murdering people, which is what I expected from this show most.

Monday 27th of November:

Episode Nine:

An episode all about consequences, bombs, and grief. Things are twisting together a bit more, and in other ways, things are hitting the fan. Some people are teaming up together, others are causing more trouble for Frank, and Frank himself has either made a big mistake or has one hell of a plan.

Episode Ten:

More death and violence in this, literally explosive, episode. One threat is gone, other’s villainous nature has been exposed, and everyone, apart from Karen, is gunning for Frank. Really loved the timeline of this episode, showing the different points of view on the situation, and how people use their own goals to change a narrative.

Episode Eleven:

Sweet holy mother of God, The Punisher has arisen! Seeing Frank in the skull-emblazoned bulletproof vest, shooting the living daylights out of the bad guys is absolutely incredible. This is what I wanted from this show – Frank Castle being the famous Punisher, killing the bad guys with never ending bullets and grenades. Best scene of the entire series so far, if the finale has something like that in it, I will be a happy, happy girl!

Friday 1st of December:

Episode Twelve:

Families are rescued, people are captured, and the noose around Billy Russo’s neck tightens. Lots of blood in this episode, which is completely at odds with Frank’s flashbacks to his final morning with his wife. It’s an incredibly interesting contrast, one a thoroughly enjoyed watching playing out. I’ve loved the flashbacks throughout the entire series really, it gave me such a good insight into Frank’s previous life, and exactly what he’s mourning, and why he’s so hellbent on revenge.

Episode Thirteen:

This is it, the conclusion, the final showdown. Frank V Billy, and Billy isn’t playing nicely! Full of blood, dirty fights, and pure violence, Frank’s final showdown is one to watch. What I really enjoyed about this one, was that it wasn’t like the bullet and explosion-heavy fight of episode 9, this was pared down, just two men and their skills, facing off against each other. There was gun use, but it was nowhere near as much as usual, this was more about fists, knives, and skill. In short, I loved it!

Conclusions:

Punisher as a TV series was not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting little plot and more mindless violence. Instead, I got a heavy, twisting plot with twists I really did not see coming. I loved the insights into Frank’s time at war, and the contrast between who he is now, and who he was with his family. Billy Russo was a complete psychopath, and watching him come undone was great fun.

While the themes (war, army and government cover-ups) aren’t really my thing, I did still very much enjoy this series, and I will definitely watch more if it ever comes. Personally, I would have preferred more on-screen violence, and maybe some more things tying Punisher to the MCU, but on the whole, this was a very good series. Wonderfully acted, brilliantly scripted, and generally just plain fun to watch! A must for all Marvel fans who don’t mind a whole lot of blood!

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Westworld Goes Down Fighting

westworld-goes-down-fighting

Last night, Westworld’s season finale aired in the UK, and showed every other show of a similar nature exactly how to end a season. With plot twists, a lot of questions answered, and more brought forward, the hour and a half long episode had me hooked from the opening second, right to the very end of the credits.

I’ve been a fan of the show since the start, and in fact wrote a piece on the opening episode on this very blog a few weeks ago. After every episode I was looking up fan theories, trying to figure out what The Maze was, who The Man In Black was, and just what the hell was going on. Last night explained it all. It explained, tied everything together, and created mystery for the next season, all in one go.

In many TV shows like Westworld, the writers generally like to keep you guessing constantly, and use season finale’s to create more questions than answers (I’m looking at you, Lost). Sometimes, TV shows like this don’t give you any answers at all, and it’s up to the audience to interpret everything for themselves. This show though, the writers actually answered almost everything the audience wanted to know.

The Man In Black’s identity was revealed, in a plot twist that had me screaming, even after seeing many internet theories which predicted it. The Maze was explained. Robert’s new narrative was revealed. Some characters got what they wanted, others not so much. Everything tied together beautifully, which really speaks to how well the show was plotted by JJ Abrams and his writing team.

But, can things continue on, if everything has been revealed? Where’s the mystery? What’s to keep the audience coming back?

Simple, with Robert’s new narrative. I won’t give away too many spoilers for those who have not seen the episode yet, but let’s just say that The Man In Black got what he wanted, Wyatt is loose, and there’s a lot more Hosts with a thirst for bloodshed running around.

That, and the new subtly-hinted-at plot points dotted throughout. Who messed with Thandie Newton’s Maeve’s programming, to make her wake up in the first place? Has Dolores gone completely psycho? Why are the Japanese fighter hosts ‘complicated?’ And possibly most importantly, does this mean that there are more parks than just Westworld? Are there more parks, more hosts, more robots waking up and deciding to revolt?

So many questions, so much more to explore in this captivating world. Things I can’t wait to puzzle over and watch unfold. Westworld was a brilliant series, but the finale was a masterpiece in story telling. Other TV shows, take note.

Westworld Brings Fantasy To Life

Last night I started watching the JJ Abrams show Westworld, and instantly fell in love with it. For those who don’t know, Westworld is a show set in a future where a company makes incredibly human-esque robots, puts them in a ‘park’ make to look like a cowboy western, and let rich people in to carry out their fantasies with them. These fantasies can include murder (of which there is a lot of in this show), sex (again, of which there is a lot of) and basically anything the person wants. All the while, these robots are glitching, remembering what is happening to them, which could put the humans in danger.

Currently there’s only two episodes out, and I have thoroughly enjoyed both episodes. It’s the perfect mix between Channel 4’s Humans and Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, just with a lot more blood and violence. And when I say blood and violence, I mean that this should would fit right in with Game Of Thrones and Marvel’s Netflix TV shows. Blood flies as fast as the bullets do, and the creators don’t hold back with it.

Really, the creators don’t hold back on anything in general. This show is created like it has the budget of a film, with enough characters and story lines to keep everybody interested. The acting is superb, as you would expect from the all star cast. Anthony Hopkins’ Doctor Ford is a mystery and Ed Harris’ nameless character is even more so. The way actors like Evan Rachel Wood can instantly jump from being an emotionless robot during a diagnostic, to a terrified human being is incredibly and has to be commended.

Everything adds to the creepy feel of the show, it’s almost enough to put your teeth on edge. All the way through, you’re majorly creeped out, and questioning your own morality. If you were in this situation, would you be one of the good guys, or one of the bad? Would you go and hunt down the bandit, sleep with the prostitutes in the tavern, go hunting for treasure? Would you have an innocent holiday in Westworld, or would you act out every depraved fantasy you’ve ever had?

If you were a fan of Dollhouse back in the day, or Humans now, this is definitely the show for you. It’s clever, sleek, and brilliantly written. Everything is interwoven, mysteries are opening up, and there’s a Jurassic Park-esque feeling that something is going to go wrong at any moment. I love it, and cannot wait for the next episode.

Pointless Character Death

Hey, long time no see. Blame the damn assignments for uni. Anyway, I want to talk in this blog post about a problem. Something that is a major problem in so many really good franchises, that don’t just annoy me, it annoys a lot of people. I’m talking about pointless character death.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally fine with character death… sort of. But only when it is a necessary death that serves a purpose. When it doesn’t serve a purpose and it was simply done for either shock value or to create tension between characters, it really winds me up.
Take Sam on How To Get Away With Murder, his death was necessary because the entire show is built around Keating and her students getting away with his murder. His death was semi-justified too, he was an absolutely horrible human being, for reasons I won’t get into for people who plan on watching the show, and his death is the premise of the first season.
Another example is Rue from The Hunger Games. Its a horrendously painful character death, but it serves a purpose of sparking off the revolution and forces Katniss to fight back and get revenge on that Capital.
But when a character death is utterly pointless, I just get so annoyed. Recently, I was watching season 10 of Supernatural, and it got to – spoiler alert here guys if you’re not on season 10 – where Charlie Bradbury died. And her death was so completely and utterly pointless and wrong that I was angry about it for days afterwards. Basically, she died to drive a wedge between Sam and Dean, that was it. She died for that single reason, there was no other reason whatsoever. And it was incredibly annoying.
I mean, the writers could have not killed her, and just injured her instead, easily! The whole reason why her death caused the wedge was because she was helping Sam find a cure for Dean and they were lying to him about it. But because she was in danger, Sam had to tell Dean what was happening, and it caused a huge wedge between them because she died. But the same effect would have been caused if the writers had saved her, but she was badly injured instead. She could have easily been badly injured and the wedge would have still been made. Hell, Cas could have saved her, because he can teleport because he’s an angel and the wedge between the brothers would have still been there.
But no, the writers killed her off. And now she probably isn’t coming back. 
This happens time and time again in things, TV shows especially, where characters are killed off for no reason. I understand it when an actor wants to leave, like with Derek and Greys Anatomy, but even then that death could have been avoided. Derek could have simply just stayed in DC and asked for a divorce or something instead of dying in one of the worst character death scenes I have ever seen. I cried after that one. Actually cried, and I rarely cry over character death, I generally end up just getting annoyed.
Because characters aren’t supposed to just die to create tension, or to be a shock that creates hype on the internet. It’s supposed to really mean something. It’s supposed to be like Buffy’s mum, who died to force Buffy to grow up and stand on her own two feet. Like Dobby, who died saving Harry. Like probably Captain America, who’s death will hopefully force Tony to see the extent of what he’s doing and stop the war.
It’s supposed to be like that, not a death just for hype. When it’s for hype, it’s just pathetic, and clear that the writers are lazy and have no idea on what to do with a character anymore. It’s stupid, and I hate it. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand when writers have to rapidly change story lines because actors are pregnant, like in Bones, so they have to write something like Vincent dying to force Booth and Brennan to finally sleep together out of shock or something, so Brennan gets pregnant. That I can totally understand, but surely it doesn’t always have to end in death?
Can’t a character just be injured for once? Or can’t they come back as a ghost? Or decide to move away? Or something that isn’t them dying for once?! Killing someone off isn’t the only way to get rid of them, it is entirely possible for characters to leave through other means and still have it hurt like hell. Look at the Doctor and Rose at Bad Wolf Bay, Christina leaving Greys Anatomy, Zack turning out to be Gormagon in Bones!
All of those hurt like hell, and with Rose and Zack alike, created great plot twists people weren’t expecting. It’s entirely possible to create a feels inducing moment without killing people off. Writers, take note of that, and stop killing people like Charlie Bradbury off. Please, before I lose my mind.
What do you guys think about character death like this? Do you think any of the people I’ve mentioned had a good send off, if so, why? Or are there any other characters you pretend didn’t die because their deaths were so utterly pointless? Or did you see a really great character send off that didn’t involve them dying? Let me know down in the comments, it would be great to hear from you!

Good Deadpool? Bad Deadpool? GOOD DEADPOOL!

I’ve literally just come back from watching Deadpool and I have to get out my feelings right now, because my God Deadpool is amazing! I loved every single second of this madcap, fourth-wall breaking, swearing, gory, laugh out loud funny origin film, and I’d highly recommend that everybody go and see it… Unless you’re squeamish, or have a delicate disposition, then I’d say stay away as far as possible. If you’re into this sort of stuff, then you’re going to LOVE this film.
Going into Deadpool, all I knew about him was the basics – he breaks the fourth wall, swears a lot, and is known as the ‘Merc With A Mouth,’ other than that, I knew nothing. I’d seen Wolverine Origins (which gets ripped to shreds in this film, or at least Hugh Jackman does anyway) but my knowledge was so skin thin I could have gone in completely ignorant. What I got in return was absolute genius – a completely new take on the ‘hero origin’ story, where the hero doesn’t even want to be a hero. Wade Wilson (the man behind the mask) just wants revenge on the man who gave him his powers and destroyed his skin, and to save his girlfriend from the same man, he doesn’t want to be a hero, and he makes sure everybody knows it.
To be honest, this is more of a revenge story than anything else, it’s nearly two hours of Wade seeking revenge, with pieces of flashback to explain why Wade is after this guy in the first place. And somehow, that works, and more importantly, you fall in love with Wade as he does this.
From the opening scene, Wade Wilson is having gory shoot outs with his enemies henchman, destroying cars and turning one guy into a shish-kabob. The audience knows straight away that Wade is not a good person at all, and yet, as his story is told, you fall in love with him. It’s all through his wise cracks and his love for his girlfriend Vanessa. He’s ridiculous in so many ways, but absolutely lovable, not in a way that you’d take him home to meet your mum, but still very lovable. His jokes about Hugh Jackman (of which there are many), the X-Men in general, and pop culture are completely on point and hilarious.
At points, he gets a bit near the mark with his sex jokes, but that was the whole point of Deadpool in the first place – he’s not supposed to be correct all the time. He’s supposed to be absolutely insane, rude and dangerous, the antithesis of the anti-hero. And in this film, it’s perfect for him. No other hero could pull this off at all, Wade Wilson is the least politically correct super hero ever, and it’s absolutely perfect.
Deadpool in fact doesn’t pull any punches, or hold back in any shape or form. The fourth wall breaks are everywhere, some so subtle you nearly miss them, and others right in your face. Swear words fly around so damn often you forget that this is a Marvel film, they’re not at all bleeped out like they are in the comics. The blood and guts are absolutely everywhere, hell even the naked shots aren’t held back either. Where other films would use tasteful angles to avoid showing someone’s manhood in the middle of a fight, Deadpool doesn’t shy away at all. Nothing in Deadpool is shy, or chaste, or anything of the sort. It’s loud, in your face, hilarious, and absolutely brilliant. I only have two objections – 1) Hugh Jackman doesn’t actually turn up, and neither does Wolverine, even though both are mentioned, and 2) Deadpool never physically meets Stan Lee, which could have been epic. Oh well, there’s always next time for these two wishes!
In all seriousness though, Deadpool is an incredible film, and the perfect way to start this year’s superhero offerings from Marvel. I can’t wait to see what Wade will get up to next, all I can say is that it’ll be absolutely epic.