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TV Review: Marvel’s The Punisher S2E4 Scar Tissue

Marvel's The Punisher S2E4 Scar Tissue

Rachel recalls the night everything changed and lets Frank in on the truth about her name. Russo sits down with a face from his childhood.

Well, at least the fourth episode breaks the flow of the episode we saw in the past three? We learn a bit more about Rachel and what she’s running from as the episode is really about Russo who’s on the loose.

What’s odd about the episode is that there was an attack on a police station and Homeland Security is more focused on Russo? They don’t want to talk to Frank or Rachel and figure out who’s behind it all? It’s just a general weird drop of the plot where both things should be running at the same time. There’s too little time spent on the main plotline.

This is all about Russo whose memory is messed up and he’s visiting old friends. He’s out for revenge and not totally sure where to start and who to go after. It’s an interesting exploration of Russo but the episode feels like it doesn’t tell us anything really new about him, instead the point is to emphasize that he’s messed up. Something that has already been established.

The episode is a bridge to get past the set up of the previous three but even with that, it’s an episode where most of what’s presented could have been done elsewhere. This is the prime example of bloat of a series that could cut the fat and improve the flow.

Overall Rating: 6.5

TV Review: Marvel’s The Punisher S2E3 Trouble the Water

The Punisher Season 2

As Pilgrim’s past comes into focus, Frank and Rachel find themselves in police custody, where they’re anything but safe.

Assault on Precinct 13, is that you? Frank and Rachel are locked up as Pilgrim and his mysterious group find them. From there a massive gunfight that’s entertaining and the only redeeming thing about the episode.

Much like the first two episodes, this third one feels like something we’ve seen before and is just a build up to an action sequence towards the end. Each episode so far has followed similar structural builds where 2/3 of the episode is slow and plodding while the last 1/3 is all action.

The season so far is an interesting one with about 1/3 of each episode being interesting. There’s this villain, a religious nut that alos seems to be a former white supremacist, but not much depth makes his mission to retrieve Rachel feel more like a horror slasher film than anything else.

There’s also the plot of Russo which feels like it could have been sped up to achieve the same result much earlier. He’ll eventually clash with the Punisher as the various plotlines come together.

There’s nothing bad about the series so far but there’s also nothing that really stands out to make it special either. It just is.

TV Review: Marvel’s The Punisher S2E2 Fight or Flight

Punisher S2E2 Fight or Flight

Frank and a reluctant Rachel go on the run as a menacing adversary gives chase. Meanwhile, Madani pays Russo an unwelcome visit.

On the run and being pursued by bad guys, the episode is a typical one that we’ve seen so many times before. The victim doesn’t want to cooperate with the hero thinking he’s a bad guy. The hero makes a stand in a hotel and uses a second room (we’ve seen this one multiple times alone). It’s a very paint by numbers episode but not necessarily bad.

There’s still a lot of amusing things here. For instance, Castle was hit by a bullet in the previous episode and that has to be dug out… of his ass. There’s some slight humor to that as Rachel must help. There’s also an emphasis that Frank is really banged up and hurting. He wasn’t exactly in the best shape to begin with but here he’s really jacked up. Unlike so many other heroes, we’re reminded that he’s human multiple times. He’s also an ass towards Rachel. Yes, we’ve seen that in other stories but again, it’s emphasized we’re not really supposed to like Frank.

There’s some bad as well and that mainly revolves around Russo who’s recovering from last season and may or may not be faking memory loss. With flashes of what happened in dreams, this entire plotline feels dragged out. It’d be so much easier and to the point to have him have nightmares of the Punisher and escape while pursuing revenge. We know it’s going to happen, speed things up, get to the point, and cut a few episodes.

Much like the first episode there’s a lot to like here and some things that are rather slow and dragged out. Much like other Marvel Netflix shows, Marvel’s The Punisher has issues getting to the point and find a steady pacing to really make it engaging. Two episodes in and it’s clear like so many of those shows before it, a shorter season would benefit it overall.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Marvel’s The Punisher S2E1 Roadhouse Blues

Punisher Season 2 Episode 1

While driving through Michigan, Frank stops for a beer at a roadside bar. But staying out of trouble has never been his strong suit.

After a surprisingly strong first season, the Punisher is back for a second that has him wandering. He’s cleared of charges from last season and has no roots to ground him. And, it’s clear he’s looking for that, looking for a purpose. Stopping in Michigan he might have found those roots but trouble is not far behind when he gets caught up in an attempted abduction. A young woman is being pursued by individuals who either want her or something she has. It’s all mysterious for the most part.

That set up isn’t anything new, exciting, or all that interesting, it’s pretty standard. And honestly, the episode is fairly boring until the last 15 minutes or so when the fighting begins. And that fight is what’s needed to wake you up from the sluggish and slow start. It’s brutal, really brutal, and in many ways creative. It’s what the Punisher is about in some ways. It’s an over the top jolt to get you to take notice.

The episode revolves around Jon Bernthal in the title role. He grumbles and mumbles his way through his lines and as a whole there’s issues with that from multiple characters. While some are easy to understand, others are too quiet, too mumbly. But, everyone is good in their roles.

The episode isn’t necessarily bad start. When the fight breaks out, it grabs your attention, but it takes a bit to get going and spends a lot of time setting up where Frank/the Punisher is with things. Pacing seems to be the issue because that latter segment is the exact opposite of the earlier and maybe that’s on purpose. But, when there’s so much on tv to choose from, it may not have been the best choice.

Overall Rating: 7.0

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What are you all excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Comichron – May 2018 Comics Sales Estimates: Spidey #800 tops 411,000 copies, Venom 225k; Action #1000 passes 500k – For those that enjoy the horse race.

ICv2 – Is the Middlebrow Comics Glut Sustainable? – Thoughts?

CBR – Jon Bernthal Confirmed for The Walking Dead for Season 9 – Have to get one last in before Rick departs.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – By Night #1

Talking Comics – The Magic Order #1

Newsarama – New Mutants: Dead Souls #4

Talking Comics – Proxima Centauri #1

The Times – Sabrina

Mondo’s The Punisher by Jock on Sale Today

Today, Mondo has a brilliant new poster for The Punisher – the most recent entry into the Marvel/Netflix lexicon of shows. The poster depicts Jon Bernthal‘s dogged and stoic portrayal of Frank Castle, by the one and only Jock!

This is an exciting pairing of artist and subject as Jock’s gritty, visceral rendering style nicely captures the tone of the show and portrays Frank as a watchful and powerful force of nature. If you haven’t seen the show yet, we definitely suggest remedying that.

Pick up this poster today (12/1) at a random time via mondotees.com.

Movie Review: Baby Driver

After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

Edgar Wright is one of my favorite writers and directors having yet to disappoint in a film and effortlessly blending action and humor. Baby Driver, his latest film, leans heavier on the action side of things, but also gives us his best work yet in a movie that blends action, humor, and music in a way that feels original and a nonstop ride.

Actor Ansel Elgort shines as Baby, the “Baby” in Baby Driver who is forced to be the wheelman for some bad folks. It’s a good thing Baby is a natural behind the wheel moving a car like some direct symphonies. The film opens with a sequence that sets the tone as to what we can expect and for just shy of two hours we’re treated to a music driven action film that feels like as much as a ride as it is a movie.

What surprised me at first is the use of music which feels not like a soundtrack but instead we’re part of the action surrounded by the thumping sound. It’s diagetic, as Baby experiences the music, so do we. It also emphasizes the role music plays driving our lives and helping us perform our actions. Even a scene in a laundry mat feels like it’s straight out of a music video.The music too provides clues as to Baby’s life. Wright brilliantly uses the music to teach us about Baby’s life allowing a backstory to be presented without wasting time with filmed scenes.

The music too provides clues as to Baby’s life. Wright brilliantly uses the music to teach us about Baby’s life allowing a backstory to be presented without wasting time with filmed scenes. It also provides clues as to where things are going. As Baby’s world unravels so does the music as it slows and becomes eratic. It’s impressive and one of the best usses of music in any film I’ve experienced.

Ansel is cool in a movie full of cool individuals. A relative newcomer, Elgort goes toe to toe with Jon Bernthal (underused), Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx. That’s impressive, beyond impressive. Eiza Gonzalez and Lily James are newcomers to me and deliver fantastic performances as well, one bad ass and the other Bonnie to Elgort’s Clyde. Everyone, no matter how big the role, nails it. Truly impressive is CJ Jones who plays Joseph, Baby’s caretaker who is now being taken care of. Jones is the rarity in films a deaf individual playing a deaf character and his inclusion shows how focused on the details Wright was when creating this film. While a lot of the characters and performances borderline on tropes/stereotypes, each is beyond enjoyable and most importantly fun.

Baby Driver is a mix of films, Goodfellas, Heat, Fast and the Furious, but still stands out as an original. This is my favorite film of the year by a long shot and one I could watch over and over. Baby Driver is a music driven, action packed, adrenaline fueled, instant classic.

Overall Rating: 10

Netflix Orders Up The Punisher from Marvel

Marvel has announced that the Punisher is getting his own television series via Marvel and Netflix. The character debuted as part of the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil which debuted in March on Netflix. Actor Jon Bernthal will reprise his role as The Punisher/Frank Castle and Steve Lightfoot will serve as the Showrunner and Executive Producer. Lightfoot was the executive producer of the praised television series Hannibal among other shows and miniseries.

This would be the sixth series between Marvel and Netflix with Luke Cage being the next one and debuting later this year. So far Daredevil has had two season while Jessica Jones has had one. Beyond Luke Cage there is also Iron Fist and The Defenders still to come. The Defenders will bring together the characters from the various shows but it is unknown if the Punisher will participate in it.

The Punisher Teaser

TV Review: Daredevil S2E13 A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen

Daredevil Season 2 3In the season finale, Daredevil is back into the ultimate showdown for his own life – and the future of Hell’s Kitchen

Marvel and Netflix‘s Daredevil‘s finale brings a lot together with a very nice cameo from Jessica Jones to kick things off, and also hinting at what’s to come.

The Hand has set a trap to draw out both Daredevil and Elektra, and for once, things feel a bit more like I’d expect from comics. In battles with the Hand, Daredevil faces what feels like endless streams of hundreds of clad ninjas.

The trap that’s set makes sense in a simplistic way, though you wonder why the Hand isn’t just tracking down the two. That’s only part of my issue with the finale. There’s a scene involving sawing an ankle off that just seems to be forgotten. Daredevil and Elektra seem to have a lot of trouble getting out of a building with lots of windows. Then there’s also the whole death scene pause, as if bad guys will just pause in their fight. Then there’s Nobu’s fate. The guy survived fire!? Daredevil isn’t going to go check on him. Luckily he at least has some help in that department… there can be only one.

The final episode takes a Batman tone both in fighting, style, coloring, and even the music. Daredevil Rises? Daredevil Begins? It’s not bad, and the first season did this at times too, but here I think it’s most pronounced.

So many questions unanswered, so many plot holes left open and things unexplained, but that’s a post for another day.

I will say, the episode ends in a pretty solid way with Foggy and Karen at Josie’s, Karen working on her story about Frank Castle. Matt’s reveal to Karen. And the Hand grabbing Elektra!

Season 2 was rather uneven, but season 3 is looking exciting!

Overall rating: 7.05

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