There’s a meme going around where you have to list your favorite movies from each year you’ve been alive, so I’ve done so. Some notes:
1) I don’t actually remember most things from before 1989, just scattered memories. I wasn’t aware that years really existed before I saw a Mighty Dog calendar for 1989 and realized this was a thing. I also had no idea what a year was for a while and so the oncoming end of my grandfather’s Far Side Off-the-Wall calendar filled me with fear of the seemingly inevitable apocalypse.
2) There’s a few years where I had to choose something just so I would have a movie there and others where there was a wealth of choices. 2004 stands out as one such year where there was an abundance of choices.
3) I realize there are some movies someone may call ‘bad” or “insulting to the source material” or “incredibly awful” but I’m okay with that.
I watched the entirety of Iron Fist and I’m prepared to say that it has its share of issues. I’m not going to say anything about the casting. The fact that Danny Rand is a white guy has a lot more problems based in the whole “white guy does something better than a bunch of non-white guys who have done the same thing for centuries” trope that started with freaking Tarzan being a better ape than, you know, actual freaking apes and we could have a whole discussion about how detrimental that whole thing has been since its introduction. I don’t know why most white guys have a compulsive need to portray themselves as better than everyone else but it’s dumb and should really stop. Anyway, possible spoilers ahead. Really low-key spoilers.
The main issue with Iron Fist is that it’s the weakest Marvel Netflix show and this can be attributed to the fact that it doesn’t live up to the potential of its character, a kung fu master with an iron fist that he got from a dragon. Instead, we get a whiny dopey billionaire moping around town and frequently getting pissy when things don’t go his way. So that’s the show’s first misstep. They should have had the kung fu master actually doing a lot more kung fu. Every episode should have had a fantastic kung fu battle that reminded us why Iron Fist has been around since the seventies. He’s by far the weakest character in the entire show, especially overshadowed by Colleen Wing.
That’s my second issue with the series: the romantic relationship between Iron Fist and Colleen Wing is the most outlandish and unbelievable thing in the series and I hate that they wound up together at the end of it. They had no chemistry and I don’t see why they needed to screw. I guess we can only consider it a saving grace that Night Nurse and Iron Fist didn’t bang, since she was used as a possible romantic interest in both Daredevil and Luke Cage.
My third issue is that, unlike the other Netflix shows, this one had no sense of anything greater going on and no main antagonist. Daredevil had Kingpin in its first season, Jessica Jones had Kilgrave, and Luke Cage had Mariah and Diamondback. Iron Fist has the Hand? Which Hand? Two of them pop up to menace and subsequently be defeated. Or is it Meachum? But which Meachum? The one that seems like he’s going to be the big bad isn’t and the one that does turn out to be the big bad isn’t until halfway through and it’s all just sloppy and uninteresting.
This isn’t to say that the show has nothing to redeem itself. When they actually do show some violence, it’s usually pretty decent. Colleen Wing is good when she’s not just a love interest. Also, when it’s reminding us of the other Marvel shows it’s great. The whole thing was just trying to be a lot more complicated and mysterious than it really needed to be when it could have been a Kill Bill type of thing. Here’s hoping ol’ Danny Boy is better in The Defenders.
I’m back from my two-week creativity vacation so I guess the first order of business is talking about my experience at Cleveland ConCoction!
It was good!
Okay, come back tomorrow for Kaiju Haiku and… well, I guess I should elaborate. I really should have done this last week when it was fresh in my memory, but it went really well. We met a lot of great people and while we didn’t sell a lot, I do feel we put ourselves out there in ways that will be revealed in the future. Friday was sort of a personal mess but Saturday was better, and Sunday was great. Another reason I should have talked about this sooner is that my initial euphoria is being severely sapped. It was a good weekend, though, and I’m looking forward to the Fictosphere’s next convention.
First of all, I decided to take a two-week break last week and neglected to tell the people who read this blog. However, I just watched a horrible movie and I need to tell you all about it. That movie was DragonQuest, and boy was it ever lousy. I did a running commentary on Twitter but now that I’ve watched the whole thing, well, I’m not much happier about it. The movie was made by the Asylum to ape Eragon and there’s absolutely no reason for you to ever watch this movie that was apparently made for $600.
The hero, Arkadi, is introduced hiding from his grandfather (who is apparently named Grandfather) while smoking magical weed and using a telescope to watch a girl do her laundry. He has absolutely no qualms about watching her take off her shirt, though Grandfather stops this and admonishes his magical weed-smoking. The villain, meanwhile, starts things off by using his own blood to summon a dragon made of fire. This also allows the villain, Kirill (whose name is just killer with a syllable swapped) to dominate minds. Kirill is an evil wizard, you see, and he sends his dragon to take out Grandfather in a very underwhelming battle of CGI against CGI. This sends Arkadi off on his quest to find the stones to fill up a pendant, which is also a basic RPG plot which is how the rest of these characters and situations seemingly came about.
Arkadi’s first task is to find a warrior named Maxim (Marc Singer, former Beastmaster who here is
doing his best Yoda impersonation) who is accompanied by Xena-lite, also known as Katya and one of the only decent things about this mess of a movie. Maxim trains Arkadi until they both realize the movie is only ninety minutes long and they should get a move on, and from here, each and every scene culminates in Arkadi getting a stone, like so:
- Arkadi is pulled into a bog by a giant CGI snake-head in order to find a stone. The first two times, he tries to smoke his magic weed while muttering to himself. The people who made this movie don’t seem to understand how a bog works. He finally finds the stone when he doesn’t try to smoke at the bottom of the bog.
- Arkadi, Katya, and Maxim head to a witch’s hut. She draws him a bath that has a naked woman in it. He opts not to bathe with her and this results in him getting a stone.
- Arkadi is thrown in a dungeon with some guy who calls himself Stranger. He manages to free his chains from the floor and, once he frees himself and all the other prisoners, he is given another stone and a lot of money. Also, Katya shows up to kill a guy with a throwing star. This is when I started hating the movie.
- Arkadi gets ditched by everyone and he winds up in a cave with a CGI spider. He lets it walk right by him and finds a stone on the ground.
- Arkadi finds a guy on a beach. He gives the guy all the money he got earlier and the guy gives him a stone.
- Arkadi and Katya tell some random woman that Maxim is dead and she gives them a stone. This might be someone Maxim is related to but we never find this out.
Each stone is supposedly based on one of the virtues but this nebulous at best and he only winds up finding the six of them anyway. There is nothing natural about the scene progression and each and every plot twist can be seen by anyone with an ounce of sense. Maxim heroically sacrifices himself to save Arkadi after the little perv is taken to a camp and shown an magic mirror. Katya looks into the mirror and finds out that she’s going to betray Arkadi. This happens almost immediately afterward, followed by a climatic battle between Arkadi and Kirill which is just them holding their hands out towards each other while CGI happens. The two worst offenses are when Kirill tosses Arkadi’s stone-filled pendent over a cliff but it’s cool because Arkadi actually had the magic inside of him the entire time, and when Katya and Arkadi kiss at the end after an entire movie where she continually hates him. There is nothing original about this movie.
There are some… well, not good parts. Better parts. The CGI is charming in an early PlayStation kind of way, and Katya is by far the best character who is underserved by the plot and the poor imagination of those writing the movie. She’s competent, shares my dislike of the protagonist, and does her best. Arkadi is a hapless little pervy twit who doesn’t deserve all these people throwing away their lives for him. There’s an entire scene where everyone is saying how little they trust him, and then all of a sudden they decide they’ll take up arms and die for him. Maxim is just annoying. And there’s no one else in this movie who’s in it long enough to make an impression.
Do not watch this movie. It is bad. It is not a fun bad. The actress who played Katya has been in better things than this. I can only hope that the people acting in this movie had fun while doing it. I am only glad that I paid less than a dollar for this thing.