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Thread: Luke Cage (Season 1)

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    Luke Cage (Season 1)

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    Planet Earth is blue. bac0n's Avatar
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    SWEET CHRISTMAS, AM I STOKED.
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    Me too!

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    Three episodes in- this is shot and edited completely different than the previous two series. It's shaping up to be my favorite.

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    Oh my god I can watch Mahershala Ali and Alfre Wodard interact ALL DAY.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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    Quote Quoting number8 (view post)
    Oh my god I can watch Mahershala Ali and Alfre Wodard interact ALL DAY.
    Wait until you see him in Moonlight.

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  7. #7
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Holy shit. Episode 7. ("Do you think ... they have rubber gloves in the kitchen?")

    This show makes Daredevil and Jessica Jones look bad.

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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    Holy shit. Episode 7. ("Do you think ... they have rubber gloves in the kitchen?")

    This show makes Daredevil and Jessica Jones look bad.
    Yes.

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  9. #9
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    The music in this show is phenomenal. Love the intro music too. Fits perfectly with the themes.

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    Man, the first half of this show was the best thing Marvel's done. I wish that kept up instead of the whole Diamondback drama. Shades and Mariah are a thousand times more interesting as a villain.

    I guess Jessica Jones remains my favorite for now.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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  11. #11
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    The relationships are the best, and most human, thing about it.

    Shades - Mariah.

    Mariah - Cornell.

    Misty - Rafe.

    Luke - Claire.

    It seemed like two shows. One was about Harlem politics and crime, and focused on female characters. The other was, like, standard macho comic book stuff. (I am so tired of cartoon villains monologuing non-stop about pure bullshit.)

    I liked the show's scope was a little broader with its characters. Every little supporting part, from Zip to Bobby Fish to that dude on the corner selling bootleg DVDs of "The Incident," all these people felt like worlds unto themselves, like they existed well and fully outside the main action. It made the show's world feel much deeper than it might have otherwise been. Stuff like Jessica Jones and Daredevil are about a half dozen people; they feel claustrophobic by comparison.

    I really liked how Mahershala Ali played Cottonmouth. That character must've looked dull as hell on the page, but he put a great spin on all of his scenes.

    Erik LaRay Harvey was suitably intense as Diamondback but Jesus what a dull, one-note character. Everything around him was way over the top, comic-booky, and implausible.

    The fight at the end wasn't anything special in its execution (and frankly Diamondback's costume looked silly as hell). But about half way through, I realized that I had never seen a black hero fighting a black villain like that, right there in the streets.

    Edited to add: I do wish they had done more with Alfre Woodard. She disappears for long stretches in the latter half, after they hint she's gonna go full MacBeth/Medea there for awhile. I assumed they were saving her for the second season. Given how much filler this had, that seems like a missed opportunity.

    Also, Mike Colter is cool and all but this is another show where the titular character is the least interesting person in every scene.
    Last edited by Irish; 10-02-2016 at 09:53 PM.

  12. #12
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    It is with great reluctance (drunkenly) that I feel the need to address a thing but, internet. Before I do, I'll be honest, I'm about the whitest white boy from rural amish country as it gets. So apparently there are sites/groups/netwhatevers upset calling Luke Cage show racist because not enough white presence? I honestly didnt notice, but maybe because I'm cinephile who has watched blaxsploitstion/black centric films? At any rate, its appalling to me that anyone might muster a complaint. In only 2 eps, this has been nothing short of outstanding on every filmmaking front. Man I didnt think to look for white until these net assholes made me look, and now i hate the one white cop character. Dammit I hate the internet. Sorry again, I'm drunk and angry.

    PS, the (uh-oh, african american!) female detective is the sexist anything Ive seen in cinema in 2016. By a mile. Except for Luke himself.

  13. #13
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    There's always someone somewhere making it about race. I'm only on episode 8, and

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  14. #14
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Do I need to finish Jessica Jones before starting this?
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  15. #15
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    I'm four episodes in so far, and now both Jessica Jones and this feature moments where they explicitly go out of their way to mock the way the characters look in the comics. I dunno, but that just seems like sort of an odd choice to continue to insist on including in these shows, not to mention disrespectful to the source material. :\

  16. #16
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    For what it's worth, Cage gets made fun of for his yellow tunic and tiara days pretty often in the comics, too (he hasn't dressed like that since the early 80s). It's more a ribbing of the decade than the source material.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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    Quote Quoting number8 (view post)
    Man, the first half of this show was the best thing Marvel's done. I wish that kept up instead of the whole Diamondback drama. Shades and Mariah are a thousand times more interesting as a villain.

    I guess Jessica Jones remains my favorite for now.
    This, exactly. I thought the show was extraordinary until they did that villain switch. Shades, Mariah and Cottonmouth are all great characters, and Diamondback... he's just sort of a cliché. The climax of the show would have been a hundred times more interesting with Luke fighting Cottonmouth. I don't understand the writing logic at play here unless they just fell in love with the idea of shocking audiences with an unexpected death scene. But yeah... lame.

    Other than that, it was joyful. The music, the set pieces, the urban environment... Like Irish said, there are a lot of really fleshed out and charismatic minor characters. I particularly loved Misty Knight and the Pop's regular played by that guy from Mr. Robot.

    On the negative side, Mike Colter is really not a good actor although the character is simple enough that he can play it. Also, at times the characters make some really stupid decisions. Like Misty Knight forgetting all about her pre-paid phone and Mariah and Shades similarly forgetting the files they wanted to use to gain leverage on Cage. Or when Cage goes to Scarfe's apartment and he gets spotted because he destroys the front door. Huh, wouldn't Scarfe simply have given him the keys?

  18. #18
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    By the way, early on in the show Luke is shown reading a bunch of books. The most prominent one is called The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. There's one called Outliers which seems to be some sort of self-help shit, another one called Black Folktales... and the fourth one seems to be a book about the Attica riots, but it was shown too quickly and I can't see the name of the author. Anyone know which book is this?

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  20. #20
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Exactly! Thank you!

    EDIT: Huh, I couldn't see the author on the cover because there isn't one. It's an official report by a special commission.

  21. #21
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Just finished. My thoughts:

    At this point, it's really annoying and distracting that they still try to tie these shows in with the movies, especially considering that it's clear as day by now that the movies have no intention of ever acknowledging the show. That said, I do like this little pocket universe that's growing out of these Netflix shows, and I'm more than okay with the references across those. I just wish at this point they'd just stick to their own universe, and stop referencing the movies anymore.

    Speaking of, while I thought Rosario Dawson's inclusion in Jessica Jones felt like a bit of a forced cameo, I like that her involvement here feels far more natural. I'm always okay with more Rosario Dawson either way though, and she continues to shine in this series. She's really not in enough stuff.

    As far as the show goes, the first half was pretty incredible, but then there's a very noticeable dip in the quality of the writing right at the halfway point on. The first half has this very grounded and gritty dramatic feel to it, and Cottonmouth was a fantastically fleshed out villain, humanized in a way that makes him feel legitimately deep and threatening. But his replacement, Diamondback, is just a complete cornball. It may seem weird to complain about a show based on a comic book feeling too comicy, but that's sorta what happened after he came into play, all culminating in one of the cheesiest finales I've seen with that final fight. Like, what the hell was that supposed to be? How are we supposed to take that seriously at all? But I dunno, I suppose the comic book feel woulda been fine had the show started that way, but it was such a stark dramatic shift in tone that it stood out, and it didn't quite fit in with what had come before.

    In addition to that, the dialogue also became noticeably lazy and repetitive in the second half. For examples, an exchange between Cage and Claire where she calls him corny happens verbatim two episodes in a row and within the exact same scene at that, so close to one another that it seriously stood out like, wait, we literally just experienced that moment already. Also, "Sweet Christmas" may be one of his catch phrases, but using it twice in one episode also stood out in a similar manner.

    And a number of character motives were also pretty weak in the second half. Most notably Diamondback wanting to get at Luke Cage so badly just didn't ring quite true, and especially coming off such powerful flashback sequences when we saw Cottonmouth's upbringing that made him the man he is and really showed us the evolution of this character, Diamondback was a total step down from that. But also, when they went to the doc to get Luke fixed up, they kept mentioning how they didn't trust the doc. This, despite the fact that, as far as the viewer could see, he was being completely cooperative and wasn't shown actually saying or doing anything that would warrant their distrust, no matter how many countless times they told us that. Classic example of "show, don't tell" at work during that entire scenario, because none of their reactions felt earned there.

    But despite these criticisms, I did like this show quite a bit. It was entertaining throughout, I enjoyed the action, Luke himself is corny but a likable hero to follow along, and the accompanying soundtrack was outstanding. Also loved most of the supporting cast, and thought a lot of the performances were excellent. Diamondback didn't work for me at all, but as mentioned, Cottonmouth was an incredibly well written villain, and I actually found Shades to be quite genuinely intimidating as well (far more so than Diamondback). It's a bit of a shame that it's such a mixed bag, with the noticeable decline in quality with the second half, but all in all, I thought it was pretty damn good, and look forward to where we go from here.

    In terms of how I'd rank the Netflix series so far:

    Jessica Jones
    Daredevil S1
    Luke Cage
    Daredevil S2

  22. #22
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    Speaking of, while I thought Rosario Dawson's inclusion in Jessica Jones felt like a bit of a forced cameo, I like that her involvement here feels far more natural. I'm always okay with more Rosario Dawson either way though, and she continues to shine in this series. She's really not in enough stuff.
    I like Dawson a helluva lot, but I hate that character. She's terribly written. She operates as an "insta-sidekick" for superheroes who wouldn't normally have one, and more or less fulfills the same purpose on each show. (It was also slightly annoying that they waited until Cage to make her a love interest.)

    Btw, that was a good post & you should put it on your blog.

  23. #23
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    I like Dawson a helluva lot, but I hate that character. She's terribly written. She operates as an "insta-sidekick" for superheroes who wouldn't normally have one, and more or less fulfills the same purpose on each show. (It was also slightly annoying that they waited until Cage to make her a love interest.)

    Btw, that was a good post & you should put it on your blog.
    Thanks! I might consider cleaning it up a bit and doing that.

    As far as Dawson's character is concerned, I can see where you're coming from. But by the same token, I do like how this season has kinda set her up to be the link that connects all these franchises together, so I think that much about is kind of a cool deal at least.

    As for her being a love interest now, yeah, I'm not sure how I feel about that entirely just yet as well (and it leaves me curious if they have plans to revisit Luke and Jessica or not). But thinking on it, in season 1 of Daredevil, there were moments where it looked like there could potentially be a blooming romance of sorts between her and Matt. However, the thing that got in the way was him always coming back home more and more beat up every night, and she couldn't stand seeing him get himself killed over and over again like that.

    But with Luke, with his powers, that's something that she more or less doesn't have to worry about quite so much, so there's not that getting in the way of things. And their relationship seemed to grow from a natural enough place that it felt genuine by the end, so I'm willing to see where it goes, even if I'm not TOO thrilled by the prospect just yet.

  24. #24
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    By the way, early on in the show Luke is shown reading a bunch of books. The most prominent one is called The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. There's one called Outliers which seems to be some sort of self-help shit, another one called Black Folktales... and the fourth one seems to be a book about the Attica riots, but it was shown too quickly and I can't see the name of the author. Anyone know which book is this?
    I've read Outliers. Written by the same guy who wrote Tipping Point. I'ts huge in the business world. Both are good reads.

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    I was a little upset we didn't see more Jessica Jones. I mean, both her and Cage had more than a relationship going on. And it would have been a great tie in for Jessica to help Luke locate people, like the doctor for example.

    The second half of the series just felt dragged out.


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