Fantastic Forum

Ironfist: A Review Within A Review

There has been a lot of discussion about the latest Marvel/Netflix collaboration “Iron Fist”. I was very worried when every review I read about the show said almost the exact same horrible things. While I normally prefer to read a review of the entire series, I also believe that 6 episodes (almost half the series) is more than enough time to establish your characters and hook in the viewer. When time finally arrived for me to watch it for myself, I cracked open a bottle of whiskey to help me get through the difficult chore ahead of me. Five episodes in, I was still sober.

To be clear, this is not an award winning masterpiece of a show, but I wouldn’t call it the worst of the Marvel Netflix-a-verse. It follows the now familiar formula of the others. The hero fights the big bad alongside someone with similar talents in the first half, gets hurt by another bigger-bad, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) patches them up, then a final battle where the hero pushes his abilities farther than ever before. If this was among the complaints of other review sites I might have taken their articles more seriously.

The common thread among other reviews is a lack of action. The show does spend a lot more time in the drama aspect of the show but it by no means ignore the action. The earlier fights do suffer from what seems to be a lack of stunt work experience from the actors. The moves are slow and it’s difficult to believe there was any real power in some of the hits. But this doesn’t last long as other, better trained, actors take over the action. This show has what I consider to be one of the best fight sequences among all the Marvel shows (Describing it would be a spoiler). I truly believe that all those reviewers expected a stereotypical Kung-Fu action grindhouse movie every episode. My biggest dilemma now is, do I classify them as clickbait or fake news?

For a full rundown of the show from a group of real experts check out the March 22 episode of Fantastic Forum “The One About Ironfist”.

Warning: spoilers

Moses Magnum Watches... The Haunting of Hill House

    In the week or so The hunting of Hill House been out it has garnered a lot of praise, as well as caused some insomnia nightmares and panic attacks. it is every bit achievement in family grief psychology as it is terrifying, and it is by far one of the best things I’ve ever seen on Netflix. The Haunting Of Hill House centers around a family’s loss and how it connects to their experience in the past with the eponymous Hill house and its ghosts. It plays very well with they tried and true concept of a family moving into a haunted house. But where it shines is portraying how grief, trauma and guilt are every bit as haunting as the ghosts that haunt Hill house. It’s almost as if character in it represents a stage of grief to me. 

    What I love about it is the it gets incredibly creepy throughout each episode. Mike Flanagan does such a superb job of setting tone and building tension that he doesn’t require jump scares. I’m serious !! There’s I think like 3 jump scares in the whole season. Flanagan builds tension every second, to the point that things that shouldn’t be scary become spine tingling. The way Flanagan sets a creepy scene just by the color of the walls in the background or a deteriorating doorway or a facial reflection off to the side, is the icing on this ghastly cake. 

        One of my favorite aspects of this show is the casting. All of the kids in the flashbacks look related to each other. And the older versions of the characters are acted really well. All the female characters look like they could be Carla Cugino’s relatives. Timothy Hutton is great in it it took five episodes to have for him to say a full sentence but every time he was in it while he was silent was a performance full of gravitas. If I had more time I could break down all the cast and their contributions but you might have to tune in to Fantastic Forum for that.

 

    A little foot note for you before you watch it; there’s ghosts everywhere so keep your eyes peeled. 

 

The Haunting of Hill House is out now on Netflix 

 

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