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[Iron Fist] The Last Defender

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited March 20
    Anyone who thinks that the show sucks because it actively avoided "the PC police" has put more thought into the show than the people in charge of actually making it. That's the real problem.

    And anyone who thinks that this show pays any respect to the actual source material, both in comics and movies, likely has no familiarity with either. I have no idea what the comics are like but based on how they have been described by people here, the show misses the mark completely. I am, however, a massive martial arts movie fan and a martial artist myself, and the fight scenes are a fucking disgrace. I would've given the show a pass if it was just a basic origin story with good fights but instead it was a badly-done corporate intrigue story paired with some of the worst fight scenes I have seen in recent memory along with a while host of plot, character, and consistency issues.

    They never should have made this if they weren't going to put in the time and effort to do it properly. Period.

    I don't even know where this comes from. I mean, some of them were better then others and I've seen better fight scenes but the action scenes in this show were no where near bad let alone the worst.

    Shit, they were way better then those in JJ and generally more entertaining on a visceral level then many of those in Luke Cage (although that's in large part because Luke Cage's fight scenes are more concerned with characterisation then visceral entertainment)

    shryke on
    Hahnsoo1JuliusGnome-InterruptusOptimusZedCanadianWolverine
  • HenroidHenroid My keyboard is old. The desert!Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Anyone who thinks that the show sucks because it actively avoided "the PC police" has put more thought into the show than the people in charge of actually making it. That's the real problem.

    And anyone who thinks that this show pays any respect to the actual source material, both in comics and movies, likely has no familiarity with either. I have no idea what the comics are like but based on how they have been described by people here, the show misses the mark completely. I am, however, a massive martial arts movie fan and a martial artist myself, and the fight scenes are a fucking disgrace. I would've given the show a pass if it was just a basic origin story with good fights but instead it was a badly-done corporate intrigue story paired with some of the worst fight scenes I have seen in recent memory along with a while host of plot, character, and consistency issues.

    They never should have made this if they weren't going to put in the time and effort to do it properly. Period.

    I don't even know where this comes from. I mean, some of them were better then others and I've seen better fight scenes but the action scenes in this show were no where near bad let alone the worst.

    Shit, they were way better then those in JJ and generally more entertaining on a visceral level then many of those in Luke Cage (although that's in large part because Luke Cage's fight scenes are more concerned with characterisation then visceral entertainment)
    Even during some of the better fight scenes, there were shots here and there where things were heavily telegraphed. Most of that was in the person dodging a move. Sometimes you see a hesitant jump-start to moving out of the way of something.

    Actually now that I think about it, it was also that even if the defender didn't move out of the way, the attack wouldn't have landed.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    They actually did have the costume on the show
    in the footage from 1948.

    i77uaa.jpg

    Holy crap, why didn't they give that to Danny?

    Also, who was the actor in the photo?

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I was talking about this at work last night and part of the failure of this show was the PC shit outside the show took it's balls. It could have gone with Asian Danny and fixed a lot of it's problems, but for those who aren't up to date with the comics, Marvel comics tried to do some progressive stuff and allowed feminist and SJW writers do some comics and it backfired so badly that Marvel had to shut down many of the comics and scale back the political messages in their main comics. So Marvel wasn't about to repeat that mistake by making Danny Asian.

    Do you have a source for this that isn't Brietbart?

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/11/is-marvels-diversity-strategy-paying-off.html

    Along with the huge successes of the Marvel cinematic universe and other marketing decisions, the creative choice to diversify seems to be paying off for the company.

    Marvel controls around 40 percent of comic book market share in the U.S., according to the pop culture website ICv2. Also, the overall U.S. comic book market has grown in recent years: sales of comics were around $579 million in 2015, a year-on-year increase of 7.17 percent, according to figures compiled by comics history site Comichron.


    Most of the sales problems at Marvel have more to do with their constant rebooting of titles to push the sale of "Issue #1", along with too much "event fatigue" where Marvel focuses on having a universe wide crossover in the model of "Civil War." The problem with the first one is that it's incredibly difficult for people to keep track of the different titles. The problem with the second is that it undermines the autonomy of individual writers to tell their own story, because now they have to find a way to tie their story into the main event (often, clumsily so). There's also the fact that Marvel is pretty much abandoning the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises due to losing the movie rights.
    So Marvel wasn't about to repeat that mistake by making Danny Asian.

    These two things are not comparable.

    First of all, fans got really upset during clone saga when Peter Parker got replaced with Ben Reilly, even though Reilly was a clone who was physically identical to Peter in every way. OTOH, Spider-Gwen and Miles Morales have been incredibly popular. Miles is pretty much the only that Marvel decided to keep after destroying the entire Ultimate Universe. "Spider-Gwen" was the #9 most popular book series for 2015. Not just the #9 most popular for Marvel, but the #9 most popular for all comics in general. Most people are okay with seeing SJW-versions of Spider-Man so long as the original Peter Parker doesn't get killed off, because they have an attachment to Peter Parker.

    Now, as for an Asian Danny Rand, there's two things to consider: First, Danny Rand does not have the same following as any of the other characters who got replaced. Not even close. Second, Asian Danny Rand would still be Danny Rand. You can still have the same backstory and character. Him being white was a way to make him acceptable to 1970s comic readers, but it's not an integral aspect to his character. It's the same reason why "Karate Kid" in DC is drawn as Caucasian, even though he grew up in Japan as the son of a Japanese Warlord.
    But then they also didn't want to deal with the backlash of bring blamed for Cultural Appropriation like Doctor Strange did. So they stayed as far as they could away from anything that could be called CA, which means we get a Danny who doesn't care about K'un Lun, generic monks and ninjas, and watered down aspects of things like the Bushido and Chi. They knew they couldn't completely escape it but they tried to stay as far from it as possible and they ended up missing some important parts of Danny's character, the 15 years he spent in K'un Lun and why he left and doesn't care for K'un Lun.

    This is a really, really lame excuse for lazy writing.

    Hey, you know how you can get away with incorporating Asian culture into your script without being accused of cultural appropriation? By hiring people who actually have experience in doing exactly that.
    If Marvel had just said fuck it and dove in to the mess, done what they wanted to and not gave a damn about being PC or the Hardcore Fans, then we would have gotten an amazing show. Instead we got a show that's alright but not great. It's better than the Electra parts of DD2 and the Diamondback stuff from Luke Cage, imo, but it never has any amazing moments that makes it good. At least DD2 had Punisher and Luke Cage had Cottonmouth, and great arcs to keep the whole season afloat, but IF never did and felt flat. It's better than 17% that it's got on Rotten Tomatoes (BvS got 27% and this was way better than that shit.)

    This is really lame speculation. It's right up there with "I would be a billionaire CEO if those Mexicans didn't steal my job!"

    Stop blaming the non-existent PC police for the fact that the show did poorly.

    If you look at places that break down that sales figures, you'll see that most of the comic growth is coming from DC's comic sales:

    Comichorn's list of comics sold in 2016, shows that DC owned 6 of the top 10 spots for the year, with most of Marvel's top sells coming from the Civil War 2 and Champions (a series I didn't even know about, got to check it out), and later on the list Black Panther. Boom beat all of them with Little Trouble in Big China/Escape from New York comic, but I think that's because it was in Loot Crate boxes at some point. So while Comics sales are strong, Marvel's isn't.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Anyone who thinks that the show sucks because it actively avoided "the PC police" has put more thought into the show than the people in charge of actually making it. That's the real problem.

    And anyone who thinks that this show pays any respect to the actual source material, both in comics and movies, likely has no familiarity with either. I have no idea what the comics are like but based on how they have been described by people here, the show misses the mark completely. I am, however, a massive martial arts movie fan and a martial artist myself, and the fight scenes are a fucking disgrace. I would've given the show a pass if it was just a basic origin story with good fights but instead it was a badly-done corporate intrigue story paired with some of the worst fight scenes I have seen in recent memory along with a while host of plot, character, and consistency issues.

    They never should have made this if they weren't going to put in the time and effort to do it properly. Period.

    I don't even know where this comes from. I mean, some of them were better then others and I've seen better fight scenes but the action scenes in this show were no where near bad let alone the worst.

    Shit, they were way better then those in JJ and generally more entertaining on a visceral level then many of those in Luke Cage (although that's in large part because Luke Cage's fight scenes are more concerned with characterisation then visceral entertainment)

    The fight scenes definitely weren't as good as they needed to be for an Iron Fist show, especially when you have examples like Daredevil's hallway scene as proof Netflix/Marvel can bring it in the format. That said, they were better than the average episode of Arrow.

    Reading up on the production, I'd say the show's biggest flaws come from being rushed into production. The fight scenes, set design, and overall structure do not seem to have the same level of care put into them as the other shows. And while the Marvel Netflix shows have never had great dialogue - it's really what keeps them from being fully "great" TV - things felt a lot clunkier here than in the sister installments.

    JuliusGnome-InterruptusRchanenCanadianWolverine
  • HenroidHenroid My keyboard is old. The desert!Registered User regular
    They actually did have the costume on the show
    in the footage from 1948.

    i77uaa.jpg

    Holy crap, why didn't they give that to Danny?

    Also, who was the actor in the photo?
    My guess? Cary Elwes.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    FroThulhuEchoUselesswarrior
  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    But please, keep filling your posts with "LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL" and assumptions about people you disagree with.

    The Iron Fist literally
    Episode 13
    ran up to the bad guy, who has no superpowers, AND KNOCKED HIM DOWN.

    AND THEN INSTEAD OF FINISHING THE FIGHT HE JUST RAN AWAY.

    That's what I'm LOLOLOLOLOLing about. I think that's a perfectly justified opinion. I'm laughing because it's absurd. This is the final fight in the show and he's up against a literal nobody in terms of hand-to-hand combat, gets the immediate jump on the guy, and then RUNS AWAY.

    WTF?

    I was super confused when this happened as well. It is completely absurd. They couldnt even have
    Danny stand around the corner and tackle the ray gun and have it "slide waaaay across the room" out of reach.

    All I could think about was the Futurama episode where Amy and Leela go "were practicing hand to hand combat in case an enemy knocks the ray guys out of our hands and they slide waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay across the room".

    steam_sig.png
    Ardol
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Anyone who thinks that the show sucks because it actively avoided "the PC police" has put more thought into the show than the people in charge of actually making it. That's the real problem.

    And anyone who thinks that this show pays any respect to the actual source material, both in comics and movies, likely has no familiarity with either. I have no idea what the comics are like but based on how they have been described by people here, the show misses the mark completely. I am, however, a massive martial arts movie fan and a martial artist myself, and the fight scenes are a fucking disgrace. I would've given the show a pass if it was just a basic origin story with good fights but instead it was a badly-done corporate intrigue story paired with some of the worst fight scenes I have seen in recent memory along with a while host of plot, character, and consistency issues.

    They never should have made this if they weren't going to put in the time and effort to do it properly. Period.

    I don't even know where this comes from. I mean, some of them were better then others and I've seen better fight scenes but the action scenes in this show were no where near bad let alone the worst.

    Shit, they were way better then those in JJ and generally more entertaining on a visceral level then many of those in Luke Cage (although that's in large part because Luke Cage's fight scenes are more concerned with characterisation then visceral entertainment)

    The fight scenes definitely weren't as good as they needed to be for an Iron Fist show, especially when you have examples like Daredevil's hallway scene as proof Netflix/Marvel can bring it in the format. That said, they were better than the average episode of Arrow.

    Reading up on the production, I'd say the show's biggest flaws come from being rushed into production. The fight scenes, set design, and overall structure do not seem to have the same level of care put into them as the other shows. And while the Marvel Netflix shows have never had great dialogue - it's really what keeps them from being fully "great" TV - things felt a lot clunkier here than in the sister installments.

    There's many things that keep the Marvel Netflix series from being the prestige television they occasionally seem to aspire to be. (Daredevil certainly at least)

    There's a certain sloppiness to the overall plotting that could use some work here though more then any of the other ones.

    PhillishereJuliusApothe0sisKana
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 20
    WiP

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I don't think the whole sturm and drang over the fact that Danny is and always has been a white dude really had any impact on the quality of the show directly. I would hazard a guess that it being the lowest rated thing ever to exist on Rotten Tomatoes probably has something to do with the environment surrounding it before release, but most of the things I would categorize as flaws are pretty clearly owned by the show and not by some shady cabal of people trying to ruin everything for the sake of their own proportionate representation.

    I'm actually working on putting my thoughts about the fight scenes specifically in order. Because I had a very different takeaway from them than others seem to have, especially the early ones.

    I agree with your point about the popular and critical response entirely. I think the show set itself up for failure when it took on the Danny Rand story because of the problematic origins in the first place. And then in maintaining the line that they wanted to "tell the best story possible" and "hire the best person for the job", they raised the bar even higher. Because if you're going to take on this kind of trouble and then not adjust it for the modern sensibilities of a mainstream audience who have no background in the comics, then you need to tell a really good fucking story and have a really great main character to justify those optics. And they just plain dropped the ball.

    So in likelihood what would've been a meh Iron Fist show if it had an Asian lead ("at least he's asian! at least they're trying!") turned into a complete shitstorm ("not only did they ignore our concerns entirely, but the show and the main character are bad!"). It sucks, but they should've seen this coming. Like I said, if they really wanted to make this show and justify their choices then they should've taken the time to make a great show or just not bothered at all.

    And I'm curious to hear an alternative opinion on the fight scenes that might explain why his skill was so inconsistent. Like, the execution will always be lacking, but if there is some kind of implied characterization (a la Joy being a pushover) then that would be interesting to note.

    The main problem also boils down to laziness.

    Mighty Whitey is lazy story telling. Instead of stepping outside of your comfort zone and exploring another culture, you rely on tropes and cliches that you are already familiar with because they come easily to you.

    Relying on Mighty Whitey does not automatically make the rest of your production lazy. However, if you are already inclined to lazy production, then you're far more likely to adopt Mighty Whitey as part of your general process. The same problem happens in productions like "The Last Airbender."

    The real question is why "Iron Fist" deserves it's own series to begin with. The characterization we've seen is so thin that they could have simply introduced his character in 1-2 episodes of "The Defenders" and be done with it.

    But the real reason, of course, is $$$. Marvel saw the success of it's first three series, and assumed that "Iron Fist" would be another cash cow for them.

  • QuiotuQuiotu Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Anyone who thinks that the show sucks because it actively avoided "the PC police" has put more thought into the show than the people in charge of actually making it. That's the real problem.

    And anyone who thinks that this show pays any respect to the actual source material, both in comics and movies, likely has no familiarity with either. I have no idea what the comics are like but based on how they have been described by people here, the show misses the mark completely. I am, however, a massive martial arts movie fan and a martial artist myself, and the fight scenes are a fucking disgrace. I would've given the show a pass if it was just a basic origin story with good fights but instead it was a badly-done corporate intrigue story paired with some of the worst fight scenes I have seen in recent memory along with a while host of plot, character, and consistency issues.

    They never should have made this if they weren't going to put in the time and effort to do it properly. Period.

    I don't even know where this comes from. I mean, some of them were better then others and I've seen better fight scenes but the action scenes in this show were no where near bad let alone the worst.

    Shit, they were way better then those in JJ and generally more entertaining on a visceral level then many of those in Luke Cage (although that's in large part because Luke Cage's fight scenes are more concerned with characterisation then visceral entertainment)

    The fight scenes definitely weren't as good as they needed to be for an Iron Fist show, especially when you have examples like Daredevil's hallway scene as proof Netflix/Marvel can bring it in the format. That said, they were better than the average episode of Arrow.

    Reading up on the production, I'd say the show's biggest flaws come from being rushed into production. The fight scenes, set design, and overall structure do not seem to have the same level of care put into them as the other shows. And while the Marvel Netflix shows have never had great dialogue - it's really what keeps them from being fully "great" TV - things felt a lot clunkier here than in the sister installments.

    There's many things that keep the Marvel Netflix series from being the prestige television they occasionally seem to aspire to be. (Daredevil certainly at least)

    There's a certain sloppiness to the overall plotting that could use some work here though more then any of the other ones.

    Truthfully I think the only reason the Marvel Netflix shows aren't better than they are, are specifically because Marvel has been tossing out new content as quickly as they can greenlight them. The DareDevil series worked the best because both seasons had the most time to get right. If the folks making them got more time and budget to make the shows gel more, I think it would work out quite well. With the right script and enough investment, they could rival their movie counterparts... not in effects, but rather in story and characterization.

    I think Marvel rushed Iron Fist and are working quickly to release The Defenders because once they have that show out, and made 'Avengers for TV' basically... they can finally slow the hell down. They essentially want to set that all up while the iron's still hot, and I think it's been the one real mistake they've made. You can't put the shows in cruise control and have it work out; the reason why they're so well received is because they're so carefully thought out. The Marvel TV continuity basically need their own Kevin Feige surrogate to help coordinate between the shows and to set up future plots, specifically so something like Iron Fist doesn't happen again.

    I just dunno if they have someone like that, or if there's anyone that wants to.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I don't think the whole sturm and drang over the fact that Danny is and always has been a white dude really had any impact on the quality of the show directly. I would hazard a guess that it being the lowest rated thing ever to exist on Rotten Tomatoes probably has something to do with the environment surrounding it before release, but most of the things I would categorize as flaws are pretty clearly owned by the show and not by some shady cabal of people trying to ruin everything for the sake of their own proportionate representation.

    I'm actually working on putting my thoughts about the fight scenes specifically in order. Because I had a very different takeaway from them than others seem to have, especially the early ones.

    I agree with your point about the popular and critical response entirely. I think the show set itself up for failure when it took on the Danny Rand story because of the problematic origins in the first place. And then in maintaining the line that they wanted to "tell the best story possible" and "hire the best person for the job", they raised the bar even higher. Because if you're going to take on this kind of trouble and then not adjust it for the modern sensibilities of a mainstream audience who have no background in the comics, then you need to tell a really good fucking story and have a really great main character to justify those optics. And they just plain dropped the ball.

    So in likelihood what would've been a meh Iron Fist show if it had an Asian lead ("at least he's asian! at least they're trying!") turned into a complete shitstorm ("not only did they ignore our concerns entirely, but the show and the main character are bad!"). It sucks, but they should've seen this coming. Like I said, if they really wanted to make this show and justify their choices then they should've taken the time to make a great show or just not bothered at all.

    And I'm curious to hear an alternative opinion on the fight scenes that might explain why his skill was so inconsistent. Like, the execution will always be lacking, but if there is some kind of implied characterization (a la Joy being a pushover) then that would be interesting to note.

    The main problem also boils down to laziness.

    Mighty Whitey is lazy story telling. Instead of stepping outside of your comfort zone and exploring another culture, you rely on tropes and cliches that you are already familiar with because they come easily to you.

    Relying on Mighty Whitey does not automatically make the rest of your production lazy. However, if you are already inclined to lazy production, then you're far more likely to adopt Mighty Whitey as part of your general process. The same problem happens in productions like "The Last Airbender."

    The real question is why "Iron Fist" deserves it's own series to begin with. The characterization we've seen is so thin that they could have simply introduced his character in 1-2 episodes of "The Defenders" and be done with it.

    But the real reason, of course, is $$$. Marvel saw the success of it's first three series, and assumed that "Iron Fist" would be another cash cow for them.

    I'm not sure what you think "mighty whitey" is but it suggests something the series is not. The premise isn't "lazy writing" nor does that translate somehow into making the rest of the production lazy through ... honestly, I don't even know cause this bit makes no sense.

    Even your last conjecture makes no sense since Iron Fist was planned before any of the series had even started showing. The only addition to the original plan so far is the Punisher show (and Netflix ordering second seasons I guess, although one assumes that was always on the table).

    The show is working off the core premise of the source material and actually seems to be going interesting places with it as it suggests that Danny's time there was kinda disturbingly fucked-up, his motives suspect and his commitment to his responsibilities and judgement to be off.

    Gnome-InterruptusApothe0sisFroThulhuCanadianWolverine
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I don't think the whole sturm and drang over the fact that Danny is and always has been a white dude really had any impact on the quality of the show directly. I would hazard a guess that it being the lowest rated thing ever to exist on Rotten Tomatoes probably has something to do with the environment surrounding it before release, but most of the things I would categorize as flaws are pretty clearly owned by the show and not by some shady cabal of people trying to ruin everything for the sake of their own proportionate representation.

    I'm actually working on putting my thoughts about the fight scenes specifically in order. Because I had a very different takeaway from them than others seem to have, especially the early ones.

    I agree with your point about the popular and critical response entirely. I think the show set itself up for failure when it took on the Danny Rand story because of the problematic origins in the first place. And then in maintaining the line that they wanted to "tell the best story possible" and "hire the best person for the job", they raised the bar even higher. Because if you're going to take on this kind of trouble and then not adjust it for the modern sensibilities of a mainstream audience who have no background in the comics, then you need to tell a really good fucking story and have a really great main character to justify those optics. And they just plain dropped the ball.

    So in likelihood what would've been a meh Iron Fist show if it had an Asian lead ("at least he's asian! at least they're trying!") turned into a complete shitstorm ("not only did they ignore our concerns entirely, but the show and the main character are bad!"). It sucks, but they should've seen this coming. Like I said, if they really wanted to make this show and justify their choices then they should've taken the time to make a great show or just not bothered at all.

    And I'm curious to hear an alternative opinion on the fight scenes that might explain why his skill was so inconsistent. Like, the execution will always be lacking, but if there is some kind of implied characterization (a la Joy being a pushover) then that would be interesting to note.

    The main problem also boils down to laziness.

    Mighty Whitey is lazy story telling. Instead of stepping outside of your comfort zone and exploring another culture, you rely on tropes and cliches that you are already familiar with because they come easily to you.

    Relying on Mighty Whitey does not automatically make the rest of your production lazy. However, if you are already inclined to lazy production, then you're far more likely to adopt Mighty Whitey as part of your general process. The same problem happens in productions like "The Last Airbender."

    The real question is why "Iron Fist" deserves it's own series to begin with. The characterization we've seen is so thin that they could have simply introduced his character in 1-2 episodes of "The Defenders" and be done with it.

    But the real reason, of course, is $$$. Marvel saw the success of it's first three series, and assumed that "Iron Fist" would be another cash cow for them.

    They had plans for Iron Fist pretty much from DD1 but by the time they got all the resources together, they suddenly found themselves out of time to really make this show great. They got the Defenders coming up later this year (and I would bet that because of their deal with Netflix couldn't move it back, I've heard such claims with other shows under the Netflix umbrella) and so they had to do it or lost big. If I remember correctly, they had a hard time finding a showrunner in the first place, so Scott Buck might have just been a "he's the best we've gotten so far" move.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 20
    Ok, so here are my thoughts on the fight scenes. At least a few of the noteworthy ones. My qualifications are as follows; huge comic book fan, with an emphasis on street level guys and Iron Fist is definitely in that group, I have some brand of action cinema on in the background basically all day and my time working with people from inner city Philly gave me an affinity for Hong Kong action and kung fu flicks, and I've been training in the martial arts since 2001 in one shape or another. I won't claim to be an expert but I've put in some serious time.

    To start out, I'll just say it; I liked the fight scenes more than it seems like a lot of people did. I would agree that they varied rather wildly in quality, but there are definitely some of them that are relatively well done and which do a good job of establishing the characters involved.

    I'm going to spoiler the youtube clips to avoid fucking the h-scroll anymore than necessary. I'll include my commentary after, under the spoilers to avoid ruining anything for those who are still working through the series.

    Episode 1


    I don't know if the time embeds work. If not, the actual fight starts at 1:40 or so.

    This is the first fight of the series, meaning it's the first time we really get to see Danny in action. And I think it's very well done. We get long shots of competent exchanges and it firmly establishes that Danny's not in this to hurt people. At least not these people. Yet.

    There are three things that bug me about this scene. The first is that the initial guard Danny grapples disengages too easily. A single exchange later is the second, with Danny clearly bouncing waiting for the incoming attack when the kung fu master thing would have been to intercept early while the guard's side was to him. (Honorable mention goes to the fact that the turn-takedown is rather gentle on the part of the actor, but I can forgive the desire to not want to actually smash the stunt guy's face into the glass). The final issue is that the parry with the guard's trapped arm is completely unnecessary and Danny rather purposefully waits for it to happen before moving on to the next step.

    Otherwise, the whole thing is done well and shot well. It gives us a good character study on Danny, establishes his ability to handle multiple armed enemies, etc. And the movements are economical in a way that jump-flipping show offs like Daredevil aren't. I liked it, overall, and was actually fairly surprised to see it panned elsewhere.

    Episode 2


    This is probably my least favorite fight scene in the whole series. Or one of them. I think there are a couple of possible interpretations of what went down to give us this... thing.

    The first and probably most generous is that this is a combination of subgenre homage (kung dudes end up straight jackets more than you'd probably expect) that is also supposed to show us what Danny fights like when he's essentially mentally off-balance. Note that the economy of motion from the first episode is completely gone here. Everything is huge motions, most of which involve jumping and end with him face down on the floor of his own doing.

    The second, and more likely, is that someone wanted to show off Danny's kung fu skills and though that jumping kicks in a small cell were the right way to go about that. Which is just stupid.

    Either way, I've seen the fact that he just kinda pushes the orderly out of his way panned in some places, but to me it's the part of the scene that makes the most sense coming off the last episode. Danny only hurt those other guys to keep them from hurting him. He's got nothing against the orderly unless he does something aggressive.

    The jumping punch is completely ridiculous, but I can forgive some of that in a show with this subject matter.

    Episode 4


    I really like this scene, for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it's so clearly an homage to the suited mobster subgenre of Hong Kong flicks. I almost think that's why they put Danny in that ridiculous suit in the first place.

    Note the very first defense Danny makes. The mook tries to kick him, and Danny, being the kung fu master he is, realizes that he's out of range and instead of needlessly dodging instead exploits the most common weakness in kicking attacks; the fact you've only got one foot on the floor. As part of the takedown, which is relatively unrealistic but looks cool, he dodges the cross from the other mook in that pod. The economy of motion is great, and to me it really expressed the idea that Danny is operating on another level very effectively. Then there's the collar straightening, which is straight out of the movies they're emulating and actually made me chuckle when it happened. This is followed immediately by the establishing shot of the axes, which was completely unnecessary but was, again to me, a neat genre shoutout.

    The next four dudes all go down in combination attack/defense motions from Danny. He dodges the first chop, almost casually controls the hand of his attacker, uses the spin move to put himself too close to his attackers for their axes to be very useful. If I could have the scene shot perfectly to my taste, I wouldn't have the quick cut before the kick, but that's one hell of a thing to try and land on take. The rest of the scene choreography in the hallway is really good, as far as I'm concerned, with the only sort of eye-rolly thing for me being the spin kick to drop the last of the four initial axe dudes.

    It seems like the very last takedown in the hallway has bugged a lot of people, but I really liked it. Again, economy of motion. Danny just took his leg out as he was doing a ridiculous spin kick thing because that was the proper response requiring the least effort. I'm not exactly clear on that guy being down for good, but I can buy him being down long enough to get Danny into the elevator. The same with the dude that rushes him from behind when he gets the doors open, he just puts him on the floor for basically no effort expended.

    The actual fight in the elevator becomes a very different beast from a cinematographic perspective. The first cut does the scroll down from the top thing that immediately puts you in mind of a different kind of crime flick from the 70's. Danny's fighting in turn switches to somehing more like a triad thug, both in pairing with the reference and because the elevator represents an even more confined space than the hallway. Overall it's a neat scene.

    One special move of note is the leg break on the axe kick. Watch the other thug in that shot. Danny is using the turn to break the knee and dodge the incoming hook at the same time. This is the kind of thing I love.

    Episode 10


    This is... not a great fight. For a couple of reasons. The first is that it's very slow. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that Jones has to be involved for significant portions of the choreography, almost all of which involve what I assume are prop knives. The standard Hong Kong trick for this sort of thing is to speed the whole scene up to the point where it looks decent, but they decided not to do that for some reason.

    The choreography gets significantly better, and not coincidentally significantly more true to the Iron Fist from the comics, on the second exchange. There are still too many cuts, though. Some of which take us straight back into the same shot, which is a cardinal sin of fight cinematography. But the choreography does a good job of selling Danny's skills; he engages both of them simultaneously (while Lei Kung is saying that's impossible for some reason) and it looks like Iron Fist fighting with grapples and kicks.

    I think the third exchange is supposed to be showing us that Danny gets worse at fighting when he's not emotionally centered. A bunch of that exchange feels very amateurish on his end, starting with the ranging on that initial kick. The camera also jerks around a lot, which in my not-at-all-qualified opinion usually seems to happen when the show is trying to get us to see Danny being emotionally back-footed.

    If I'm being generous, the last exchange with its rapid cuts is probably supposed to give us a feeling of speed that the first exchange lacked. Maybe even in direct contrast. But I don't like it, and it honestly feels like that method sold the choreography short because it felt pretty good otherwise. Even the spin kick uses proper linear force instead of the weird power up by rotation thing that Daredevils do. And the fight finishes with a mildly ridiculous but still pretty cool looking side-hand-beak-smash thing that I would never do but I buy as a decisive technique from the Iron Fist.

    I don't have video of it, but the Bride of Nine Spiders fight was just completely cringeworthy. Maybe that works with an older, more emotionally stable Iron Fist, but in this show the fight just felt really dumb and the win didn't feel earned at all.

    OptimusZed on
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  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Paranoiac Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    It could have gone with Asian Danny and fixed a lot of it's problems, but for those who aren't up to date with the comics, Marvel comics tried to do some progressive stuff and allowed feminist and SJW writers do some comics and it backfired so badly that Marvel had to shut down many of the comics and scale back the political messages in their main comics.

    Okay, but

    None of what you just said actually happened.

    The most "SJW" comics in Marvel are consistently the highest selling ones. Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, Black Panther, Spider-Gwen, Mighty Thor, Captain America: Sam Wilson, these all regularly break the top 100 sales lists each month.

    Yeah, I was gonna say. They're cancelling shit like Solo and Foolkiller, not Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    OptimusZedRchanen
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Marvel Comics built its brand on what would now be pejoritively called "SJW" books. It's one of the things that I really like about my hobby, and a big part of the reason that I'm more of a Marvel guy than a DC guy.

    It's just that all those books dealt with issues that the morons railing against now are ok with them having handled in a historical context.

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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    If you look at places that break down that sales figures, you'll see that most of the comic growth is coming from DC's comic sales:

    Comichorn's list of comics sold in 2016, shows that DC owned 6 of the top 10 spots for the year, with most of Marvel's top sells coming from the Civil War 2 and Champions (a series I didn't even know about, got to check it out), and later on the list Black Panther. Boom beat all of them with Little Trouble in Big China/Escape from New York comic, but I think that's because it was in Loot Crate boxes at some point. So while Comics sales are strong, Marvel's isn't.

    Champions is pretty much the very definition of SJW. The main focus of the book is on matters of social justice.

    In a recent book, they go to a town of racist people, and the main conflict is that this isn't a problem that you can solve by punching because this is just the way that a lot of towns are.

    But you're comparing an extremely good year for DC to a bad year for Marvel. DC is going through "rebirth," where all the best elements of all the separate continuities over the years has basically been merged together. It's not a reboot, meaning that writers aren't being forced to re-write the origin stories yet again. Instead, it's more like "You are free to issue whatever retcons you like for the sake of telling the best story possible."

    Meanwhile, "Civil War 2" has been an absolute disaster for Marvel, despite the high sales. Most people hated the storyline, and as I said earlier, it's generated a lot of event fatigue where people are losing interest. "Inhumans vs. X-Men" is another example of hero vs. hero storytelling where the ending was universally panned. A lot of this is just the result of really bad writing and characters acting completely out of character for the sake of pushing the event.

  • cckerberoscckerberos Registered User regular
    But you're comparing an extremely good year for DC to a bad year for Marvel. DC is going through "rebirth," where all the best elements of all the separate continuities over the years has basically been merged together. It's not a reboot, meaning that writers aren't being forced to re-write the origin stories yet again. Instead, it's more like "You are free to issue whatever retcons you like for the sake of telling the best story possible."

    That same link also shows Marvel beating DC in total sales, 37.5% to 29.8%.

  • BethrynBethryn Cheers love, the cavalry's queer Registered User regular
    Overall, the show had problems but it also had some excellent moments which were spread across the entire season, rather than being balled up into the first few episodes. Although none of the Marvel-Netflix offerings have felt truly polished, I would put this a little bit below Daredevil S1 through being ultimately more satisfying than JJ, LC and S2 to watch to completion. However, when compared to each of those when they were at their finest (e.g. the first half of each of them, really), it wasn't as good with the exception of its Harold/Ward storyline.

    Running down a few things.

    Fights
    I think most can agree there could've been more done here. Most of the wall stunts were good, and appropriately cinematic, but the hand-to-hand was not. The Iron Fist was used sparingly, and this could've been justified beyond the "I can't summon it" aspect as Rand not wanting to hurt people... except he repeats the Mantra of the Iron Fist being sworn to destroy the Hand and then doesn't use it in the compound battle at all, and rarely afterwards against other hand mooks. Now this could have been given reasons, i.e. he could vocalise his conflict that the people in the compound were not truly Hand, they were on the edge of being corrupted. But instead this voice is given to Colleen as a source of conflict, and Danny looks stupid for simultaneously being in the position of zealotry against the Hand while refusing to destroy them.

    I was also rather disappointed that, in going for using the Hand as the antagonist for most of the series, they didn't repeat the extremely impressive nature of them in Daredevil. In that series, they are shown not even to make the sound of a footstep, and DD fight scenes with them were great fun. By comparison, IF/Hand fight scenes just weren't as sensationalised as I think they should have been. The closest we got was the Wu Xia/Kendo fight which was reasonably enjoyable but was not set up to dominate its scene enough to justify really spending time on it. By comparison the drunken master fight came off as more of an homage than a fight in its own right.

    And yes, the last fight on the rooftop was dreadful. When Danny did the hit and run I was hoping they would theme the entire fight around that; using the shadows to his advantage. But instead it was just out of place. Not to mention that Harold was shown throughout the series as practising his boxing skills and generally trying to keep his body in peak condition, but that foreshadowing never plays out; presumably it was just meant to indicate his physicality, not actual fighting competence.

    Characters
    Danny felt underdeveloped. It's clear the show is strongly insinuating several things about his character, but it never really lets him come out and say them. Whenever he tries to justify himself, the script comes out even more muddled than the character is supposed to be. Supporting characters do little to help him clear his head. He has an almost schizophrenic relationship with his cultural side. Sometimes he will boldly speak about Buddha and K'un-Lun, other times he will try and gloss over it, but there's never really any definition to which approach he's going to choose and why.

    Ward came out as by far my favourite character arc. Completely under the thumb of his father (and clearly so from a young age), he struggles with a secret that is as alien as that of the Iron Fist; that his father survived death. He is abused continually, and is faced with one of the truest catch-22s of all the moral dilemmas in Marvel-Netflix thus far (comparable to JJ's struggle with the Purple Man). His addiction is understandable given the stress he is going through hiding his father, while being controlled by him; his sister sees his father's sociopathic business brilliance through him, but he knows it's a lie and that compounds his tragedy. With both the addiction and the impossibility, coupled with his father's megalomaniac surveillance and financial control, he has no way to explain or escape, and gets to recognise the damage he does trying to cover all this up at the same time.

    Harold was a very enjoyable villain more or less up until the last episode, where he's truly gone power mad. He's skillful, amoral, compulsively violent, and almost expertly deceptive (Kyle in the water feature was a little too much). Expert acting thoughout, he's the business sociopath stereotype done serious justice. Whenever he teeters over the edge of giving Joy or Danny reason to doubt him, he manages to cover it up with lies they want to believe, ones I can easily see how they might despite their better judgment. This meshes really well with Ward, making Harold consistently look reasonable while Ward is clearly unstable. His complete "fuck you" last words to Ward were absolutely hilarious in their honest spitefulness.

    Joy was almost fine; I think her earlier performances were probably strongest when she's struggling with whether Danny is who he claims to be. Her company dilemmas of morality are the weakest, but her scenes with Ward were mostly very good. Her reunion with her father was not quite as spectacular as I'd hoped, but when she's helping him with tracking down the Hand's activities, she really does give the impression of just how fulfilling this is for her. However, her ending (with Davos) was just spectacularly dumb. The two previous scenes were the hospital scene, where she gets some idea of what Ward has been through and he reveals Danny's framing, and the scene with her father where she realises he is just as dangerous as Ward said he was, and did indeed frame Danny. It's an impassable divide from there to her final scene of being told to blame everything on Danny.

    Bakuto is - and I think this is the first time I'm saying this - a character who would've been served by adding an episode (or finding time through cutting other scenes) to develop him further. He spins from sensei to possible Iron Fist teacher to Hand grand villain faster than a Bruce Lee kick. We never really get to explore his knowledge of the Iron Fist (three scenes total) before the series moves immediately to the (obvious) betrayal and revelation of the Hand. I enjoyed how DD S1 spent a fair amount of time building its villains up, but his introduction is more reminiscent of Diamondback's introduction to Luke Cage. It comes almost out of nowhere and doesn't really measure up to either Madame Gao or Harold. And again, ultimately he was not sensationalised as a Hand master in the way Nobu was, although Colleen's final fight with him was both enjoyable and well shot.

    Madame Gao, Colleen and Claire nailed everything they were in. Can't really think of any bad conversations... ok, a couple of times Claire was written just a little bit too close to identical to her role in previous series; it's always a big plot hole why she doesn't call in a favour. For example, once she knows the Hand is involved, why on earth does she not immediately get in touch with DD? That is precisely his wheelhouse. The refusal to namedrop them specifically rather than hint at them was silly too; it's an odd sort of modesty. Ultimately, I hope for a little growth for the character, and from the looks of it, that'll be coming with Defenders.

    Plot discussion
    A few individual things I want to comment on.

    After DD S1 and S2's presentation of the Hand, this felt like a step back with Bakuto. I understand that the nature of the late-series revelation meant that nothing too big could be shown, but it did make the stakes here feel a little odd. After we had these great mysteries with Stick, the weapon, and the iconographed chambers, very little of the mystery of the Hand was shown. Rather, we just saw their recruitment, and the possible division of factions. However, I was very pleased to see K'un-Lun attacked at the end, and I hope this will be explored down the line. Davos and Gao both note that the way is unguarded, so I was pleased those statements weren't left hanging.

    Madame Gao clearly allowed herself to be captured (given her Force Push mastery shown both in this and DD S1), and I'm hoping that was her realising this Iron Fist was different enough that she could manipulate him in some way, rather than a force to meet head on or play around. Generally, her part in the Hand and its divisions, this does raise questions from DD S1 where she and Nobu were separate factions.

    The corporate stuff was as messy as anything involving lawyers in DD. The tone and framing was off on a lot of these scenes, and there was far too much repetition without the plot moving forward (this has been a common problem in the Marvel-Netflix stuff, and is one of the reasons I feel the shows often drag in the later stages; they get bogged down repeating the same arguments rather than resolving them and moving onto new problems).

    So yeah, ultimately I felt although it had its lulls, the show held up to the end, which is more than I can say for JJ, LC and DD S2. It wasn't quite as weighty or deep as I would've liked at times, and I hope the choreography and fight cinematography gets improved if/when Defenders and a second season comes out, but overall pretty enjoyable.

    ThisCanadianWolverine
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Episode 2


    This is probably my least favorite fight scene in the whole series. Or one of them. I think there are a couple of possible interpretations of what went down to give us this... thing.

    The first and probably most generous is that this is a combination of subgenre homage (kung dudes end up straight jackets more than you'd probably expect) that is also supposed to show us what Danny fights like when he's essentially mentally off-balance. Note that the economy of motion from the first episode is completely gone here. Everything is huge motions, most of which involve jumping and end with him face down on the floor of his own doing.

    The second, and more likely, is that someone wanted to show off Danny's kung fu skills and though that jumping kicks in a small cell were the right way to go about that. Which is just stupid.

    Either way, I've seen the fact that he just kinda pushes the orderly out of his way panned in some places, but to me it's the part of the scene that makes the most sense coming off the last episode. Danny only hurt those other guys to keep them from hurting him. He's got nothing against the orderly unless he does something aggressive.

    The jumping punch is completely ridiculous, but I can forgive some of that in a show with this subject matter.

    Ep2:
    I disagree about the running-jump punch in Ep2. It's ridiculous but in the best way. When you are using your magical fist to punch a wall down to finally be free of the hell you've been stuck in all episode and using said magic fist for the first time ever in the series, a running-jump punch just feels right. It's feels big and showy in the way it should for premiering the idea. And Harold's reaction on the camera of "What. The. Fuck." is great.

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I don't think the whole sturm and drang over the fact that Danny is and always has been a white dude really had any impact on the quality of the show directly. I would hazard a guess that it being the lowest rated thing ever to exist on Rotten Tomatoes probably has something to do with the environment surrounding it before release, but most of the things I would categorize as flaws are pretty clearly owned by the show and not by some shady cabal of people trying to ruin everything for the sake of their own proportionate representation.

    I'm actually working on putting my thoughts about the fight scenes specifically in order. Because I had a very different takeaway from them than others seem to have, especially the early ones.

    I agree with your point about the popular and critical response entirely. I think the show set itself up for failure when it took on the Danny Rand story because of the problematic origins in the first place. And then in maintaining the line that they wanted to "tell the best story possible" and "hire the best person for the job", they raised the bar even higher. Because if you're going to take on this kind of trouble and then not adjust it for the modern sensibilities of a mainstream audience who have no background in the comics, then you need to tell a really good fucking story and have a really great main character to justify those optics. And they just plain dropped the ball.

    So in likelihood what would've been a meh Iron Fist show if it had an Asian lead ("at least he's asian! at least they're trying!") turned into a complete shitstorm ("not only did they ignore our concerns entirely, but the show and the main character are bad!"). It sucks, but they should've seen this coming. Like I said, if they really wanted to make this show and justify their choices then they should've taken the time to make a great show or just not bothered at all.

    And I'm curious to hear an alternative opinion on the fight scenes that might explain why his skill was so inconsistent. Like, the execution will always be lacking, but if there is some kind of implied characterization (a la Joy being a pushover) then that would be interesting to note.

    The main problem also boils down to laziness.

    Mighty Whitey is lazy story telling. Instead of stepping outside of your comfort zone and exploring another culture, you rely on tropes and cliches that you are already familiar with because they come easily to you.

    Relying on Mighty Whitey does not automatically make the rest of your production lazy. However, if you are already inclined to lazy production, then you're far more likely to adopt Mighty Whitey as part of your general process. The same problem happens in productions like "The Last Airbender."

    The real question is why "Iron Fist" deserves it's own series to begin with. The characterization we've seen is so thin that they could have simply introduced his character in 1-2 episodes of "The Defenders" and be done with it.

    But the real reason, of course, is $$$. Marvel saw the success of it's first three series, and assumed that "Iron Fist" would be another cash cow for them.

    They announced that they were making an Iron Fist series well in advance of having a script or a director. It was announced at the same time as Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and the Defenders, so it's not a case where they only decided to go make this series because the other ones were successful.
    This isn't really unusual, movie and TV studios schedule out things ahead of time, Marvel just made an announcement out of it. The issue seems to be that even given 3-4 years they had to come up with something, what they ended up with was a pretty recent draft, which ended up being rushed and not well planned ahead of time. Even after being pushed back for a second Daredevil season they didn't really have everything they needed for the series put in place beforehand.
    So, poor planning on the production side.

    As for the "Mighty Whitey" trope, eh, it's not really what happens. Danny isn't someone from the outside who comes in and proves himself better than everyone else. He's an outsider who comes in and takes a job, a job that's had thousands of people before him, all better at it than him. He's not even particularly good at his job, and they were already fulfilling that position before he ever showed up. Danny's not "the best" he was never the best, nor has he ever been the best in the comics. The "Mighty Whitey" aspect is more relevant to his time in New York, where he's seen as superhuman, than it is to his time in K'un Lun, where he's seen as another fighter in a long line of fighters.

    Would it have been better with an Asian-American Danny Rand? Sure. However, a white Danny Rand isn't a huge cultural appropriation problem. Westerners have been learning Chinese and Japanese martial arts for at least 100 years, and the learning of it isn't usually gated like ceremonies or aspects of many cultures. The problem is that a white Danny Rand falls afoul of two other aspects of the issue, one of marginalization of asian and asian-americans in depictions of their culture, and the other in the lack of roles in general for asian and asian-american actors.
    Because there's a history of little or bad depictions of asians in relation to their own culture, a white Danny Rand runs into that in that he's now another in a long series of White people who end up in a cast made up of a lot of white people doing martial arts. And it still runs into that perception even though there's still a large cast of asian and asian americans in this series.
    Because there's a history of very few roles for asian actors in hollywood, it comes up against that even though there's a whole other issue with asian actors regularly being cast as "guy who knows kung fu". Even though that's a problem, it can still be seen as "We don't like being cast that way, but we would prefer to have that casting open to us rather than lose yet another possible role to another white guy"
    There's a lot of issues that Danny runs into that have very little to do with Danny, and more to do with the history of that kind of role, and that's not discounting those issues. Those are real issues that have to be approached and dealt with. However I don't think that they amount to the point that they can fully explain why he shouldn't be done in the first place.

    Gnome-InterruptusFroThulhu
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Episode 2


    This is probably my least favorite fight scene in the whole series. Or one of them. I think there are a couple of possible interpretations of what went down to give us this... thing.

    The first and probably most generous is that this is a combination of subgenre homage (kung dudes end up straight jackets more than you'd probably expect) that is also supposed to show us what Danny fights like when he's essentially mentally off-balance. Note that the economy of motion from the first episode is completely gone here. Everything is huge motions, most of which involve jumping and end with him face down on the floor of his own doing.

    The second, and more likely, is that someone wanted to show off Danny's kung fu skills and though that jumping kicks in a small cell were the right way to go about that. Which is just stupid.

    Either way, I've seen the fact that he just kinda pushes the orderly out of his way panned in some places, but to me it's the part of the scene that makes the most sense coming off the last episode. Danny only hurt those other guys to keep them from hurting him. He's got nothing against the orderly unless he does something aggressive.

    The jumping punch is completely ridiculous, but I can forgive some of that in a show with this subject matter.

    Ep2:
    I disagree about the running-jump punch in Ep2. It's ridiculous but in the best way. When you are using your magical fist to punch a wall down to finally be free of the hell you've been stuck in all episode and using said magic fist for the first time ever in the series, a running-jump punch just feels right. It's feels big and showy in the way it should for premiering the idea. And Harold's reaction on the camera of "What. The. Fuck." is great.

    I honestly don't disagree with that. The whole motion just feels really awkward to me, but it's definitely not without precedent for the character in the comics. The moment it produces is pretty good.

    That doesn't mean it's not ridiculous, though.

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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    I'm not sure what you think "mighty whitey" is but it suggests something the series is not. The premise isn't "lazy writing" nor does that translate somehow into making the rest of the production lazy through ... honestly, I don't even know cause this bit makes no sense.

    Even your last conjecture makes no sense since Iron Fist was planned before any of the series had even started showing. The only addition to the original plan so far is the Punisher show (and Netflix ordering second seasons I guess, although one assumes that was always on the table).

    The show is working off the core premise of the source material and actually seems to be going interesting places with it as it suggests that Danny's time there was kinda disturbingly fucked-up, his motives suspect and his commitment to his responsibilities and judgement to be off.

    The original creation of Iron Fist was inspired by the popularity of Kung Fu movies. So why was Danny Rand, as he was originally created in the 1970s, not created to resemble those leads? Either the writers were basing their inspiration on Kung Fu movies that already used the "Mighty Whitey" trope, or they were being inspired by movie with Asian leads but introduced a white character because they thought that he would be easier to relate to and therefore easier to write and easier to sell. In other words, laziness.

    Maybe it's because they didn't think that it was plausible to have an Asian character as the CEO of a multi-billion dollar American company in the 1970s. But then why did the character need to be a billionaire in the first place -- other than the fact that "billionaire crime fighter" was already an established trope at the time? Laziness.

    Or, maybe because they wanted to depict the character as an outsider who didn't feel he really belonged in K'un Lun. Except that why wouldn't the same thing apply to an Asian person who was also raised in America? Laziness.

    You can try to justify it after the fact by saying that Danny Rand being a privileged white person creates a specific dynamic with Luke Cage. Except that was never the plan when Danny was first created. And in modern times, you could easily explore those same issues with an Asian lead. Now and days, audiences would have no trouble believe an Asian American as the rightful heir to a multi-billion dollar corporation. And while an Asian Danny Rand wouldn't possess white privilege, he would have different types of privilege that would allow for far more nuanced storytelling.

    Unfortunately, current writers for the 616 universe don't have the ability to change Danny's race, because they're stuck with established continuity. But the MCU isn't the 616 universe. The MCU has the power to re-write the characters. So why wouldn't they be able to re-write Danny Rand to reflect the material that inspired the character in the first place? Especially when you consider the lack of Asian men in prominent leading roles? And once again, it all boils down to laziness.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Shang Chi was the most popular Marvel Character at the time Iron Fist first appeared.

    There are plenty of reasons why Danny might have been written as a white guy, but fear of asian leads not producing wasn't one of them.

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  • GatorGator An alligator in Scotland Registered User regular
    Oh for the days when ranting against the sjws guaranteed you weren't going to be taken seriously, much less rebutted at length

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    I'm not sure what you think "mighty whitey" is but it suggests something the series is not. The premise isn't "lazy writing" nor does that translate somehow into making the rest of the production lazy through ... honestly, I don't even know cause this bit makes no sense.

    Even your last conjecture makes no sense since Iron Fist was planned before any of the series had even started showing. The only addition to the original plan so far is the Punisher show (and Netflix ordering second seasons I guess, although one assumes that was always on the table).

    The show is working off the core premise of the source material and actually seems to be going interesting places with it as it suggests that Danny's time there was kinda disturbingly fucked-up, his motives suspect and his commitment to his responsibilities and judgement to be off.

    The original creation of Iron Fist was inspired by the popularity of Kung Fu movies. So why was Danny Rand, as he was originally created in the 1970s, not created to resemble those leads? Either the writers were basing their inspiration on Kung Fu movies that already used the "Mighty Whitey" trope, or they were being inspired by movie with Asian leads but introduced a white character because they thought that he would be easier to relate to and therefore easier to write and easier to sell. In other words, laziness.

    Maybe it's because they didn't think that it was plausible to have an Asian character as the CEO of a multi-billion dollar American company in the 1970s. But then why did the character need to be a billionaire in the first place -- other than the fact that "billionaire crime fighter" was already an established trope at the time? Laziness.

    Or, maybe because they wanted to depict the character as an outsider who didn't feel he really belonged in K'un Lun. Except that why wouldn't the same thing apply to an Asian person who was also raised in America? Laziness.

    You can try to justify it after the fact by saying that Danny Rand being a privileged white person creates a specific dynamic with Luke Cage. Except that was never the plan when Danny was first created. And in modern times, you could easily explore those same issues with an Asian lead. Now and days, audiences would have no trouble believe an Asian American as the rightful heir to a multi-billion dollar corporation. And while an Asian Danny Rand wouldn't possess white privilege, he would have different types of privilege that would allow for far more nuanced storytelling.

    Unfortunately, current writers for the 616 universe don't have the ability to change Danny's race, because they're stuck with established continuity. But the MCU isn't the 616 universe. The MCU has the power to re-write the characters. So why wouldn't they be able to re-write Danny Rand to reflect the material that inspired the character in the first place? Especially when you consider the lack of Asian men in prominent leading roles? And once again, it all boils down to laziness.

    They didn't make Danny Rand asian because the year before they had introduced a new character called Shang-Chi The Master of Kung Fu, a chinese martial arts master, and they wanted to differentiate them in a way that would be apparent just from looking at the cover.

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  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    edited March 20
    Bethryn wrote: »
    Characters
    Joy was almost fine; I think her earlier performances were probably strongest when she's struggling with whether Danny is who he claims to be. Her company dilemmas of morality are the weakest, but her scenes with Ward were mostly very good. Her reunion with her father was not quite as spectacular as I'd hoped, but when she's helping him with tracking down the Hand's activities, she really does give the impression of just how fulfilling this is for her. However, her ending (with Davos) was just spectacularly dumb. The two previous scenes were the hospital scene, where she gets some idea of what Ward has been through and he reveals Danny's framing, and the scene with her father where she realises he is just as dangerous as Ward said he was, and did indeed frame Danny. It's an impassable divide from there to her final scene of being told to blame everything on Danny.
    yeah basically agree.
    her ending is just so dumb, though it fits her that she could eventually be made to believe to blame Danny and think killing him is a good idea. Just.. you know, not by being told directly by some guy to do it. They could have easily alluded to it, like show her meeting Davos and him saying a few things and acting kind while Gao watches. Subtle manipulation totally works.

    Julius on
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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Hav should ever questioned the nature of your existence? Registered User regular
    They actually did have the costume on the show
    in the footage from 1948.

    i77uaa.jpg

    Holy crap, why didn't they give that to Danny?

    Also, who was the actor in the photo?

    Because it looks awful?

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  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    They announced that they were making an Iron Fist series well in advance of having a script or a director. It was announced at the same time as Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and the Defenders, so it's not a case where they only decided to go make this series because the other ones were successful.
    This isn't really unusual, movie and TV studios schedule out things ahead of time, Marvel just made an announcement out of it. The issue seems to be that even given 3-4 years they had to come up with something, what they ended up with was a pretty recent draft, which ended up being rushed and not well planned ahead of time. Even after being pushed back for a second Daredevil season they didn't really have everything they needed for the series put in place beforehand.
    So, poor planning on the production side.

    From the hiring and casting times, it seems clear that they kinda waited to see the reaction to Jessica Jones before they actually committed to the production. It's understandable, a tepid reaction makes it smarter to commit less resources, but that means rushing and so easy to drop the ball.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Just for completeness' sake, here's the lineup from Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, the book that made Iron Fist famous;

    Danny Rand- White Boy
    Shang Chi - Chinese
    White Tiger - Puerto Rican
    Sons of the Tiger - Chinese dude, Black dude, White dude
    Daughters of the Dragon - Irish/Japanese and Black

    This was between 1974 and 1977. So maybe let's just table the idea that Danny was a white guy 'cause racism.

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Episode 1


    I don't know if the time embeds work. If not, the actual fight starts at 1:40 or so.

    This is the first fight of the series, meaning it's the first time we really get to see Danny in action. And I think it's very well done. We get long shots of competent exchanges and it firmly establishes that Danny's not in this to hurt people. At least not these people. Yet.

    There are three things that bug me about this scene. The first is that the initial guard Danny grapples disengages too easily. A single exchange later is the second, with Danny clearly bouncing waiting for the incoming attack when the kung fu master thing would have been to intercept early while the guard's side was to him. (Honorable mention goes to the fact that the turn-takedown is rather gentle on the part of the actor, but I can forgive the desire to not want to actually smash the stunt guy's face into the glass). The final issue is that the parry with the guard's trapped arm is completely unnecessary and Danny rather purposefully waits for it to happen before moving on to the next step.

    Otherwise, the whole thing is done well and shot well. It gives us a good character study on Danny, establishes his ability to handle multiple armed enemies, etc. And the movements are economical in a way that jump-flipping show offs like Daredevil aren't. I liked it, overall, and was actually fairly surprised to see it panned elsewhere.

    I agree with the characterization here.
    Danny is clearly not out to hurt anyone. I also agree that the execution is pretty bad on Jones's part. All of the work is being done by the stunt actors, not by him. Beyond the weird thing where the guard lunges next to Danny (some kind of pretend punch?) and basically gives his arm to him to turn him around, there's that other part where Jones brings up one guard's stick to block an attack that has yet to actually come.

    The thing about these kinds of fight scenes is that in order to establish mastery and dominance, you actually don't need a lot of physical exertion. Watch this video of a Tai Chi guy (who puts up legit Tai Chi stuff that I have yet to see anyone else show anywhere else):

    Some of it looks hokey because it is against a willing opponent, but there is plenty of stuff there to show that someone can display complete martial mastery and assert control over an opponent without doing much of anything beyond waiting for the attack and returning the force. Rand doesn't seem to do this. His opponents just appear to give up limbs and throw themselves on top of him. He's not doing anything. That weird thing where he spins the guy like a top is clearly the guy spinning doing the work, and Jones literally walks into a hugely telegraphed attack to grab the guy's upper arm and spin him around. It's just weird. It's like watching kids play fighting, because there's no basis of control or pain to assume that Rand would have the ability to just grab a guy by the head and spin him around like a top. And there are million fight scenes out there that show someone who is so good they can't be touched, and this is very clearly not that, either.
    Episode 2


    This is probably my least favorite fight scene in the whole series. Or one of them. I think there are a couple of possible interpretations of what went down to give us this... thing.

    The first and probably most generous is that this is a combination of subgenre homage (kung dudes end up straight jackets more than you'd probably expect) that is also supposed to show us what Danny fights like when he's essentially mentally off-balance. Note that the economy of motion from the first episode is completely gone here. Everything is huge motions, most of which involve jumping and end with him face down on the floor of his own doing.

    The second, and more likely, is that someone wanted to show off Danny's kung fu skills and though that jumping kicks in a small cell were the right way to go about that. Which is just stupid.

    Either way, I've seen the fact that he just kinda pushes the orderly out of his way panned in some places, but to me it's the part of the scene that makes the most sense coming off the last episode. Danny only hurt those other guys to keep them from hurting him. He's got nothing against the orderly unless he does something aggressive.

    The jumping punch is completely ridiculous, but I can forgive some of that in a show with this subject matter.

    Agreed. Super boring and lazy here.
    Episode 4


    I really like this scene, for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it's so clearly an homage to the suited mobster subgenre of Hong Kong flicks. I almost think that's why they put Danny in that ridiculous suit in the first place.

    Note the very first defense Danny makes. The mook tries to kick him, and Danny, being the kung fu master he is, realizes that he's out of range and instead of needlessly dodging instead exploits the most common weakness in kicking attacks; the fact you've only got one foot on the floor. As part of the takedown, which is relatively unrealistic but looks cool, he dodges the cross from the other mook in that pod. The economy of motion is great, and to me it really expressed the idea that Danny is operating on another level very effectively. Then there's the collar straightening, which is straight out of the movies they're emulating and actually made me chuckle when it happened. This is followed immediately by the establishing shot of the axes, which was completely unnecessary but was, again to me, a neat genre shoutout.

    The next four dudes all go down in combination attack/defense motions from Danny. He dodges the first chop, almost casually controls the hand of his attacker, uses the spin move to put himself too close to his attackers for their axes to be very useful. If I could have the scene shot perfectly to my taste, I wouldn't have the quick cut before the kick, but that's one hell of a thing to try and land on take. The rest of the scene choreography in the hallway is really good, as far as I'm concerned, with the only sort of eye-rolly thing for me being the spin kick to drop the last of the four initial axe dudes.

    It seems like the very last takedown in the hallway has bugged a lot of people, but I really liked it. Again, economy of motion. Danny just took his leg out as he was doing a ridiculous spin kick thing because that was the proper response requiring the least effort. I'm not exactly clear on that guy being down for good, but I can buy him being down long enough to get Danny into the elevator. The same with the dude that rushes him from behind when he gets the doors open, he just puts him on the floor for basically no effort expended.

    The actual fight in the elevator becomes a very different beast from a cinematographic perspective. The first cut does the scroll down from the top thing that immediately puts you in mind of a different kind of crime flick from the 70's. Danny's fighting in turn switches to somehing more like a triad thug, both in pairing with the reference and because the elevator represents an even more confined space than the hallway. Overall it's a neat scene.

    One special move of note is the leg break on the axe kick. Watch the other thug in that shot. Danny is using the turn to break the knee and dodge the incoming hook at the same time. This is the kind of thing I love.

    This is probably the best extended fight scene in the show.
    And mostly because half of the sequences are "longer" edits that were done by a stunt double (the overhead shot is always a dead giveaway for stunt doubles - this is even true for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's badass fight scene between Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi).

    But in terms of the quality of the fight overall, I think this is just one of those things where our standards differ. Every axe swing was super telegraphed and clearly not even aimed at Danny. The other stuff is pretty bog standard. The real issue here is that it is almost impossible to show a decent fight scene where one opponent has a weapon like an axe, let alone multiple opponents, and then show the protagonist able to do much of anything against a competent opponent. They are almost forced as a matter of choreography to make wide, arcing swings in order to provide enough momentum to allow themselves to be intercepted and disarmed. This is why a lot of these kinds of fight scenes end up with the protagonist improvising a weapon of some kind (Jet Li has used a belt, while Jackie Chan preferred long wooden benches :P ).

    I actually liked the little kick he did to the jumping guy. That is 100% in character and he should've done more stuff like that, and more stuff where avoided and redirected attacks instead of being handed limbs or throwing weird punches. Or just somehow coming out ahead by punching the guy after avoiding a lumberjack swing.

    Episode 10


    This is... not a great fight. For a couple of reasons. The first is that it's very slow. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that Jones has to be involved for significant portions of the choreography, almost all of which involve what I assume are prop knives. The standard Hong Kong trick for this sort of thing is to speed the whole scene up to the point where it looks decent, but they decided not to do that for some reason.

    The choreography gets significantly better, and not coincidentally significantly more true to the Iron Fist from the comics, on the second exchange. There are still too many cuts, though. Some of which take us straight back into the same shot, which is a cardinal sin of fight cinematography. But the choreography does a good job of selling Danny's skills; he engages both of them simultaneously (while Lei Kung is saying that's impossible for some reason) and it looks like Iron Fist fighting with grapples and kicks.

    I think the third exchange is supposed to be showing us that Danny gets worse at fighting when he's not emotionally centered. A bunch of that exchange feels very amateurish on his end, starting with the ranging on that initial kick. The camera also jerks around a lot, which in my not-at-all-qualified opinion usually seems to happen when the show is trying to get us to see Danny being emotionally back-footed.

    If I'm being generous, the last exchange with its rapid cuts is probably supposed to give us a feeling of speed that the first exchange lacked. Maybe even in direct contrast. But I don't like it, and it honestly feels like that method sold the choreography short because it felt pretty good otherwise. Even the spin kick uses proper linear force instead of the weird power up by rotation thing that Daredevils do. And the fight finishes with a mildly ridiculous but still pretty cool looking side-hand-beak-smash thing that I would never do but I buy as a decisive technique from the Iron Fist.

    I don't have video of it, but the Bride of Nine Spiders fight was just completely cringeworthy. Maybe that works with an older, more emotionally stable Iron Fist, but in this show the fight just felt really dumb and the win didn't feel earned at all.

    Agreed on the fight being slow.
    The exchanges are also not that great. This goes back to my point about an unarmed person vs. someone(s) with weapons. It's an inherently unfair situation, and that wasn't shown at all in the fighting beyond the voice-over. Danny just kind of blocks stuff and hits them and gets away with it. They make really telegraphed swinging and stabbing motions.

    I think your reading of the characterization is generous. The narration and the fight don't match up at all, whether that's because of choreography, editing, or what-have-you. To your point about the Spider fight, this one doesn't feel earned. Danny is basically winning the entire time. The one part where he's told that they are "trying to divide him" he was basically just tripped. Oh no. He should have started off losing or barely holding his own, and then progressively getting angrier and angrier and losing more control, and then only in the end re-centering himself and peacefully winning with Tai Chi moves (in conjunction with a surprise use of his power to deflect an attack). But nope. Just lots of wild swinging until he wins. Along with a metric shit-ton of short cuts. Wow, the short cuts. Especially at the end there.

    I'm not even going to talk about the Bride of the Nine Spiders fight. I think that's where the show jumped the shark with fight scenes and I stopped taking it seriously. I'm not sure if that fight or the thing where he knocks out the final boss and runs away is worse.

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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited March 20
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Just for completeness' sake, here's the lineup from Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, the book that made Iron Fist famous;

    Danny Rand- White Boy
    Shang Chi - Chinese
    White Tiger - Puerto Rican
    Sons of the Tiger - Chinese dude, Black dude, White dude
    Daughters of the Dragon - Irish/Japanese and Black

    This was between 1974 and 1977. So maybe let's just table the idea that Danny was a white guy 'cause racism.

    Danny Rand is the son of a billionaire. Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu.

    One of those characters is taught that his heritage is something to be proud of. The other is taught that his heritage is a source of deep shame. Guess which one is which?

    So yes, while Marvel did in fact feature Asian martial artists, it's not in quite the same way.

    There's also a very subtle but important distinction between being depicted as an Asian American vs. being depicted as an Asian foreigner.

    Edit: Also, Shang-Chi was originally created because Marvel couldn't get the rights to adapt the "Kung Fu" series. If they had, then then the character would have probably ended up resembling David Carradine.

    Schrodinger on
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 21
    Lin Sun was an American. And he was in Deadly Hands #1.

    Edit: Since I didn't list them by name, he's a Son of the Tiger.

    Edit 2: All this analysis still doesn't say anything about my point. Marvel was perfectly comfortable putting non-white heroes into the public sphere headlining their own books. Luke Cage being a prime example that isn't on that list.

    OptimusZed on
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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Hav should ever questioned the nature of your existence? Registered User regular
    The son of the criminal is not taught to be proud of his heritage?

    Well, I shall be mogadored.

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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited March 21
    Lin Son lived in America, but he wasn't born there.
    0RZCZEP-Hho-Cohao8wZrvtFE8y3ZuHs-2HThGw1HHcIxPdLS2-VTTY51-KzxipXCm90pi25yz3DcQ=s1600

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 21
    Are immigrants not American, now?

    Edit: And more to the point, is the portrayal of an asian immigrant as a hero somehow not a good thing?

    OptimusZed on
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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Are immigrants not American, now?

    Edit: And more to the point, is the portrayal of an asian immigrant as a hero somehow not a good thing?

    Writers from America will always have an easier time writing characters who are also from America. Just like male writers will always have an easier time writing men, and white writers will have an easier time writing about the white experience. Because that's what they know.

    If I have a choice between writing someone like Danny Rand vs. writing someone like Shang-Chi, then I would prefer to write about someone like Danny Rand -- because Shang-Chi comes from a background that I know almost nothing about outside of the movies. And that's probably the main reason why, out of the Martial artists who you've listed, Danny Rand is the most recognizable and the only one to get his own TV show.

    The same thing applies, to a lesser extent, to immigrants who received all their training in a foreign land. Danny Rand is a special exception: He got his training in a foreign country that doesn't actually exist, which means that the writers can re-write it in any way they please.

    Meanwhile, "Sons of the Tiger" are basically a footnote in Marvel History. If Netflix wanted to adapt that into a series today, I would applaud them, but I don't think there's any demand for it.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Ok, none of that answered either question.

    Suffice it to say, I still don't buy the idea that Danny Rand exists because of racism.

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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Ok, none of that answered either question.

    Suffice it to say, I still don't buy the idea that Danny Rand exists because of racism.

    I didn't say he exists because of racism. I said he exists because of laziness.

    "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" was basically intended as a comic/magazine hybrid, where it would feature articles about martial arts and interviews with martial artists. The goal wasn't simply to tell a story, but to sell the reader on a highly romanticized lifestyle. They wanted to make the martial arts fantasy seem attainable. That if you get sufficient motivation and train, then maybe you could someday become just as badass. And so it makes sense that that the most relatable character to come out of this series is the blonde haired American male, because that's who the primary audience would have the easiest time relating to.

    But now it's four decades later, and we're no longer bound by the same limitations or goals. So why not take advantage of that by utilizing some of the diverse untapped talent currently available in Hollywood?

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Hav should ever questioned the nature of your existence? Registered User regular
    It's lazy to write what you know?

    Maybe so, but that has nothing to do with whether it is good.

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