So, no one is going to be shocked to learn I am a huge nerd at this point. One of my all time favorite characters in the Marvel universe just received their first live action adaptation in the form of Netflix's newest super hero offering: Iron Fist.
My own personal take is that while the adaptation of the character and his world isn't perfect, it is far, far better than it has any right to be, making the character believably human while still holding true (more or less) to his representation in the comics. Danny Rand was orphaned when the plane he and his billionaire parents were on goes down in the Himalayan mountains. He is saved from death by the monks of the mystical city of K'un-Lun, where he is taken in, trained, and eventually becomes their champion, The Iron Fist. He leaves K'un-Lun to return to New York seeking answers on how and why the plane crash happened, and gets drawn in to conflicts there.
Naturally some people have a problem with his portrayal, oddly enough very little of it from actual fans. Fans of the character have largely appeared to be open to this iteration of the character, unfortunately there is a segment of the population who want to analyze Iron Fist as some sort of "white saviour" cliche, despite his flaws (such as being somewhat naive, idealistic and just generally not being very good at deception or navigating social situations at first) and want to claim in some cases that Danny Rand is a case of whitewashing. This despite a multi-racial cast that, so far has been absent of tokenism. Identity politics at work. You can find my opinion on that here as well as in mentions in some of my other articles.
If you aren't a limp wristed liberal, give the show a watch though. Netflix is killing it on the writing, every character has distinct motivations, strengths and weaknesses. Between sharply written dialogue and excellent acting it is hard to truly hate anyone except a small number of antagonists introduced later in the season, I'm not going to go in to spoilers here. The fight choreography is also a high mark in my opinion, the team scripting the action love using different styles to give each scene and each opponent Danny ends up facing a unique feel, and even fights he is absent from are beautifully done. My only reservation in this regard is that for someone who isn't well versed it could be a bit confusing to see how the different styles play out against eachother. It's a minor worry, but so far it is there and manages to be my biggest concern.
What else have I been nerding out over? Well, the girlfriend dragged me to see Beauty and The Beast the other day. I have to admit that while I'm not a huge fan of the Disney princess movies, this one was a great show to catch in theatres. While the opening song dragged on a bit too long for my tastes and there were points that it felt like they padded the run time, the movie as a whole was enjoyable, the cast was star studded and everyone gave very good performances. I even enjoyed the new song they gave the Beast near the end.
Was the show perfect? No, like I said, there were bits that felt like they went on too long and it left it feeling like the run time was padded, though only very slightly. Maybe twenty minutes could have been cut out to leave the whole movie feeling tighter. The cast was, as I said, very good, though to be frank Emma Watson's performance felt a little uneven. The surprise standout for me was Luke Evans as Gaston. They guy commited utterly to the role, and it turns out is an excellent singer. Guys, if your lady wants to drag you to the theatres for this, don't worry, it is actually pretty enjoyable.