Marvel on Netflix: Iron Fist Review

In between writing, freelancing, and gaming, I watch T.V. shows on Netflix. Honestly, I prefer it over cable T.V. especially when there are shows that tickle my superhero fancy. 

For the past few years, Marvel has teamed up with Netflix to bring us heroes and villains of the Marvel universe that may have been forgotten by the casual comic book fan. 

Dare Devil kicked things off. The show followed the story of Matt Murdock, a vigilante to protect Hell’s Kitchen. Next, we had Jessica Jones, a femme fatale looking for redemption for her past mistakes and get revenge against a self righteous mind mutant. Then there was Luke Cage, an superpowered escaped convict who set took on a crime syndicate in Harlem. 

Now we’ve come to Iron Fist. Right out the door, social critics complained that the cast and plot was “white-washed.” 

As a storyteller myself, such surface reviewed assumptions is unfair to creators. I gave Iron Fist a chance leaving my bias until after I watched all 13 episodes.

The character Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is a strong willed, likable, unreliable, and frustrating. His worst flaw is his idealist view of the world. He has this awesome potential yet he just can’t grasp it. I’m sure the writer did that on purpose. But the flaws make him believable.

The plot, of course, didn’t disappoint. Wish it could have been longer. 

The best character on the show is Ward (Tom Pelphrey). He’s a dynamic, support character whose psychological battle is so much greater than Danny’s. How could it not? I won’t spoil it. Just watch the show.

So, my final thoughts about the show: Good. But the hype is not close to Dare Devil. Dare Devil Season 2 set the bar high. 

Letter to the Undergrad

Hello Undergrad Student(s),

Don’t take this the wrong way, but your career is going to suck if you don’t arm yourself with as many skills as possible.

The purpose of this letter is a warning. Be careful. Don’t take your college career for granted or you’ll be going a through loop trying to figure out what you should’ve done while you were in college.

I know this because I believed that one degree would opened all the doors for me. It’s not like that any more. Bachelor’s degrees are a dime a dozen. These days, a person must be a jack of all trades.

Use your resources. Professors are not just there to piss you off, they get you ready for the rugged edges of rejection and bluntness from employers. Unpaid internships does put a damper on finances, but they can help build experience, which is just as valuable as education. Hoard professional experience. The more you have the better your job search will be.

Let go of your entitlement issues. Take the stick out of your ass, you got student loans to pay. If rejection bothers you then bitterness will be your best friend. And its a crappy friend that throws blame at everyone. Misfortune and scarcity is life’s way of preparing you for the hurtful moments to come.

Appreciate these great times in college. Use them wisely. Use those expensive books that miraculously become cheap at the end of the semester. Actually, keep those books, they’re great references for the trials ahead.

Stay focused.

Cordially,

 

 

Elijah B.

 

 

Resume Hell!

Have you ever read FAQs regarding resumes? No matter how many times I read it, I’m still trying to unravel the secret behind a good resume. How can I illustrate a technical document as exciting. It’s like soup, it can’t be too cold, too hot, or overly seasoned. It has to be just right. And every employer has their own preference.

So I have to cook up an appetizer that suits everyone’s palette.

But where do I start? I have the ingredients, but it’s a struggle together. What do you write when you can do just about anything. I’ve tried concentrating it into a specific Writer/Editor resume, but that first attempt was too specific.

I guess I’ll return to the FAQs and trendy skills that relate to my field of study.

 

Wait until You’re President

Y’know, political beliefs can be annoying. Everyone has an opinion, which they’re entitled to, on what government is supposed to do about everyone’s problems. But do we, the American public, really know how to solve the problem.

What problem(s)?

Let’s take a look. The problems our country, the United States, has is a long list. To make it specific, let’s review the issues the Presidential Runners have talked about:

  • Immigration – Republicans have pushed the issue that there are far too many illegal immigrant in the United States. According to Donald Trump, illegal immigrants should be deported and the U.S. should build a wall to prevent illegal immigration.
  • Foreign Policy – To some, the U.S. is not the front runner, so to speak, in the world. The Iran Deal and Benghazi has been debated since 2015.
  • Economy & Budget – The awareness is up on the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. Are they a big concern
  • Gun Control – Will more gun control prevent mass killings or is it step to take gun rights away from U.S. citizens?

I’m not convinced in these debates or tangents about how to solve America’s issues. All I see is a few well-spoken people who think they have it figured it out. They have no clue how to run a country.

What annoys me the most is this negative criticism toward the President Obama. And it’s not just Obama. Republican and Democrat officials criticized President George W. Bush as well. There was nothing wrong with the Bush Administration nor is it anything wrong with the Obama Administration. If it were truly a mess, they wouldn’t have been elected for two terms each.

Okay, there are several things they could’ve done better. But c’mon people! Don’t be swayed by figures who use sensational, tabloid-like speeches. These officials have an agenda that doesn’t include the general public.

It’s all “this and that” until they get into that executive seat.

 

 

Working People have Boring Lives

“Working people have boring lives.” That’s pretty bold statement to say the least!

But you have to admit, work keeps us busy most of the time. Work is the necessity to keep those utilities running and food on our plates. In addition, its the very thing that makes us tire and complain.

This is why entertainment is important to us. Honestly, it’s why we love controversy so much, so let’s take a moment and give celebrities and reality t.v. a round of applause.

Work. Home. Food and entertainment. Sleep, maybe. Pretty simple, right?

Of course, there’s some in between but not much. Not to say that simple, straight-forward days are bad, they’re just not that exciting. First responders are the exception. Adrenaline has to be set to holy hell with those people.

For those at the desk, in security, or something like this, life can be uneventful unless you’re a drug dealer (Was it a good joke? No…Sorry). Perhaps, it’s up to the individual to insert excitement into their lives.

Me personally, I like random searches on YouTube. I can be in the middle of something and stop just to watch a two minute segment of Dragon Ball Z. Lame to some, awesome to many.

Again “boring” is not bad at all. It’s routine. It’s Fate on vacation as you live out your life.

As the cliche goes, no news is good news.

Book Review: Gone Girl, A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn and her book Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn and her book Gone Girl
Where do I start? I want to keep this review short, but how can I? This book lives up to the reader-writer hype. I admit. I was put off by all the wide-eyed praises. As I read the story, I could feel myself being pulled into cryptic talk, lies, and murder.

So let me begin with themes. Let’s just get the literary devices on the table and how they affect the story.

  • Economy – the novel often visits the characters’ financial standings and how money [it] drives their emotions–a parallel of our reality. Flynn definitely established authenticity there.
  • Unreliable Narrator – my favorite theme throughout the novel is how the narrator’s are not trustworthy. I was immediately pulled into the story especially in the beginning with Nick’s sociopathic, Dexter Morgan-like demeanor.
  • Setting – obvious and well placed. Flynn illustrates setting quite nicely. The reader can see the opportunity and the ever changing city of New York and Carthage, Missouri. Flynn takes her characters to a small, slow point, which they have to recover, however, the madness of Nick and Amy Dunne take them into a spiral of deceit and wrathful daydreams.
  • Family – Universal. Readers can see the drawbacks of a dysfunctional household as well as one that’s “amazing”.

With some of the literary items listed (I’m sure there’s more), allow me to really say what I think:

This book was awesome. The emotional investment I had in this book…my goodness. I wanted to find Jules and Vincent, the hitmen from Pulp Fiction, to pay Nick Dunne a visit. Why not? The man would have been fine if he just told the truth in the beginning. Amy is right, he is a dummy. A big, damn dummy with a hoard of silver tongue fibs that can drive anyone crazy. Thing is Amy was already crazy.

Flynn, you got me. I was on Amy’s side until the bomb she dropped about the diary. I still felt like Nick needs a Ezekiel 25:17 speech. But Amy is crazy, bat crazy. By the way, I hate the phrase “fake it till you make it” and Flynn places it on the tongue of one of the most diabolical women in literature, an appropriate gesture.

I’m glad I read Gone Girl. The author really gave readers a treat. Eloquent. Suspense.

End result: Impressed. As a writer, I will try hard to follow Flynn‘s example.

Book Review: Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore by Walter Mosley

Cover of Walter Mosley's Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore
Cover of Walter Mosley’s Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore

I’m enjoying this reading binge I’ve been on for a couple of days now. Along the way, I ran into book on GoodReads.com while searching for mystery and thriller genre books.

Honesty first: I had know idea who Walter Mosley was until I read the synopsis in the inside back cover, which gives detail on the various projects by Walter Mosley. I had no idea he was the man behind Devil In A Blue Dress (great movie by the way).

On to the book review…!

Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore follows an African American porn star who finds herself making extreme life changes within a short amount of time. With her all-star porn husband dead, the character, Debbie faces an array of challenges left by the dead she just can’t seem to shake. I can’t give you a total plot synopsis. Every book is worth reading…

…Is this book worth reading? Absolutely. The novel is fantastic. Mosley gives the reader a quick view into Debbie’s world from the very start. All I can say is the scene is not for kids, pre-teens, or teens for that matter, so prepare yourself.

Mosley uses tangible imagery giving the reader lively illustrations of setting and character. However, there are moments where the story feels rushed. The meeting between Debbie and Jolie Wins’ mother, came and left. It wasn’t cohesive. Also, the ending felt rushed. I wanted to see Debbie (Sanda Peel) fight death’s urgency.  Maybe it doesn’t feel rushed to other readers, but I wanted more of Debbie’s story.

Perhaps, first-person narratives are like this; where the narrator is only character that becomes dynamic. I like dynamic.

Another thing I want to mention is hard-covers. Hard-covers are pricey. I’m all for supporting writers, but I could have waited for this to come out on paper back. Don’t get me wrong, Walter. I like the book, but a paperback would have been easier on my pocket.