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5 Reasons You Must Watch The Punisher

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5. The ex-Marine Frank Castle has been re-written to be a Afghan vet who has finished his killing spree against the men who murdered his family. Fans of my favorite Punisher comic series War Machine will recognize the teaming of Punisher and NSA hacker Micro. If you want to see a well written examination of the sacrifices and effects of being in war, you will not be disappointed.

4. Star, Jon Bernthal, who originated this version of the character in Daredevil has made the Punisher his own. In that series he had a great connection to reporter Karen Page, Deborah Ann Woll, who returns here to help Frank find out who is really behind the death of his family.

3. The show’s creator, Steve Lightfoot, who was a writer and producer on Hannibal, has given The Punisher an even pace with deep insight into PTSD. It is easily one of the best examples of the horrors or war I’ve ever seen. Once again, Marvel has shown that they can get some great teams together for these Netflix shows despite the letdowns of Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders.

2. New characters, Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah), a Iranian American DHS agent , a hacker named Micro (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) who’s in hiding, and one of Frank’s war buddies Curtis (Jason R. Moore) fill out a great cast that make The Punisher an interesting world to return to.

1. The Punisher universe is a rich detailed mix of everything you could love about a military thriller like Homeland. Only difference is, when Frank comes for you, there are no arrests and no mercy.

 

Quality is not an act, it is a habit." - Aristotle. A seasoned connoisseur of only the best things in life. The Fortune Five will help you not waste one of life's most valuable commodities, time.

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Netflix’s Lost in Space

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Netflix has really pulled out all the stops with the scale and budget for this epic show whose every episode plays like a feature film.

I had absolutely no expectations going into Lost in Space, even though Netflix has been killing it when it comes to hardcore sci-fi. Earlier this year the entertainment giant gave us Altered Carbon, which quickly became my favorite sci-fi series on any platform. Couple that with an already enormous library of original sci-fi movies, and one can argue that Netflix are at the top of the streaming market when it comes to geeking out.

Syfy used to be my go-to channel for everything science fiction, but they have fallen a notch or two compared to what Netflix has been unleashing on us. Truth be told, cord cutters have more access to Netflix compared to Syfywhich is still only available through a cable provider. Don’t get me wrong, Syfy has a handful of quality shows you should definitely check out, but some recent cancellations imply the channel may be losing its edge. People want more depth and variety and that’s where Netflix shines. 

If recent reports are correct, Netflix is putting millions into producing more shows based on this exact genre for an eager audience that spans the globe. That being said, let’s dig deep into what makes Netflix’s Lost in Space so special and why it should excite audiences of the genre for future projects from the company.


The show is based on the classic TV series of the same name from the 60’s and also a bit from the 1998 movie – neither of which is required-viewing in order to enjoy this latest incarnation.
Netflix ventures way beyond the source material, a smart choice given that the original series debuted fifty years ago. Only certain references and a few catch phrases remain from the original.

People want more depth and variety and that’s where Netflix shines.

Most people who remember anything at all from Lost in Space do so from the 1998 movie starring William Hurt as Professor John Robinson, along with his wife Dr. Maureen Robinson played by Mimi Rogers, and their teenage son and two daughters, one a doctor played by Heather Graham. One major change made for the Netflix series was not only the age differences of the kids (this cast is so much younger) but the choice to make the overall family dynamic less traditional.

This time around Dr. John Robinson (Toby Stephens) is an Army soldier whose time away from home makes him feel out of place within his own family. Netflix puts a spin on things by having an African American teenage girl as Judy Robinson (Taylor Russell) who is either adopted or maybe conceived from Maureen Robinson’s (House of Cards’ Molly Parker) previous marriage. The show leaves it to the audience to imagine the possibilities. The cast is rounded out by 13 year old Maxwell Jenkins who plays Will Robinson and Mina Sundwill as Penny Robinson bringing a sweet sibling charm you’ve come to expect from Netflix.

The Robinsons are a family of over-achievers who, for very good reasons, are sought out by the government to help solve Earth’s biggest problem; extinction. The Earth’s atmosphere is slowly becoming unstable and within a year or so the entire planet would be uninhabitable. So, as you might have guessed, the government is sending teams into space to find a planet that can sustain human life.

The Robinsons, being the Robinsons, were qualified enough to be part of the mission. Dr. Maureen Robinson, an actual Rocket Scientist that worked for NASA, is up to the audacious task of plunging her family into the unknowns of space, with little more than their intellect and wit to get by. But what makes this show stand out from every other sci-fi series with the same clichés and plot points is how the Robinsons rally to become a family again throughout their journey and, oh yeah, find a new planet to call home.

Throughout the series you get clips of how the Robinsons came to be this family of explorers and problem solvers. They were as fragile and realistic as any other family, trying to cope with the father/husband being away for months at a time on private military missions and Maureen Robinson raising three kids on her own while trying to maintain a career that will soon become valuable to not only her family but for Earth. She develops an unbreakable bond with her children, teaching them how to stay alive if, for example, they find themselves stuck in a giant foreshadowed block of ice. She teaches them to trust their own instincts and those of the family, while at the same time learning how her kids think, act, and operate under varied circumstances. Maureen is the rock that holds this family of bright, energetic, and determined individuals together .

You can’t have a legitimate sci-fi show without some impressive tech, like the appropriately named “Jupiter” spaceship the family knows as home, or the “Chariot” SUV Tesla-like vehicle used to maneuver rough terrain. There’s plenty of guns and other space-tech you’ve come to expect to evoke those all important Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars feels.

Netflix has really pulled out all the stops with the scale and budget for this epic show whose every episode plays like a feature film. The topography alone feels oddly familiar yet new as the show gives you a false sense of security, making it feel as if you are right there barely escaping death from weird colorful creatures that show no pattern of behavior you can easily simulate. The trepidation of what lies ahead is always at the forefront of the show.

During the first episode young Will Robinson gets caught in a tough situation yet comes to the aid of a robot who becomes a helpful ally of the Robinsons throughout the show. Will creates a true bond with his metallic friend, which stirs up more than a bit of jealously from Will’s father who still struggles to reconnect to his son. John and Maureen not only have the enormous task of keeping their kids safe on an unknown planet, but must keep the family dynamic as upbeat as possible, which means keeping thinly disguised tensions to a minimum.

The Robinsons rally to become a family again.

The Robinsons are not the only team given the impossible task of saving Earth. In the middle of the series they meet up with the rest of the team and must work together. A liquor smuggler who ends up being part of the team is essentially the comic relief but turns out to be more than that as he is an integral part to helping the Robinsons escape danger.

The one Achilles heal of this show is the villain, if you can even dare call it that. Dr. Smith played by Parker Posey steals the identity of the real Dr. Smith and sneaks on-board a ship that was part of the space mission. Her devious and snarky attitude can be read a mile away, making it painful and cringe worthy at best. She surprisingly has a ton of screen time and even stays on the ship with the Robinsons for the duration of the series until her failed attempt at being a clever brilliant villain runs its course and the kids are quickly tipped off to who she really is. This is one of the rare shows in the sci-fi realm that has no need for a villain because of the unforgiving atmosphere that beats you at every turn, as well as hidden mysterious creatures you continually have to fend off just to navigate from A to B.

As I am writing this, recent news from Netflix along with a teaser trailer for season two has been revealed. So now is the perfect time to dive into this futuristic, suspenseful, family-based series. The past two years has brought us some of the best sci-fi shows and movies to date with more on the horizon. This undoubtedly is a great time to be a fan of this genre, from the masterpiece that was Blade Runner 2049, to the unstoppable force that is Star Wars, and all of the eclectic shows Netflix is continuing to develop. I would be hard pressed not to expect even more of the best this genre has to offer. The expectations have been set high and movie studios along with Netflix as well as Hulu have done a tremendous job raising the bar each and every year.

JXND

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The Break with Michelle Wolf – Trailer

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5 Reasons You Must Watch Altered Carbon

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5. Altered Carbon, based on Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 cyberpunk sci-fi novel of the same name, is a complicated ultraviolent new Netflix series dripping with sex and tons of eye candy. All the riveting popcorn elements are in place – vibrant cinematography, impressive world building, and strong casting make this peak TV. Netflix could have a Game of Thrones type hit on their hands – leveraging the sequels Broken Angels and Woken Furies for seasons to come.

4. Taking a 15-year trip from book to screen, I never thought Altered Carbon would or even could be made. Screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis timed this adaption perfectly and got it on the right platform without ratings restrictions or worrying about weekly viewers. Netflix is the perfect place for telling this complicated story.

3. The visuals can be described as Blade Runner inspired but unlike the disappointing sequel that came to theaters last year, Altered Carbon delivers where Blade Runner 2049 did not. It shares some of that film’s sexuality, flying cars, and futuristic weapons, but that’s where the comparisons end. Altered Carbon does a better job exploring the separation of classes and the advancement of tech, foreshadowing an inevitable conflict of Transhumanism.

2. Altered Carbon is a rich concept that takes place in a 25th century where humans can store their souls on alien tech called “stacks.” Stacks are embedded in the base of the brain when you are a year old. If your body is destroyed you can be “spun up” into a new body called a “sleeve.” This new chance of immortality poses very interesting questions for world religions, especially Catholics and Muslims.

1. Joel Kinnaman, Martha Higareda, Renee Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy and Ato Essandoh, are an impressive and diverse cast. Kinnaman only signed on for one season but there are several other books in the Takeshi Kovacs universe. I can only hope they can get him to return because I do believe he made the role his even though it was played by three different actors.

 

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