New Blog

So, a couple days ago, I recieved a Facebook message from a guy over at a website called My Trending Stories.

Our team has viewed your wordpress blog https://thecripplecritique.wordpress.com and would like to contact you regarding a blogging opportunity. Feel free to contact us at admin@mytrendingstories.com

So I emailed them. The short version is that they are a blogging outfit based out of New York with very lofty goals.

Thanks for contacting us! We reached out to offer you a contributor position on our blog My Trending Stories.
My Trending Stories is a new website who prides itself on one specific value: giving back the power to the writers through freedom of speech and expression. Several blogging websites support a specific political view, ideology or mindset. Over at My Trending Stories no content is restricted as long as it does not contribute to racism, discrimination or anything that violates an individual’s human rights. Through this, we aim to be one of the top 5 biggest blogging websites on the internet.
We strongly believe that your writing aligns with our core value, and would love to have your content displayed so that it can reach an even broader audience. As a contributor on MTS, your creative work will remain yours at all times and we even encourage that you promote your personal blog on the website. Feel free to even post work that was originally on your blog, the most important thing is that your message and story gets out to the world.
Furthermore, we place importance in seeing our writers grow. We keep in contact with our writers in order to provide mentorship and personal growth. We will also be having our first annual convention in 2017 where writers will have the ability to network and learn tips from people in the industry. This includes media, journalism, editors, authors and publishers!
We also have several interesting features such as a video section, and will soon be expanding in French and Spanish.
We would truly love to have you be a part of this team. If you are interested in this opportunity email us back at: admin@mytrendingstories.com
Looking forward to hearing from you soon,
Jamie from My Trending Stories

I, being 21-years-old and hungry for money, did ask if it was a paying job and did ask for more specifics.

Hi Aaron,

We are a new blogging website established in New York. We are currently looking for our foundation of talented and passionate writers to grow with! We would love to have you contribute to our growing website which we will soon be starting mass advertisement. As mentioned before, we encourage you to even share your own personal blog, where the following that you will gain on My Trending Stories can watch you grow on both outlets. We would strongly love to share your posts with the world!

In terms of the posts themselves, no topic is off limits or imposed so you are free to write about what inspires you the most. There is also no official word count and you have the liberty to post directly on the website with an author login.

In terms of frequency, it’ll be up to you depending on how much time you have! Obviously, the more often the better but there is no imposed minimum and i would say the average among the crew is two to three times a week. All we ask for is that you do remain active and keep us in the loop if for whatever reason you can’t post for a long period of time, like for a month or so.

As of right now, all of our writers are contributors so it’s not remunerated. We are working towards our writers to gain revenue  through a revenue sharing program, similar to google adsense, between the website and the writers. The programming team is working towards adding a system within the back office of the website which will allow you to see your revenue directly. There will also be possibilities for corporations that we are associated with to contact you directly through the inbox system with specific offers for affiliation programs. Our goal is to provide a platform to our writers to reach a broad audience as well as networking opportunities and establishing connections with other powerhouses in the industry. At the same time, we encourage the promotion of your own personal blog so that your influence in the writing community can increase.

We are excited to also announce that we are working on a sharing system through the website where you will be able to share your articles within facebook groups directly within the website, for free of course.

As you can see, on our website, we have several categories to choose from and would love to help mentor you to become an influential blogger. We are here as a community of writers who help each other reach their full potential. There are weekly newsletters to keep you up to date.

Feel free to email us at anytime if you have any additional questions or concerns.

So I registered for an account Friday. They have yet to give me author access. I assume I’ll get it tomorrow. I do plan to keep this blog open, and will probably post new content both here and on My Trending Stories. It’s open to sign up as an author, right now, by the way.

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RIP Anton Yelchin

Anton Viktorovich Yelchin was an American film actor best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise. He died yesterday morning in a freak car accident in Studio City, California. He was 27 years old.

Anton was born on March 11th, 1989 in Leningrad, U.S.S.R. (now Saint Petersberg, Russia) His parents are gifted and very well-known figure skaters that qualified for the 1972 Olympics, but were not allowed to participate “…because they were Jewish or because the KGB didn’t want them to travel…” The Yelchins moved to the United States when Anton was six months old after receiving asylum from the United States government.

Anton began acting at the age of nine with a role in the independent film A Man Is Mostly Water. He won a Young Artists Award in 2001 for a film called Hearts in AtlantisIn 2007, he had the starring role in the crime drama Alpha Dog. His character was partially based off of real kidnap and murder victim Nicholas Markowitz. USA Today called Yelchin’s performance “heartbreakingly endearing” and Markowitz’s mother praised Yelchin’s portrayal.

Following Alpha Dog, Yelchin landed his most well-known role as the 17-year-old Russian whiz kid and navigator Pavel Chekov in J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek films. Acting as the comic relief in the 2009 film and the sequel Into Darkness, Yelchin successfully pulls off being actually smart, helpful, and funny, instead of useless and insufferably annoying like some Hollywood blockbuster sidekicks.

I dare say that Yelchin is one of the better actors in these films. I do not hate them, but they are extremely flawed. Yelchin and the character of Chekov are unequivocally enjoyable, though.

Yelchin later starred in films such as Charlie Bartlett in 2007 and Fright Night in 2011. His performance in Fright Night, as well as the movie itself, received very positive reviews.Yelchin’s performance in Charlie Bartlett is noted as the best part of an otherwise mediocre movie.He also starred in the vampire romance film Only Lovers Left Alive. He played the lead role in the 2013 supernatural thriller film Odd Thomas. Based upon the series of novels by Dean Koontz, the film received mixed to negative reception, but is building a cult following after the film recently popped up on Netflix.

Anton recently came to attention for the critically acclaimed independent horror film Green Room. In the film, Yelchin has the starring role as the 20-something frontman of a punk rocker band. The band is unknowingly booked to play a gig for a group of neo-Nazis led by Patrick Stewart. The gig goes well, but after discovering the body of a dead woman in the green room, the group is threatened, held against their will, killed off in spectacularly gory fashion, etc. Released on May 13th, it would not surprise me if this film receives accolades come next awards season.

Yelchin also had musical ambitions and was once the frontman of an actual punk band called the Hammerheads. The group has since disbanded. He is quoted as saying playing the guitar “gives him a lot of fulfillment.” He was a fan of acoustic blues movement. Yelchin is known as, and seemed to be, a very personable, down to Earth, nice guy with talents and aspirations.

Yelchin was not a household name, maybe he was never meant to be one. I enjoy every performance I have seen him in, and he seemed to be a young man brimming with personality and, by all accounts, overwhelming kindness. Maybe Green Room would’ve put the kid on the radar. 2016 seems to like killing people, for some reason. I dunno why it gunned for this guy. RIP March 11th, 1989-May 19th, 2016.

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War is a 2016 American superhero film directed by The Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony. It stars every major superhero from the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films with the exclusion of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk/Bruce Banner. Two new, sustaining additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe are Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther and Tom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker. Daniel Bruhl also stars as Colonel Helmut Zemo, the driving force behind the majority of the events of the film.

Civil War is the 13th film in the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe. It serves as both “Avengers 2.5” and a direct sequel to what I regard as the second best film in the megafranchise up until this film, the brilliant Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This film builds off of the tension, emotion, and impact felt in Winter Soldier and succeeds where Age of Ultron arguably failed. Whereas the first Avengers film had razor-sharp focus and excelled in connecting the characters with the audience, Age of Ultron suffered from a lack of focus and while it was an entertaining spectacle, it suffered a lack of emotional connection. Civil War is everything Age of Ultron should have been and more, and is now my single-most favorite entry in the franchise.

The reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large is so successful isn’t spectacle or CGI. Spectacle and CGI makes money for sure, look at Avatar, but why has the MCU been able to completely change the landscape of the Hollywood blockbuster machine to such an extent? It’s the characters. We love these characters. Iron Man would have been entirely forgettable without Robert Downey, Jr’s incredible talent.Guardians of the Galaxy would’ve been a complete disaster without a cast of the most charismatic,personable, and funny actors and actresses in Hollywood. We love them, we want them (and the films, subconsciously-speaking) to succeed.  That is the main draw of Civil War.

What stories are most commonly associated with superheroes? World domination via fantastical means that cross into magical/supernatural or science fiction themes that will end billions of lives. Stories like that happen on a weekly basis and have been since the 1930’s. They work because the stakes of the story are automatically huge. What the powers that be pulling the strings at Marvel Studios realize that it doesn’t always have to be that way. If Obadiah Stane succeeded in Iron Man, there would be another weapon (the Iron Man armor) to be used in warfare. The same structure was used in the unexpectedly pretty darn good Ant-Man with the Ant-Man suit. If the heroes failed, we the people would still wake up tomorrow in comfort and continue our lives unimpeded. What then, you may ask, is the point of these very low stakes? Character development. It allowed Tony Stark/Scott Lang to grow into better, more wholesome, spectacularly gifted people. It got us to like them, a lot. That’s what Age of Ultron failed, in my opinion. I remember thinking it was amazing, but looking back, there wasn’t much of an emotional impact. Yeah, the Hulkbuster fight was awesome and Vision picking up Mjolnir was cool and a really good shorthand answer to the question “Is this new character one of the good guys?” in a way that didn’t add more screentime to a film that had way too much going on. I don’t remember much about the film that didn’t pertain to massive explosions, and in hindsight, I should’ve waited a while to review the film and let my lizard “big boom pretty” brain simmer down. It wasn’t a bad film, not at all. It just had a lot of problems, problems I somewhat consciously chose to overlook because… well….

OK, enough hindsight bashing of Ultron. My point is when it comes to wanting to build a sustainable franchise people will pay good money for, character will whup spectacle every single time. If not character, at the very least you need an interesting, fully-realized and rendered world full of interesting aspects you can build off of, like John Wick. I need to refocus back on Civil War, but this connects, I promise.
The perk of being the 13th film in the franchise is that Civil War had both of the aforementioned things straight off the bat. I was immediately invested in Stark, Rodgers, and wanted to see them grow and develop as characters. And they did just that. Oh, Lordy did they do that.
Following the events of Age of Ultron and a disastrous yet supremely entertaining Avengers operation, the governments of the world chose to ratify the Slovakia Accords, which would once again lead to the Avengers being a government-sponsored team. If they don’t sign, they cannot operate legally at all. Tony Stark is a staunch proponent of the Accords; saving the world with heavy restrictions is better than not saving it at all. He has a point. Rodgers, knowing firsthand the corruption inherent in the governments of the 21st century, feels the opposite. What if there’s somewhere they need to go, but bureaucrats and politicians say no? What if those same people use the Avengers for dirty work instead of protecting the world? Another valid point. Right off the bat, the conflict isn’t an evil robot or a norse god, it’s a conflict of personal ideologies.  Even with an ensemble cast, Civil War is, at it’s core, the most personal story Marvel Studios has ever told. It is more emotional and impactful than any film in the MCU. It’s been a week, and it’s still stuck with me. (I promised not to make the mistake I mentioned earlier with Ultron.) The stakes are low. The world will still spin regardless of how things pan out. That’s a good thing. There’s no potential mass genocide to prevent; no excuse to distract from the characters, their relationships, their challenges, their flaws, or their conflicts. With a script written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the narrative superbrains behind The Winter Soldier, the narrative maintains focus on the characters 100% of the time, even in the midst of a massive, ridiculously amazing, ripped-from-panel battle at Leipzig.
I know I spent a chunk of this review seemingly ripping into action and spectacle, but that wasn’t my intention. It’s a problem when action and spectacle is prioritized over character and emotion (in most cases). If you can have spectacle, action, character, and emotion and present them all simultaneously, freaking do it. The more elements in a movie that you can get to blend together in harmony, the better your film will be received by an audience, It’s a near-impossible tightrope act that few have been able to pull off, leading to most films leaning to one side or the other, because balancing multiple elements is extremely difficult. Markus, McFeely, and the Russo Brothers pull off this balancing act with perfect efficiency. I give a lot of credence to character development… but SWEET MARY MOTHER OF GOD THAT AIRPORT FIGHT!!!! With this extended sequence, this film manages to deliver not only the most entertaining, straight up epic battle scene in the entire MCU, but one of the best climactic battles ever put to film. And at that point, the film still has about 45 minutes to go.
The airport sequence, though worth the price of admission alone, is not the only action to be found in this movie. Far from it. The most interesting and entertaining bits of Winter Soldier involved tightly, neatly shot and edited hand-to-hand combat sequences.
In Winter Soldier, the Russo Brothers manage to perfectly balance the intensity and realism of the spy films which heavily inspired it, while keeping with the fact that it is primarily a superhero film. The same rings true for their second effort. With the exception of the grand, large-scale airport fight, the other action sequences are gritty, rough, kinetic, reminiscent more of Mission: Impossible Rouge Nation than Iron Man. It is, honestly, what I personally prefer. We have been fighting with fists since the dawn of man. A fistfight is a true measure of a man’s skill, the ultimate competition. Anyone can shoot a bow and arrow, or more recently, fire a gun (I’m crippled and I’ve done both). But fighting with fists takes skill and a primal sort of intelligence that you cannot learn academically. It activates something in our brains that we, for some reason, like. I don’t think it’s bad, just basic primal instinct. It’s why most of the world knows and loves the names of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, But why does it work so well here? In Winter Soldier? Sure, the choreography is great, but it’s the characters. It’s two characters we’ve connected with working out issues not with micro-missiles or repulsors, but with the two weapons God saw fit to grant every human being straight off the bat. Like the rest of this film, the action is personal. I’ve said it countless times and I will say it again: the characters are what make this film, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, so engrossing.
Civil War is not the greatest film of all time. It is not an avant-guard experimental piece, and although I will argue it has several layers that can be dissected and analyzed, (even the crappiest films do) it is not an exceptionally deep film. It is not groundbreaking or gamechanging in the way Iron Man was in 2008, Sam Rami’s Spider-Man was in 2002, or Richard Donner’s Superman was in 1978. This film (most likely) will not have a permanent spot in collective pop culture like the aforementioned films.I hope it does, but I doubt it. It is in no way a perfect movie, just one without any glaring or detrimental flaws to detract from my experience (at least after a single viewing). It is not a landmark cinematic experience. I challenge you to find a more entertaining film that hits as many checkmarks for audience relation (and therefore enjoyment) released in the past few years. Though I am not ready to champion Civil War as the best superhero film (I’ll be honest, in the heat of the moment, people tend to blow things out of proportion.), it is, I can say with confidence, the best Marvel Cinematic Universe offering to date, and I believe it will remain so for quite some time.

Mission: Impossible Rouge Nation

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is a 2015 American action film starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ving Rhames. Rouge Nation is the fifth film in the series, and, like its admittedly aging leading man, shows no signs of letting up in the slightest.

The first film in the series was an extremely underrated heist film directed by the equally underrated Brian De Palma, very loosely based upon the 1960s television series of the same name. Say what you will about “connections” to the original series, but the film, in my opinion, is pretty darn great. It is a thinking man’s spy film somewhat reminiscent of the Paul Newman and Robert Redford film The Sting. Of course, you can’t talk about the original Mission: Impossible without mentioning the nail biting, completely silent wire hanging scene, which, now that I think about it, was most likely meant as a homage to a French film Le Circle Rogue, but I digress. M:I was rightfully a box office success, and all box office successes need sequels, right?

M:I II was completely different from its predecessor, and not in a good way. Gone was the heisting, and the thinking, replaced with awkward vocalizing, doves, and mildly entertaining, gunfights that unfortunately don’t hold anything even resembling a candle to Chinese director John Woo’s previous film Face/Off or his action movie masterpiece The Killer. These negative factors, coupled with my general dislike of Thandie Newton, culminates in a decidedly bleh film that honestly was not at all deserving of a sequel, and yet…

Six years later in 2006, the Prince of Nerds, the honorable JJ Abrams, directed the pretty great Mission Impossible III. This is where the franchise finally found it’s footing. It was no longer a heist film, it wasn’t… Whatever you want to call #2. It took the vault scene from the first film and turned it up to 11. The Mission: Impossible films, from that point on, went the route of shamelessly entertaining, high octane action flicks with extremely well crafted stunts and genuinely chuckle worthy humor from British comedian and actor Simon Pegg as focal points. Despite Abrams’s annoying habit of keeping his audience in the dark about otherwise important or interesting plot points, III is, for the most part, a supremely entertaining, yet admittedly flawed film bolstered by a surprisingly awesome performance by the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

In 2011, Ghost Protocol came along. I went to go see it in theaters, and though I knew I would end up more or less entertained, I was not expecting the masterclass action film it ended up being. In fact, it was my #3 favorite film that year. It was very predictable plot wise, but you won’t care. If you can walk away from the Burji Kalifa scene (which was an actual, real-life stunt) and say Ghost Protocol was a bad movie, there is something seriously wrong with you.

Finally, we get to Rouge Nation. The latest film in the series is the very definition of entertaining. Apparent newcomer Rebecca Ferguson (I know I have seen her somewhere, dang it!) easily holds her own acting alongside couch-jumping nutjob Tom Cruise and the late-blooming, yet rapidly rising charmer Jeremy Renner. The true showstealer here is the ridiculously awesome stuntwork. Every stunt featured in the film easily tops the Burji Kalifa, which is no easy task. Most notorious is the plane scene featured in all promotional material. Even though it’s at the forefront of all advertisements, the scene itself is no less epic. Literally at the three minute mark, everything just gets better and better from there. From a fully CGI, yet extremely well-done silent underwater scene that is very reminiscent of the wire scene I often mention, a very fun car/motorcycle chase through the City of Morocco, to a jump off the Austrian Opera House, the film keeps you interested and invested the entire time. I don’t remember ever looking away from the screen.

Rouge Nation also improves upon Ghost Protocol in terms of plotline. The film was co-written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, writer of The Usual Suspects, my favorite film of all time. I was worried; despite being an extremely talented writer, his directorial efforts include such films as the source-material-mutilating Jack Reacher, so I was pretty skeptical. Luckily though,  thanks to help from Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang mastermind Drew Pearce, McQuarrie has created the apex popcorn movie, a high-octane, non-stop, well acted, intense, almost hypnotic action film that blows most other summer blockbusters out of the water, making Ghost Protocol look like amateur hour. In fact, aside from Mad Max, Rouge Nation is the best film I have seen all summer. I found the action supremely entertaining; Pearce and McQuarrie were also able to deliver some interesting twists and turns similar to the original De Palma film on top of that. The acting is top notch from all involved. Cruise as a person is completely insane, but if that means he will put himself in harms way and for real hang off the side of a moving airplane, exclusively for the enjoyment of the audience, I am not going to complain.

Rouge Nation is possibly the film of the summer, and will most likely remain as one of the most entertaining films of the year. Mad Max can’t be beat and Spectre will most likely be better, but that’s a story for November. If at all possible, go see Rouge Nation, I highly, highly, highly doubt you will be disappointed.

Transporter: The Series, Episode 1: Trojan Horsepower

Transporter is a French-Canadian television series. The series is a continuation of the moderately entertaining Jason Statham headlined film series of the same name. Frank Martin is now played by Chris Vance. The Statham flicks were by no means masterpieces of cinema, but Statham had enough charm and the movies themselves were fun enough to keep me entertained. I thought the same would be true of the TV show when I came across it on Netflix.
Sadly, this isn’t true. Transporter: The Series is by far the worst TV show I have ever watched, reality TV notwithstanding. I wasn’t planning on doing a review, I just thought this would be a decent Netflix watch this evening. I have taken it upon myself to warn you to stay far, far, FAR away from this abomination. I suffered through one episode, and I literally have no idea why. Subconscious punishment, I guess?
The pilot episode, Trojan Horsepower, begins with Frank transporting two (originally three) escaped prisoners to a funeral. Chris Vance and the prisoners then engage in the most emotionless, boring, wooden dialogue I have ever heard. Every passing moment it becomes more and more painfully obvious how limited the budget is for this production. It is just the worst. I can’t articulate how bad it is using words. I know that’s my job, but when it comes to this… I just… I can’t… Luckily, I found the full episode on Dailymotion here. Watch the first five minutes. It appears the show wasn’t content with being terrible, they had to blatantly rip-off the opening to the original film in flabbergastingly poor manner.
In the show, they decide via coin flip, and the loser, a convicted criminal, honors that and leaves.
It continues to get much, much worse. Disregarding the terrible acting, terrible action, terrible dialogue, and terrible production value, lets talk about the laughably terrible plot. After the opening sequence, Frank spontaneously decides to do a favor for his mechanic involving a hot chick and an eco friendly module that optimizes a car’s use of gas… or something. It’s completely fake, makes zero sense, and defies all logic and reality. On top of that, this favor breaks all of Frank’s rules, rules that he has never broken throughout the entirety of the franchise!
Frank ends up being chased by an evil corporation who wants the prototype device because… money. The action that ensues is pathetic. There’s nothing exciting about the car chases, nothing fun about the fight choreography… this show literally has no redeeming value. None. I wholeheartedly recommend you stay away from this series, and if, by some travesty you end up watching the show, you should destroy your device and then perform an exorcism just to be safe. I cannot unsee this, and I genuinely regret even clicking in the first place.

Daredevil Review (Most of the videos featured contain spoilers!)

So I’m a pretty big Marvel nerd, in case you didn’t know. That doesn’t mean I’m blinded (pun intended) or biased by anything in this review. I pretty much hated the first Thor and was very “bleh” when it comes to the first Captain America movie.  I don’t mean to say they’re flawless films, because most of those movies are admittedly flawed. I just enjoy most Marvel Studios projects in spite of them, immensely so. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about Daredevil.

Daredevil is, and I believe I can say this with certainty, not only Marvel Studios’ greatest achievement, but Netflix’s best work so far, as well. I can’t think of any TV show or movie that has made me empathize with literally all the characters in some way. If Matt, Foggy, Karen, or even Fisk is sad, I feel their pain; I understand them. If there has been a movie or show that has done that to me before, it certainly wasn’t superhero-related, I must admit. Hero or villain, I felt I understood them and their actions, however flawed they’re logic may be, even if something like this happens.

Yeah… Kingpin is terrifying.
This empathy is in no small part due to the performances, especially that of Vincent D’Onofrio. Remember the L&O: C.I. days, where he played a possibly borderline autistic, yet brilliant detective? Well, those days are over. In Daredevil, he plays a possibly borderline autistic, rich, absurdly violent, straight up creepy psychopathic crime boss who makes some extremely stupid decisions when he’s angry, in case you didn’t notice that. Yet, unlike the usual villain, who you just don’t like, Wilson Fisk is an extremely empathetic man with goals who wants to do the right thing and save his city; of course he wants to do that in the most wrong way humanly possible, but still. He has emotions, he even genuinely loves a woman. He also had… like, pretty much the worst Dad ever. For real, though.
On the flipside, Charlie Cox, who I have never heard of before now, plays a blind lawyer who is also basically a ninja, and does so extremely well. It’ll make sense, trust me. By day, Matt Murdock is a brilliant defense attorney working in his own firm with his best friend, Foggy Nelson. But by night, he mercilessly beats criminals and scumbags as the vigilante who will eventually come to be known as Daredevil, but is known throughout most of the series as “the Man in Black.” Unlike Fisk, all this violence, which they both deem as “an unfortunate necessity,” doesn’t sit well with the staunchly Catholic Murdock. Most times, the whole “is what I’m doing right?” church-penance thing feels hokey and uncomfortable. It’s completely believable here; some of the most important and pivotal scenes take place in a church. In fact, the second scene in the series is Murdock giving his first confession in a very long time. The entire dialogue is great and gives us insight into Murdock as a character.
Speaking of violence, everyone who says “Marvel’s for kids” can be sent packing. If you let kids watch this, as I’m sure many parents who are familiar with Marvel Studios’ other works did, you are making an awful parenting mistake. That’s not to say it’s egregious and disturbing for the sake of it. It never goes too far. It goes as far as it should; as far as it needs to to get it right. And they do. Marvel Studios struck a deal with Netflix in 2013 to produce a series of shows focusing on lesser-known, darker, “street-level” characters. Netflix, a private, non-network entity, was free to give the Daredevil team complete creative control. They completely disregarded Marvel Studios standing as “the kiddified one,” creating something so dark and so gritty it makes Chris Nolan’s Batman, who I love, look like Adam West. You may be wondering how something like this can be set in the same universe as “The Avengers.” I was constantly forgetting I was watching a show set in a world with superheroes. That’s because it isn’t a superhero show. Creator Stephen S. Deknight explained that he took inspiration from Dog Day Afternoon, Taxi Driver, and The French Connection. It is not a superhero show, it’s a 13-hour neo-noir film set in a world with superheroes. It’s not campy, there are no indestructible boomerang shields or magic hammers with names no one can pronounce. And it is amazing.
 The fight sequences are better than virtually anything else. Neither Oliver Queen nor Jason Bourne have got jack against Daredevil, and I love both the Bourne Trilogy and Arrow. If you need proof…
2008’s Iron Man did something unprecedented when it established the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Daredevil did something equally unprecedented when it decided to break free of that universe. It’s not bogged down by references to characters or coming events, nor does it attempt to tease what’s to come. Instead of Daredevil being about the universe, the universe is a unaffected backdrop. The events and characters of Daredevil are laughably insignificant compared to The Avengers. Ironically, I felt there was a lot more at stake, a lot more to loose, in Daredevil than in Iron Man or the Avengers, and this is coming from a guy who loves those movies. Daredevil is the best thing Marvel’s done so far. It accomplishes this by… not being anything like Marvel. So, you can hate Marvel. You can hate superheroes. It doesn’t matter what your excuse is, you need to watch Daredevil.