Monday, November 23, 2015

Ralph's weekly blog- A review of the Jessica Jones Netflix series

Jessica Jones- A review of the series on Netflix

Jessica Jones premiered this past weekend on Netflix. I watched all 13 episodes and came away with some mixed feelings.
First, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this definitely was not my kind of super-hero show.  I don’t enjoy content that has to continually slam sex in your face, as this show did. I don’t care for ‘adult’ comics or super-hero content. It was, as a friend put it so succinctly, ‘soft core porn.’ He was absolutely right. The first three episodes seemed to do nothing but revolve around faux sex scenes. I think the third episode had 2-3 sex scenes in it. Too much and definitely not interested.
Another part of the series that rubbed me wrong was Carrie Ann Mosses character of Jeryn Hogarth, who in the comics was a male lawyer for Danny ‘Iron Fist’ Rand. Here, Jeryn Hogarth is a lesbian character with two lovers and a few sleazy touching and feeling scenes. All totally unnecessary.
The character of Jessica Jones is, to me, unlikable at best. She’s a foul-mouthed drunk, who happens to have super strength. She’s a sleaze with very questionable morals.
But her backstory is where it begins to get interesting. She has a history with an evil villain who can control minds with his words, compelling people to do as he wishes just by saying it. Killgrave the purple man would have been better represented had he been purple fleshed, as he was in the comics. We have a green skinned Hulk, why not a purple man?
As the series goes on the sleaze factor seems to dry up and the story finally comes to the forefront. Killgrave is a vile and terrible villain without moral compass or center. He has other do whatever he wishes just so he can get some sick, perverse pleasure from it. He is evil for the sake of being evil. Along the way he horrifically, for example, kills his own parents. He is an evil, terrible man portrayed masterfully by David ‘Dr. Who’ Tennant.
The other standout star of this was Luke Cage, a longtime marvel hero with steel hard skin and super-strength. I felt the actor who played him did so with a bit of honor. Mike Colter did a good job of bringing Luke Cage to life. For me, he was one of the standouts of this thing.
Kristin Ritter, who portrayed Jones, seemed to almost sleepwalk her way through her lines. She was there, but most of the time it didn’t seem to matter. Almost as if she, for the most part, was a background character in her own story. Perhaps it was meant to be that way; I don’t know.
There are other characters such as Patsy ‘Hellcat’ Walker, who is Jones’ sister. A super soldier named Simpson, AKA ‘Nuke’ who has all kinds of problems. A weird brother and sister who live down the hall from Jones and a drug addict named Malcolm who Jones helps to beat his habit.
A lot of these people die horrific deaths at Killgrave’s hands; some do not.
I will say that after the third episode the series began to catch my attention, and for the most part held it. While I was looking for another Daredevil, what I got was Silence of the Lambs with some super powers thrown in.

Most if it takes place in a moody and dark Hell’s Kitchen at night. It’s a dark and brooding series with flashes of brilliance amidst an all too seedy storyline. I’d give it three out of five stars at best, with the fervent hope that this was a one and done series. I know I don’t need any more Jessica Jones. It's just too sleazy for my tastes.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

My review of the new Bond film-'Spectre'


Over the past decade I’ve been critical of the Daniel Craig Bond movies. The first one he did-Casino Royale- I actually liked and I had high hopes for his run as Bond, though I wished he would have dyed his hair black as it was supposed to be. But all in all, it was a good Bond flick and I enjoyed it.

But then there was Quantum of Solace; which made no sense and was a movie without any depth or feeling to it. I watched it a few times and it seemed like nothing more than one long action sequence after another without anything to tie it all together. I thought it was one of the more awful Bond flicks.

A few years back we were treated to ‘Skyfall’ which was yet another misfire to me. Overly long, the entire movie ended up with the villain succeeding and killing M which was his main objective all along (Which I was fine with, I hated Judy Dench as ‘M’. She was annoying as hell.) The story was barely interesting and the whole ‘We’re not doing gadgets anymore’ annoyed the crap out of me.

Also, Craig has never been the Bond who quipped. He never had that slight humor all previous Bonds did. The wry smile, the sarcastic comments, the fearlessness in the face of danger. He had none of that. He always plays an angry man. His Bond is Stoic and humorless.

This new film is no exception to this.

But that’s the only similarity to the other Craig ‘Bond’ films.

This one had an intriguing storyline that began with one of the best beginning action sequences in recent Bond films history. Not only that, but the storyline kept my attention. As usual with the Craig movies some parts seemed to make no sense, but at least in this movie they actually cleared all of that up within a few minutes. This movie goes out of its way to connect all the previous Craig era Bond movies, which was well needed and explained so much with its common and very personal (For Bond) thread.

The fight sequence on the train was brutal and intense, and very reminiscent ‘To Russia with Love.’ Dave Bautista is slowly becoming one of my favorite character actors. Here he was brutal and relentless. A good foil for Bond.

Not too much later Bond is captured and tortured in a way that made me squirm in my seat. It was a very vicious scene and one where Bond was saved by one of Q’s gadgets that had been sworn off of during ‘Skyfall’ but they were back and they were back with a bang!

Oh yeah, there was a car chase scene in this one too, because what is a Bond flick without at least one car chase? Also, cool car with gadgets. All good.

The locales used in this film were all exotic, Mexico City, Rome, Austria, Tangiers and London.

All in all I really liked this movie. Once again Craig is too straight faced and stoic as Bond for me. He’s a robot, completely humorless and focused on his mission. He was sort of the Dave Bautista characters mirror image in many ways.

But also in many ways this was his most human Bond film, with him stepping outside his self-image at the movies end (Which BTW, had a cameo by a returning star of the series at the very end.)

I had a few quibbles along the way, but all in all I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. It was a little bit overly long (about 2 1/2 hours) but overall I really liked it. He’s still far from my idea of Bond in almost every way, so hopefully he’ll be replaced in the next film, which is the rumor. If he is, he went out the right way in a movie that was the best of his Bond films. I would be satisfied with that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ralphs Rants-Art's reviews talks to me about The Cgaliostro Chronicles Audio edition!

You can check out Dr. Art Sippo and I discussing all of my books including and especially the recently released The Cagliostro Chronicles Audiobook

Click Here to go to the interview and podcast-

The audiobook itself is available at

As always all of my own books are available at or

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