When I watched Daredevil last year, it felt more like a realistic crime drama than a Comic Book TV Adaptation. When its Season 2 came, that belief got reinforced. Same thing happened with Jessica Jones Season 1. Even Luke Cage was going pretty fine till the last few episodes where it went sideways and changed the main villain just like that. When I watched Iron Fist, I couldn’t be sure whether the show was intentionally trying to be comedy or it was an accidental comedy. No problem with the acting, but the main thing the show could have given, superb fighting sequences, got disappeared after 1st episode and it became a more of business drama. Anyways, I wasn’t that disappointed because I was waiting wholeheartedly for all 4 of the Marvel’s TV Street Level Superheroes to culminate into The Defenders.
The trailer with a brilliant Niravana song had only increased the expectations. So on August 18th, all 8 (just 8) episodes got released on Netflix. I watched them all in 4-5 days.
The build up was good, they showed all the superheroes in their own lives trying to deal with their own issues. Then some events bring them together. And then they become Defenders, but nobody says that they are defenders per se.
So first, the good parts:
I mean she kills all the scenes when she makes some remark about, as Stick puts it ‘A Thundering Dumbass’ or ‘The most stupid Iron Fist ever’, the Immortal Iron Fist. Luke Cage also adds his bit when he realizes that their problems are half-criminal, half-mystical and remaining indigestible. The chemistry between the 4 is really funny. Nobody wants to believe that they can work as a team, except Danny Rand. Daredevil, who knows the threat of Hand is real, is unsure whether he should jump in or not. He has kind of given up after Season 2. His non-masked character, Matt Murdock, also stays true to his original show to an extent before falling prey to ‘Love’. The other best part is when Jessica keeps making fun of his costume as he is the only one donning it. The overall storyline is satisfactory and they will probably going to go for Season 2 as well. But that won’t happen till 2019.
Now the bad parts:
Some weird things happened in the end and they tried to make it like a cliff hanger. Fair enough, but constant fighting bad guys in half-darkness with no -idea who is beating whom was a bit annoying. They hugely improved Iron Fist’s part by making them butt of other heroes’ jokes but I still wasn’t able to find one instance of fight sequence which would be as memorable as DD’s hallway and staircase scene. The villains here, are not as threatening as they should have been. And again, like Iron Fist, they sort of ruin the climax before doing away with one main person.
Overall, the Defenders were mostly okayish because if you cram 4 superheroes in just 8 episodes, many things are left unattended. You can watch the show though, just to enjoy, the camaraderie between the team and Jessica Jones’ one-liners.
Speech 4 of Toastmasters Competent Communication manual: How you say it!
Now this one was special. I delivered this in my club and was asked to repeat it as it was not very effective (going by the objectives of Speech 4). My evaluator didn’t feel that I had done any justice to the speech. Sigh. I felt it was fine and I had felt good after delivering it. But very bad after the evaluation. Nevertheless, I went to another club and delivered the same speech there. But there, a mishap happened. I went blank for about 10-15 seconds in the middle of the speech as I felt my mouth had completely dried up. I couldn’t speak anything. And when I regather myself to speak, I forgot where were I. But, my evaluator did something fantastic. She praised my confidence, my content and even the delivery (which was far from perfect). She encouraged me to not get discouraged from dry-mouth sort of things and keep it going. I felt so nice after that. Moreover, the club presented me with ‘best speaker’ ribbon award that day. I can’t imagine how that happened but probably they wanted me to feel better.
In Speech 4, one has to use proper grammar and incorporate usages of rhetorical devices to enhance the message of the speech.
Do you ever wish that you could do something that could change the world or make it a better place?
Do you wish that you had Some Sort of Superpower to do Something Special?
Do you ever wish to become a Superhero?
Mister/Madam Toastmaster , fellow toastmasters and welcomed guests.
Just picture this:
It is quite late at night. And a girl is walking back home. All Alone and Afraid. She walks. The street she walks on is dark , dingy and dangerous. She wants to reach home as soon as possible. She hurries. She knows that it is too late to be out at night for the night is dark and full of terrors. She takes a turn. And all of a sudden out of the blue someone appears in front of her. It’s big as a bear kind of figure. That is a Goon!!!!!! , a Goon with a knife , a Goon with a criminal intent. She is shaking. She is terrified! She shrieks for help. The Goon is about to pounce on her.
Now , If I happened to live nearby and if I possessed a Six Sense Superpower like Peter Parker The Spiderman or Amazing Abilities and senses like Matt Murdock the Daredevil, I would have got alarmed. I would have quickly changed into my superhero gear and jumped on to the scene. I would’ve beaten the pulp out of the goon and saved the life of the girl using my Superhuman abilities. People would have gathered thanks to the noise. And they would’ve clapped and praised my name. And eventually told the stories of my bravado to their kids. And may be the girl would’ve fallen in love with me too, who knows!
But but but this is all Nonsense. I don’t have any superpower. Neither I am that brave. Nor I want any girl to fall in love with me , now that I am married. Too late! And also, I don’t like to wear underwear over my pants.
So , what really makes one a Super Hero? Candidness? Candor? Courage? Costume?
So what do you wish to have your superpowers like?
Invisibility? Invincibility? Integrity and strength? Yes or no?
I believe , most of us , want to do something good for the society. Many of us , work with NGOs. We donate money to charities. And we also change our Display Pictures on Facebook for some cause or the other. All that is good indeed except changing DPs. But there are some other ways also , by which you can do good for others.
I can tell you about one of the easiest way which can make you a superhero.
(Pic via Marian Academy Blood Drive 2014 #9 by *Amanda Richards via Attribution Engine. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.)
There was a blood donation drive in our office recently. Initially people felt reluctant but later few went and donated. Still I feel that everyone should have participated in the noble cause. But people didn’t. They ignored it like they ignore ‘Read Me’ or ‘Terms and conditions’ documents before installing any software. Let me clear some common misconceptions about blood donation.
Do you know , that it takes a maximum of 20 minutes to donate blood. And they take only 300 ml to 400 ml. The body regains the lost blood in just 36 hours and the overall quality of blood in mere 3 months. And one feels absolutely no difference before and after the donation.
In our office , many people donated, the gatekeepers donated , canteen staff donated , sweepers donated , both men and women donated. Although some were sent back because of them being anaemic. But it’s the gesture that counts , isn’t it?
C’mon people , let me assure you that this is the easiest way to help someone. And it helps you in return too , in case you need Blood yourself , you will be given free of cost for the next 6 months. Of course, you donated Money in charity , but who knows where is it going? I am sure , your donated blood will be used to only help someone in need of blood. As far as I know , there is no Dracula or Vampire who also needs blood. Best part is that , you needn’t know who is getting benefited by your this gesture.
And believe you me people , once you donate , you feel good . What a lovely feeling that is , as if you have accomplished something . I have myself donated 7-8 times and it is, for me , as satisfying as getting a infinite sheet of bubble wrap for popping.
Also , after they take the blood out , they provide snacks and juices. So at least for that you can donate blood no? Remember friends, one hand forwarded for donating blood, is equivalent to pulling someone out of a life threatening ditch.
Even Subhash Chandra Bose will give you blessings if you know what I mean.
So from now on , if given a chance , please
Go donate blood!
Go help someone in need!
Go and be a Superhero!
Rhetorical Devices used in this speech:
Alliteration- words beginning with same letters to create a rhythmic effect
Triads – combination of 3 words to emphasize something / Rule of three
Parallelism – drawing parallel between 2 unrelated things
Paraprosdokian – Sentences with unexpected ending
Simile – as big as, as good as, etc
Anaphora – repeated words to stress on something
BTW, if you have been to my blog earlier, this speech was a slightly modified take on this.
When I said that I’m going to read Comics again, since this is 2016, I meant that I would also watch the new form comics have taken, that is Television Shows. And by Television shows, since this is 2016, I mean things on Netflix and stuff. I just finished watching Netflix and Marvel’s Daredevil and I am glad that I watched it.
For the uninitiated like I was before delving into this, Daredevil is Marvel’s and co-creator Stan Lee’s yet another Superhero which is one of the most popular ones, right after their Avengers which everyone knows by now. And this series fits right into their MCU or Marvel Cinematic Universe where all their shows and movies intermingle into each other in one way or the other. They keep bringing characters or locations or put easter eggs through some manner to give enough hints to the fans that the universe in which everything happens, is somewhat related. Even if the effects on one might not be directly visible to the other but, as you progress in the series, you will get the feel eventually.
I hadn’t watched any of the shows Marvel had made earlier, which comprises of Agents of Shield or Agent Carter, etc. Also, my knowledge of Marvel was mostly based on their movies as I didn’t get much chance to read their comics. Though I had liked the Sam Reimi-Toby McGuire’s Spiderman in early 2000s and was thrilled to see Stan Lee’s cameos in them, I lost the interest and zeal to continue with their other movies. I watched Iron Man 1 and 2 and Avengers but not Captain America, neither Thor, nor The Incredible Hulk or X-Men if you include that. I watched and then I forgot their plots. Lately, I caught up with Captain America Winter Soldier, X-Men Days of future past and more recently Avenger’s Age of Ultron. I thought their movies are entertaining but not memorable, as compared to DC’s. And by DC’s I actually mean Nolan’s take on Batman and then Man of Steel. I even went on to state, that for me DC movies were much better than Marvel’s. But after watching Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice and Captain America Civil War, I guess I have to rethink of my opinion. While I didn’t hate BvS, but everyone agrees that it could have been a lot better. Civil War on the other hand doesn’t take itself so seriously as BvS and turns out so much cooler, hilarious and super serious when it needs to be. To summarize, Marvel has up the ante a long time ago and they are continuing to be good at what they are doing. Hoping to see Suicide Squad and further Justice League movies to see what DC comes up with eventually, after almost losing race to Marvel, if you may say so. Anyways, last few movies I watched, it has surely made me eager to watch more of Marvel’s stuff.
Anyways, talking about Daredevil and not digressing, I liked a lot of things about the show. Most importantly that it is as realistic as the Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy ought to be. While I have no intention to give any plot points here as a lot of time has already passed when this show was released, I am just writing about the things I liked the most. And that is the brilliant, hand to hand combat without any CGI or anything. Just plain, fist fights and round kicks. Ah, and that Hallway scene in the S01E02! That got me hooked to it. And it keeps getting better with each episode. Season 2 was equally good as they brought in more characters and made it more complex and delight for the viewers who love comics and pure action. The Punisher was straight out of Sunny Deol’s Ghayal and Narsimha, if you know what I mean. Even if you haven’t read any comicbook, this show fits into all the categories of Crime Thriller genre, making it a dark, gritty and nicely crafted and choreographed violence show which comicbook lovers or anyone who’s an adult now, would love. If anyone is reading this, heh, I would recommend this right away.
Next up, Jessica Jones, which would also be special as Breaking Bad’s Jane plays the titular role. This was released in November 2015 but it is okay. A least I hope it would have some story. As compared to that nonsense Game of Thrones where Winter is yet to come even after 6 seasons. Yawn.