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Netflix’s ‘The Get Down’ Part 2 Review
When I first heard about Netflix’s The Get Down, I was interested but a little worried. The Get Down is a Netflix original series. The series documents the rise of hip-hop and the downfall of disco music in a hardcore, 1970s chaotic New York. The show was created by 2013 The Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann. I was a little worried because I am someone who loves hip-hop and rap music. I love the history of the music genre, and how it grew into the worldwide phenomenon that it is today. I was mainly worried because an Australian director creating and unfolding a story about old school hip-hop doesn’t really come to mind at first. On the other hand, the first season of this show was well done. The first few episodes started a little slow, but it transitioned itself into a very good series. The show is filled with 70s nostalgia, great music, and characters you can get behind. Now we get part two, and part two of this series brings us more story, more music, more drama, and makes the audience want to view more.
The Get Down revolves around Shaolin Fantastic, played by Shameik Moore (Dope). Who is a mysterious graffiti artist turned DJ, who catches the attention of Ezekiel Figuero, played by Justice Smith (Paper Towns) and his young friends (including Jaden Smith). Ezekiel is a successful rapper telling his Bronx tale to a stadium full of fans. He is portrayed, by Daveed Diggs who here raps to lyrics by iconic rapper Nas, who is one of the numerous producers on this series.
The year was 1977, Ezekiel, is a good kid who takes to poetry/rap lyrics after his parents are killed and he's being raised by his aunt. Mostly, he's desperately in love with Mylene, played by Herizen Guardiola, a beautiful young girl with an amazing voice who has dreams of being the next Donna Summer. Think West Side Story meets Poetic Justice and the movie Hustle & Flow. Ezekiel and Shaolin become great friends, perform together, and become known as The Get Down Brothers. Mylene signs with a record company and things are looking good for everyone.
Now part two is set in 1978. The Get Down Brothers are still going strong, Ezekiel has the chance to attend Yale College, everyone reaches a good level of fame. On the other hand, with everything going well, it is not too far ahead things go badly.
Part two picks up and builds right where part one let off. Only part two offers more drama than part one. My only problem with part one is it was too big of a love letter to the 1970s. Meaning, the first part is loaded with 1970s nostalgia. Such as, blaxploitation films, music, kung fu films, Star Wars, afros, wardrobe, television shows, and slang. I personally enjoyed all the nostalgia, because even though I didn’t live through this period, I am a fan and respect a majority of things from this era. Nostalgia is great, especially in shows or movies like this one. But, I believe all the reminiscing kept getting in the way of the story.
“It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop.” – Dead Prez
The drama in part two makes for some real compelling and emotional connections with our main characters. Even the sub plots will have you fully invested. The Get Down Brothers even steal one from Vin Diesel. They all tell each other, “We are now (dramatic pause) family.” Shaolin Fantastic wants to take their success to another level. He wants to make more money, so he sells the drug Angel Dust, and he lets himself get into trouble with the syndicate ruled by Fat Annie, played by Lillias White and her disco crazy son Cadillac, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
We are introduced to Fat Annie in part one. However, we get more screen time with her in part two. She gives Shaolin a contract; however, he has to sell drugs. Which he promised Ezekiel he would never do. This unfolds some of the best drama between Ezekiel and Shaolin. They have a fight, a falling out, and it really does seem like they will not get back together. Shaolin seems like a cool guy who just makes dumb decisions. For instance, Shaolin persuades one of the youngest members of group to sell drugs. Even though he is not a perfect character, I like characters that aren’t perfect. When characters are too well written and perfect, they don’t feel real, and they don’t feel organic. Which is why I personally enjoy the character. Shaolin is more than just a drug dealing DJ. He is more well written this season. We witness his ups and downs, his motivation, he has a change of heart, and all the aspects that are needed to craft a character.
We are also introduced to Fat Annie’s son, Cadillac, in the first season as well. Anyone can write a character that is mean just for the sake of it. However, Cadillac is written as a bad guy that simply got lost along the way. He is only a twisted, disco loving, cruel businessman because his mother raised him in that lifestyle. Cadillac has a change of heart towards the end of the series. He reconnects with his emotions, telling his henchmen “I never wanted to be like this. When I was growing up, I wanted to be the first black man to disco dance on the motherf#ckin’ moon.” He continues on how he wants to follow his dream, and how The Get Down Brothers inspired him. How they had passion for their art, even though he says numerous times throughout the series, he thinks their music is trash. He even cries, and tells his henchmen he wants to start over, and open a new disco club. That is what I mean when I say this season has more drama, and emotional situations for our characters.
Accordingly, Ezekiel has a bright future ahead of him. He has the opportunity to attend Yale. Unfortunately, Shaolin crashes the student-networking meet up, and pulls a gun out on a group of students who are doing drugs and use a racial slur. This causes Ezekiel to lose the opportunity. Even though he does get another opportunity to attend the college, he doesn’t want any part of it, because he accuses the college, students, and professors of being racist, rude, and overall not good people. His aunt is furious with him. Ezekiel sticks with the music, which leads to his aunt kicking him out of the house, and Ezekiel having to stay with Shaolin. This created some real good chemistry between Shaolin and Ezekiel. One moment they are family, the other they are enemies.
“She Works Hard for the Money.” – Donna Summer
Moreover, things may be looking bad for The Get Down Brothers. On the other hand, Mylene’s career blossoms under her producer-songwriter Jackie Moreno, played by Kevin Corrigan (The Departed, Pineapple Express). But the business at Marrakesh Records, led by sleazy promoter Roy Ashton, played by Eric Bogosian (Law & Order, Blade: Trinity),wants her to abandon the godliness she absorbed from her God-fearing mother, played by Zabryna Guevara (TV’s Gotham, The Guilt Trip) and her Pentecostal preacher father, played by Giancarlo Esposito (Do the Right Thing, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) and become a sexy, famous, disco diva.
Mylene started out as a beautiful, innocent, and sweet church girl in the first season. Now she is letting fame and money get to her head. She even got a role in an upcoming Hollywood film. Her father despises the young woman she has become. This creates drama for Mylene, but the mother as well. The father becomes very abusive towards his wife, he literally goes mad, and he beats his daughter. Actually, beat isn’t the right word. Usually I am not squeamish to violence on screen.
Nonetheless, when Mylene is acting sexy at a concert, her father punch, kicks, and clobbers the poor girl. Also, her mother is cheating on her husband, with her husband’s brother.
Zeke and Mylene’s relationship buckles under the strain of her celebrity status, and it is hard for him to balance his relationship along with working on The Get Down Brothers music. There are betrayals and misunderstandings, devastating setbacks and despair.
Jaden Smith got a lot more screen time and development in part two. Jaden is Dizzee of The Get Down Brothers, and he is also a comic book and graffiti artist. The show adds him as a new narrator besides Nas. Telling the story of The Get Down Brothers in the form of a comic book. This was a good way to see more of his character.
The music this time around feels more like a musical. For example, instead of kids rapping, we get musical performances, concerts, and the music actually helps tell as story of what just happened, what is possibly going to happen, and how our characters feel. The music does not take away from the drama by any means.
I also thought it was a nice technique to use actual footage from the 70s to capture that look, feel, and scenery.
The show ends where the story is heading into the 80s, and I have to be honest. Even though the ending to the show was fantastic, it feels a little predictable. After viewing this, I’m sure most people can see the direction part three will go in.
Well, much like Grandmaster Flash, I hope when it comes down to The Get Down part two, you all get the message. Netflix’s The Get Down part two is off the chair, it’s off the chain, and it’s off the hook. At the end of the series, Ezekiel tells us in a rap, “My home is f#ckin’ magic.” Well I believe part two of this series is magic, and I believe Netflix’s The Get Down part two earns…
9.5 out of 10!
Thank you all for reading, and or viewing, and I hope you all have an amazing day as always. :)
Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix Season 1 Review
Netflix has been kickin’ ass with all these Marvel shows. We’ve seen some really great stuff out of Marvel and Netflix.
Many people, including myself, have been saying that Marvel, the superhero genre in general, needs to mix up the bag a little bit. All these movies, all these shows are starting to resemble one another.
Marvel heard the criticism, and decided to go in different direction. Keep the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movies a little light in tone, while making their Netflix shows, that still relate to the MCU a little darker in tone.
For example, in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy you have Baby Groot, a trash talking raccoon, and a duck drinking martinis at the end credits. Netflix on the other hand, has drug dealers, mobsters, sex, violence, goons, an extreme vigilante with blood smeared on his face and a huge skull on his chest. Talk about diversity.
For those who do not know, or aren’t as geeky as I am. All these Marvel and Netflix shows have been leading up to a superhero group, known as The Defenders. To keep it simple, The Defenders are like The Avengers of the suburbs. The cast of heroes consists of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Misty Knight, Claire Temple, Elektra, and Iron Fist. It was also reported that Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, Avatar) has joined the cast as well.
But Iron Fist is the last piece in the puzzle before we get The Defenders.
What I personally enjoy about the MCU Netflix shows is how different they are. Meaning, they offer something new to the genre, keep the genre fresh, and there is something there for everyone.
If you want to see a beautiful badass woman, you can check out Jessica Jones. Or if you want to see urban justice you can check out Luke Cage. Every show feels like it offers something new. Whether it be the R&B and Hip Hop soundtrack of Luke Cage or the dark tone of Daredevil.
Iron Fist has been getting a lot of hate, and has been called the worst of the Marvel Netflix shows. I watched all 13 episodes, of this series. I enjoy the MCU Netflix shows, and I was looking forward to what they do with this show.
Honestly, I would have to agree that this is one of the weaker shows. That does not mean it is horrible, because it is not. It’s just more of the same we’ve seen before, and does not offer anything new like the previous MCU Netflix shows.
“I am the Iron Fist!”
Danny Rand a.k.a Iron Fist was only 10-years-old when he survived a plane crash that took the lives of his wealthy parents. He was rescued by warrior monks, and grew up in K'un-Lun. Where he endured harsh conditions, but also trained to be a tough warrior.
Years later, Danny returns home to New York, and he rightful wants a place at his family's company, which is now run by his father's former business partner. For years people thought Danny was dead. Now people think he is crazy, they don’t believe that he is really Danny Rand. Danny hopes to gain the trust of his family, friends, be a part of his parent’s legacy, and destroy an organization known as The Hand, and all the people who threaten his loved ones.
I do believe that this is the weakest of the MCU shows on Netflix. However, I think it deserves some respect. Like anything, this show has some good things and some not so good things.
In my opinion, this show doesn’t feature all that much of Iron Fist. The series mainly focuses on the family and the company Rand Enterprises.
This features the character Harold Meachum, played by David Wenham (Van Helsing, 300). I never noticed this until now. But damn does Wenham look exactly like the actor Domhnall Gleeson (Ex-Machina). I think David Wenham has a son he doesn’t know about.
Harold is our protagonist. The actor works well with what he is given. Unfortunately, he isn’t given that much to work with. His character is written more like a cruel business man rather than a villain. He doesn’t become a really good villain until the last episode, when him and Fist are having a rooftop brawl.
The show spends so much time on this company, and Danny’s friends, and Harold’s children, Ward and Joy. I understand that this is needed for character development. On the other hand, this show should have featured way more of our main character.
People are suing the company, they are getting bad publicity, daddy issues, and we just get too much with this company. The show has so many good ideas that it touches up upon, but it keeps going back to this company.
One of the bad organizations in this series, The Hand, never really comes off as menacing, and it is mainly because we do not get to spend much time with them.
Another big thing I have to get off my chest is how this show feels like a superhero show you would see on the CW network and a superhero show in the late 90s and early 2000s.
We are in a time where we are seeing the evolution of superhero films, and people want change. This show goes back to those very typical superhero shows we’ve seen in the past. For instance, shows like Smallville. From the first couple of episodes you can even predict the ending of the series.
Finn Jones does a decent job as our main hero. But my biggest problem is how the character is written. His character is written to tell us his story, instead of showing us his story and character.
I like his relationship with the character Colleen Wing, played by Jessica Henwick. I’ve never noticed this either until now. But the actress Jessica Henwick looks very much like an Asian version of The Loop Rock Girl April Rose. A lot of people on this show remind me of other people.
Henwick as Colleen is a cool character, and has great chemistry with Iron Fist. I feel like the best scenes for the both of them were together. Colleen plays a Dojo master in New York, and that relationship she forms with Danny makes for the best on screen chemistry.
Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Top Five) comes back as her character Claire Temple from Daredevil and Luke Cage. Dawson is always going to be one of my favorite actresses. However, her character here feels very much like she is just there to connect this to the other shows. Throughout the series, she is just mainly there to be the voice of reason.
In addition, this show honestly has episodes you can skip. You can skip certain episodes, and you will still completely understand the plot. So a few episodes feel very much like filler episodes. Episode six is where things really get moving.
Speaking of episodes, RZA (The Wu-Tang Clan, The Man With the Iron Fist) directs episode six, and episodes six in my opinion is the best episode. That is the one that feels the most like a comic book and those old school kung-fu flicks. You can tell RZA really does have a passion for this style. It shows in his music and him as a director.
What If Iron Fist Was Filmed Like The Raid: Redemption?
If Marvel really wanted this show to be a game changer, they should have changed the fighting style, and action choreography. The action and fighting feels very much like a low budget television show, and at times you can tell when it is a stunt double.
While watching this, I kept say to myself, “What if all these fight scenes were filmed like Gareth Evan’s The Raid movies?”
That movie offered some of the best action and fighting scenes I have ever seen in filmmaking. It is ruthless, you can tell what is going on, and it looks like it was filmed all in one take.
That would have helped the show tremendously in my opinion. Even with the so so story, if the action was as good as The Raid, people would love this a whole lot more.
Accordingly, the music for this show made me a little confused. At times they are playing rap/hip-hop, pop, rock, and I couldn’t tell what the tone of this series was trying to accomplish.
Maybe This Series Should Have Been Heroes for Hire
Before there was Pryor and Wilder, before there was Woody and Wesley, before there was Murphy and Nolte, before there was Dre and Marshall, there was “Power Man” Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
In the comics, these guys are a team, known as Power Man and Iron Fist, a.k.a the Heroes for Hire. Earlier I mentioned how Claire is used to connect this show to the other shows. I believe this show should have been written where the first half is Iron Fist, and the second half transitions into the Heroes for Hire.
That way you keep the popularity of Cage going, and are establishing a not so popular superhero, Fist, with mainstream audiences. With great writing, anything is possibly in storytelling.
I know I have said a lot of negative things throughout this review. But I do not want to end it on a sour note.
It’s not that this show is terrible, it’s just I expect more out of Marvel at this point.
I like the cast, the cast works with what they are given, and like anything, this series could have used some improvement.
Would I recommend it? Only if you are a huge fanboy or fangirl. I think the very low ratings like the score on Rotten Tomatoes is a little harsh. I think this show deserves some more respect. I give it respect for at least trying.
They do have compelling characters, and compelling stories. But at the end of it all it is half-and-half for me. My biggest issue is how the show ended, the action sequences, and the writing. I believe season one of Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix earns…
5 out of 10
I think in The Defenders, Iron Fist will get some better treatment. So if you’ve seen this show I’m interested in what you guys and gals think. Did you like it? Do you think it sucks? Feel free to say what’s up.
If you would like to see a review of Luke Cage Season one on Netflix, check out the link below.
Thank you all for reading and or viewing, and I hope you all have an amazing day as always. :)
Is Dave Chappelle Still a Comedy King?
Dave Chappelle Netflix Special Season 1 Review
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages, grandmothers and grandfathers, Dave Cha-Pezzy is back, the one and only Dave Chappelle is back!
Dave Chappelle (Half – Baked, The Chappelle Show) the comedy icon, makes his long awaited return to the screen and to the stage. Dave Chappelle now has a Netflix Original stand-up comedy special. With new, mature, raunchy, contemptuous, and always compelling comedy material.
On November 12, 2016, Dave Chappelle hosted season 42 episode six of the late-night live comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live. That episode is literally the best Saturday Night Live episode I’ve seen in a very long time, years actually. You had the controversy, the emotion, the comedy, the music, the special guest appearances, it was civil, and you had the comeback of Chappelle.
For those who do not know Chappelle, I’m going to tell you why he is a comedy icon, why he is one of the best. It is because he is raunchy, can feed off a crowd, he is very experienced in comedy, random, and it helps that he is really funny.
In 2003, Chappelle became more widely known with his comedy show, The Chappelle Show. The show continues to show re-run episodes all around the world, on various platforms to this day.
According to Comedy Central and Wikipedia, in 2009, Comedy Central ranked him number 43 in the “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time”. Katt Williams (Norbit, First Sunday) has called Chapelle, “The greatest comedian living today.” Similarly, Kevin Hart (Ride Along, Central Intelligence) has called Chappelle, “the greatest comedian of all time.”
Two years within The Chappelle Show, and Chappelle reaching the highest success in his comedy career, Chappelle walked away from the industry. In various interviews, he has stated “The show has ruined my life.” and”I hate working 20 hours a day.” He even walked away from a $50 million contract to come back to the show. Throughout the years, Chappelle was around, but kept on the down low. That was until he hosted Saturday Night Live on November 12, 2016.
Now, Chappelle follows a line of comedians that have all gotten Netflix stand-up specials. Such as, Cedric The Entertainer, Mike Epps, Aziz Ansari, Jimmy Carr, Ali Wong, Patton Oswalt, and more.
A More Mature Dave Chappelle
Now if you are coming into this thinking you’re getting that Chappelle that says, “I’m Rick James, bitch!” Or him as Lil John, Prince, and as everyone’s favorite crackhead Tyrone Biggums, you are not getting that. What you have here is a more mature Chappelle that has grown, and discusses more of his daily life.
That’s right Dave Chappelle grew up. He discusses politics, sex, scandals, race issues, kids, the education system, marriage, and all that good stuff. The stand-up special is actually two parts. The first part is titled, The Age of Spin Live at The Hollywood Palladium. The second part is titled, Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dave Chappelle Live at Austin City Limits.
Fans online have been debating which special is better. I believe they are both well done. However, I do believe the first special is better.
I personally enjoyed The Age of Spin Live at The Hollywood Palladium more for a variety of reasons. It really does feel like he is talking to the audience, he hasn’t performed in L.A. in 10 years, it is more mature, it’s funny, and you truly do feel like he is happy to be back, and happy to have grown as a comedian.
That doesn’t mean it is a perfect stand-up special, because in my opinion it is not. One of the biggest issues I have is the topics of current events.
I wish there were more recent news topics Chappelle discussed in his special. For example, he could have made jokes and or statements about Trump, Obama leaving office, movies, trends, television shows (like when he played Negan from Walking Dead on Saturday Night Live), social media, and the entertainment industry then vs. now.
Talking about Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson now feels just a little dated. Even though the jokes are funny, just more fresher topics could have been used. I appreciate him taking a serious topic and adding a light hearted and funny message behind it though.
The first special is…how can I put this? Stupid funny. He tells a joke about every time he has met O.J. and each one of them is hilarious, but really stupid. For instance, this isn’t a spoiler, but it involves Chappelle and O.J.’s wife. Chappelle reenacts when he met O.J.’s wife and he says, “Woman, are you tryin’ to get us both killed?”
Furthermore, he literally opens the show telling the crowd, “You all better be a tough crowd, I’m going to say some stuff, so don’t get mad.” So if you are someone who is easily offended this is NOT for you. On the other hand, if you are someone who has thick skin and can take race jokes, sex jokes, and profanity the by all means ‘njoy.
Things May Be Bigger in Texas, But Are They As Funny?
The first detail I noticed about the second half of the special, Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dave Chappelle Live at Austin City Limits was the size of the crowd. I don’t know if it was the camera work, but the theater was packed beyond belief. Every chair had a butt, every chair from the front row all the way up to the cheap seats way on top.
Even though the second half is good, I was a little let down by this one. For all those individuals who want the old Chappelle stand-up routine and not so much the matured version, then the second half is for you.
What I mainly enjoyed about this half is Chappelle discussing more of his private life. For example, his young son getting into a fight with girl. Chappelle mentions how he took a bite out of his son’s school lunch, and then put it back in the bag so his son wouldn’t notice. His son thought it was a girl in the class, and it ended up with his son slapping a little girl. This isn’t the first father dilemma Chappelle discusses.
Also, Chappelle discusses his marriage. He has been married since 2001, and he talks about/makes jokes about long marriages and relationships. I was cracking up laughing, when he mentions when his wife leaves the house he likes to get naked, jerk off and eat cereal in the living room. That’s what I mean when I say you are getting more of the old Chappelle on this second half of the stand-up special.
In my opinion, this half had too many sex jokes and gay jokes. It started out funny, but then I was ready for him to move onto the next topic.
Overall, these are my final thoughts on Dave Chappelle’s stand-up Netflix Special. Netflix announced these aren’t the only two specials we are getting. There are more coming on the way towards the end of the year, and I say bring it on.
Chappelle is more than Rick James, bitch. He is funny, has improved, has matured, he is a comedy king, and like Comedy Central has stated, I do believe he is one of the greatest comedians of all time. I believe this earns…
9 out of 10!
Thank you all for reading and or viewing, and I hope you all have an amazing day as always. :)
Now if you’ll excuse me, much like Dave Chappelle, I need to get my bowl of cereal ready and head on into the living room.
|Directed by:||Daniel Espinosa|
|Written by:||Paul Wernick|
|Cast:||Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada|
LIFE’ (2017) Movie Review – Is This Sci-fi Film Recycling Other Sci-fi Films...[more]...