Wednesday, June 24, 2015

TV: Daredevil

I don't think the Bennifer-era adaptation of Daredevil is as bad as people make it out to be, though it definitely has more than its fair share of cringe-inducing camp (a playground fight? really?). However, for those who always wanted a darker, grittier, Frank Miller-ier version of Matt Murdock, Marvel has delivered in a big way:

The 13 episode Netflix series follows a fledgling Daredevil as he battles New York's criminal underworld and comes to grips with his unique powers. The early stories depict Matt's double life as a costumed vigilante and a lawyer, focusing on his relationships with his friends Karen Page and Foggy Nelson. The series takes some neat twists and turns from there, though, eventually devoting quite a bit of time to Daredevil's nemesis, Wilson Fisk (played with award-worthy aplomb by Vincent D'Onofrio).

It's an easy show to like. The performances are excellent, and the production values are incredible - most scenes have the moody lighting you'd expect from a big screen crime drama, not a superhero web series. The dialogue can get fairly clunky (characters constantly reference "Hell's Kitchen" and "my city," to the point where it's become a meme), but the fight scenes pick up the slack nicely:


Music: Libertango

A few weeks ago, Dad and I went to see a concert put on by The Symphonia, a non-profit chamber orchestra formerly known as the Boca Raton Philharmonic. The concert, titled "A Little Latin Night Music," was an interesting blend of well-known string pieces conducted by Kyle Prescott and performed before an appreciative outdoor crowd in Mizner Park.

I particularly liked the arrangement of "Libertango," Piazzolla's famous tango nuevo. Too bad there wasn't a place to dance...

Miscellany: Eldritch Horror - Mountains of Madness review

My friends and I are huge fans of Eldritch Horror, Fantasy Flight's world-spanning board game based on the H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos. One big omission from the original game, though, was a scenario based on Lovecraft's best story, the haunting novella "At the Mountains of Madness." In that tale, a group of explorers travel to Antarctica, only to encounter an enormous abandoned city full of strange writings and unspeakable evil.

Fantasy Flight's Eldritch Horror expansion, unimaginatively titled "Mountains of Madness," aims to put you in the shoes of those unlucky explorers. It includes a brand new Antarctica sideboard, as well as some non-Antarctic-related goodies - investigators, encounter cards, Ancient Ones, and assets:

The overall effect is to make an already epic game even more epic. Even if you don't use the Antarctica board or the new cold-themed Ancient Ones, the new cards add a lot more options and a lot more flavor to the game. It's also more balanced than most Fantasy Flight expansions - none of the new cards appear to be gamebreaking, and the inclusion of a "focus" mechanic does a lot to smooth out the randomness of the base game. If you're at all a fan of Eldritch Horror, this is a must-buy.