Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Can Geekboy Sum Himself Up In 3 Fictional Characters?

So, I've seen this thing going around social media sights like Facebook and Twitter where people post pictures of fictional characters as a visual aid to illustrate their own character traits.  It's a fun exercise to see what makes you tick.  People looking at your post who know you well can confirm that yes, that is what makes you tick.  People who don't know you quite as well can get to know you better.

The Geekboy blog is more or less anonymous.  You don't necessarily know me (unless you do) and I don't know you.  Or do I?  Perhaps I'm that mysterious figure skulking about in the bushes outside your house.  Okay, that took a creepy turn...

But since the casual visitor to this humble blog doesn't know much about me, I thought it could be fun to tell you a little about myself using one of my favorite things: Stories!

Firstly, we have Seamus Zelazny Harper from 'Gene Rodenberry's Andromeda'.  Harper is a total geek, and he thinks he's way cooler than he actually is.  But he's good with technology, and does his best to keep the Andromeda Ascendant running.  I'm no Harper when it comes to tech, but I also do the best that I can to keep my ship running, metaphorically speaking.

Next, we have Henry Jones Sr. from 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'.  He's grumpy yet driven.  Passionate to a fault about achieving his unobtainable goals.  Obsessive and workaholic, and that gets in the way of his personal relationships.  I have a dose of these character traits.  Hopefully not to this extreme.  But I am grumpy and antisocial, particularly if you're interrupting me when I'm working on something I'm passionate about.

And lastly, Susan Ivanova from 'Babylon 5'.  Like Ivanova, I'm passive aggressive, cynical, and if I have a really good Zinger I just can't hold it inside.  Ivanova has issues with authority, and also with being IN authority.  More often then not she has a lot put on her plate and she stresses out in a major way whenever she does.

These are the characters I chose for myself, but if somebody else was choosing a character to represent me I think they would pick Garfield.  I hate mornings, love coffee, and am a bit of a couch potato.  And again, grumpy.  Geekboy is a Grumpus.  I don't know if I got that across clearly enough yet.

You may be wondering how one can be as much as a couch potato as Garfield, but as driven as Henry Jones Sr.  Somehow I manage.

As I said, I might not know you and you might not know me.  So feel free to tell me a little bit about yourself using three fictional characters in the comments.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Reboot MacGyver Episode 1: The Rising

I had another post written for today (which I might post later in the week), but I feel like I owe you guys a follow up on the CBS MacGyver reboot now that the first episode has dropped.  I did watch it, and in my opinion it definitely could have been worse.  It's pretty clear that after all the internet backlash over the trailer CBS scrapped what they had shot and made a new pilot.  On the one hand I'm happy that they're trying to make the fans happy.  On the other hand it's always a little concerning when storytellers tell a story just to make fans happy rather than telling a story that they want to tell.  But at least they made lead actor Lucas Till look a bit more like classic MacGyver with an 80's haircut and brown leather jacket.

They also decided to at least pay lip service to supporting characters from the original show.  Lip service is all it is though, as these characters share the names of classic characters but are clearly completely different people.

Jack Dalton is now muscle bound comic relief.  And he's an ex-military sharpshooter.  I'm a little unclear as to how Mac, with his aversion to firearms, became best buds with with a sniper.  Seems a little hypocritical if you ask me.  So this Jack is a far cry from the original practical joker with a new get-rich-quick scheme up his sleeve every episode.  He is still a pilot though, and is able to tell what kind of jet our heroes are trying to track down just by the sound of the engine.

Nikki Carpenter (now a computer hacker) is kind of the polar opposite of the original character.  In Season 3 of the classic show Mac and Nikki had a subtle 'Will they?  Won't they?' type relationship.  Here they are lovers, and things get a little steamy.  Remember what I said about in my last MacGyver post about my concerns of how they would handle Mac's sexuality?  Turns out all the steamy bits are story relevant though, so I may be willing to overlook it, but it is a red flag for me.

We also have Patrica Thornton.  I don't actually mind that they gender flipped Pete Thornton.  Actor Dana Eclar is no longer with us, and it feels like straight up re-casting Peter Thornton would be disrespectful, like Eclar was replaceable or something.  That said, MacGyver's working relationship with Pete was one of the things that made MacGyver a great show.  Patrica Thornton is a bit of a hard edge character.  It's early in the show, but I miss the 'best friends with my boss' element that the original had going.
There's also a new character named Riley Davis.  She's an ex-con and computer hacker.  She was rather refreshing because she's the only character I wasn't comparing to the original.  Although she does remind me a little of Skye from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D...

The episode itself was pretty good.  It deals with a mission to recover a biological weapon, the mission goes wrong, and then there are plot twists, betrayals, chases and explosions.  Good stuff here.  The structure feels a bit like the early episodes where there's a James Bond/Indiana Jones action sequence before the opening credits, and then the actual story starts, but in this case the fouled up mission in the beginning ties into the rest of the story.

Mac narrates the show in voice-over like the original.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it's cheesy and forced.  The same could probably be said for the original show, but I've got rose colored glasses, so don't judge me.  We also have words appearing onscreen to show his though process when he's inventing stuff.  Because Sherlock is a big deal I guess?  In a couple of years we'll look back on this new trend and say it was the cheesiest thing ever.  Those 2010s, man.

Most of the things MacGyver invents is stuff we've seen before.  Creating smoke to trigger fire alarms, tricking a hand-print scanner, and so on.  There is a clever reference to classic MacGyver when Mac has to diffuse a bomb that DOESN'T simply have two color coded wires 'like the good old days.'

The episode ends with our heroes renaming their top secret origination from a random set of initials that I've already forgotten (DSX?  DXS? CSX?) to the Phoenix Foundation.  This was a cool moment that really worked for me, but given the context of 'rising from the flames' it probably would have worked better if it had come later in the season when they had more flames to rise from.

There's a hook at the end of the episode to get you to watch more if you liked this one or didn't outright hate it.  And personally, I didn't outright hate it.  I don't love it like the original and don't think I ever could, but if it introduces Mac to a new generation that's not a bad thing.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage

So, I was at my local library browsing the DVD section, and I came across a movie that I remembered I had wanted to watch one of these days.  'Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage'.  I had seen the trailers for this a few years back and was really excited because it was a modern movie featuring stop motion creatures.  It looked like a love letter to the classic Ray Harryhausen films like 'Seventh Voyage of Sinbad,' and that's precisely what it is.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect as this was a little independent project - Patrick Steward narrates the story and I really think that was because they wanted a big name to slap on the front of the DVD - but the filmography is pretty high quality.  They seem to have mixed old school stop motion effects with modern day CGI for the backgrounds and some of the atmospheric effects.  Personally I think the stop motion holds up pretty well in a modern movie.

The costumes are all top notch.  For those of you who are upset about Hollywood casting decisions in films like 'Gods of Egypt,' the cast of 'Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage' primarily appear to be of middle eastern descent.  Sinbad himself is always called 'Sen-Bahd'.  The exotic pronunciation of Sinbad's name and the casting decisions really help make this feel like an authentic Arabian Nights tale.

That said, the movie does seem a little amateur at times.  Some of the dialog could have used another go around.  It's a little repetitive and wooden in places.  Also, I found some of the editing confusing.  The storytellers chose to tell a love story between Sinbad and the Princess in back-flash form.  Even though the princess is named Princess Parisa after the princess in '7th Voyage', 90 percent of the time Sinbad just calls her 'Princess!' or 'The Princess!'  You'd think that since they're engaged they'd be on a first name basis.

So for these back-flashes, sometimes there would be an actual visual transition, but more often than not there WASN'T a visual transition.  And there wasn't really a good transition for the first one, so most of the scene I was scratching my head going, "Where are we?  When are we?  I'm confused!"  After that first one it's still a little jarring, but after awhile you go "Flash-back.  I didn't sign up for flash-backs in this movie, but since this movie is giving me flash-backs I suppose I'll have to make the best of it."

My other big complaint is the Villain.  He speaks in low whisper voice, and draws out all of his vowels.  It's sinister, but it's also really hard to understand a word he says.

There's a Genie in this movie, and I think this might be my favorite movie Genie now.  First off, he's not the cute cuddly Disney type Genie.  In the Arabian Nights stories, a Genie is always a wildcard.  Sometimes when you release them they grant you wishes, but sometimes they try to kill you.  This Genie sort of did both.  Also, he can shape-shift and is portrayed by three different actors.  He's pretty funny too, particularly his reaction in the part where Sinbad figures out a wish loophole.

But in any movie like this the real stars of the show are the monsters.  'Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage' pays tribute to a bunch of Harryhausen's creatures.  We've got a cyclops, roc, and wingless dragon like in '7th Voyage of Sinbad.'  There's a giant bee and crab monster like 'Mysterious Island.'  Sinbad fights with a six armed statue of Kali like in 'Golden Voyage of Sinbad.'  And of course there's a skeleton fight like '7th Voyage' and 'Jason and the Argonauts.'

Stop-motion may be an older effect, but it still holds up pretty well.  I'd like to see somebody do a movie adaption of one of my favorite Greek Myths, 'Thesis and the Minotaur,' in this style.  If you're a fan of stop-motion, big monsters, or Ray Harryhausen Sinbad, this is definitely worth a watch.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Thoughts on: The Mecury Men

So, today I'm going to do something a little different.  I'm going to review an independent web series.  Here are some reasons why you should watch 'The Mercury Men'.

#1:  It has an awesome premise.  The Mercury Men is about an invasion in an office building.  Our protagonist is an unlikely every-man hero with a compelling story arc.  It's a claustrophobic thriller that shows us something about human nature.

#2:  It's just wacky enough.  Even though it's set in the 70s it has a real Dieselpunk flavor.  Brains in a jar, ray guns, a Pulp Adventure hero who could give Sky Captain a run for his money...if you like the kinds of stories I like, your interests have already been peaked.

#3:  Quality production values and good story telling.  I don't know what kind of a budget this show had, but the special effects are decent, and it's well shot in black and white.

#4:  It's free. 10 quality 7 to 9 minute episodes that you can watch for free online.  The first story wraps up  by the 9th episode.  Episode 10 was intended to kick off a second season which hasn't gotten off the ground as of yet.  Here's a link to the official Mercury Men Youtube channel.  Go watch it and then come back here, because we're going to spoilerville in this post.

So the story starts off with Edward Borman, a disgruntled office employee.  He is asked by a young woman whom we will come to know as Grace to stamp an important form, but he refuses because it's three minutes to closing time.  As he is leaving the office is attacked by the titular Mercury Men.  After taking out a janitor, the Mercury Men come after Borman.

Borman is rescued by Jack Yaeger, our ray-gun wielding hero.  Jack Yaeger works for an organization known as 'The League' who defend the earth from the sinister Mercury Men.  The League is lead by a mysterious 'Dr. Tomorrow' who no one has ever seen.  Yaeger and Borman discover the true mission of the Mercury Men: to construct a machine powerful enough to pull the Moon into the Earth.  Yaeger tries to recruit a terrified Borman after calling the League for reinforcements who can't possibly arrive in time.

Yaeger and Borman are separated in an attack.  Jack Yeager is captured by the Mercury Men.  A terrified Edward Borman tries to use Jack's radio to call for help.  "Can anyone heart me?  I need help!"  Borman kneels over the radio transmitter, and it almost looks like he's praying.

This little web series does seem to have a good bit of Christian symbolism, which I think is really cool.  We've seen Eastern philosophy in Star Wars, Humanism in Star Trek, a Mormon parable in classic Battlestar Galactica, but science fiction stories that feature Christian allegory are few and far between.  The only other one that comes to mind is the Tron franchise.

Borman is contacted by Dr. Tomorrow, who tells Borman that he must rescue Jack.  Borman tells Dr. Tomorrow that he can't, and that Dr. Tomorrow should send somebody else.  Dr. Tomorrow responds that there isn't anyone else, and that's why he chose Edward Borman for the task, even if he's unwilling or feels inadequate.  As a Christian, I believe that God has a plan for each of us, that we were created for a specific reason.  This story is a really good illustration of that.  Borman show a reluctance to follow the path that's been chosen for him the same way Moses or Jonah show it in the Bible.

So, Borman sets out to save Jack, even though he's shaking in his boots.  After he's successful, Jack drops a third Biblical clue.  He states that the Mercury Men feel threatened by humans because even though they are 'made from the very dirt of the Earth' they're capable of space travel.

So they come up with a plan to deactivate the Gravity Engine that the Mercury Men are using to alter the course of the moon.  Along the way, Edward Borman runs into Grace, who is a) scared out of her wits, and b) still upset that he never stamped her form.  "We have to get you out of here!"  "I'm not going anywhere with you! You're a horrible little man!"  I love that part.

So Jack and Borman have to fight off the Mercury Men and deactivate the Gravity Engine.  Jack is knocked out in the battle and Borman is once again alone.  He has to find a way to defeat the invading aliens all by himself.  It all turns out alright in the end though.  Jack gives Borman his own raygun, and states that "This is only the beginning."  Suppose that makes Borman an official member of the League.

Grace returns to Borman's desk because she 'Really really needs that form stamped."  This is a great way to close the story as it mirrors the beginning in a humorous way AND shows us just how much character growth Borman has gone through over the course of the story.  In some ways I suppose The Mercury Men is a bit like a disaster movie.  We see the best and worst sides of people when they're thrown into an extreme circumstance, and those who wouldn't ordinarily may just have to take charge.  Only this is better than most disaster pictures, because it has more ray guns.

The Mercury Men is probably just about my favorite web series, but be sure to let me know about your favorite web series or independent film project in the comments.  I'd love to hear about them.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Daredevil (2003) Vs. Daredevil (2015)

So I just recently watched the first season of Netflix Daredevil.  Yeah, I know what you're thinking.  "Geekboy, as a comic nerd and Daredevil fan you should have seen it ages ago!"  Some of us don't have Netflix accounts okay?  Some of us are now waiting impatiently for season two to come to Amazon, okay?  OKAY?  Good.

As someone who doesn't hate the 2003 movie quite as much as everybody else, I thought it would be fun to do a little compare and contrast.  What did the show do better than the movie?  What elements of the movie still hold up?

I think when people look back at the movie they forget the time period it was made in.  2003.  The same era as Sam Rami's Spiderman, (Which holds up pretty well) Brian Singer's X-men, (Holds up okay, X2 more so than X1 and X3) and those Fantastic Four movies (which really don't hold up well at all).  In my opinion, Daredevil holds it's own with X-men, is better than Fantastic Four, but is not quite as good as Spiderman.

Then 2008 happened.  DC/Warner Bros. The Dark Knight blew away critics and fan alike, and Marvel got their own studio and the complete creative control that comes with having your own studio.  A few years down the road Disney and Marvel Studios would merge.  Marvel received additional financial backing and a beefed up marketing campaign out of this deal.  The budget, storytelling quality, and respect for the source material of superhero movies has been climbing ever since, and it's easy to forget that when you look back at the earlier superhero movies.

All that being said, Daredevil 2003 does have some problems.  I think the main reason people hate this movie is that it's overcrowded and rushed.  They tried to squeeze every iconic Daredevil thing into ONE MOVIE.  So, we have Daredevil's origin, his fight to take down Kingpin, battling his nemesis Bullseye, and most of the Elektra saga in an hour and 40 minute runtime.  (Please note that I'm talking about the Theatrical release.  I haven't seen the Directors Cut, but I've heard it expands the Kingpin storyline, gives Nelson and Murdock more screen time, and overall vastly improves the story.)

Ideally it should have been a trilogy, with part one starting with Matt's origin and ending with the death of Elektra's father.  Part two would pick up with Elektra joining The Hand for her Ninja training and then returning to Hell's Kitchen to take out Daredevil, and ending with her death and the hands of Bullseye, whom Daredevil would take out in the climax.  The third movie would bring in Stick and The Hand, deal with Elektra's resurrection, and end with Daredevil going toe to toe with Kingpin (who has been pulling the strings this whole time).  At this point we could have an Elektra spinoff in which Elektra and Stick battle what remains of the Hand.

So the biggest weakness of the movie is taken care of in the show.  They can take their time to tell the story.  My favorite thing about Daredevil 2015 is the way they focus on and develop the supporting cast.  Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, and Ben Urich all get lots of screen time.  And although the show is 'dark and gritty' Foggy and Ben bring a lot of humor.  It's not humor like all of the Joss Whedon quips in 'The Avengers' though.  It's a more realistic Film Noir style humor that feels like real people having a real conversation.  It's a little cynical, but it's laugh out loud funny.  The villains also get more development and backstory thanks to the format of a 13 episode miniseries.

That greatest strength of focusing on the supporting cast can also be a bit of a weakness though.  It's called Daredevil, but there are places where Matt Murdock feels like a third wheel in a story about Karen, Foggy, and Ben as they fight to take down a sympathetic Wilson Fisk.  Compare that with the movie, where Matt is NARRATING HIS OWN LIFE STORY.

So kick off this compare and contrast, let's take a look at each character in turn.

Foggy Nelson:

I honestly think the relationship between Foggy and Matt is a lot of fun in the 2003 movie.  The continuing playful argument about Alligators in the sewers of New York, a clever nod to all those times Daredevil fought Sewer Alligators in the comics, that scene in the office where Foggy repeatedly misses the basketball hoop and Matt gets it on the first try, and that bit where he gives Matt mustard instead of honey for in his tea, and then Matt switches drinks with Foggy when he isn't looking.  Foggy doesn't necessarily get all of the screen time that he deserves, but it's clear that Matt and Foggy have a fun and believable working relationship.

I enjoy Movie Foggy so much I was a little worried about the show, but Netflix Foggy KILLS IT.  He's funny, has a believable relationship with Matt, he's willing to roll up his sleeves and do some grunt work - literally when they're helping out an elderly woman fix up her apartment - and has moments of bravery beating up thugs in a dark alley.  Then there's that part where he's in hospital bed, and Karen has to make sure he stays there rather than hop out of bed to search for Matt when he's missing.  Plus his relationship with Karen is super sweet.

This feels a little close to call.  I love both versions of Foggy.  But Netflix Foggy does have more time to shine, and they are able to show us more aspects of his character.  But I really think this is the TV show format rather than quality of writing or actors portrayal.

Karen Page:

This one is no contest.  In the movie Matt and Foggy do have a blonde secretary in one scene.  She only has one or two lines of dialog, and I don't even remember if she's named as Karen.  The movie was focusing on Daredevil and Elektra though, so it makes sense to pretty much skip Karen Page.  As I can't really talk about Karen in the movie, I can't talk about Elektra much either -not until I see Season 2 at any rate.

But Karen in the show is worth talking about.  She pretty much kicks off the story.  As the first client for Nelson and Murdock, she's the one who pulls our heroes into the web of intrigue that is the organized crime of Hell's Kitchen.  She also brings Ben Urich aboard.  She's the glue that holds Nelson and Murdock together later on.  I've read that the actress wanted to find a middle ground between the girl-next-door Karen Page of the Silver Age and the darker, post 'Daredevil: Born Again' Karen.  The show does a really good job with this.  Karen starts out as a good person in big trouble, and by the end of the season, after all the poking around in the hornet's nest that is Kingpin's crime organization, she's battling some inner demons.  She's done things she regrets.  She's carrying a lot of guilt for some of the consequences for her actions.

Ben Urich:

This one is tricky.  On one hand, I feel like the Ben Urich of the movie does a better job of adapting Ben's relationship with Matt and with Daredevil.  In the comics, Ben figures out Daredevil's secret identity and struggles with whether he should print it in the Baily Bugle.  On the one hand, story of a life time.  On the other, it would ruin Matt's crime fighting career.  Ben decides Daredevil's secret is worth more than a Pulitzer prize, and he and Daredevil become allies similar to Batman and Commissioner Gordon.  And the movie adapts this story.  The show does not.

In the show Ben and Matt share very little screen time.  The season is half over before they even appear together.  BUT.  But this Ben has so much more development than the movie's Ben.  We're rooting for this guy from the beginning.  He's introduced by fighting the insurance company that doesn't want to pay for his sick wife's medical care.  He's frustrated by the paper he works for and the small stories he's forced to work on when bigger things are being swept under the rug.  He's a crusader with so much to loose, but that doesn't mean he's going to stop fighting.

So.  Point to the movie for Matt and Ben's relationship, but ultimately a point to the show because Netflix Ben is awesome.

Wilson Fisk (AKA: The Kingpin)

Personally I think movie Kingpin feels more like the Kingpin of the comics.  Maybe the actor's size has something to do with that.  He's huge.  It's totally believable that he can hold his own against Daredevil in the climax.  Also, he never looses his cool.  The Kingpin of the comics is cold and calculating.  He's a bit like a Bond Villain that way.

The Kingpin of the show is more fleshed out.  He's more human.  There's all this wonderful build up for the first three episodes where criminals are afraid to even whisper the name Wilson Fisk.  So when we first meet Fisk, he comes across as a bit of a paradox because he seems like a slightly awkward nice guy.  Until he snaps.  Then he goes into something that's a cross between a berserk rage and a temper tantrum.  He's the exact opposite of keeping his cool.  I do think it's interesting that the only time Kingpin gets his hands dirty is when it's personal.  If he thinks you're going to hurt some one he cares about, or harm his relationship with that person, he will kill you with his bare hands.  I like how they included Fisk's relationship with Vanessa.  In the comics, Vanessa was Kingpin's one weak spot.  She managed to talk him into giving up a life of crime until she's kidnapped by a rival mob.  The show puts it's own spin on the Fisk/Vanessa relationship.

This is another close one, but in my opinion the Kingpin of the movie is more accurate the comics, so point goes to the 2003 movie.

Okay, now for some more complex stuff.  Daredevil himself.  I feel like I need to break this into a couple of parts.

Origin Story:

The movie is a sort of frame story, beginning with a Daredevil who has been injured in his battle with Bullseye.  One of Matt's first lines is in the form of voice-over: "They say that just before you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes.  That's true...even for a blind man."  Personally I think this is a really clever way to start.  Some people think the voice-over narration is kind of cheesy, but as a fan of Film Noir era detective stories and 80's action shows like MacGyver, I see voice-over as a good narrative technique.  And this bit of narrative prepares the audience for a flashback AND tells newcomers who may not be familiar with the character that he's blind from the get-go.

We're then told how Matt was blinded as a child, and his increased abilities, of his father - a boxer who is murdered when he refuses to throw a fight, ect. ect.  Pretty faithful to the comics.

The show follows the same beats, but they drag it out over about four episodes, and they expand on everything.  They go into greater detail of Matt's relationship with his father, making Battlin' Jack Murdock's death really tragic.  They have an episode devoted to Matt's training with his mentor, Stick, and finally an episode devoted to his college days with Foggy and why he first put on the mask.  This is where I have my first real beef with the show.  In every other telling of Daredevil's origin story I've seen IT IS CLEAR THAT THE DEATH OF MATT'S FATHER IS WHY HE FIRST STARTED FIGHTING CRIME.  That's not the case here.  Matt is first seen taking out a sexual predator.  I'm still scratching my head about this change.  Was it to make Matt seem more selfless?  Maybe.

But there's a bit of a disconnect between Battlin' Jack's death and the rest of the story if Matt's initial motivation isn't bringing his father's killer to justice.  The only clue we have that this is part of Matt's motivation is that he keeps his costume in a secret compartment in the trunk that holds all of his father's boxing gear.  This is a nice shout out to Daredevil's original yellow and red costume, which he made from his father's robe.

So the movie messes with this part of the Daredevil Mythos as well.  It's revealed at the end that Kingpin used to work as a mob enforcer, and that he was the one who pulled the trigger and killed Jack Murdock.  This was done to make the final battle personal and tie everything up in a neat bow, so I can see the reason for the change.

To be fair, I haven't watched season 2 yet, and I heard that 'The Fixer,' the man who had Battlin' Jack killed makes an appearance.  So I can't really judge the show's origin fairly yet, BUT so far it's my opinion that the two origin stories are tied.  The Netflix origin story may be fleshed out, but leaves out what I feel is a crucial detail.

Daredevil's Powers:

One interesting thing the show does is it really plays down the fact that Daredevil is a superhero.  This makes sense for the feel the show-runners were going for.  I recall producer Jeph Loeb stating in an interview that they wanted to make Daredevil a good crime drama first, and a superhero show second.  And that's apparent in the way they depict DD's powers.  We're only shown the world as Matt sees it once or twice.  If you've ever read a silver age comic you probably noticed how Matt is always telling the audience things like: "I just love being blind.  My other senses are better than seeing.  I can tell you how many grains of salt are on a pretzel, just by licking it!"  Who cares how many grains of salt are on a pretzel?  WHAT KIND OF A SUPERPOWER IS THAT?

To contrast, Matt never brags about his powers in the show.  For him, it's just a fact of life.  At one point he informs Claire that she just reopened a nasty wound by moving around to much.  "How do you know?" she asks.  "I could taste copper in the air," he responds, in a 'can't everybody taste copper in the air?' sort of way.  She like: "Copper, of course." in a rolling her eyes -I-think-you're-a-little-crazy- sort of way.

But since the movie is from Matt's point of view, we're shown how he sees the world on a regular basis.  My favorite is the way he sees the world more clearly when it rains because the raindrops echo off all the surfaces they hit.  This leads to a sweet moment with Elektra, a really sad moment at her father's funeral, and is foreshadowing for the climax.

So I don't think there's a clear winner or a loser here.  Both do a great job of showing Daredevil's powers, it's just that the one does it in a more realistic and understated way.

Moral Values:

I've said before that Daredevil is pretty much my favorite superhero because of his dedication to fighting justice.  The movie doesn't always do the best job of showing this.  For example, that rooftop scene with Elektra in the rain I mentioned earlier: Matt hears someone being beaten in the alley below.  Does he go to the rescue?  Nope.  He's too busy hanging out on rooftops with his new girlfriend!  Fans have called this scene out for being out of character, and they're right.  Matt Murdock would never do this.

But the show gives us a Matt Murdock who is on a slippery slope morally speaking.  At the beginning of the show we really don't know where he stands and which lines he's willing to cross.  We see him in a confessional seeking forgiveness "Not for what I've done father, but for what I'm about to do!"  He almost starts as an antihero, on the path to becoming a real hero.  Or not.  We don't really know until the end.  He also comes across as a little hypocritical, calling out Foggy and Karen when they're sneaking around like amateur detectives, saying they need to take out Fisk through legal means.  True, he's trying to keep them safe, but he's a vigilante sneaking around at night trying to take Fisk down.  Hypocrite.  Also, he had me really worried early on when he takes on a client that he knows is guilty.  Matt!  No!  You only defend the innocent!

The show had me on the edge of my seat when it came to Matt's moral condition, and that's a good place to be.  Point goes to the show!

I have one more point - and this one is kind of minor.

The Soundtrack:

Even people who hate the 2003 movie (AKA, most people) acknowledge that the soundtrack is awesome.  Songs match the moods of scenes they're in.  My favorites are the two tracks from Evanescence - 'My Immortal' during the funeral for Elektra's father, and then 'Bring me to Life' during her training montage.

But some of the soundtrack decisions really have me scratching my head.  And I'm not just talking about how Tamer's 'Beautiful Crime,' the awesome song from the trailer is never featured in the show. (Disappointing---!)  There are two places in the finale where the music doesn't work for me.  One is in the beginning of the episode, a funeral, where this blues 70's thing is playing and killing the otherwise somber mood.  I think a slow instrumental piano or cello piece would have been more fitting.  The other place is where the FBI are rounding up mobsters in slow motion as opera music is blaring.

Not all of the music is this mismatched.  I love the part and the end of the first episode where an instrumental rock piece builds in intensity as Matt trains in Fogwell's Gym, and we're shown glimpses of the criminal element he'll spend the rest of the season fighting.  And the theme music is beautiful, with somber piano, strings and bells.  But when the music doesn't quite work it's really jarring.

Point goes to the movie.

Bottom Line: I really like both.  The movie is underrated and unfairly criticized in my opinion, but is not without flaws.  The show absolutely lives up to the hype.  Great storytelling and fully developed characters that feel like real people.  With adaptions superhero origins that have been told and retold over and over again in comics there is definitely room for more than one interpretation on film.