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Netflix’s Luke Cage is Cool as Shit

Written by K.C. Murdock

Luke Cage is one bad ass man. He is also a bulletproof Black Man in a Hoodie defending Harlem. Is it reflective of things going on in our society today? Nope, because black men in hoodies are not bullet proof and you only have to turn on the news or look at your Facebook feed to see that. Recently actors Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Simone Missick (Misty Knight) were on the new show AMC’s Geeking Out with Kevin Smith and Greg Grunberg to talk about the new show and they were asked directly about the Hoodie vs the old school look and the responsibility that comes with playing strong Black Characters. Mike Colter, “For sure there was talk about it. He’s a man on the run, so it made sense to try and hide his face a little bit, but at the same time he was a good person doing good and we wanted to blend those two things the dichotomy of yes he looks like your quote unquote hoodlum; but at the same time he’s a good guy.” “This is not a #BlackLivesMatter show. But we can’t ignore what’s going on right now. What better super power right now than to be bulletproof.” luke-cage-comic-bookMike and Simone both talked about the thrill of playing such iconic characters in an all new way and leaving behind the old school look from the 1970’s. Which, if you have watched all the episodes of Luke Cage then you saw him in the look briefly where he even says, “You look ridiculous.” ha ha that was a great nod to the original character.

Introducing Luke Cage previously in Jessica Jones was such a brilliant move. It gave Netflix the opportunity to jump right into the series without doing the whole backstory thing like every Spider-man movie has overdone. Instead they got right into the story and the action followed right after. They didn’t start sprinkling in the backstory till a few episodes into the series and revealing how he got his powers till episode 4. Colter is so damn cool in this that he is absolutely Luke Cage and you submerge into their world instantaneously. And their world is Harlem.

Shot in Harlem this series has the gritty street toughness it needs to add realism in a comic book setting. The music adds so much to the show. Elements of hip hop, soul, blues, and some really great mash up sounds add energy to every scene that feels like it’s own character in the show. Every time they go to the club and there is live music those scenes are so hot in the first few episodes. And then again in the last episode. The music and the bands are so good in this I want to buy their albums, but on top of that is some gorgeous editing using the music driving home the storyline and setting a tone for the show. The scoring of the show in general is great by Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge that perfectly takes you between decades of musical feelings that add value to the time period this is filmed in while paying homage to the old school. Seriously, where are they finding all this great music and how much of it are they producing for this show? The music is a big part of the show and as it should be.

Method Man while being held up, “Are you seriously trying to have a conversation right now?” he says to his fan that is holding up the store.  Ha ha ha ha that had me dying of laughter and his delivery of that was great, but if you are looking to take a cool Superhero and make him cooler then just give him a hoodie exchange with Method Man cause that shit was cool. But they aren’t done yet??? Next to take things to an even Doper level you put Method Man on SWAY’s Universe with possibly the sickest hero inspired song with lyrics poignant to today’s societal issues with some nerd reference mixed in……..Bulletproof Love. I seriously watched this radio scene like 5 times in a row. Great editing too as they show the streets helping confuse the cops and having Luke’s back with Holey Hoodies. Brilliant!

A friend was complaining about the fight choreography and that would be my only complaint too. In the flashbacks we get to see Luke and Diamondback’s backstory as kids together. Diamondback is training Luke on how to be a boxer and fight, but then when it gets to their actual fight you don’t see much technique. It seemed like all of the choreography was made to look big and cool but the moves were sloppy. I understand that they were trying to show their super sized strength, but it was kind of boring. You can only throw someone through a wall or punch someone  across the street so many times. The undertaking of choreography for such an epic fight must be hard to put together, film and edit; but I hope those action scenes do get better for season 2. Unfortunately, Daredevil has kind of set the bar for action sequences and this show falls very short. But other than that I enjoyed everything else.

Oh, man the writing of this is so good. I love the way scenes are allowed to drag on and play out nice and slowly. The dialogue delivered intently by the actors never in a hurry. Mahershala Ali (Cottonmouth) delivers such a powerful performance in those moments when the scenes are taking their sweet time and he gets to emote a scary quiet reserved confidence that you know will snap any moment kinda crazy. Not like it’s any surprise cause he is amazing in House of Cards. OH FUCK! Didn’t see that coming? Glad to see this show is even touching on Rape Culture and Victim Blaming too. Cottonmouth had it coming but that is most definitely not how I saw it coming.  That was an intense scene and only adding to the twists and turns that is this Luke Cage season 1. 

Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple) enters the show and that is exciting as hell cause we love her and everything she does, but on top of that she ties in the Marvel universe on Netflix with appearances in Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Besides her character is pretty cool. She works under the radar and isn’t surprised by extra special humans. She handles every extraordinary situation with ease and ice in her veins. Every Superhero needs a friend like this and of course she will have to save the day.

Alfre Woodard (Mariah Stokes) comes along and just tears up the screen with her performance. Her character goes through so much complexity driving her from a secondary role to someone to be reckoned with and in charge. Turns out that is a family thing and the ladies are always in charge. She is an amazing actress.

And Sons of Anarchy fan favorite Theo Rossi (Shades Alvarez) is absolutely creepy cool awesome in this role. He is so much more than just a henchman or a thug in this. He is a major player in the behind the scenes criminal world and a killer without remorse. Gotta love him in this. He has a very sinister look about him already and then he gives this wicked half joker smile that says, “I’m about to fuck some shit up!” but calmly. And that he does. Often.

Simone Missick (Misty Knight) is the tough cop battling against the system to help the community and Luke Cage. Of course things don’t always go as planned which gives her character a rollercoaster ride of emotions to go through. Simone gives a great performance as both good cop and bad cop.

Erik LaRay Harvey (Diamondback) is a great villain. So many great one liners delivered with playful malice. Always shows up out of nowhere with that big smile. He has a coolness about him that reminds me of Candyman, but as a gangster with an eccentric flair and is a death machine. Add the family twist that fuels his hatred towards Cage. I really like his performance. It has swagger to it, but borders being overly cheesy in a comic book way and rides that edge the whole time reminding you he is one bad mother fucker from a comic book. Very entertaining.

Luke Cage doesn’t use swear words and hates the words Nigga or Nigger. Which I love. Yes, I am a foul mouthed asshole and I use the word FUCK the way my Mom puts too much mayo on every thing with bread, but it’s refreshing to see in that world where you could easily have him cursing like Jessica Jones does. Yes, I am Scottish and I am vampire white the way the sun cooks me, but let me explain why my white ass is so happy about Luke Cage’s disdain for the words Nigga and Nigger. I was fortunate to see an old friend this summer that I have not seen in 16 years and hang out his house with a few drinks like the good old days. He is a grandpa now with a ton of nephews that look up to him the way I did in my 20’s. He was my boss and 10 years older than me but more than that he was my friend. Remembering all we have been through together he started to make fun of me the first time he introduced me to his family and friends as “His Nigga” and as you could expect I froze in my tracks with no reply. He then begin to mimic the look on my scared ass face and I begun to laugh at my 20 year old self, because it was pretty accurate to how I remember it going down. 20 years ago, give or take (not counting), as we sat around a fire with beers and blunts my Brother broke it down for me. “K.C., you damn right should be jumpy with that word and your cracker ass shouldn’t use it, but I called you that cause you are family. You are my brother. You are family. You’re my Nigga. And I’m your Nigga.” As my stoned as sat there dumb founded He looked at me, “You get that?”……..NO, no I didn’t. Not at all back then but learned it after years of friendship and it was all true. And this summer our little reunion proved that no amount of time between us had changed our friendship, but something had changed a lot. My buddy was now telling me about the kids coming up and their language……..their language ha ha. It was the same language but we old now. He gets on his Nephews often about the culture of words and especially certain words are not respectful. Which is something I have come to understand better with age in many aspects of life. Rape culture exists and 2016 has only proved how bad that is as we let swimmers swim free and in another case the Judge himself told the Victim to keep her legs closed. People are horrified about bathrooms and practically want Genitalia Photo ID for public restroom entry because of Transgenders, but let us not forget that it is still not legal for Gays to marry in all 50 states. And all those racist jokes I heard as a kid from my white friends weren’t funny and were indeed RACIST. Look at how the internet treated Leslie Jones for being a Black Female Ghostbuster. What the fuck was that all about? I think she is great and funny. I don’t care that she is a woman or black, but the internet has given everyone access to everything so they can show their truly ugly disgusting side in ways they would not have the balls to do in person. Yep, and as this election goes on it only shows me more and more racism. I hate it all and can look back on it all with wide open eyes now. I hate that word not because it reminds me of my friend, but because it reminds me of all the hatred that word inspires. That’s why I’m glad this Black Man in a Hoodie is the Hero of Harlem, because it’s about time.

As I am writing this articles are popping up in my Facebook feed about how many people are upset about the lack of white people in a TV show about a Black Superhero in Harlem………….SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK YOU DUMB FUCKING IDIOTIC RACIST ASSHAT FUCKHEAD DOUCHEBAGS!!!!!??????? Now, do you get White Washing? That is when HOLLYWOOD hires white actors like Tom Cruise to play ASIAN characters to boost box office sales even though the original content had NOT ONE WHITE PERSON in it to begin with. OR like when they hired Mexicans to play Native American Indians in old Western Movies, but the Chief was always White. BUT let’s all stop and consider your feelings about not enough white actors working on Luke Cage while citizens, many Black, repeatedly get gunned down by the Police and the News is pretty much promoting division and racism with their one sided reporting. But your annoyance with the political points and Blackness of the show is duly noted. Now shut the fuck up while the adults talk.

Keep kneeling Colin Kaepernick. And be as Black as you wanna be Luke Cage.

LUKE CAGE is badass and very cool!

That’s my official statement and that Mike Colter is so fucking cool.

Once again as the season comes to an end the music is a big part of the show and part of what makes Luke Cage cool as shit. I hope that trend continues into Season 2.

 

Executive Producer

K.C. Murdock

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About the author

K.C. Murdock

Murdock Worldwide Entertainment is the brainchild of President and C.E.O. K.C. Murdock. Created for the distribution of his debut album “Sunlit World”, but took a new direction when on musical hiatus he started the podcast Down the Road Show. The fast growing popularity of that quickly spread to video production at comic cons forever changing DTRShow into the press/media division it has become. As Murdock's profile began to rise in the con circuit he became a more integral part of every con he attended bringing a camera to conventions and utilizing it to record panels and celebrity interviews. From filming to becoming a point of contact for artists, actors and attendees, K.C. kept adding roles to his overall con responsibilities. In the span of a year and a half K.C. went from anonymous attendee to becoming a trusted source for all things convention related.

Armed with camera, K.C. branched off into the Chronicles of Comic Con, a reality based show revolving around comic conventions with skits and commercials intermixed; but K.C. had more plans. He wanted bigger. He envisioned what would become MWE. Recruiting some friends long time writing/creative partner and industry professional Josh Calvert, uber-talented graphic artist Batt Rivera aka Dark Nyte Studios, a comic con insider unknown in the Cosplay community for his personal unique twists on characters, Tyler Wilson as head of web development to build & manage murdockworldwide.com and SEO Guru Steve Wiideman his most trusted web advisor. K.C. had the backbone of a company that would eventually grow into cult status in the seedy pop culture underworld.
M.W.E. has allowed for expansion from that original premise of strictly entertainment production. With the current roster of MWE in place K.C. set his sights on expanding into brand & talent management, branding & social media management services for professionals in the Industry, and event coordination while maintaining an online network with a focus on production and development, Murdock Worldwide Entertainment is poised to become the go-to company for all things media related.

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