12th Feb2016

West Week Ever: Pop Culture In Review – 2/12/16

by Will

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First up, I watched Tomorrowland. It’s really a shame that it bombed, as I enjoyed it immensely. It was the first movie I’ve seen in a while that felt “cinematic”, as in the story could only be told in a movie. It’s sort of hard to describe, though. Imagine there’s a secret, futuristic world that’s made especially for the dreamers and the thinkers. And that world has been cut off to the rest of humanity. Until now. Starring George Clooney, his character, Frank Walker, was invited to Tomorrowland as a young boy, but was kicked out during young adulthood. Now, a young woman has started seeing visions of Tomorrowland, and she seeks out Walker for answers. It starts out all futury, but then it gets kinda preachy about the power of human potential, and the fact that we’re spiraling toward Armageddon is our own fault. I’m simply AMAZED it got a PG rating, as there’s some pretty gratuitous violence against robots. Sure, they’re robots, but they look like humans, and they’re being decapitated and shit. I think part of the problem with the movie was its marketing, as it was shrouded in secrecy. Had they made it a bit more known that there was a female protagonist, they probably could’ve tapped into the Hunger Games/Divergent market. Anyway, I liked it so much that I watched it twice. I highly recommend it.

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Then, last night, I watched Deadpool. Where to even begin? I didn’t love it, but I liked it. But I honestly didn’t even really like it until the 3rd act. It’s an R-rated movie, and it completely earns that R. I’ve argued that a Deadpool movie doesn’t have to be R-rated, but the folks clamoring for an R-rated Deadpool won’t be disappointed.

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I was a little late to the Deadpool party, as the character was created in 1991, but I didn’t really start reading him until the end of the middle of the ’00s. While created by Rob Liefeld, most of the character that we know now was fleshed out by writers Fabian Nicieza and Joe Kelly. When I picked up the book, it was during the character’s resurgence for the Secret Invasion storyline. A new solo book was launched in 2008, where Deadpool fancied himself a hero. No longer truly a mercenary, he was trying to be accepted by the heroes of the Marvel Universe. And when he did take a job, it was usually against an alien or something. All of this is to say that, within his own solo title, Deadpool hasn’t killed in YEARS. So, it’s kinda jarring to see a character who’s most recently resorted to cartoony violence actually blowing the brains out of folks. Did he ever really do this in the comics, or is this what fans wanted him to do? Like, is this movie just cinematic wish fulfillment?

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I had a lot of problems with the film. Most of the action scenes were already shown in the trailers. Deadpool’s pop culture references are hella dated. And I really didn’t feel like he was ugly enough. That said, I enjoyed the fact that he broke the fourth wall (probably my favorite aspect of the character), and I liked the addition of Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Deadpool’s just as quippy as you’d expect him to be, which is kinda exhausting. Someone on Twitter remarked that not all of the jokes hit their mark, but they’re fired so rapidly that a funny one will come along before you know it. I didn’t laugh very much. In fact, the only part that was genuinely funny to me was a discussion between Deadpool and Blind Al about IKEA furniture.

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At the end of the day, this wasn’t my Deadpool. I love the character, but I love him as he’s currently, and most recently been, depicted in the comics. “Deadpool fans” seem to be clamoring for a murdering mercenary Deadpool that I haven’t really experienced. This movie was for them, but it wasn’t for me. It’ll make a ton of money, and folks will believe that Deadpool is this one-dimensional when I feel like recent writers Daniel Way and Gerry Duggan have shown you can do more with the character than simply have him slice off folks’ heads. There’s a sadness to Deadpool that I never really felt come across in the movie. He laughs to keep from crying. He’s really a tragic character, but I feel like a lot of that gets lost in the love story that the movie’s built around. He doesn’t have time for self-pity when he’s trying to win back his girl, but current Deadpool spends a lot of time in his own head. That may not sound like the most exciting comic, but it makes for some great reading. Anyway, enjoy your movie, you savages!

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Speaking of Marvel movies, we got a new trailer during the Super Bowl for Captain America: Civil War. At the end, they introduced hashtags for you to proclaim whether you’re #TeamIronMan or #TeamCap. I’m surprised I’m seeing so many people are #TeamCap seeing as how everything in that TV spot showed them as the aggressor in this whole thing. That was the beauty of the comic – it’s polarizing. I happen to think Tony was right, and didn’t appreciate that he was written as the bad guy. You’re supposed to rally around Cap because he’s the underdog and he’s CAP, but he was wrong. And he was breaking the law. Anyway, I wish this story had been Avengers 3 instead of a Cap movie, as I feel it unfairly skews things Caps way, without being fair and balanced.

While we’re on the subject of comic book movies, we finally got a Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer that makes me want to see this movie. It debuted yesterday, and it’s a thing of beauty. THIS is what the original trailer should’ve been. Instead, it took them 3 tries to get to this. We finally get to see Batfleck in action, dispelling any fears we might’ve had of him taking on the role. We get a taste of Wonder Woman, without getting too much, and we kinda get to see the whole matter from Batman’s perspective. Maybe that’s what’s got me biased, but I think it’s an A+ trailer all around.

Things You Might Have Missed This Week

    • Hayley Atwell has been cast as the lead in ABC’s pilot Conviction, leaving the future of Agent Carter in doubt. Based on the ratings, however, a third season was going to be a long shot at this point.
    • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee debuted on TBS on Monday, and was simulcast on Adult Swim. The show is basically Last Week Tonight with a female host. TBS doesn’t understand comedy, though, so don’t expect it to last long.

  • In Fuller House news, we finally got a trailer with actual footage in it. Did they say “damn” on the original show? Me thinks not. Anyway, here’s hoping we get a FuckYeahJodieSweetin Tumblr out of this.
  • Beyoncé did some shit and everybody was talking about it. Whatever.

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This week was the Super Bowl, which meant nothing but celebrities in commercials. On, and there was a football game, too. The matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos was not a particularly exciting one, as neither team was playing their best. Still, the Broncos’ defense helped them to win the game, 24-10. Not only was it special for being the 50th Super Bowl, but it was also speculated to be Peyton Manning’s final game. Having played the game since 1998, you couldn’t have written a better storybook ending on which to go out. Or could you? A lot of folks have been insinuating that the game was rigged – simply to give Peyton that ending so many felt he deserved. It also didn’t look good to some when Manning kissed Papa John Schnatter after the win, and then proceeded to shill for Budweiser. These folks forget, however, that that is exactly what Budweiser PAYS him to do. Anyway, we’re a Broncos family, as my lovely wife hails from the Mile High City, so there was nothing but joy in our household. So, it’s for that reason that the Denver Broncos had the West Week Ever.

One Response to “West Week Ever: Pop Culture In Review – 2/12/16”

  • I’ve never been a huge Deadpool fan but the movie looks to offer something a bit different. So I’m interested.

    I’d argue that Rick Remender did the most to move Deadpool to the non-killing hero instead of mercenary through his Uncanny X-Force run. Deadpool started as a merc for hire but by the end was kind of a father figure for Evan, a teen reincarnation of Apocalypse. It was kind of sweet.

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