17th Oct2014

West Week Ever – 10/17/14

by Will

photovisi-download (2)

 

oie_922142seDasWF9

2014-10-12 11.59.49

The week started with a quick trip up to NYC for the New York Comic-Con. I hadn’t been to the show in years, as it tends to fall on the weekend of my anniversary. You see, the show used to kick off the convention season in February, and then someone got the bright idea to move it to October, thus thwarting my plans! I caught an early morning bus, and got to the show about noon. Remember how I got into Toy Fair? Well, seeing as how the show was sold out, I employed a similar tactic to gain access to NYCC. My name for the day was “Juan” (When I was gonna write a standalone post recapping the show, I thought about calling it “Juan For The Road”, but I got lazy).

2014-10-12 13.03.10

Anyway, after about 10 minutes on the show floor, this chick came up to me and gave me a card about a Dark Horse series called Concrete Park. I looked at the card, and knew she only gave it to me because I was black. I looked up at her, and blurted out, “Hey, I know you!” It was actress Erika Alexander, better known as Cousin Pam from The Cosby Show/Maxine Shaw from Living Single. She had written the comic, and told me to come by the Dark Horse booth at 1 for a free signing. I later went to that signing, and got the above pic taken with her.

2014-10-12 12.28.04

Soon afterwards, I met up with my pal, Jay, and we tried to navigate around the show floor. There were simply too many people there. With a reported 151,000 attendees over the weekend, NYCC is now even bigger than San Diego Comic Con. There have been a lot of articles lately blaming cosplayers for the decline of convention commerce. The argument is that cosplayers jam up the walkways, and take attention away from the professionals trying to make a living. Up til now, I’d been on the side of the cosplayers, as I thought this was just a case of sour grapes from the comic folks. After NYCC, however, my opinion has changed. They really do congregate at the WORST places for photo ops, and it was hard enough to get through as it was. I saw a lot of great cosplay, and would love to have taken pics for a blog post, but I wasn’t about to add to the traffic jam. It’s a shame because there was so much great stuff to see, but no time or space to enjoy it.

2014-10-12 12.51.30

Jay had a 2:00 bus to catch, so after he left, I finally got to meet my Twitter pal @bionicbigfoot (Chris). We’ve been trying to meet for some time, and I’d missed him at Toy Fair. He’s a great guy and the best Archie historian around! At the same time I met him, my buddy @Tekcorps (“Sprocket”) came up and we all walked the show floor together. They got some great deals on dollar box comics, but I just couldn’t find anything to spend money on. The toy selection wasn’t that great, and I couldn’t find any comics that I needed to fill gaps. Still, it was great hanging out with those guys, as it definitely made the trip worthwhile. After Chris left to do an interview, Sprocket and I headed to Artist Alley to see what we could find. It was there that we ran into Twitter buddy @T16Skyhopp (Nik). Since the show was winding down, Sprocket and I decided to leave before the mass exodus of people. We were both headed to Penn Station, so we were gonna split a cab. Unfortunately, we found ourselves on the wrong side of the street of the first available cab. We walked out into the street just as the light turned green, and almost got his by a bus! Let’s just say the cabbie wasn’t too pleased with our stunt, but our money was green, so… Anyway, Sprocket hung out with me as I waited for my bus, and I got to know a lot about him, Eventually, we parted ways, and I headed back home. In all, it was a great trip, but not necessarily because of the convention. The show, itself, was just too much. I’ve been to San Diego, and this felt worse than that. I don’t really like crowds, so this was not the place to be. I didn’t really get anything awesome, and I took part in virtually NO convention programming. What made it a great trip, however, were the people. It’s always great to put a face to a Twitter name, and I look forward to hanging out with them again at Toy Fair. Oh yeah, I’m going back. I just need to figure out who I’m gonna be…

 

Civil War

So, some pop culture news. Reports surfaced that Robert Downey Jr. would be appearing in Captain America 3, seemingly kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of the Civil War storyline. If you’ve never read it, Civil War featured Iron Man and Captain America on opposite sides of an ideological battle. Following the destruction of Stamford, Connecticut, the public calls for regulation of super beings, complete with registration with the government. This was the side that Iron Man chose. The Cap side, however, believed that registration was a violation of their rights, and that they had no reason to make their identities public. As we saw in The Winter Soldier, Cap is already in a place where he doesn’t exactly trust his government, so things are likely to get worst before they get better for him. Still, this movie isn’t coming out until 2016, which feels so far away, so I’m going to wait to get excited about it.

trinity

Speaking of comic movies that are so far away, Warner Bros finally revealed their plans for their comic book movie universe. Ten movies are slated through the year 2020, and the list includes:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
Suicide Squad directed by David Ayer (2016)
Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot (2017)
Justice League Part One directed by Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
The Flash starring Ezra Miller (2018)
Aquaman starring Jason Momoa (2018)
Shazam (2019)
Justice League Part Two directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
Cyborg starring Ray Fisher (2020)
Green Lantern (2020)

Where to even begin? It looks like the reports of Momoa as Aquaman were correct, but it’s a shame what’s happening with The Flash. This news should’ve been announced at SDCC, before the premiere of The Flash. Instead, they allowed The Flash to break CW viewing records, and now folks are falling in love with a hero who won’t get a shot at the big screen. This is reminiscent of when Brandon Routh was cast in Superman Returns, while Smallville was a television hit. Things didn’t work out so well for Routh (who now finds himself on the TV version of a DC franchise, Arrow), and I don’t see it working out for Ezra Miller. I don’t know anyone who wants a Cyborg movie, but it shows DC beating Marvel to the punch in terms of diversity, as the slate includes a solo movie for a woman and a black hero. Still, Marvel has several mystery movies that haven’t been announced yet, so they could still shock us by announcing Black Panther or Captain Marvel. I think it’s funny that the Shazam movie is 5 years away because it’s almost like they’re waiting for a star to rise who can hold his own against The Rock. It’s odd that they would cast the charismatic actor as the villain, as there really isn’t anyone who can currently match him onscreen. It almost would’ve made more sense for them to have cast him as Captain Marvel, which would’ve been terrible casting, but would’ve solved the problem of needing a hero with star power. Anyway, I’m sure there are folks out there excited by this news, but I’m not one of them. It’s not the projects themselves that leave me wanting, but it’s the fact that they’re so far away.

Tyrus

In wrestling news, my recently-released favorite WWE wrestler, Brodus Clay, has resurfaced in Total Nonstop Action as “Tyrus”. I love me some Brodus Clay, but I don’t love him enough to watch TNA Impact every week. I just can’t do that to myself. So, I wish him luck, but I’ll catch up with him when he eventually makes his way back to WWE.

This has not been a great week for me on Twitter. First off, some dude called me a “Geekmudgeon” because I hate-watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s just not a great show, and it’s too bad people can’t see that. Anyway, it escalated to the point where I ended up blocking him, and I never block anyone! Things got worse, however, the next day. You see, I had missed the premiere of Casey Wilson’s Marry Me, and tweeted about it. In that tweet, I also kinda mentioned that the fact that it starred SNL alum Tim Meadows meant that it wouldn’t last. It’s true! Look at his IMDB! Anyway, guess who Twitter searched his name?

meadows

Not only did he find it, but he retweeted it! Then, when I acknowledged that I noticed his retweet, he retweeted that! It’s like he wanted to mobilize his fans against me, but nobody said a thing. Why don’t people ever see when I say good things about them? I DO! Sometimes.

revengerclassick

Have you been listening to Classick Team-Up lately? Not only did he have the debut of the Thrift Justice duo on a podcast, but he’s also had some great interviews with @LamarRevenger and @P0lishPhen0m lately. Head over to the Cold Slither Podcast Network to check it out.

Arrow

“YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY!” Oh man, oh man, oh man! Guys, I am so late to the party here, and I completely acknowledge that it’s my own fault. You’ve been telling me that Arrow was great, and I just wouldn’t listen. I reviewed the pilot when it first aired, but then I never went back. Last Saturday night, I decided to rewatch the pilot on Netflix and I’ve been bingewatching it ever since. I’m still on season 1, so please don’t spoil anything for me! I LOVE this show, and I think I prefer watching it like this, as I don’t think I could wait a week between some of those cliffhangers. Stephen Amell is great as Oliver Queen, and he’s like a young, hotter Chris O’Donnell. Meanwhile, Laurel is like a pretty Maggie Gyllenhaal. And socially awkward Felicity Smoak is my new favorite fictional character. Everything I thought about this show was wrong, and I can’t get enough of it. I want to discuss it with folks and shout it from the mountaintops, but I’ve got to get caught up first. I’m sure this probably should go to NYCC or the DC announcements, but nothing rocked my world this week like Arrow. For that reason, Arrow had the West Week Ever.

 

10th Oct2014

West Week Ever – 10/10/14

by Will

photovisi-download

 

oie_922142seDasWF9

First of all, thanks to everyone for the kind words in regards to my West BABY Ever?! post. We’re all excited at West HQ, and we’ve got a lot to do between now and March. I know some of you out there are also moms and dads, so I’ll take any advice that you might have to offer!

mulaney

In television, the week started with the premiere of Mulaney, the Fox sitcom starring standup comic/former SNL writer John Mulaney. I had high hopes for this show, but none of the clips I’d seen made me feel good about it. Once the show premiered, my hopes were further dashed. At its best, Mulaney is a pale imitation of Seinfeld. It starts out with Mulaney doing standup for the audience, a la early Seinfeld, and Nasim Pedrad is doing her best Elaine Benes. There’s even a quirky annoying neighbor named Andre who fills the Kramer slot. At its worst, it’s just a dreadfully unfunny sitcom, made even more unbearable by Martin Short hamming it up. I’ve never been a Short fan, and I feel like he just makes a bad show worse in this case. One of my major gripes whenever comedians get shows is that they write episodes based on their act. While it’s new to those unfamiliar with the comedian, if you’ve already heard the jokes, then it just feels tired. Mulaney’s pilot is based off a joke in his act where he describes how he went to the doctor to get a Xanax prescription, but goes too far in describing his ailments, and ends up getting a prostate exam. It’s actually the combination of two separate Mulaney bits, but they’re much funnier as jokes than as a sitcom subplot. The rest of the episode involved Mulaney trying to prove himself to the eccentric Short, who has hired him as a writer. I LOVE Mulaney’s standup, and if you’ve never experienced it, check out New In Town or The Top Part. This show, however, is not the best showcase for his talents. Ratings were pretty poor, so it’s probably not long for this world, which is a shame. It had so much potential, but I can see why NBC passed on it.

TwinPeaks_openingshotcredits

Next, minds were blown when it was announced that Twin Peaks is returning to television in 2016, as a limited series on Showtime. I’ve never experienced the show, but I love the theme song, as it was on the first volume of Pure Moods. I figure now’s as good a time as any to get acquainted with the show, so I know I’ll catch up somehow before 2016 rolls around. I’ve got time.

635482677524950002-STEPHEN-COLLINS

Then, shit got crazy as it turned out that the LAPD is investigating 7th Heaven‘s Stephen Collins on possible child molestation charges. This sent ripples through Hollywood, and resulted in Collins being fired from Ted 2, as well as a guest spot on Scandal. He seems to be laying low for the time being, but I see this situation getting worse before it gets better. What I’m curious about, however, is how the news got out. Apparently, Collins admitted past incidents during a therapy session that was recorded. Now, I thought things said in those environments were confidential, but I guess it’s different if they were scared he’d strike again.

blackish

Black-ish received a full-season order from ABC yesterday, which is great news for the show. I, however, am on the fence as to whether I like it or not. My biggest problem stems from the fact that every episode seems to involve Anthony Anderson trying to figure a way to “black up” his son. In Anderson’s eyes, Andre just isn’t black enough. I have problems with the idea that something makes someone more black than someone else. Maybe this is something that hits close to home for me, but I tire of watching Anderson try and fail to make his son live up to some standard of blackness that he holds. I’d love for an episode to end with Anderson realizing that Andre is OK just how he is. We kinda got that ending this week, but the show will be back next week, and I’m sure Anderson will be back at it again. I enjoyed this week’s topic about the Black Guy Head Nod, but in educating the public, I almost feel like the show is giving away our cultural secrets. Whatever. I’m just talking out of my butt and it’s late. All I know is that no one should have to live up to someone else‘s standard of blackness. That’s just ignorant.

Amazing-Spider-Man-2-Official-High-Res-Banner-570x301

In movie news, there are rumors that Marvel and Sony are in talks for Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On top of this, there are also rumors that the Spider-Man franchise may be rebooted AGAIN with the planned Sinister Six movie. It’s being reported that whether or not Spidey appears in something like Avengers 3 will hinge on the box office success of the Sinister Six film. I think we all knew that it would be rebooted eventually, but I think we were just getting used to Andrew Garfield. Anyway, we should get used to stunts like this as Sony will stop at nothing to keep those rights from reverting back to Marvel. Sure, they may share Spidey, but they’re not gonna just give him up. I don’t care what they do as long as I don’t have to sit through another origin. I already know his origin story. Everyone knows his origin story. Let’s just start the next iteration in media res.

BM_Cv35_ds

In comic news, Batman was about to become the first monthly $4.99 comic, but writer Scott Snyder came on the scene and said that he would talk to DC about lowering the price back to $3.99. Earlier this week, he announced that next month the book would be back to the $3.99 price. Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’m cynical or what, but I refuse to believe that DC lowered the price because a writer asked them to do so. Comic companies don’t care that much about the talent, and they certainly don’t consult them on business decisions, such as pricing. Maybe retailer outcry did it or maybe fan outcry did it, but I refuse to thank Scott Snyder for something that I really don’t think he had a hand in changing. It certainly makes him look good to the fans, however.

No, this isn't from a comic. I couldn't find a good scan as of press time.

No, this isn’t from a comic. I couldn’t find a good scan as of press time.

While we’re on the topic of comics, something really grinds my gears in Marvel books lately. I’ve noticed a lot of guest spots with Tony Stark showing him drinking. Now, if you know anything about Stark, it’s that he’s an alcoholic. The movies don’t really get into it, but the comics have certainly dealt with it. Now, I forgot that he fell off the wagon during the Fear Itself event. They made it seem like he “magically gave up his sobriety”, but that’s a fanciful way of saying he fell off the wagon. And I guess he never got back on, as he’s still being depicted drinking. I think that’s kinda irresponsible coming from the company that refuses to show anyone smoking anymore just because Joe Quesada’s dad died of lung cancer. It seems like they’re picking and choosing their high horse, and it just seems sort of wrong to me. They’re saying that smoking’s bad, but drinking’s whatever. I, personally, don’t have an issue with either, but I feel like if you’re gonna hitch your moral wagon to lung cancer, you could also do so for alcoholism. I feel stupid for even getting upset about this, but this is the sort of problem you run into when comic companies want to apply real world politics to their books.

Weeabos lost their minds when Hatsune Miku performed on Letterman this week. If you’ve never heard of Miku, that’s because “she” is not real – it’s a hologram. Yeah, I don’t really understand it, but here’s some video:

My pal Keith submitted this for West Week Ever, and it almost won. In high school, they used to call me Carlton and, yes, I can do the dance. That’s why this clip from Dancing With The Stars made me smile:

The-Flash

This week, we experienced the premiere of yet another comic book television show. Unlike Gotham and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., however, this one hit all the right notes. The Flash premiered on The CW, giving the network its highest ratings in five years. Those viewers were deserved, too, as the show is superb. It’s an optimistic show, with colorful heroes – a nice departure from the current stuff that seems to be ashamed that it’s adapted from a comic book. I just can’t get into Gotham, but I loved every second of the Flash when I first saw the “leaked” pilot over the summer. Grant Gustin makes me care about Barry Allen – something I never thought was possible, and I love the entire cast, from Jesse L. Martin to Tom Cavanagh. And that final scene?! I will definitely be back next week, and without a doubt, The Flash had the West Week Ever.

 

 

16th Sep2014

Wizard World Richmond 2014 – A $25 Show at Twice The Price

by Will

2014-09-13 10.46.50

So, that title isn’t too optimistic. At the end of the day, it was a good experience, but it wasn’t without its issues. I’d never been to a Wizard World show before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  Considering Wizard has been putting on shows for years, I expected a well-oiled machine, even if this was their first foray into Richmond.  I had been to the VA Comicon in Richmond, so surely it had to better than that, right? Right?! Why was I making the +2 hour trip to Richmond? One reason: to meet Jason David Frank, the original Green Power Ranger. After crossing meeting Stan Lee and Adam West off my bucket list, that left one person I wanted to meet. My Power Rangers fandom has been covered at great length, so this should come as a surprise to no one. This as the closest Frank appearance in years, so I talked Special Forces into joining me, and we made the trip.

2014-09-13 10.55.42

We got to the Greater Richmond Convention Center around 10, just as the show was starting. We didn’t prebuy tickets because we didn’t want to pay the online fee. This meant that tickets at the door were $55 for one day. That’s more than twice the Sunday price for Baltimore Comic-Con. Surely, I’d get my money’s worth, right? Or so I thought. We walked into the showroom and started to make the rounds. We were done by 11 AM. There just weren’t enough booths to fill up all the space.

They eventually put up a curtain so kids couldn't see all the vibrators

They eventually put up a curtain so kids couldn’t see all the vibrators

The first thing to know is that this is more of a pop culture show than a comic convention. This meant that there were only 2 comic vendors, and they were selling the kinds of books that would’ve been on Wizard‘s Top 20 List 20 years ago. Stuff like Venom #1 (not Agent Venom, but the original brain eater) and old issues of Uncanny X-Men. The rest of the vendors sold toys and collectibles – several of whom I’d just seen in Baltimore the earlier in the week. They seemed so pressed for vendors that there were some decidedly non-Con companies there, like Lasik and Adam & Eve. The local CW affiliate was there, promoting this fall’s new shows and giving away temporary Flash tattoos. Artists, like Neal Adams, Arthur Suydam, and Kevin Eastman, were scattered amongst the vendor booths.

At the back of the room were the celebrity autograph booths. In addition to Jason David Frank, there was Ernie Hudson, Sean Patrick Flanery, Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Cain, Ron Pearlman, Batista, Michael Rooker, James Marsters and Lou Ferrigno. Oh, and the guy who plays Slade on Arrow. On top of the admission paid to get into the show, you then had to pay extra for autographs and photo ops. These prices ranged from $30-100, depending on the celebrity. I was amazed by how much Dean Cain thought he could charge for an autograph, and I wasn’t alone, as he didn’t have much of a line all day. Oh yeah, Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager was there, and he didn’t seem to have much demand either. I mean, he’s one of the lesser characters of the most hated Trek show. What do ya expect? Cameras weren’t allowed in that area, as they wanted you to pay for pictures, so we didn’t linger there for long. Seeing as how my prepaid photo op with Frank (another $55) wasn’t until 6:30, we had to find some way to kill the next 7 hrs. We were gonna have to go to some panels.

Usually when I go to cons, I avoid the panels because they take up valuable showroom time, and most are recapped online anyway. Lately, I don’t even look at the con programming, since I have no plans to take part in any of it. This time, however, we had to go to some panels just to kill time. The first one that caught our eye was a 30-minute preview of Gotham, courtesy of Fox. It seemed odd to me that they would only show us 30 minutes of a 45-minute show, but free is free. The panel was from 12:00-12:30, and they didn’t get started until about 12:10. Before it starts, they tell us they had plans to show the whole pilot, but Fox had pulled it from them the day before. So, we’d now be watching a 20-minute preview sent by the network. What we ended up getting was a 10-minute future DVD featurette about the show and nothing else. People started leaving the minute we were told it wasn’t the pilot, but more people left during the featurette. I don’t believe that the Wizard World staff ever had the whole pilot because the pre-printed programs already mentioned that it was a 30-minute preview, which wouldn’t have been enough time for the pilot anyway. I think they always meant to show the featurette and just covered it up by saying Fox pulled the pilot from them.

2014-09-13 10.17.34

Once the Gotham thing was done, we went back to the show floor and made the rounds a few more times. Mainly, we’d stop by the CW booth to see if they had their prize wheel out again. It was at this time that I finally talked Special Forces into doing Sci Fi Speed Dating. If you’ll remember, about a year ago, TLC had a special called Geek Love, about sci-fi speed dating – an event that took place at SDCC and the New York Comic-Con. I guess the guy decided to expand, as here he was in Richmond, VA. We had passed his table several times, and he’d called out to us. I couldn’t do it, ’cause ya know, married, but SF was fair game. Once I agreed to finance it (it was free for women, but $20 for men), he finally agreed to do it. When I heard that it was $20, I blurted out, “These better be some top shelf women!” The speed dating host tried to shame me and replied, “And what if they aren’t?” My answer should have been, “Then I want my money back”, but I knew what he wanted to hear. I said, “Well, I guess that’d be alright, too.” Ugh. Anyway, when Mike was done, I asked him how it went. All he could say was “It was stupid! It was dumb.” So, I don’t really know what happened behind those doors…

Packed house for Adam & Burt

Packed house for Adam & Burt

While he was in speed dating, I went to the Adam West and Burt Ward panel, commemorating the release of Batman on DVD and Blu Ray. It was your standard Q&A, complete with stupid questions. One kid asked how many Batphones were used during the filming of the show, while some other folks asked Mayor West questions. No real juicy tidbits came out of it, but it was good to see them in a panel setting since I didn’t get that when I met them at Monster Mania last year.

2014-09-13 15.39.11

After that, we went to the Jason David Frank Q&A session, which was really good. He’s engaging and great with his fans. Like any Q&A, the questions ranged from good to stupid, but he had great answers and stories for all of them. He told us how he’d been invited to Neverland Ranch, but that it was OK because he was over 18. And he told us about how Amy Jo used to get calls from prisoners. In all, it was the best panel of the day.

When it was finally time for my pic with Jason, I was really nervous while I waited in line. Would I smile? Would I pose with my Morpher? I met him and he shook my hand. The pics were an assembly line, but he was nice and gracious the whole time. I told him it was an honor to meet him and shuffled off to pic up my print.

will west with green ranger

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

You didn’t come for all that exposition, though, did you? You probably came for cosplay pics. Well, here ya go!

Wolverine

Wolverine

 

Magna Defender from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy

Magna Defender from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy

 

2014-09-13 10.22.30-1

Harley & Joker

 

The Tick & Lil Deathstroke

The Tick & Lil Deathstroke

 

Um....some anime something.

Um….some anime something.

 

2014-09-13 10.38.42

Kick Ass & Hit Girl

 

No clue, but it was cool and ornate.

No clue, but it was cool and ornate.

 

Batman '66 & Catwoman

Batman ’66 & Catwoman

 

Last Airbender Aang

Last Airbender Aang

 

"MASTADON!"

“MASTADON!”

 

Ghostbuster

Ghostbuster

 

Nick Fury

Nick Fury

 

The friendliest Joker you'll ever meet

The friendliest Joker you’ll ever meet

 

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Supervillain Pirate Lasses

Supervillain Pirate Lasses

 

Boba Fett

Boba Fett

 

He is THE LAW!

He is THE LAW!

 

No clue, but it looked cool

No clue, but it looked cool

 

Loki

Loki

 

Firefly Jaynes

Firefly Jaynes

 

Arrow & Black Canary

Arrow & Black Canary

 

A black Harley! A Blarley!

A black Harley! A Blarley!

 

Steampunk Ghostbuster

Steampunk Ghostbuster

 

Zatanna

Zatanna

 

Rogue & Friends

Rogue & Friends

 

No clue, but it was impressive.

No clue, but it was impressive.

 

Bat Family

Bat Family

 

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

 

Katniss (?), Batman, Rogue, and Logan

Katniss (?), Batman, Rogue, and Logan

 

 Joker & Harley #3? I lost track.

Joker & Harley #3? I lost track.

 

Poison Ivy and Lisa from Weird Science. I love the look on that dude's face!

Poison Ivy and Lisa from Weird Science. I love the look on that dude’s face!

 

The second greatest Ranger of all time.

The second greatest Ranger of all time.

 

Batman & Storm

Batman & Storm

 

MEGATRON!

MEGATRON!

 

Ursula

Ursula

 

Gamora

Gamora

 

Cassandra Cain Batgirl

Cassandra Cain Batgirl

12th Sep2014

West Week Ever – 9/12/14

by Will

photovisi-download

oie_922142seDasWF9

von trier

Last week, I mentioned that I’d wait til this week to cover all the Netflixin’ I’ve been doing lately. Well, first up is Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. I wanted to see this film when it was first announced, but there was no way I was going to watch it in a theater. It’s a four-hour story, broken up into 2 two-hour volumes. It took me a little over 3 weeks to get through it all, as I needed some time to digest volume one before I tackled the second one. Where to begin with this? Well, it starts out with Stellan Skarsgard (the old scientist guy from the Thor movies) finding a beaten up Charlotte Gainsbourg in an alley, and he takes her home to nurse her wounds. As she recuperates, “Joe” regales him with tales of her life as a nymphomaniac. The tales range from awkward to hilarious (especially the Uma Thurman chapter). Despite the sex, it’s not a sexy movie. In fact, her life as a nymphomaniac wasn’t very fulfilling, as she pursued sex to fill a void inside herself. There’s still some hardcore sex, though. Whether you want to or not, you even get a glimpse of Shia LeBeouf’s “La beef”. If you’re a 13 year old boy, and you’re reading this, most of the sex is in volume 1. There, I saved you 2 hours of your life so you can go play Destiny or whatever.

Volume 1 focuses on Joe’s youth, and has most of the sex, but the real character development starts in Volume 2, as you learn more about Joe and Skarsgard’s Seligman. In fact, there’s a reveal pretty early on in Volume 2 that telegraphs how the movie is gonna end, even though you really don’t want it to happen. Anyway, there’s more to the movie than sex, and it’s a really engaging story. I especially enjoyed the interplay between Gainsbourg and Skarsgard. She educates him about sex, while he educates her about philosophy and history. Even though they met the night before, you really see their friendship develop. Apparently, there’s a 5-hour cut of the film, which debuted at the Venice Film Fest. I enjoyed the saga enough that I’d actually be interested in seeing what the extra hour holds, but I hear it contains a scene of Joe performing her own abortion. Jay-sus! If you like artsy fartsy erotic stuff, I highly recommend Nymphomaniac.

bojack_horseman

One thing I didn’t expect to like, but grew to love, was Bojack Horseman. As a Netflix original series, Bojack Horseman is an animated series that focuses on the titular Bojack, a washed up former star of a TGIF-esque sitcom in the 90s. As the series begins, he’s teamed up with a ghostwriter to help him write his memoir. In the 90s, Bojack was the star of Horsin’ Around, a sitcom where he took in 3 orphans and hilarity ensued. He hasn’t done much in the 18 years since the show went off the air, and he’s something of a Hollywood joke. The problem, however, is that he doesn’t seem to realize just how much of a joke he is until his ghostwriter starts working on the book. Will Arnett is perfect as the voice of Bojack, and the voice cast also includes Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, and Aaron Paul. After so much time on Breaking Bad, it’s refreshing to have Paul in a comedic role, and he’s great as stoner with the heart of gold Todd.

At first, it was hard to get into the world of the show, as humans coexist with talking animals, but I got over that quickly. One thing I loved about the show is the continuity, as you really feel like the 12 episodes are one big story, instead of typical episodic television. For example, Bojack’s former costar sets fire to his ottoman in the middle of the season, and the ottoman remains burned for the rest of the series. The events build off of each other, leading to a satisfying ending that I didn’t see coming. I felt that Bojack was gonna lose all his money and be forced to get a job. I’m so glad I was wrong about that. It’s already been greenlit for a second season, and those new episodes can’t come quickly enough for me!

batmobile

Zack Snyder revealed the Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice Batmobile the other day. Man, am I sick of tankish Batmobiles! I’m ready for something sleek again. I know this is supposedly influenced by The Dark Knight Returns, so I can understand the need for a Bat Tank, but it’s not necessarily what I want. I’m not even gonna get started on the guns…

23-jump-street-is-coming-5e8f4a7e-32f3-40f1-99cb-0eb320a869f2

They’re making 23 Jump Street! This isn’t much of a surprise, as I’m pretty sure everyone involved likes money. That said, I’m scared they can’t eke out a 3rd movie. After all, the second one is basically the same as the first, but a lot of the humor came from them acknowledging that. I can’t deal with another Rush Hour 3, though. I don’t know how they can do the whole “This is the same movie as the first” a second time. I’ll watch it, and I eagerly await it, but I’m scared.

Che

It was announced last night that Cecily Strong is out as co-anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. Last season, when Seth Meyers left to helm Late Night, he was replaced with Colin Jost. While it’s true that Jost and Strong lacked chemistry, I hardly believe that she was the problem. Everyone I know hated Jost’s delivery, though most felt that he would eventually ease into the role. I know that Lorne probably wants to shake things up for season 40, but this hardly seems like the way to go. In any case, Cecily will remain as a cast member, while her Weekend Update seat will be occupied by comedian Michael Che. Apparently, Che comes from The Daily Show, so he’s got a resume, but time will tell on whether or not he’s the right fit for the Weekend Update desk.

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There was a Married…With Children reunion this week, as the cast reunited to celebrate Katey Sagal getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They look good, and I’m glad to see Sagal getting some recognition. In related news, E! is reporting that MWC may get the Girl Meets World treatment, as Sony wants to do a spinoff focusing on Bud Bundy and his family. It’s just in the pitch phase now, so nothing may come from it.

250px-Titans2008_01

Speaking of questionable moves in the television industry, there’s word that TNT is close to picking up a live action Titans series. I really don’t know what they hope to do that 10 seasons of Smallville didn’t already accomplish. I mean, by the end of that show, hadn’t we basically seen everyone they could possible give us in a DC TV series? According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show will focus on Nightwing as he sheds the Robin identity and strikes out on his own to lead his own team. So, we’re basically getting another Batman Without Batman show. I mean, most of the budget will be spent on Beast Boy’s transformations anyway. Anyway, it’s just pilot talk, and nothing will probably ever come from it. Plus, TNT seems like a horrible home for this project. They know drama, not capes.

Nev

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw punches. Everyone and their mom had an opinion on the Ray Rice situation this week, and the media made sure that we got all the celebrity reactions. Well, one such reaction came from everyone’s favorite Internet detective, Catfish‘s Nev Schulman. He tweeted a selfie in an elevator, with the caption, “Real men show strength through patience and honor. This elevator is abuse free.” Ugh. He sounds like the kinda douche nozzle who calls himself a feminist just to help him hit on women. Why do I say that? Well, in his recently released book, In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age, he recounts the time he was kicked out of Sarah Lawrence College for punching a girl in the face. He paints it as a situation where he lashed out at someone who didn’t want him taking her picture, whom he didn’t realize was a woman until after he hit her. Other accounts claim he just whaled on this chick. You can even read the victim’s account of the whole matter. Whatever happened, Schulman was arrested but the case was dismissed. Still, he was kicked out of Sarah Lawrence, so I guess he feels like he “did his time”. Either way, he probably should’ve kept his mouth shut this week, as his book has been available for months, yet nobody said anything about this event until he decided to put a spotlight on himself. So, either his fans were willing to give him a pass, or nobody read his book until this week.

apple-watch

Apple introduced the Apple Watch this week, which is basically the Galaxy Gear with the battery life of one day. So, have fun with that, Apple Disciples!

boba

I’d bet that Walgreens has never had as much foot traffic as its stores have gotten over the past week. Why? Well, Walgreens has entered the exclusive toy arena by carrying the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Agent Venom figure, as well as the Star Wars Black Series 6″ Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) figure. I live in CVS country, so there are only a handful of Walgreens stores, but I’ve been making the rounds for the past 2 weeks trying to find these figures. Luckily, I found Agent Venom last week, and stumbled upon Fett last Sunday on my way back from Baltimore Comic-Con. I haven’t opened either, as I plan to sell mine, so I can’t really offer a review of the figures. I just wonder how many Walgreens employees thought I was stealing, considering I walked in, looked around, and walked out several times a week. That HAD to look suspicious!

Links I Loved
10 of the Worst Ideas for Board Games Ever – The Robot’s Pajamas

13 New Fall Shows That Will Be Cancelled by Christmas -UnderScoopFire!

In Case You Missed It This Week
Baltimore Comic-Con 2014 In Pictures

tmz

Oh, to go from Ugly Duckling to Belle of the Ball! That’s what it must have felt like to work at TMZ this week. Typically, people hate TMZ and its paparazzi tabloid journalism. That changed this week, however, as TMZ’s reporting led to the release of Ray Rice from the Baltimore Ravens due to domestic violence. The incident happened months ago, but it wasn’t until TMZ released the security footage that shit got real. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely, the Ravens released him, and now NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will probably be fighting for his job now that the truth has come to light. Some people are applauding the NFL for its swift action, but that’s wrong as the NFL could’ve acted sooner, and it wasn’t until the footage went wide that they finally felt pressured to do something. So, TMZ comes out looking like the hero in all of this, and even if you hate to admit it, they were exactly what this situation needed in order for justice to be done. Anyway, I hope the TMZ crew is happy with all of this good press, as folks will probably just go back to hating them next week. For now, however, TMZ had the West Week Ever.

09th Sep2014

Baltimore Comic-Con 2014 In Pictures

by Will

Well, another year, another trip to the Baltimore Comic-Con. This year, I didn’t make it until Sunday, even though this was the first year it was expanded to a 3-day show. This meant that I missed all the Friday and Saturday excitement, but that was fine with me. I actually expected the con to be a ghost town on Sunday, seeing as how it was the opening home game for the Baltimore Ravens. While the game contributed to traffic woes, it didn’t seem to affect the size of the con crowd, as the show was pretty crowded, but not overly so.  If I’m doing m math correctly, this was my 10th year at the show, and the 15th anniversary of it overall. With that in mind, I’ve basically done all there is to do at the show. I’ve seen most of the creators (the guest list doesn’t change much from year to year), and I wasn’t really in a buying mood. So, I went to spend the day with my friends Jay, Emily, and Keith, and I took some pics as we walked around.

Poison Ivy and Emily

Poison Ivy and Emily

 

Cap and The Winter Soldier

Cap and The Winter Soldier

 

Green Arrow #1

Green Arrow #1

 

Falcon, with Working Mechanical Wings

Falcon, with Working Mechanical Wings

 

2014-09-07 12.28.53

I bought the DC poster about 4 years ago, and still haven’t figured out anywhere to hang it.

 

Jerry "The King" Lawler. He wanted $20 for a pic, so I had to take this one on the sly. He looks like Burt Ward if he'd stayed in shape.

Jerry “The King” Lawler. He wanted $20 for a pic, so I had to take this one on the sly. He looks like Burt Ward if he’d stayed in shape.

 

Really cool Bat Mite puppet

Really cool Bat Mite puppet

 

This guy was painting Groot on glass, via a lightbox.

This guy was painting Groot on glass, via a lightbox.

 

Yes, Superman is wearing heels. And yes, he was being led around by a leash. Emily's doing the honors in this pic.

Yes, Superman is wearing heels. And yes, he was being led around by a leash. Emily’s doing the honors in this pic.

 

2014-09-07 13.11.22

Hunter S. Thompson

 

Armored Wonder Woman

Armored Wonder Woman #1

 

Dark Phoenix, getting checked out by Crossbones

Dark Phoenix, getting checked out by Crossbones

 

I have no clue who these kids are, but I figure they're from some YA property, right? Anyway, Link's in the middle.

I have no clue who these kids are, but I figure they’re from some YA property, right? Anyway, Link’s in the middle.

 

Green Arrow #2

Green Arrow #2

 

Comic Fashions #1

Comic Fashions #1

 

2014-09-07 14.13.28

Comic Fashions #2

 

The Merc With The Mouth!

The Merc With The Mouth!

 

These are basically leaked cell phone pics from DC heroines. What, too soon?

These are basically leaked cell phone pics from DC heroines. What, too soon?

 

This was a really cool print that I probably should've bought, but it was easier (read: cheaper) to take a pic of it

This was a really cool print that I probably should’ve bought, but it was easier (read: cheaper) to take a pic of it

 

Batwoman, as seen on the DC Bombshells variant

Batwoman, as seen on the DC Bombshells variant

 

Cute Dazzler art

Cute Dazzler art

 

The owner of this booth gave me permission to laugh because she was Asian.

The owner of this booth gave me permission to laugh because she was Asian.

 

Friends of Humanity cosplay

Friends of Humanity cosplay

 

Dazzler

Dazzler

 

Robin & Hawkeye

Robin & Hawkeye

 

Lantern Spectrum. Red Lantern's a coworker from my TRU days

Lantern Spectrum. Red Lantern’s a coworker from my TRU days

 

Black Canary & Green Arrow #3

Black Canary & Green Arrow #3

 

Silk Spectre & Nite Owl

Silk Spectre & Nite Owl

 

Apparently, this bobok was sold in Urban Outfitters, which isn't the least bit surprising.

Apparently, this book was sold in Urban Outfitters, which isn’t the least bit surprising.

 

Armored Wonder Woman #2

Armored Wonder Woman #2

 

Zatanna

Zatanna

 

Tony Stark. You can't tell in the pic, but his arc reactor lit up.

Tony Stark. You can’t tell in the pic, but his arc reactor lit up.

 

Mad Hatter & Queen of Hearts

Mad Hatter & Queen of Hearts

 

2014-09-07 16.02.09

Harley #1, Harley #2, and Riddler

 

LARPing Mario & Luigi

LARPing Mario & Luigi

 

Thing

Thing

 

Wasp & Ant-Man

Wasp & Ant-Man

 

Harley #3 and the orange girl was covered in gold glitter

Harley #3 and the orange girl was covered in gold glitter

 

Joker & Harley #4

Joker & Harley #4

 

Crossplay Star-Lord, with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in background

Crossplay Star-Lord, with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in background

 

Mr. Fantastic & Human Torch. Theoretically, I guess you could say Invisible Woman's there somewhere.

Mr. Fantastic & Human Torch. Theoretically, I guess you could say Invisible Woman’s there somewhere.

 

Either Batman's texting Alfred, or he's on Tinder.

Either Batman’s texting Alfred, or he’s on Tinder.

 

Lydia & Beetlejuice

Lydia & Beetlejuice

 

2014-09-07 17.09.58

Dalek at the exit

In the end, it wasn’t the best Baltimore Comic-Con experience, but it was far from the worst. I didn’t really add much to my collection, but it was a fun day with friends and sights. Tune in next week, as I’m heading to Wizard World Richmond to meet original Green Ranger, Jason David Frank. There’s sure to be a few stories from that trip!

05th Sep2014

West Week Ever – 9/5/14

by Will

photovisi-download(5)

 

oie_922142seDasWF9

lavelle

On the Netflix front, I’ve watched a few things, but we’ll get to most of that next week. This week, however, I did watch Lavell Crawford: Can A Brother Get Some Love? Most people are familiar with Lavell due to his role as Huell in the later seasons of Breaking Bad, or as a contestant on season 5 of Last Comic Standing. I’d heard about 1/4 of the material before, but it was still funny, as Lavell’s a funny storyteller. He does the usual “White people do this, but Black people do this” thing, but it’s not as trite as it usually is. I definitely recommend it.

asm2_fanfix_blog_1000x1444

My pal, Keith, came to town and we had an Amazing Spider-Thon. I’d never seen The Amazing Spider-Man, so we started out with that, and the next night we watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Why, exactly, do people dislike those movies? I really enjoyed the first one. I’d even go as far as to say that Andrew Garfield was a better Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire. I really liked his performance, and even though I’m a Mary Jane guy, I dug Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. I mean, the reboot was completely too soon, but I liked what they did with it. I was telling Keith that I was dreading the familiar beats, like the death of Uncle Ben and the stupid wrestling part, but the movie threw a curveball at me and changed both of those aspects of the origin. I will say that the sequel wasn’t without its problems – mainly that I didn’t completely understand Electro’s motivation. I mean, he was invisible to people as a person, so he just wanted to matter. I get that, but why become evil? Considering he idolized Spider-Man, why not team up with his hero rather than try to fight him? It also suffers from Too-Many-Villains-Itis. I didn’t hate it, though; it just wasn’t as good as the first one.

the-rock-black-adam

Speaking of comic movies, The Rock finally confirmed what he’d been hinting at for months: he’ll be portraying the villain Black Adam in a Shazam movie. With everything being so PC these days, are they just gonna call him “Adam”? I don’t know anyone under the age of 60 who’d want a Shazam movie, but good for him.

Matt_Nable

In comic TV news, Matt Nable has been cast as Ra’ Al Ghul for Arrow‘s 3rd season. One of these days, I really need to get back to watching that show. Anyway, I’ve never heard of Nable, and folks are just gonna whine that it should’ve been Liam Neeson, in order to create some fantasy shared universe that doesn’t exist.

The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story aired on Labor Day, but I forgot about it. Luckily, I was able to DVR it later, but I still haven’t gotten around to watching it, so look for my thoughts next week. For now, though, what a terrible title! Couldn’t it have been something like “Behind The Bell: The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story”? It needs a name with some gumption to it!

Selfie

If you curious, Karen Gillan’s Selfie is available to stream on ABC.com. I took some time out of my day last Friday and checked it out. I’m not quite sure how this is going to work as a series. I mean, it would’ve made a decent rom com, but a full fledged TV series? I have my doubts. Basically, it’s an update of My Fair Lady. Eliza Dooley (instead of Doolittle here) is a bit of a social media addict, with tons of Instagram followers. After one really bad day ruins her social media presence, she seeks out the help of a coworker (John Cho) to help rebrand her image. At the beginning, both characters are pretty unlikeable, as Dooley is more vapid than your average teenage girl, while Cho’s character seems to have a hard time fitting into the world around him. By the end, however, there are traces of heart in both characters, but I don’t know if we’re supposed to stick around for Eliza’s transformation or for the inevitable Will They/Won’t They they’re building up between the characters. I don’t see this getting a second season, but we’ll just have to see.

The_View_logo

It was announced that Rosie Perez and former Bush communications chief, Nicolle Wallace, will be joining Rosie and Whoopi on The View this season. Rosie Perez? Really? So, half the hour is just gonna be folks trying to understand what she’s saying, right?

toy-hunter

Multiple outlets are reporting that Toy Hunter may be over. I’m not shedding any tears. While I initially liked seeing all of the rare, old toys, I just couldn’t get past Jordan. In the first season, he was really lowballing folks. He improved over time, but then the show became saturated with D-list celebrity guests who didn’t really fit the show (DMC?). I love toys, but I never really loved the show (I did love the brief period when Julia Collier was his “assistant”). Hopefully, this will end the Toy Hunter Effect of making people think all their worthless attic junk is actually some priceless artifact that ever collector must have. There was definitely an increase in sale prices at toy shows and comic cons because of this mentality, and I’ll be glad to see it go. I know some folks will miss the show, but I’m sure something will come along to fill that void soon.


While he was in town, Keith introduced me to Kung Fury.There was originally a Kickstarter in order to help them raise the funding to make the full short film. They ended up making around $630,000, so something should be coming soon. As a fan of all things ’80s, I can’t wait to see the finished product.

 

Ghosbusters-Week-Header

Do you love Ghostbusters? Who doesn’t?! Be sure to head over to The Robot’s Pajamas, as this week is Ghostbusters Week, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the franchise. They’ve got a lot of great features, and they even dusted off the Robot’s Pajama Party Podcast to take part in the festivities.

Links I Loved

4 Reasons Chris Pratt is Totally the Next Tom Hanks – UnderScoopFire!

Marvel Legends X-Men Infinite Series Storm Review – Preternia

TMNT Targetgate – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

In Case You Missed It This Week

Jimi Jamison : 1951-2014

boys computer

Ugh, I don’t really know how it came to this, yet here we are.  Over Labor Day weekend, someone hacked into iCloud and leaked nude pics of several female celebrities, including Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Lawrence, McKayla Maroney, Victoria Justice and more. These pics were posted on 4chan, and later on reddit, under the heading “The Fappening”. While several of the nudes have been reported as fakes, many more were the real deal, exposing moments that were meant to be private. This has sparked debate on whether this was a simple invasion of privacy in the digital age or if this could even be considered a sex crime. I’m not Judge Judy, so I’m not here to get into all that. I will say, however, that it was like having Christmas, your birthday, and your Bar Mitzvah all at the same time if you were a net savvy teenage boy. The threads have since been taken down, but the damage has been done, as PR reps had their work cut out for them this week. Looking past all of the laws broken to get here, this was the stuff that teenage dreams are made of. Which is pretty sad and pathetic. People’s lives were derailed through an invasion of privacy, but these kids just don’t care. To them, it’s just “Yay, titties!” So, that’s why 14 year old boys had the West Week Ever.

06th Aug2014

West Week Ever – 8/8/14

by Will

photovisi-download(2)

oie_922142seDasWF9

Super

So, with all of the Guardians of the Galaxy hype, I decided to check out another James Gunn movie, Super. If you’ve never seen it, it stars Rainn Wilson as a guy who becomes a vigilante to save his wife from a drug dealer. Wilson becomes The Crimson Bolt, and Ellen Page is his sidekick, Bolty. It’s a really dark comedy, but I enjoyed it. I’m not so sure I’m cool with the ending, as there are a few unanswered questions, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

Girl-Meets-World-Logo
Girl Meets World has been renewed for a second season. This isn’t really a surprise, but I guess it’s good news for someone. I’ve watched a few episodes, but it’s nowhere near my new favorite show or anything. It’s way too schmaltzy, even for a Disney Channel show. I like when teens get into crazy adventures, while every episode of this show seems to have a heavy-handed message. Even Boy Meets World didn’t get as sentimental as this show. I guess I’ve been ruined by years of iCarly, where I expect every tween show to have snarky banter and food fights.

Partners

In other TV news, I caught the premiere of Partners. While it’s good that Martin and Kelsey are working again, this is a PASS. I miss the old, outrageous Martin, while he seems to be playing the straight man here. It just doesn’t work for me. It’s not that funny, and it’s certainly not Appointment Television.

James_Corden
James Corden may be Craig Ferguson’s successor on The Late Late Show. I tend to know my British pop culture, but I have no clue who he is. Moving on…

blackjesus

So, I caught Black Jesus last  night, even though I expected the gates of Hell to open at any moment. My opinion of the show: it’s definitely something. I hate to say it, but I laughed. A couple of times. I do feel, however, that the funniest stuff in the show would still be funny without the Jesus angle. Plus, there’s the whole Is He or Isn’t He aspect about Black Jesus. I mean, he seems to be some bum who thinks he’s Jesus, but he does have powers. They’ll probably never just come out and answer it, as that would be the end of the show. I felt kinda bad about watching it, but I’ll probably watch it again.

Batman-V-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-Logo-620x370
Warner Bros shocked the geek world on Wednesday when it was announced that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice would be moved from May 2016 to March 2016. This takes it out of competition with Captain America 3, but it also prevents Warners from being able to label it a “Summer blockbuster”. They also announced a slate of 11 movies scheduled straight through to 2020, but no titles or actors have been announced, so this was pretty much an empty gesture. This could be a sign of DC finally getting its house in order, but that’s now how it’s being perceived online. For all of their planning, DC will always be compared to Marvel’s cinematic success. When people hear about more Marvel movies, they tend to get excited. On the flip side, when they hear about DC’s movie plans, they suddenly get pessimistic. Maybe DC will actually pull this off and succeed. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

TBBT

Call off the dogs, as the cast of The Big Bang Theory has reached an agreement over their contracts. I know a ton of you were probably hoping that negotiations would collapse, but the show now has the actors locked in through season 10. The three leads (Galecki, Parsons, and Cuoco-Sweeting) will end up making about $1M per episode, in addition to some of the money on the back end (merchandising, syndication, etc). The next tier, comprised of Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, will make 80% of what the leads make, and also get the same percentage off the back end. I was surprised to learn that the other women on the show make almost nothing when compared to the others. At the moment, Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik make about $30,000 per episode, and their new deals will have them making $100K per episode by the final season.

In music news, a friend of mine from my college days, Tat Tong, is now a songwriter hitting the big time. His most recent song, “Happy Little Pill”, for artist Troye Sivan, just hit #1 on the Billboard trending chart, as well as #1 on the US iTunes chart. It’s a hauntingly beautiful song, and I’m both jealous of and proud of him.

FridayRoundUp_TMNT_week

The new Ninja Turtles movie comes out this week, and my pals over at The Robot’s Pajamas have put together Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Week. Be sure to hop over there and check out all the great posts they’ve put up over the course of the week.

Links I Loved

My 30 Year-Long Man Crush Timeline – UnderScoopFire!

Some Highlights from This Weekend’s Lego BrickFair – Cool & Collected

The Urge to Purge – Pop Pop! It’s Trash Culture

Classick Team-Up! #11: Engineernerd of TV and Film Toys – Cold Slither Podcast Network

SDCC 2014 – Interview with the Cast of Power Rangers Super Megaforce – Awesome Toy Blog

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal – Reborn – The Holidaze

In Case You Missed It This Week

Thrift Justice: YSE – Special Forces

guardians_poster_via_marvel

Of course Guardians of the Galaxy had The West Week Ever! It’s a movie with a talking raccoon and tree monster that made $94 million in its opening weekend! While it was expected to be a modest success, nobody saw that coming. NOBODY. If you claim you did, I’ll call you a liar. I thought this was gonna be Marvel’s first bomb, but I’m sitting here, eating crow with Chick-Fil-A sauce. Chris Pratt’s on his way to being a big name, Batista’s gaining respect from the acting community, Marvel’s shutting down Etsy shops specializing in Baby Groots, and everyone loves Rocket. It’s been quite a 7-day run for Guardians, and it will probably end up winning the box office this weekend, too. I still think the plot was a bit thin, and the villains were barely fleshed out, but I won’t fight that it was a fun movie. I really need to see it again. In any case, for surprising EVERYBODY, Guardians of the Galaxy had the West Week Ever.

Welp, that’s it for this week, but be sure to tune in Tuesday when I’ll debut a brand new installment of “Reboot That Bitch”!

01st Aug2014

West Week Ever – 8/1/14

by Will

photovisi-download(1)

 

oie_922142seDasWF9

guardians_poster_via_marvel

Like a good fanboy, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy last night and I LOVED IT. A little known fact about me is that I hate Space Marvel. Even though I started reading comics in the era of The Infinity Gauntlet and all that, that stuff just never clicked with me. So, I’ve never cared about Thanos or the Infinity Gems or any of that. So, I went into this movie with its subject matter being a little out of my wheelhouse. That was probably for the best, however, as it meant that I didn’t have the typical fanboy quibbles that tend to arise with comic movies. The cast was superb. I mean, Zoe Saldana got lost in that role, while Chris Pratt is gonna be a big star. Batista was thoroughly entertaining, and Rocket did exactly what Rocket was supposed to do. The 3-D was incredible. I hadn’t intended to see it in 3-D, but I mistakenly thought there was a midnight showing when the last show was a 10:45 3-D showing. There were parts when I really thought weapons flying at me were gonna hit me. Anyway, it’s a great movie and I can’t wait to see it again. I am, however, curious to see how they tie all the “spaceness” of this movie into the “real worldness” of the other Marvel films. Sure, they fought aliens in The Avengers, but those were faceless grunts and haven’t really been dealt with since. Whatever. I’m sure I have nothing to worry about.


While waiting for Guardians to start, I saw the trailer for Annie starring Quvenzhane Wallis. It actually looks really cute, but I’m dreading all of the comment sections of websites I’m gonna have to avoid once that trailer hits TV. It’ll be a whopping “Why are they remaking Annie?”, with a smattering of “Why are they making her black?” Yeah, it’s gonna be a riot…

sdcc

San Diego Comic Con came and went, and there were no real clear winners or losers. Marvel didn’t reveal any of their upcoming “mystery” movies, while DC didn’t announce the movie slate that Nikki Finke had leaked a few months back. The omissions were more glaring than what was present. There was no Star Wars Episode VII news, no Jurassic World footage, and nothing from the Fantastic Four reboot. I’m not gonna do a full-scale SDCC recap, as there are other sites for that. I’ll touch on a few things, though.

WW

Following the debut of some Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice footage, we finally got our first look at Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman suit. I don’t hate it. I just hope it’s her introductory suit and that she eventually ends up in something with some color to it. Twitter was on fire Saturday when the photo was released, but it didn’t move me one way or another. It’s kinda Xena-esque, but isn’t that what it should be? Maybe she comes to Man’s World in this suit, and adopts her more colorful suit later. Who knows? I still haven’t seen Man of Steel, so that shows how much I care about that whole movie universe right now.


Shout Factory announced that they would be distributing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger on DVD in the US. This is the show from which the original Power Rangers footage came, so this is a pretty big deal. Up til now, fans were forced to watch subtitled versions that were encoded by other, more die-hard fans. Contrary to the kids show that we got in the US, Zyruranger is a much darker product, and I’m looking forward to finally being able to watch it without having to resort to torrents.

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I finally got around to seeing The LEGO Movie. Man, was that good! I didn’t expect to like it, as I didn’t think any of the trailers looked that funny, nor did you get a good idea of the plot. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I got the disc from Redbox. Did I mention that Chris Pratt is gonna be a big deal? And I LOVED Will Arnett as Douchebag Batman. Anyway, I’m slowly starting to realize that I’m a LEGO fan, which is surprising to me. Up til now, I’ve considered myself more of a LEGO Broker – I find them cheap, and I sell them high. I never stop to think about my personal collection unless it concerns minifigures. I loves me some minifigures. Lately, though, I find myself going to the LEGO Store when I don’t have to, and I found myself disappointed when I realized I’ll be out of town for BrickFair. What’s happening to me?! Am I becoming an Adult Fan of LEGO?

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Did you catch Sharknado 2: The Second One on Wednesday night? If not, you missed a great time. Sure, it’s a bad movie, but it fostered such a sense of community with folks online. I haven’t had that much fun livetweeting since Catfish‘s season ended. If you missed it, try to catch the rerun, as it’s worth it just for the D-list cameos.

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Since I finished The Cleveland Show, I’ve been looking for another light show to binge-watch on Netflix. I ran across a show called Trailer Park Boys that looked kinda interesting. This Canadian show lasted 7 seasons, so it must be good, right? WRONG. I couldn’t get through 2 episodes of this thing. Basically, it’s a mockumentary, like The Office, that focuses on the residents of a trailer park in Nova Scotia, so there’s a lot of dudes talking directly to the camera. This is a big Canadian franchise, with movies and stage shows and everything, but it just goes to show that there’s a different type of humor across the border. Sad, ’cause I really liked other Canadian comedies, like Corner Gas. Anyway, I might give the show another shot, but I might just move on to Better Off Ted.

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Speaking of TV, next week sees the debut of two perplexing shows. The first one is Partners, airing on FX. What’s so odd about it? Well, it stars Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence as legal partners. Yes, Frasier Crane and Marty-Mar, in a buddy comedy. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be like Nothing To Lose (anyone remember that movie?), but I don’t expect much. This is another example of a 10/90 deal, which is all the rage in television right now. Oh, you don’t know what a 10/90 deal is? Well, allow me to educate you. 10/90 deals were created by production company Debmar-Mercury, where 10 episodes of a show are created as a sort of “test drive”. If those episodes reach a certain ratings threshold, they will then make 90 more episodes, which basically gets the show to instant syndication. Tyler Perry’s comedies House of Payne and Meet The Browns followed this model, as well as Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management. Anyway, I can see why Martin needs a job, but does Kelsey owe that much in alimony that he’s got to keep working? I mean, he made a shitload of money there at the end of Frasier, yet he’s been working on failed shows ever since (Back To You, Hank, Boss). Anyway, I miss seeing Martin on TV, so I’ll at least check out a few episodes.

The next show that’s already got people riled up is Black Jesus, from Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. If you haven’t heard of this project, here’s the trailer:

Do I really even need to say more? I mean, blasphemy aside, it doesn’t even look funny. Early episodes of The Boondocks had a cleverness to them, while this just seems like it’s an attempt to see how many groups it can offend. Conservative Christians? Blacks? Mexicans? They’re all there. Maybe the trailer wasn’t cut to show us the funniest  material, but I had come to expect more from McGruder. Just looking at the YouTube comments, I can already see problems looming that are reminiscent of Chappelle’s Show. Dave once said that he quit the show because he realized that folks had started laughing at him during some of the skits instead of with him. There is a difference, and I could see that happening here. Is the audience getting the same joke that McGruder is trying to tell, or are they laughing at the whole farce of it? This show is gonna be problematic…

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

In toy news, Hasbro showed off Marvel Legends figures of Maria Hill and Agent Coulson from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since I collect movie-specific Marvel Legends, I will DEFINITELY be getting these. I fear that they’ll be pretty hard to find, though, since Hill’s a female figure, and Coulson comes with that suit body that customizer’s are gonna want to snatch up. So, I may have to turn to Twitter connections in order to track these down.

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

 

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This week, *NSYNC released a new double-CD collection and the group didn’t even know about it. Ya see, it was one of those cash grab “Essential” collections that doesn’t contain any new material. Still, it entered the charts in the Top 10, so it’s got people clamoring for a reunion again. It’s got some deep cuts on it that were never on albums but, being a true *NSYNC fan, I’ve had those songs for years. Yeah, I’m a boyband snob.

Links I Loved
NEW EP: Reappropriate: The Podcast – Ep. 2 | “Thinking Man” Superhero Movies – Reappropriate

5 Ways to Bring G.I. Joe Back to Television – UnderScoopFire!

Meet The Guardians of the [LEGO] Galaxy – Double Dumbass On You

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I may not talk about him, especially since I assume that all of my internet friends know each other, but there’s one friend in particular who’s my favorite person on the internet. Matt Guzy runs AwesomeToyBlog.com, and he’s always my go-to source for San Diego Comic Con news, as he seems to be able to get closer to some companies than other sites. Why is he my favorite person on the internet? Well, there are so many reasons (he designed my website banner, for one), but he solidified that status when he did this:

Those are the Power Rangers! THE POWER RANGERS SAID MY NAME!!!!!! Matt got the chance to meet the current cast of Power Rangers Super Megaforce for a Q&A session at SDCC. Before leaving for the show, he’d asked me for some ideas on questions to ask them, but I had no idea they’d actually find out my name. I may be heavily biased, but it’s my site and I can do what I want. If you want to see some great galleries of the toys from SDCC, head over to AwesomeToyBlog.com. But because he got the Power Rangers…the friggin’ POWER RANGERS to say my name, @MattGuzy had the West Week Ever.

06th Jun2014

West Week Ever – 6/6/14

by Will

 

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So, I finally saw Ted. I guess to commemorate the release of A Million Ways To Die In The West, Ted was brought back to Redbox and I was able to snag it during one of my many trips to 7/11 last week. In all, I really enjoyed it. Someone described it to me as a “live action Family Guy“, and it did not disappoint. I especially loved the world in which it was set – where folks just accept this sentient bear, and that he’s such old news that they don’t even turn and stare at this point.

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I also watched the pilot for Tagteam on YouTube. I never would’ve known about this had the Nerd Lunch Podcast not mentioned it last week, so I thank them for that. If you’ve never heard of it, Tagteam was an ABC pilot from 1991 that aired the night before Super Bowl XXV. In it, Jesse Ventura and Roddy Piper play pro wrestlers who find themselves banned for life from wrestling because they wouldn’t throw a match. Without any real skills, they struggle to figure out what to do next with their lives. After foiling an armed robbery at their local grocery store, they decide to join the police academy so they can keep taking down bad guys. On their first case, they’re assigned to guard a witness to a murder, but they end up suspended when their veteran partners are attacked and the witness gets away. In the end, the two use their wrestling skills to take down the hitmen and deliver the witness to the courthouse just in time for her to testify. Ya know, given the era in which it was made, it didn’t suck. I guess ABC just didn’t get the ratings they’d hoped for. It had that Glen A. Larson style of violence, where folks are shot at but not killed. To me, however, the most baffling aspect was that Ventura and Piper were going to be working the undercover unit, having been midcard tag-team wrestlers in their former career. Sure, the average guy on the street may not recognize them, but eventually someone’s gonna say “Hey, didn’t I see you wrestle at the Garden?” or whatever.

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On the Netflix front, I watched Women Who Kill, which is nothing like it sounds. It’s a standup special featuring female comedians. In all, there were four – Amy Schumer, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser, and Marina Franklin. If you know your comedy, you’re probably asking “who?” to that last one. As the only black woman on the special, Marina’s not as well known as her white contemporaries, which is a crime because she is hilarious. Amy has her own show, Rachel is a co-host of Upload with Shaquille O’Neal, Nikki was a co-host of Nikki and Sara Live!, but Marina’s biggest credit is Best Week Ever back in ’04. It just goes to show the divide in opportunities in comedy. Give Marina some work!

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I’ve got more DVDs than I’ll ever watch in my lifetime, but I’m trying to make a dent in them. Since they’re short, I decided to watch a few of the DC animated movies. First up, I watched Batman: Under the Red Hood. The problem with these things is that they try to tell 6 month story arcs in 77 minute cartoons. Sure, a lot of those comics are decompressed, but the DVDs tend to tackle pretty major storylines that need a chance to “breathe”, so to speak. It’s been so long since I read the actual Red Hood story that I couldn’t tell you if it was accurate or not. The major beats were there, with Ra’s Al Ghul, etc, but it still felt rushed. My favorite part of the DVD, actually, was the Jonah Hex DC Short that was included on it. I think it’s because if you pay close attention, you’ll see and hear a cowboy motorboat a prostitute in the background.

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Next up, I watched Batman: Year One. Again, it’s been so long since I read the story that I don’t know how accurate it was, but it was an entertaining watch. It’s basically Jim Gordon’s story, and I didn’t even realize it he was voiced by Bryan Cranston until I saw the credits. My problem with the movie is the same problem I have with the comic: WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES JR?!!! Sure, the comic has recently tried to reintegrate him into continuity, but they made him psychotic and didn’t do a great job explaining where he’d been. I mean, this seminal storyline introduces the fact that Gordon has a kid, and then the next 25 years are spent ignoring that kid and focusing on Gordon’s niece/daughter, Barbara.

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It was a big week for director news, as Marvel announced that Dr. Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson. Derrickson’s mainly a horror director, and I’m not a horror guy, so I’ve seen nothing that he’s done. Next up, Josh Trank has been announced as the director of the first standalone Star Wars spinoff. Again, I haven’t seen Chronicle, but I’m looking forward to his Fantastic Four reboot, so I’m not all that familiar with his work. Meanwhile, the hunt is still on for a replacement for Edgar Wright on Ant-Man.

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I’ve come to realize that Jamie Lynn is the more talented sister in the Spears family. Sure, everyone knows Britney, but a lot don’t realize she has a younger sister, Jamie Lynn, who rose to fame as the star of Nick’s Zoey 101. That all came to an abrupt end when Jamie Lynn got pregnant at the age of 16. Now 23, she’s embarking on a country career with the release of her first EP, The Journey. And if you like country music, it’s really good. Vocally, she’s an actual, talented singer, unlike Britney who does that whole breathless moan thing. Anyway, here’s her first single, “How Could I Want More?”

A Guy Love Reunion!

Links I Loved

Dave Holmes Revisits ‘U Can’t Touch This,’ ‘Poison,’ and Other 1990 Jams – Vulture

Mr. Serious Presents: Power-Ranking this Season’s 5 Freshman Comedies that Got Renewed – UnderScoopFire!

Baywatch Creator on Indie TV: A Producer’s Guide to Avoiding the Upfront Madness – Box Office Insider

X-Men: Days of Future Past – Nerd Thoughts! – The Robot’s Pajamas

America’s Best News Channel Is Owned by Arabs – Huff Post Media

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This week, I did things a little differently. Ya see, nothing really stood out to me as having had THE West Week Ever, so I opened it up to votes on Twitter. Based on the suggestions I got, I was amazed by how different all of our tastes are. Orange is the New Black is coming back, but I’ve never seen it, so it doesn’t hold a ton of meaning for me. Sure, Reading Rainbow had a pretty incredible Kickstarter campaign last week, but ol’ literate Kunta Kinte doesn’t do much for me. Speaking of Kickstarter, a couple of smaller boutique toy companies also had a good week promoting their respective toy lines, but I knew next to nothing about them. Someone even mentioned Mario Kart 8, but I still haven’t played the GameCube version that I’ve been sitting on for years. Finally, @crookedninja recommended Ghostbusters. Eureka! I LOVE the Ghostbusters franchise! This week has seen an explosion of Ghostbusters-related news to mark the 30th anniversary of the franchise. First, the LEGO CUUSOO Ecto-1 set was finally released at retail, allowing fans the chance to build the famous car. Next, it was announced that the original film will be getting a theatrical re-release on August 29th, to be followed by a blu-Ray release on September 16th. Ghostbusters has often been called the perfect movie, but I’ve always been more of a fan of what the movie led to, i.e. toys and cartoons. I still have my Ghostbusters firehouse and proton pack, and I was a HUGE fan of The Real Ghostbusters. I’m actually kind of ashamed that I didn’t think of it myself, as the Ghostbusters franchise has truly had a banner week. So, for tugging on the nostalgia heartstrings, and for being all around awesome, Ghostbusters is having the West Week Ever.

23rd May2014

West Week Ever – 5/23/14

by Will

 

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Girl Meets World has already premiered on Disney WATCH, Disney’s online on-demand site. I’m tempted to go watch it, but they make you enter your cable provider credentials and a bunch of other info I don’t have at my disposal (my wife handles all that). So, I guess I’ll just wait until June 27th with the rest of y’all. I’m getting excited, though! In the meantime, here’s the theme song:

It’s sung by the show’s stars, so Disney’s still pumping out those actress/singers.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past comes out today, and I just can’t bring myself to care. Mainly, I just don’t trust Bryan Singer. Sure, he was great on X2, but that was SO long ago, and the taint of Superman Returns is still somewhat fresh. So far, the reviews have been positive, but I still may wait for Redbox on this one.

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The Man of Steel sequel’s title has been officially released: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As I said on Twitter:

SvBDoJ

That’s simply not the title of a box office hit, but I don’t get paid the big bucks so what do I know?

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24 is back, and 2004 Will would be really excited. 2014 Will, however, just can’t get on that horse. There are no stakes, as Jack can’t die and even something as shocking as Valencia, CA getting nuked is just brushed aside like it’s nothing. I can’t do that dance anymore. I do, however, still follow along with what’s happening by listening to the Cold Slither Podcast’s: Anutha Twenny Fo Podcast. I may not care about Jack Bauer, but I still love hearing what other folks think about him, and Classick Materia does not disappoint! You can catch new episodes every week at ColdSlitherPodcast.com

Last week, I had the pleasure of guesting on the No Topic Required Podcast. As you can probably guess, there was no main topic, but we discussed net neutrality, network TV fall schedules and more. You can listen to it here.

Links I Loved

Knockoff Analysis: Lego Ninja Turtles – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

10 Ways ‘The Golden Girls’ Was Way Before Its Time – UnderScoopFire!

Where The New Black Comics Writers Are – The Nerds of Color

How Did the Newest Saturday Night Live Cast Members Do in Their First Season? – Vulture

Top 10 Sci-Fi Scenes Ruined by Bad Extras – The Robot’s Pajamas

In Case You Missed It This Week

Upfronts with Will – NBC Edition

Upfronts with Will – CBS Edition

It had no right to be any good. Michael Jackson died in 2009, and here’s a new album being released 5 year later, comprised of scraps and unreleased tracks. It was a recipe for disaster. Xscape came out last Tuesday and defied expectations. The debut single, “Love Never Felt So Good” is a disco masterpiece – both in it’s mixed form, as well as the remix with Justin Timberlake. That single, however, wasn’t the end. You see, we’d been introduced to modern-day hologram technology in 2012, when a hologram of Tupac Shakur “performed” at Coachella. Now, that same technology was about to be applied to the former King of Pop. Last Sunday, at the Billboard Music Awards, hologram MJ gave a dazzling performance set to the song “Slave to the Rhythm”. Not only was it an amazing spectacle, but it also led me to playing “Slave” on repeat for the rest of the week. So, for an amazing posthumous album, and an amazing posthumous performance, Michael Jackson has the honor of being awarded the first posthumous West Week Ever.

 

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