17th Oct2014

West Week Ever – 10/17/14

by Will

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

 

03rd Oct2014

West Week Ever – 10/3/14

by Will

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The week started off with a trip to Retrocon, where I finally got to meet @Classickmateria, and I was reunited with @LamarRevenger. I made the journey with @trooperlite, and I think a good time was had by all. If you want the full story, though, be sure to check out the Retrocon recap podcast on the most recent Classick Team-Up.

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As I promised last week, I ended up buying Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 while at Retrocon. As a result, I haven’t been to bed before 2 AM any night this week. If any of you are on XBox Live, my gamertag is THRIFTJUSTICE.

 

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In celebrity news, George Clooney got married, and the vaginas wept of millions of women who never had a chance. Meanwhile, both Amanda Bynes and Michael Phelps were arrested on DUI charges this week. This is just par for the course when it comes to Bynes, as she’s just as much of a trainwreck as Lohan, but it was a bit surprising for Phelps. He was caught with marijuana a few years back and had to publicly apologize but I’m not sure how he’s gonna handle this one. What about the kids, Michael? What about the kids?!

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It was reported that The Rock will lead the Baywatch movie adaptation. I don’t really have a lot of thoughts on this, as this movie has been in the works for years, and nothing has ever come of it. Plus, from all reports, it’s supposed to be a hokey comedy instead of a cheesy drama. I’d rather it be the latter.

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In Marvel movie news, some less than reputable sources are reporting that Psych/The West Wing star Dule Hill has been cast as Luke Cage in the upcoming Netflix series. By the end of yesterday, most of those sites had removed the story, but it’s definitely interesting casting if true. I like Hill, but I don’t think he has the build to pull it off. I’m still in the Isaiah Mustafa camp, but I think most of the world has forgotten him since Old Spice stopped running those commercials.

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Now, for some TV news. It was reported this week that two of my favorite new shows this season, Satisfaction and You’re The Worst, have officially been picked up for second seasons. I’ve already explained my reasons for liking these shows, so this is great news to me. Next summer can’t get here fast enough! For some reason, though, they’re shipping You’re The Worst off to FXX, which is really just a Simpsons depository in between episodes of The League. I still feel like Fox doesn’t have a lot of faith in the network, and it’s where Totally Biased went to die. Hopefully folks will be able to find it in its new home.

Community

Over in the Community saga, Yvette Nicole Brown has announced that she won’t be continuing with the show when it moves to Yahoo Screen. She needs to care for her ailing father, so her character, Shirley, will be written out of the show. The actress will, however, be popping up as recurring characters on the reboot of The Odd Couple, as well as on USA’s Unbenched. So, she can’t do full time work, but she’s still available for cameos. Whatever. Part of me wonders if she just wanted to get off that sinking ship. It’s sad that Community no longer has any black cast members, but maybe they knew something that we don’t.

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In the ratings game, things aren’t looking good for 2 ABC fan favorites. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had its lowest ratings ever this week, and this is just the second episode of the season. If they want this thing to see a third season, they better start talking to Jeremy Renner’s people for a cameo (he’s the only one from the movies I could realistically see taking a TV paycheck). Meanwhile, Black-ish‘s ratings dropped from the premiere. This sort of drop is usual, as most of the looky-loos who checked out the pilot have moved on, and the show is settling into its natural audience. The problem, however, is that this week’s ratings were in the same range as the second episode of Rebel Wilson’s Super Fun Night last season. Why is that notable? Well, Super Fun Night ain’t on anymore. I think Black-ish is safe for now, but whether or not it gets a second season depends on what ABC has ready for midseason. Fresh Off The Boat still needs a timeslot, but I really don’t see it having the same acclaim as Black-ish. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Ello

In the social media sphere, everyone’s been talking about Ello. While it has prematurely been called a “Facebook killer”, it’s certainly loved by privacy advocates, as it has no ads and you don’t have to use your real name. Right now, it’s invite-only, and just seems kinda barren. If you’re over there, give me a follow at williambrucewest. Let’s see if we can make that thing exciting!

Deadpool

Speaking of social media, my Tumblr popularity keeps chugging along, as this Deadpool pic has gotten over 142 likes and reblogs. It’s funny how things over there don’t even make a dent on Instagram. I just haven’t figured out how to crack IG, but I’m enjoying the attention I’m getting on Tumblr. If you wanna follow me there, it’s wbwest.tumblr.com.

Links I Loved

Sh*t You Guys, A Real Life Version Of Bill Brasky Has Passed Away – UPROXX

7 Horrifying Lessons Learned Directing a Porno – Cracked

Classick Cinema: My Pitch for a Proper Sequel to “Gremlins” - Cold Slither Podcast

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Nobody thought it would ever happen, and now that it has, I can’t believe it didn’t happen sooner: The Simpsons met The Griffins in the season premiere of Family Guy, called “The Simpsons Guy”. The Griffins’ car is stolen while they’re passing through Springfield, and Homer and Peter team up to track it down. Meanwhile, Stewie idolized Bart, while Lisa found out that Meg was a natural on the saxophone. After Peter and Homer end up on opposite sides of a lawsuit, the episode is capped off with a Peter vs. The Giant Chicken fight, only Homer’s standing in for the chicken. It’s even more absurd than it sounds, and I loved every minute of it. I know some folks think The Simpsons is past its prime, but I always enjoy it whenever I tune in. Moreover, some folks just aren’t fans of Seth MacFarlane’s humor, but I certainly am. All of these themes were dealt with in the episode, and it delivered more than I ever thought it would. I think both shows brought their A-game and I wouldn’t be opposed to them crossing over again at some point in the future. In any case, for completely blowing my socks off, “The Simpsons Guy” had the West Week Ever.

09th May2014

West Week Ever – 5/9/14

by Will

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The week started off with The Simpsons LEGO special. Plainly put, I wasn’t impressed. Seeing as how I’m the only person in America who didn’t see The LEGO Movie, maybe I’m missing something. That movie looked fun, but I just didn’t get around to seeing it. The Simpsons episode, however, was just weird. They made good use of the LEGO, but it was just jarring and the animation seemed stiff. Anyway, I’m tempted to collect those Simpsons LEGO minifigures, but I keep telling myself that I’ve retired from that game. I’ve got about 100 of those things just gathering dust in cases at the moment.

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Later Sunday night, I caught David Spade: My Fake Problems, as Comedy Central wrapped up Stand Up Month. Just as unfunny as Tracy Morgan’s special. What’s up with those former SNL guys? Is stand up just not their thing? I missed the first half hour, but I caught him talking about his hernia operation. I didn’t know what to expect, as I don’t think of Spade as a stand up comedian, but I was hoping to find it more enjoyable than I did.

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The trailer for Gotham was released. Still, I’m not impressed. It looks like a fan film with established actors. Plus, I have no desire to see Gotham pre-Batman. All of Bruce’s training happened away from the city. Even if the show lasts 10 years, we’ll only get to Bruce turning 18. I just don’t see the point when there are other DC properties to mine, like they did with Arrow. Plus, it seems like they’re introducing all of Batman’s colorful rogues prematurely, as they don’t really arise until Batman first shows up in Gotham. For instance, they said that we will see Joker. Why? Based on Batman history, he shouldn’t even be Joker yet because that night at the ACE Chemical Factory will still be years away. Whatever. I just don’t see the value of a show about Batman that doesn’t feature Batman.

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Fox has also announced that Damon Wayans Jr will be a series regular next season on New Girl. I’m happy for him ’cause I like that dude and want him working. Still, it drives home the fact that Happy Endings is never coming back. I feel like a kid who wants his parents to get back together and it just ain’t happening.

 

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Catfish came roaring back this week for its third season, and it did not disappoint. Twitter is an amazing place while that show is on, as everyone becomes an insulting detective. Trust me – it’s a lot more fun than I’m making it sound.

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So, they’ve announced a new Power Rangers movie. In fact, they’re calling it a reimagining of Mighty Morphin, so I guess it’s going back to its roots. I’m not surprised, as something like this was inevitable. The trick was simply waiting til the point where people would care again. They struck at the right time, as every news outlet was covering the news yesterday. I’m gonna reserve judgment until I see a trailer, as there are so many ways that this could go. My problem, though, is that people who have been unabashed about their hatred of the property are still gonna come out of the woodworks, saying “They’re ruining my childhood!” It never fails. I’ve stuck by the franchise for the past 20 years, but I also know how cheap Haim Saban is. This thing is probably gonna be done on the cheap, and the fact that it’s a collaboration with Lionsgate doesn’t put me at ease ’cause they’ll just turn it into an angsty teen romance. So, let’s just wait and see how this plays out.

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Speaking of movies, they just announced that Reg E. Cathey will be Doctor Storm for the Fantastic Four reboot. They made him black, y’all! That was quite the switcheroo, and it makes Kate Mara’s Sue Storm the odd one in the family now. I can’t help but think the studio is just trolling the fandom at this point. And it’s HILARIOUS!

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining the Nerd Lunch Podcast, as they discussed TV theme songs. It was a lot of fun, and I realized I’m kinda obsessed with all incarnations of Knight Rider. You can listen to it right here.

 

Links I Loved

The 24 Least Insurable Characters in Television and Movies – UnderScoopFire!

League Post – Would You Rather…? -AEIOU…and Sometimes Why

10 Triumphs and 10 Failures of MOTUC – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

5 RaNdOm AcTiOn FiGuReS – Raging Nerdgasm

In Case You Missed It This Week:

Thrift Justice: YSE – FCBD Edition

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Now 50. Man, I never really thought I’d see that number. Of course, in the UK they’re up to Now 87, but we’re not here to talk about that. The US version of Now That’s What I Call Music debuted in 1998 as a compilation of the hottest singles of the time. CD singles were going away, but full albums also weren’t all that appealing to some folks. They didn’t want the filler songs – they just wanted the hits. That’s where Now came in. The first volume was comprised of songs from Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Janet Jackson, Hanson, Aqua, and more. You can’t get more 1998 than that lineup. With each subsequent release, Now embodied all that was popular on radio at the time. Some volumes are better than others, but that’s really the fault of then-current popular music. There reason I thought I’d never see a 50th volume is because CDs are almost dead – especially the kind like Now. It was a compilation of all the top hits, but why would anyone buy it when they could just cherry pick those songs off iTunes? Once iTunes hit the scene, Now became “The Little Compilation That Could”. Sixteen years later, and it still survives in the face of the Apple juggernaut. I used to love Now until I started making my own CDs, and even then I was using its track listings as guidelines. So, for providing music fans with only the hits, and to commemorate its 50th US release, Now That’s What I Call Music had the West Week Ever.

21st Mar2014

West Week Ever – 3/21/14

by Will

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I know I was supposed to write about my Walt Disney World thoughts at some point, but I just didn’t get around to it. Maybe next week? Hell, let’s just do it now.

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I went to Orlando for training on the student information system we use at work. On the second night of the event, we were given passes to go to the Disney park of our choice. Since I’d never been before, I decided to go with the Magic Kingdom. Let me just say that I didn’t know how magical it would be, right down to the entrance gate. The “tickets” are actually more like gift cards, and then they fingerprint you with some kind of bioscanner as you walk through. I thought I was going to an amusement park, not hacking into NORAD! You enter right onto Main Street, and the afternoon parade was in full swing.

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My friend, Mary, and I decided to hit Space Mountain first, since it was one of the four things I simply had to experience (the other three being Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and The Haunted Mansion).

-Space Mountain would’ve been more exciting had it not been for the 2-hour wait. 2 hours for a 3 minute ride?! No, thank you! I didn’t realize that this was my first rollercoaster ride since getting my latest pair of glasses, so I spent most of the ride trying to keep them from flying off my face. It was kinda cool, however, that they had games stationed throughout the line to give you something to do while you wait. Luckily, I did Space Mountain first, so it kinda tempered my expectations for the rest of the park.

-They really need to update Tomorrowland, as the music they played sounded like the St. Elsewhere theme.

After the arduous wait for Space Mountain, I was scared that all of the lines would be like that. We had arrived at the park at around 6, and we would only have until 12:30 before the bus went back to the hotel. Seeing as how I’d wasted 1/3 of my time waiting for ONE ride, it wasn’t looking good for the home team! Mary thought that It’s a Small World would be clear around dinner time, so that’s where we went next.

2014-03-11 20.29.05She was right, as the wait for It’s a Small World was only 10 minutes. Sure, it may not be the most exciting ride, but it’s still interesting. People say that the song gets into your head and doesn’t get out, but I didn’t seem to have that problem. Ha! I’m immune! Oh no…as I type this, it’s creeping into my brain! “It’s a small world after all…”

After traveling the world, so to speak, we decided to head toward The Haunted Mansion. Let’s just say I was disappointed, but it wasn’t really the fault of the ride. You see, when I thought about The Haunted Mansion, I was really thinking of The Tower of Terror. I didn’t realize they were two different things. So, I went in totally expecting the wrong thing. I kept expecting the drop, but instead I just toured around, looking at holographic ghosts. It’s not a bad attraction, but it just wasn’t what I expected.

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After The Haunted Mansion, we decided to check out Pirates of the Caribbean but we got blocked by the night parade. We kept trying to navigate around it, but kept running into it. Finally, we were able to cross at a point, and get across to Adventureland for Pirates of the Caribbean. If ya ask me, this ride is just the pirate version of The Haunted Mansion. I have no idea how they made movies based on this ride, as I didn’t know what the Hell was going on. It’s just lots of yelling and pirate songs. Keep in mind, I’ve never seen any of the movies, so maybe that’s what they’re like, as well.

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One thing that really bothered me was that there were no characters walking around. In any medium, when you see Disney World, you see folks getting their pictures taken with people in costumes. Maybe they were getting ready for the parades, but I never saw anyone in a character costume who wasn’t on a float. I wanted my picture taken with Goofy, but I guess it wasn’t to be :-(

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The entire time at the park, I REALLY wanted a hot dog. I don’t typically crave them, but there was something about cow lips and other assorted parts that sounded tantalizing to me. Do you know how hard it is to find a hot dog at Disney after a certain time of day? I mean, it wasn’t late night yet, but I couldn’t find one anywhere. There were turkey legs, popcorn carts, and cinnamon-covered almond stands, but no hot dogs. And the parade kept thwarting my efforts. Finally, we made our way to Casey’s on Main Street, which sold nothing but hot dogs. Salvation!

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Since I didn’t get to see Goofy, I had to settle for stopping into his candy store in downtown Disney.

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Couldn’t hit downtown Disney without going to the LEGO Store!

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Another weird thing about Disney is that there’s no gum to be had anywhere on the property. Mary tried to get gum at the airport, and was told that Orlando is essentially gum-free. I guess that helps them keep the place clean, but it’s so odd that gum is something they’d outlaw.

Anyway, what did I think of the Magic Kingdom overall? I had fun, but I think I’m too old for Disney World. I really needed to experience it at a younger age in order to feel the “magic” about the place. I think the perfect age to take kids would be when they’re under 7, so they can ride things like the teacups, but they aren’t old enough for the rides that are eligible for a FastPass. I know there are adults who go to Disney on their own, and I just don’t get that. The crowds, the activity, the noise – I’d only want to endure that for the sake of children. So, I had fun, but I think I’ll have more fun one day with my heirs. Yup, that’s what I’m calling them for now.

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I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars, but I found something interesting about this season’s cast. You see, DJ Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) and Winnie Cooper (Danica McKeller) are contestants on the show, but it also seems they have some history together. Apparently, Candace used to date Jeremy Miller from Growing Pains – who proceeded to dump her for Danica. Cold! Anyway, Danica didn’t know she had broken up the relationship until the two spoke at dance practice, all these years later. I wonder if Jeremy’s fiancee knows that story…

Jem

Apparently, there’s a Jem movie in the works. If there isn’t a role in it for Lady Gaga, it’s dead on arrival. Honestly, I’m not sure why anyone is taking this seriously. John Chu is attached to direct, but he was also gonna do the Masters of the Universe reboot, but dropped out of that project. I think he just likes being linked to 80s properties, but I’ll believe this when I see it.

Peanuts

Peanuts does as little for me as The Muppets, but I know some of you are fans. I’m curious to see how this whole 3-D style turns out for it. I actually really like the new look, so maybe this is just what I needed to finally be interested in this property.

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Cory’s parents and Shawn Hunter are gonna be on a holiday episode of Girl Meets World! Can this show just air already?

Walking Dead

Speaking of TV, if you like your zombie shows edited, you’re in luck. MyNetworkTV just picked up the rights to broadcast edited episodes of The Walking Dead next fall. Since they’re edited for “broadcast standards”, look for a lot of the gore to be taken out. I’m curious to see how “The Neutered Dead” does in syndication. I don’t watch the show, but I can’t wait for some mom in flyover country to lose her shit when she stumbles across it one Saturday evening.

NBC renewed Parks & Recreation this week, while the jury’s still out on Community. It’s kinda sad it wasn’t the other way around, as Parks & Rec has done a pretty good job of wrapping things up this season. To watch it, it felt like a show that knew it was on the way out. I don’t know what they’re gonna do with what’s essentially a “bonus” season for them. Law & Order: SVU also wasn’t on the renewal list, but it’s probably due to contract negotiations. I mean, NBC wouldn’t kill off SVU so soon after getting rid of the main show…would they? Hell, who knows what NBC execs are thinking anymore?

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ABC continued killing any momentum Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might have gained by essentially airing a 1-hr DVD featurette where Marvel patted itself on the back for creating a cohesive cinematic universe. It was an interesting special, and it was nice to look back and see how it all came together. Still, I think it would’ve been more fitting on the Captain America: The Winter Soldier Blu-Ray instead of using valuable airtime.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of joining my pal James (@SnoopyJenkins) and David Walker for a chat on race in comics and comic media. You can check out part one here:

Links I Loved
Meet Ryan Tedder, the Secret King of Pop Who Doesn’t Look at Royalty Checks – Billboard

LoeB Post: “Why Did I Buy That?!” – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

18 Reasons You Should Be Watching ‘The Goldbergs’ on ABC – UnderScoopFire!

Star Trek Problems: He Deserves It – The Robot’s Pajamas

The 10 Worst Movies Ever (According to Battle Armor Joe) – UnderScoopFire!

They can’t all be winners, and this week proves it. No one had the West Week Ever. Hell, there weren’t even finalists. Ultimately, The Muppets will probably end the week on a positive note, as Muppets Most Wanted is released today, and I know how y’all love your Muppets. Still, the movie’s not out yet, and it might (though chances are slim) bomb. So, nobody gets the WWE honor this week. Maybe things will be more exciting next week. Maybe they’ll even find that plane!

14th Mar2014

West Week Ever – 3/14/14

by Will

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I was in Orlando for work all week, so I didn’t know if I’d get around to writing this. Forgive me if it seems scattered; I just had a few thoughts I wanted to “put to paper”, so to speak.

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Ya know, it’s kinda surreal to be on a flight, while watching news coverage of a flight that has disappeared. JetBlue has Direct TV, so I happened to catch Erin Burnett (Mmmm…) as she covered the flight on her show, OutFront. That was followed by Anderson Cooper (Mmmm – equal opportunity!) doing the same exact thing. I don’t know what happened to that plane, but there are some crazy theories going around. I just hope they eventually find something, ’cause I don’t want another Amelia Earhart situation.

Speaking of JetBlue, they have BLUE potato chips! BLUE! And they’re pretty good, too.

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Good news on the TV renewal front, as TBS renewed Ground Floor, while CBS renewed Two and a Half Men. I know it seems like they’ve run out of stuff to do on that show, but I still enjoy it. I also find it amazing that it gained such a powerful second wind after Charlie Sheen left.

Wrdq_2009One of my favorite things about traveling is checking out the off network TV offerings. In Orlando, they have this Channel 27 that’s unlike anything I’ve encountered. It’s not a CW and it’s not a My Network TV. It’s an independent channel kinda like we used to have before UPN and The WB came along. For instance, I had no clue The Cleveland Show was in syndication. We don’t have that in DC, and the American Dad reruns that we do have are at 4 in the morning. Also, I learned about a tabloid news show, called OK! TV, which is basically TMZ meets Extra. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I love shitty television! Steve Harvey’s talk show comes on at 9 PM. And I thought late night court shows were weird!

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I had no clue that Barry Weiss from Storage Wars was getting his own show, Barry’d Treasure. First Hester left, then Balelo died, and now this. I don’t even know why they keep Storage Wars going, now that it’s basically just Jarrod, Brandi, and Darrell.

Turbo

This amazing poster almost makes up for what was an absolutely terrible movie. I stole this off Jason David Frank’s facebook page, and it’s for Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. It’s funny how many people don’t even realize there was a second Power Rangers movie. I think most of my generation had moved on by that point (it was season 5 by then). Plus, people tend to forget that the first movie, technically, isn’t in continuity, while the second one is. You could watch the first movie without really ever having seen Power Rangers before, but the second one was basically a TV movie that somehow got a theatrical release.

AFB-logo-newSpeaking of Power Rangers, I had the pleasure of joining @Engineernerd of the Action Figure Blues Podcast and @ExveeBrawn of Superhero Time to discuss the Power Rangers toy line. Could Power Rangers be the best toyline of all time? Listen along, as we make the case!

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The suit for The Flash was revealed this week. Like some other folks, I think it looks kinda Daredevily, but it could work. I’m probably not even gonna watch the show, so I don’t have a horse in that race. I still haven’t watched Arrow since my review of it last year. Ever since I binge watched Breaking Bad, something’s been broken in me. I just can’t handle one-hour dramas at the moment. Maybe one day, but not now. Arrow, and The Flash, will just have to wait.

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And no, I’m not excited about Gotham, either. I mean, who really wants a Batman prequel? I have no interest in the goings on of pre-Batman Gotham. Just like with the Birds of Prey show, the only draw will be the hope of seeing Batman. Since most of Bruce’s training occurs outside of Gotham, I just don’t see what the appeal of this show could be.

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I found this at Toys “R”Us this morning, but I just can’t justify a $79.99 price tag (it’s sitting in a different spot in the pic for better lighting). It’s a gorgeous piece, and it’s heavy, but $80?! I’ll just continue to be content with my original one.

My Twitter bestie, Brandi, does comedy, and here’s a set that she did when Jackie Kashian came to town.

Links I Loved
65 Songs You Will Never Be Able To Listen To The Same Way Again – Buzzfeed
Blockbuster Video Presents: The UnderScoopFire Tournament of Super Powers – UnderScoopFire!
Hands On With Marvel Unlimited – Double Dumbass On You

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Ya know what had the West Week Ever? Walt Disney World. I went there for the first time, and boy do I have some thoughts. But you’ll have to wait until sometime next week for those ;-)

26th Feb2014

A Day in the Life of “Keith”: My Trip To Toy Fair 2014

by Will

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So, I went to Toy Fair last weekend. Not sure what Toy Fair is? Well, that means you’ve clearly never read this post in my archives. Yes, though it’s an industry-only event, this was actually my second trip to the trade show. The New York Toy Fair happens every February at the Javits Center, and it gives buyers a chance to see the hot toys slated to come out for the holiday season.

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How did I get there? Funny you should ask. You see, my good friend, Keith, works for a well known comic publisher. Said publisher recently announced they were launching a toy line, so it was only natural that they go to Toy Fair. Well, the announcement was a bit premature, as they really didn’t have anything to show for themselves. Still, a pass to the show had already been procured. Keith really couldn’t care less about Toy Fair, but he knew that I felt the exact opposite. I LOVE Toy Fair, almost as much as I love getting into stuff not open to the general public. So, it was then decided that I would become Keith. Yes, I would skin him and wear his pelt around the convention floor. No, it wasn’t that deep, but I would be assuming his identity for the day. There was one catch, however – they would be checking photo IDs when giving out badges. Keith is tall, slim and white. I am none of those things. So, how would I get in? That’s when we devised an Oceans 11 type plan. I don’t wanna help expose the holes in Toy Fair security, so I’m not going to go into detail. Let’s just fast forward and say that I arrived at the show Sunday afternoon.

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After getting “my” badge, I texted my Twitter pal Matt Guzy (@mattguzy) who was already on the show floor. He came out, and I finally got to meet him after all these years! We walked around the floor, as he explained the ins and outs of Toy Fair from the press perspective. He’s formed relationships with industry public relations folks, so he knows how to get into all the cool parties. I could learn a lot from him!

We saw Grumpy Cat, who's really more like Lethargic Cat

We saw Grumpy Cat, who’s really more like Lethargic Cat

After walking around for about an hour, we ran into my Twitter pal Nik (@T16skyhopp) who, along with Sprocket (@Tekcorps), happened to be doing press for Online Action Figure Entertainment (@OAFE). I also got a chance to meet my Twitter pal Jon (@preternia_). Matt had to run off to an appointment, so I hung out with these guys on the convention floor. Sprocket showed us a bunch of pics from that morning’s LEGO showcase, as well as some pics of the Hasbro Preview from the night before. We walked around to booths for 3A, NECA, Diamond Select and more. They were all heading to the Mattel presentation, but I didn’t want to risk it seeing as how I wasn’t exactly who my nametag said I was. In fact, I was being introduced as “Keith” to most folks, but Nik somehow recognized me just by walking by. And Sprocket told me he reads West Week Ever, so that made me feel awesome. At that point, I pretty much abandoned the Keith facade.

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After the other guys left for the Mattel presentation, I walked around on my own. You ever want to experience true discrimination? Walk the floor not wearing a Buyer badge. Exhibitors will bend over backwards for buyers, as those are potential customers, but they’ll pull down the blinds on ya if your badge is not of the buyer ilk. You’ll see a smiling spokesmodel handing out something, and as you get closer, you’ll notice her glance at your badge. Once she sees “exhibitor”, she assumes you’re just like her, so her smile changes into a dismissive look, and she scans the crowd for the nearest Buyer badge to engage. I’m not sure if it’s the same thing for those with press badges. I’d assume the exhibitors would be more friendly to them, as they need them to get the word out about their product, but I could be wrong.

I could post a bunch of pics of Guardians of the Galaxy or Ninja Turtles toys, but there are already sites dedicated to that. I like to show the side of Toy Fair that folks don’t generally know about. It’s a huge venue, and there’s everything from action figures to airport gift shop toys. Tons of websites are devoted to the former, but they rarely think about the latter. So, you’re not going to see any top secret reveals here, but you just may see a 12 foot Batman!

I told ya you'd see this guy!

I told ya you’d see this guy!

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Stuffed Peyton looks like he’s been seeing MJ’s plastic surgeon. I still kinda want one, though

Vroom! Vroom! Bdee! Bdee! Vroom!

Vroom! Vroom! Bdee! Bdee! Vroom!

 

This thing didn't work all that well, but it looked cool. The marbles went EVERYWHERE!

This thing didn’t work all that well, but it looked cool. The marbles went EVERYWHERE!

 

Ceiling Pikachu watches you while you masturbate!

Ceiling Pikachu watches you while you sleep!

Skylanders had their own corner. I kinda thought they'd be over by now...

Skylanders had their own corner. I kinda thought they’d be over by now…

 

LEGO basically had its own little city, but you really couldn't see anything unless you had an appointment.

LEGO basically had its own little city, but you really couldn’t see anything unless you had an appointment.

 

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30th anniversary merchandise or marshamallow gun promo? How about both!

30th anniversary merchandise or marshamallow gun promo? How about both!

 

Speaking of Ghostbusters, this one's kinda sad now.

Speaking of Ghostbusters, this one’s kinda sad now.

 

Beanie Babies may be over, but that's not stopping the TY empire!

Beanie Babies may be over, but that’s not stopping the TY empire!

This is why Grumpy Cat was in attendance.

This is why Grumpy Cat was in attendance. I wish there was a real life Boo ’cause I’d rather meet him.

Needless to say, there was no Beastie Boys blaring from their booth.

Needless to say, there was no Beastie Boys blaring from their booth.

So, after all of these pics, I’ll bet you think Toy Fair’s pretty exciting, right? Well, it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong – it was cool to meet some web pals, and it was cool to be in an event that was kinda seekrit, but there’s no real excitement to be had. I was just talking to Matt, telling him that I was having trouble wrapping up this post because it doesn’t really seem very exciting. He pointed out that it’s probably because Toy Fair isn’t very exciting. Sure, it’s probably nice for buyers and exhibitors, but there’s a reason it’s industry-only. Beside the chance to see some stuff before the general public, there’s not much more to it. You can’t buy anything. There aren’t any crazy kinds of sweepstakes. Most of the big reveals are spoiled online before the show. And besides walking by Jordan Hembrough, and passing Grumpy Cat, there aren’t really any celebrities. At the end of the day, it’s just a trade show like any other, only it happens to pertain to the toy industry. So, did I have fun? Sure, it was a nice way to spend a Sunday. Will I go back? If given the chance, I sure would. Maybe that seems contradictory to my stance, but I’m a sucker for bragging rights. Anyway, for actual Toy Fair coverage, be sure to check out Awesome Toy Blog, OAFE, and Preternia.

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21st Feb2014

West Week Ever – 2/21/14

by Will

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Welcome to our new look, thanks to @reappropriate! It’s still a work in progress, so bear with us during our construction.

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First up, let’s do our standard What Will Watched This Week. I Redboxed The Wolverine, and I’m surprised to say that I really liked it. When it comes to the comics, I HATE Wolverine In Japan stories. I loathe them. He suddenly changes from scruffy loner into a samurai, and it always seemed at odds with his other characterization. I mean, how do you have a code of honor AND a berserker rage? Anyway, the best part about this movie is that he had been to Japan in the past, but upon returning, there’s none of the noble samurai stuff. He doesn’t know the language, the customs, any of it. This way, he struggles to adjust along with the audience. I did find it odd that the movie had no opening credits whatsoever. You don’t see that in too many movies these days. Speaking of credits, the post-credits scene really has me intrigued for X-Men: Days of Future Past, so there’s that.

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Next up, I watched In A World…, which was written, directed by, and starred Lake Bell. Howie Decker (of UnderScoopFire!) and I have discussed how Lake Bell is an anomaly, as she can be beautiful, but she can also look like a refugee off the cover of National Geographic. Well, in this movie, she was at her refugee-est, as the slacker daughter of a famous voice-over star. Since the death of famed movie trailer announcing god Don LaFontaine, the hunt was on to see who would bring back his famous “In a world…” intro. Bell’s father is up for the job, as well as newcomer Gustav Warner. Through a crazy chain of events, Bell’s character is also in the running, and the race is on to see who will say “In a world…” for future epics. It was a cute little comedy, with a great cast. Along with Bell, there’s Rob Corddry, Dimitri Martin, Nick Offerman, and Ken Marino. I definitely recommend this movie.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy

So, let’s start off with the fun stuff from the week. The Guardians of the Galaxy trailer came out, and it was pretty entertaining. It’ll be interesting to see how this movie does, however. It’s kinda jarring that Marvel Studios did a great job at grounding their movies in “reality”, and then all of a sudden, SPACE! I mean, do you understand that Peter Quill is a HUMAN in SPACE?! That’s a pretty big leap from what they’ve been doing. Sure, they fought aliens in The Avengers, but that was still as “grounded” an invasion as they could do. Guardians of the Galaxy, however, changes the scope of everything. Anyway, I’m not sure if it’s gonna break any records, but it should be a fun movie. And yes, Marvel got a talking raccoon in a movie before DC got a Wonder Woman movie off the ground. I’m so frickin’ sick of hearing about how Wonder Woman doesn’t have a movie…

legendary morpherSomething else that grinds my gears: adult Power Rangers fans pissed off about toys. Last week, I mentioned how Power Rangers Super Megaforce was premiering, in which the Rangers could call upon any of the Ranger powers from the past 20 years. Well, they do this via the Legendary Morpher, and since the show is pretty much a giant toy commercial, there’s a toy of said morpher. Each ranger has a key, which is used to unlock the powers. Bandai America produced the keys, which are sold in packs of 3, yet seem to omit most of the female rangers. Now, AFOPRs (Adult Fans of Power Rangers – let’s see if that catches on) are upset that the females are being omitted, ranting “Girls watch Power Rangers, too!” Yes, they do, but Power Rangers is a BOYS toy line. It was conceived as such, it has won awards as such, and that, as Stone Cold Steve Austin would say, is the bottom line. Sure, girls watch Power Rangers, but I’m sure some boys play with Barbies. Are they, however, clamoring for Ken’s Dream House? No, because the line was *primarily* meant for girls. AFOPRs seem to think that the omission of the female keys flies in the face of the Power Rangers message of empowerment and inclusion. I don’t think it does any such thing. I just think Bandai knew that they weren’t going to make much money slinging pink keys. Sure, there are some seasons, like Time Force, where Pink was pretty important, but I’m not gonna lose sleep over the fact that some 13 year old show isn’t getting its due in a 2014 toy line. As I said last week, the kids watching Super Megaforce are probably too young to know most of the teams that will be showcased, and the Super Megaforce powers aren’t gender specific, as we saw last week when everyone transformed into a different Red Ranger – including the girls, transforming into Rangers who’d previously been male. I’ve often said that if you’re old enough to bitch online about the decisions made on a children’s show, it’s not for you. I may come off as a hypocrite, but I’m bitching about the fans and not the product. The kids will like it just fine, and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

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Yesterday, the Fantastic Four reboot cast was announced, and everyone lost their shit. Still, despite all of the changes that are apparently on the horizon, folks are still upset about Michael B. Jordan cast as Johnny Storm. I wrote about this a few months back, and my feelings haven’t changed. Comics change important details ALL THE TIME, so I’m not quite sure how changing his race hurts the character of Johnny Storm. Does it help the character? Who really knows? That remains to be seen. People say that it’s just change for the sake of change, but I have no real problem with that. I’ve never really liked the Fantastic Four, but these changes have me intrigued. Isn’t that the point? To get people in the seats? On the race matter, folks say things like, “Well, you’d never make a black character white.” Well, no. First of all, there aren’t too many, so you’d be dipping into a very shallow pool as it is. Second of all, you don’t WANT our heroes. Seriously, why would you want a black guy with falcon wings when you’ve got friggin’ Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. White people already have all the powerful heroes, so why waste their time on “reacquiring” an ex-con with bulletproof skin? It just doesn’t make any sense. Still, folks say, “You’d never see a white Shaft.” OK, I’d totally watch a white Shaft, but it’s already been done and it was called Banacek. Never heard of it? See if you get Cozi TV on one of your digital channels, and tune in around 8 one night.

Miles-Teller

As for the Fantastic Four cast, I have problems with everyone except Jordan. Miles Teller as Reed Richards? I hate his face. I’ve hated him ever since 21 & Over. I said it on Twitter, but Miles Teller has the face of the Class Asshole. Not the Class Clown. Sure, he does stuff for laughs, but he’s mainly a dick. I simply dislike the cut of his jib. I don’t know much about Kate Mara, as I’m the only person in DC who hasn’t watched House of Cards yet. According to IMDB, I’ve never seen anything with Jamie Bell, though that’ll probably change once I get my hands on a copy of Nymphomaniac. It might be good and it might suck. We won’t know until the movie’s out. It seems folks have already decided it won’t be good because it’s not from Marvel Studious, but maybe Fox can turn things around. Based on the ages of the actors, it seems like they’re going the Ultimate Fantastic Four route – taking a page from the Marvel Studios playbook, so that makes me happy. Maybe all of this change will be for the best. And for those not willing to see the movie due to personal beliefs or whatever, I know you’ll still see it. You’re the same folks who claimed Michael Bay “raped” your childhood until DINOBOTS!

I got the attention of the Toy Hunter on Twitter the other night. He was buying some original Star Wars action figures, and the math didn’t seem to add up to me. So, the following took place:

Toy Hunter Tweets

When I first read the “love your tweets”, a part of me got all squishy. “Jordan knows about my tweets?” Then, I realized he just meant he loved the tweets regarding the show. ‘Cause I hashtagged them. Stupid Will. Anyway, it was one of my better celebrity exchanges online.

Speaking of toys, I went to New York Toy Fair last weekend, but that’ll get its own post. For now, I just wanna say it was great meeting @MattGuzy, @T16skyhopp, @Preternia_, and @Tekcorps!

Links I Loved
5 Things You Should Never Say to an Adult Toy Collector – UnderScoopFire!

T-T-T-Toy Fair Roundup 2014! – The Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

Cereal Prize! – AEIOU and Sometimes Why

Nutbusters XXX: A Review of a Ghostbusters Remake (NSFW) – The Robot’s Pajamas

In Which I Seek My Father – The Nerds of Color

In Case You Missed It This Week
Comical Thoughts – 2/19/14

One’s getting used to new claws, while another thinks everything is awesome in space. One’s got a smug mug, while the other’s got a problem with pink. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

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Nobody had a week like Chris Pratt. The LEGO Movie is still ruling the box office, while the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy made its debut this week. People were clamoring so much for that trailer that they were eating up 15-second teasers of the thing. Pratt seems poised to become the big screen star that Taylor Kitsch couldn’t. They both have similar career origins (Kitsch on Friday Night Lights and Pratt on Everwood), but Pratt seems to be the real deal. If he keeps this up, one day we may eventually ask each other, “Remember when Chris Pratt was on that TV show?” That’s the same thing folks say about Clooney now. That’s a good thing. Anyway, for his rising star in Hollywood, Chris Pratt had the West Week Ever.

07th Feb2014

West Week Ever – 2/7/14

by Will

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"I ain't no damn bean pie!"

“I ain’t no damn bean pie!”

Today in Black History, boxer Cassius Clay was bitten by a radioactive Muslim, transforming him into Muhammad Ali

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Last Sunday was the Super Bowl, and man did it suck. As many of you know, I’m a Denver fan by marriage, so it was pretty painful to watch. In the end, though, I can say that we had a good season, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It would’ve been nice if some of that team had made it onto the field on Sunday. Oh well, there’s always next year. The commercials were kinda boring, but folks have already covered the important ones (Radio Shack, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Amazing Spider-Man 2). I think my favorite was the Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer. I didn’t even see it during the game, so for all I know that version sucked, but the full length trailer was amazing. I’m really looking forward to that movie!

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So, I finally finished Portlandia, and I was actually sad to see it go. I’ve read reviews that said the third season was one to skip, but I actually really enjoyed it. At that point, it becomes something of a “skitcom”, where there are still skits, but they’re placed around an ongoing sitcom narrative. Chloe Sevigny comes on board as roommate, and eventual love interest for both Fred AND Carrie. I like how the show didn’t even make a big deal out of the Carrie pairing. You’re left thinking, “Oh, I guess Carrie likes dudes and chicks. OK.” It all came to a head in the season finale, where Portland experienced a blackout. The show’s not over, as the fourth season starts on IFC at the end of the month. Sadly, I don’t get IFC, so I expect to watch it on Netflix in a few months.

broad city

Speaking of “skitcoms”, have any of you caught Broad City on Comedy Central? It stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, and it’s basically Girls only it’s funnier and you don’t want to kill all the characters. It started out as a series of web shorts, and then Amy Poehler decided to executive produce a TV version of it. On the first episode, the ladies found themselves willing to do almost anything to earn money for Lil Wayne tickets, and the drugs they’d need to go along with them. Last week, we found out that Ilana transports her weed in her vagina to throw off the cops. Yes, you read that correctly. I won’t say the show is “quirky”, but it’s definitely not like anything you’ve seen before.

DoctorDoom

It’s funny how we all have our prejudices and limits. It had been rumored that Michael B. Jordan was being sought after to play Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four reboot. At that point, a lot of fanboys were in a tizzy, saying “Johnny Storm’s not black! 60 years of storytelling supports that!” I thought they were overreacting, and felt that they should give Jordan a chance. Well, this week, it was said that they’re considering making franchise Dr. Doom a WOMAN! My knee-jerk reaction was “Dr. Doom’s not a woman!” Then, I caught myself and realized I was no better than the other naysayers. At the end of the day, I couldn’t give much of a shit about the Fantastic Four. I’ve always found them to be a boring concept. If a black Johnny and female Dr. Doom makes it exciting, then I’m all for it. So, I welcome you, boobed Doom.

BYU-NHiCcAApCYc_opt

While we’re on comics, the new, Muslim Ms. Marvel debuted this week. I discussed this when it was first announced, so I had to pick it up to see how it turned out. What did I think? I liked it. Kamala is an interesting character, and you can see how she struggles to reconcile her culture with her desire to be “normal”. My only “gripe” was that it doesn’t feel like it takes place in the Marvel Universe. Sure, the Avengers are mentioned, but only in fanfic and hallucination scenarios. In a lot of ways, it almost feels like this takes place in the “real world”, which would’ve been an interesting take on the character. I feel like she’s going to suffer once she’s dragged into Marvel’s next summer crossover. Still, the fact that she’s in New Jersey may create enough of a buffer to keep her from being “tainted” by all the heroes in NYC. Like the Runaways before her, perhaps Kamala can establish her own world away from the crazy action of NYC Marvel. I’m not sure I’m ready to make a monthly appointment with Ms. Marvel, but I’d definitely give the trade a shot.

CM Punk

If you follow professional wrestling, then you know that main eventer CM Punk has left the building. And I couldn’t be happier! I have always hated Punk and his whole straight edge gimmick. On top of that, he’s just never had the size that I felt was required of a WWE champion. I guess he stands out as a little guy amongst monsters, but that never made me like him. Plus, he reminded me of an old boss who I wanted to hit with a chair. So long, Punk!

Jay Leno Signs His New Book At 92nd Street Y

Last night was Jay Leno’s final, FINAL night on The Tonight Show, and that also means it’s the end of an era. I know that it’s not cool for the younger set to like Leno, but I’ve always admired his work ethic. On top of the show, he still takes his standup on the road during the weekends. He’s a man who really just loves to work. When the whole Conan thing went down, it was the cool kid thing to side with Conan. I did it, too. After reading both sides of the story ad nauseum, I find myself more on Jay’s side now. I mean, if you were about to lose something that you really loved, wouldn’t you do whatever it took to keep it? Even if you were kinda demoted, but they still wanted to keep you around? At the end of the day, Leno was loyal to NBC but never really got anything in return. He’s been seen as disposable TWICE in 5 years, even though his ratings are still strong. Conan’s a funny guy, but his humor was never gonna cut it with Middle America in that earlier timeslot. The things that made him funny, such as Triumph and The Masturbating Bear couldn’t come with him, and he never seemed comfortable in the role. Sure, they didn’t give him time to grow into the role, but he landed on his feet. Jay got his job back, and while folks hated him for how things went down, the ratings went back up. You can’t really argue with the numbers, even if you’re not a fan of the guy. I think Jimmy Fallon will be a great Tonight Show host, as he manages to charm everyone with his everyman demeanor. While Conan felt that he had earned The Tonight Show (and perhaps he had), Jimmy’s a guy who seems to always be grateful for what he has and for where he is. Even he can’t believe that he’s about to get the Big Chair, and that’s part of what makes it so exciting. Anyway, I’m looking forward to what’s next for all involved, but I know I’ll certainly miss what Jay brought to late night.

facebookfFacebook celebrated its 10th anniversary this week, and I didn’t even realize that much time had passed! Man, time flies. Anyway, to commemorate the occasion, users were given the ability to post Facebook Movies compiled of all the top pics and statuses they’ve uploaded since joining the site. I’ve been on since 2004, back when it was still called thefacebook, as Cornell was the 5th school to be allowed to join – ya know, before they let in all the riff raff *adjusts ascot*. I wish I could post my video here, but they didn’t add sharing functionality. Let’s just say that I expected a lot more stuff from my early days, and not as much recent stuff. To see my video, you’d think I’ve only been active with Facebook for the past year or so, with all my milestones having to do with my wedding. Yeah, it was a lovely day and all, but where are my zany pics? Where’s me running from the dragon? Where’s the pic of me dressed as every Marvel superhero at once? Where are all my skinny pictures?! Anyway, 10 years is nothing to shake a stick at, as it’s quite the accomplishment. If you’re reading this, you probably either got here from Twitter or Facebook, so that shows the power of social networking. So, to commemorate the impact that it has had on social media, Facebook had the West Week Ever.

 *Special thanks to Matt Guzy for the new site banner!

24th Jan2014

West Week Ever – 1/24/14

by Will

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So, this week I spent a lot of my time watching standup specials. When all was said and done, I had watched three, but laughed very little. First up was Neal Brennan: Women and Black Dudes. Brennan may not be a household name, but he should be as he co-created Chappelle’s Show. Since the show ended, he’s been making a name for himself as a standup comedian, and he’s got some pretty funny stuff based around race relations and perceptions. His funniest bit is that he’s friends with a lot of black guys who call him “the N-word”. He says that it happens so much that he finds himself calling himself that word when no one’s around. You need to watch the special to get the whole gist of it, but it was pretty funny.

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Next up was Chris D’elia: White Man, Black Comic. D’elia’s most recent role was as Whitney Cummings’s boyfriend in Whitney, but he’s been doing standup for years. Most of his his act revolves around accents and how women are crazy. To be honest, I thought his Comedy Central half hour special was funnier, but I won’t hold it against him too much. This isn’t the special to watch if you want his best stuff, but if you’re already a fan, you should check it out.

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Finally, I caught Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain on Netflix. Kinda like with D’elia, this wasn’t his best work, but it shows that his act has matured, as he opens up about his infidelity and how it helped him grow as a man. There are a lot of funny bits in the special, but I expected to bust a gut. That didn’t happen.

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While I was on the comedy kick, I wanted to watch more, but didn’t feel like sitting through an entire special. So, I decided to finally give Portlandia a chance. I don’t say this much, but I think it just might be too white for me. I mean, I got a few laughs out of it, but it’s SO niche. I guess you could say that I came for Fred Armisen, but stayed for Carrie Brownstein – who has an aloof cuteness about her. I’m only 2 episodes in, but I think I’ll power through and see what the rest of the series has to offer.

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It’s been sitting on my DVR since about October, but I finally sat down and watched CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. Before the jokes start, no, it was not a movie about The Learning Channel! I never really processed that TLC basically had the same career trajectory as a boyband. They released 3 albums in about 10 years and then disappeared. The movie suffered from too much creative license. Like The Temptations, events coincided too often in order to make the story more compelling. Left Eye’s dad dies the same day the girls are signed. Chili finds out she’s pregnant the very day she’s asked to rejoin the group. It also skipped a few important parts, such as Left Eye signing the girl group BLAQUE to her label, as well as R U The Girl? – the UPN reality show designed to replace the deceased Left Eye in the group. I still say the second verse of “Waterfalls”, with its oversimplification of HIV, makes no sense whatever.

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I started the week off by going to a toy show in Timonium, MD. In my mind, the show sucked. Pretty hard. The silver lining, however, was that I got to meet @smurfwreck and @shezcrafti in the flesh! Above is my meager haul from the show. Mr. Sinister only cost me $5, and he’s an addition to my X-Men Marvel Legends collection. Doom was carded and cost me $10 – he’s an addition to my Marvel movie figure collection. Finally, K.A.R.R. cost me $7, which was about half what folks were charging for it at Baltimore Comic-Con. I’d actually found K.A.R.R. a few months back, but @smurfwreck seemed to want it more than I did (I really wanted K.I.T.T. and hadn’t found him yet at that point), so I had sold it to him. Now that I have K.I.T.T., the “brothers” can now hang out on my wall together.

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Something hit a little too close to home this week. As you probably know, I tend to write a column called Thrift Justice, where I talk about stuff I’ve recently picked up at thrift stores. For quite some time, I was the only thing that came up in Google searches for “Thrift Justice”. Then, the other night, The Colbert Report decided to use the phrase in their The Word segment. It’s odd, because it seemed to have nothing to do with the topic at hand – the diminishing supply of execution drugs. After watching the segment, I’m hardpressed to understand where or how that phrase even entered into the discussion. Anyway, now my Google hits have been pushed down by political blogs linking to his segment. Too bad I couldn’t get any traffic out of the who ordeal. I had actually let the ThriftJustice.com url lapse, but the minute @OAFE tweeted that Colbert had used the phrase, I immediately renewed the domain – just to cover my ass.

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No one had a week like Richard Sherman. Even if you’re not a fan of sportsball, you no doubt know his name by now. Following the Seattle Seahawks’ NFC championship win, Sherman went OFF on Michael Crabtree of the San Francisco 49ers. We all joked that he “cut a promo”, like a WWE wrestler. He also decided to declare himself the best corner in the game. So, there were accusations that he was a “thug” and that his outburst showed a lack of class. Supporters have said that we have no idea the emotions he must have been feeling, and that we can’t judge him on that. My favorite thing floating around is the whole matter that Sherman graduated from Stanford, so “…not only is he not a fool, odds are he’s smarter than you and me.” Hold on there, sportswriter. I have an Ivy League degree, in just as useless of a major, so we’re probably on the same level when it comes to smarts. He’s just better at football. But I digress. All eyes will definitely be on Sherman during The Super Bowl, and he’s probably responsible for the creation of a few new Broncos fans. In any case, you couldn’t get through the news this week without hearing about Richard Sherman, and that’s why he had the West Week Ever.

09th Jan2014

West YEAR Ever – 2013

by Will

Well, 2013 has come and gone, but we couldn’t let it go without looking back one last time. I couldn’t really wrap my head around how to write it all, so I figured we’d just go with bullet points and pics. Hell, if you’re a loyal reader, you’ve seen all this stuff before. This is just to whet your palate as you await tomorrow’s 2014 debut of West Week Ever!

Milestones of 2013

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- I explored a dead mall

- I got cornered by Conservatives from Craigslist

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- I binge-watched a Sentai series

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- I met Twitter pal @LamarRevenger

- I changed the way I consume comics

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- I beat a video game!

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-I finally met @chrispiers! & @robotspjs!

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- I celebrated 10 years of blogging

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- I went to Canada

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- I introduced a new blog column

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- I ran my first 5K and met Twitter pals @claymationhowl, @JohnDoctorKent, @FakeEyes22, @meistershake, @bmorin54, @doubledumbass, @P0LISHPHEN0M, @howardthedeck, @chapmanrunner, and @monsterfink.

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- I met Adam West and Burt Ward

My Favorite Posts of 2013

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- 1 Broke Plot: How 2 Broke Girls Shortened Its Lifespan

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- Black History Month is Back-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack!

- Because Nobody Asked: Will On Comedy

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- “I Wanna Xup, Baby” AKA Anyone Else Remember Xuxa?

- My (Alternate) Reality

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- Judging Bottles By Their Labels

- Must Flee TV – The Future of Comedy on NBC

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- Pitch Perfect and the True Story of Collegiate A Cappella

The Fall Guy Cast

- Reboot That Bitch: The Fall Guy

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- Best of the West #3: Knight Rider Knight 2000 Voice Car

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- A Tribute to Mystic Music’s Cool Rock

- Where’s Mama Cass?

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- Thrift Justice – The Expendables XI: Never Stop Spending!!!

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- Monday Musings – Skins Series 7 and the Close of a Franchise

New+Pure+Moods+disc+1+pure+moods- Pure Moods and The Loss of Innocence

West Week Ever Recipients of 2013

Seth MacFarlane
Mila Kunis
Hugh Grant
Charles Bronson
Cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Psy
Delta Gamma Sorority
Fall Out Boy
Robert Downey Jr.
Charles Ramsay
The Office
Cast of Saved by the Bell
Howie Decker
Superman
North West
Happy Endings
America
Regular Show
Breaking Bad
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Canada
Christina Bianco
Ben Affleck
Power Rangers
Jennette McCurdy and Andre Drummond
Baltimore Comic-Con
Retro Con
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Breaking Bad
Miley Cyrus
Star Wars Trilogy
Cool and Collected Magazine
Marvel
Ground Floor
Batkid
Gal Gadot
Beyonce
Paul Rudd

breaking bad reters

So, last year, I was asked “Who had the West Year Ever?” Well, for 2012, the answer was me. I’d gotten married and a whole slew of other stuff. That’s not the case for 2013, however. No, that distinction goes to Breaking Bad. It’s the only multiple West Week Ever recipient, and the series wrapped up in 2013 in top notch fashion. The only entity to come close to Breaking Bad‘s 2013 was Miley Cyrus, but she just flew a little too close to the sun to clinch it this year.

2013 was also the first full year of West Week Ever, and I couldn’t do it without you, the readers. Thanks for all your support and I hope you’ll stay with me into 2014!

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