24th Oct2014

West Week Ever – 10/24/14

by Will

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It’s gonna be a light one this week, folks. The internet and cable went out at my place on Saturday night, and wasn’t fixed until Tuesday. So, I missed anything that would’ve aired during that time. This included the Black Dynamite premiere, the American Dad premiere, and the lack of internet prevented me from continuing my Arrow bingewatch. We finally got everything fixed Tuesday afternoon, but my car wouldn’t start in a random parking lot and, waiting for AAA, I ended up missing Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Forever. So, needless to say, it’s been a crappy week, and I have little to show for it.

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Walking home yesterday, I came across a Redbox that had recently been restocked, and I picked up 2 movies that I’d been wanting to see. I thought I was getting comedies, but the jury’s still out on that one! The first one was Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. In the movie, new parents Rogen and Rose Byrne are mortified to learn that a fraternity has moved into the house next door. The frat makes too much noise, which keeps Rogen’s newborn up at night. Rogen and Byrne want to confront the frat, but don’t want to seem like old fuddyduddies. You see, they’re still trying to cope with “Adulthood” and their newfound status as parents. They want to still be “cool”, even though they now have different priorities and responsibilities. After having the cops called on them, the frat retaliates by sparking off a prank war with Rogen and Byrne. Underneath all of the pranks, there’s a message about fear of growing up. Rogen fears he’s no longer the cool guy, while Efron is scared he won’t be the cool guy once college ends. By the end, they both seem to have come to terms with where they are in life. In all, it was a serviceable, yet pretty forgettable, movie. I’d say wait for it to come on TV, but I don’t know how they’ll air it with all the dildos and whatnot.

Sex Tape Poster

The next movie I watched was Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. If you’ve ever wanted to see Cameron Diaz’s ass and/or sideboob, this is the movie for you. The whole movie is basically given away in the trailer, but in case you never saw it, here we go: Segel and Diaz used to have sex all the time, but now they have kids and responsibilities and the spark seems to be gone. On a rare night alone, they decide to film themselves performing every move from The Joy of Sex in an effort to be wild and crazy. Well, Segel doesn’t delete the video like Diaz told him to, and it ends up being uploaded to a bunch of iPads that Segel has given to various people, including the mailman. Let’s take a break here and examine that little plothole: who the Hell just gives away iPads to random people? Do you know how much those things cost?! Before they can get all the iPads back, someone decides to blackmail them for $25,000 or else they’ll upload it to YouPorn. As you can imagine, “hilarity ensues” as they race around trying to track down every copy of the file. In the meantime, Segel almost kills a dog with a treadmill, Nat Faxon makes a cameo with his weird teeth, and Rob Lowe appears as a creepy cokehead. Let’s take another pause here: I’ve noticed that recreational coke use is all the rage in “edgy” comedies these days. It seems that white people are giving up on weed, and going straight to the cocaine. Is this true? Is it now as prevalent amongst the early 30s set as Hollywood has depicted lately? Anyway, the movie’s pretty predictable, although it journeys into the unbelievable near the end. At its heart, though, it’s a movie about how a relationship can break down to the point where the partners feel they need something like a sex tape to save things. That aspect was kinda heavy.

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What I’m learning is that the whole Judd Apatow set is growing up with me. When I was in my 20s, they were in their 20s and had goofy movies like Superbad and Pineapple Express. Now that I’m in my 30s, they’re in their 30s, going through the same stuff I am. Right now, a lot of those movies are about how much it sucks to get old. This includes This Is 40, Neighbors, and Sex Tape. That’s sort of scary. I look to movies as an escape, but they’re just kinda adding to fears I already had. And the answers they provide aren’t very reassuring. Oh well, I guess that’s what we get when we look to Hollywood for answers. Anyone got any coke?

scottneitlich

It was a big week for toy folks to get their Underoos in a bunch. First off, Scott Neitlich, AKA “ToyGuru”, resigned from Mattel. This is a big deal, as he was basically the face of the company’s collector lines, such as Masters of the Universe Classics and DC Universe Classics. As the face of the company, he also had a target on his head, and every questionable decision made by the company was squarely blamed on him. The message boards were on fire over the weekend, as people either wished him well at his new company or cursed the ground he walks on for ruining their childhoods.

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Now, this next little piece of business. So, this chick in Florida, Susan Scrivjer felt that Breaking Bad figures had no place in Toys “R” Us, as they glorified the drug trade. So, she started a petition which reportedly got around 9,000 signatures. What did TRU do? They acquiesced and removed the toys. This enraged adult collectors, as it seemed like it was just an issue for a small minority (until the 9,000 signature petition), and it sets a precedent that nothing’s safe. It also seemed hypocritical, as they sell Mature-rated video games, but have a problem with simple, shittily-made (in my opinion) action figures. I’ve said my piece on Twitter, but I guess it bears repeating here. See, maybe I’m old fashioned, but I kinda don’t think those should be in TRU. I’m a bit of an old fogey, I know. I remember when those toys were comic shop only, and I was a bit surprised when I started seeing them at TRU. To be honest, I’m kinda surprised it took this long for there to be backlash. I never thought it would be the Breaking Bad toys, though. I kinda thought it would’ve happened with the HB Hellboy figures or the KA Kick Ass toys. I mean, if you can’t even put the name of the property ON the toy, then maybe you’re not selling in the correct marketplace. But now we’ve got a slippery slope going, because anything is fair game to pull and a precedent’s been set.

T2

 I think it’s more about industry clout than it is about subject matter. Terminator 2 toys came out because of Kenner, and TRU needed the revenue from other Kenner wares. Sure, T2 was an R-rated movie, but Kenner was a major player, so it’s not like TRU could say no. They pulled the Breaking Bad toys ’cause they were from Mezco. This never would’ve happened with Mattel or Hasbro; they need that money too much. Other decisions would hinge on it. Plus, those companies would never waste their time on “staction figures” based on a cable drama.  This was a slap to the little guy. Anyway, the toys have been put on an “indefinite sabbatical” according to a TRU statement, so Scrivjer and censorship won. At the end of the day, though, kids wouldn’t even know who Walter White was if it weren’t for shitty parenting. He’d just be a figure of “some old guy”.

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Next month, they’re releasing the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix on cassette. So, good luck finding a tape deck!

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This week, Peyton Manning, of the Denver Broncos, made history as he broke Brett Favre’s 509 touchdown record. I’m not really a football guy, but Lindsay will kill me if I don’t mention it.

There was some good news this week: we found out the sex of the baby! Lord, give me strength…

Links I Loved

I watched WWE for the First Time in 15 Years and It Was Confusing as Hell – deathandtaxes

The Last Twisted ToyFare Theatre Ever – JustinAclin.com

Halloween Web – Holidaze – AEIOU…and Sometimes Why

After These Messages….the Slow Death of Saturday Morning Cartoons – Raging Nerdgasm

Are we gonna even pretend that the Age of Ultron trailer didn’t have the West Week Ever? I mean, just look at it!

Yeah, the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer had the West Week Ever. ‘Nuff said.

12th Sep2014

West Week Ever – 9/12/14

by Will

photovisi-download

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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.

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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!

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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…

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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.

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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.

05th Sep2014

West Week Ever – 9/5/14

by Will

photovisi-download(5)

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

Thrift Justice: YSE – Special Forces

by Will

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Man, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, so let’s hope I still remember how it goes. If you’re new to this site, Thrift Justice is where I showcase all the crazy stuff I’ve bought at thrift stores. Meanwhile, Thrift Justice: Yard Sale Edition focuses on the crazy stuff I get at yard sales. Got it? Good. This yard sale season hasn’t been very action packed, much to my dismay which means that I haven’t had the chance to write many of these posts. This season, I’ve turned my focus more on bulk LEGO, as I can flip those and make a nice little profit. I figured you wouldn’t want weekly pics of bricks, so I’ve just kinda done that in secret. I, however, am not the only member of the Thrift Justice: YSE team, as my trusty partner Mike, AKA “Special Forces”, is always along with me for the adventures. Mike’s a good friend of mine from my Toys “R” Us days, and he’s the video game guy in our operation. Oh, why do I call him “Special Forces”? That’s a long story for another time. Anyway, Mike’s had a great season so far, grabbing some stuff that has made me jealous. So, this time, I thought we’d look at some of the cool stuff he’s picked up over the past few months.

Artist's rendering of Special Forces

Artist’s rendering of Special Forces

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First up, we’ve got this Nintendo game cabinet. As I’m usually driving, I didn’t even notice this thing on the side of the road. We were driving around a pretty lackluster neighborhood sale when Mike noticed this in some woman’s driveway. It seemed to be kind of an anomaly, as the rest of her items were old Ronald McDonald toys. I didn’t even think the cabinet was official, as Mario looked kinda janky on it, but Mike knows his video game stuff, and quickly looked it up online to verify what he was looking at. He ended up walking away with it for a cool $10, which isn’t bad for a vintage Nintendo piece.

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I’m still kinda mad about this one. Ya see, since I’m driving, I don’t get to see some items as quickly as Mike, as I’m trying not to hit people and other cars. We pulled into a neighborhood sale, and some kids were running a sale in their driveway. Mike saw this Bose Acoustic Wave system and was hopping out of the car before I’d even stopped. Bose is pretty damn nice for your home audio system, and it’s especially hard to find cheap. The kids clearly didn’t know what this was, and totally needed adult supervision to make this sale. They said they wanted $40 for it (which is about 10% of its original retail value), and Mike had the balls to haggle with the kids. He walked away with it for $30. I was mad when I thought that he was gonna resell it, as I knew what he could get for it. Since he decided to keep it for himself, I’ve found it in my heart to be happy for him.

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This Electronic Dream Phone game was an interesting pick, as it was more in my wheelhouse than Mike’s. After all, he’s the video game guy, while I try to make money off obscure board games. We found ourselves at this OVERWHELMING church sale. I mean, this place had multiple buildings, tents, the works. Mike found this, and thought I’d be interested. Looking at it, I didn’t think it was complete, because the box was kinda smashed in and it just felt too light. So I passed on it. Still, it was only $1, so he decided to take a chance on it. Not only did it turn out to be complete, but I think he played it a few times before he sold it. I heard Tyler thinks he’s dreamy!

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The top three games still kinda piss Mike off. Ya see, we went to this sale where a guy was selling all of his GameCube games. The problem, however, was that he had no prices set. Instead of trying to figure out something on the spot, he asked Mike what he was willing to pay for him. Negotiation 101: Don’t throw out the first number. So, already, Mike was at a disadvantage. On the spot, and not taking the time to go off and research on his phone, he gave the guy $20 for the three games you see up top. Once he got home and finally did the research, he realized that they were basically worthless. Like I said before, he usually knows his video game stuff, but this was one of those times when his powers failed him. He still thinks back on this sale and gets mad when he thinks about how he should’ve negotiated a better deal. The bottom game isn’t too clear because of glare, but it’s Videocart-9 for the Fairchild Channel F Video Entertainment System. I’m not a huge video game guy, so I’d never heard of the Fairchild system before we found this game. Apparently, it’s from the late 70s, and would cost around $700 adjusted for 2014 dollars (Thanks, Wikipedia!). I know Mike doesn’t have a Channel F, so I don’t even know what he plans to do with this. Maybe he just wanted a video game relic of the past. Maybe he’ll chime in in the comments.

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This was a product of my benevolence. Ya see, we went to a sale where a guy was selling off his childhood DIRT CHEAP. How cheap? I got an original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Lair Playset for $1. He also had a ton of vintage Power Rangers zords and role play toys, with their original boxes. I ended up getting the original Megazord, Dragonzord, Thunder Megazord, Tor: The Shuttlezord, White Tigerzord, and the Power Dome for about $40 total. He also had this set here. About 2 years ago, this was a $150 set on the secondary market, but then Bandai released the Legacy Morpher, which sent prices for this down the crapper. Still, it was a pretty cool set, and Mike was clearly interested in it. I figured I’d had enough of a field day with my other finds, and I wanted to make sure Mike walked away with something cool that day (even though this was our first sale of the day), so I let him take it. I thought he wanted it for his personal collection, but it turns out he was gonna sell it. Well, that’s when he discovered what I also discovered when I got home: the guy had left the batteries in all of these toys. These 20 year old toys. Yeah, you can see where this is going. In the morpher, Mike found that the battery acid had corroded the poles, so he tried to solder the contact points, which resulted in him melting a piece of the backing plastic. Yeah, that story didn’t have the happiest ending. But I still look like a prince ’cause I shared my spoils with my friend. Which he proceeded to melt. Anyway, he’d already listed it on eBay, so he was forced to swap it out for his own childhood morpher to complete the sale.

Well, that brings us to the end of this installment, but it’s certainly not the last you’ll hear from Special Forces. If you want to follow his exploits on Twitter, he’s @trooperlite. Meanwhile, be sure to tune in next time, when we look at the crazy board games I’ve been finding lately.

01st Aug2014

West Week Ever – 8/1/14

by Will

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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…

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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.

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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

ATB

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.

25th Jul2014

West Week Ever – 7/25/14

by Will

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So, I finally finished The Cleveland Show from the bingewatch I mentioned a few weeks ago. All I can say is I really miss that show. It’s too bad TBS couldn’t pick it up when it took American Dad from Fox. Here’s hoping the Tubbs-Brown family gets some kind of spotlight on Family Guy now that they’ve moved back to Quahog.

Satisfaction

Three summer series started last week that have got me thinking. The first show is Satisfaction on USA. If you’re not familiar with it, investment banker Neil Truman is having something of a midlife crisis when he discovers that his wife has been paying another man for sex. He’d been busy with work, but had no reason to think that his marriage was in any kind of trouble. After a confrontation with the other man, Simon, Neil ends up with his cell phone – which includes Simon’s contacts for the other women he sleeps with. Neil, then, starts taking jobs as Simon, sleeping with married women who love their husbands but are unhappy with their sex lives. If you ever watched Nip/Tuck, then you won’t be surprised to hear that Satisfaction is from one of the producers of that show. It has the same feel as Nip/Tuck, and the same sort of “everybody’s got secrets” vibe to it. Both Neil and his wife are doing what they feel they have to do in order to save their marriage, but you have to wonder if it’s even worth saving. After watching the 90 minute pilot, I couldn’t wait for the next episode. It’s that good, and it airs Thursdays at 10.

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While we’re on the subject of marriage, the next show that caught my attention was Married on FX. Starring Nat Faxon and Judy Greer, it’s a comedy about, well, marriage. In the pilot, Faxon’s character wants sex, but his wife (Greer) just doesn’t feel like it. So, she kinda gives him permission to go elsewhere to fulfill his needs. This show also airs Thursdays at 10, and I found it odd that two shows aired at the same time, in which a man sought out sex with others in order to save his marriage. Is that really the state of marriage these days? Man, that’s depressing. I enjoyed Married, as things don’t go exactly as planned, and Faxon eventually realizes that his wife wasn’t really being serious.

I’m not sure how I feel about Nat Faxon, though. On the one hand, he’s got a likability to him almost like a poor man’s John Ritter. On the other hand, I don’t think he’s TV photogenic (something with his teeth), and he’s got a face that I kinda wanna punch. I felt that way when he was on the short-lived Ben & Kate and I feel that way now. Still, I’ll keep watching ’cause I generally like FX comedies, and I’d like to see where this goes.

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Finally, I HAVE to talk about You’re The Worst, which airs on FX Thursdays at 10:30. As an aside, it’s becoming clear that Fox clearly created FXX as someplace to put Simpsons reruns ’cause they’re not using it for anything else. FXX was supposed to be the FX comedy channel, but the only thing they cast over there was Sunny. Chozen was meant for FXX, but they instead aired it on FX after Archer. Archer didn’t make the leap, nor did Louie, and neither did the two series I’ve mentioned today. More and more I find myself questioning why FX ever split into two networks. But I digress…

You’re The Worst is about two damaged, despicable people who realize they’re probably perfect for each other. What makes it notable, however, is the sex. When the show started, it had the usual “This show is rated TV-MA for…blah blah blah”, but I figured someone would just say “shit” a few times. No, I was in for the most explicit sex scene I’ve ever seen on basic cable. This was more intense than anything on Nip/Tuck, and that show kinda broke the basic cable mold. They went from cowgirl to missionary to doggiestyle to oral, and the only catch was you never saw nipple. I don’t know if every episode will be like that, but my inner 12 year old demands more. So, I guess I’ll keep watching it.

Aya

Oh, and co-star Aya Cash favorited my tweet last night!

Purple Zord

In Power Rangers news, toymaker Bandai of America seems to have lost its shit in its ongoing gender war. Recently, they’ve shied away from making female-centered toys, as they maintain that Power Rangers is a boys toy line. This was first evident when they neglected to make Ranger Keys based on female rangers to be used with the Legendary Morpher. There was fan outcry about this, but Bandai didn’t really seem to care. Recently, more of the females have been released, but nowhere near as many as there are of the male rangers. The most recent blow, however, just took place at the San Diego Comic-Con, as the Bandai booth has samples of the toys from the next incarnation of the show, Power Rangers Dino Charge. Though the Dino Charge team will include a pink ranger, Bandai has decided to recolor her zord to purple. Ya know, ’cause pink is a girl’s color.

Someone else must be at the wheel over there these days, as this sort of thing wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago when the line launched. In fact, if you look at something like the Shogun Megazord, the White Ranger’s zord was actually recolored pink for the American version – a move that’s the opposite of what’s going on now. As a male PR fan, I don’t really have a dog in this race. I could get upset about it, but I don’t really know Bandai’s motivations behind their decisions. I remember when they used to make PR toys specifically for girls, and I don’t think those did too well. Maybe making Barbie-esque ranger dolls wasn’t the way to court a female audience, but it’s something that they tried. The whole recoloring pink to purple thing does seem pretty foolish, however, so here’s hoping they reverse the decision before these toys hit retail.

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Last week, I talked about the Marvel diversity initiatives that include Blaptain America and She-Thor. Well, my friend Jenn wrote a great article about what tends to happen when this, as she calls it, “cowl rental” takes place. Hint: it ain’t good. Anyway, you should really go check out her post as she knows her comic history and seems to have a good argument as to what this means for Sam Wilson.


Speaking of the Marvel changes, check out this podcast I did with my pal James. We discussed comic publishers’ problems with diversity, as well as our thoughts on Blap and She-Thor. It’s a good way to kill an hour, so check it out.

sdcc

I’m not even gonna pretend like the biggest thing going on this week isn’t the San Diego Comic-Con. It officially started yesterday, so the announcements are still trickling out. Still, these are the things that the geek world will be talking about for the next year. It’s already been confirmed that the Dawn of Justice Batsuit will be present, plus the cast of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is expected to be in attendance Saturday. Plus, since Sony vacated the release date they had for Amazing Spider-Man 3, Marvel has swooped in and snatched the date. Many feel we may get a hint as to what they plan to do with that date. In any case, even though I have nothing huge to report at this time, the internet will be burning up with con reports and announcements from the floor. So, for those reasons, SDCC 2014 is having the West Week Ever.

10th Jul2014

West Week Ever – 7/11/14

by Will

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OK, it’s the question on everyone’s mind: Where’s LeBron going? Ha! I’m just kidding. We don’t care about sports around here!

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I know this isn’t up everyone’s alley, but I’ve spent the past week binge-watching The Cleveland Show. Before I get the MacFarlane haters, let me explain: I’ve been a longtime viewer of Family Guy and American Dad, but Cleveland flew under my radar. I’d heard a lot of people write it off as just “The Black Family Guy“, but I’ve come to realize that it’s so much more than that. At least in the beginning. If you skipped the series, here’s the premise: losing everything to his ex-wife in the divorce, Quahog resident Cleveland Brown packs up his stuff and his son and sets out for California so he can become a scout for the Dodgers. On the way, they stop through Cleveland’s hometown of Stoolbend, Virginia, where Cleveland runs into his high school sweetheart, Donna. After a whirlwind courtship, Cleveland decides to stay in Stoolbend, and he marries Donna.

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For the first season and a half, it’s a show that has a lot of heart, as it deals with the trials and tribulations of a blended family, in a way that Step By Step and The Brady Bunch never did. Donna has two kids of her own, who want nothing to do with Cleveland. So, Cleveland’s caught between trying to raise his own son (who he’s not sure is a genius or a moron), while trying to earn the respect of Donna’s children. For the first 1.5 seasons, it’s more of an animated sitcom than it is a “cartoon”. By that, I mean that it’s more akin to King of the Hill than it is Family Guy. With the exception of the talking bears, the rest of the show is pretty grounded in reality. Injuries that would kill a person actually kill them in the show, and the cutaways aren’t as out-of-left-field as they are on MacFarlane’s other 2 shows. I also didn’t realize that Cleveland had its own Lacey Chabert situation (Chabert played Meg Griffin on Family Guy before being replaced by Mila Kunis), as Nia Long voiced Donna’s daughter Roberta for the first 13 episodes and was then recast with Regan Gomez-Preston.

Anyway, it’s a pretty strong show…and then the second half of season 2 hits. Ratings weren’t where Fox wanted them, so the show was retooled to be, essentially, The Black Family Guy. Since that seemed to be the formula that worked, the cutaways became more fantastical, and the family dynamic took a backseat. It’s a really sad development, as the family aspect is what set it apart from the other 2 Fox Macfarlane shows. In Family Guy, they happen to be in a family, but there’s never really been a loving dynamic amongst the characters. The same is true for American Dad, especially once it becomes The Roger Show. Cleveland, however, had an 80s spinoff feel to it, with a similar conceit. Once it abandoned what made it special, it no longer really deserved to be a show. And after 4 seasons, it was quietly canceled by Fox. Cleveland and his family have since moved back to Quahog and rejoined Family Guy, but that just means they’ll be part of the Griffins’ craziness and we probably won’t get much focus on them again. That’s really a shame, as I had really come to appreciate the Brown-Tubbs family.

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After Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy announced their departure from The View, it seemed like it was time to stick a fork in the longtime talker. After all, Whoopi Goldberg was the only co-host left. Then, they went crawling back to Rosie O’Donnell. Right now, it’s looking like Rosie’s coming back, but she’s got a lot of demands. One of the biggest is that she refuses to work with any reality TV stars, which has thrown a wrench into the process of filling the other seats, as the producers had been looking at folks like Bethenny Frankel. I say cancel the thing and let The Talk fill that gap on television. I’m probably just saying that because I’m an Aisha Tyler fan…

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The DC TV Universe is getting bigger next season, as it’s been announced that Firestorm will be showing up on The Flash. Even more with keeping it in the family, he’s being played by Arrow star Stephen Amell’s cousin, Robbie. I grew up a little too late to really like the original Ronnie Raymond Firestorm, so part of me is like “Why couldn’t they go with the black Firestorm?’

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Speaking of The CW’s DC shows, Brandon Routh just experienced the worst pop culture demotion since Kirk was busted back down to Captain. It appears that the former big screen Superman will be showing up as the small screen’s The Atom on Arrow. A lot of people online seem excited about this, but I’m not one of them. Sure, he’s attractive, but I’ve never really liked his acting. He wasn’t the worst thing about Superman Returns, but he certainly wasn’t the best, either. It seems like Arrow can do no wrong, however, so maybe this will work out in the end.

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A little known fact is that Lindsay and I collected Hasbro’s Marvel Mighty Muggs. I finally thought we had a complete collection, and then they had to go and announce ROM. Commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Space Knight, the ROM Mighty Mugg will be released at San Diego Comic-Con later this month, and will then be available on the Hasbro Toy Shop website. Ugh, I hate using that site, but it looks like I’m gonna have to do it if we’re to keep our collection complete.

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The primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced yesterday, and folks have been talking about some of the shocking snubs. For example, The Simpsons wasn’t nominated for Outstanding Animation Program for the first time in its existence. What surprised me, however, was that Regular Show was nominated in the Outstanding Short-Form Animated Program for what is one of its best episodes, “The Last Laserdisc Player”. It’s too awesome for me to even try to summarize here, so see if you can find it online somewhere.

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How I Met Your Dad just won’t die! Even though the pilot has officially been scrapped, the creators are now starting from scratch, trying to develop it in time for the 2015-2016 television season. Everyone’s been released from their contracts, so it’d be an all-new cast from the one in the pilot. I’ve said it before, but the HIMYM finale killed any interest I had in seeing this succeed.

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My buddies over at UnderScoopFire! commemorated their “100th” episode this week. Anyway, The gang’s almost all there, so be sure to head over and check it out.

-Eva Mendes/Ryan Gosling

Links I Loved

32 Things about Disney’s TRON on it’s 32nd anniversary [Classick Cinema] – Cold Slither Podcast

I Just Inherited More Vinyl Records Than I Know What To Do With. – ShezCrafti

What Movie Evokes the Most Passionate Response When You Tell People You’ve Never Seen it? – UnderScoopFire!

Brooks

This may be the most controversial West Week Ever winner since I’ve been doing this, but it had to be done. A lot of the “cool kids” will say they don’t like country music, and that’s fine. I’m not one of those people. Plus, country has changed so much in the past 5 years that it’s not anything like what you think country is when you make jokes about it. The current stars were raised on country and hip hop, so there are more modern influences on the genre. Plus, things like Big Smo and “Dirt Road Anthem” have helped meld the worlds of country and hip hop. Still, through all of this, there was one bastion of Old Country left. Sadly, he had retired in 2001 and decided to just do Vegas shows. That was until yesterday, when Garth Brooks announced that he had a new record deal, he was going on tour, and he would allow his catalog to be sold digitally. At a time when Country needed him most, Garth has answered the call. Will he fail? Will he succeed? Is there even a place for him in today’s country? That all remains to be seen, but this is still the return of the old guard to take back what was his. Sure, he had a misstep with the whole Chris Gaines thing (I really need to do a Track Star on that album), but he’s one of the most successful artists of the past 50 years, regardless 0f genre. So, for getting back on the horse one more time, Troyal Garth Brooks is having the West Week Ever.

 

27th Jun2014

West Week Ever – 6/27/14

by Will

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Last week, I finally got to see 22 Jump Street, and it was HILARIOUS. It’s the same exact movie as the first one, but it pokes fun at that fact. If you’ve seen the movie, then you know that the end credits show what the next sequels would look like in the franchise, like 23 Jump Street: Medical School and 41 Jump Street: Magic School. I want ALL of these sequels to happen!

Elden Henson

There’s been a lot of movement on the casting for the Netflix Daredevil series. While I was on my bye week, they announced that Rosario Dawson had been cast in an important role – believed by many to be Elektra. Yesterday, it was announced that Elden Henson had been cast as Matt Murdock’s friend and legal partner, Foggy Nelson. Apparently he was in The Mighty Ducks, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen those movies that I don’t remember him.

The Flash

The pilot for The Flash leaked this week, and I had to watch it. Usually, I’d do a whole post on the thing, but I figure I’ll wait until everyone’s had a chance to see it. Barry has a Spider-Man quality to him, which makes me like him. It’s better than Smallville, and more engaging to me than Arrow. Nice Easter eggs (Ferris Air, Iron Heights, etc). It’s gonna be like Smallville/Misfits, though, where every villain of the week is gonna be a result of the same phenomenon that created him. I won’t say any more, so as not to give away spoilers, but I’ll just say that the final scene gave me chills. Oh, and I love Tom Cavanagh in everything, so there’s that.

Goldbergs

Speaking of TV, when does The Goldbergs get great? I mean, ABC’s been airing it twice every Wednesday, giving me a chance to catch up on the show that all my friends love. That said, I like it, but don’t love it. Does it hit its stride at some point? Is this it? I really want to love it, but something’s missing for me. Maybe I just don’t wanna revisit the 80s. Maybe it’s the fact that it won’t commit to a year, instead going with “1980-something”.

I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but someone redid the credits as if the show were an 80s action series.

I’d totally watch this show.

I never watched Wacky Races, but I did enjoy the “Fender Bender 500″ shorts on Wake, Rattle, and Roll. This was a pretty cool commercial, giving us a live action Wacky Race.

I hate when a song paints a pretty clear story that’s completely ignored by the video. That’s the case with Lady Antebellum’s “Bartender”. In the song, a girl’s trying to get over her ex, so she needs a night out where all she does is drink and dance. It even goes as far to spell out what she’s wearing (favorite dress and sky high leather boots). The video does NONE of this. Instead, it has Kate Upton getting into a drinking contest with Arrested Development/Veep‘s Tony Hale. I guess it’s good for all you Kate Upton fans, but she’s dressed like a housewife.

I received my first check this week for work done for a comic company. That’s a pretty big milestone for me, and I kinda don’t wanna cash the check. Something like that should be framed! Anyway, I’ll talk more about it when I’m given the OK. It’s really nothing major, so don’t get too excited.

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Be sure to check out my review of Mattel’s DC Multiverse figures over at The Nerds of Color. I’m not really an action figure reviewer, and it shows, but I still had a few thoughts on the movie-inspired figures.

Links I Loved

Hey Squirrels, Electric Hatchback Cars, 80s Lovers and Cheap Piñatas – Can We Talk? – UnderScoopFire!

The Drive (and Despair) of The Rock: Dwayne Johnson on His Depression, Decision to Fire Agents and Paul Walker’s Death – The Hollywood Reporter

Mr. Serious Presents: A Love Letter to Batman ’89 – UnderScoopFire!

Looking Back at Batman: The Animated Series – The Nerds of Color

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So, this week saw the 25th anniversary of 1989′s Batman, which ushered in a new era of comic book movies. It also seemed to have a profound effect on the lives of geeks everywhere. In the past week, I’ve been on 2 separate podcasts about the impact that the movie had on pop culture, plus my pals over at The Nerds of Color have christened this “Bat Week” in honor of the anniversary. Since I’ve been on those podcasts, I really don’t have much more to say about the movie than what I said there. If you’re interested, check out the final episode of The Cold Slither Podcast, as well as the latest episode of Hard N.O.C. Life. In any case, for making us believe a man could dress up like a bat and fight crime, Batman 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.

07th May2014

Thrift Justice: YSE – FCBD Edition

by Will

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We’re back! It’s been such a long time, but the yard sale season is finale upon us. While I was gone, the thrift stores dried up on me. I think there are several reasons for this, but the bottom line is that the gettin’ wasn’t good anymore. So, I had to wait around for the weather to get nicer, and for the garage doors to open on an early Saturday morning. I’ve actually been going to yard sales for the past three weeks or so, but it wasn’t until the other day that I finally hit pay dirt. My trusty partner, Special Forces, couldn’t make the journey, so I ended up charting an ambitious route down to Centreville, Virginia all the way to Olney, Maryland. There seemed to be community sales everywhere, and those are awesome, as you can just hop from house to house in the same neighborhood. There were so many sales, in fact, that I blew off the monthly Civitan Flea Market that I’ve written about in the past.

So, why Centreville, Virginia? Well, I was looking for local sales on Craigslist Friday night, and I was getting overwhelmed by all of the possibilities. Just as I was about to close the browser, I saw an for someone saying they were selling superhero toys and graphic novels. DING DING DING DING DING! That’s exactly the kind of stuff I’m looking for when I’m out on the hunt, and even though this sale was almost an hour away, I HAD to see what he had to offer. So, I woke up at 6:30, got some gas, and sped down the Beltway to Centreville. When I got there, I wasn’t disappointed. He had quite a few graphic novels, but I had most of them. He also had TONS of DC Direct and Hellboy figures. They were actually reasonably priced at around $5 per figure, but I steer clear of DC Direct, as those things are just too fragile. Here’s what I did get:

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I actually have most of the stories in the collection, but it was such a beautiful leather-bound hardcover, and I got it for $5. Since this is an older book, it’s no longer the *complete* Frank Miller Batman, as it’s missing The Dark Knight Strikes Back, as well as All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder, but I don’t really mind.

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I grabbed this guy when I was pretty sure that I already had him. I hadn’t bought DC Universe Classics/DC Superheroes in so long that I really do have trouble remembering which ones I’ve already bought. I knew I had a Steel figure, but I couldn’t remember if it had the metallic “S” that this figure had. So, for $5, I took the chance. When I got home, it turned out I did NOT have this version of the figure, so I’m very happy, as this variant wasn’t easy to find when it first came out.

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I was really happy to pick up for this figure, as these things originally retailed for $60-80. I always admired them in comic shops, but this wasn’t a scale I was interested in getting hooked on. Still, the guy was selling it for $20 and it was new, so I had to jump on it. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna keep it or flip it until I saw the prices it was commanding on Amazon. So, I went with “flip it”.

I paid a little more than typical “yard sale prices” at the Centreville sale, but I didn’t mind, as it was for a good cause: the guy was raising money for his upcoming wedding. If you’ve been following this site long enough, you’ll remember that’s why I started Will’s World of Wonder, so I was more than happy to help him reach his goal (for an update, I still have about $600 to go before that whole wedding’s paid off. Buy some stuff from me!).

2014-05-03 15_opt(3)Once I was done in VA, I traveled back to Maryland, and stumbled upon a school having a small sale. There were only about 6 tables, and I was about to leave when I saw this guy: The Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue Deluxe SuperTrain Megazord. The guy manning the table was like, “Oh, everybody needs a Transformer!” I didn’t feel like correcting him, and simply asked how much it cost. “$4.00″ I couldn’t believe my ears! This is a big honking robot, and it was COMPLETE. I couldn’t get four dollars out of my pocket quickly enough!

2014-05-03 15_opt(4)I made my way to another neighborhood sale, and found these guys: Movie Masters figures from The Dark Knight, and a Speed Racer Mach 6 Hot Wheels car. I already have the Movie Masters, but I figure I can flip them. After all, that Joker was only available as part of a 2-pack, and I’ve had success selling him in the past. The Mach 6 is for me, as I collect basic pop culture-related Hot Wheels cars. The kid selling the figures wanted a little more than I wanted to pay, but I wasn’t about to haggle with a kid. Luckily, the mom got involved and gave me a good deal. I got the Mach 6 for free. My sweetest haul, however, was yet to come.

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On the way to another sale, I stumbled upon a church sale on a corner. I don’t always have luck at church sales, as you never quite know if the denomination of the church will have issues with certain items being sold. That didn’t seem to be the case here, as I found this NERF arsenal under a table in a LEGO Store bag. The best part: it was ALL $10. I didn’t even stand there to investigate it. I grabbed the bag and headed for the cashier. When I got home, I discovered that it had everything you see in the pic. Needless to say, the lot’s already on Craigslist.

If you looked at the title, you’ll notice that I called this the “FCBD Edition”, as this adventure took place on Free Comic Book Day. In the past, I used to pay a visit to every comic shop within driving distance, as different shops have different books. In recent years, I’ve kind played it cool on FCBD, as it’s not really for me. I’m already a comic fan, so I don’t need to be converted. Back when I worked at Diamond, I helped organize FCBD for a couple of years, and the original intent was for it to bring in new comic audiences. Fortuitously, it tends to fall the day after a big comic book movie release, so the hope is that the movie crowd will want to check out the source material and seek out a comic shop. I can run all over creation trying to collect all of the different books, but I rarely ever read them, and I’d be taking them away from someone who might actually appreciate them. So, my current FCBD consists of stopping at one local shop that also holds a trivia contest. I enter the contest every year, and I’m always either a finalist or the winner (I’m not that good, but the questions aren’t that hard). Well, this year, I WON!!! And here’s my prize:

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The X-Men: Fall of the Mutants Omnibus. Interesting story about this book. When I got to the shop, I really wasn’t feeling trivia. I was happy enough with the spoils from my yard sale hunts, and I just wasn’t feeling very “comicy”. In fact, I was just about to walk out of trivia just as it started. I figured, “Well, I’m already here, so why not?” Now, the funny thing is that once the game started, I KNEW I was gonna win that book. I’m not sure why, but I could just feel it. It was almost like it was destiny. You see, when I first started actually collecting comics, my very first back issue was Uncanny X-Men #227 – the final issue of the “Fall of the Mutants” crossover. I remember I liked the cover and it seemed like a decent jumping on point (a rare occurrence when dealing with X-Men), so I took a chance. 20 years later, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading that storyline to put that issue into context. Now I finally have the chance to read the whole thing, and it’s all because I knew the name of Reed and Sue Richards’ daughter. See, I told you the questions weren’t that hard.

So, what have you all found in the wild lately?

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