08th Nov2013

West Week Ever – 11/8/13

by Will

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Welcome to the one year anniversary of West Week Ever! That’s right – you’ve been with me for 51 of these things (we missed a week), and I hope you’ll stick with me for more. Well, enough with the pleasantries. Let’s get this show on the road!

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The other day, my pal James posted this article about the 33 Whitest Jobs in America. I’m gonna do this without even clicking the link: dogwalker, smoothie shop owner, veterinarian, yoga instructor, PETA recruiter, Peace Corps trainer, hedge fund dude, door to door Mormon, restaurant hostess, airline pilot, loan officer, private investigator, Republican lobbyist, college president, Hot Topic cashier, wedding photographer, television network executive, doomsday preparedness expert, Fox News anchor, pet groomer, beauty pageant coach, Ryan Seacrest, intervention specialist, professional surfer, Extreme Home Makeover-er, Superman, bartender, lifeguard, ski instructor, cupcake entrepreneur, softball coach, NBA benchwarmer, and pharmaceutical rep. Done. Who wants to click that and tell me how many I got right?

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Marvel was in the news a lot this week. First, they announced a new, Muslim Ms. Marvel. I gave my thoughts on the whole thing over here, but here’s the long and short of it: it’s tokenism that’s doomed to fail because no one gives a shit about Ms. Marvel. They could make Black Widow or any other notable female character the new Ms. Marvel and it wouldn’t matter. It’s a lame mantle to adopt. The character would be better off launched with an original concept instead of being saddled with the baggage that comes along with Ms. Marvel. Plus, the X Books have had several Muslim characters, from M to Thunderbird III to Dusk. It’s really not that big a deal in the Marvel U.

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Next up, Marvel announced a deal with Netflix to create live action series for Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. Everyone’s losing their shit about how awesome it is, but I’m not sold yet. First of all, I hate the Marvel/Disney penchant for pushing programming through channels not available to everyone. All their cartoons are on Disney XD, and now you’ll need Netflix if you want to see these. Also, the concepts seem kinda redundant to me. They said it’s part of a multi-year plan to culminate in a Defenders miniseries, but I don’t see why these four concepts can’t all be in the same show. You can’t really have Power Man and Iron Fist are a team, Jessica Jones is married to Power Man, and they’re all allies of Daredevil. Why not just create a Marvel Knights series that involves all of them? I don’t really see why you need 4 different series other than the desire to “diversify your bonds”. Anyway, the announcement knocked the wind out of DC Entertainment’s sails, as they announced an Hourman series this week. I never even saw the official announcement on that one, so that shows you how much I care.

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I finally got around to watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and ya know what? I liked it. What were you all complaining about? Sure, it’s no Spider-Man, and it has nothing to do with Alan Moore’s original story, but it was still enjoyable. I’m not really sure why it drove Sean Connery into retirement.

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While we’re on movies, I got around to watching Andy Samberg’s Hot Rod, and it was HILARIOUS. It was the perfect homage to an 80s movie. In fact, with the exception of one cell phone, and a brief mention of the internet, the movie could’ve been set in pretty much any time. I know it bombed in theaters, but I thought it was great. If you’ve never seen it, Samberg’s an amateur stuntman who’s done a lot of failed stunts around town. His stepfather won’t respect Samberg until he can beat him in a fair fight. When the stepdad needs a heart transplant, Samberg vows to raise the money by jumping over 15 schoolbuses, just so he can finally kick his stepdad’s ass. Yeah, it’s just as crazy as it sounds, but it’s a lot of fun!

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Got around to The Social Network. As much of a social media whore as I am, I’m surprised I never watched it sooner. I mean, I like to brag that I got my account back when it was Ivy League only. Then they let in all the riffraff and all Hell broke loose. High schoolers?! Anyway, that movie should’ve been called “Poor Eduardo Saverin”. I’m not sure if I was swayed by the fact that he’s Spider-Man, but he really is the only likable person in that movie. Zuckerberg? Socially awkward asshole. Winklevoss Twins? Douchebags. Sean Parker? Poseur douche. Yup, Saverin’s the only one who comes out looking like a good guy, plus he made a few billion out of the whole ordeal.

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I also watched 21 & Over, which is a movie you’ve all seen before, even if this wasn’t its name. Guy’s friends surprise him to celebrate his 21st birthday the night before his med school interview. Drunken hilarity ensues. Seriously, this is the kinda movie you watch ’cause you’re guaranteed a pair of tits somewhere. You know exactly what’s gonna happen and when. Still, underneath the predictability of it, there’s a heavy-handed message about the stress of college and the hidden mental health issues of the Asian community. The message might’ve been stronger without all the drunken, dick humor, though.

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Finally, I watched Speed Racer. What a great movie! It’s like the Wachowskis said, “Ya know, Cars didn’t have enough Dick Tracy in it!” I’ll admit that I didn’t understand about 1/3 of the plot, especially all the shit with the Japanese guy. I’m left with so many questions about the Speed Racer mythos. Why does Trixie have a helicopter? In what time period is this supposed to take place? I mean, they mention a race that took place in “’49”, which was won by Richard Roundtree. I would assume the race was in 2049, but they were driving old timey, turn of the century cars. Finally, I think Matthew Fox would make a great Batman, solely by his portrayal of Racer X. I can’t wait to watch it again on a real TV (this was on a laptop)!

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In between movies, I used Netflix to catch up on one of my favorite comedies from the past two seasons: Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23. I loved this show when it was on ABC, but it was scheduled against New Girl, so it didn’t really have a chance. I completely forgot that ABC burned off the rest of the season online, so there were about 8 episodes that I hadn’t seen. If you’ve never seen it, Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad) plays Chloe AKA The Bitch, and she runs a scam where she tricks would-be roommates out of their security deposits. Enter: Dreama Walker as June, a spunky young go-getter who’s determined to stay in the apartment regardless of what Ritter throws at her. Pretty early on, the two become friends, as Ritter’s pretty much a bitch to everyone else in the world. Oh, and it stars James Van Der Beek as a hilariously exaggerated version of himself. When I first heard the premise of the show, I thought it’d make a decent movie, with Anna Faris in the June role, but I didn’t see how they’d get a whole series out of it. Somehow, however, they made it work – even if nobody tuned in.

Links I Loved

Saturday Morning Cartoon BUMPERS – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

School of Hard NOCs: Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers – The Nerds of Color

Podcast #76 – ‘Harrison Ford & Moist Makers’ – UnderScoopFire!

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 No clever rhyme this time, as it’s pretty clear that Marvel had the West Week Ever. I mean, it had TWO entries this week! They don’t call it the House of Ideas for nothing, and this week was full of ideas. While I think Ms. Marvel is DOA, I think this Netflix thing will probably pan out into something nice – as long as it’s more interesting than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Anyway, for constantly thinking outside the box, while simultaneously laying the smack down on the Distinguished Competition, Marvel had the West Week Ever.