24th Jul2015

West Week Ever – 7/24/15

by Will

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Welcome back to your favorite place to get pop culture news. Well, at least I hope it is!

llewyn davis

So, over the week, I watched the movie Inside Llewyn Davis. I’d wanted to see it for some time, and I needed to clear off the DVR, so Lindsay and I hunkered down to watch it. At the moment, however, I’m not really sure what I watched. The movie’s set in 1961, and centers around a struggling folk singer named Llewyn Davis. The role is played brilliantly by up and comer Oscar Isaac, and it’s got folks like Adam Driver, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman in supporting roles. My issue, however, is that it takes a non-linear storytelling approach, so the end of the film is actually the beginning. Or is it? I was kinda lost when it was all said and done. Due to the uncertain ending, it’s hard to tell if Llewyn’s story tells a complete arc. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Do I probably need to watch it again? Definitely.


Next up, I caught 2 Guns, starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington. This had been sitting on the DVR forever, and the only reason I even wanted to watch it was because it was based on a comic series from Boom! Studios. Basically, Mark and Denzel are partners, not realizing that they’re both undercover agents for different organizations. They’re trying to take down a drug lord, but then things go awry. I tend to hate heist movies, as sometimes my brain doesn’t process things fast enough for me to follow along. The movie itself was kinda boring, and the best perk was probably seeing Paula Patton’s breasts. I tend to like Wahlberg, but I’m not the biggest Denzel fan; I don’t know how he has this reputation of being such a great actor, when it seems to me like he’s always playing the same character. Anyway, this is a pretty forgettable movie. If you’re bored and catch it on cable, you might as well check it out. Otherwise, don’t go to any trouble to track it down.

toy story 3

I finally caught Toy Story 3, making me the last American to watch that movie. Everyone knows the Toy Story…story, so do we really have to go through that? We do? OK, fine. Andy’s going off to college, and Woody, Buzz, and the gang wonder what that means for them. They accidentally get donated to a daycare center, which is lorded over by an evil bear – who makes their lives a living Hell. Now, when this movie came out, all I ever heard about was how it would make you cry. They even said it was sadder than the opening scene in Up. Bull and shit! Unlike that Up scene, Toy Story 3 did not make me cry. I’m not even sure what part was supposed to make me cry. Was it the ending? Or the part where they thought they were about to die? Where was it? Or are the rest of you just a bunch of weepy-eyed pansies?


Like every other geek, I also caught Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! The movie started out in media res, so the action started right out of the gate. The thing was front-loaded with D-list celebrities, from Lou Ferrigno and Mark McGrath to President Mark Cuban and Vice President Ann Coulter (well, it is science fiction!).Everything set up in the first 2 movies had been cranked up to 11, and this was surely going to carry on that tradition, right? Right? Wrong. The thing kinda dragged in the middle. It wasn’t until the appearance of The Hoff that things started to pick up again. And the thing ended with a bang. I mean, pregnant Tara Reid was gobbled by a shark IN SPACE, then managed to survive reentry AND give birth INSIDE the shark before landing on Earth. Yes, everything in that sentence happened. I kinda wanted this to be the end of the trilogy, as I really can’t see where to go from here. However, Reid’s fate was left up in the air, and we were told we’d find out what happens to her in Sharknado 4. Basically, the fans decide whether or not she lives, by tweeting #AprilLives or #AprilDies. Yes, they’re Jason Todd-ing her character. During the middle of the movie, I just kinda wanted it to end, but by the end I, probably foolishly, found myself looking forward to the next installment.

Speaking of Sharknado, I’ve been watching what could probably be considered “too much” Cinemax lately. So, imagine my surprise when I thought I noticed adult star Ryan Driller (Oh God, I even know their names now…) in the White House scene of Sharknado 3. Anyway, I tweeted about it and he responded!


I don’t quite get the syntax of what he was saying. “Be to I wish”? Maybe he meant “But I wish”? I dunno. He was probably tweeting mid-bang or something. Here’s hoping he makes it into Sharknado 4: Watch The Teeth.


Speaking of movies, my good friend @jaycspence is a filmmaker, and he just finished his debut feature-length movie, You’re Fuck’n Dead! (also known as You’re !@#$’n Dead!). I was invited to a focus group screening last weekend, as he’s still editing it, and it’s really good. If you like grindhouse stuff, like Death Proof, you’ll love this. Basically, it’s about two sisters who find themselves stuck in a hick town, and their attempts to escape. There’s definitely more to it than that, but I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises. I’ll post more about it when it becomes widely available, but I just wanted to make sure it’s on your radar. You can visit the movie’s website here.


On the TV front, Wayward Pines ended last night, and it was a doozy! A lot of you haven’t checked out the series yet, so I won’t spoil anything major. I will say that the series has made me want to read the book trilogy. I’m still kinda surprised that it’s a one-and-done series. I was reading an interview with the creator last night, and he insisted that it was never meant to have a second season. Now, money talks, and Fox could use as many hits as they can get, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually got a second season. But for now, all we’ve got are 10 episodes and 3 books. I highly recommend you take a visit to Wayward Pines. Just don’t try to leave!

Links I Loved

Scooper Hero – Grantland

Racist Readers Need Not Apply – Houstonia

The Worst Sci-Fi TV Finales – The Robot’s Pajamas

Jon Stewart Told Wyatt Cenac to ‘F*ck Off’ When He Was Challenged About Race – Vulture

15 Dollar Minimum Rage. – Team Hellions


Maybe to a lesser extent than past Marvel movies, Ant-Man ruled the week. Its $60 million US opening take was lower than Disney wanted, but they were still happy with the $100 million that it took in worldwide. I saw the movie Monday night, and I really enjoyed it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it more than Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ant-Man‘s got a lot of heart, but was also pretty funny. Despite the fact that he’s been the subject of several thinkpieces on stereotypes, I LOVED Michael Peña’s Luis. That character was friggin’ hilarious! Seriously, that dude is a cinematic treasure, and I feel like the only reason he doesn’t get more credit is because he’s a Scientologist. Anyway, the movie was great, and the post-credit scenes did a good job of closing out Phase 2 and setting the stage for Phase 3. Like every other geek, I was already eagerly awaiting Captain America: Civil War, but now that they’ve dropped hints about Spider-Man’s integration into the universe, as well as the aforementioned bonus scenes, my level of anticipation has risen.

Ant-Man, like Guardians of the Galaxy, was expected to be “Marvel’s first bomb”, but it just goes to support the notion that Marvel Studios can really do no wrong. Even when we’re prepared to count them out, they still come out on top. Now, I don’t know what Edgar Wright’s version of the film would have been, but I’m not sure I would’ve enjoyed it any more than I already did. Anyway, for continuing Marvel’s box office success, and for just being a really enjoyable movie, Ant-Man had the West Week Ever.