So, with the baby and all, I haven’t had a ton of time to watch stuff. That said, I did get around to finally watching Tron, or Tron: The Original Classic as it’s now called for some reason. Yeah, I’m 33 and I’d never seen this movie before. Now that I’ve seen it, I guess my question is: how did this get a sequel? Sure, it took 30 years, but still! If you’ve never seen it, Jeff Bridges is a computer programmer who finds himself trapped inside the digital world of a supercomputer. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a visually stunning movie, even by today’s standards, but the story is weak. I don’t understand the motivations of most of the characters. Why has Dillinger been seemingly corrupted by the Master Control Program? Why is Alan so eager to help his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend commit a crime? And then there’s the heavy-handed User/program religious dichotomy that doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. Also, why is it called Tron when Clu is the actual hero of the movie? Do they expand on any of this in the sequel? I guess I’ll have to watch that next. Oh, and Alan’s footsteps at the beginning of the film were totally added later in ADR, as the sounds don’t sync up with his gait. Anyway, I probably need to watch it again, as I fell asleep on it the first time I tried to watch it, and then I struggled to stay awake when I finally powered through it. I just don’t see how it’s had such a cultural impact.
Last night, I watched The Purge: Anarchy and I have to say that it was just as good as the first movie. If you’re unfamiliar with The Purge franchise, in the near future the New Founding Fathers of America have devised a way to reduce the unemployment and crime rates in the nation: one night a year, citizens are encouraged to purge in order to “cleanse their souls”. During this 12 hr period, all crime – including murder – is legal, and no emergency services are available to help you. The first movie depicted the Purge as something that most Americans willfully go along with. In this movie, however, it’s revealed that the Purge is actually part of a class warfare conspiracy. Since the crime rates are low, the poor simply aren’t dying. So, the New Founding Fathers of America have stacked the deck so that most of the purging will happen amongst the poorest citizens. Every time I watch these movies, I’m left with so many questions. For example, the Purge is a United States phenomenon, so what do other countries think of it? Does international travel surge around the time of the Purge? Who cleans up all the dead bodies? From my 5 minutes of research, apparently there’s a third movie in the works which will serve as a prequel and show us the very first Purge. I’d love to have some novels or comics to expand upon the world of the Purge. I usually look at those as useless cash-grabs, but I’m so fascinated by that society that I really want to experience more of it.
In the world of television, The Slap ended last week, with a whimper more than a bang. Seeing as how my Thursdays at 10 have freed up, I decided to check out American Crime on ABC. Created by 12 Years A Slave‘s John Ridley, the show follows a handful of characters as their lives interact following a murder. Just like The Slap, that’s a simplistic explanation of the show, as it’s about so much more. There’s the interracial meth head couple, there’s the self-hating Mexican mechanic, there’s the kinda racist mother of the victim, and finally there’s the victim himself – who may have been a drug dealer. Or you could break it down as “White guy is killed, and every minority is a suspect”. Either way, it’s a very heavy show, and the ratings haven’t been stellar. It’s a limited series of 11 episodes, though, so it’ll at least get through its story.
If you’re a Comcast/Xfinity customer, then you may know that this is Watchathon Week. An annual event, this is the week where they unlock all of the premium channel content On Demand, so you can get a taste of the critically acclaimed shows you may have missed. Last year, I bingewatched Girls, House of Lies, and True Detective. This year has been a different story, however. You see, we actually signed up for premium channels late last year, so Watchathon Week isn’t as special, seeing as how I can watch that stuff whenever I want. They used to put up every episode of the top 100 shows, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, as the first few episodes of Secrets & Lies and Better Call Saul aren’t available, and those are two shows I’d been wanting to check out. Anyway, if you’re a Comcast/Xfinity customer (seriously, which one are we supposed to use? Their branding is terrible!), you’ve got until Monday to bingewatch to your heart’s content.
Speaking of Comcast, apparently they got butthurt about the Rob Lowe DirecTV commercials, and approached the Better Business Bureau to report that DirecTV was making unsubstantiated claims about their service. The BBB sided with Comcast, and requested that DirecTV modify or discontinue the ads. So, now we’ll never get to see Post Apocalyptic Warlord Rob Lowe. Instead, DirecTV has started airing spots with a model on a talking horse. Booo!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC is working with Marvel to develop an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff. The big question is WHY? The ratings for AoS are less than stellar, and they certainly aren’t high enough to warrant a spinoff. On top of this, AoS hasn’t even been given a third season pickup yet, so it seems odd that they’d want to spin off of a property that’s not even guaranteed to be around. I’d much rather have another season of Agent Carter, especially since no one seems to know what the spinoff would be about. It can’t focus on S.W.O.R.D., as I’ve read that organization is part of the X-Men license. I’ve seen some folks mention that it should focus on Damage Control, which I love. If you’re not familiar, Damage Control is a construction company, co-owned by Tony Stark and The Kingpin, that cleans up NYC following superhero battles. I love that aspect of the comics, but I can’t really see a weekly television series based on that premise. I understand the desire to expand the universe, but I think they really need to be pumping those creative juices into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. instead of diluting the brand with a new concept.
Things You Might Have Missed This Week
– It was confirmed that the Russo Brothers, directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will be directing Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 & 2.
-The suit for The Thing was revealed from the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot hit the web yesterday. I think it looks good and, unlike most, I’m looking forward to this movie. Then again, I liked the last 2 FF movies, so I’m easy to please.
-Speaking of Marvel movies, Bryan Singer confirmed that EastEnders actor Ben Hardy will be playing Angel in X-Men: Apocalypse. According to this production art, it seems more like he’ll be playing Archangel.
-A picture of the Suicide Squad cast hit the internet. Did we know that Ike Barinholtz was in this movie?
-Bobby Flay and actress Stephanie March have split after 10 years of marriage.
– Producer Brian Grazer reported that there are plans for 17 more episodes of Arrested Development, but it’s a matter of timing. 17? Such an odd episode count.
–Simpsons producer Al Jean announced that there would be no more physical DVD season sets released of the show. Since the launch of the Simpsons World website, digital seems to be the preferred method for consuming episodes of The Simpsons. He said that they would still record commentaries for episodes, which would be available at Simpsons World.
Links I Loved
The Star Trek: The Next Generation/Webster Crossover Is Totally Real – The Agony Booth
“I Got 4 Bikes”: 2 Nickelodeon Super Toy Run Winners Reminisce 20 Years Later – The A.V. Club
The Inside Story of the Civil War for the Soul of NBC News – Vanity Fair
This morning, I woke up early on a work day. That NEVER happens! But today was no ordinary day. You see, at 3 AM EST, the 13-episode Daredevil series debuted on Netflix (Don’t worry – I woke up at 6). I’ve been a fan of the comic depiction of the character since Brian Michael Bendis’s run in the early ’00s. Plus, unlike most folks, I actually enjoyed the Ben Affleck movie. So, we could only go up from there, right? Anyway, what did I think? I thought it was EXCELLENT.
If you’re not familiar with Daredevil (and c’mon, if you’re reading this site, I’m pretty sure you know something about him), blind Matt Murdock is an attorney by day and a vigilante by night. The show is set in the same Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Avengers movies, but this is a very different tone. At first, this was a little off-putting to me. I couldn’t imagine this Daredevil in the same world that had recently experienced an alien invasion – important, since said invasion sets up the basis for this very series. Could I see this Matt Murdock interacting with Bruce Banner? No, but I’d kill for some banter between Foggy Nelson and Tony Stark. Just like the comics, The Avengers is world-spanning action, while Daredevil is more street-level action. Don’t look for Daredevil to be called when the next alien invasion happens, but he’ll be handling the looters and criminals who try to take advantage of the situation.
Anyway, I can’t think of anything that I hated about the pilot. The opening credits are great, the casting’s good, and the fighting is incredible – it looks like actual, brutal fighting and not the well-choreographed “ballet” that we usually get in action movies. I tend to look for things to tear apart, but I couldn’t find anything in the pilot. Maybe things will get dicey once I have a few more episodes under my belt, but I can’t wait to see what’s next. I won’t go into too much detail, as I know many of you haven’t had the chance to check it out yet. Trust me, though – you won’t be disappointed. Nice work Netflix and Marvel!
So, for capably expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and for just being plain ol’ awesome, Daredevil had the West Week Ever.
5 thoughts on “West Week Ever – 4/10/15”
Good edition of West Week Ever, even if I didn’t get any links this week. Just means I gotta try harder. Totally agree with you on Daredevil. I stayed up till midnight (I’m on the West Coast) to watch the first episode. Really loved it. Great fights and no gimmicky need to highlight DD’s supersenses. It was more subtle, like the actor slightly cocking his head because he could hear something or feel the air move. I really liked that. It gave him an advantage but he’s still only human so he takes his lumps.
Re Tron: I like the original Tron. It’s not a great movie, however I still find it enjoyable for what it is. They really tried to do something different and… well you either like it or you don’t.
As to why it got a sequel? Well, even I don’t know the exact answer to that. But the idea of someone going into a computer world (or a computer world being it’s own world) is an entirely workable idea. All you have to do is have someone zapped inside a computer and you have a fantasy adventure. I think the only reason it got a sequel is Disney was mining it’s old properties (because today it’s all sequels and reboots) and thought about giving it a shot. They did some test footage at an old SDCC that went over insanely well and we got a new Tron.
And that’s why I think Tron and more so its sequel work really well for me. Total nerd fantasy. You get zapped into a computer world, play some super cool games, get the hot girl (more so in the sequel) and save the day.
I think the reason Tron has had such an impact is because it caught a lot of us when we were kids big into video games and just learning about computers. If there are two properties that need to be active in this day and age it’s Tron and Max Headroom.
@Chris – you only didn’t get any links because I didn’t get to read much that week. I more than make up for it in the next edition!
@RobotsPJs – I guess I can see the appeal of Tron – it just didn’t fully do it for me. Maybe I needed to be introduced to it when I was younger. Still gonna check out Tron: Legacy, though, just to see how they updated the product.
@Dex – yeah, as I was saying to RPJs, I think I just needed to see it when I was younger. I’m still not willing to count it out, though. I’d give it another watch, and I’ll also check out the sequel so I’m all caught up. I’ve also heard the cartoon, Tron: Uprising, was pretty good.
The cartoon was amazing and it’s got a lot more Tron in it than Legacy. I was very disappointed at the lack of Tron in the sequel movie. He should have had a bigger part and more of a character arc, although there is a comic that fills some of that in.
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