West Week Ever: Pop Culture In Review – 11/12/21


If you’re reading this, it means that I, too, have been released by WWE. Man, what is going on over there?! They’re cutting a bunch of the roster, Triple H is in hiding after his “cardiac incident”, and more fans seem to be jumping ship to AEW. Could this spell the end for Vince’s Universe? Nah, but these are certainly turbulent times.

Where to begin with this one? This was a LOT of movie. It asks a lot of its audience. Is that bad? No. I’m just saying it’s the Thinking Man’s Marvel Movie, and we’re not really used to that. As I said on social media, the MCU finally made a movie for DCEU fans. The movie isn’t what you’d call “fun”, and it doesn’t prop itself up on the humor you’ve come to know in the MCU films. It’s epic and world-spanning and will make you question everything you’ve seen up to this point. There be spoilers ahead, so proceed at your own risk!

First off, I went into this thing mostly blind. I saw one trailer, but I have next to no familiarity with the characters, as they were created by Jack Kirby, and I am NOT a Kirby fan. They say you’ll gain an appreciation for Kirby later in life, around the time you get your first prostate exam or stop eating pizza after 9 PM. I’m not quite there yet, so no me gusta the Kirby.

Anyway, the conveniently multicultural-looking Eternals were sent to Earth by The Celestials (huge cosmic beings) to protect humans from the Deviants. Or so we’re initially led to believe. The Eternals have powers, but they do a piss poor job explaining most of them. They all have names, but I’ve decided on better names that reflect their power set.

There’s Eye Shooty (Ikaris), who’s in love with Flower Power (Sersi), but is also secretly loved by Kid Razzle Dazzle (Sprite). Meanwhile, Finger Shooty (Kingo) has spent the past few centuries becoming a huge Bollywood star, while Ragin’ Asian (Gilgamesh) and Albino Xena (Thena) have been off doing God knows what to keep Thena from kirking out and killing the rest of the team (she’s going crazy from something called Mind Weary). Next up, there’s The Inventor (Phastos), and Brown Blur (Makkari) who seems to have a thing for The Goth (Druig). And they’re all led by Queen Mexico (Ajak). Got it? Good. Not like any of that really matters.

So, remember when I said this was a lot of movie? I mean, it takes a lot of big swings. There’s the first MCU sex scene. There’s an organically gay team member. There’s a space abortion! And the Judeo-Christian God is a lie! Kinda hard to believe there are currently McDonalds Happy Meal toys for this film!

So, the Eternals came to Earth 5,000 years ago because the Deviants were here, but they were warned by the Celestial Arishem not to intervene in human affairs unless Deviants were involved. This is why the team never intervened in the Thanos stuff or any other event of the MCU up to this point. It was basically below their pay grade. So, they spend the centuries protecting humanity until The Goth has his “We’re bigger than Jesus” moment, and decides that humanity would be better off if he just mind controlled everyone. This causes a rift, leading to the team’s breakup, and they all go their separate ways, waiting to get word that they can return home to their planet Olympia. But there’s a catch! You see, Olympia doesn’t exist, and neither do The Eternals. They aren’t “alive” per se, but were rather created by The Celestials. Oh, and so were the Deviants.

You see, when a Mommy Celestial and a Daddy Celestial love each other, they plant a seed in the core of a planet. Deviants are then sent to that planet as Alpha Predators, to kill off any beings that might threaten the people on the planet. The problem, there, however, is that the Deviants started to evolve. So the Eternals were created to kill the Deviants. And here’s where things get really mindblowy: The Eternals aren’t here in a selfless fashion. No, for the seed to grow, and for the Baby Celestial to hatch from the planet, it requires a ton of energy – energy generated by people. So, the Eternals’ mission was to keep us alive long enough to increase the population to power the birth of the new Celestial, which will destroy Earth in the process. Oh, and the Celestials created Earth and all the other planets and galaxies. So, there’s no benevolent God in the MCU. Just a bunch of cosmic beings using living things as batteries to create more Celestials who, in turn, will create more planets and galaxies. And it’s Earth’s time to hatch.

So, once the team learns the truth, they’re split on whether they should disrupt the natural order of things OR if they should kill a space baby so Earth can live. Well, since we already know about 6 more movies in the MCU pipeline, I guess you can figure out which option they chose.

Remember how I said this was more like a DCEU movie? That becomes apparent here, as there’s no “right” answer. Sure, as humans we should want Earth to survive, but The Eternals also just prevented the birth of billions of other lives by saving us. The stakes are much higher here than simply, “Oh, Hydra’s back.” And it’s the kind of thing the Avengers couldn’t have saved us from. It’s funny to think that all this was taking place, and they probably had no knowledge of it whatsoever. But, knowing what we know now, it makes the whole MCU seem so…trivial. Not to sound nihilistic, but what does any of it matter? At the end of the film, after they’ve aborted the Baby Celestial, Arishem tells them he will be back for judgement. So, at the end of the day, does it matter if Baron Zemo is brought to justice? Or that some Russian mobster has his own Cloud City? Nope, we’re all just waiting for Angry Daddy Celestial to come home with his belt. I just feel like, while giving scope to the MCU and its origins, this was an unnecessary entry that might have done more harm than good. Next to Thor: The Dark World, this is the most skippable MCU film, and I can see it being polarizing for years to come. It’s got the weight of a DCEU film, which isn’t what MCU filmgoers have come to love and expect. Meanwhile, hardcore DCEU fans hate the MCU. So, will it find its audience? I suppose time will tell.

Trailer Park

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

I love the Ghostbusters franchise, even if I don’t show it. No, I don’t have a replica proton pack or anything, but I grew up on The Real Ghostbusters, which holds a special place in my heart. The movies? Eh. I could actually take or leave them. No, let me back up: I LOVE Ghostbusters II, not because it’s the best, but because it’s the one I’ve seen most. In college, I took a class about relationships where they said “familiarity breeds liking”. They also said “The exotic becomes erotic”, so do with that what you will. Anyway, the more I saw GB II, the more I liked it. I love those guys, and I wanna see more. OF THEM. I’m really not being reached by whatever it is they’re doing with these kids, and I can’t really say they’re “Stranger Things-ing” it, not having seen Stranger Things yet. But I’m just not picking up what they’re putting down. Still, I’d be lying if I said that last line by Venkman didn’t warm my cold, cold heart. And that’s no easy feat, considering my brain is telling me that Bill Murray seems like the most insufferable person you’ll ever meet. TLDR, I’ll be there when this opens next week, just to get my facts straight.

8-Bit Christmas (HBO Max)

This looks cute. It’s basically A Christmas Story set in the 80s, with a Nintendo Entertainment System in the place of a Red Ryder BB gun. So, instead of “You’ll shoot your eye out!”, it’s “You can’t shoot the Duck Hunt dog!” There’s something that bothers me here, though: the fact that it’s entirely based around the actually real Nintendo Entertainment System. The last time a movie did this was The Wizard, which was really just a theatrical commercial for Super Mario Bros 3. Couldn’t they have created their own system for the movie? Something like the “Nintega Exodus”? It just feels like crass commercialism, rolled around in nostalgia, and wrapped with a bow. Whatever. I don’t have to leave home to watch it, so that’s a big plus in my book!

Things You Might Have Missed This Week

  • Everyone’s favorite vampire, Paul Rudd, was named the People Magazine‘s Sexiest Man Alive for 2021.
  • Brian Williams announced that he’s leaving NBC News at the end of the year. Or is this another one of your tall tales, Williams?!
  • Coach Bombay is about to die in a plane crash! Yup, Emilio Estevez is out of season 2 of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, and it was initially reported that it was due to a vaccine mandate on set. He later released a statement that he’s not anti-vaxx, but didn’t really clear up what’s going on. Pour one out on the ice for Gordon.
  • Tracy Morgan debuted as the new voice of Early Cuyler for the final season of Squidbillies, after the original voice actor, Unknown Hinson, was fired following some controversial posts on Facebook. Ya know, it really shouldn’t work, but it kinda does. Morgan brings a new take to the character, but it’s just such an odd move to make for the show’s final season.
  • Has anyone been watching Close Enough? It’s an animated HBO Max show, but they’re currently airing it Monday nights on TBS. It’s by J.G. Quintel, creator of Regular Show, and it’s basically Regular Show with People. And that’s probably why it’s not good, as I can believe most of those plots concerning a blue jay and a raccoon, but not with humans. I dunno, I’m weird like that. For anyone who’s seen all the episodes on HBO Max, does it get any better?

It’s a tough one this week. I will say, however, that I’ve been thinking about Eternals for the past 7 days. It’s a lot of movie, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It’s a lot to chew on. Still, it’s the #1 movie in the world, and had the second largest opening during the pandemic – not bad, for a movie filled with a ton of unknown characters. It’s not every day that you find yourself, I guess, haunted by an MCU film, and that’s probably the best description of how I’ve felt since that late night viewing last Thursday. So, for these reasons, Eternals had the West Week Ever.


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