Friday, December 30, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 140 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Join the Needless Things Irregulars for a discussion about the newest entry into the ongoing Star Wars franchise – Rogue One!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christina's The Best (And Best Attempts) of 2016

By Christina

What did I like about this year?  What did I read or listen to?  Who did I think did it best or worst?  Let’s find out, shall we?  Here is my 2016 year end review!

Jerry’s List for The Best of 2016

By Jerry Chandler

I think we can all agree that to a very large degree 2016 S-U-C-K-E-D. 2016 seemed to be the year that a lot of people had a rough time of it on a personal level, and we all shared a series of what felt like crushing cultural losses in the form of Ali, Bowie, Prince, Wilder, Rickman, Vigoda, Fisher, Herschell Gordon Lewis, and so many others. Then there were… the other things that happened.

But, you know, there were actually some really cool things that happened this year as well. If you’ve been following Needless Things closely this week, you should have already seen the picks for the best that 2016 had to offer by the rest of the crew, and now you get mine. So here, for your consideration, are the things that I picked as my best of 2016 that will go their bit to keep the year from being remembered in the history books as a year that totally and unequivocally sucked. Oh, and for the benefit of people who have still yet to see some of the big deal movies and shows of 2016, I will be working spoiler free.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Immanentize The Eschaton: Best Of 2016

There's only a few more days left in 2016, and while a lot of you are dwelling on the worst, Optimist Prime here is going to break down the best. Well, my personal best that is. Everyone here at Needless Things is doing it so be sure to check out the other "Best Of"' lists being posted this week. I know 2016 has killed a lot of famous entertainers, but as they say, life goes on. For all the crappiness that 2016 may have brought you, it brought me one of the nerdiest years ever. It was so nerdy in fact, that compiling a list of absolute best has been extremely difficult. To remedy this I've added more categories than I originally intended to, just so I can spread the love a bit more. So here we go, The Best of 2016:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Beth's Best of 2016

Oh 2016 I will not be sad to see the end of you. Sure some cool stuff happened along the way, but too many great people keep dying. Not to mention all the horror and madness in the world right now. So yeah, I’m ready to move on. And for once I’m going to try and be positive by talking about the good things that we did get out of the year. Phantom gave us a lot of ideas on what to talk about this week, but I’m guessing mine will look a bit different since I’m not into quite the same stuff as he or our other contributors are (I do not have a pick for best toy line or company). I’ll list my nominees, and follow with my pick for winner along with my reasoning why (just to let you know how this will work). So without further ado let’s talk about my picks for The Best of 2016.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 139 - Christmas in Disney

Phantom Troublemaker talks about Christmastime in Walt Disney World with his family!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

“Procrastibate” by

You can follow Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest on pop culture!

If you enjoy podcasts, Disney, or Needless Things, you might enjoy

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Oh Look… It’s A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life Again

By Jerry Chandler

It has come every year for decades now. It’s almost like a seasonal plague. Sometimes there are only a few cases here and there while other times we suffer a massive, terrifying outbreak. I speak of course of the annual tradition with many television writers where they feel that they too must do their show’s take on either A Christmas Carol or It’s a Wonderful Life.

Sometimes the attempts have been just plain bad. Well, most of the times the attempts have been just plain bad. A good chunk of the time we get something that’s watchable- perhaps it’s even good –but totally forgettable. It’s like the writing teams just decided to do the most basic paint by number version of the story their riffing on and then knocked off early that week.

But, ever so often, you get an attempt at doing one of these Christmas classics where the writer or writing team decides that they want to play with the concept. They decide to turn the concept on its ear, twist it inside out, shake it up a bit, and create something that actually has the ability to stand on its own and feel like more than just a lazily done, cheap knockoff of the original. I present to you a few of those attempts that are worth seeking out for your holiday viewing pleasure.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Break

I'm in Walt Disney World for Christmas break. Consider me on vacation.

Jerry will have something on Thursday and Friday will be a Very Special Episode of the Needless Things Podcast.

Everyone will be back next week with a series of Best of 2016 posts, the idea of which is much harder to convey than you'd imagine.

You can follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to see what happens on my family's Disney Christmas adventure! 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

If you enjoy Christmas or Needless Things, you might enjoy

Friday, December 16, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 138 – Batman Returns Needless Commentary

Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

When Horror Fans (and Others) Aren’t Helpful to their Own Fandom

By Jerry Chandler

I love a lot of various genres that are enjoyed by fandom, but I tend to lean the heaviest towards horror. Hey, I am a horror guy after all. In horror, much to the surprise of some who don’t know me, I’m a vampire guy. Yeah, I end up in way more zombie discussions these days, but I have always been first and foremost a vampire guy.

But as a vampire fan I have to admit that there’s a downside to being a vampire fan and/or a horror fan that’s been growing in fandom rather noticeability over the last twenty or so years. While this issue was around before then, it started growing with Buffy the Vampire Slayer on TV, and it ballooned when Twilight stormed into theaters and opened the TV floodgates for things like the Vampire Dairies. If you think I’m talking about the “wussification” of vampires in pop culture, you’d be wrong. I’m actually talking about a noticeable chunk of horror fandom itself reacting to such things and the fans they bring in in the worst possible way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Grimm Tales of Terror 2016 Holiday Special from Zenescope

By Phantom Troublemaker

In this Comic Book Wednesday I’m taking a look at the Grimm Tales of Terror 2016 Holiday Special. It’s available today at your Local Comic Book Shop!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays – it’s time to return to Zenescope’s Grimm world for four tales of Yuletide terror (and one wraparound story)! Each of the stories represents a different aspect of the holiday season; ones that we’re a familiar with. There’s a mall Santa, the office Christmas party, the temptation of peeking at gifts, and caroling. What could possibly go wrong with Christmas carolers?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What's Next for The Walking Dead?

By Beth

I know that hating The Walking Dead is the cool thing now. Phantom has been hating it for a while so he's ahead of the curve. What a trendsetter! I don't hate The Walking Dead. I've put a lot of time into this show, and I really want it to be good. After two 90 minute episodes in a row that gave us probably a total of 60 minutes of decent content though...well I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Phantom on Marvel – Agents of SHIELD

By Phantom Troublemaker

Since I started the Needless Things Podcast the frequency of my commentary and speculation pieces has been dwindling. I enjoy talking a lot more than I enjoy writing and I enjoy conversation more than I enjoy tossing lengthy essays out into an unresponsive void.

Plus, now that I have paying supporters on (few though they may be) I feel a little more obligated to post stuff there when I am taken with the desire to write.
But every once in a while I still get the itch to post something here that’s a little broader and more interesting than a toy review. Which is why I’m here today.

I want to talk about Marvel – comics, TV shows, movies; everything. Or at least, everything I’m qualified to talk about. Obviously I can’t read every comic book Marvel publishes and right now I’m choosing to read even less than I normally do because a lot of them seem to be terrible. And I’m going to discuss that, too.

Today I’m going to write about Marvel TV. Live action TV, that is. I’m not getting into cartoons because they’ve been around so much longer and also because Spectacular Spider-Man and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were so perfect and what has replaced them is, in my opinion, hot garbage.

Superhero Squad was great, too.

This post was originally going to encompass everything – Agents of SHIELD and all of the Netflix stuff – but it turns out SHIELD gave me plenty to go on about on its own. Stay tuned for what might be individual pieces for the Marvel Netflix shows.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 137 - Winter Break: Invasion, Madness, & Hellfire!

Phantom Troublemaker and Head of Research Ryan Schweck discuss the current seasons of Agents of SHIELD, Gotham, and the CW DC shows!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Sequel You Never Knew Existed and Will Wish Didn’t

By Jerry Chandler

The year was 1982, and television’s favorite upper-class, well to do P.I. Matt Houston (Lee Horsley) traded in his tailored suits, fancy cars, and quality time with Pamela Hensley for a scruffy look, a large horse, and Kathleen Beller on the big screen. It may have been a step down all the way around; particularly that last one. Oh, but he did get to play with a really wicked sword with three blades and spring-loaded action. I speak of course of The Sword and the Sorcerer.

It was low budget, it wasn’t blessed with the best writers (two of the three writers involved with it never wrote another movie) or director, and, well, the acting could get a little scenery chewing. But, damn, for kids of a certain age it became one of THE vital building blocks in having a love of darker fantasy, sword and sorcery cinema. Like a lot of movies coming out at that time, it even teased a sequel film during the end credits; complete with a title already worked out. We were told to watch for the (Coming soon!) continuing adventures of Talon in Tales of the Ancient Empire.

Their definition of “coming soon” turned out to be a little… well… off. How off? It took them just shy of thirty years. Was it at least worth the wait? Hell no. How not worth the wait was it? Holy mother of god awful is this movie mind staggeringly bad to absolutely gloriously obscene levels of horrendous film making. This film redefines bad almost to the degree of turning it into an art form unique in and of itself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Coherence

Recently I've been obsessing over the Mandela Effect and it's different theories, so this week's installment is inspired by that. Unless of course, you are in an alternate timeline, then for you this will be a review of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. For those of you who are fortunate enough to be reading the Coherence review but don't have any idea what the Mandela Effect is, then keep reading cause it's gonna get weird. It's always weird in Devlin's Domain.

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews December 2016: “Remember December”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about three months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in February.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Toy Review – Arkham City 1:10 Scale Harley Quinn from NECA

“Over the last few years Harley Quinn has become one of my favorite characters.”

Is a statement that pretty much every comic book nerd in the world would make, except they wouldn’t admit to the “last few years” part. They’d claim she was their favorite from the start.
Don’t get mad at them. It’s not their fault. That sort of thig comes from the toxic environment created by the self-appointed gatekeepers of our pop culture. You almost have to qualify every statement you make about your fandom, lest some hoary hobgoblin emerge from the nerd strata above yours to crush you with their psychopathic, encyclopedic knowledge of the matter at hand, thus proving that your fandom is fraudulent and that they have once again triumphed over a lesser being.

This sort of thing is why I don’t discuss Doctor Who in public anymore.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Phantom on DC Rebirth So Far

By Phantom Troublemaker

I was discussing comics in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook group the other day and our pal Rich said that DC’s Rebirth IS “one of the best things done in my lifetime for comics”. My immediate response was to think that was a bit hyperbolic, but it did prompt me to examine what, exactly, DC has managed to accomplish with their latest publishing initiative.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 136 - Beastie Boys

A very special episode of the Needless Things Podcast dedicated to the Beastie Boys!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Shopping Time is Here Again

By Jerry Chandler

Okay, we can finally play Christmas songs and talk Christmas time without an elf strangling a baby reindeer. So, of course, in the true spirit of the season, we’re going to talk about what you can spend money on in order to give people stuff.