Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Toy Review – Walmart Exclusive Retro WWE Action Figures Series 1 from Mattel

By Phantom Troublemaker

A couple of years ago I sold all of my Mattel wrestling figures in one shot. I decided that I had to call it quits because I’d rather plunk down twenty bucks for a monster or a superhero or a robot than for a guy in his underwear (He-Man and pals notwithstanding). I still follow what comes out and if they release Steven/William Regal figures then I am, by God, going to buy them. But I don’t want to devote my money or valuable space to a whole wall of plastic grapplers.

That being said, if a company is clever enough and puts out toys that have just the right gimmick – like the awesome WWE Zombies – I just can’t resist.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monkey Monday Toy Review – Walmart Exclusive Kong: Skull Island 18” Mega-Figure from Lanard Toys

By Phantom Troublemaker

I am very excited for Kong: Skull Island.

I was also very excited for new King Kong toys.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Depression, Manipulation, Murder, and More – A look at the New Film 'Athena'

By Jerry Chandler

Athena is the story of Carl, a man living with both emotional and physical scars in the wake of his wife’s death. His life is crumbling around him, he’s tormented by dreams of his wife, and he’s turned to means of dealing with his issues that are not all entirely healthy for him; including tuning out the rest of the world. Athena is the story of Emily, a slightly schizophrenic, manic depressive who is doing okay handling her issues. She also seems to care for Carl. Then there is Athena, a voice that starts talking to Carl from inside of his head. Carl may be going mad, but then the voice begins talking to Emily as well. What is Athena? What does she want? Is she trying to help two damaged people, or is she trying to hasten their self-destruction? Athena is an independent film from Image Impact Group, GreySun Productions, the late writer Michael Louis Calvillo, and director Robert W. Filion.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Devlin's Domain - Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer

The entertainment industry has a few restrictions as far as what senses they can stimulate for your enjoyment. For the most part they focus on your sense of sight and sense of hearing. That leaves three senses totally unattended to, unless you're counting the theater popcorn. But what if you could smell a movie with your eyes? Weird, right? If you're interested then proceed in the Domain.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Another Night with Netflix - Animal

By Beth

I have to say that I have a love/hate relationship with Netflix. I love being able to binge watch a show anytime I want, and tear through a whole season of something in just a few days. I hate it because after watching all of the things that I really wanted to see I find myself watching something like Animal just because it's there. Sure there are a bunch of shows on my list, but there are plenty of times where I have 90 minutes to kill. I'm a binger, and sometimes I need something I can easily finish in a night.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Toy Review – S.H. Figuarts Injustice: Gods Among Us Batman from Bandai

By Phantom Troublemaker

Note: This review was dictated into my phone live as I opened the figure. That’s why it reads so weird. As I was editing it I realized that this might be why certain toy reviewers come off as weirdo idiots. You can’t just dictate speech into a written review because we don’t speak the same way we write. Or at least, we shouldn’t.

I cleaned up some word errors and the worst grammar offenses, but otherwise left it intact because, quite frankly, if I wanted it to sound normal I would have had to re-write the whole thing and that would have defeated the purpose of the review. So sit back and enjoy the weirdness of my spoken words transposed into internet print.

Welcome to a very special Hampton Inn hotel room toy review!

This Batman was at Barnes & Noble on clearance for fifty percent off - otherwise I never would have bought it. Also I wanted to do something kind of different and keep myself occupied. Thanks to the nature of my job I'm sequestered during non-Snowpocalypse and I need to keep myself occupied. Sitting in front of me is a toy from a line that I have never purchased from before, but it is a Batman. So it will be a fine addition to my Batman shelf. I'm actually pretty excited because I’ve had an eye on the Figuarts line for a long time – mostly due to the Godzilla stuff - and I just think it's going to be really interesting to open up one of these figures that I've never even touched before. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 143 – The Ice Pirates 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, January 19, 2017

Invasion UFO

By Jerry Chandler

It was the 1970s, and British television icon Gerry Anderson (he of Captain Scarlet and Space: 1999 fame) introduced the world to his vision of Earth fighting a desperate war against an alien invasion in the far future of 1980. The show, called simply enough, UFO, had everything the young and young at heart viewers could possibly want. There were UFOs, aliens, high tech combat vehicles for the Earth’s defense forces, a covert military organization, a moon base, and girls with purple hair.

Unfortunately, what it didn’t have was reliably solid writing and directing. The 26 episodes were wildly uneven with some dragging badly from what felt like stretching a 20-minute idea into 45 minutes of program and others feeling like they were just plain old poorly written. However, when an episode worked it really worked. A number of episodes, sadly not the majority of them, were done well enough that they still stand up fairly well even today. While the overall uneven quality of the series brought about its end before its story was finished, the better episodes allowed it a new life in a different form. They made a sort of movie out of them. They chopped up several episodes, spliced bits and pieces together, added a really funky theme on top if the existing score, and packaged the end result as Invasion UFO for international distribution.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Phantom on Marvel – Netflix's Daredevil

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 SupportPhantom.com (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’ve already written about Marvel Comics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Agents of SHIELD (which surprised me by getting its own post).

Today I’m going to write about Marvel’s Netflix shows. Originally this was going to be a post that encompassed all of Marvel’s television projects, but that proved to be too much for just one entry. As I’m writing this introduction, I’m curious to see if I can squeeze all of Netflix into one post or if I’ll end up breaking them off into individual pieces.

Let’s find out! (I did – this one is just about Daredevil)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batman from Mezco Toys

By Phantom Troublemaker

If you’ve been following me here or anywhere else on social media – like FacebookTwitter, or Instagram – you know that while I recognized some issues with Dawn of Justice, I liked it a lot more than many people. Especially the extended cut once I saw it. And the one thing that everyone seemed to agree on was that Ben Affleck was great as Bruce Wayne and Batman.

You can read more of my thoughts on the movie here and check out our BvS episode of the Needless Things Podcast.

Mezco’s One:12 Collective action figures are the best I have ever owned. They’re basically the toys I have dreamed of my entire life. Check out my reviews of the Dark Knight Returns Batman and Judge Dredd for more about how incredible those figures are.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 142 – 2017: More Movies!

The Needless Things Irregulars look at the jam-packed list of upcoming 2017 movies that didn’t get mentioned by the listeners for last week’s episode!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Three Films to Look Forward to in 2017

By Jerry Chandler

2016 is in the rearview mirror, we’re well on the road into the New Year, and 2017 has some solid offerings on the horizon for geeks of all stripes. From little, seemingly out of the way projects to the big screen, this is a year that’s going to either be geek nirvana or a repeat of a lot of 2016’s missed opportunities. Hopefully it’s a lot closer to being the former than the latter with what we’re going to look at here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews January 2017: “Where For Art Thou, Kaare?”

By Phantom Troublemaker

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 March.

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why I Said Goodbye to Nintendo

by Beth

Once upon a time I was a Nintendo only gamer. It was for a very long time too. From the early days of the NES all the way to the Gamecube. I never even considered buying another brand of console for a very long time. I had gold cartridges, special editions, fancy controllers, the works. I was all Nintendo everything, until very suddenly I wasn’t. While recording an episode of the Needless Things podcast recently Phantom challenged me to write about what caused the switch (no upcoming system pun intended). Since I had nothing more pressing kicking around in my brain for this week’s post I decided to give it a shot.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Toy Review – Madballs Vinyl Figures Series 1 from Mondo

By Phantom Troublemaker

We are living in truly strange times.

After first being released over thirty years ago and receiving a brief revival thanks to Art Asylum in 2006, Madballs are back! But they’re back in a much bigger and more widespread way than I ever would have anticipated.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 141 - 2017

The Needless Things Irregulars look ahead at 2017 to see what pop culture has to offer!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Wait… They’re Remaking What?!? (With King Kong vs Godzilla Review)

By Jerry Chandler

This is not exactly new news. As a matter of fact, it’s old enough that it was discussed as a part of the reason we’re seeing a new King Kong film in 2017. We’re getting Kong: Skull Island in part- perhaps in large part –because they want a “shared universe” in order to have King Kong eventually meet the King of Monsters for a big budget, Hollywood battle royal.

Now, I’m not as anti-remake as a lot of other people can be. My attitude towards remakes with regards to potential quality is that they have a no greater or lesser chance at being good than an original film. I don’t do the complaints that remakes always suck, shouldn’t be made, or are never as good as the original, so that’s not what this is about. But I do occasionally wonder what they’re thinking when they decide that they’re going to do a certain property and how they intend to do it. So, along with a bit of a review of the original film, that’s what I’ll be doing here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Shakespearean Disorder: Falling For The Tragic Characters.

By Christina

I think that I should call my particular problem The Shakespearean disorder.  Fake name, but I'll go with it.  My penchant for falling for the tragic characters with the saddest backstory and the need to be the one to die violently is the stuff of legends in my family.  If ever I get attached to any character for their spunk, their need to try, their passion, whatever, the inevitable conclusion is a funeral.  I dont know why; may be Im just blessed with the ability to spot the dead men walking. 

I wanted to share some of my top picks for the most tragic characters in TV history.  The ones that went down swinging, died trying, were hapless victims, or just had that huge and caring heart.  Or heckall of the above.  If you havent seen them than be warned of spoilers for Charmed, Supernatural, Roswell, The Tribe, and The Walking Dead.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fandom, Geeks, Nerds, and Roadkill - Guest Post by John Schultz

Guest Post by John Schultz

What is Roadkill?

The remains of an animal killed by a motor vehicle on the road?

A victim of an intense competition?

A decisive win in an away game for a sports team?

A vehicle broken by years of abuse and neglect abandoned for dead on the side of the road?

A means, manner or method of “repairing” something in such the wrong way that it is guaranteed to fail almost immediately? (More on this later)

Neither of these is what I'm here to talk about, except the last. I'm here to talk about Roadkill, The YouTube (and Netflix now) automotive adventure series. It's what TopGear USA should have been. Don't worry if you don't understand half of what I'm on about, I don't understand half of what these guys are on about and it doesn't matter. Why? Here we go.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Phantom Troublemaker’s Best of 2016

By Phantom Troublemaker

As 2016 comes to a close it’s time to look back and choose all of the best things from the past twelve months.

Every selection on this list is about my own personal tastes. I am not an objective party – it’s all about what I think is great and the varied criteria I use to judge greatness across pop culture. If there’s something missing from the list that you think is great and deserves acknowledgement I either didn’t see it, know about it, read it, watch it, or like it.