Friday, March 31, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 154 - WrestleMania 33 Pre-Show w/

Phantom Troublemaker teams up with Noel from for a special look at WWE and WrestleMania!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Temporary Fix for the Women’s and Tag Divisions in the Age of the WWE Brand Split

By Jerry Chandler

So, we’ve now been in the era of the WWE’s second go at the Raw/SmackDown brand split for about three-quarters of a year. The overall effort has been at this point a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to improving the quality of the product as a whole. The two shows should have been striving for their own identities earlier and better than they did, and the sense of actual competition between “two rival shows” hasn’t always been there. But for everything that can be discussed here that the brand split has done either wrong or right, the two things that seem to be in the most need of some extra tinkering in order to prop up their divisions are the tag team division and the women’s division.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Devlin's Domain - La Grande Bouffe

This reminds me of nights at Golden Corral or a dumpy Chinese buffet where I become aware of the unhealthy physical appearance of other patrons. I'm not one to frequent buffets, but every time I do I tell myself I'll never go back. It's a great idea in theory, you have plenty of options and the permission to try as much of anything as you'd like. Acting on the initial impulse of trying everything and getting your money's worth leads to some negative side effects though. I usually find myself in a state of extreme discomfort that last at least an hour. Stomach is bloated and cramped and that's only after roughly 3 plates. I've seen people get multiple plates in one trip to reduce how many times they have to get their fat asses up and walk back, cause it's so far ya know. The buffet is the last place some of these people need to be. Their love of food and over indulgence of it is surely leading to an early demise. This is relevant to what's ahead. So if you're curious as to why I'm talking Golden Corral in Devlin's Domain, proceed.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Once More with Buffy

by Beth

I hadn't planned on writing more about Buffy, but when Phantom asked me for an extra post, and I didn't want to move up my next post I thought it might be a good time to go more in-depth on a few of my favorite episodes. I was challenged on a few of my top picks so had planned on the top 5, but once I got into it I quickly realized I had too much to say about them to get that far. Hell, I couldn't even get the top 3 into less that several thousand words. Not without making this unbearably long, at least. So here are a few notables that didn't quite make the cut, but are still worth mentioning as well as a longer piece of why my favorite is indeed my favorite. Hint: it's Doublemeat Palace. Just making sure you were paying attention. That is probably my least favorite Buffy ever. So here's 5 more good ones:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 153 - Mikal Mosley

A Very Special WrestleMania Monday Episode!

Phantom Troublemaker talks to wrestler and cosplayer Mikal Mosley on this special bonus episode of the Needless Things Podcast!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 152 – Toy Stories LIVE at Toylanta 2017

LIVE from Toylanta 2017 (formerly Joelanta and the Great Atlanta Toy Convention), Phantom Troublemaker hosts an all-new Toy Stories panel!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Iron Fist – The Last Defender Finally Arrives

By Jerry Chandler

Marvel’s batting average on Netflix has been pretty good so far. Daredevil had many people changing their tune about how Marvel was unable to get its act together on the small screen; Jessica Jones was tremendously well received by fans and critics alike; Luke Cage brought things to a whole new level even if the series fell off a bit in the last few episodes. All that was needed to properly ready fans for The Defenders was the premier of the series featuring the last of the four of them. So last weekend Netflix dropped Iron Fist for binge hungry superhero fans everywhere. Iron Fist was to square off against an adversary that none of the others had to fight though.

The show faced a social controversy over the casting of the lead character long before the first scene was ever shot. When it became clear that the powers that be were not going to change the course of their casting choices, there seemed to be a growing chorus of people who wanted the show to fail no matter what. This was above and beyond the now expected gaggle of critics who these days simply cheers on the idea of “Marvel’s first big bomb” before every new Marvel release. When the flood of negative reviews- some even referencing the casting issue -came in during the week before its release, it created a bit of an issue. Where the reviews completely legitimate or were some of them negative because they wanted to be negative no matter what? Sure, every franchise has to make an inevitable misstep, but was the show truly as bad on so many levels as they were saying or was this in part the tail trying to wag the dog? That was at least one of the things on my mind when I sat down to start watching Iron Fist last Friday.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Phantom Troublemaker’s Life of Movies

By Phantom Troublemaker

What a fucking chore this turned out to be!

I saw a Facebook post by our good friend Chad J. Shonk on Sunday morning that was a list of his favorite movie from each year that he has been alive. I thought it was neat and I’m pretty much a sucker for gimmicky new ways to make lists of favorite things, so I decided I’d participate. Of course, once I got started I realized a few things:

*This undertaking would certainly produce enough material for a Needless Things article rather than a mere Facebook post

*Browsing through every movie made (listed on Wikipedia) in the last forty years was going to take many hours

*There were going to be quite a few years where it was incredibly difficult to pick a favorite

*Wikipedia is the drizzling shits as far as accuracy goes; it took me two different lists to do this and I still think there are some movies that got overlooked

*Hollywood has produced far, far more movies that I don’t care about than it has movies I do and of those an overwhelming majority are hot garbage

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

20 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

by Beth

“If the apocalypse comes beep me.” If you're under 20 a reference to our long lost primitive forms of communication might not make a lot of sense to you. But hey, if you're under 20 you're probably not reading about a show that's older than you are anyway. I guess in your parlance it would be “snap me”. Whatever the hell that means. Okay really I do know what that means, but I've got enough social media in my life. You kids can keep the snaps all to yourselves.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Toy Review – One:12 Collective DC Comics Flash from Mezco Toys

By Phantom Troublemaker

Wally West is my Flash.

I know that Geoff Johns Rebirthed Barry Allen however long ago that was now, but I first started liking the Scarlet Speedster on Justice League. As with many DC characters, I didn’t truly appreciate Flash until his depiction in the DC Animated Universe, where the combination of brilliant writing and Michael Rosenbaum’s natural charm made Wally West one of the best characters on the show.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 151: Hard Ticket to Hawaii 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, March 16, 2017

Reviewing ‘Kong: Skull Island’ and Looking at Where We Go from Here

By Jerry Chandler

Okay, I’m going to assume that most of you who stick your head in here at Needless Things are the types to have already gone to see Kong: Skull Island already. If you haven’t, go see it this weekend and come back for this afterwards. I’m going to remain as spoiler free as possible in the initial portion of the column, but, and I will warn you when we’re about to get into spoiler territory, there’s no way to not talk spoilers when talking about what the events seen in Kong: Skull Island credits stinger mean or where we could be headed because of that. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Toy Review – DC Icons Batgirl from DC Collectibles

By Phantom Troublemaker

If I didn’t already own hundreds of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics action figures I would absolutely be collecting DC Collectibles’ Icons. Well, if they cost less I would be. But I’ll still pick up favorite characters from time to time like Harley Quinn, Batman, and Deadman. The Deadman is by far the best action figure of that character that I own. Batman would be if not for the One:12 Dark Knight Returns figure. And that Harley is simply outstanding. If you don’t have her, I recommend you find one.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Princess of Antar: Christina's Character Study on Roswell's Isabel Evans

By Christina

“Oh…I…I killed a person.  An alien?  An enemy?  Does that make it ok?  Oh God, what was she talking about?  She said I betrayed my family.  Is it true?  Oh, is it true?  Am I a terrible person?”

Straight A student.  Most popular in school.  Loves her mother and father.  Outgoing.  Dreams of being a supermodel someday.  Is also the Princess of an alien planet, has alien powers that allow her to walk in peoples dreams, can manipulate the molecular structure of objects, can incinerate people with the wave of a hand and shove people out of doors with her mind, and is also trying to stop an inter-galactic war before it threatens the picture-perfect life that she enjoys on Earth.  So…not your average teenager.

In Part Two of my four-part character study of the Royal Four of the TV Show Roswell, I dissect (wow, poor word choice,) Isabel Evans.  The pretty and popular human woman-slash-Princess of Antar.  Warning:  Spoilers ahead.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Phantom on Marvel – Netflix's Jessica Jones

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

Today I’m going to write about Jessica Jones.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 150 – Resident Evil

Phantom Troublemaker and Beth reminisce about the original survival horror franchise – Resident Evil!

Twenty-one years of terror! From the very first video game on the original Sony PlayStation to the current one-two punch of the seventh entry in the primary line of video games and the sixth and supposedly final film, few video game franchises have enjoyed as much success and notoriety as Resident Evil. With forays onto nearly every modern video game system and countless tie-ins, the series known as Biohazard in Japan is Capcom’s top multi-million dollar property.

Listen in as Phantom and Beth talk about being entertained in theaters and terrified in the comfort of their own homes!

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 

Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?

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

If you enjoy Batman, toys, or Needless Things, you might enjoy

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Looking at King Kong Escapes

By Jerry Chandler

If you’re reading this on the day it goes live, then you’re within hours of being able to drive on down to your local movie theater and watch Kong: Skull Island in all of its big screen glory. This is the latest big budget, big screen telling of King Kong’s story, although this time they’re setting out to make it a franchise starter set in a shared universe and changes to the traditional narrative have been made. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything about the ending by saying Kong avoids falling to his death in an American city this time since it’s widely known the goal here is to get Kong and Godzilla together again in a few short years.

But there are other Kong films out there where they changed the script up a bit as well as giant ape films where the star wasn’t Kong. Some were great fun. Some others were... what they were. Let’s look at one of the better ones here.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews March 2017: “Mutants and Space People, Everywhere!”

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 June.

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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Movie Review - Logan

by Beth

I went into Logan unspoiled, and I'm glad I did. For those of you who haven't seen it yet I will do my best to help you stay that way too. Well, I did read one review. I purposely chose the worst review I could find on IMDB so that I could get an idea if what the the worst case scenario might be. I don't remember who wrote it, but they were from TIME, and they were way off. According to them Logan was making a weak attempt at reflecting our troubled political landscape, and it just didn't go far enough in that area. I didn't get that from it at all so maybe just ignore any piece of the review you see from TIME. I know that Phantom already reviewed Logan for his Patreon subscribers so by all means go check that out, but I'm going to throw my two cents in as well. We often have differing opinions so I don't think putting another perspective out there is a bad thing. He's softened on his stance against Days of Future Past, but we disagreed wildly on it at first.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Phantom on Wrestling: The Universe vs. The Cruiserweights

By Phantom Troublemaker

Note: I will reference the WWE main roster several times. While the Cruiserweight division is part of that roster and also its own product depending on the situation, let’s not kid ourselves – these guys are not on par with Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. Not to the general audience in a star power way. So when I refer to the main roster, I mean the talent that is exclusively referred to as being on RAW or Smackdown Live.

From Facebook:

“What are your thoughts on the cruiserweights?”

Good question! I almost answered before realizing that I could get a whole post out of it.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Fact, Fiction, Reality, and the Mandela Effect

By Jerry Chandler

I love the Mandela Effect. It’s essentially been around for longer than I’ve been alive, but it only got the name we now more commonly know it by in the last few decades. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s the belief by some that a false memory they and others share is in fact a real memory and proof that the timeline has changed or people have unknowingly slipped over into a parallel dimension with only small differences when compared to theirs. Oh, and in the case of the timeline thing, only they remember the other timeline.

While confabulation or pseudomemory phenomena has always been around, it was the release from prison of Nelson Mandela that created a large ripple in people’s collective false memories. Huge numbers of people swore that they remembered news story after news story of Nelson Mandela dying in prison. The fact that he was now being released had to mean that something had gone wrong with time or they had slipped dimensional boundaries. After all, they certainly couldn’t be misremembering something themselves, and their view that they were right was bolstered by the large number of other people claiming the same thing. It became such a large movement that the phenomena of massive groups of people holding a false memory recently acquired his name- the Mandela Effect.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Marvel Comics Daredevil from Mezco Toys

By Phantom Troublemaker

Two things have made me a bigger fan of Daredevil than I used to be – Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run of the comic book and the Netflix Original Daredevil.

 I think I talked enough about my background with Matt Murdock in the above post, so instead I’m going to talk about what’s up with Mezco’s One:12 Collective action figures and how I think the line is going.