Friday, December 29, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 193 – Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Recorded LIVE in the Phantom Zone!

The Needless Things Irregulars are joined by special guest Chad J. Shonk for a lively roundtable discussion about the newest entry into the ever-growing Star Wars saga!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 in Review

By Jerry Chandler

Looking back at 2017, I realized that a lot of my 2017 was catching up on the 2016 stuff I missed. I did catch a fair bit of the 2017 highlights, but a good chunk of my year was spent ensuring that I’ll have to play pop culture catchup in 2018. I mean, I still have not ventured out to see Justice League, The Last Jedi, Coco, or The Disaster Artist with less than three days left in the year. Although, I may be getting the kids out to Coco this weekend, so I might get that one in before the ball drops. I was also underwhelmed by some of the things in 2017 that blew so many people away. I found both Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to be closer to just really good than great, and I was one of the few I knew to be almost totally disappointed with Kong: Skull Island outside of the post credit scene. So, yeah, a lot of 2017 was me coming late to the 2016 party or being less enthused about 2017 hits than most were.

As one example of the former, one of my favorite shows to discover this year was Westworld, but it doesn’t count for a look at the larger pop culture hits of 2017 because it was a 2016 show. Still, I suppose I can call it one of my favorite Blu-Ray releases of 2017. So, yeah, I’ll start from there. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Devlin's Domain - Delights and Angers: Best of 2017

2017 is coming to a close and as I suspected this time last year, we're all still here and everything's mostly fine. While many people spent the year setting their hair on fire over one bit of rubbish or another, I immersed myself in loads of entertainment as I waited for this whole thing to blow over. Looks like I'll be waiting a while, so I'll continue that practice through 2018 as well. On this edition of Devlin's Domain I'll be making my picks for my favorite releases in various categories. I spent a lot of the year catching up on older films that have been getting great bluray releases, so the past few weeks I've had to catch up on the new stuff. I missed a few things that I just wasn't able to get to before the year's end. I'll make a note of things I missed while running down my favorites just so you don't have to wonder why they didn't make the list.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Movie Review - The Disaster Artist

by Beth

Oh hai guys.

I have seen The Room in its entirety 3 times in my life. Some might argue that it’s 3 times more than anyone needs to see it, but those people probably saw it in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Room requires cocktails, friends, or a Rifftrax (and preferably all of those) to be enjoyed or appreciated. In the right context The Room is a beautiful mess that will make you laugh, cry, and question your sanity. I’m not obsessed with it like some people. I only paid to see it one time, and that was at the Rifftrax Live event. I will never go to a midnight showing, nor do I want to meet Tommy Wiseau (he just creeps me out). I did however really want to see The Disaster Artist.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 192 – Star Wars: A New Hope 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 21, 2017

Last Minute Christmas Gifts for Others and Maybe Even Yourself

By Jerry Chandler

It’s December. We’re only a few short days away from Christmas. Maybe you’ve discovered you need a few more things to round out your Christmas gift lists. But, let’s face it, even the Suicide Squad would balk at being told they have to go out to a mall or major shopping center this weekend. The zombie hordes that once populated the darkest Romero nightmare about consumerism run amuck have nothing on the terror that’s about to be unleashed upon the already weary sales clerks of this country. Alternately, maybe you need something nice for yourself to help unwind a bit after the Olympic level event that is Christmas prep in the modern age or to look forward to for unwinding with after all the family has gone home and you need a little downtime.

Plus, well, with the suggestions on this list you’ll be helping out independent creators.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Phantom’s Christmas Favorites

By Dave

I love Christmas music.

I’m not a lunatic about it like Mick Foley where I listen to it all year, but songs about the Christmas season – and the holidays and winter in general – bring joy to my heart this time of year.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Toy Review – Santa Claus from Figures Toy Company

By Dave

I don’t think it will surprise anyone to learn that I absolutely love Santa Claus.

I value the Christian roots of the holiday and am a big fan of the Jesus story. Yes, I am aware of all of the pagan stuff and that’s great, but I don’t care. It’s not part of my fandom. But I’d be lying if I said that the Santa Claus idea wasn’t the most exciting part of Christmas for me.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Toy Stories – Episode VIII’s Top Eight

By Dave


I still don’t know how I feel about The Last Jedi. At first I didn’t like it. The more I thought about it, the less I liked it. This upset me terribly because the last thing I ever want is to not like a Star Wars production. I certainly don’t want to hate one, and I seemed to be inching closer to that by the hour.

Then I started talking privately – because to speak ill of this movie in public is to invite unrelenting derision – to my friends about it. In conversations with maybe a dozen people I discovered that there was a fairly even divide between those that liked Rian Johnson’s version of Star Wars and those that didn’t.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 191 – A Very Gordon Christmas!

Our pal Mike Gordon joins the show to discuss the most wonderful time of the year!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fandom Never Seems to Know What It Wants

By Jerry Chandler

For those of you who have lost interest in The Walking Dead before now or simply never had any interest in it to begin with, you may be unaware of the latest fandom freak-out related to the show. A much beloved and longstanding character for the show is slated to bite the dust when the show returns from its midseason break. This revelation brought about great screams of annoyance and anger from fandom. One of the more extreme headlines written in the wake of this turn of events, “‘The Walking Dead’ Midseason Finale Was Perfect for a Show That Hates Its Fans”, actually captures quite well the fan sentiment I’ve seen in many places this week. As I’ve been reading many similarly themed articles, blog posts, and discussion threads railing against the horrible creative decisions behind doing this atrocious things to the fans and noting in some cases who was complaining about this, I kept having the same thought come into my head over and over again.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's the Least Wonderful Time of the Year

by Beth

 It’s one of those weeks where I don’t know what to write about. This happens sometimes. It isn’t really writers block, it’s just that nothing has jumped out at me lately as being something I need to talk to you guys about. It's mainly the fact that I work in retail, and it’s a very busy time of year for me. Not only am I physically exhausted, but my brain is pretty much fried. And not to make excuses, but it’s at least part of the reason that I don’t like Christmas as much as everyone else seems to. That does make me a little sad since I loved Christmas way back when. But then I don’t have any kids, and have never been a particularly festive kind of person.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Toy Review – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Retro Santa Clark Action Figure from NECA

By Dave

Some of the things I love the most are ones that I didn’t like at all at first – Big Trouble in Little China, Evil Dead, and Rad Ranger come to mind.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation also makes that list.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 190 – Valerie Meiss

Dave talks to musician, illustrator, puppeteer, and all-around renaissance woman Valerie Meiss!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The “New” Traditional Christmas TV Shows

By Jerry Chandler

This time of years we see any number of old favorites- whether they’re television shows or classic holiday films -filling out the TV listings each and every night. TV programmers are fairly reliable over the holiday season when it comes to packing everything from Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree to the Grinch and his sleigh and everything else into the weeks between Thanksgiving’s last belch and the first frenzied tearing of wrapping paper on Christmas morning. And, of course, who can forget the annual tradition that is the terror attack/robbery at Nakatomi Plaza? While some of the programs I’m going to touch on are starting to fall into the list of reliable holiday programming, some of them still haven’t reached (and may never reach) the “TV Tradition” stage. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t track them down and see if they fit nicely into your holiday season must see lists.  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews December 2017: “Your Purple Friend”

By Dave

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 two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in February.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Twelve Albums of Christmas

By Dave

Every year from midnight after Thanksgiving until midnight on Christmas Day, the only music I listen to is of the Christmas variety.

I love Christmas. I love the story of Jesus. I love giving gifts. I love the colder weather, the decorations, the tree, the holiday specific foods like candy canes and gingerbread and egg nog, the lights, the TV specials, and of course the music.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 189 – Boglins & Sectaurs with Timothy Clarke

LIVE from the Dragon Con 2017 Puppetry Track!

Dave – formerly and sometimes still known as Phantom Troublemaker – talks to the wonderful Tim Clarke about two of the legendary 80s toy lines he created – Boglins and Sectaurs!