Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I've been severely unmotivated for a while due to the lingering after-effects of the root canal. Hopefully I'll be going in Wednesday to get that sorted out. I'm not in pain, more like severe discomfort and have been since Thursday. That made working this past weekend so much more unpleasant than it normally is.

I’m not going to try to be clever today. I don’t want to cheapen an important holiday and a heartfelt belief with any kind of jokes or snarkiness. We’ve got the rest of the week for that.

Today is the number one most important holiday in this country. It is the day that we honor those that have given their lives to protect the principles that this great country was founded upon and the rights of her residents.

I am always in awe of those who protect our liberties. To give any portion of your life in service of this country is a concept too selfless for me to consider. My dad served in the United States Armed Forces for around thirty years, so I was raised in a household with a certain amount of reverence towards the armed forces. I spent my childhood watching my father make time for his family, his job and what he felt was his duty. I played with my GI Joes and admired Dad’s uniforms without ever really comprehending just how fortunate we were to have him and people like him, which kind of brings me to my point.

When 3 o’clock rolls around – that’s the national time for a shared remembrance – pray for our fallen protectors, but don’t forget to pray for their families, too. Not everybody got to grow up with a father like I did. In the course of doing their patriotic duty, a lot of American heroes left families behind who bear the burden of this country’s greatness so much more than any of the rest of us.

Today is not about political affiliations. Today is about honoring those who protect our right to have them.

Oh, and today is also about Gnoll. Happy Birthday, big guy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Doctor Who: Survival (Story 159)


I have settled into a somewhat regular pattern of ordering Doctor Who DVDs from Amazon. I've got most of what is available on my wishlist and once a month I’ll arrange the list by price and buy as many as I can for around twenty-five bucks. That’s the minimum to get free shipping.

I highly recommend you take advantage of the Super-Saver shipping whenever you can because without fail I have received my orders within three or four business days. They say it will take between five and nine, but even then it would be worth it for stuff that you don’t have an immediate need for.

Anyway, my method works well because Amazon is constantly adjusting their prices for whatever reason. This means that a DVD that was $32.99 a week ago might end up being $16.99 today, so I’ll just order whatever is cheapest at the time. I recently ordered the E-Space Trilogy (the last stories to feature Hot Romana) for around $26, and it normally sells for $57.99. 

A few weeks ago, the final story of the original twenty-six year run of Doctor Who - Survival - dropped to around ten bucks. I had been wanting to see this one for a while since I either missed the original U.S. broadcast or they never got around to showing it here (I don’t know which). I ordered it along with the wretched Tokyo Gore Police.

I don’t generally feel the need to review these Doctor Who stories. Partially because there are so many with such a broad range of quality, but also because they are what they are and I like to just sit back and enjoy them. If you like this sort of thing, they’re for you; if not – well, you’ll never get it anyway. Survival seemed like a special case, though. This was the story that closed the record-breaking first run of a legendary science fiction institution. Did this adventure give our favorite Time Lord a proper send-off? Was there a sense of closure and resolution? Did Doctor Who go out with a whimper or a bang? Find out… NEXT!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Toy Review: Masters of the Universe Classics - Hordak


Here we go again with another figure from the toy line I never intended to collect.


Friday, May 21, 2010

May Television Update


Just some random thoughts about what's going on in the Idiot's Lantern...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Movie Reviews: Cirque Du Freak & Survival of the Dead



In addition to the Saturday night triple-feature, I enjoyed a few other movies with Mrs. Troublemaker over the course of my vacation. Here are some quick thoughts on two of them:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Comic Book Update

I finally picked up about a month’s worth of books on the Saturday of the root canal. There are a few things worth mentioning. I always intend to do some comic book reviews, but I usually don’t get to the store on Wednesday to get my books and it takes me a while to get through them once I do pick them up. By that point it seems like kind of a waste because other, better blogs have already covered everything. Anyway, here’s some great stuff that’s happening right now in the world of comics – and some not-so-great.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Roots (canal): Do You Want More?!!!??! (no)


God doesn’t like it when I have fun. Whether through flooding, kidney stones or dental disasters; He definitely gets a kick out of striking me down. My Birthday Movie Night and Dragon*Con are two things I really look forward to every year and the above disasters have occurred annually within weeks of or sometimes even on the day of these things. Or sometimes the night before, like this year.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Playing Catch-Up


I haven’t been at work since 5 PM on the 6th, which means I haven’t written anything since then, either. It is now 22:47 – 11:47 in real people time (we’re an hour behind here since we do not observe the ridiculous convention that is Daylight Savings Time) – on the 14th and I find that I must either write or kill myself. I’ve only been back here for six hours and forty-seven minutes and I cannot believe that this job is more torturous than I remember. Five hours and thirteen minutes to go.

I wrote all of this over the course of the weekend, so please forgive any weird time inconsistencies; such as referring to a SmackDown that I didn’t watch until a day and a half after I wrote that opening paragraph.

In the time that I’ve been absent from Needless Things I’ve celebrated a birthday, undergone a major dental procedure, finished a two-year-old video game, seen one fantastic movie and several awful ones; and taken in a lot of television and comics. I have also gotten to spend an unprecedented amount of time with my wife and son, which made coming back to this wretched place even harder.

I could easily create ten or so individual posts out of these topics – and might even do so with a couple if I find I can ramble enough – but I don’t want to get too backed up and then overlook something I wanted to cover. Instead, I’m going to do a Giant-Sized Catch-Up and be done with it. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yeah, I'm off this week so my output is pretty much zero. I do, however, have some pretty cool art to share with everybody. First, a picture from Felix:


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Toy Review: Iron Man Exclusives



Everybody with any kind of movie taste whatsoever is stoked about Iron Man 2. I’m going to see it at the IMAX tonight at midnight, so I thought I’d post a little something about the toys that have come out to cash in on the awesomeness.

Walmart’s exclusives were originally going to be three Marvel Legends scale figures: Marks V and VI of ol’ Shell-Head and a War Machine. I picked up the Mark VI and War Machine for $12.96 apiece but have yet to see Mark V – the suitcase armor. I’m guessing Hasbro pulled this one to go to another retailer (possibly the Disney Store?). Wouldn’t it be nice to see it in a two-pack with Whiplash? The only problem there is that I have a feeling Hasbro didn’t bother with likeness rights for the line. They probably figured (rightly) that they could get away with eleventy-billion variations on armor and not worry about making Tony Starks, Black Widows or Justin Hammers.

Toys R Us got arguably a better deal with a three-pack of awesome but possibly stretching the bounds of movie-credible armor suits for the same general price as the two Walmart offerings ($24.95). I went back and forth on whether I was going to buy this one, but once stock levels got low in the local TRU I panicked and got it. Was that the right decision? We’ll find out… NEXT!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vintage Troublemaker: I Heart Faith No More

Since Mike Patton's long-awaited Mondo Cane album released today, I thought it would be appropriate to bring out some Vintage material. Last year when I found out Faith No More was back together I wrote this piece about how much I love them. They are easily my favorite band of all time. Enjoy, NEXT!



Holy hardcore, Batman!

Well, here it is. I don't believe I've ever actually paid for any sort of porn, but this one probably warrants it. I give you...

Batman: The Porn Parody!



I don't know the release date or how it will be available, but it's kind of sad that it won't be the worst adaptation of the Caped Crusaders ever made.



Until next time, stay creepy
-Phantom

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Troublemaker's History of Iron Man

Iron Man, Iron Man

Does whatever an Iron can!

Since Iron Man 2 is coming out this week (I’m going to see it Thursday at midnight with a yet-to-be-determined group of fellow nerds up to and possibly including John the Wrestler, Meathead and Evil) I thought I should write at least one article about the titular character, although honestly; I just wanted to use the word “titular”. Thank you and good night.

Technically this is article number two since I’ve already written a review of some of the new toys, but that will go up Thursday if everything goes according to plan.

There is, however, one little problem with my proposed subject matter: I really didn’t give a shit about Iron Man until after the first movie.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I had read all the Ultimate stuff and liked Tony Stark from what I had seen there, but the bulk of my Marvel Comics reading has always been X-Men and Spider-Man. I’ve never been an Avengers guy at all. As a matter of fact, it’s almost been like the separation of Marvel and DC for me. On one side of Marvel you’ve got the heroic, popular superheroes and on the other you’ve got the outcast mutants (and Spidey for some reason). My favorites have always been the mutants. I just didn’t venture into the superhero side of things.

And now I have to write about Iron Man, who is definitely not a mutant. Here’s some stuff about ol’ Shell Head from my perspective... NEXT!