Friday, May 29, 2015

So Long, and Thanks for All the Daleks - Earth Station Who Episode 100

You may or may not have heard that I recorded my last episode of Earth Station Who as a regular host on Sunday. It was our one hundredth episode and we recorded in front of an audience at TimeGate and we discussed the history of the Doctor’s greatest nemesis – the Master.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Madam Satan: The Piña Colada Song on Acid



Yeah, that sounds like a weird as hell header, but that was more or less my first thought when I heard the story of Madam Satan being described. I thought it sounded like The Piña Colada Song, and I wasn’t alone in that thought. My introduction to the film was almost one year ago exactly in the form of one of Bill Mulligan’s contributions to a Con Carolinas panel on overlooked/forgotten films, and about half of the audience said the same thing about the plot.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Blast Attak from Mattel

We are in the home stretch of Masters of the Universe figures. Some of this year’s releases are long-awaited treats like Ninjor, Snake Armor He-Man, and a decent King Hssss.

Others are turd buckets like Blast Attak.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Comic Book Review - Archie Vs. Predator #1 from Dark Horse/Archie




If you haven’t been keeping up with what Archie Comics has been doing lately, you’re missing out. They are doing something that I believe no other comic book company, at least the major three are doing. Archie Comics are taking their characters where they have never gone before and in more ways then one. While Marvel and DC scramble every year with a major summer event to shake up their universe, Archie Comics spends their energy telling stories. Instead of forcing you to read every title in their library to understand whats going on, for the most part they are telling individual stories.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Ancient Toys of Yesteryear – Entertech Water Guns from LJN

School’s out for summer, so it’s time to take a look at one of the staples of summertime fun – water guns!

Of course, I’m not talking about the ridiculous neon water guns available to the weaksauce, ninnybritches kids of today. Nosirree. Not these bulbous, multi-colored plastic Super Soakers that instantly identify a kid as a dweeb and the United States as a soft country that has fallen victim to the ideals of a bunch of left wing pantywaists.

I am talking about water guns that looked exactly like real guns. Like, to the point where people were getting shot for having them. That is a manly and independent country, my friends.

For several years now I have been afflicted with one of those memories that nobody else shared. But now, thanks to the magic of the internet my memories have been validated and I can at long last go on with my life.

Yes, Phantomaniacs, Entertech water guns were real. More than that, they’re apparently what led to the demise of toy company LJN.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 58 – Mike Gordon II: The Flash & The Fury

Tiki Zombie creator “Howdy” Mike Gordon returns to the Needless Things Podcast!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Visiting La-La Land



Have you ever heard of a company called La-La Land Records? If you like movie soundtracks, you’d do well to familiarize yourself with them.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Toy Review – DC Comics Designer Series: Greg Capullo – Thrasher Suit Batman from DC Collectibles

I want to start by saying that I love DC Collectibles’ idea of basing lines around the designs of specific comic book creators. It’s something that the company has done all along to a certain extent. I have Batmans designed by some of my favorite artists – Dan Brereton, Tim Sale, Kelley Jones, Mike Mignola, and more. But now DCC is going one step further and putting the artists’ names front and center on the toy lines.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

An Unnecessary Whedon-ism: Why I Still Don't Like Hawkeye

I've been pretty vocal about my disdain for Hawkeye's family scenes in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you heard the podcast we did after the newest movie came out you'll already know about all the conflict I caused with my opinions. If you didn't listen to it then thanks for reading anyway, but you should go check it out. If you just don't have that kind of time I'll spell it out for you quickly. I don't mind Hawkeye as a character, but I mind the family scenes, and overly emotional crap he was doing in Age of Ultron. Okay, I don't like Jeremy Renner, but that doesn't mean I was completely against him in the movies. He was fine in the first movie. He was a guy who had a skill (all be it a kind of unimpressive skill), but he served a purpose. In the second movie they felt like he needed a back story, besides just being Black Widow's friend who could shoot stuff. I did not see the point of giving him a family, nor did I really see the point of having him make his "I'm just a dude with arrows" speech to Scarlet Witch. Although I liked that he owned it at least. If they hadn't shown his family story, would it have mattered to the overall film? Would it have made anything look any less amazing or the other characters any less bad-ass? He was a sidekick, and that was fine. Who cares about the back story of an unimpressive sidekick anyway?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Movie Review – Mad Max: Fury Road

I wasn’t going to write a review of Fury Road because, quite frankly, I don’t know that I’m up to it. I don’t know how to talk about this thing. But I feel like I was privileged to see something special and visionary in the theater and I that it deserves my time and words. I was truly moved by the experience of watching Mad Max: Fury Road, and while I’ve seen and loved plenty of movies to varying degrees, I am not often left agape with wonder for an entire movie.

Spoiler-free version – GO. Go now. If you don’t have an outright problem with 3D, you might want to try that. I felt like this was an experience meant for 3D and I want to see it again that way. 
 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It Came from Hollywood



Oh, do I love this film. It’s probably a sign of a mental disorder on my part, but I seriously love this film. It just tickles the goofiest, weirdest, and likely dumbest funny bone that I have in my body. I think it also helped screw up my personal taste in some genres of film in a way that still makes my wife suffer greatly on the occasional movie night.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Toy Review – Batman: The Animated Series The Joker from DC Collectibles

I’ve been saying for years that in my opinion every depiction of The Joker in media is valid.

He’s been portrayed so many different ways just in the comics that I feel like Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and whatever the heck Jared Leto ends up doing are all within the definition of the character. More so than Batman, these very different portrayals could even be the same individual. Sometimes Joker is playing a childish prank, sometimes he’s trying to murder an entire city full of people.

But if I had to pick one single portrayal of the character as my favorite, one actor that has truly captured the mania, glee, and menace of the Joker, the winner is Mark Hamill.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Hover Robots from Mattel

For the most part the strictly Filmation-based releases of the Masters of the Universe Classics line haven’t been the ones I was the most excited about. Some of them have certainly ended up being great, but when I sit back and look at my MOTUC shelves, Trap-Jaw and Scareglow are much more satisfying to see than, say, Batros or… that Egyptian guy. Whatever his name is.

These robots are a different story. These guys are iconic.

Monday, May 11, 2015

How I Spent My Spring Break by Phantom Troublemaker

A warning – there aren’t many pictures in this article because I wasn’t planning on writing about this.

I had to work during our Spring Break, so we didn’t go anywhere, but my parents came into town. We had planned to go to the Atlanta Zoo on Tuesday, but the forecast called for rain and none of us felt like dealing with any sort of precipitation on our one available day together. We examined our options and decided to visit the Georgia Aquarium instead, despite our first visit being decidedly sub-par. It was indoors and something we could all potentially enjoy, so it made the most sense.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 56 – Avengers: Age of Ultron

Last weekend Marvel Studios released the newest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Naturally a few of the Needless Things Irregulars had to convene to talk about it.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Grim & Gritty Syndrome



Look, I have no problem with grim and gritty in my storytelling. If anything, I quite like a number of grim and gritty stories and characters that are out there. As a general rule I have no more problem with the grim and gritty storytelling tone, style, and tropes than I have with any other storytelling’s tone, style, and tropes. There are only three circumstances that arise that find me having an issue with grim and gritty.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews May 2015: SO. MANY. TOYS.

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalogue 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 typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

13 Movie Reviews in 5 Sentences Each

I've watched kind of a lot of movies lately. Okay, really a lot. My brother was in town, and he's into illegally downloading movies. I don't condone that kind of behavior, but since he already had them it didn't seem like a crime for me to watch them.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Couch Crusader - Looking Back at Batman '66 by Geena Phillips

Batman (1966) Season one, Episode 21 "The Penguin Goes Straight"

Friday, May 1, 2015

Movie Review - Avengers: Age of Ultron

I'm posting this quick n' dirty from my phone, so I apologize for any format issues. I'll clean it up later. I just wanted to go ahead and get it out there.


Needless Things Podcast 55 – The Casket Creatures

Derek and Ryan from The Casket Creatures visit the Phantom Zone to record a double dose of podcasts!