Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Devlin's Domain - Cannibal Holocaust


Eli Roth's take on the cannibal movie, The Green Inferno, has finally made it's way to theaters. I haven't had the chance to see it yet, but I have seen my fair share of the cannibal flicks that inspired Roth to make his film. It wasn't very difficult to pick which one to review in Devlin's Domain. I hope you have a strong stomach, cause this is going to get violent. Get your barf bags ready and step into my domain.

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews October 2015: Cashing In On the Holidays

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 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, September 29, 2015

Dragon Con 2015: Beth's Recap Part 3


If you're running behind you can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

I didn't sleep well Saturday night, on top of not eating much and staying up too late Saturday, so Sunday morning was not the favorite morning of my life to date.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dragon Con 2015 – Phantom’s Recap Part 3 - The Rest of Con

Saturday

If you need to catch up you can check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Saturday was wide open. I didn’t have a single thing that I had to do until the game show crew met in my room at 7 PM. Given how busy Friday had been and how important the game show was, I wanted to relax. Granted, that didn’t mean just sitting around the room. I wanted to visit Artists’ Alley again and maybe hit the Walk of Fame. I also decided pretty early on that I wasn’t going to worry about any panels other than my own. It’s Dragon Con, and even the smallest, lowest-key panels require around ninety minutes of your time when you factor in travel and waiting to get in.

It’s worth noting that I didn’t suffer any further hangover issues. Friday was my only bad morning, though I was definitely tired the following days. If I hadn’t been at Dragon Con, I would’ve had a hard time getting motivated to leave the bed.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 74 – Marc Alan Fishman of Unshaven Comics

Phantom Troublemaker met the fine fellows of Unshaven Comics at Dragon Con this year and liked 'em so much he had to have them on the Needless Things Podcast!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Found Footage- It Doesn’t Have to be Bad



So, M. Night Shyamalan has returned to theaters with a new film, The Visit, and, doubling the fun for the many who like to take the mickey out of him and his works these days, the new film falls under the much despised and ridiculed Found Footage genre. Well, I’m not going to defend M. Night or the film here; especially as I’ve yet to see the new film. However, the release of the film, outside of just starting up the usual M. Night hate on the net, has gotten some people talking about, and hating on, found footage films again.

So, while having no desire to get into M. Night talk here, I do want to talk about found footage films. See, there’s a segment of film fans, especially horror film fans, who automatically hate on anything found footage whether they’ve seen them or not. Just the fact that it’s found footage is enough for some to deem it automatically bad. But the thing is, found footage films are here to stay, and they’re not necessarily bad when the people behind the lens use a little common sense so as to not insult the viewer’s intelligence.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Devlin's Domain - Banshee Chapter



I'm back this week with another edition of Devlin's Domain. I'm recommending this one to any H.P. Lovecraft fans out there. I'm going to give a brief lesson on a few topics that are relevant to this week's film. So strap on your foil hats and get ready to get brainwashed and hallucinate extradimensional beings who are coming to tear out your soul.

Toy Review – Disney Store Exclusive Star Wars Die-Cast Elite Series Finn

I’m behind on my Masters of the Universe Classics reviews right now, but I’m pretty excited by the Exclusives that the Disney Store has for The Force Awakens and wanted to go ahead and cover this guy. Partly because of the excitement of actually caring about new Star Wars toys, but also because I think there’s some confusion as to what, exactly, these die-cast figures are supposed to be.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dragon Con 2015: Beth's Recap Part 2

I got a bit of a late start on Saturday because I planned on spending the night, and wanted to conserve my energy. I know myself well enough to know that I'd be up until some ungodly hour, and likely drinking some of that time. I was still feeling pretty good at this point, and I kind of wanted to keep it that way. Airborne may have saved my health this weekend. I also don't go to the parade anymore because I simply can't take those crowds. Since it's the only thing that you can do without a badge it's way more crowded than it used to be. I've also been to the parade a bunch of times over my Dragon Con years so I didn't feel super compelled to get up at the crack of dawn to wade through the masses when I would be there all day anyway. If you haven't been to the parade before though I highly recommend it. Especially if you aren't going to make it to the rest of the con weekend.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dragon Con 2015 – Phantom’s Recap Part 2 - Friday


There are so many reasons that I’m glad I got my shit together and made it to Schwarza-Panel Friday morning. It started the day off right, it was a fun panel, and I had the opportunity to hang the Needless Things banner pretty early on. But mostly it’s because this is my third year in a row of doing panels with the awesome William Stout.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 73 – Dragon Con 2015: Schwarza-Panel – The Sci-Fi Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger

2015 Dragon Con coverage continues on the Needless Things Podcast as we look back at the events! In this week’s episode, Phantom takes part in the SCHWARZA-PANEL!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dragon Con 2015 is in the Books. So, How Many More Days is it Until Dragon Con 2016?



Freaking awesome.

That’s the only way to describe it. Dragon Con 2015 was just freaking awesome.

We got in early Wednesday morning because of Dragon Con volunteer commitments I had on Wednesday evening. Check in at our hotel was quick, easy, and largely without a hitch. We tend to stay a ways down the road rather than in host hotels because it’s a little kinder to our wallets and *bonus* our hotel of choice is right across the street from the Five Points MARTA station. That tends to make getting in to Dragon Con in the morning is a snap.

Wednesday evening after I finished my volunteer assignment is when I noticed the difference between this year’s con and previous years’ cons. Thursday is no longer the new Friday, Wednesday is. There was a nice crowd, some in full costume, already inhabiting the atriums of the host hotels Wednesday night and already working hard at getting their party on.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Devlin's Domain - The Last House on the Left (Wes Craven Tribute)


After a brief hiatus, I am back with Devlin's Domain. This week I'm paying tribute to a fallen master of the horror genre. The man who made all your nightmares come true, Wes Craven.

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews September 2015: Attrition During Secret Wartime

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.

As soon as I started leafing through this month’s catalog my arms started itching. What’s that all about?

Also, sorry this is a week late, but Dragon Con happened.

Dragon Con 2015 - Diagnosis: Post DragonCon Malaise. Recommended Treatment: Picture and Video Review




The wind-down period begins.  Monday comes and you start to see suitcases rolling through the hotels and the food court, lines forming at the check-out desks.  You begin to feel deflated despite your continued Con-enjoyment.  You are still attending panels, but as you see suitcases sitting at the feet of others in the panel with you, your heart aches.  You’re soon to join them.

DragonCon is coming to a close in a few short hours.

As I type this I am at my first official day back at work and back to reality.  The good thing is that it takes at least a week before I ever accept this mentally, as I stay in the realm of memories and grins, burps that still taste of food court goodies no matter how many times I brush my teeth, and swag that litters the house for days until one figures out how to organize all that crap.  While I’m back to the grind, I’m not terribly bummed about it yet; I’m still on my “Con-High.”  With that in mind, I am rewinding the wind-down to take you on a journey through my Con experience for 2015.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Album Review - Music is NOT Magic: Truly Outrageous - A Tribute to Starlight Records

Before I go any further, let me make it clear that I can't remember the last time that I gave anything an outright negative review.  This is a first for me and as I write this I am truly disappointed in myself for having to stoop this low.  We are living in a rebooting society; all of our childhood is being resurrected in live action, comic, and cartoon, and given a modern twist.  This is a good thing or bad thing, depending on the person that you ask.  When I first heard of the Jem and the Holograms live action movie I was one of the positive people.  Maybe positive isn't the word.  Maybe the words to use were "screaming," "dancing," "squealing," "giggling..."  you get the idea.


Dragon Con 2015: Beth's Recap Part 1

It's no secret that I don't like lines or crowds. Despite that, I love Dragon Con. I'm complex like that. To avoid what I could of both I went down Thursday evening to get my badge. Well, at least I missed the lines. Crowds not so much. Everyone got the memo about Thursday being the new Friday this year, and there were plenty of crowds to go around. I guess I should I have taken off Thursday and gone down earlier. I would take off Wednesday, but media badges can't be picked up til Thursday after 2pm. So taking off Wednesday (which is the new Thursday) wouldn't have helped me much. If we keep going at this rate in ten years time we'll need a whole new calendar, and Dragon Con will last for two months.

Monday, September 14, 2015

WIN SOME UNDEROOS!

This is the final day to win a set of Underoos - the underwear that's still fun to wear - from Needless Things!

First, visit the Underoos website and check out all of the stuff they have to offer.

E-mail phantomtroublemaker@gmail.com with "Underoos" in the subject line.

Tell us which currently available style is your favorite.

Tell us a character or franchise you'd like to see that Underoos is not currently offering - YOU can help determine the underwear fate of the ENTIRE WORLD!

The winner will be chosen tonight at midnight and contacted tomorrow to choose the size and style of Underoos they want!

Dragon Con 2015 – Phantom’s Recap Part 1 - Thursday

Dragon Con 2015 was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best one yet. It was a weekend full of highs, and at my lowest points I was still in a state of pure contentment. That’s as bummed as I got all weekend – completely satisfied.

Over the course of however long it takes me to recap events I am going to tell you about minor victories, moments of joy, hard work paying off, and delightful surprises the likes of which I could never have imagined. I’m going to try to be a bit more concise this year, which should be easy given the lack of disappointing factors. As my brother from another mother Mike Gordon is so fond of pointing out, I am at my best – and lengthiest, it seems – when I am complaining.

This year’s Dragon Con has left me with very little about which to complain.

Way to sell the post, Phantom.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 72 – Dragon Con 2015: Toy Stories

2015 Dragon Con coverage continues on the Needless Things Podcast as we look back at the events! In this week’s episode, Phantom hosts a live panel called Toy Stories!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Few Geek Complaints I’d Love to See Go Away



Look guys, we’re geeks. Theoretically, that means we’re supposed to be the smart ones. But I keep seeing certain arguments brought up in discussions about our ever growing conquest of pop culture that just have a certain ‘WTF’ nature to the position behind them. It’s not even a matter of disagreeing with certain opinions here. I can disagree with some opinions while still seeing their validity to someone with a different point of view or differing tastes. No, I’m talking about the arguments/complaints/debate points that are put forward (a lot) in discussions that are just completely nonsensical in their nature.

This first one is a complaint that I’m seeing a lot with the rise of comic book movies and TV shows being both popular and successful as well as with some other adaptations as well. It’s usually offered as a reason why something (still sight unseen) will fail miserably, but the only thing that fails miserably is the thought process behind it.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Things I Will Miss At Dragon Con



As you can tell by all the amazing coverage and podcasts that have been posted here on Needless Things, this week is the con of all cons, Dragon Con. Dragon Con is without a doubt a nerds home away from home. For a lot of people, it is home which has been stated by many people including myself. I have only been two times to the convention and the second time which was last year was such an incredible experience. Words simply can't do it justice.

Dragon Con 2015: Starbase Geek on Convention Etiquette - Part Two

Going to conventions is a way of life for us geeks. From sci-fi to horror to comics, there's a convention that caters to our geeky delights. Like most people, I want my convention experience to be as smooth as possible, but it seems that many people show a lack of convention etiquette, which makes things more frustrating, In the first part of our guide, we discussed panels and arriving and leaving the con. Now let's discuss some other aspects of attending a convention where we should all exercise convention etiquette.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why I Quit Collecting Toys - A Star Wars: Force Friday Tie-In

Calm down.

This isn’t one of those April Fools posts where I try to convince you I’m quitting the dorkery game. But I do think that’s a funny title, coming from me.


Dragon Con 2015: Dragon Con - My Favorite Place to Be (that Almost Wasn’t)




I’m a huge fan of Dragon Con. Ask anyone who knows me well. They’ll tell you that I’m practically a walking, talking, breathing advert for the convention during the parts of the year that I’m not there and enjoying myself at my favorite home away from home. In the last few years I’ve even had more than a few people call me, depending on how kindly disposed they were towards me, either the most loyal or most fanatical fan of the convention that they know of. But the weird thing (Funny thing?) about that is that if I had gotten my way about it, I would never have been a fan at all

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dragon Con Pre-Con Report by Phantomaniac Ace Reporter Elizabeth

With less than a week to go until Dragon Con my biggest problem is this: Tea Dueling or Elf Choir? The Warehouse 13 cast or Karen Gillan? Doctor Who New Series Review or Star Trek Fan Films? That’s right - the Dragon Con app has updated, most of the fan tracks have posted tentative schedules and I’m already anxious, excited, heartbroken and tearing my hair out.

Here’s what I’m most excited about for Dragon Con 2015:

Dragon Con 2015: My Extremely Tentative Schedule


Dragon*Con starts tomorrow!
This is the post where I’ll take a look at the Pocket Program and run down what I’m doing at Con, as well as what panels I’m interested in seeing and which events I’d like to witness. This year I’m going to start by focusing on what Needless Things is actually involved in, then cover all of the stuff I’d just like to see.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Birdsnatch Interview With C.J. Cummings And Mark Ryan






Many moons ago, long before social media existed, there were message boards. I know some of you youngsters might not be quite sure what I'm talking about but those around circa 2000 will remember rather well. Sure message boards exist here and there but social media of all kinds have taken over from the communities that used to be. I was fortunate enough to become part of a great board that was for horror fans of all kinds. Dark Obsessions focused on horror movies, toys, dolls (Living Dead Dolls/Krypt Kiddies), and a group of amazing people.


Dragon Con 2015: American Sci-Fi and Fantasy Media Track Director Interview

For my last pre-con post I spoke with Kelley, director of the American Sci-Fi and Fantasy Media track.They've got a huge amount of programming this year, and there's sure to be something you're in to. Make sure to check out their schedule on the official app. You'll be busy even if you only hit their panels.