Monday, November 30, 2015

Toy Review – DC Icons Deadman from DC Collectibles

Apologies, Needless Things readers – I had said that the reviews of the Deadman and Batman Icons figures would be up last week. I got struck down by a horrendous Virus From Outer Space that resulted in my not giving much of an eff about anything. So now I’m catching up.

It’s always exciting to review something from an entirely new line, particularly when it’s a character that’s one of my favorites.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Devil's Domain - The Final Member



I'm covering a rather bizarre documentary in this week's edition of Devlin's Domain. Just a fair warning before you proceed, if you are offended by penis or the word "penis" then read no further. This review is gonna be chock full of peen, including some images and non-stop references. So if you feel as though you have reached a level of maturity that you can handle exposure to a natural part of the human anatomy, stick around because this could be entertaining.


Needless Things Podcast 83 – Star Wars Talk

Phantom Troublemaker and Needless Things' Head of Research Ryan Schweck talk about the build-up to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Baby It’s Cold Outside - Winter Fear Edition




For those of you not living in the Deep South, it’s that time of year when the skies turn grey, the leaves all blow away, and Jack Frost comes dancing along to bite your nose off. In other words, it’s Winter! And, of course, Winter means Christmas is coming. Both of these things are surprisingly good for horror film settings.

You can set horror during the Christmas season and get things like BlackChristmas or Silent Night, Deadly Night, but more often than not you get offerings full of either camp or fail. But winter, or the cold weather, along with Christmas gives us a lot of fun choices for some chilling horror marathons. In no particular order…

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Practice Your Poker Face: Another Geek-In-Game Review



Another year, another birthday.  As one hits adulthood, most find that birthday parties are not as necessary as they once thought.  It isn’t such a big deal to celebrate getting older.  That is, unless you are a geek.  Being a geek means that all that the birthday money you get can be spent on games, comics, Magic cards, collectibles…WEEEEEEEE bring on the party!  On October 4th I passed the threshold of “Young Adult” into the official “Adult’ category, and my birthday was a celebration of geek style in the form of board games and card games galore.  Yup…it’s time for another Geek-In-Game review.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Toy Review – The New Batman Adventures Batgirl from DC Collectibles

Barbara Gordon as Batgirl is one of my favorite comic book characters. Admittedly, the fact that she’s a redhead is a good start, but I always liked the idea that she was inspired by both her father and by Batman to fight crime.

Movie Review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Another week, another glass of wine, and another post. Wait, that implies that I only have wine every other week when I post. We all know that's not true. Well, if you didn't know that before you do now. I had originally planned on reviewing the new James Bond movie Spectre, but it's been out for so long at this point that you've already seen it if you were that interested. I also didn't like or hate it enough to talk about it for very long. Let's just say that I'm ready for the current iteration of James Bond to move on to something new. Oh, and the opening song sucked ass. But enough of that.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Toy Stories – 2002 Masters of the Universe and Collecting the Past

This post started as the intro to my review of the Masters of the Universe Classics Evil Seed figure. It turned into a reflection on the 2002 toy line and then some thoughts about modern toy collecting in general. Since I’m planning on going forward with the Toy Stories concept as live events, I figured I could start a series of posts with the name, as well. Here’s the first one, though I am going back through the archives and assigning the title to a few other posts that fit the bill.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 82 – Warpo Toys

Phantom Troublemaker talks to Bryan Katzel, one of the masterminds behind retro toy makers Warpo Toys!


The Good and Bad of Dragon Con 2015 by Jeff Francis

Dragon Con 2015 is now in the history books, and I have to say that I had a great time. Now that the con is over and that I've finally gotten over my con crud (three weeks of the worst flu I had in years!), I can sit back and think about the highs and the lows of the convention. This year saw a lot of big name guests from some of the biggest geek shows on the air, such as Arrow and The Flash, but Dragon Con also astounds with its sheer diversity of tracks, panels, guests, and activities. Let's take a look at the good and bad of Dragon Con 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The End of an Era



This will be a bit of a departure from the usual topics here. I’m going to talk MMA.

As I started originally writing this on Sunday night for publication on Thursday, some of this may be ground that’s been gone over elsewhere in excruciating detail by the time this sees electronic print. Hopefully, with a little luck, there will still be interest enough that you’ll be curious to see my take on it regardless. So, without further ado, let’s talk that fight Saturday night and where some things go from here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Deontology vs. Utilitarianism: The Ethics Argument Behind “Injustice.”



If you haven’t been able to tell by my pieces so far, my family and I are huge geeks.  My kids love Free Comic Book Day as much as we adults do, Family Home Evening usually consists of board games or Family Game Night on the Wii, and we are forever in debate with our kids over who the best Doctor is  (My husband and I love Christopher’s Doctor, our oldest supports David, and our Six and Three year olds are pro-Matt all the way.)  So when Injustice came out it became a family stable.  Granted, the younger two can’t watch certain scenes or play certain characters because of graphic content (Joke for example is off limits due to setting people on fire.)  But my oldest has became a natural-and I stress NATURAL- at fighting games.  Seriously…the kid could be ready for the pro circuit with a year of training.  It’s frightening.  As much as we love Injustice I realized that I had never touched the comic and was always drawn to it when I visited out local gaming store.  While looking for an essay book in my library titled “Final Fantasy and Philosophy” (Not kidding.  Look it up!)  I came across Injustice:  Volume One Year One.  I grabbed it and dove in. 

Never in my comic reading years has a comic raised my hackles more, pulled me in deeper, and raised more of an existential and ethical debate within my brain.  And people, I have read a LOT of comic books.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Mara of Primus from Mattel

I checked out pretty early on New Adventures of He-Man. I bought a couple of the figures because I was excited about the new designs and articulation, but I don’t know that I even made it through a whole episode of the cartoon.

Monday, November 16, 2015

NXT – Roster Rundown

NXT has been the best part of WWE for quite some time now. The gimmicks are a little more fun, the atmosphere is a little looser, and the action is totally non-stop (ahem). It feels like the boys – and definitely the girls – have a little more room to find themselves and discover ways to connect with the crowd.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 81 – VHS Glitch

Phantom Troublemaker talks to mysterious synth artist and musician VHS Glitch about the revival and nostalgic value of synthesizer-based music, digital marketing, the modern cult of personality surrounding music, and much more!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Aging with Geek Culture



So yesterday was my birthday where I added yet another year on top of a lot of others. You hit a certain point where you do get a little reflective about where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, and what’s changed since “back when I was a kid.” I actually passed the traditional starting point for that a while back, but it still hits me on birthdays. So when I started writing this for a site about geeky pop culture- actually the day before my birthday –I started thinking about decades of fandom and geek culture.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Devlin's Domain - Womb



I'm going to step away from the horror genre for this edition of Devlin's Domain, because believe it or not I do appreciate other genres. This time I've got some weird ass Sci-Fi Drama in store. It's not the shoot'em up, blow it up, invaders from mars type of Sci-Fi most people have grown accustomed to. So if you're looking for something different, look no further.

Toy Review – 6” Star Wars Black Series #6 Captain Phasma from Hasbro

There are many reasons to love Captain Phasma – the design looks like the offspring of a Cylon and RoboCop, it’s an update to the classic Stormtrooper, there’s a cape, Gwendoline Christie is under that armor and also it’s all more than a little disco.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Walking Dead - GLENN?!?

Let's just go ahead and get this out of the way: if you haven't seen the most recent episode of The Walking Dead, and don't like spoilers, you should not read keep reading. Well, don't keep reading now; definitely come back and keep reading once you're caught up. I'm not going to dwell too much on the most recent episode, but I do touch on many recent events. If you haven't read the comics, and/or don't want to know what happens in them you may also want to take a moment before you continue.

Platinum Championship Wrestling 11-7-2015

Platinum Championship Wrestling puts on shows the first and third Saturday of every month at The Main Event in Porterdale, GA.

Today was supposed to be my post about the NXT roster, but something more important came up. Check back next week for that one.

It had been a long time since I’d been out to a PCW show. Between family, my lousy work schedule, and other projects I just haven’t had six hours to spare on a Saturday night for my sentimental favorite wrestling promotion. If the hike to Porterdale, GA wasn’t an hour and change it wouldn’t be such a hefty proposition.

Anyway, I recently became determined to catch a show. I knew I could count on a couple of buddies to make the trek out there and it just felt like a shame that I wasn’t up on the happenings in PCW. I had wanted very badly to catch this year’s groundbreaking Sacred Ground event, but I was working nights the whole weekend with no way out.

Fortunately the stars aligned on November 7th – and I mean that in more ways than one. It turned out to be a night of powerful emotions and earth-shattering change. I had no idea what was in store, but I am thankful that I was there to experience it. Not since 11-11-11 has Platinum Championship Wrestling been altered – nay, assaulted – in such a fundamental way. And even the events of that day pale in comparison to what I witnessed this past Saturday night.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Christina's Toy Review: The World of Jem Doll Collecting




The Jem movie had many awesome throwbacks and many new and wonderful AU twists.  The best AU twist for me was having Rio know about Jem/Jerrica/Synergy from the get-go and help her with putting together Synergy’s pieces from the start.  That was a heart-warmer that any die hard should have wanted.  But what die-hards should have also been thrilled about were some of the costumes and their blatant throwbacks to not just the cartoons, but the dolls as well.  Any true Jem dedicate had everything growing up from the 1st and 2nd generation dolls to both Roadsters, to even that crazy pink llama.  The world of Jem collecting is expensive and time consuming as high quality pieces are hard to find and some are so rare that you can spend years searching for just the right one.  Let’s dive in to the world of Jem and The Holograms collectibles.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 80 – Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland: The Saga of Empire Pictures

Phantom Troublemaker talks to Daniel Griffith of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures about his newest project, a documentary on Empire Pictures, the revolutionary movie studio that produced such genre classics as Re-Animator, Ghoulies, TerrorVision, Zone Troopers, and many more!


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reevaluating the Sixth Doctor




If you were anything like me, you hated the Sixth Doctor. Well, maybe hate is a strong word. I don’t know that I ever actually hated the Sixth Doctor. There were actually some stories with him I quite liked, but I was certainly not a huge fan of that Doctor. I just wasn’t really a fan of the Colin Baker years, and I wasn’t particularly troubled to see him exit the role of the Doctor no matter how ingloriously the manner in which they had him removed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews November 2015: A Real Money Saver!

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, November 3, 2015

A Truly Outrageous Jem Movie Review







Some things in our childhood we forget; they’re trivial to our growth and fleeting.  Some things we look at as fond memories with an occasional smile if we see them on TV or in an old shop window, but they pass through our memories the second they leave our site; they were a part we remember, but they weren’t huge "shapers" of it.  Some things, however, were such big parts our childhood that they were more than just a moment.  They were a definer.  That was Jem for me.  I am one of the most non-feminine people that I know.  Jem brought out the girl in me.  I played with the dolls with my cousin Michelle, we traded the outfits and played pretend (I was Jerrica/Jem and she was Kimber every time) in our Mamaw Lillie’s neighborhood every weekend.  I dressed up as her for Halloween, typed out her song lyrics in a book, and stayed up during the summer one middle school year until 7 AM just to watch Jem, and then I would go to sleep.  It wasn’t just my big cartoon fandom, it was a huge chunk of my childhood.  Any Jem Girl and Jem Boy knows that talk of the Jem movie has persisted for thirty years.  We fantasized about who would play what role and the plot…people even made fan sites dedicated to “The Cause.”  When news broke of the movie truly getting its day, I at first couldn’t believe it to be the case.  When it came straight from the mouth of Samantha Newark (the original speaking voice for Jem in the 80’s,), however, I realized that you can’t get a much more reliable source than that.  I couldn’t wait to get to the theater  and get there I did.

Sadly I now find myself disappointed, but not in the movie. I am disappointed in the fans and reviewers who have panned this wonderful tribute as something lackluster and untrue.  They have missed the mark and need to re-watch this movie.

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

I can’t imagine there’s a more iconic fictional pop culture vehicle than the Batmobile.

Monday, November 2, 2015

WWE – Roster Rundown

Back in October, just before Hell in a Cell when RAW had been stinking on ice pretty much since SummerSlam, I had the idea to write a comprehensive piece on the current WWE roster. At the time we were still in the midst of 31 Days of Halloween. While a great idea like Demons of the Ring: Supernatural Gimmicks in Wrestling worked for the spooky season, this one didn’t. So I held off until now.

I’m a bit frustrated by WWE again. I think the trigger this time was a commercial.