Friday, January 29, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 92 – The Outer Space Men!

Phantom Troublemaker talks to Gary Schaeffer, a Wall Street player who is now steering the ship – the spaceship – of one of the most fascinating toy lines of all time, the Outer Space Men!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thank you, Steven Moffat


Amidst the storm of the century hyperbole of the first big snow on the East Coast, another hyperbole storm kicked off on social media with the news that Steven Moffat has announced he’s stepping away from the position of Doctor Who showrunner to be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall. A lot of the reactions have been expressed in the most negative way possible with regards to Moffat’s tenure on the show, and I don’t want to join in with that chorus.

Does Moffat deserve his share of criticism over his Doctor Who decisions? Yeah, he does. But the reality of the situation is his almost six years on Doctor Who as showrunner produced far more good Who than it did bad. If you also count his time on the show before his taking the reins, you’ve arguably got some of the best Doctor Who moments in new Who having Moffat’s name attached to them. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

When Board Games Fight Back. Co-Cop Gaming: A Geek-In-Game Review




The basic premise behind board games has been around since before we were born.  You have one or more players, a board and some game pieces, and you compete with each other to be the person to reach the finish line so that you can shout "I win!"  Sounds simple enough, and it is what all gamers have spent their lives enjoying in its various forms.  From Scrabble to Life, Tsuro to Risk, the goal is to beat the other gamers.  But what happens when the game is trying to beat you?  My family has discovered the wonderful world of board games that play just like some of our favorite shoot em' ups like Resident Evil, in which the game itself is the nemesis that you are trying to overcome instead of the other players.   They're lovingly called Co-Ops and this week I'm going to review three of my family's favorites.

Let's discover what happens when you love the game, but the game doesn't love you back

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Toy Review – DC Multiverse Batman v Superman Batman from Mattel

Of course I’m excited about Batman v Superman: Damn of Justice. How could I not be? It’s a live action movie starring Batman and Superman. And, to some extent, Wonder Woman. And maybe Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Doomsday, Darkseid, and for all I know Beppo the freaking Supermonkey.

The Return of The X-Files

Remember when The X-Files was the best thing on TV? All fresh and creepy and weird. 


Monday, January 25, 2016

The Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe

Universal Monsters by Mark Maddox
Universal Studios is going forward with their plan to reboot a shared universe for the most iconic horror movie characters of all time – their Universal Monsters.

Yes – reboot. If you don’t know, Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monsters, the Wolf Man, and others shared a universe with interconnected films in the forties. While that was not the intention when Dracula was released in 1931, 1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man started bringing the Monsters together.

Today I am not writing about how acceptable this undertaking is. It’s been done before to great result. I’m more trying to decide if it can be done successfully in today’s film market. I don’t know that I’ll come to any real conclusions, but it’s early Saturday morning and this is what I feel like thinking about, so bear with me and see if this sparks any thoughts for you.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 91 – The Royal Rumble

Phantom Troublemaker is joined by Sean Reid, Noel from Dork Droppings, and Marc from Unshaven Comics for a discussion about one of WWE’s signature events, the Royal Rumble!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Why I Can’t Really “Get Over” the George Lucas Thing


So The Force Awakens has been killing it at the box office and there are camps in fandom thanking all the celluloid gods for the removal of Lucas from the franchise just as there are, at the extreme opposite end of things, groups demanding Lucas be allowed to get his hands back on the franchise for the next installment of the trilogy. Mixed in with all of the serious discussion has been jokes taking potshots at Lucas over his storytelling, over the prequel trilogy, and over his comments in the days after The Force Awakens started making itself more money than some small countries have.

In all of that I’ve made a few jokes here and there, but largely not said much about it. When I have made comments about Lucas, unflattering while not vicious, I’ve gotten the expected response from fans of the prequel trilogy who assume my greatest beef with Lucas was the godawful trilogy and little else. This is, as they might find when they post their “Get Over It!” memes and responses that cover typical prequel hate, not exactly the case. Yeah, I dislike the prequels, but I have different reason, one I don’t hear mentioned a lot actually, for souring on Lucas that has nothing to do with the prequels, with the fourth Indiana Jones film, or even completely with his most recent comments.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Three Movies & A Gimmick – The Hive, Unfriended, Dark Places, Bone Tomahawk

I don’t write movie reviews as often as I used to. Heck, I don’t write anything as often as I used to.

Since I started the Needless Things Podcast I’ve discovered that I like talking a lot more than I like writing. Or, more to the point, I like interacting a lot more than I like writing. As I’ve pointed out several times over the years, doing stuff on the internet is often a lot like yelling into a void. I just throw it out there and hope that people read it and like it. Who knows?
Anyway, This past weekend was a lazy one. The Troublemaker family pretty much just sat around the house enjoying one another’s’ company. And watching TV and movies. Here are a few that I want to comment on. I’ll keep things as spoiler-free as possible.

If you buy anything from the links on this page - or just click them and buy other junk - Needless Things gets a ha'penny!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Brandon Lee: A Birthday Tribute. Part Two: The Movies




In part of one this two part tribute I focused on the man that was Brandon Lee.  Very little is talked about in regard to how he lived; what we know of him we know from interviews from friends and family.  The practical joker, the hellion with a wild streak, the highly intelligent thinker, and the man who was tamed by an amazing woman.  One very big thing that we do know that was given not by others, but Brandon directly, was his acting talent.  To go through his projects is to get a picture of what he was and what he would have become if he had lived passed the young age of 28.

The conclusion of my Happy Birthday memorial will focus on some of his more well known movie roles.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Toys Today

Toys are in a strange but interesting place right now. I find myself in an odd position that I’m going to try to articulate today.

As noted last week, I am done with the Masters of the Universe Classics toy line. I let my credit card info lapse and passed on the final four figures, as well as this year’s Collector’s Choice line. I have received four e-mails from Mattycollector so far regarding this and have laughed gleefully at each of them, relishing my newfound freedom.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"You’ll believe it when you find something screaming 'cross your mind- Green Slime!"


Oh, the things I dearly love. One day when they’re older my children will only have to point to my video collection and the movies in it I cite as my absolute favorites in order to have me committed and institutionalized. Somewhere high on the list of exhibits in the hearing proving my mental infirmity will be 1968’s Green Slime.

I first saw the film in the early 1980s, probably on the weekend block on I think either WOR or WDCA. I fell in love with it instantly and have never looked back. As far as cheesy sci-fi horror goes, this film has it all. It kicks off with the best/goofiest/grooviest theme song of its era, delivers square-jawed heroics in space, and it features a threat that’s criminally overlooked in the annals of space monsters.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Taxidermia




Prepare yourself for floods of bodily fluids in this week's edition of Devlin's Domain. I'm taking a look at a film that portrays some very depraved individuals from three different generations. If you can handle the blood, vomit and bile then you are worthy to proceed and see what art spills from the guts of the human body.

Brandon Lee: A Birthday Tribute. Part One: The Man



 
Some movies pass by the screen, and you enjoy them and simply walk away.  Some actors step up into their line of work and you enjoy their productions, but you don’t go as far as to say that they are a favorite or an inspiration.  There are some, however, that stand out in ways that just can’t be processed, imagined, or described.  Some that, from the second you see them on the screen, cause you to lean forward saying, “Who the heck WAS that?”  In honor of his upcoming 51st birthday on February 1st, I wanted to pay tribute to such a person, going over his life and some of his career highlights.

His name was Brandon Lee.  And the world just hasn’t been the same without him in it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My Breakfast With Bowie

Before I get yelled at for false advertising, that's what they called the show I saw. I did not literally have breakfast with David Bowie. It was just called that because he played at 9 in the morning; which I guess is breakfast for some people. My breakfast is usually closer to 7, but I think that was too early even for a man like David Bowie.  If I had really eaten breakfast with Bowie I would have totally told you guys that story like a million times already. Me, Bowie, a giant plate of bacon, and a bunch of mimosas...

Monday, January 11, 2016

Why I Quit Collecting Toys – Masters of the Universe Classics

The last time one of my posts had that tile it was about Star Wars toys. In it, I was hilariously wrong about many things, including the pricing on what was then the upcoming Force Awakens line. I was also wrong in thinking that I might be done collecting Star Wars toys. Sort of.

That’s a post for another day.

Today I’m going to talk about a line that has dominated my collecting for the past five years. It’s filled my shelves and emptied my wallet. It’s had ups and downs and has been the source of much frustration and a decent amount of… not quite joy, but certainly satisfaction.
I’m going to talk about how and why I quit collecting Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line just four figures shy of “the end”.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 89 – Masters of the Universe Classics 2015

Phantom Troublemaker and Mr. Beau Brown cover the final year of Mattycollector.com’s Masters of the Universe Classics line!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Toy Review – DC Multiverse Batman v Superman Wonder Woman from Mattel

It’s been a while since I started a post with the words, “I had no intention…”, but it’s that time again.

I had no intention of buying any of the new Batman v Superman movie toys. I was all but done with Mattel after dropping the Masters of the Universe Classics line at the end of November (that full story will be up on Monday). But the new year brings new toys and new toy excitement, and as soon as I saw what appeared to be pretty decent looking figures of Batman and Wonder Woman on Amazon for regular price, I ordered.

Amazon Prime makes these things too easy.

Kayfabe

Kayfabe is a funny thing. It was once a vital aspect of professional wrestling, in some ways maybe the most vital aspect of it, but it was also something that had to be eventually left behind for professional wrestling to continue to exist and grow. Leaving it behind let the industry soar to new heights, but it also may have hurt the industry as well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews January 2016: “Assault on 2016!”

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, January 5, 2016

Toy Review – The New Batman Adventures The Creeper from DC Collectibles

Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Man, my toy collection is a bit drab. It seems like action figures just don’t pop like they did in the eighties”.

Side Note: As I get older, many of my thoughts are along the lines of things not being the way they were in the 80s.

Today the Creeper is here to brighten up my shelves and possibly even induce a migraine, because this figure captures all of the clashing brightness of the original Steve Ditko design!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Star Wars The Force Awakens – The New Hasbro Toys

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the movie. But seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, do you even care?

Hasbro launched the new onslaught of Star Wars toys back in September. For reasons I have already discussed I chose not to collect any of it aside from a few pieces here and there like Captain Phasma and a die-cast Finn.

Much to my delight and surprise, Santa left nearly all of the new 3.75” scale Force Awakens toys for my son on Christmas! So now I’m going to review the line as a whole.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 88 – Radio Cult!

Live from Galactic Quest! Phantom Troublemaker talks to Ricky Zero and Bambi Lynn from the rock band Radio Cult!