Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Trekkie vs Trekker Fight for a New Generation of Fandom


(Sheesh… This ended up being almost 3,000 words. I say this in the body of the piece, but let me reiterate something right here at the top so it’s not lost on anyone who reads this due to length. Some of my comments made here are directed at only a very specific part of fandom. You may prefer to identify yourself by a certain label I’m discussing below, but if you’re not doing the things I’m citing- I have no issue at all with you.)

Years ago… Well, actually it was decades ago, but typing “decades” makes me feel a lot older. Anyhow… Years ago the world of Star Trek fandom started growing in leaps and bounds. Somewhere along the way it took over the focus of the pop culture spotlight occasionally used by those outside of fandom to peek into our culture and report on it to the masses. It was an interesting time in more ways than one. It was also a time that, when looking back on it, sometimes feels like talking about a different planet rather than just a different time.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Phantom’s Thoughts on Batman V Superman

Preface: This is an entirely different post from the exclusive, spoiler-free review that is available to Patrons on the all-new Phantom Troublemaker Patreon. The material posted there will never be posted anywhere else. If you like what I do and want to support me, go check it out. Or just share it with your pals.

This is a different sort of post. I’m at work on a Sunday morning and, like many people, can’t stop thinking about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. We’ll be recording an episode of the Needless Things Podcast about it to post this Friday, but I have some thoughts to get out now. This isn’t so much a proper review, but there will be spoilers.

***SPOILERS***SPOILERS***SPOILERS***

I hadn’t been waiting my whole life to see Tony Stark put on a suit of flying armor.

I hadn’t been waiting my whole life to see Joe Dredd perforate Mega-City One perps with rounds from his Lawgiver.

I haven’t been waiting my whole life to see Spider-Man and Captain America in the same movie.

Heck, I hadn’t been waiting my whole life to see four teenage reptiles face off against a walking Cuisinart or to see six adamantium claws pop out of a man’s knuckles. X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are two of my favorite things, but I didn’t love them until I was old enough to be cognizant of trends and pop culture.

Superman and Batman have been with me from the start. They’re ingrained into the core of my being. They’re part of my heart.

And I have been waiting my whole life to see them in a movie together.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Movie Review - Zoombies

When I got sucked in to that stupid TV show Zoo I had been looking for Zoombies. Now that I've finally gotten to see Zoombies I think I was better off with the show. The Asylum is always the mark of low quality viewing, but this is pretty close to the worst movie I've ever seen. And trust me, that's really saying something.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Brad Ladner on Batman V Superman

Brad Ladner is a friend of the site and appeared on episode 61 of the Needless Things Podcast to talk about his massive collection of Batman memorabilia. He doesn’t just collect Batman stuff, he’s like a repository of knowledge of the Dark Knight and the attached franchise and history.

He sent me his thoughts on Dawn of Justice this past Saturday and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. I think that you will, as well. Keep in mind that this is a collection of musings sent to me as a message and not a formal review.

As such, here’s Brad with his perspective on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

-Phantom

Friday, March 25, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 100 – Dana Swanson

Phantom Troublemaker talks to writer, actor, and comedian Dana Swanson on this special centennial episode of the Needless Things Podcast!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Dreaded ‘S’ Words of Wrestling



Well, at least one isn’t all that dreaded.

If you’ve been looking over the WWE landscape of late, you’ll notice something troubling about the roster. They’re seeing a huge number of injuries derailing both their best laid plans and PPV headlining matches. The guys and gals on the WWE’s roster are seemingly dropping like flies. At the rate they’re going, the WrestleMania main event will be the two most recent guys to walk into the NXT training facility. The injury bug is biting them across their entire roster, stinging guys in the lower mid-card and eating its way all the way up to their top talent.

A lot of people are wondering why we’re seeing so many injuries all of a sudden. Well, I think the biggest reasons are connected to some of the following  ‘S’ words, and at least one of them we’ll be getting to is word people in the WWE head offices really hate to talk about.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

So Long, and Thanks for All the Joes

Friend of the site Gary recently sent me this article.

It references Hasbro’s plans for the separate Transformers and GI Joe Collector’s Clubs, mainly the fact that Hasbro appears to be ending their relationship with Fun Publications, who run the Collector’s Clubs and the related Cons.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Toy Review – Batman v Superman Batmobile Pre-Painted Die-Cast Model Kit from Jada Toys

I wanted a toy of this Batmobile. Badly.

Mattel released one to go with their budget 6” figures and it’s okay. I got one for my son (don’t tell him – it’s a present) and it stands up to most of the twenty-dollar Batmobiles we’ve seen over the last decade or so. I’m actually surprised that it didn’t cost more than the $24.99 Toys R Us was charging for it.

At the same time I first saw that Batmobile, I also saw another one. One that was smaller and not the sort of toy that I generally give any attention. One from a company called Jada Toys, which sounded sort of familiar.

Monday, March 21, 2016

"Borrowing" From The Books: Star Wars Canon


“No use of book canon whatsoever.”  

“Only the cartoon and comic canon is acceptable.”  

We have heard these phrases (not quite so paraphrased) being used repeatedly since it was announced that Star Wars:  The Force Awakens would be released.  It was a movie that fans young and old have been waiting on for ages.  A film that was literally decades in the making.  Since 1983 when Return of The Jedi came and went all we could use to fill the void was fan-fiction and eventually the wonderful written world of published novels.  From the likes of Timothy Zahn to Kevin Anderson, The Star Wars universe has expanded into a wonderful written EU that so many Light and Dark Side supporters remain dedicated to.
  
The past before Anakin’s time, the current time frame of the original movies, and future that lay beyond them were all laid out for us and continued on in all their glory in the form of the written word.  We got to continue the adventure in a galaxy far, far away.  When Episode VII was announced, however, the phrases that I started this piece with some of the first announcements that were made.  It was made clear that the only universe we have had to fill the void for thirty-plus years was being disregarded. 

But watch the movie.  Was it really?

Let’s look back on Episode VII and debate that question.  Did they disregard the book canon, or simply “borrow slightly” from it?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Devlin's Domain - The Peanut Butter Solution



Well I was totally expecting to drench blood and guts all over the Domain this week, but something happened. I got wind of an obscure film that had a title that peaked my interest due to my love of peanut butter. This may be the only time that you will see a Family/Fantasy film being reviewed here, so I would advise that you keep reading. This is one genre I don't really tap into, so come inside and see what it was that compelled me to give this film some attention.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 99 – Toy Stories from Joelanta 2016

LIVE from the 2016 Joelanta and the Great Atlanta Toy Convention, Phantom Troublemaker hosts an all-new Toy Stories panel!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Entrance




The wrestler’s entrance into the arena... It can mean a lot. A good entrance can help an audience get pumped up for a match. The New Age Outlaws and the Ultimate Warrior had entrances that definitely got everyone pumped up, psyched up, and ready to go. A bad entrance can suck the life out of the audience as fast as or faster than a four finger stinker of a match. Christian, who I liked more than Edge when they broke up, had one of those when they saddled him with his “tragic opera” entrance music. As much as I liked the guy, that entrance music made me want to change the channel ASAP.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin Appreciation Month

It’s March of 2016.

That means it’s 3/16.

And today is 3/16 in 2016, so it’s time for me to talk about the Texas Rattlesnake, the Bionic Redneck, the baddest SOB in professional wrestling, Stone Cold Steve Austin!

GIMMIE A HELL YEAH.

*pauses for “Hell Yeahs”*

You damn right.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Another Night With Netflix - Zoo

It is just amazing the shit I will let myself get sucked in to when I'm in a Netflix binging kind of mood. Last week it was this ridiculous show called Zoo. I'll admit that the reason I stopped on it initially was because I got it confused with a movie called Zoombies that I was interested in. Not because it looks good (it's about a zombie virus in a safari park), but because it's sure to be really bad.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Toy Review – Re-Animator 3.75” Herbert West from Monstarz

Re-Animator is one of my favorite movies. Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna’s Lovecraft-infused Frankenstein tale is unique among the droves of horror films about the undead. The visceral imagery and black humor combine for a cinematic experience that many successive movies have attempted and failed to mimic.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 98 – The James Bond Theme Songs

Phantom Troublemaker and New Legend Productions’ Mike Gordon talk about the theme songs of the James Bond movies!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

So, is it Daryl or Glenn who gets a Date with Lucille?


Warning!
While this article contains no actual spoilers for The Walking Dead television show, it will discuss the events in the comic series that the upcoming arc is based on.

So everyone following The Walking Dead is currently in a tizzy over the coming of Negan. Fans of the book, and certainly more than a few websites, have been openly discussing the immediate impact Negan had on the book and the readers as well as how they may change that up a bit for the show’s continuity.

When it comes to guesses about who might die, Glenn or Daryl, I think everyone has it wrong. I think the possibility exists for a much nastier entry of Negan into the television show.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews March 2016: “Return of the Doom That Came to Riverdale!”

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, March 8, 2016

Toy Review – DC Super Hero Girls from Mattel

Shiny, Happy Intro:

Heroic toy company Mattel and progressive retailer Target have teamed up to show that females can be superheroes, too! On February 28th, an all-new line of dolls, action figures, and role play items launched under the “DC Super Hero Girls” banner. Focusing on the women of the DC Universe, the line offers new powerful yet feminine interpretations of classic characters like Batgirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and even villains like Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy! Even more importantly, African-American character Bumblebee is featured in a prominent role among the other five white characters!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Brains, Pop-Tarts, and Farting Dogs: Zombie Fallout Book Review


I am a read-a-holic.  I have a library that can only fit in multiple bookshelves (not shelves, but full multi-tier bookshelves,) and a to-be-read pile of roughly about forty books.  The sad thing is that I keep adding more books to the pile so it never seems to shrink.  That being said, I am still very picky on my authors.  I prefer to read sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal in the fiction verse, and I span multiple genres in non-fiction except for true crime (just can’t stand those books or stories.)  But if I can’t get through a book by an author it takes a lot to get me to keep going with their career.  Once I am hooked, however, I can’t get enough.  I didn’t think that I had room for another author in my life as I had such a huge list to read through from authors that I had already established as favorites.  Then one day, a friend that is a bookseller pointed me in the direction of a new series that he had for sale in his shop.  He said it would be up my alley; he called it Zombie Fallout.  It sounded up my alley...but would it be?  I bought the first six books from him and I can tell you now that while I have only just finished the fourth book I realize that this series and this author has been the best kept secret from my household in years.

Zombie Fallout, by Mark Tufo, is quite possibly the best piece of literary gold to ever cross the paranormal fiction universe.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Love



The Domain is getting all sappy this week as I cover a film that contains no death or bloodshed. It's a film that studies something that I know all too much about, yet will never know enough. Don't let the title deceive you, because my Domain isn't a place for uplifting stories. I hope you're ready to have your feelings hurt.

Needless Things Podcast 97 – 2016 Joelanta & The Great Atlanta Toy Convention

Phantom Troublemaker talks to Marten Jallad, one of the men behind Joelanta and the Great Atlanta Toy Convention!


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Space Battleship Yamato: The Movie


Roughly 35 or 36 years ago, I turned on the television one afternoon after school and found an action packed space battle taking place in gloriously drawn animation. I had no idea what I was looking at, but smack-dab in the middle of all of the high-tech looking spaceships, both single pilot fighters and larger base ships, was what looked for all the world like a seafaring battleship.

But it was in space.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Toy Review – The New Batman Adventures Robin from DC Collectibles

I honestly don’t know that I could pick a favorite Robin. It’s entirely possible that I have in the past for the purposes of making a point or for something that I was writing, but if I really sit and think about Tim, Dick, and Damian I find it hard to choose between the three.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016