Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines and the Changing Face of Fan Films




So last week the news broke that the fallout from the legal action over the Axanar fan film project was a new set of official guidelines for any such future production of its kind. The result was about what one would expect- fandom went a little nuts for a day or so. The question I’ve not seen getting asked in many places is the obvious one. What did fandom expect?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Movie Review - Christina on The Power of The Glow - Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon





Is this movie the awesomest? Sho' Nuff! Is this movie the cheesiest? Sho' Nuff! Is this movie full the best music, martial arts, clothing...heck, the best of everything the 80's had to offer? Sho' Nuff!

I...can't...hear...you...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Toy Review – DC Icons Harley Quinn from DC Collectibles


As much as I’ve been loving DC Collectibles’ Icons line, it’s not one that I am going to collect regularly. I think they’re doing all the right things, but with a huge collection of Mattel’s (admittedly inferior) DC Universe Classics on my wall I can’t justify buying new versions of the DC characters unless they’re from Mezco’s One:12 Collective, which I’m considering to be definitive action figures. Hopefully those will be the last ones I buy of those characters.

But there are special cases where I’ll pick up a figure because I like the character and just want to have a bunch of action figures of them. I own tons of Batmans and Boba Fetts and I’m well on my way to having a shelf of Harley Quinns.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Why I Quit Collecting Toys – World of Springfield

From Simpsonswiki.com
It’s time for another tale of starting and stopping a toy line. I’ve done this with many different lines over the years and there are always different reasons involved for what happened.
Today I’m going to talk about Playmates Toys’ line based on the long-running The Simpsons animated series. It was called “World of Springfield” and was one of the largest and most comprehensive collections to kick off the new century.

Today’s post is going to be light on pictures since I don’t have any of my own collection. For a comprehensive look at the line, check out WorldofSpringfield.com.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 113 - Gate Trek 2022: Agent Alien!


LIVE in the Phantom Zone! Phantom Troublemaker is joined by Sean Reid, Mike Gordon, and Jason Frazier for a fun-filled sci-fi free-for-all!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Toy Review – Walmart Exclusive Star Wars The Black Series 3.75” Captain Phasma from Hasbro


I almost didn’t bother with this one because I am so over people regurgitating lamentations over Captain Phasma’s role in The Force Awakens. But I reviewed the larger Black Series Phasma, which is from a line I don’t even collect, so I thought I should cover this one.
I honestly thought that I had reviewed the 18” JAKKS Pacific figure as well, but I can’t find it. Short review – it’s an awesome big figure for the price. I’m happy to have it.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Movie Review – Phantom on Cell


Ten years ago Stephen King released a book called Cell.

The last thing I had read was the final Dark Tower book. I loved it. I loved the ending. As much as it wasn’t closure, it did feel like the completion of a cycle. Between the epic journey that had just been portrayed and the roughly two decades of fiction that had satisfied me so much, I felt like the guy had to run out of good ideas sometime. And perhaps after King was hit by a van in 1999 I felt like the guy just deserved a break.

I should have known better. The voice that flows through King wasn’t going to stop just because his body took a hit.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 112 - Bobby Nash

Phantom Troublemaker talks to award-winning writer Bobby Nash!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)




It’s come to my attention recently that nowhere near enough of you have seen this film. I’m not sure how it’s gone so unnoticed by so many over the years, but somehow it has. This is one of the Hammer classics that played around in several genres at once, telling a story that dances into both classic science fiction and fantasy/horror quite nicely. It had a tight script, some great FX work for the era, and had an amazingly solid and engaging cast that helped propel a story “five million years in the making”.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Movie Review – Phantom on The Conjuring 2


I thoroughly enjoyed The Conjuring. It was a classic haunted house flick that was told through the eyes of the paranormal investigators rather than the victims. Not only that, extra care was taken to establish all of the characters in the movie, particularly Ed and Lorraine Warren, the investigating couple played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. It was the character work more than anything that won me over. While the film had its share of scares and was very well done, my investment in the people on screen is what truly made The Conjuring rise above other horror fare. Director James Wan made great use of all of the tools at his disposal, but relying on Wilson and Farmiga was the smartest decision.

Horror sequels are pretty hit-or-miss, with much more of the latter. But this franchise was in a special place where it had not only returning leads but a returning director, as well. I felt like as long as there was a solid story, the Conjuring 2 had to be a win.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Toy Review – “Weird Al” Yankovic Retro Action Figure from NECA


NECA has been killing it with their selection of these Mego-style action figures. They’ve hit so many HUGE pop culture icons – Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, Snake Plissken, Ashley J. Williams, and even the Crimson Ghost. They also produced extremely limited runs of figures in this style for Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. Now NECA is stepping into new territory with franchises like Bill & Ted and this new Weird Al figure.

Monday, June 13, 2016

1986: The Cartoons


Thirty years ago I was ten years old, which means I was still at optimal receptiveness for the things that would in 2016 evoke fond memories and feelings of nostalgia. I got the idea for this post from the first Dragon Con panel I was a part of – 1982: Best Sci-Fi Movie Year Ever? (or some such thing). We had a great discussion about the movies that came out that year. Sadly nobody recorded it, but I thoroughly enjoyed having a topic that was both broad and focused. It was only 1982 sci-fi movies, but there were plenty to discuss!

It turns out I have so much more to discuss about 1986 than could have ever been covered in a single post. Initially I wrote about the toy lines of 1986, then 1986 movies, television, and last week music. I was foolish to think that the few cartoons I mentioned in the toy post would be enough. I had planned to cover more in the TV post, but there turned out to be so many sitcoms and whatnot to cover that there wasn’t room for cartoon talk.

It also turns out that there were more than enough cartoon happenings in 1986 for a full post. HUGE happenings.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 111 – 1986

Phantom Troublemaker, Beth, Sean Reid, and Chris DePetrillo go back in time thirty years to talk about the pop culture of 1986!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

And That One Time, at Band Camp, When North Korea Kidnapped Japanese Filmmakers and had them Make a Godzilla Knockoff…





You know how in high school they would put the word ‘SEX’ in big letters on a poster before doing the gag about how they now had your attention? That headline is nothing like that. Yes, North Korea really did kidnap an entire film crew in order to have them make what one man had hoped would be North Korea’s Godzilla.

I was at ConCarolinas last weekend, and after a panel ended the topic turned to, among other things, Godzilla. I mentioned Pulgasari and got some blank stares from the room. Now, I expect that in my workplace, but a gathering of geeks who are into this kind of thing? Apparently the story is not as well-known as I thought it was. If you’ve never heard about it, let’s rectify that.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Devlin's Domain - The Bunny Game



Have you ever seen a trailer for a movie that was so badass you couldn't wait to see it? And then you see it and it sucks balls? Well that's what happened to me when I decided to feast my eyes on this artistic take on the torture porn genre. How bad was it? Well you'll just have to keep reading to get the full scoop on this disasterpiece.


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


Hey? Do we even do toy reviews anymore?

Sort of.

I’ve cut way back on what I’m buying and to a certain extent have lost interest in some lines. DC Collectibles’ animated line might be one of them. I outlined some of my issues here, but what it’s coming down to is that toys are getting so expensive that I’m having to choose between them and actual real-life stuff. And toys simply can’t win that competition.

I sold a number of Masters of the Universe Classics figures that weren’t central characters that I felt I had to have and it felt great. It still feels great. And I think I’m going to redefine what “have to have” means and sell some more. There’s a good chance my DC Animated collection is going to end up on the chopping block, as well. The DC Animated Universe represents my favorite versions of these characters, but I haven’t been crazy about some of the design decisions from the start and the way that DCC is packing and selling some of the items is really turning me off. Just like comic books, once a toy line starts forcing me to buy things I don’t want or already own, it’s probably time to call it quits.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse


Normally when I talk about a movie I start with a poster or some other sort of marquee art. This time I'm starting with the image that for some reason pissed of a whole lot of women. I didn't even know this was a thing until the other day, but it sure made me mad. So mad that I can't even start talking about the movie until after I get this anger off my chest. Honestly I kind of thought that it was too late into the release for me to write a review, but I got so mad that I felt the need to stick up for that image. Of course, I also just want to talk about this movie - because X-Men!

Monday, June 6, 2016

1986: The Music


Thirty years ago I was ten years old, which means I was still at optimal receptiveness for the things that would in 2016 evoke fond memories and feelings of nostalgia. I got the idea for this post from the first Dragon Con panel I was a part of – 1982: Best Sci-Fi Movie Year Ever? (or some such thing). We had a great discussion about the movies that came out that year. Sadly nobody recorded it, but I thoroughly enjoyed having a topic that was both broad and focused. It was only 1982 sci-fi movies, but there were plenty to discuss!

Back in May I reminisced about the toy lines of 1986 (because of course I did) and the following week I wrote about 1986 movies. I thought my final post was going to be last week’s piece about the TV shows of 1986, but it turns out I’m not close to done.

I hadn’t planned on doing so many 1986 posts, but I realized there was so much more going on than just toys. I was basically a little pop culture sponge in 1986. Movies and television had a big influence on me, and toys have obviously been a huge part of my life. Cartoons are going to warrant their own post – I was foolish to think they wouldn’t – and today I’m going to talk about music.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 110 – John Semper, Jr.

Phantom Troublemaker talks to screenwriter, producer, and story editor John Semper, Jr.!


Thursday, June 2, 2016

And This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things...




No, it’s not Captain America going bad that’s the problem, it’s the action of fans on social media. It’s the actions of the many- large numbers of them likely not reading the book to begin with -getting their pitchforks and torches out and rallying the angry mobs to attack Marvel under ever more and more flimsy and bizarre rationales.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews June 2016: “The Return of Chavo Guerrero”


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.