Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Toy Review – DC Multiverse Jim Gordon Batman from Mattel

By Phantom Troublemaker


And here I thought that I was done with Mattel’s DC Comics toys.

When Mattel resumed production on 6” scale DC action figures at the end of 2015 I wasn’t too interested. I bought a couple of the Dawn of Justice figures just because there was a new Batman and I thought the Wonder Woman looked cool, but they weren’t good enough for me to want to start collecting. The Suicide Squad line didn’t change my mind on that, though I was impressed with the assortment they offered. Just not the quality.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Alien: Covenant - A Rebuttal

by Beth

As I seem to be the only person around here who liked Alien: Covenant I feel like I need to retort. The recent Needless Things Podcast on the subject was decidedly against it, and I'm as shocked as you are to find myself on this side of the argument. I'm usually the one tearing things apart rather than building them up, but never fear, I'm sure I'll be back to my normal snarkiness soon enough. Those who can't do criticize, and I'm pretty sure I've proven that I'm not able to do much of anything.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 162 – Alien: Covenant


In the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast Phantom Troublemaker, Mike Gordon, and Ryan Cadaver talk LIVE in the Phantom Zone about Ridley Scott’s newest outer space epic!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Defending the “Indefensible” – David Arquette Becoming the WCW Champion



By Jerry Chandler


To the victor go the spoils; not to mention the eventual writing of the histories. One of the things this leads to is everyone and their brother pointing to things that were “the beginning of the end” for the loser that weren’t seen as anything of the kind at the time and, frankly, may not have actually been anything of the kind. When it comes to WCW, the eventual postmortems on the company began to create narratives about many people and events; some of which have already easily been proven to be not wholly accurate.

Some of these are harder to definitively prove or disprove as there are no truly factual ways to do it. It’s all merely opinion claiming to be proof of cause and effect. But some of it might not quite be what the eventual post-WCW narratives and conventional wisdom has made them out to be. One such event is David Arquette becoming the WCW Champion.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Making Good Scenes Great - Pop Music in Movies

By Phantom Troublemaker


Seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 got me thinking about the phenomenal effectiveness of Baby Groot dancing to The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” at the end of the prior movie.

I’ve said it many times in many places, but that single instance of film created a universal moment the likes of which our world rarely sees – everyone around the world that saw that scene experienced joy akin to the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes. I have no empirical evidence to support this claim, but I have yet to meet anyone that doesn’t smile when you mention it and even critics of the film agreed that that was a bright, shining moment.

I feel like it was a landmark in pop culture history where everyone put aside their snark and their vitriol and just smiled at Baby Groot.

While Vol. 2 didn’t feature anything quite as viscerally pleasing – though it had many powerful musical moments – there are plenty of films from my lifetime that have used pop music brilliantly. Some so well that songs I would not otherwise have enjoyed are now a part of the playlist of my life. Today I wanted to sit down and think about some of the best uses of pop music in film.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Toy Review – Walmart Exclusive Ravager Outfit Groot from Hasbro

By Phantom Troublemaker


There are way too many Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 toys right now for me to keep track of. The only ones I’m following are the Marvel Legends, which are frustrating me to no end.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Chris Cornell

By Phantom Troublemaker


Chris Cornell died by his own hand on May 18, 2017 at the age of 52.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 161 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


In the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast Phantom Troublemaker, Beth V, Head of Research Ryan, and the Rad Ranger break down the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Defending the “Indefensible” – The Fingerpoke of Doom



By Jerry Chandler

To the victor go the spoils; not to mention the eventual writing of the histories. One of the things this leads to is everyone and their brother pointing to things that were “the beginning of the end” for the loser that weren’t seen as anything of the kind at the time and, frankly, may not have actually been anything of the kind. When it comes to WCW, the eventual postmortems on the company began to create narratives about many people and events; some of which have already easily been proven to be not wholly accurate.

Some of these are harder to definitively prove or disprove as there are no truly factual ways to do it. It’s all merely opinion claiming to be proof of cause and effect. But some of it might not quite be what the eventual post-WCW narratives and conventional wisdom has made them out to be. One such event is what has become known as The Fingerpoke of Doom.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by Christina

By Christina Sizemore

Once in a lifetime that one movie comes along that is thought-provoking.  It tackles the social issues, changes the way the world looks at humanity and even politics, and leaves you questioning everything you ever thought you knew on a deep philosophical level.

Yeah...this is not that movie.  It has flying arrows and explosions and big guns and jet packs and big freaking talking planets.  It's just insane, mind-numbing fun.  You'll walk out of the theatre soaking wet from peeing your pants with laughter and from crying your freaking eyes out.  You want social commentary, go watch a documentary.  Spoilers for the so far non-initiated, so I am Groot.  Er, I  mean, youve been warned.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The New MST3K

by Beth

Back in December of 2015 Phantom, Chad J. Shonk, and I recorded a podcast about the revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or, as I'm going to abbreviate it from here on out MST3K). We discussed our hopes and fears, as well as what made us love the original show so much. So now that the new episodes are finally here I'm back to let you know what I think.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Toy Review – DC Designer Series Bombshells Harley Quinn by Ant Lucia from DC Collectibles

By Phantom Troublemaker


I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this particular Harley Quinn action figure.

Preview images made it look like it would have the articulation of DC Collectibles’ Icons line, but weren’t clear about the scale. I’m pretty sure this first series was solicited prior to the handy scaling chart that DCC uses in Previews now.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 160 – Aliens Needless Commentary

Cover Art by Vance Kelly
Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

It Came from After School Television – Tranzor Z



By Jerry Chandler
“From the minds of mortal men, the mightiest of machines- TRANZOR Z!”


It was 1985, and a handful of former Sunbow Productions employees who were involved with the very successful Star Blazers television series unleashed the first production from their own brand new company, 3-B Productions. This was an adaptation of Mazinger Z- not even the first one –for American television that would go by the name Tranzor Z.
 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Devlin's Domain - Nekromantik



It's hard to believe it's taken this long for me to get around to smashing this uncomfortable, taboo topic, but here we are finally. There's a lot about human sexuality that we don't fully understand. In this case it's because there's not a lot of research on it, because it's just downright too weird for most people to dwell on. It's a seemingly uncommon affliction, yet high profile people throughout history like Herod the Great and Charlemagne are allegedly guilty of these debauched acts. In case you haven't figured it out by now kids, I'm talking about necrophilia.


Phantom’s Birthday – Favorite Things


Today is my birthday, so I’m taking it easy with yet another…

WEDNESDAY LIST!!!

I wasn’t going to post anything today, but I knew Tuesday night at work was going to be slow so I went ahead and started this. In no particular order, here are forty-one of my favorite things at the moment:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Queen of Antar: Roswell Character Study on Tess Harding

By Christina


Tess: You don't have to spare my feelings. Nasedo taught me not to get wrapped up in... this. It's not really who I am. I'm not human. Neither are you.
Max: It's the only life I've ever known.
Tess: That's not true. You lived another life, Max... a life completely different from this one... a life when you loved me.
Max: I don't remember that.
Tess: I do.

I suppose that it is hard enough knowing that you were murdered in a previous life.  To realize that in your new one that your past incarnation’s husband is now waking around with another woman can be a bit…annoying.  As much as I wanted to write off this piece I had to round up my four-part character study of the Royal Four from TV’s Roswell by diving in to the story of the Queen of Antar and the alien everyone loves to hate, Tess Harding.

I cannot avoid massive spoilers in Tess’ piece for those that haven’t watched this show, so be warned.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Phantom on Chris Jericho - The Greatest of All Time: WCW


Note: I just finished reading Jericho’s second book, Undisputed, and immediately grabbed his third book, Best in the World. As with most things here on Needless Things, I am writing about my memories. I’ll try to keep Jericho’s personal reminiscences from shading my own too much, but it’s bound to happen a bit.

As you may know if you’re a longtime reader, I don’t have a tremendous capability for recall. I am not the guy that’s going to say things like, “On March 27th, 1998, Chris Jericho defeated El Dandy to become the WCW Mexamerican Champion”. I mean, I might say that, but it’s a complete lie. There is no Meximerican Championship and El Dandy never held a title in WCW. But who am I to doubt El Dandy?

This post will consist of my favorite memories of Jericho in World Championship Wrestling and the reasons why I think he’s great, not a list of matches and accomplishments. In the future there should be two more posts in this series explaining why Jericho is truly the Greatest Of All Time.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 159 – News Blitz w/ Ryan & Jay


Phantom Troublemaker, Head of Research Ryan Schweck, and the Belligerent Monkey take a look at the latest in pop culture goings-on!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

It Came from After School Television – The Space Giants



By Jerry Chandler
“From the far reaches of outer space comes a threat to planet Earth. Mankind faces its most powerful enemy, the mastermind Rodak.”


It was the 1970s, and for a while a staple of the Superstation WTBS after school television block was a Japanese import from the 1960s. It was 52 episodes of men in rubber suits playing the roles of robots and monsters beating the snot out of each other every Monday through Friday afternoon to the delight of many a young child. The series was based on a manga called Ambassador Magma, which was also the TV show’s name in Japan. Beating Ultraman to TV screens in Japan by a handful of days, it was the first show of its kind broadcast in full color on their TV stations. The Ambassador Magma TV show also featured one of the earliest examples of the Japanese transforming robot. In America, it was known as The Space Giants.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews May 2017: “Oh, Look – It’s EVERYTHING From Toy Fair”

By Phantom Troublemaker


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 are typically about two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in July.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Movie Review - Assassin's Creed

by Beth
Why am I just now watching (and bothering to review) a movie that came out more than four months ago? The obvious answer is that I only just watched it last weekend. It came out at a bad time. Right before Christmas I have a lot going on so time is an issue, and I only have so much money left after buying everything in the world for everyone else. I had to pick my holiday blockbuster, and do not regret choosing Rogue One. Twice. I regret that decision even less after finally seeing this movie.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Alien Day –26 Awesome Alien Toys

By Phantom Troublemaker


This article was supposed to post on 4-26 - Alien Day. Unfortunately I left my flash drive at work and was unable to post it then. Lucky for you, because now you get an extra Alien Day! It's like a second Christmas, except you don't get any of these toys.

Oh, look – it’s Wednesday and I’m writing another list. Clearly this represents the entropy that is corrupting and will eventually result in the ruin of Needless Things.