Monday, July 31, 2017

Dragon Con 2017 – Phantom's Preview

By Phantom Troublemaker
A wise man* once said that Dragon Con is always either a year or a day away. And it certainly feels that way.
We might be a month out from the greatest annual pop culture gathering of all time, but I can feel the scaled behemoth breathing down my neck.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 171 – San Diego Comic Con 2017


It’s time once again for the Needless Things Irregulars to look at the big news out of San Diego Comic Con!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It Came From After School Television - Robotech



By Jerry Chandler

It was the mid-eighties when we first saw Robotech fly onto our television screens. It was officially 1985 that the series was launched in the US, but not everyone had it playing in their area that year. It made its debut the year after Transformers and Challenge of the GoBots, so it was certainly able to catch the eye of anyone who was caught up in the craze for transforming robots. But, other than the surface similarity of having giant vehicles that could turn into giant robots, Robotech was totally unlike those cartoons; or, for that matter, any other cartoon on mainstream American television to that point.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Devlin's Domain - Bad Boy Bubby



There is no objective reality. Each one of us has a unique mind with it's own way of interpreting it's surroundings. Not only does the processing of information vary from person to person, but we each have our own unique experiences. Some of us were raised in rural areas, some in cities, some in Amazon jungles. All of these factors create a version of reality that is exclusive to each person. Some people think they were created by god/gods. Some people believe they were created by aliens. Some believe they exist through a random, natural occurrence. Currently this country is experiencing varying versions of reality. Some see a threat of white supremacy and intolerance taking over, while others see a coordinated effort to limit free speech and allow nefarious forces to obliterate traditional values. Those are just two ends of the spectrum and there are plenty of other views in between. Today's film explores a subjective reality that is drastically different than any of us have experienced. A reality that has been intentionally shaped by outside forces, isolation, and cognitive deficits. Let the madness begin.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7 - It Begins

by Beth



Hey did you guys know that Game of Thrones season 7 started? Crazy right? It’s like they just sprung it on us out of nowhere when we weren’t even expecting them. HBO really needs to fire whoever is in charge of marketing this show because I heard nothing about it at all. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Thoughts on San Diego Comic Con 2017 – The Toys

By Phantom Troublemaker


I wasn’t at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, but as a toy-obsessed lunatic I had to follow all of the news from here. This Friday will see the release of the Needless Things Podcast’s annual SDCC wrap-up with Ryan, Jay, and Josh, but it’s always helpful to me to go ahead and put a post together about my favorite stuff from the show.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 170 – Masters of the Universe Needless Commentary


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, July 20, 2017

George A. Romero



1940 – 2017
By Jerry Chandler

There aren’t a lot of people who you can say created a new genre in film; certainly not in the more modern eras of filmmaking. You can say that about George Romero. He created- somewhat by deliberate design, somewhat by accident -the modern zombie in horror. If it had not been for this (at the time) overly ambitious young filmmaker and his friends, the zombie of film, television, books, and comic books as we all now think of it would never exist. It is a legacy left behind that will live on for more years than he or even most of us could probably ever truly comprehend.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

1987 – The Video Games


On episode 167 the Needless Things Podcast we talked about the pop culture of 1987. We recorded a similar episode last year about 1986 (and will do another one next year about 1988 – see the pattern?) and I accompanied it with posts about the toys, music, television, and movies of the year.

It all started out as one post, but as I poked around my memory (and the internet) I realized that there was simply too much great stuff to include it all in one post. At first glance 1987 seemed a bit leaner in terms of pop culture awesomeness, but then I started poking around and discovered that roughly 8,000 absolutely incredible movies came out in 1987, so that was one huge on its own.

Naturally posts on television and toys followed. Today I’m looking at the middle ground between the two that has become such a staple of pop culture, but that back in 1987 was essentially still in its infancy – video gaming.

I’ve written about the Nintendo Entertainment System before, but I could probably write a post a week about the NES for the next decade and still not convey how much I loved that thing. The main thing that you need to know is that my parents absolutely would not spend money on an NES for me, so I had to save up and buy it myself. I can’t find exact figures, but I know that I bought the light gun set that included the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge and the light gun. I believe it was $150.

That translates to roughly $340 in 2017 money. I know I did chores around the house and saved Christmas and birthday money, but I do not know how long I saved. I do know that $150 would have bought a lot of GI Joes.

This video game system was very important to me, is what I’m saying.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Video Game Review - Until Dawn

By Christina


The Fourth of July brought us many things.  A celebration of our freedom, cookouts with family, and fireworks galore.  It also brought us a sale on games for Playstation Plus members that included some games being given for free.  God Bless America.  One such game is one that I had heard of before, yet had never played.  My addiction to Youtube had caused me to hear about it through watching one of my favorite channels, OutsideXBox.  I was curious yet hadn’t given it as much thought beyond the videos I watched on my favorite Youtube channels.  My husband decided to give it some thought, however, because hey… free makes everything better.  I have to say that if this game had been at full price I still would have grabbed it.  It is worth every penny invested in making it and has more replay value than almost any game I have ever played.  The characters not only have very specific personalities, but how you play the game will adjust their personalities… and even yours.  Have you ever played a game that psycho-analyzed you before?  Literally?  If not, you will the second you turn this one on.


I couldn’t recommend Until Dawn any more than I do right now.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Introducing Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor



By Jerry Chandler

We’ve heard the speculation for years. We’ve heard it from as far back as (even if it was purely a joke then) the ere of the last few original Doctors. We’ve even heard specific names attached to the talk more than once. But somehow the talk never panned out. Certainly the talk intensified in recent years. Not just because of the changing times, but because of other changes of this nature being introduced into Doctor Who. Still, it seemed a longshot given the reported frontrunners for the role over the majority of the last year. But that all changed on July 16, 2017. The next Doctor is a woman.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 169 – Spider-Man: Homecoming



Phantom Troublemaker, Ryan Cadaver, and the Award-Winning Bobby Nash once again gather in the Phantom Zone, this time to discuss Spider-Man: Homecoming!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Why I like the Fact that Kevin Smith is Still Making Movies



By Jerry Chandler

Kevin Smith has been making films “professionally” since 1994’s Clerks. A series of films following Clerks made him a huge, buzzworthy name in cinema in the 1990s. Odds were good that there was at least one huge fan of Kevin Smith in almost every group of friends, and more than a few people around you were quoting Jay’s lines from any number of Jay & Silent Bob scenes. A lot of people were getting behind Kevin Smith’s success as a filmmaker. It was a great story of the little guy making good in the profession he loved. After all, this was a guy who somehow made it big with a film that he made on only (originally) $27,000 that was almost entirely 92 minutes of people just talking to each other.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

State of the Site Address

By Phantom Troublemaker


For over seven years, 1,915 posts, and almost two million page views, Needless Things has provided five posts a week almost every week.

We provide original content featuring perspectives and opinions about toys, movies, music, and all manner of pop culture dorkery. We don’t do clickbait, we don’t cut and paste Twitter feeds, and we don’t break our articles up over multiple pages to increase traffic.

We will never do those things.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Fate of the DCEU - A Fan Theory

By Christina


If I wasn’t a geek I wouldn’t be writing for Needless Things.  If I wasn’t a comic geek I wouldn’t have covered the Marvel and DC universes already, and started coverage of the Injustice comics (which I plan to keep up, I promise.)  I’m not pro-Marvel or Pro-DC; to be honest my favorite Hero/Villian in Marvel is Phoenix and Dark-Phoenix and in DC it’s a tie between Batman/Green Arrow and Joker/Harley.  The debate of the MCU/DCEU verses their respective TV timelines is probably my most favorite subject to dive into currently because it’s becoming the most rich topic out there as of late.  Superhero movies are booming at the box office.  The TV shows are taking over the airwaves, especially for Networks like CW.  And like Yogurt said in Spaceballs, they’ve given great “Merchandising!  Merchandising!  Where they real money from the movie is made!”  The only problem so far is that what I wrote in my last piece debating the success of the MCU verses the DCEU has proven to be true until right before the release of (the freaking fantastic) Wonder Woman.  Marvel is shooting passed on a bullet train made out of money, movie after movie, whereas DC is floundering.  They haven’t given every single Justice League character a stand-alone movie before launching the team into its first group mission, unlike Marvel succeeded in doing with Avengers.  How are they going to keep this franchise going without keeping a cohesive team that you can already enjoy and relate to?  The fan theory that seems to be outlandish yet the most discussed, has been the one that I have jumped on the bandwagon of, ladies and gentlemen.  It can be summed up in one word:
Injustice

Monday, July 10, 2017

1987 – The Toys


On episode 167 of the Needless Things Podcast we talked about the pop culture of 1987. We recorded a similar episode last year about 1986 (and will do another one next year about 1988 – see the pattern?) and I accompanied it with posts about the toys, music, television, and movies of the year.

It all started out as one post, but as I poked around my memory (and the internet) I realized that there was simply too much great stuff to include it all in one post. At first glance 1987 seemed a bit leaner in terms of pop culture awesomeness, but then I started poking around and discovered that roughly 8,000 absolutely incredible movies came out in 1987, so that was one huge on its own.

Television also ended up providing enough pop culture treats to warrant an individual post.
All along I knew that the toys of the year would provide plenty of material for a piece because if there’s anything I can go on about, it’s 80s toys. Even if there was only one big toy released in 1987, I could’ve waxed poetic about it for a thousand words.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Needless Things Podcast 168 – Spider-Man


Phantom Troublemaker, Ryan Cadaver, and the Award-Winning Bobby Nash discuss everyone’s favorite wall-crawler, Spider-Man!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Some Tricks in Wrestling Used to be Much Simpler



By Jerry Chandler

One of the things that pro wrestling has always lived and died on is the simplicity of various concepts and how easily the audience would- no matter how absurd they truly were -go along with the concepts. For literally decades upon decades, wrestling fans simply accepted some things that happened in wrestling because they fully accepted that what they were watching was real. Well, that or they had a hunch that it wasn’t but simply went with it. One of the things that might blow the minds of some who are not fans of pro wrestling is the ease that promoters have traditionally had with getting fans to accept good guys becoming bad guys and bad guys becoming good guys. Frankly, if you’re unfamiliar with pro wrestling or simply an infrequent viewer, you might be shocked at how often good guys become bad guys and bad guys become good guys. You would also be amazed at how ridiculously simple it could be (and still can be) to make that switch.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews July 2017: “Where For Art Thou, Toys?”

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 September.

Monday, July 3, 2017

1987 - TV


This past Friday on the Needless Things Podcast we talked about the pop culture of 1987. We recorded a similar episode last year about 1986 (and will do another one next year about 1988 – see the pattern?) and I accompanied it with posts about the toys, music, television, and movies of the year.

It all started out as one post, but as I poked around my memory (and the internet) I realized that there was simply too much great stuff to include it all in one post. At first glance 1987 seemed a bit leaner in terms of pop culture awesomeness, so last week I attempted to write a single post.

That, obviously, didn’t work.