Friday, May 30, 2014

Movie Review - X-Men: Days of Future Past - It's Bad! by Phantom Troublemaker

***SPOILERS – You kind of have to have seen the movie to read this anyway. I don’t run down the whole plot, so this isn’t so much my recommendation on whether or not you should see the movie as it is my thoughts on it as a whole. As far as my recommendation – go see it. Everybody seems to love it. Everybody else, that is.***

I don’t want to write this review because everybody else seems to have loved this movie and I thought it pretty much sucked. Like, worse than The Last Stand but not as bad as Origins: Wolverine.

I don’t feel bad or wrong for not liking this movie. I hate that I don’t like it because I wanted to love it. But the things that weren’t good were unbelievably not good and far overpowered the things that were good. That’s saying a lot because the things that were good were almost perfect.

Before I get any further, I want to make it clear that it has been a long time since I read Days of Future Past. I think I was in high school. I intentionally didn’t go back and read it before seeing this movie because that is almost always a bad idea. I’m pretty fuzzy on the particulars of the plot and I’m honestly not sure how closely the movie sticks to the comic. I’ve heard it’s close. I wanted to go back and read it before writing this, but it looks like my trade is one of the many casualties of too many moves, too many roommates, or flooding. By the time you read this I should have a copy (it should be easy enough to get one right now, right?) and will update if needed.

I’m just going to dive right into my problems with the movie. While I’ve mentioned how much I disliked it on Facebook, I have been saving specifics for here because I’ve got posts to write. I can’t be giving this stuff away for free, people.

Wait a minute…

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Movie Review - X-Men: Days of Future Past - It's Good! by Beth V

I've been looking forward to Days of Future Past since I first heard about it. Sure I was gun shy after The Last Stand, but with it's wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey aspects it seemed to be just the thing to get the series back on track. I liked First Class, really, but it wasn't the same as the original series. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were great, Jennifer Lawrence and a lot of the other young mutants were fine, but it was missing something. I had wanted to see a good Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw (and maybe even a good Hellfire Club) for a long time and didn't get them. But after not getting the things I wanted from The Last Stand or the Wolverine origins movie I wasn't really surprised that I didn't get what I was hoping for. It wasn't a bad movie, it just wasn't great. And as far as getting the X-Men series back to it's own origins, and back on the right path Days of Future Past was great to me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America The Winter Soldier: Black Widow from Hasbro

This Black Widow figure has been a long time coming. Not this specific figure, necessarily, but a Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scarlett Johansson Black Widow figure was long overdue.
Samuel L. Jackson’s cameo as Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man was our first glimpse at a larger world of superheroes, but Johansson’s role as Natasha Romanov in Iron Man 2 was the affirmation that we would be seeing these Marvel superheroes working together. It wasn’t just a cameo – she had a major role in the movie. Going into Avengers two years later the core of the team were essentially Nick Fury, Tony Stark, Natasha Romanov, and Phil Coulson.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Toy Review – Batman Unlimited Beware the Batman Batman from Mattel

I love typing silly titles that use the same word too many times, so today’s review is a treat for me!

Read it again if you need to. It makes sense.

This review is a little late. This figure came out sometime last year and I got it around December. Amazon put a ton of the final DC Universe Classics-style releases on sale for five bucks or less and I ordered a bunch. Mostly they ended up as gifts, but I kept a couple for myself. This was one of those.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America: Soldier of A.I.M. from Hasbro

As I’ve said before I’m not really an Avengers guy. Not as far as the comics are concerned, anyway. As a result, the number of stories I’ve read featuring A.I.M. are limited. But I’ve always loved the look of the A.I.M. soldiers. Because of that I bought two of these guys way back when I first saw the new Marvel Legends at Target.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Toy Review – K-Mart Exclusive Star Wars Ewok Assault Catapult from Hasbro

I am a fan of the Ewoks.

I’m not quite sure when this happened, but I am. Oh sure – I went through that phase where I thought they were stupid, but that was mainly because of the Ewok TV movies. I didn’t like those. Not because of the Ewoks, but because of the kids. Even when I was younger I never liked media that centered around children, so I was really disappointed when this new Star Wars experience that I had been so excited about ended up being a children’s movie.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Toy Review - LEGO Minifigures Series 13: The Simpsons by R.T. Ewell

I remember finding out that series 13 of the very popular LEGO minifigures were going to be all Simpson characters. My feelings were mixed, up until this point every series before this were a mix of mostly generic characters. Series 12 was all characters from The Movie which did feature an Abe Lincoln and William Shakespeare. No Batman though, you gotta buy the playsets for that bad boy. In previous series you could find characters that looked like familiar faces such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or even a jazz player that looked like a blues brother but never licensed characters.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Needless Things Podcast Episode 24: Godzilla 2014

If you listened to last week’s (LAST WEEK!) Episode 23 of the Needless Things Podcast, then you know that we had a great time talking about the history of the Godzilla franchise. We barely scratched the surface, though, so there will be a sequel episode later this year.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Toy Review – Batman: Arkham Origins Firefly from DC Collectibles

I was really excited about this figure.

Arkham Origins was not the best game ever and is certainly the weakest of the Arkham games. But if it had one strong point, it was the boss battles. Well, some of the boss battles. The ones that relied on innovation and utilization of the villains’ characteristics rather than on sending swarms of goons to artificially increase the difficulty.

The Firefly boss battle was one of the former. He flew and he shot fire. And both of those characteristics were used not only to make an effective battle, but also to take him down. The battle was epic and involved a lot of timing and use of Batman’s grapnel. It was something different and fun.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Toy Review – Modern Godzilla 12” Head-to-Tail Figure from NECA

There was no good reason for me to buy this toy.

I mean, it’s a new Godzilla toy from a company that has never made Godzilla toys before. And it was a new find in the local Toys R Us. And it looked big and awesome.

I already own the massive JAKKS Godzilla and I have NECA’s larger, 24” head-to-tail figure preordered from BigBad (coming in June). Between those two I’ll have the largest figure available (important when collecting the King of Monsters) and the one that will be closest in scale to NECA’s Pacific Rim figures. Well, according to this, anyway:
I hardly needed a smaller version. But I just could not help myself.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Toy Review – Pacific Rim 2-Pack: Battle Damaged Jaeger Gipsy Danger & Kaiju Leatherback

I saw Gipsy Danger exactly once at retail. It was when I bought Crimson Typhoon and Knifehead (as well as some Alien figures). I knew Gipsy was the main Jaeger, but that didn’t really mean anything because the movie hadn’t come out yet. I thought Typhoon looked much cooler and bought that one.

I looked for Gipsy Danger at retail after seeing the movie, but Pacific Rim toys were very hard to find. I didn’t want to order one online and pay shipping, and by the time I realized that was the only way I was going to get one the prices had gone up way too high. Between the scarcity of the figures at retail and the fact that I hadn’t yet heard anything about future waves I sort of gave up on more figures. If more came out, it would take so long that surely I wouldn’t be interested anymore. I even thought about eBaying the ones I had. I mean, it wasn’t even a complete set.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Toy Review - LEGO Legends of Chima Brapter's Wing Striker by R.T. Ewell

Legends of Chima
Product #: 70128
Brapter's Wing Striker
146 Pieces
Build Time: Approx. 55 Minutes

My main reason for getting this set was for the Braptor minifigure. I know it doesn't seem like it makes sense to buy a set for just the minifigure but it happens more often than not with me. I am not a fan of the bird Chima minifigs but I thought the vehicle looked cool enough to justify the purchase.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Needless Things Podcast Episode 23: Godzilla

I am not a Godzilla fanatic.

I do love Godzilla as a monster. I am awed by his place in cinematic history. I think he is one of the best monster designs ever, in movies or otherwise. And he has certainly been mimicked and paid tribute to more than any other modern monster. He also has the best rogues gallery of anybody, ever.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Toy Review – Game of Thrones Legacy Ned Stark from Funko

I can’t claim any sort of relevance whatsoever for this final Wave 1 figure because this guy


got his noggin lopped off three seasons ago.

And no – the figure does not feature a removable head.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Stuff About Me - And Also Playsets

Today you’re going to be treated to a bunch of babbling nonsense because tomorrow is my birthday, I’m working all weekend and don’t get to celebrate, and I didn’t have time to take pictures of the Spider-Man figure that was supposed to get reviewed today. 
Plus, (and this is Wednesday night now – I wrote all of that Tuesday during the day) I got called into work tonight and still didn’t have time to take those Spidey pics. This piece turns into kind of a bummer at the end, and I’m pretty down on 2014 right now so I don’t know if this re-write is going to make it worse. So be prepared.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Series Electro from Hasbro

I didn’t buy this figure until after I saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like Jamie Foxx in the role and I wanted to see if maybe the character was still cool. The character was handled very well and Foxx was, indeed, terrible. As I noted in my review of the movie.

Me and Lil’ Troublemaker stopped by Target on the way home from the movie and I went ahead and picked up this guy and the Amazing Spider-Man figure, as well as a Spidey versus Electro LEGO set for Lil’ Troublemaker. I had all of the other figures from the ML Spider-Man set and finishing that Ultimate Green Goblin was just too enticing, despite the fact that it’s just a Hulk figure in Goblin drag.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews May 2014: First Angela, Now The Residents!?!

I feel safe saying that I will be continuing this feature for the foreseeable future. This is the third installment and I am having a whole lot of fun writing these each month.

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.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Movie Review – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

***There will definitely be SPOILERS***

The first time I saw The Amazing Spider-Man I didn’t get to see the movie in its entirety. It seems a little crazy to think that he was only four, but I had Lil’ Troublemaker with me and the fight scene in the sewers with the Lizard freaked him out. I’m not a jerk, so we left.

When the movie came out on Blu-Ray I bought it and we watched the whole thing. I hated the Lizard and the fact that he talked. But I loved everything else about the movie. It looked fantastic, I thought that Andrew Garfield got Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a way that Tobey Maguire did not, and the world building that the creative team were attempting was clear.
Over time I’ve come to accept what they did with the Lizard. I’ve watched the movie quite a few more times and I get that he needed to be that way to fit with the plot and the world they were trying to establish. And while I still am not crazy about his too-human face, I can’t fault the CGI work. It was just about flawless. 
When I heard that they were bringing Marc Webb back I was happy, not only because I liked the first movie but also because I felt like he had a distinct creative vision for the world that was being created. It felt much more Ultimate Spider-Man than traditional Spider-Man and it would have been a shame if somebody else had come on board and tried to shoehorn the standard Marvel Universe mythos into what had been created with the first movie.

Then I saw the first interview with Jamie Foxx after he had been cast as Max Dillon and I knew there was going to be at least one significant problem with the sequel. When asked about playing a comic book villain Foxx said that the most important thing, the thing that audiences would be looking for, was catchphrases
This was such an outrageously stupid statement that I really thought he was joking.

He wasn’t, and that became clear as I watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But I’ll get to that.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Toy Review – Game of Thrones Legacy Collection White Walker from Funko

I was totally surprised to see the Game of Thrones figures in Toys R Us today (which would be Thursday). They had two Tyrions, two White Walkers, a Ned, a Daenerys, and the Hound. I almost bought Daenerys and the Hound just in case something falls through with the ones I sent back to Funko, but I decided to have faith in them.

I feel like the second series should be hitting soon, but I have no idea what the release schedule is. It’s probably for the best that they haven’t come out yet, considering that I still haven’t finished reviewing the first series.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Toy Review – Pacific Rim Kaiju: Battle Damaged Knifehead from NECA

Let’s just be honest – that first Knifehead that NECA put out was not great. I gave it a 4 out of 5 when I reviewed it ten months ago, but I hadn’t seen Pacific Rim yet and didn’t know how badly the scale was off.

Of course, I did know that the articulation was bad. But I excused that due to the price point. What I didn’t know at the time was that Walmart had shown interest in carrying the Pacific Rim line, but only if NECA could deliver it at a low price point. That’s why this first Kaiju was so small. Surprising absolutely nobody, Walmart decided not to take up valuable space in its four square feet of action figures and backed out of the potential deal.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Toy Review: LEGO DC Superheroes The Penguin Face Off by R.T. Ewell

DC Comics Super Heroes
Product #: 76010
Batman: The Penguin Face Off
136 Pieces
Build Time: Approx. 30 Minutes

So this is a set that I have been really, really excited about. I bought it a few months ago and it’s been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to put it together ever since. Because of the other sets I have, this one had to wait and I definitely wanted to do a review of this because it oozes nerdiness. Yes, I realize that’s not a real word but it should be. (Phantom Note: It is now. Eff off, Spellcheck.)