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.


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.


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!

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!

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!


*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!

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!

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

The Meh-gicians

I know, puns are the lowest form of comedy. Lucky for me I never set the bar that high.