Dave’s Best of 2018

All-new, slightly different site; all-new, slightly different year-end list!

A more accurate title for this post would have been “My Favorite Things from 2018 Out of the Limited Range of Available Things I Was Able to Experience”, but that’s a bit unwieldy.

Obviously I didn’t see every movie, watch every TV show, or read every comic. I’ve got stuff to do, man! But I can still make a pretty darn good list of things that were my personal favorites. Maybe my list lines up with yours, maybe not. If not, perhaps it’ll compel you to give something another look or even try a movie or TV show you missed. Please head on over to the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and share your own favorites when you’re done here!

As I start this thing I’m not sure what format I’m going to use. I scrapped last year’s list rather than using it as a template because I want to see how this unfolds in the more economical style I’ve been using lately. Some categories are easier than others; some I already know exactly what my choice will be.

So read on and find out what excited me the most and earned my fandom and respect in 2018!

Continue reading “Dave’s Best of 2018”

Needless Things Podcast 245 – Aquaman

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-z9t8r-a2ebf4

Ryan Cadaver stops by the Phantom Zone to discuss the newest entry into whatever the heck Warner Bros. is doing with their DC Comics properties this week!

We all know that Dave and Ryan look upon the DC Extended Universe a bit more favorably than most. While its had its ups and downs, overall it has still produced the most epic DC Comics movies of all time.
While Wonder Woman was a course correction, Aquaman appeared to be a wild, swerving right-angle turn away from dark grittiness and into big, colorful fun. Nobody could be sure how well the film would succeed, but with director James Wan’s vision and star Jason Momoa’s pecs, it was bound to be something very different.
Listen in as Dave and Ryan run down the new film and determine if, how, and why it’s better than the rest!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com
Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?
You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Movie Review – 13 Thoughts About Bumblebee

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR Paramount PICTURES’ NEW FILM BUMBLEBEE

The Transformers have had quite a rollercoaster ride at the cinema. That seemed to have peaked in 1986.

I’m not, of course, talking about box office. Regardless of their quality of lack thereof, Michael Bay’s Transformers films have been ridiculously successful. Altogether the movies – often referred to as “Bayformers” with no small amount of derision – have grossed nearly five billion dollars.

Whatever form it took, this mega-successful franchise was not going away.

I like some of the movies more than others – with Revenge of the Fallen being a low point not just for the franchise, but for the history of film in general – but could never make the argument that they are doing a good job at representing the property. At best they’re jam-packed but forgettable action flicks, at worst they’re racist, hard to follow, and utterly lacking in charm.

In a move that shocked everyone, Paramount announced a soft reboot starring the most popular Transformer – Bumblebee – that would scale the franchise back, represent the fan-favorite 80s era, and be in the hands of a filmmaker who could hardly be considered experienced as far as blockbusters go. Director Travis Knight has worked in animation for years and helmed the excellent Kubo and the Two Strings, but had no live action on his resume. Putting the next Transformers film in his hands was a huge leap of faith.

Did it pay off or is the franchise in the same sorry shape The Last Knight left it in? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 13 Thoughts About Bumblebee”

Needless Things Podcast 244 – Caravan of Courage Needless Commentary

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-cjpu6-a268b7

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

In an almost Santa Claus-like manner, our friend Chad J. Shonk swooped in to save the holidays with some Star Wars magic in the form of Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure!
In 1984, George Lucas wanted some of that sweet, sweet television revenue but was still smarting from the hideous embarrassment of the Star Wars Holiday Special. So he took the reins himself and oversaw production on an all-new adventure featuring the inhabitants of Endor’s moon.
That’s right – we here at Needless Things can’t go a Christmas season without some good, old-fashioned Star Wars action, so it’s time to sit down and snuggle with the Galaxy’s most lovable little cannibals, the Ewoks!
Listen in as Dave, Battle Cougar, Ryan Cadaver, Rad Ranger, Arian, and special guest Chad J. Shonk travel to a galaxy far, far away for this month’s Needless Commentary!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!
Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com
Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?
You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest on pop culture!

Movie Review – 16 Thoughts About Aquaman

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR WARNER BROS.’ NEW FILM AQUAMAN

Whatever people may think about the DC movies so far, it’s almost universally agreed upon that Jason Momoa is a sexy hunk of man beef.

Oh, and that he’s been pretty fun on screen as Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman.

To say I’m surprised to be writing about a big-screen Aquaman movie would be an understatement. And just a few years ago the idea that Aquaman would have a brighter cinematic future than Superman or even Batman would have seemed absurd. But thanks to severe mishandling by Warner Bros. and fans’ taste for derision bandwagons, that’s where we are.

The first trailer for this movie was nothing short of breathtaking, promising huge action, bright colors, and sexy leads. Everyone here at Needless Things was absolutely delighted and immediately granted Momoa permission to come aboard.

Were we too hasty or did the charming fish man earn his entry into our hearts? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 16 Thoughts About Aquaman”

Home Again – December’s Blu-Ray Releases

Welcome to Home Again, where each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media. In general I won’t be covering 4K because I find the format overrated, but if it’s new and  happens to have some kind of edition feature I might mention it.

All info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com. This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link. Continue reading “Home Again – December’s Blu-Ray Releases”

Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series #67 4-LOM Action Figure from Hasbro

As I mentioned on last week’s Needless Things Podcast, I just can’t seem to choose a Star Wars line.

The less articulated basic line gives the best character selection, the Vintage Collection is the style and size I prefer, and the Black Series has finally achieved a level of quality where I find some of the releases irresistible.

If I can actually find them.

The bounty hunters – the group Darth Vader assigns to hunt down the Millennium Falcon in Empire – transcend those decisions, though. I’ve loved those character designs since I was a child, but the best thing is that they’re a small, specific group and that every Star Wars line tends to represent all six of them – Boba Fett, IG-88, Dengar, Bossk, 4-LOM, and Zuckuss. So I’ve developed a habit of just buying all of the bounty hunters when I see them, even if I’m not collecting that line.

As for the Black Series, I hadn’t intended to buy anyone but Fett. At twenty bucks a pop these aren’t the same kind of fun impulse buy as Galactic Heroes or a small LEGO set that has three of the characters. I passed on Bossk and IG-88, but then when Hasbro hit us with the triple threat of Dengar, 4-LOM, and Zuckuss (a Disney Store exclusive and therefore much more easily obtained), as well as the announcement that they would be rereleasing the first two, I couldn’t resist.

Mainly because for one reason or another I’ve managed to stock an entire shelf with Black Series releases.

Am I dumb for continuing to dabble in this line, or is 4-LOM the kind of figure that could make you question your style loyalties? Read on and find out.

Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series #67 4-LOM Action Figure from Hasbro”