Movie Review – 11 Thoughts About Joker


In order to fully enjoy Todd Phillips’ new movie, Joker, you have to put aside any ideas you might have that it’s a prequel to any sort of Joker anything that you’re aware of. It isn’t.

I’m looking at this movie as a sort of alternate reality project that’s taking the idea of a character that is well-known and exploring a different way of using said character. If you know your DC comics, then you know that’s pretty much what their Elseworlds imprint did for years and to me this is basically an Elseworlds Joker movie.

You might, as you’re out and about on the internet, see people mention the bizarre concept of “Joker’s origin”. Thye might claim that there is one and that this story of a man named Arthur Fleck isn’t it. Those people are wrong – there has never been a definitive Joker origin, though many writers have presented possibilities or suggestions. The most widely adopted origin is probably the one in Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke. While that’s a fantastic story and the original presented is compelling and believable, the origin and, indeed, the entire story occupy shaky ground in DC continuity.

But people like it, so they adopt it.

I’m all for as many variations on characters as creators want to provide, as long as there’s a certain amount of clarity as to where they each fall in current canon. In my opinion Warner Bros. and company did the best job they possibly could at emphasizing Joker’s uniqueness and standalone (for the time being, anyway) nature.

I was excited for this movie, mostly because of Joaquin Phoenix. That guy can act. But I was also excited because I felt like it was a bold decision for Warner Bros. to strike out in a new direction with their DC Comics characters. I didn’t necessarily believe they had found a new path to success, but at least they recognized that what they were doing wasn’t working. Something fresh and new might not be great, but at least it would be free of expectations tied to the existing film franchises.

Was what Joker delivered worth diverging from the set course or should WB have stuck to their guns? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 11 Thoughts About Joker”

Home Again – October’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.

All info is from the excellent This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link.

It’s that time of year, Phantomaniacs – when all of the big companies get in on the spooky act that our favorites like Shout Factory and Arrow maintain all year long! Halloweeny Blu-rays and 4Ks should be coming out a  furious pace for the next few weeks, so be sure to check in every single Tuesday to see what’s coming! Continue reading “Home Again – October’s Blu-Ray Releases”

Toy Review – Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning Ultimate Roy Burns from NECA

Who would’ve imagined the phrase “Ultimate Roy Burns” would ever be used, let alone the cause for so much excitement among Friday the 13th fandom?

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’ve been a fan of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning from the start. First of all, I didn’t even see the movie until long after it was released. I was later on the game on Friday the 13th than I was A Nightmare on Elm Street, I think because I found Jason scarier than Freddy. I’ll have to sit down and think about it someday, but I remember a very real apprehension about watching the Friday the 13th movies.

I did not like Part V the first time I saw it. Or the second or third, probably. It was only a couple of years ago that I finally was able to put aside the fact that ***SPOILER*** Jason isn’t really in the movie. This was a very dumb thing to get hung up on, especially for someone who likes Jason Goes to Hell as much as I do.

A couple of years ago I picked up the Blu-ray set of the eight Paramount Fridays and had a little marathon. I ended up liking all of them a little more than I remembered (except for Part VIII, which I still think is trash), and finally came around to the fact that A New Beginning is pretty darn good, despite having the least likeable cast of all of the movies.

Replacing Jason Voorhees with Roy Burns was not a bad idea. Within the context of the insane Friday the 13th universe and timeline it’s actually one of the less ridiculous things that has happened.

The movie has great kills, Tommy Jarvis’ continuing story is pretty good, Reggie is fun (they should have brought him back at some point), and Violet’s dance scene is one of my favorite things in the whole franchise.

The funniest thing about Roy is that he’s so obviously not Jason, but for some reason his likeness and mask have been used on a lot of merchandise over the years, so a lot of people don’t even realize he isn’t Jason. I have a Friday the 13th shirt that is clearly meant to sort of represent the franchise as a whole, but the image on it is Roy.

So now NECA, one of the best toy companies on the planet, has released an action figure immortalizing the Jason-who-wasn’t, Roy Burns.

Will it take years to appreciate NECA’s Roy or is he a hit right out of the box? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning Ultimate Roy Burns from NECA”

Needless Things Podcast 286 – Trick or Treat 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!

It’s the spooky season, so a Halloween movie was a must, and while there are plenty of movies called Halloween… there are also a bunch called Trick or Treat, apparently. But this one features Rock’s Chosen Warrior, Sammi Curr!
Also starring Gene Simmons, Ozzy Osbourne, and Marc Price (Skippy from Family Ties), this film follows outcast metalhead Eddie Weinbauer – aka Ragman for… some reason – as he learns about life, love, and not letting an evil heavy metal icon who has been resurrected through the power of backmasking electrocute his friends.
Listen to the Commentary Team Tear Down the Walls on the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast!
PLUS! Hear a song from The Casket Creatures’ new EP, Folk.Lore!
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!
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Hungry for more movies, music, and pop culture? Visit the Needless Things Archives for a decade of dorkery!

Horror Movies of 1999

I normally like to talk about 30 year old horror movies every October. This year is going to be different for two very good reasons. First: I’ve been doing the yearly old-nerd podcasts with Dave for several years now, and anything truly outstanding (or abysmal) can be discussed there. Second: there just aren’t any horror movies from 1989 that are worth talking about to me. There’s a lot of crap for sure, but I don’t want to spend 1000 words talking about terrible things. Most of them don’t even fall into the “so bad they’re good” category. The best thing about Pet Sematary was song The Ramones did for it. Well Fred Gwynne was great, but that’s about it. Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween had some pretty bad sequels that year too, but I don’t really have anything besides that to say about them.

So this year I’ll be looking at the much more fun horror year of 1999. And while there are no Oscar winners in here, there are certainly several that are fun even if they aren’t great films. There aren’t even any that came out that year I hated. Maybe some that I’m indifferent to or never got around to seeing, but nothing that I just want to trash. It’s always tough for me to judge if horror movies are well known or not because I have so many friends that are into scary stuff too. To me most of these should be fairly well known, but if you haven’t seen any of these then please do so. Everything here has my spooky seal of approval.
Continue reading “Horror Movies of 1999”

Comic Book Wednesday: Previews October 2019 “Spookier Than I Expected”

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.

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

October’s Previews post is usually a little awkward because I dislike Christmas stuff showing up before Halloween is even here (though I love Christmas; it just needs to stay in its post-Thanksgiving spot on the card), but the Halloween stuff was in August’s issue and the Christmas stuff is now. That’s how catalogs full of upcoming stuff work.

Also, there are a TON of toys in this issue. I highly recommend you go to your Local Comic Shop and grab a copy.

Continue reading “Comic Book Wednesday: Previews October 2019 “Spookier Than I Expected””