Good Omens – The Series Review

I waited a long time for this show to come out. It was one of the things I was most looking forward to this year, and it didn’t disappoint. You don’t have to have read the 1990 novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman to enjoy the show Good Omens. It helps give you a deeper understanding, but it isn’t necessary. Gaiman has made the show different enough from the book that even if you just read it yesterday you won’t know exactly what’s going to happen. I don’t want to ruin anything for those of you who haven’t read/watched it yet. What follows isn’t really a review as much as a list of all the reasons you should just shut up and watch it. And then go read the book. Continue reading “Good Omens – The Series Review”

Home Again – June’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 Blu-ray.com. This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link.

I have a new recommendation for you guys. If you think getting a movies a few days early sounds neat, try preordering from Best Buy. I got on their site and preordered a few Steelbooks I knew I was going to want because they tend to sell out fast. The first one – Captain Marvel – arrived this past Saturday. We watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it Saturday night. I wonder if the new digital/physical media schedule means that release dates for said physical media aren’t as important as they used to be.

On another note, I am now fully onboard the 4K train. I know I poo-poo’d it in the past, but now that we’ve got a dedicated 4K player hooked up to a properly calibrated TV and sound system it really is a noticeable difference.

We watched the Captain Marvel 4K followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp on Blu-ray and I was shocked at the decline in quality. I’m not trying to say Blu-ray is bad because it for sure isn’t; it’s just that 4K really is that damn good. Or at least, a top-tier release from the biggest studio in the world is that damn good.

I won’t be purchasing upgrades or anything, but going forward I will be choosing 4K for new releases whenever I can.

6/11

Captain Marvel (2019) – Disney/Buena Vista –  We had the opportunity to watch this again prior to this post and I enjoyed the movie even more. Knowing the twists and turns allowed me to enjoy the movie itself far more the second time through.

I also had a bit of a revelation about Carol. I saw some complaints about her character. I think it’s related to our perception of females in media. If a male character had behaved exactly how Carol Danvers behaves in this movie, nobody would have had a problem. But Carol is not feminine in a traditional sense and she’s also not a stereotypical “can do no wrong” tough girl. She’s a real, human character dealing with fantastical situations.

Check out my full review here.

Since this is a top-tier release from the biggest studio in the world there are several cersions available – 4K/Blu-ray, Best Buy exclusive 4K/Blu-ray Steelbook, standard Blu-ray, and a Target exclusive 4K w/book.

Walmart seems to be getting left out of the exclusive game more and more often lately, which makes me very happy. #deathtowalmart

Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II 35th Anniversary 4K Steelbook (1984/1989) – Sony PicturesGhostbusters, despite being one of the best movies of all time – top 5 for me, easily – has had a rough road to Hi-Def. We finally got good Blu-rays of the 1984 movie and its sequel five years ago and you can buy those for $11 right now if you want to.

I’m mad at Amazon right now or I’d provide a link. I encourage you to buy them elsewhere if possible. More on that later, maybe. I’m not quite at #deathtoamazon levels, though.

From the review I read it appears that these are the same 4K versions released in 2016, but conveniently bundled together and with some added features. I’m not gonna lie – I’m tempted to upgrade. The Blu-ray set I have is nice and I really like the packaging, but the allure of a more “ultimate” release in a Steelbook is pretty darn tempting.

Jonny Quest: The Complete Series (1964-1965) – Warner Bros. – If you haven’t seen this prequel to The Venture Bros., you should really check it out.

HAHA! I kid.

Jonny Quest was one of the best cartoons that never came on often enough when I was younger. I could not get enough of these adventures and to this day feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the twenty-six episodes.

Yes – there were only twenty-six episodes in the two seasons.

I’m sure I’ve seen them all, but in my memory the show was much longer-lived and more prolific. These Warner Archives releases have all been fantastic so far, with last week’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies really blowing my mind, so I can’t wait to grab this one.

Note: This is a Warner Archive made-to-order release, so your best bet is to order from here.

The Entity (1982) – Shout Factory – This is Ghostbusters for people who wish it were an actual horror film. Barbara Hershey plays this movie’s version of Dana Barrett, who has much, much worse things happen to her than a little chair grope.

The Entity is a genuinely scary movie directed by Sidney J. Furie. If that name somehow doesn’t catch your attention, he also directed The Ipcress File, The Boys in Company C, three of the four Iron Eagle movies, and… wait for it…

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

But don’t hold that against him. The Entity is solid horror. Give it a shot.

Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) – Shout Factory – The fourth Hammer Frankenstein film is interesting in that it tries something different, but I don’t love it.

Peter Cushing is always great to watch and I love the odd village world that was created for the movie – lots of rooftop business! – but it’s one of those movies that seems to sort of repeat itself and after a while you wonder if it’s ever going to go anywhere.

I own it on DVD because it came as part of a set with Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires years ago and I don’t see myself upgrading.

Jeffrey (1995) – Lionsgate Films – The mid-90s presented an odd proliferation of gay movies – The Birdcage, To Wong Foo, The Adventures of Priscilla, and probably more I’m forgetting.

Also, I realize those are all drag movies and I’m lumping them in, but I think the target audience and the following that has ensued over the years includes a heavily gay demographic.

Anyway, all of these movies are pretty good to different degrees, but nobody ever talks about Jeffrey, which I watched on cable because Jen-Luc Picard and Brian Hackett were in it. I think it’s the best of the, as Good Ol’ JR would say “alternative lifestyle” movies of the era. It doesn’t rely on the camp and the glamor in the same way that the others do and presents a sort of Average Joe gay guy in Steven Weber’s titular character.

They Might Be Giants (1971) – Kino Lorber – Believe it or not I have never seen my favorite band’s namesake.

I’ve been aware that the name “They Might Be Giants” was taken from a George C. Scott film pretty much since the internet has been a thing, but I’ve never felt particularly compelled to watch it or even find out anything about it.

Thanks to this weekly article that has all changed. Now I know that it’s about a psychotic paranoid Sherlock Holmes in modern day New York having adventures with his psychiatrist Dr. Watson – played by Joanne Woodward – following along. It sounds messed-up and amazing. For twenty bucks, I’m in.

Other Titles Worth Noting

Pirahna (1978) Steelbook, Leprechaun Returns, Can’t Stop the Music, The Warriors (1979) Steelbook, Captive State, Devil’s Kiss, Kidnapped (1971), The Godfather Collection (two different versions – I can’t figure out the difference), several Fast & the Furious rereleases

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and let us know what you’re watching!

You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the best pop culture commentary!

Toy Stories – Exclusivity

NOTE: This post was written last Thursday after a particularly disappointing internet experience. The author was despondent at the time.

Let’s talk about exclusives.

Exclusive toys are neat-o. They’re something special and different and a significant badge of honor that you were willing to do some specific thing that others were not.

Whether that thing was pay a premium, wait in a ludicrously long line, stay on top of a timed online release, or simply be patient enough for interest to die down in order to get a reasonable price, exclusives require something more than simply grabbing a toy off the peg or pressing the “Buy” button on your favorite website.

I’m writing about this today because of NECA’s 2019 San Diego Comic Con Exclusives. I can’t get one and IT’S PISSING ME THE F**KING A** SH*TF**K MOTHERBI**CH OFF. Continue reading “Toy Stories – Exclusivity”

Needless Things Podcast 268 – The Dan Kozuh Interview

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-zywb3-b3bd35

On this week’s episode Dave talks to writer Dan Kozuh!

Dan Kozuh is a recent transplant to Atlanta who has written screenplays and numerous articles for The Hard Times. His new novel, Lingeria: Book One of One is currently available on Amazon in both digital and print editions.
Listen in as Dave and Dan talk movies, writing, and humor on the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast!
PLUS! Find out how to win a digital copy of Award-Winning Bobby Nash’s The Snow Series 1, Vol. 1!
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 Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the best pop culture news!

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews June 2019: “Spawn of Spidey”

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!

NOTE: I’m back on the book!

After a few months of writing this from the Previews World website, I can now resume my habit of delving into the physical copy of Previews. I thought about sticking to the online edition, but it’s easier to pick things out of the book. Continue reading “Comic Book Wednesday – Previews June 2019: “Spawn of Spidey””

Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ronda Rousey from Mattel

I mentioned in my Mattel WCW post that I am only collecting three types of modern wrestling figures at the moment – Retros, the WCW roster, and the Women’s Division. Retros because they’re fun and nostalgic, WCW because that’s my favorite era of wrestling, and the women because they’re more visually interesting than the men and they are providing the highest level of entertainment on WWE TV these days and have been for a while.

Mattel can’t get a Lacey Evans out soon enough.

Ronda Rousey was a big part of the Women’s Division being so superior. Her current status might be inactive and her future might be in  question, but in my opinion she took to the business in a way that no athlete from an outside sport has since Kurt Angle. She had a believable, engaging charism that was unique on the roster and every match she had was at worst very good.

During Rousey’s brief tenure in WWE she was the proverbial Human Highlight Reel, with her every action being notable and a discussion-worthy part of that week’s action. Part of it was a very carefully cultivated program by WWE’s creative team, but even the best-executed writing will fail without a competent Superstar to carry it out on screen. And thanks to whatever magical combination of talent and execution occurred, Ronda Rousey was WWE’s biggest star in 2018-2019.

She might have hit the occasional bump, but this was her first year in the business. I can’t even imagine what she could be capable of if – hopefully when – she returns.

Due to the brevity of Rousey’s tenure and the nature of the action figure business Mattel has only released three Ronda Rousey action figures to date – one Basic, one Elite, and today’s Ultimate Edition. I passed on the Basic, but the Elite was a very good figure for what it was. I’m not the biggest fan of wrestling figures who aren’t in ring gear, but Mattel did such a great job with Rousey’s likeness that I had to grab that one when I saw it.

This Ultimate Edition is an all-new concept from Mattel. Replacing their Entrance Greats line, it is an attempt to deliver everything that wrestling fans might want from an action figure – entrance and in-ring looks, multiple hands, multiple portraits, and ultimate articulation. The first two releases were Rousey and – obviously – Ultimate Warrior. I mean, they had to, right?

Is this Rousey truly the ultimate and a ten dollar step above Mattel’s Elites? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ronda Rousey from Mattel”