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PEELERS Review: This Zombie/Stripper Film Isn’t APEEL-ing, it’s Appalling.

Review copy provided courtesy of October Coast Publicity

I like zombies.  I like strippers. So it seems zombie-strippers would be (pardon the pun) a no-brainer.  But 2008’s Jenna Jameson/Robert Englund film Zombie Strippers fell in its high heels. 2012’s Zombies Vs Strippers failed to get a rise out of me. And defying my expectations, Sevé Schelenz’s new film Peelers is even worse than those two previous efforts.

Peelers’ concept is simple enough. When four coal miners accidentally strike oil they head to the Titty Balls Strip Club to celebrate. And it’s the club’s last night as owner “Blue” Jean Douglas, played by Wren Walker, has sold the club to a land developer who plans to shut it down.  Soon their night of revelry turns into revulsion as the black ooze infected the miners turning them into bloodthirsty, mindless killers. No one in the club is safe, and the infection is spreading.

This set-up seems like a perfect throwback to ‘80s slasher films. I had low expectations for Peelers, but if it could give me base genre thrills along the lines of Prom Night 3 (yeah, part 3, not even part 1) or Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan I would have given this film a solid recommend.

Sure enough, the film’s set-up seems to indicate that’s what I’ll get as we’re introduced to owner “Blue Jean”, her bad-boy brother Logan (Madison J. Loos), and the various strippers, bouncers, bartenders, and cooks that populate the Titty Balls.  Instantly we see a large cast we know will lead to a decent body count.  And it doesn’t take long before the miners arrive, and one begins regurgitating and transforming into a zombie.

And I was jazzed by some comic book cred. One character is named Logan, and another is Remy.  I could chalk that up to a coincidence, but when the bartender drops a line about adamantium it’s obvious writer Lisa DeVita is an X-Men fan.

From there all the film had to do was coast on “cruise control” and give me some inventive kills along the way.  Unfortunately first-time screenwriter DeVita can’t even accomplish that.

The set-ups in this film are so obvious I thought DeVita was trying to be funny. In the first fifteen minutes of the film we are introduced to what I can only call Chekhov’s arsenal: the strip club has a baseball bat, several handguns, and even, improbably enough, a chainsaw. Clearly every awkwardly-shown item will (and does) lead to later zombie defense.

But soon I realize the script wasn’t being ironic, it’s just poor.  The plotting is confusing in several ways.  For example, the miners believe they found oil, but it smells awful and converts them to zombies. Yet later we’re told it is still actual oil that can fuel your vehicle…and turn you into the living dead?  

Beyond ridiculous, the script is downright ignorant. (Minor spoiler) The kryptonite for these oil monsters isn’t a gunshot to the head, it’s….water? The rationale is “Water and oil don’t mix” so, obviously, water will kill these bloodthirsty beasts?  

Unlikely as it seems, the stupidity only escalates from there! The survivors in the club could just run away, but “Blue Jean” marshals them to stay and fight, lest these monsters go to the general population. Yet no one realizes that if they just wait out one good rainstorm then the problem will take care of itself.

Additionally, this group has every weapon known to god and man, but not one person has a cell phone?

If I gave the film the benefit of the doubt I’d say this was all intentional humor, but the leaden dialogue delivered by a cast of complete unknowns makes it all seem deadly serious. And deathly boring.

Yet I found myself slightly impressed with the production. Post-viewing research told me Peelers was a Kickstarter-funded film made for about $20,000. For that small sum Peelers achieved quality sound work, and decent camerawork. I looked up cinematographer Lindsay George and he has over a decade’s work on shorts and television. The result is a professional looking production that seems to make spectacular work of existing lights, and good effect of digital video cameras that work well in low-light conditions.  

Some of the gore effects are also passable for cheapie-horror.  

But if I’m complimenting a movie for saying it’s well lit, I’m stretching to find compliments. George is a good cameraman but he had nothing good in front of the camera to film.  And several times he’s let down by poor staging and editing that makes action scenes downright confusing.

If you’re only requirement for this film is gratuitous nudity, yes, you’ll find it here, but every single bit of it is undercut by the most repugnant of “humor.”  One stripper does her dance, only to end by giving guys in the front row a golden shower.  Another stripper is late into her third trimester. I’ve been to a couple dive clubs in my life, but this is simply grotesque.  

And yes, one zombie is indeed killed when the pregnant stripper’s water breaks on his head. If you think that sounds cool, you’ll still be bored as hell by Peelers.

It takes a lot to revolt me. The strippers here pulled it off. So…congratulations? But it wasn’t even in the fun Human Centipede way. More in the vein of “no one should have to watch this.”

Finally, the title Peelers was misleading. From the poster, showing an amputated stripper, and the title I thought I’d be watching a film about creatures that peel the skin off their victims. It would be the ultimate strip-club irony–a monster that continues to “undress” their nude victims. But these beasts just bite and gouge. The title, I suppose, references the strippers, but I’ve never heard a dancer called a “peeler” before. I suppose it’s a shame the title Striptese, Zombies vs Strippers, Zombie Strippers, Showgirls, and Zombeavers were taken. (FYI, every single movie listed there is more enjoyable than Peelers).

The end result is a film that seems to think it’s a cheapie From Dusk ‘Til Dawn rip-off, and ends up being so much worse than either of Dawn’s direct-to-video sequels.  It’s not even fun in a so-bad-it’s-good way. It’s a mind-numbing 90 minutes that I will never get back.

The cover art reads “You may not get the happy ending you were looking for.” I certainly didn’t. Neither will anyone who watches this imbecilic production.

Congratulations to the film crew for accomplishing what they did on so little budget, but next time perhaps give that script a second draft before you start shooting. 

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Movies, News, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on PEELERS Review: This Zombie/Stripper Film Isn’t APEEL-ing, it’s Appalling.

Child’s Play 3

Andy Barclay has joined a military base, so it’s time for Chucky to be doll that he can be, in Child’s Play 3! Is the third-time the charm for our psychopathic plaything, or should this torturous toy be recalled? Listen to find out!

NOTE: This Podcast was originally made available to donors for a limited time. As part of Now Playing’s 10th Anniversary we are making this show available again!

You can get this review now and help support Now Playing!

Every dollar you donate goes to make this show the best it can be. Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy the podcast!

January 3, 2017 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | Comments Off on Child’s Play 3

Child’s Play

Originally Released September 27, 2010

Charles Lee Ray has a problem. He’s a strangler, but having used voodoo to transfer his soul into the body of a doll, he cannot wrap his little doll hands around anyone’s neck. So he has to find a way out of the doll by possessing the body of 6 year old Andy, before he stays a doll too long and is trapped in the doll forever! Listen as Arnie, Stuart, and Brock do the voodoo that they do so well and review this 80’s classic slasher film!

NOTE: This Podcast was originally made available to donors for a limited time. As part of Now Playing’s 10th Anniversary we are making this show available again!

You can get this review now and help support Now Playing!

Every dollar you donate goes to make this show the best it can be. Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy the podcast!

January 3, 2017 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | Comments Off on Child’s Play

Resident Evil

In 1995 Paul W.S. Anderson scored a major hit with Mortal Kombat, a box office hit grossing more than double any other video game adaptations. In 2002 Capcom hoped Anderson could beat his own high score with Resident Evil. Based on the zombie survival-horror game, this movie brought the game’s iconography and added some martial arts action. The movie was a success and launched the longest-running video game movie franchise. But is this a movie you want to watch, or just play? Join Justin, Stuart, and Arnie to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/resident-evil-1482885351/

      

December 27, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Resident Evil

Beyond Re-Animator

Like one of Herbert West’s patients, the Re-Animator series often seems dead and lifeless, but then it springs back up ready for mayhem. Such is the case with Beyond Re-Animator, the third film in the series that was released 14 years after Bride of Re-Animator. Now only Jeffrey Combs and director Brian Yuzna remain to continue the story of West’s experiments…now in a prison and aided by a new novice assistant. Can this Sci-Fi Channel premiere capture the soul of the original, or is it just going through the motions? Thanks to a donation to Now Playing you could listen to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/beyond-re-animator/

      

December 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Beyond Re-Animator

Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

Everybody wants to rule the galaxy…but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Now Emperor, Paul Atreides must balance his leadership with numero
us plots to undermine him. After the great success of Dune, can Frank Herbert match with the sequel: Dune Messiah? Join Stuart in this review to find out!

Arnie C: https://booksandnachos.podbean.com/mf/play/zgys9b/BN130-DuneMessiah.mp3

      

December 20, 2016 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , | 1 Comment

Rogue One – A Star Wars Story

Fans of Star Wars comics, books, video games, and cartoons have long known the universe is ripe for adventures outside of the Skywalker family tree. But with Rogue One this type of story comes to the big screen for the first time. Detailing the group of rebels who steal the original Death Star plans, this film was seen as a creative risk by Lucasfilm. The result was one of the biggest opening weekends of all time; another super-successful Star Wars movie. But was it a story that needed to be told? Join the Now Playing Podcast hosts to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-1482197621/

      

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Rogue One – A Star Wars Story

Bride of Re-Animator

Jeffrey Combs is back to raise the dead again in Bride of Re-Animator. His character Dr. Herbert West, along with several supporting characters, returned to Arkham for this body-bending sequel. Behind the scenes, however, things were shaken up as Brian Yuzna, who produced the original, replaces Stuart Gordon. Do our hosts say “I Do” to this sequel? Support our show by donating to find out!

Note: This podcast is not available for general download. The Re-Animator Movie Retrospective Series was made as a special “Thank you” for those Now Playing Supporters who donate between September 1 and December 31, 2016.

You can listen to a preview of this podcast now, and then visit our donation page to find out how to pledge and support Now Playing!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/bride-of-re-animator-1481940300/

      

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Bride of Re-Animator

Children of Dune

The original Dune mini-series broke Sci-Fi channel records for viewing. Three years later they attempted to hit that same peak with the sequel Children of Dune. Combining the stories of two Frank Herbert novels, this three-part series brings back old characters and introduces new ones in the continuing story of House Atreides. Should you watch these Children? Listen to this episode of Now Playing to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/children-of-dune/

      

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Children of Dune

Re-Animator

In 1985 slasher films were the bread and butter of horror. That all changed with Re-Animator–a crazy, gory, wild zombie film that delivered splatter and humor in equal measure. Loosely based on the H.P. Lovecraft story “Herbert West: Re-Animator”, the film starred the then-unknown Jeffrey Combs as the titular scientist. The unrated film became a midnight movie staple, and an unlikely critical hit! So now if you support Now Playing you can join our hosts as they inject some Re-Agent into this franchise and see how the body holds up over 30 years later!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/re-animator-1481332060/

      

December 9, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Re-Animator

Chopping Mall — Interviews with director Jim Wynorski and writer Steve Mitchell

In this holiday season you can head to your local Chopping Mall to pick up the new Blu-Ray release of this 1986 horror cult classic. A brand new transfer and lots of bonus features accompany this new release. Going even further, on this podcast Arnie Carvalho talks to Chopping Mall director Jim Wynorski and writer Steve Mitchell, dispelling internet rumors and finding out about the making of this film.

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/chopping-mall-interviews-with-director-jim-wynorski-and-writer-steve-mitchell/

      

December 8, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Chopping Mall — Interviews with director Jim Wynorski and writer Steve Mitchell

Dune by Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert’s 1965 landmark novel DUNE is one of the most celebrated works of the science fiction genre, but does today’s reader have to be a Mentat in order to wrap their mind around its dense mythology? Host Stuart In LA promises, “there’s nothing to fear…. fear is the mind killer.” Join him as he dives headfirst into this first chapter of his six podcast exploration of the Duneverse.

Arnie C: https://booksandnachos.podbean.com/mf/play/4vjy3k/BN129-Dune.mp3

      

December 7, 2016 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune (2000)

The Dune novels have built a universe full of history and lore. So many details and characters exit that it seemed even David Lynch had trouble squeezing Frank Herbert’s original novel into two hours, but could it work in six?

In 2000 the Sci-Fi Channel released Frank Herbert’s Dune — a three-night mini-series telling of the fall of House Atreides, and the rise of its son Paul. How does this telling compare to both the ‘84 film and Herbert’s original novel? Join the Now Playing hosts to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/dune-2000/

      

December 6, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Dune (2000)

From Beyond

After 1985’s Re-Animator was a critical and financial success the cast and crew reunited to adapt another Lovecraft story–From Beyond. But with Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna at the helm this film is a sticky, kinky, perverse horror that Lovecraft could never have imagined. What is this horror film about, and should you watch it? Go BEYOND and help support Now Playing with a donation and you can listen to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/from-beyond/

      

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on From Beyond

Dune (1984)

Frank Herbert’s novel Dune had a long path from the novel to film. After a series of false starts it finally hit theaters in 1984 directed by Oscar nominated director David Lynch. The director turned down Return of the Jedi for this other sci-fi epic. Yet while both are space fantasies on desert planets, Jedi was populated with muppets and Dune came with a pamphlet to help moviegoers unfurl the dense narrative. How much of this film is Herbert and how much is Lynch, and is this film the worm or the hook? Join the Now Playing podcast hosts to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/dune-1984-1480462884/

      

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Dune (1984)

Trick Or Treat

Believe it or not, there was a time when heavy metal music was frightening! Politicians and religious figures banded together to save the youth from the satanic forces of rock. In the midst of such hysteria comes Trick or Treat in which playing an album backwards summons the demonic soul of a murderous rocker. Do cameos by Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne make this a rockin’ good time? Donors who support our show can listen to find out!

Note: This podcast is not available for general download. The Horror Films of 1986 Movie Review Series was made as a special “Thank you” for those Now Playing Supporters who donate $25 or more to Now Playing between September 1 and December 31, 2016.

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/trick-or-treat-1480114886/

      

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Trick Or Treat

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

As the school year ended in 1986 John Hughes gave the world a film honoring playing hooky — Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. On the surface this is a fluffy comedy about three teens set loose in Chicago, but its themes and characters clicked with audiences and have endured for thirty years. Now, as Now Playing continues its look at the films of 1986, Arnie, Marjorie, and Justin skip school to give you this bonus movie review. Is this the best Day ever? Join them to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/ferris-buellers-day-off-1479964812/

      

November 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The Elephant Man

I am not an animal! I am a human being! That quote from David Lynch’s The Elephant Man has become part of the American lexicon, quoted in literally hundreds of movies and television shows. But what of the film that created the quote? Lynch’s 1980 black and white biopic, his first commercial production, was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won many other statues. How does The Elephant Man hold up over 35 years later? Take the bag off your head, put in your earbuds, and join Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/the-elephant-man/

      

November 22, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Elephant Man

Deadly Friend – Support Now Playing and get this bonus review!

By 1986 Wes Craven had been making horror films for more than a decade. After the instant success of his signature film A Nightmare on Elm Street he was able to write his own ticket for a follow-up film. Of all the scripts available to him, the movie he chose was Deadly Friend–a box office bomb and critical failure. How did this happen? And is this film’s bad reputation truly deserved? If you donate to help keep Now Playing on the air you can join Arnie, Stuart, Jakob, and BB to find out!

Plus we are giving away a DVD of Deadly Friend signed by star Kristy Swanson! No donation is needed to win. Head to our forums for details how to enter!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/deadly-friend-support-now-playing-and-get-this-bonus-review/

      

November 18, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Deadly Friend – Support Now Playing and get this bonus review!

Eraserhead

David Lynch is a popular director of such films as The Elephant Man, Dune, Wild at Heart and Mulholland Drive. And he became a household name with his 1990 TV Series Twin Peaks where “Who killed Laura Palmer?” was the new decade’s “Who shot JR?”. But before all those films came Eraserhead – Lynch’s surreal feature debut. It has become a midnight-movie cult hit and its meaning has been debated for decades. Now you can join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob as they give their analysis and review!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/eraserhead-1479243546/

      

November 15, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Eraserhead

The Fly II

David Cronenberg is a hard act to follow. He is a cult filmmaker with an undeniably unique visual style. So without the director returning to the franchise, it’s unlikely 1989’s The Fly II will match the vision of the original, so new director Chris Walas doesn’t even try. Instead The Fly II is a more classic horror-revenge film, with Eric Soltz as the son of Seth Brundle, fly DNA in his veins. Does this film succeed as a splatter flick? If you support the show Now Playing puts out week after week you can now hear this review, and every review in The Fly Retrospective Series!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/the-fly-ii/

      

November 11, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Fly II

Doctor Strange

Fourteen movies into the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes the Strangest movie yet – Doctor Strange. This film eschews all the other movies’ science fiction basis to bring that magic feeling to the franchise. Can lauded actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Tilda Swinton cast their spell on our reviewers? Listen now to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/doctor-strange-1478644243/

      

November 8, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Doctor Strange

The Fly (1986)

It’s rare for a remake to eclipse the original’s popularity. However, David Cronenberg’s reimagining of The Fly has done that. When people think of The Fly they are more likely to think of Jeff Goldblum, his skin mottled, his fingernails and teeth falling out, than they are Vincent Price and the man-bug screaming “Help me! Help me!”. Now The Fly remake turns 30. Do its Academy Award winning monster makeup and memorable body horror hold up? If you support our show you can join Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/the-fly-1986/

      

November 4, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Fly (1986)

Rob Zombie’s 31

After swearing he was done with horror movies, director Rob Zombie scared up some crowd-funded money to make a tale of Halloween murder– 31. Featuring a group of carnies trapped by psychotic clowns, the film is a throwback to Zombie’s earliest films. But is retro horror what we need, or is it just too much clowning around? Join the Now Playing hosts as they treat your trick with this special Halloween movie review!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/rob-zombies-31-1477947154/

      

October 31, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Rob Zombie’s 31

Sinister 2

It took three years for Blumhouse to scare up a sequel to Sinister. Original creator Scott Derrickson had moved on to make Dr. Strange, but he returned to co-write and produce this follow-up. But can a story of a demon shaming Deputy So & So live up to the suspense of the original? Justin, Stuart, and Arnie are here to fill your trick or treat bag with this bonus podcast! So listen to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/sinister-2/

      

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Sinister 2

Vamp – A Podcast Preview

In a time where vampire films were plentiful, including The Lost Boys, Fright Night, and many more, Vamp stood alone. With its striking visual style, a focus on humor over horror, and ads heavily promoting star Grace Jones, this sexy, violent gory comedy was unique. Now Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob bite into Vamp. Donate to Now Playing and you can join them and hear this review!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/vamp-a-podcast-preview/

      

October 28, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Vamp – A Podcast Preview

Pet Sematary Two

The Pet Sematary series returned from the grave in 1992. The three years in the ground (or the video stores) did it no favors as the return looked little like the ‘89 original. Gone was the entire cast, replaced by new star Edward Furlong — fresh off his success of Terminator 2. Can returning director Mary Lambert reanimate this franchise, or does this sequel smell of rot and death? Dig up this show to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/pet-sematary-two/

      

October 25, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Pet Sematary Two

Sinister

One of the most acclaimed horror films of this decade was Sinister. On the surface this Blumhouse production seems little different than many haunted house films like Paranormal Activity and Insidious. But Sinister hit a note with fans, and its success and style set director Scott Derrickson on the path to direct Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Is this another false scare, or is there something truly Sinister here? Listen to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/sinister/

      

October 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Sinister

April Fool’s Day

After Friday the 13th, Halloween, Black Christmas, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, New Year’s Evil, Silent Night Deadly Night, and so many more calendar themed slashers comes…April Fool’s Day! On this Spring weekend a group of preppies visit their friend on her private island. Soon the pranks end when their bodies turn up one by one. But is this one Fool worth following? Donate to keep Now Playing on the air and you can join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/april-fools-day-1477066124/

      

October 21, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on April Fool’s Day

Pet Sematary

In 1983 King published Pet Sematary – the book he dubbed to scary to print, with a title too difficult to spell. The book was a smash success. Six years later the film adaptation was released. Can it possibly be as frightening as the source novel? Join

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/pet-sematary

      

October 18, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Pet Sematary

Chopping Mall – A Podcast Preview

In the ’80s every teen wanted to hang out at the mall, often getting into trouble. But when a group of employees decide to party in the mall after hours they find themselves in more trouble than they ever imagined–on the run from homicidal security robots! It’s a concept that could cause your head to explode. But should you shop in the Chopping Mall? Help Now Playing by donating to support our show and you can find out! And Have A Nice Day! Note: This podcast is not available for general download. The Horror Films of 1986 Movie Review Series was made as a special “Thank you” for those Now Playing Supporters who donate $25 or more to Now Playing between September 1 and December 31, 2016.

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/chopping-mall-a-podcast-preview

      

October 14, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Chopping Mall – A Podcast Preview

Christine

By 1983 Stephen King had been christened the “King of Horror”, his every book a bestseller, and his three films hits. John Carpenter was an acclaimed horror director who created the modern slasher with Halloween. When these two masters of terror joined forces to make 1983’s Christine, could the results be anything but frightful fun? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob as they review the carnage to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/christine

      

October 11, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Christine

House

The movie House may be more remembered for its art — a ghoulish
hand reaching for a doorbell — than for its plot. But if you opened
that door you find a haunted house tale of a Vietnam vet trying to cope
with his missing son. How do the Now Playing hosts appraise this House and its cast of familiar small-screen stars? If you donate to Now Playing you can come on in and find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/house-1477067406/

      

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on House

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

From the minds of Stephen King and George Romero comes Tales from the Darkside: The Movie…a horror anthology like no other. Well, scratch that, it’s like several others–including Romero’s own Creepshow! In fact, the King story in this film was written by Romero for Creepshow 2, but now it’s joined by two other stories of monsters and murder. Are these Tales the best Creepshow sequel of all? Join us to find out…but only if you promise to never tell!n

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/tales-from-the-darkside-the-movie

      

October 4, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

The Hitcher (1986)

In The Hitcher C. Thomas Howell is a young man driving cross
country. To stay awake he picks up a hitchhiker on the freeway…and
it’s a mistake he may not live to regret. But should you pick up The Hitcher for
a good scare, or keep on driving by? Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob let you
know in this first review of the “Horror Films of 1986″ Review Series! Donate to Now Playing today and you can hear this, and all eight horror movie reviews!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/the-hitcher-1986/

      

September 30, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Hitcher (1986)

Creepshow 3

Nearly 20 years after the last Creepshow left theaters a third installment creeped onto video shelves. Five more tales of terror await, but now they are all intertwined with crossover characters and a twisting timeline. Does this add enjoyment to the final Creepshow? Grab a hot dong and join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/creepshow-3

      

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Creepshow 3

Curse of the Fly

In 1965 20th Century Fox released a third (and final) sequel to the original The Fly. A radical departure from the previous films, Curse of the Fly had no Vincent Price and no fly! So what makes this film something that a Now Playing host chose as an Underrated Movies We Recommend? Support Now Playing today to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/curse-of-the-fly

      

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Curse of the Fly

Blair Witch

The studio made it in secret. No one knew that Adam Wingard’s new horror film The Woods was actually the third installment of the Blair Witch film series. This one goes back to the original 1999 film in both universe and style. Watch the found footage as James Donahue, brother of the original film’s Heather, leads a new crew into Burkittsville to try and uncover the age old mystery. Is this a great return to form? Head into the woods with Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/blair-witch

      

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Blair Witch

Return of the Fly

Less than a year after audiences were terrified by The Fly came its fast-tracked sequel. The plot is the same, but the cast is almost entirely different–only Vincent Price returned from the first film. But should we celebrate The Return of the Fly? Support Now Playing with a donation of $10 or more before December 31, 2016 and you can join Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie to find out!

Note: This podcast is not available for general download. The Fly Movie Retrospective Series was made as a special “Thank you” for those Now Playing Supporters who donate between September 1 and December 31, 2016.

You can listen to a preview of this podcast now, and then visit our donation page to find out how to pledge and support Now Playing!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/return-of-the-fly/

      

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Return of the Fly

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 30th Anniversary Soundtrack

When you think of Ferris Bueller what comes to mind? Is it “Oh Yeah”? Or perhaps the Star Wars theme playing while Cameron’s Ferrari shot above the city streets. And the iconic parade scene with Ferris lip syncing The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout”. But for all the important music moments in the film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off never had a soundtrack…until now. And to talk about it are Arnie, Marjorie, and Justin along with some guests. Join them for some music, some information, and a review of this new Ferris Bueller’s Day Off CD.

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/ferris-buellers-day-off-30th-anniversary-soundtrack/

      

September 16, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 30th Anniversary Soundtrack

Creepshow 2

Five years after Stephen King and George Romero revived the horror anthology with Creepshow, New World Pictures released the sequel. The poster looked the same, but there was a new director, Romero was now only writing, and King had a “Story By” credit. With just three tales of terror, versus the original’s five, is the humor as sharp and the horror as scary? Get your ticket and join Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/creepshow-2

      

September 13, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Creepshow 2

The Fly (1958) – A Podcast Preview

From the pages of Playboy magazine sprung a horror classic–The Fly! In 1958 this sci-fi fright film scared audience members while also scaring up big money for the studio, all while setting Vincent Price on the path to his career as a horror icon. Its ending has become a cultural reference everyone gets. But now, almost 60 years later, can you still be afraid of…The Fly? If you want to find out…help us! Help us! Donate to keep Now Playing running and hear reviews of all the Fly films!Note: This podcast is not available for general download. The Fly Movie Retrospective Series was made as a special “Thank you” for those Now Playing Supporters who donate between September 1 and December 31, 2016.

You can listen to a preview of this podcast now, and then visit our donation page to find out how to pledge and support Now Playing!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/the-fly-1958-a-podcast-preview/

      

September 10, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Fly (1958) – A Podcast Preview

Creepshow

Stephen King was a master of written horror, and George Romero a master of cinematic scares. And in 1982 those two combined forces to bring you Creepshow — five tales of terror, written by King and directed by Romero. Were two kings of horror better than one? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob as they creep up on you with this review!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/creepshow

      

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Creepshow

Stand by Me

They didn’t market Stand by Me as a Stephen King film. In 1986 a period piece drama didn’t fit with King’s history of films, including axe murderers, ghosts, zombies, vampires, and killer semis. Few would have thought this 50’s coming-of-age nostalgia piece was from King’s short story “The Body.” Yet the movie was a smash hit, nominated for Golden Globe and Academy Awards. How does this movie hold up thirty years later, playing to people other than Baby Boomers? Stand by Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/stand-by-me

      

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Stand by Me

Apt Pupil

A Nazi in hiding is uncovered by a suburban boy, and the result is blackmail and bloodshed. That is the story of Apt Pupil, Bryan Singer’s directorial follow-up to his breakthrough The Usual Suspects. Is Kurt Dussander’s secret past a mystery on par with Keyser Söze? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/apt-pupil

      

August 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Apt Pupil

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption has been voted the #1 movie of all time by IMDB.com users. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for star Morgan Freeman. It has played endlessly on TNT. And yet, upon its release, the film flopped in theaters. Is history right? Is this the best movie of all time, underappreciated when it first came out? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-shawshank-redemption

      

August 16, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Shawshank Redemption

Suicide Squad

Earlier this year DC brought Batman back to the big screen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now it’s time for his nemesis to get the spotlight. Suicide Squad stars villains like Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Enchantress — a group of bad people who may be able to do some good. The characters are the worst of the worst…but is the film also the worst? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/suicide-squad

      

August 9, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Suicide Squad

Batman: Assault on Arkham is the Original Suicide Squad!

NOTE:  Now Playing Podcast and La La Land Records are giving away 5 copies of The Killing Joke limited CD Soundtrack. Follow @nowplayingpod on Twitter and retweet their pinned tweet to enter!
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Starting today, DC movies are committing Suicide.  

Sure, everyone knows Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman – the featured characters in last Spring’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But Killer Croc? Deadshot? Captain Boomerang? These are some lesser known characters–and the stars of the new movie Suicide Squad.

With an August release date and a story of criminals out to do good, it’s obvious DC is hoping to capture some of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy magic (and dollars). Outside of comic book die-hards these characters aren’t household names, but with this film DC hopes they will be.

So to prepare for this live action film, I watched another movie version of this tale:  DC’s 2014 animated direct-to-video Batman: Assault on Arkham.

 

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Like the live-action film, this cartoon tells of a “Suicide Squad” formed to infiltrate Arkham Asylum — Gotham City’s infamous sanitarium for the criminally insane.  Government official Amanda Waller calls together a team of seven criminals to covertly infiltrate the prison.  Batman foe The Riddler is imprisoned there, and he has a thumb drive that could expose Waller’s above-the-law operations.

The group she assembles consists of five lesser-known DC baddies: Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Killer Frost, Black Spider, and the hilariously named KGBeast.  For a little star power, the headliners are two more popular Batman enemies: Harley Quinn and Deadshot.

For full disclosure, I certainly hadn’t heard of most of the characters in this film.  When it comes to DC comics, if a character wasn’t featured in a live-action film or the ‘60s Batman TV show, odds are I don’t know them.  I have seen a handful of episodes of Batman: The Animated Series though, and I find great enjoyment in several of DC’s direct-to-video animated films.  

 

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I suspect those excited by seeing Captain Boomerang and KGBeast in action are already DC Comics readers and fans.  Those die-hards would excitedly pre-order a Suicide Squad animated film, because they know what that means.  Instead, for marketing, this movie is called Batman: Assault on Arkham but the Dark Knight is very much a supporting player in this tale.  This movie should have been called Suicide Squad, but wasn’t, I suspect, for two reasons.

First, invoking Arkham in the title shows this movie is set in the universe of the immensely successful Batman: Arkham video games.  In fact, the movie is a sequel to Arkham: Origins and takes place about two years before the original Arkham Asylum game.  

Second, giving Batman top billing appeals to more casual fans like me.  Without a heavy marketing campaign like the live-action film has, I would likely skip an animated movie called Suicide Squad.  Call it Batman and you have my interest.

If you don’t know these characters as I didn’t, it won’t be a barrier to your enjoyment.  These enslaved villains are introduced quickly with ‘70s style title cards announcing their names.  Before you know it, this motley crew is rounded up and told of their mission.  If they don’t comply, Waller will detonate explosives planted in their necks.

 

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Why are these specific people chosen?  Why use criminals instead of more traditional assassins?  The film glosses over the answers so we can get to the action!

Once the titular Assault begins, the fun never ends.  The plot is full of so many twists and turns I am hesitant to discuss them lest I rob you of the fun of discovery.  Suffice it to say the team’s objectives change every ten to fifteen minutes, and when Quinn’s former beau The Joker shows up, it all goes sideways.

The animation is rudimentary, and I sometimes had trouble distinguishing between Deadshot and Black Spider. Even though one is African-American and the other Caucasian, the coloring muted the skin tones.  Add to that identical facial hair, somewhat similar hairstyles, and my lack of familiarity with these characters, at times I found myself confused.

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Despite that, this hard PG-13 cartoon did the seemingly impossible–the action excited me.  This Squad isn’t afraid to kill some cops in brutal ways. In truth, I haven’t seen so many decapitations since David Cronenberg’s original Scanners!

Not only are nameless guards and cops taken out, but so are some characters from DC Comics.  The team is called a Suicide Squad and, surely enough, some of them don’t survive the mission.  This feeling that all the characters are at risk upped the suspense–no one feels safe in this cartoon.

If you know these characters, if you are steeped in the Arkham video game universe, I can only imagine your enjoyment is even greater than mine. I did, however, become giddy when Poison Ivy, Bane, Penguin, and other characters I actually knew, made minor appearances.

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Beyond violence, there is a PG level sex scene, and some “almost see it” nudity with the femme fatales Quinn and Frost.

What the film lacks in visuals, it makes up for in the score.  The music is omnipresent and sets a mood that the script and characterizations sometimes fail to do. But I found myself tapping my fingers throughout.

The voice acting is also well done.  Nearly all the actors, including Kevin Conroy (Batman), C.C.H. Pounder (Waller), and Jennifer Hale (Killer Frost), have played these characters for years. Their familiar performances were welcome.  Newcomers Greg Ellis (Captain Boomerang), Neal McDonough (Deadshot) and Giancarlo Esposito (Black Spider) also do very well.

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I did, however, truly miss Mark Hamill and Arleen Sorkin, the respective voices of The Joker and Harley Quinn since the ‘90s Batman: The Animated Series and several of the Batman: Arkham games.  Both had retired from the role (though Hamill reprised in this year’s Batman: The Killing Joke).  Troy Baker and Hynden Walch are fine in the roles, but I felt a lack of menace and chaos from both.

While Batman: Assault on Arkham is by no means a perfect movie, its manic action is a blast. The script does an admirable job of introducing the characters and the “Suicide Squad” concept. And, based on the trailers, I strongly suspect today’s live-action Suicide Squad took many beats from this animated version.

I give Assault on Arkham a solid Recommend.

Now Playing Podcast’s review of Suicide Squad will be released Tuesday, Aug 9th!

Buy Batman: Assault on Arkham now on Blu-Ray

Buy Batman: The Killing Joke now on Blu-Ray

Hear Now Playing Podcast’s entire Batman movie review series.

*Note: There are no plans for Now Playing Podcast to do podcast reviews of the direct-to-video DC Animated films. 

August 4, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, Music, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Batman: Assault on Arkham is the Original Suicide Squad!

Jason Bourne

It’s been nine years since Matt Damon last played Jason Bourne. But now he is back, ready to uncover new secrets about Treadstone and what turned David Webb into Jason Bourne. Do Greengrass and Damon still have the spark that made those original films so memorable, or should they have not Borne out another sequel? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob in this podcast movie review to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/jason-bourne

      

August 2, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Jason Bourne

Review – Batman: The Killing Joke (Out today on Blu-Ray!)

NOTE:  Now Playing Podcast and La La Land Records are giving away 5 copies of The Killing Joke limited CD Soundtrack. Follow @nowplayingpod on Twitter and retweet their pinned tweet to enter!

 

I would love to see [The Killing Joke] depicted in animation style with Mark Hamill coming back, cuz I’m hearing Mark Hamill’s voice the whole time I’m reading the Joker’s lines anyway.

But can you imagine the surreality if you had one of these direct-to-DVD DC Comics where you have Barbara Gordon shot and raped and then, let’s cut to a musical number? That’s Star Wars Holiday Special level weird.Arnie Carvalho on Books & Nachos review of The Killing Joke graphic novel.  June 11, 2012

 

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The animated movie adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke is every bit as disturbing and entertaining as Alan Moore’s original graphic novel.

DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation have been pushing the envelope with direct-to-video superhero movies. Violent deaths, sex scenes, and a peppering of profanity can be seen in several cartoon films, including Batman: Assault on Arkham, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and Batman vs Robin.  

Given this teen-audience aim, I hoped for The Killing Joke to get adapted since first reading it in 2012. I was excited when the project was announced, and nearly ecstatic that it would be shown in theaters for two nights by Fathom Events*. This seemed to raise the bar — would this be a Batman animated film on par with Nolan and Burton’s live-action movies?

The answer is “no”.  But it’s close.

The final 40 minutes of The Killing Joke ranks among the best I’ve seen on screen–big screen or small.  But it takes a while to get there.  Writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland’s 48-page graphic novel is too short for feature-length. To pump this movie to 76 minutes (still 4 minutes shy of the Screen Actors Guild definition of a film) producer Bruce Timm and writer Brian Azzarello padded the script with a 30-minute first act. This is a separate story entirely from The Killing Joke. The Joker is nowhere to be seen, and Commissioner Gordon only appears briefly.

 

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The film’s first dialogue is Batgirl breaking the fourth wall, saying, “I realize this is probably not how you thought the story would start, not with a big shiny moon or a city that could look stunning in spite of itself.  Or me.”

She’s right.

Batgirl, also known as Barbara Gordon, is the star of this first act. Tara Strong returned to voice this character who she’s portrayed since 1997.  The story is of Batgirl’s pursuit of sociopathic gangster Paris Franz, who is obsessed with the spandex-wearing crimefighter. He wants to date, or rape, her–and he doesn’t seem to care which it is.

But Batgirl is infatuated with someone else–Batman.  Interludes show Barbara working in the library and discussing the emotionally distant man she desires. Batman, on the other hand, shows only a professional interest in his younger trainee, which lends their relationship almost a 50 Shades of Gray quality. She desperately wants him to love her–he only wants the violence.

The result is truly a romantic drama painting Barbara Gordon as a lonely, pining librarian. Are we supposed to cheer when Batgirl finally pins Batman and plants a kiss on his lips, bedding The Bat? I truly don’t know.

 

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I do find this story reductive. Batgirl can kick ass but here she’s defined only by her desire for love. Batman refusing to return her calls after their one night stand is trite soap-opera melodrama.

Yet I understand why Timm and Azzarello put this in the movie. Yes, they needed to extend the running time, but this also gives Barbara Gordon context.  It can be presumed readers of The Killing Joke know her heroic history as Batgirl, but a movie audience needs to be shown. Also, Moore has been accused of misogyny for what happens to Barbara in his story — she is barely featured other than to be tortured. This fleshes out her character.

Her monologue continues: “I wanted you to know that before the horror began, before it all came crashing down, there was a time when capes and cowls and fighting crime was really exciting.”  The filmmakers needed to make her a hero to deepen her character, and to make what happens later all the more tragic.

The end result feels like Watchmen-lite.  Batgirl and Batman shagging reminded me of Silk Spectre and Nite Owl. They are turned on by the fight, and the costumes. Yet this lacks Moore’s subtlety or postmodern commentary.  It is simply a cartoon relationship.

 

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30 minutes into this film, Batgirl’s role is diminished.  Batman enters Arkham Asylum to talk to The Joker, and Moore and Bolland’s Killing Joke begins.

This second half of The Killing Joke movie is a direct, almost line-for-line recreation of the graphic novel. Moore is uncredited as he dislikes movies based on his comics, but the spirit and words from his graphic novel are displayed large on the screen. Many fans are ardent enthusiasts of Moore’s works and here, like in the 2009 film adaptation of Watchmen, it seems the source material is treated to reverential to alter.  It seems there is a paralysis of creativity, a fear of changing Moore’s words.

This extends also to Bolland’s art style. The on-screen Batman and Joker look radically different than in previous cartoons…and identical to Bolland’s graphic novel designs. This sticks out as many of the minor characters, including Barbara Gordon and the Joker’s circus freak gang, are drawn in a style much more in line with Timm’s previous works like Batman: The Animated Series.  The Joker flachbacks are also colored like the original comic.

 

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In animation, using a computer to create smooth motion between two still images is called “tweening”.  This movie almost feels like they scanned in Bolland’s pages and Moore’s script and “tweened” them to create a film.  

The voice actors range in quality.  While Kevin Conroy has portrayed Batman since the beginning of Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, his portrayal is rather flat. Never do I hear a Batman on the verge of homicide.

However, Mark Hamill shines as The Joker.  Hamill famously retired from this role after the acclaimed video game Batman: Arkham Knight. In a pre-movie featurette Hamill mocks himself for saying that, and explains the promise of doing Moore’s classic story enticed him back.  

He is absolutely amazing.  His vocal intonations drip with evil menace. He even performs an atonal, amoral musical number “I Go Looney” — finally giving music to Moore’s words. And he does it with aplomb.  He shines as much as Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger in this role. So close to the release of Suicide Squad, this sets a high bar for Jared Leto, as many Bat-fans will have Hamill fresh in their minds.

 

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While Joker’s song may not have you humming along, its chaotic sound is perfect for the scene. Yet I was more impressed by the film’s score (revealed in a post-film featurette to be fully orchestrated).  The music is bombastic and deep and may be my favorite Bat-score since Danny Elfman’s originals.  The score, including “I Go Looney” is available on a limited edition CD from La La Land Records.

Twin Peaks star Ray Wise voices Commissioner Gordon. His first time performing this role, his participation seems a bit of typecasting. He is best known for playing the grieving father of Laura Palmer in that ‘90s ABC series. Here he is again a father in despair over the violence Joker does to his daughter Barbara.  His performance is mostly relegated to wails and moans while his character is dragged around naked on a leash.  For this, Wise is suitably adequate.

 

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Yet for the implied nudity and violence, and for its R rating, The Killing Joke is remarkably mild. A sex scene ends with a glimpse of a bra. Someone is shot and covered in blood, but their clothes aren’t even torn. There is some cursing, but they never even use the single F-word allowed in PG-13 films, let alone a tirade of profanity R ratings have.  

I believe the rating is more a publicity stunt than a reflection of the film’s content.  I’ve seen far worse violence and language in live-action PG-13 films. Yet this R rating tells adult fans “this is for you” and, perhaps intentionally, prevents younger fans from getting in.  An R rating is a rule enforced by theaters, whereas PG-13 is a guideline for parents.  The Killing Joke doesn’t earn an R rating, but it is best if it keeps out kids aged 8 or under.

All told, if fans of Moore’s graphic novel can make it through the Batgirl Romance story they should be pleased with the final 40 minutes of The Killing Joke. It is a violent and trippy Batman tale, just like the source material.

Recommend
Batman: The Killing Joke is out now on video-on-demand.

The Blu-Ray and DVD will be released Aug 2, 2016

Hear Now Playing Podcast’s entire Batman movie review series.

*Note: There are no plans for Now Playing Podcast to cover the direct-to-video DC Animated films.

Had this film been given a legitimate theatrical release it would have been reviewed, but Fathom Events regularly shows operas and television in theaters.  To cover this means to go back and cover several Star Trek: The Next Generation television episodes as they were previously shown by Fathom as well.

August 2, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, Music, Reviews | 2 Comments

Star Trek Beyond

On Thursday, September 8, 1966, Star Trek beamed into people’s homes for the first time. Since then, Star Trek has become a cultural phenomenon spanning 725 television episodes across six series, and 12 movies. But now it is time for Star Trek to go Beyond. Is there still power in those warp coils on the Enterprise’s 13th voyage in theaters? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Brock to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/star-trek-beyond

      

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Trek Beyond

The Last Starfighter

A long time ago, in a trailer park far, far away… a teen named Alex beat the high score on the Starfighter arcade. But it wasn’t just a game–it was a proving grounds for fighters to join an intergalactic war. Is Alex the Luke Skywalker for the ’80s? And how does this film’s once-groundbreaking CGI hold up over 30 years later? Join Arnie, Marjorie, and Justin to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-last-starfighter

      

July 26, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Last Starfighter

Ghostbusters (2016)

It’s been almost 30 years since the Ghostbusters took control, and despite repeated attempts the closest we got to a Ghostbusters 3 was the 2009 Atari video game. But finally we have an all new Ghostbusters — a total reboot that shows the original formation of three scientists to stop poltergeists from plaguing New York City. The film was politicized and mired in controversy almost from the moment it was released, but when you get past all that–is the movie good? Supporters of Now Playing can join Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/ghostbusters-2016

      

July 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Ghostbusters (2016)

The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne Ultimatum proved its box office dominance, and director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon were ready leave Jason Bourne behind. But Universal Pictures wasn’t going to let that stop their blockbuster franchise, so enter The Bourne Legacy! Jeremy Renner stars as Aaron Cross – another covert super soldier from the same CIA operations as Bourne. Rather than risk exposure, the CIA has chosen to kill all their agents and start over. Can Cross survive this extinction protocol? And can the franchise survive without its signature star and character? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob now to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/the-bourne-legacy-1477021823/

      

July 19, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne Ultimatum

Three years after Bourne was supreme at the box office, star Matt Damon reteamed with director Paul Greengrass for the series’ third installment – The Bourne Ultimatum. This film promises to reveal the final secrets about the secret agent’s past, and gives co-star Julia Stiles something to do. Did this original Bourne trilogy end on a high note? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://podcast.nowplayingpodcast.com/e/the-bourne-ultimatum/

      

July 19, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum

In 1990 Robert Ludlum returned to Jason Bourne one last time for The Bourne Ultimatum. This story finds Bourne once again in the crosshairs of Carlos the Jackal. It was a book intended to set a legacy for many Bourne novels to follow in the hands of other writers. So why is this the worst book ever reviewed at Books & Nachos? Join Stuart in L.A. as he tears into The Bourne Ultimatum and tells you why this is a novel you should avoid at all costs!

And if you enjoy Books & Nachos, support the show through our PodBean Crowdfunding Page!

Arnie C: https://booksandnachos.podbean.com/mf/play/kkadn7/BN128-BourneUltimatum.mp3

      

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum

Ghostbusters 2

It took five years, but the Ghostbusters were back! Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson strapped the proton packs on once more, rejoined by co-stars Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, and Annie Potts. The crew is the same, and a lot of the story beats are the same, but Ghostbusters 2 has a far worse reputation than the original. Is this deserved, or should the naysayers be soaked in happy slime? Donate to Now Playing Podcast before July 31, 2016 and you can listen to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/ghostbusters-2

      

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Ghostbusters 2

Ghostbusters (1984) – A Podcast Preview

You know the song. You know the cartoon. You know the film — Ghostbusters! This 1984 horror-comedy from the makers of Caddyshack and Meatballs defied all expectations. Not only did this film break box-office records, it has become a cultural touchstone. For over 30 years it seems everyone loves this film. But critically, how does it hold up after so many imitators have aped the formula? Help keep Now Playing going strong–make a Platinum donation and hear the entire trilogy of Ghostbusters movie reviews! Note: This podcast is not available for general download. The Ghostbusters Retrospective Series was made as a special “Thank you” for those Now Playing Supporters who donate between April 1 and July 31, 2016. You can listen to a preview of this podcast now, and then visit our donation page to find out how to pledge and support Now Playing!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/ghostbusters-1984-a-podcast-preview

      

July 11, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Ghostbusters (1984) – A Podcast Preview

The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum

Bourne is back! Robert Ludlum had never written a sequel to any of his novels before. That streak ended in 1986 when Jason Bourne (or really David Webb) has to travel to China in search of the men who kidnapped his woman. This novel bears virtually no resemblance to the Matt Damon film, but is it worth a read? Join Stuart in LA in this review to find out!

And if you enjoy Books & Nachos, support the show through our PodBean Crowdfunding Page!

Arnie C: https://booksandnachos.podbean.com/mf/play/rq3cvu/BN127-BourneSupremacy.mp3

      

July 11, 2016 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum

Short Circuit 2

Just two short years after Short Circuit electrified audiences Johnny 5 returned in Short Circuit 2. This time Johnny is in the big city and realizing what it means to be human…or in his case, not human. The film was supposed to be full of heart, laughs, and special effects. But Johnny’s wires got crossed and no connection was made with audiences. With this film Johnny 5’s cinematic life ended, but did he deserve his fate? Join Justin Five, Stuart, and Arnie to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/short-circuit-2

      

July 7, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Short Circuit 2

The Bourne Supremacy

Universal had little confidence in making The Bourne Identity, but after its huge success they fast-tracked the sequel: The Bourne Supremacy. This follow-up teamed Damon with Paul Greengrass, who would continue to guide the Bourne films through this summer’s new Jason Bourne. Is this film truly supreme, or did the franchise lose its identity? Join Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-bourne-supremacy

      

July 5, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Bourne Supremacy

Independence Day: Resurgence – A Podcast Preview

This weekend the United States celebrates Independence Day, and director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin are here to show us some fireworks with Independence Day: Resurgence! With returning stars Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, and Brent Spiner, should you spend his holiday in theaters? Donors who support Now Playing Podcast can listen and find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/independence-day-resurgence-a-podcast-preview

      

July 5, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Independence Day: Resurgence – A Podcast Preview

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

This summer is a great time to be re-Bourne! Matt Damon is returning to play Jason Bourne for the fourth time. For many Bourne fans, however, it may be surprising to find out how different these Damon films are from Robert Ludlum’s original novels.

On this episode of Books & Nachos, join Stuart in L.A. as he gives a spoiler free review of this book, outlining the creator’s original vision for this spy who can’t remember his past.

And if you enjoy Books & Nachos, support the show through our PodBean Crowdfunding Page!

Arnie C: https://booksandnachos.podbean.com/mf/play/c36fnk/BN126-BourneIdentity.mp3

      

July 5, 2016 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Short Circuit

Robocop. R2-D2. HAL 9000. The T-1000. Johnny 5.

Yes, in the pantheon of great movie robots, there is no denying S.A.I.N.T. model Number Five deserves prominent mention. He came alive in 1986’s Short Circuit and charmed audiences with his naivete, and his DeBarge theme song. Now, as Now Playing looks back at the great sci-fi films of 1986, Arnie, Stuart, and new Now Playing critic Justin review this film to answer the age old question…”Who’s Johnny?”

Listen to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/short-circuit

      

June 30, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Short Circuit

The Bourne Identity (2002)

In 2002 a new action franchise was Bourne. Starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, The Bourne Identity modernized and heavily revised Robert Ludlum’s original novel. Despite a modest budget, the film connected with critics and audience members alike. With the upcoming sequel Jason Bourne in theaters this July, it’s time to check Bourne’s original Identity. Does the film hold up 14 years later? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-bourne-identity-2002

      

June 28, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Bourne Identity (2002)

Independence Day: Crucible by Greg Keyes

20 years have passed between the 1996 sci-fi hit Independence Day and this summer’s new Independence Day: Resurgence. That time passed in our real world–but it also went by for the fictional characters who survived that alien assault. Fans have long wondered–what happened on July 5, 1996? Were all the aliens killed when the ships went down? Some of this will be revealed in the new movie, but those wanting a fuller explanation can find it in the new novel Independence Day: Crucible by Greg Keyes. It spans all 20 years and follows old characters, like David Levinson and Steve Hiller, as well as new players like Jake Morrison and Dikembe Umbutu.

Did anything happen in that 20-year span to warrant a novel? Join Arnie in this Books & Nachos episode as he summarizes and reviews this new story — and the comic series Independence Day: Dark Fathom!

And if you enjoy Books & Nachos, support the show through our PodBean Crowdfunding Page!

Arnie C: https://booksandnachos.podbean.com/mf/play/p5eu26/BN125-ID4Crucible.mp3

      

June 27, 2016 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on Independence Day: Crucible by Greg Keyes

Independence Day Preview – Help Celebrate Independent Podcasting!

In 1996 Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin blew up the Earth, and the box office, with their Independence Day. The movie became a ’90s icon and launched Will Smith’s acting career into orbit. Now, 20 years later, Independence Day returned to theaters as part of a double feature with its new sequel Resurgence. How well did this original movie age? You can join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out if you donate and help celebrate our independent podcast!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/independence-day-preview-help-celebrate-independent-podcasting

      

June 24, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Independence Day Preview – Help Celebrate Independent Podcasting!

The Bourne Identity (1988)

Jason Bourne has existed in Robert Ludlum novels for over 35 years. For mainstream audiences, however, he came to life when Matt Damon starred as the amnesiac secret agent in 2002. That action-packed rendition now defines the character, and has totally overshadowed Bourne’s first portrayal — in a 1988 ABC miniseries. The story was much closer to Ludlum’s original novel than the later films, but can Richard Chamberlain match Damon’s performance? To find out, join Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart as this new retrospective series is Bourne! And come back each week until we review the new Jason Bourne film in theaters!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-bourne-identity-1988

      

June 21, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Bourne Identity (1988)

Night of the Creeps – A podcast skit and preview

Horror comedies have a long history with movies like An American Werewolf in London and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. But in the heyday may be the mid-80s which entertained with films like Return of the Living Dead, House, and the film we’re reviewing today: Night of the Creeps. A combination alien infestation/ax murderer/zombie film, many tropes are played with to make audiences laugh and scream. The film died in the box office but rose like a zombie on VHS (when director Dekker was better known for his follow-up horror comedy The Monster Squad). Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob for this bonus review to find out why Night of the Creeps is a film worth digging up!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/night-of-the-creeps-a-podcast-skit-and-preview

      

June 16, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Night of the Creeps – A podcast skit and preview

The Conjuring 2

After three years and one Fast and Furious film, James Wan is back with a sequel to The Conjuring. The original horror film scared up lots of dough for Universal, so now the series returns with Ed and Lorraine Warren investigating another real life haunting — The Enfield Poltergeist. How “true to life” is this story, and does it up the suspense from the original? Join us to find out!t

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-conjuring-2

      

June 14, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Conjuring 2

Big Trouble in Little China

In 1986 director John Carpenter was known as a “Master of Horror” thanks to his films Christine, The Fog, The Thing, and of course Halloween. So, even with sci-fi drama Starman in 1984, no one could expect his fourth team-up with star Kurt Russel would be kung fu comedy Big Trouble in Little China. The film eschewed the typical action hero tropes and failed to connect with American audiences. Like many of Carpenter’s other films, Big Trouble became a cult classic, its popularity growing year after year. So what is it — big flop or deserved cult classic? Donate and help keep Now Playing operating and you can join Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie to find out!

PLUS – thanks to La-La Land Records, we are giving away 4 copies of the Big Trouble in Little China Score on CD! The contest is open now! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for details how to enter!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/big-trouble-in-little-china

      

June 10, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Big Trouble in Little China

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

In this sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo are back again to save New York from Shredder. But while this film has the same look and some returning stars, there’s a new vibe throwing back to the original cartoon series — including fan-loved baddies Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady. With Arrow star Stephen Amell joining the cast as human vigilante Casey Jones, are these turtles worth shelling out for? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob for their review to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-out-of-the-shadows

      

June 7, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Labyrinth – A Musical Podcast Preview

While making The Empire Strikes Back George Lucas asked Jim Henson to help create new character Yoda. Henson was busy working on his own Muppet Movie, but the two did end up collaborating six years later with Labyrinth! This fantasy film tells the tale of a girl trying to rescue her baby brother from the evil Goblin King. With Lucas helping craft the fantasy world, Henson directing, and Bowie singing, it seemed a surefire hit…and wasn’t. Donate today and you can join the Now Playing hosts on their quest through the maze of Labyrinth’s plot and characters as they review this ’86 cult classic!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/labyrinth-a-musical-podcast-preview

      

June 3, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Labyrinth – A Musical Podcast Preview

X-Men: Apocalypse

Director Bryan Singer is back to take the X-Men to the ’80s for a totally tubular fight against Apocalypse! The film debuts the fan-favorite mutant villain on film. It also features the return of classic movie X-Men Cyclops, Jean Gray, and Nightcrawler. Is the result boss or bunk? Join Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/x-men-apocalypse

      

May 31, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on X-Men: Apocalypse

Space Camp

They were never meant to go to space, but they weren’t given a choice. Five teens and an unproven astronaut find themselves alone, with no communications and little hope of returning home. But don’t count them out yet as these kids went to Space Camp! Did they learn what they needed to save themselves? And does this movie achieve liftoff, or crash on the launchpad?

Now Playing Podcast needs your help to keep operating! If you donate and support our show, you can join Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob to find out. Listen to the preview now, and then find out all the details about our donation drive.

Note: This podcast is not available for general download. The Sci-Fi Summer of 1986 Review Series was made as a special “Thank you” for those Now Playing Supporters who donate between April 1 and July 31, 2016.

You can listen to a preview of this podcast now, and then visit our donation page to find out how to pledge and support Now Playing!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/space-camp

      

May 27, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Space Camp

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

The original Hellboy film didn’t set the box office on fire. But like a necromancer, director and writer Guillermo del Toro brought the demonic comic hero back on screens in 2008. With the original cast back plus new antagonists both in and out of the BPRD, does Hellboy II: The Golden Army turn up the heat? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/hellboy-ii-the-golden-army

      

May 24, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Invaders from Mars – A Podcast Preview

In 1986 the director of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist teamed up with the screenwriter of Alien and Return of the Living Dead to make a…children’s sci-fi film! That project was Invaders from Mars, a remake of the ’50s red scare movie of th

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/invaders-from-mars-a-podcast-preview

      

May 20, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Invaders from Mars – A Podcast Preview

Hellboy

Dark Horse Comics was once best known for its series based on popular movie properties like Star Wars, Predator, and Alien. That reputation slowly changed as the publisher’s original characters gained prominence, with the most popular becoming Mike Mignola’s demonic creation Hellboy! In 2004 that comic was adapted to film by fantastical visionary Guillermo del Toro. Now join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob as they go to hell and back, reviewing the original Hellboy!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/hellboy

      

May 17, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Hellboy

Critters – A Podcast Preview

First came Ghoulies. Then came Gremlins. Then Troll. But can any of them stand up to Critters–the omnivorous killer space poofs? These alien fugitives landed in Kansas, and began to eat their way through the midwest. Can these varmints be stopped? And did they make this 1986 horror sci-fi comedy deserve three sequels? Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart review this film, and give an overview of all four Critters films in this podcast. Donate to help keep Now Playing on the air, and you can join them in the fun!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/critters-a-podcast-preview

      

May 13, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Critters – A Podcast Preview

Captain America: Civil War

Is this movie Captain America 3 or Avengers 3? Cap is back and he’s brought the whole team. Iron Man, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Vision, Scarlet Witch, and half a dozen other costumed heroes appear–to fight! At issue is the UN wanting to control The Avengers

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/captain-america-civil-war

      

May 10, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Captain America: Civil War

Men in Black 3 – A Podcast Preview

After Men in Black II it seems audiences had been neuralized, the film franchise mostly forgotten. Indeed, Will Smith took a four year hiatus, while Barry Sonnenfeld only directed the Robin Williams vehicle RV. But in 2012, ten years after the previous mo

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/men-in-black-3-a-podcast-preview

      

May 6, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Men in Black 3 – A Podcast Preview

Ranking The Avengers Movies Before CIVIL WAR

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Captain America: Civil War is released in theaters today. This first film in “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a huge character roster.  Its spotlight scene in trailers and marketing show over a dozen Marvel characters on screen duking it out.  With Iron Man, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, and a full Avengers roster, Civil War feels less like a third Captain America movie, and more like the culmination of everything that has come before.

In preparation for this superhero “Monster Mash” here is a recap of the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ranked from worst to best!

Let’s Get Started!

Read more »

May 6, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Running man

No one was interested in making movies based on the writings of
Richard Bachman. His novels Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork,
and The Running Man were modest sellers that often had
only one printing. More, they were dark and rough novels King wrote
in his early years. That changed in 1985 when Bachman was exposed
as a pen name for Stephen King. Just two years later Arnold
Schwarzenegger was The Running Man–a very loose
adaptation of the ’82 Bachman novel. The film is now a cult hit,
fondly remembered by Generation X, but is it any good? Listen now
to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-running-man

      

May 3, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Running man

The Dead Zone by Stephen King

The Dead Zone was Stephen King’s follow-up to The Stand. This new novel, about a man who gained psychic powers after a head injury, became the author’s first number 1 best seller. It has gone on to be adapted to film by David Cronenberg, and a long-running cable TV series.

In this episode of Books & Nachos, Arnie looks back at the book that started it all. He analyzes King’s influences that led to the creation of the novel, and deconstructs the characters and plot. So now join him for a review of Stephen King’s novel over a year in the making!

And if you enjoy Books & Nachos, support the show through our PodBean Crowdfunding Page!

Arnie C: https://booksandnachos.podbean.com/mf/play/wmwkey/BN124-SK29-TheDeadZone.mp3

      

May 1, 2016 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on The Dead Zone by Stephen King

Men in Black II

In 2002 Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones returned to save the
world…again! With the stars back, much of the supporting cast,
and Barry Sonnenfeld again directing, it seemed like another
surefire hit. Yet the box office was down, critics were harsh, and
La

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/men-in-black-ii

      

April 29, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Men in Black II

Cujo

From 1974 to 1982 Stephen King published 12 books, most of them
bestsellers. Yet only three movies were based on his writing during
that same period: Carrie in 1976, The Shining in
1980, and Creepshow in 1982. That all changed starting in
1983. In the next four years a total of thirteen movies based on
King’s works hit screens. The first movie in that deluge was
Cujo, based on King’s 1980 book about a mother and son
trapped by a rabid dog. Does Cujo keep to the quality of
the Kubrick, De Palma, and Romero films that came before? Listen to
find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/cujo

      

April 26, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Cujo

Men in Black – A Podcast Preview

In the 1990s no one saved the world from aliens like Will Smith! In 1996 he piloted us to freedom in Independence Day, and for summer of 1997 he was doing it again as one of the Men in Black. With Tommy Lee Jones as his dry, experienced mentor, the two must save the world from an intergalactic war. Is this a film you should remember, or is a neuralizer the better option? Listen to this excerpt, and find out details how you can donate and hear the whole show!

Note: This podcast is not available for general download. The Men in Black Retrospective Series was made as a special “Thank you” for those Now Playing Supporters who donate between April 1 and July 31, 2016.

You can listen to a preview of this podcast now, and then visit our donation page to find out how to pledge and support Now Playing!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/men-in-black-a-podcast-preview

      

April 22, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Men in Black – A Podcast Preview

American Splendor

Harvey Pekar was an independent comic writer, a notorious talk show guest, and a general grump. And with the film American Splendor he added another title–movie star. Pekar himself and Paul Giamatti both play the author in the film that depicts Crumb’s start in comics, and his fight with cancer. It’s possibly the most down-to-earth comic book movie Now Playing has ever reviewed…but is it good? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

And after you listen to this review, listen to Jakob’s 2008 interview with Harvey Pekar.

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/american-splendor

      

April 19, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on American Splendor

The Spirit (2008)

Frank Miller was given a director’s credit on Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City. With that film’s success Miller went on to direct his own feature film. The result was The Spirit, based on Will Eisner’s iconic comic book crimefighter. The movie’s visual style and tone strongly resembled Sin City but the reception didn’t match that earlier film. Is this film a Sin worth committing? Listen to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-spirit-2008

      

April 12, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Spirit (2008)

The Spirit (1987)

When fans think of The Spirit they probably think of Will Eisner’s 1940’s comic book crimefighter. Or they may think of Frank Miller’s 2008 film adaptation of the same name. Only the hard core Spirit fans and ’80s trivia buffs would think of the film we’r

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-spirit-1987

      

April 5, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Spirit (1987)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

It took fifteen years of development, but now the World’s Finest heroes are together on screen with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Can the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel share the screen? The box office was big but the audience divided. Now join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob for this review to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice

      

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Watchmen

Watchmen was an acclaimed ’80s comic series. It helped legitimize comics as a literary medium, and remained a bestseller for over 20 years. Yet with its complex, nonlinear narrative, all attempts to adapt it to film had failed to launch. But in 2009 director Sack Snyder, fresh off his success on 300, used the same visual style to bring Watchmen to theaters. The result was not as highly-praised as the graphic novel, but is it worth a watch? Join Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart as they review the film version of Watchmen, including a comparison of all three different cuts released!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/watchmen

      

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Watchmen

Watchmen by Alan Moore

Watchmen. It was the only comic listed on Time Magazine’s List of the 100 Best Novels list. It also was in The Comic’s Journal’s list of the Top 100 Comics of the 20th Century. It has been revered by comic lovers and neophytes alike. Now Arnie and Jakob come together to review all 12 issues of this series, and also give a brief look at the recent Before Watchmen prequel series!

Then head to Now Playing Podcast to hear Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie review crew’s thoughts on Zack Snyder’s film adaptation!

Arnie C: http://booksandnachos.com/Podcasts/BN123-Watchmen.mp3

      

March 21, 2016 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on Watchmen by Alan Moore

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

After the success of the X-Men superhero properties were in demand. But before hero teams like Justice League, Watchmen, and Avengers could assemble, there was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Sean Connery’s Allan Quatermain leads a cadre of literary figures including Tom Sawyer, Dr. Jeckyll, The Invisible Man, and others. The film’s reception, though, was anything but extraordinary with rumors this production ended the careers of both Connery and director Stephen Norrington. Is the film deserved of that reputation? Join our League of Extraordinary Movie Critics to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/the-league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen-0

      

March 15, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Gen 13

Created by comic book superstars J Scott Campbell, Jim Lee, and Brandon Choi, Gen 13 was Wildstorm Comics’ risque Gen-X version of the X-Men. After only a few years in publication the series’ success led to Buena Vista creating this animated feature, starring voice actors Mark Hamill, John de Lancie, John de Lancie, and Flea. But before the movie could see release Wildstorm was bought by DC Comics, and Buena Vista parent company Disney forever shelved this action cartoon. Is this a gem that deserves its day, or a mercy killing a’la Corman’s Fantasic Four? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob for this review to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/gen-13

      

March 8, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Gen 13

Justice League of America

DC has had over 15 years of television dominance. From Smallville to Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, the heroes of DC Comics have come to life on the small screen. But not every attempt to bring the comics to life succeeded. Birds of Prey was cancelled early, and David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman pilot was never aired at all. Neither was Justice League of America – a 1997 TV movie intended as a pilot for a CBS series. With The Flash, Green Lantern, The Atom, Martian Manhunter, Fire, and Ice sharing the screen, is this a lost gem? Join Now Playing’s Super Friends Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/justice-league-of-america

      

March 1, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Justice League of America

Legends of the Superheroes

In 1976 Wonder Woman spun into America’s homes on CBS. In 1978 Superman took flight in theaters. So to capitalize on this success Hanna-Barbera brought a live-action Superfriends to TV with Legends of the Superheroes! This TV special was split into two episodes, one an adventure and the other a “roast” of the heroes. But with Adam West and Burt Ward returning to the roles of Batman and Robin, is Legends of the Superheroes a worthy successor to Batman‘s camp fun? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob with this review to find out!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/legends-of-the-superheroes

      

February 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Legends of the Superheroes

Deadpool

This show description is guest written by Deadpool.

Oh, hello there! Deadpool here. It took ten years but I’ve finally got my own solo film! Now, I know I’m awesome, but even I’m shocked at how many box office records it broke. I have to give a lot of credit to the marketing, but the movie stars me, so it has to be awesome. The real question, though, is what Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob think. So whatever you’re doing — STOP! You need to just put your life on hold for the next 100 minutes and listen to this show to hear the guys review of my first movie!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/deadpool

      

February 16, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Deadpool

Stardust

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust began in 1997 as a DC comic book fairy tale. In 1999 it was then published as an illustrated novel. Finally in 2007 it was adapted to the screen, directed by Matthew Vaughn. This story about a fallen star had its own star power with Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Peter O’Toole. Is this yet another Vaughn comic adaptation worth checking out, or should it be burned ashes to ashes, Stardust to Stardust? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out as they return to their DC Comics Retrospective Series!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/stardust

      

February 9, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Stardust

Princess Mononoke

Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki are highly regarded among anime fans. But none of their previous successes compared to 1997’s mythological Princess Mononoke. The film became Japan’s top-grossing film of all time. Disney’s Miramax Films even commissioned an English translation written by Neil Gaiman, voiced by stars including Claire Danes, Billy Crudup, and Billy Bod Thornton. Now join the Now Playing hosts as they travel into the forest for their first anime movie review!

Arnie C: http://nowplayingpodcast.libsyn.com/princess-mononoke

      

February 2, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on Princess Mononoke