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5 Questions for Jakob’s 500th Now Playing Podcast Review

Jakob Brewster celebrates his 500th episode of Now Playing Podcast

As Justice League limps out of theaters, anguished studio executives are lamenting the superhero flick’s failure to capture box office glory. Little do they know the arrival of DC’s team-up did capture one long-awaited milestone: Jakob Brewster’s 500th episode of Now Playing Podcast.

The host joined the show on November 6, 2009 during the Saw retrospective (a series that recently came back from the dead) and has since lent his perspective to some of Now Playing’s biggest retrospectives, including the Marvel, Children of the Corn, and Fast and the Furious films.

To mark the anniversary of his 500th show, Jakob took part in a Q&A with the Venganza Media Gazette.

Gazette: First, congratulations on 500 episodes of Now Playing Podcast. When you first signed on, did you ever think you’d get the chance to review the fifth sequel to Hellraiser?

Jakob: Thanks! I know it wouldn’t have been possible to make it to 500 if it weren’t from some great franchises out there like Children of the Corn and Leprechaun that churn out so many quality sequels to push Now Playing to keep going and mining these cinematic gems.

You always hope a franchise makes it to a fifth sequel, because that’s when the mythology is really developed and some rich stories can finally be told. Hellraiser: Hellseeker really completes the circle by bringing back Kirsty (played by the original Ashley Laurence) and finishing her story in such a way that even the best fanfic couldn’t achieve.

The shame is that not every franchise capitalizes on this opportunity. Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, their sixth film in was The Avengers. Wow, what a misstep! They had set up such a great nemesis when hinting of The Leader (Tim Blake Nelson) in one of the only passable MCU films, The Incredible Hulk. And they do nothing with him! He’s the only villain that would require a whole team of heroes to defeat him. Also, that CGI model for Bruce Banner looked nothing like Edward Norton in The Avengers.  

Gazette: You recently celebrated your milestone with a review of Justice League, how has that movie raised the bar for superhero films?

Jakob: It accomplished so much! On a technical level, it proved that computers can create 1000 percent realistic humans. This is great because it will let actors really focus on perfecting their craft instead of having to spend all their time grooming and looking perfect. No longer exists the burden of wasting time getting your hair styled or shaving a beard when the magic of CGI can render you as perfect and real looking as Henry Cavill’s upper lip.

It also introduced a layer of subtext that has never been explored in the superhero genre (Halle Berry’s Catwoman came close). I mean, Batman dresses as a bat to scare bad guys. But he also has a giant robot spider to ride around in? That’s two animals, plus lots of people are afraid of robots. So Batman is two kinds of phobia plus both animals? Chris Nolan wishes his Dark Knight trilogy plumbed the depths of psychology like this.

I could go on for hours gushing about Justice League. It feels as pivotal as when people were first awed by the last great achievement in superhero cinema, Superman and the Mole Men.

Gazette: Now that he’s directed both the Avengers and Justice League, which superhero team should Joss Whedon tackle next?

Jakob: Honestly, it feels like Justice League has reinvigorated Whedon. The Avengers felt like a clip-show episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think Whedon’s real calling is to make sense of production disasters. He saved Justice League from [Zack] Snyder and created a front-runner for the Best Picture Oscar. I’d like to see him save a franchise cut from the same cloth as superheroes. Something with a history of cartoons, comic books, toys, a whole team of good guys fighting evil. I say give him Michael Bay’s Transfor — all of [his] released films. Have him reshoot some scenes with Shia LaBeouf and a few of the action scenes and I think everyone will understand how great that franchise could be.

Gazette: Your 500 episodes of Now Playing Podcast are longer than the combined runs of Knight RiderBaywatch, and Baywatch Nights. Besides Looking for Freedom, what’s your favorite David Hasselhoff album?

Jakob: I’m going with his latest album, 2012’s This Time Around. This was a redemption album for the drunken cheeseburger incident. It took a lot of courage to put himself out there again like that. His fans… and the world, really, have embraced him for being so brave.

Gazette: Lightning round: Three thoughts on that Avengers: Infinity War trailer?

Jakob:

  1. Disney has destroyed the Marvel movies. They used to be edgy and, while never achieving the greatness of, say, Return of Swamp Thing, they felt like they had something to say about our lives. Now because Disney needs a new Disney Princess to market to little girls, they’ve created this new princess… The Anos, or something, who goes around collecting jewelry?
  2. Again, Disney is now putting its own characters in these films?! At the end, Thor asks some people who they are and I swear Mickey Mouse is standing there. Though the CGI model is waaaay off. He looks like a raccoon, not a mouse.
  3. A group of heroes come together to fight hoards of aliens and a being from another dimension who is powered by a magic box? I’ve already seen this in Justice League. It was first, it was better, and it just has better characters. For example: Cyborg vs. Iron Man. One is made of space metal and the other iron (which I think is getting rusty because it is so red from oxidation). No contest.

Hear Jakob in Now Playing Podcast’s current Death Wish retrospective, and read his thoughts on underrated movies in the podcast’s first book, Underrated Movies We Recommend

December 6, 2017 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast | , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Make the ‘Corn Connection’ with ‘Now Playing Podcast’

Let’s be honest. None of us really expect to see row after row of green arrows once the Now Playing Podcast hosts emerge from their nine-part Children of the Corn Retrospective Series.

If it weren’t for their commitment to reviewing every movie spawned by the works of Stephen King, we wouldn’t, for example, be circling Sept. 23 on the calendar for the release of Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Revenge.

But Arnie, Stuart and Jakob are taking the plunge, and so we will join them on this epic binge of bad sequels. Only this time, we’re going to have some fun with it.

With our hosts seated in front of their microphones, those of us behind the scenes will be playing Six Degrees of Now Playing.

It’s The Corn Connection.

Every week we’ll run down the list of players from each of the nine Corn films, and direct an arrow toward their place in the Now Playing Podcast archives.

When you IMDB the casts of Hollywood horror franchises, you’ll often see familiar faces. Some are names that will soon become household (see Hellraiser: Hellworld), and some once were (Isaac’s Revenge).

So come back to the Venganza Media Gazette each week and take a trip around the Now Playing Podcast archives. And if you spot an actor or actress that’s made an appearance in another film reviewed by Now Playing, leave a comment and help a fellow listener discover what they might be missing.

We’ll start Tuesday following the release of 1984’s Children of the Corn over at the Now Playing Podcast website.

NP

How many connections can you make?

 

 

August 19, 2014 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Make the ‘Corn Connection’ with ‘Now Playing Podcast’

‘Turtles’ Power Now Playing on iTunes, ‘Children’ lurking

NP_TMNT-Art_1400

Now Playing Podcast is leaving the sewers and venturing into the cornfields.

Venganza Media’s flagship podcast capped its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Retrospective Series this week with its review of the Michael Bay-produced franchise reboot. The film marked the Turtles’ return to the big screen after a 7-year layoff and captured the box office crown on opening weekend.

Now Playing Podcast marked its own triumph on Thursday, when its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) episode debuted at No. 5 on iTunes’ TV & Film audio podcast rankings.

The achievement extends Now Playing’s summer winning streak, highlighted by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II episode, which peaked at No. 2 on iTunes in late July.

Throughout the TMNT series, hosts Arnie Carvalho, Stuart Atkinson and Jakob Brewster have guided listeners through the highs and lows of Ninja Turtles lore, and ventured outside of the feature films to discuss long-forgotten turns in the franchise’s history, including the infamous Coming Out Of Their Shells concert tour.

“Turtle Power is a real thing, it cannot be underestimated,” Atkinson joked. “I give all the credit to those green guys. They’ve been through hell at the movies and they deserve a little Top 10 love.”

With theNP_SKSeries-ChildrenCornArt_1400 Turtles franchise now in their rear view, the hosts are set to begin the next chapter in Now Playing’s massive Stephen King retrospective. The series, which began last fall, picks up again Aug. 19 with Children of the Corn, a nine-episode arc that will complete Now Playing’s coverage of King’s Night Shift collection.

The first Corn adaptation hit theaters in 1984 and was followed by seven poorly-received sequels, as well as a television remake. Fans of Now Playing’s earliest horror retrospective series’ can look forward to the hosts continuing their discussion of Hollywood’s sequel addiction as they try their best to remain composed in the face of mediocre filmmaking.

“Reviewing Night Shift has been a long haul, and I say that as the King fan!” Carvalho said. “I haven’t watched most of these Corn films, but they made nine of them — there has to be something there, right?”

“Nine films? Most direct-to-video?” Brewster added. “I just hope I can come up with enough corn puns to bring a kernel of humor to our listeners’ ears. Sigh.”

The Children of the Corn series will carry Now Playing Podcast into early October, before the hosts embark on a journey through the films of director Christopher Nolan, leading up to the release of November’s Interstellar.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘Turtles’ Power Now Playing on iTunes, ‘Children’ lurking