Venganza Media Gazette

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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

IMAX, 4k, Ring the Death Knell for 3D

by Arnie Carvalho

Did James Cameron wait too long for his Avatar sequels? It seems that by the time Avatar 2 is released (optimistically scheduled for 2020) the 3D format utilized by that 2009 original may be a thing of the past.

IMAX Announces 2D “Preference”

IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond announced this week that the company will be reducing the number of 3D screenings on their high-priced, large format projectors and screens. He cited a “clear preference” from North American audiences for 2D films.

This statement of direction does not signal an abrupt shift. IMAX’s most recent release, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, was filmed and released only in 2D. (Nolan has a history of disliking the 3D format, refusing Warner Bros’ requrest for his Dark Knight films to be released in the format which commands a higher ticket price.)  Before that, the 3D post-converted Spider-Man: Homecoming was shown on IMAX screens in a combination of 2D and 3D presentation.  This is a change from even a year ago when most IMAX viewings required the audience to don a pair of special, plastic glasses.

This follows a recent history of movie-goers intentionally choosing 2D presentation and falling 3D ticket sales.

Home Video Flattens Out

It’s not only in theaters that 3D is dying. Movie viewers also have shown a preference for the 2D picture in their homes. In 2010, riding off Avatar’s success, High Definition Blu-Ray discs started shipping in 3D formats (the first of which was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs).  3D features were included on all high-end 1080p televisions and home projectors.

However, with the recent advances in 4k resolution, 3D has become a feature of the past. Over the past few years television manufacturers like Sony and LG have phased out 3D capabilities on most of their 4k televisions. With their 2016 models LG only offered 3D on their curved television sets; in 2017 3D was removed altogether.  Likewise 4k home projectors are removing support for 3D, with only Sony offering true 4k projectors that are backwards-compatible with the 3D Blu-Ray format.

Indeed, there is no established standard for 4k home video content to be displayed in 3D; currently movie buyers must choose between the higher resolution or the greater depth in their films.

Is this a win for consumers?

These changes follow the standard market practice of meeting consumer demand.

The 3D format has long been rife with viewer complaints.  In addition to being forced to wear glasses to watch 3D content, be it in theaters or at home, many viewers could not appreciate the added dimension. Per vision insurance company VSP, 5% of the population cannot percieve 3D, and another 25% have trouble perceiving 3D images.  Another 25% or more have complained of headaches, eye strain, and eye fatigue from current 3D digital projection.

These complaints have gotten many people to buy special “2D Glasses” which allow them to see (non IMAX) 3D films in 2D format. (Now Playing Podcast host Marjorie can vouch for these glasses’ effectiveness.)

Many theater-goers also complained about the unreliable quality of 3D in films, much due to the post-conversion process many studios use to save money. The vast majority of 3D films were post-converted–in 2017 only Transformers: The Last Knight was shot natively in the 3D format. On Now Playing Podcast we have complained about lackluster 3D in Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the ApesPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and other movies.

Hollywood studios fought this trend. Many studios intentionally limited 2D availability of films, including 2012’s Prometheus, in order to reap higher profits from the inflated ticket prices.

Will this hurt studios?

Yet despite these consumer complaints, studios have continued to push the 3D format, which commands higher ticket prices.  As movie budgets continue to expand, the higher priced 3D tickets, IMAX tickets, and other “premium” theater experiences have bolstered studio bottom lines.  More, the 3D Blu-Rays sell for $30 or more, while their 2D counterparts are often half that. (Of note, the higher-resolution 4k Blu-Ray discs are often priced equal to, or higher than, their 3D counterparts.)

While the 3D Post Conversion can add $10 million or more to a film’s cost, the increased revenue often offsets that. Many older films, including Jurassic Park and Top Gun were post-converted and re-released to theaters to grab their studios a quick buck.

Yet this switch back to 2D may not bring cheaper ticket prices. AMC Theaters charges the same for 2D and 3D IMAX screenings. It’s possible theaters may raise all ticket prices to current 3D prices to help offset these losses. Also, studios and theater chains have discussed having “event movie” pricing, where tickets cost more for big-budget blockbusters with or without “premium” gimmicks like 3D.

No change for animation?

The movie format that has generated the greatest 3D success is kids’ fare and computer-animated movies, such as LEGO Batman and Moana.  As these films are entirely computer-generated the 3D is more ingrained in their development. The effects are better, and the audience for those films are primarily younger and not yet burnt-out by the format. While Gelfond made no specific mention of animated films staying in 3D, it is likely these will remain in that format for years to come.

Modern 3D History

The modern 3D era was brought in by Cameron in two waves. In 2003 the first modern, digital 3D film was his IMAX documentary Ghosts of the Abyss.  The format had a slow growth over the next six years, mostly as a gimmick in kids films including Spy Kids and The Polar Express.

The change to 3D was a clumsy one. Superman Returns and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix both had select scenes converted to IMAX 3D–requiring customers to don and remove

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3D_films_(2005_onwards)

glasses through the films.

Modern 3D came into its own in 2009. By that time the 3D cameras required had come down in price. Horror films (which had heavily relied on 3D in the ’80s) got into the game with My Bloody Valentine 3D and The Final Destination.  Animated films premiered in the format, including Coraline, Monsters vs. Aliens, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

But Cameron ushered in a new age with the 3D film Avatar. Somewhat bolstered by 3D and IMAX ticket prices, Avatar became the top-grossing film of all-time. This created a 3D “gold rush” among studios, exponentially increasing the quantity of 3D films produced.

This growth continued until 2011, when 63 3D movies were released.  Growth then leveled off through 2015, when the number of films started to decline.

With these changes to home video and IMAX formats, it is likely 3D films may return to their pre-Avatar numbers.

What do we lose, besides depth?

I’m no great fan of 3D. However, as a movie-goer who prefers to see the movie as the director intended, I’m slightly upset by the loss of the 3D home format. Every movie I’ve purchased since 2010 has been in 3D, if available. I was especially happy with the Transformers films which not only were released in 3D but also changed to the IMAX aspect ratio for their home video releases.

I remember growing up watching movies like Friday the 13th Part III, Jaws 3-D, Emmanuelle 4, and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare on video. All three films had 3D components in theaters which translated poorly to television.  The moments of “I can tell that should be 3D” worsened each viewing experience.

I recently purchased my first 4k TV and had to go through great pains to find one that would continue to support my 3D Blu-Ray discs. It seems in the next five years any movie with great 3D, such as Avatar, Tron: Legacy, and X-Men: Apocalypse will only be seen in their flattened versions.

Even movies filmed in 2D, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had effects sequences specifically designed in 3D to showcase the technology.

Home movie viewers will lose the ability to view many movies from the past decade as they were intended to be seen.

Final Thought

But overall, I believe 3D is a gimmick that more than ran its course. I applaud IMAX for choosing consumers over studios, and I hope that filmmakers now focus on plot and character depth, instead of manufactured depth on the screen.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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.

On 10th Anniversary, ‘Now Playing’ Hosts Talk Milestones, Memorable Moments

Let’s jump back in time 10 years to summer 2007. Sam Raimi had just tanked the Spider-Man franchise, the Fast & Furious films had stalled with Tokyo Drift, and nobody knew if George Lucas would ever launch another Star Wars trilogy.

This was when Now Playing Podcast first went on the air. Back when we still believed Crystal Skull might be good and before they rebooted Freddy’s origin story to make it, just, icky.

Not only does 2017 mark Now Playing’s 10th anniversary, the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes review marks its 700th episode. That’s a lot of movies (and also the occasional failed TV pilot or one of those superhero shows that played theatrically in Bulgaria or wherever).

To mark the occasion, the show’s hosts came together for a Q&A about their time behind the mics and what’s changed during the last 10 years.

Venganza Media Gazette: What do you remember thinking after you heard your voice for the first time on Now Playing?

Arnie: “Well our first episode was recorded in a car in the parking lot of a Toys r Us. So my thought was, ‘For being in a car that doesn’t sound TOO bad.’”

Marjorie:I was used to hearing my voice on Star Wars Action News but I still thought I sounded under 13. And then you have the thoughts such as ‘I really sound like that?’ or ‘What if people find my voice irritating?’”

Stuart: I like to be behind the scenes — directing, writing, evaluating other people’s art. It was pretty painful to step in front of a mic and even more awkward listening to myself on some of my early shows. I was grateful that there weren’t too many listeners back in 2008 and early 2009.”

Jakob: “I was no stranger to hearing my voice; I had sang in bands and had been podcasting on and off for a few years prior. But at the time a huge part of our listenership were horror fans, a genre I wasn’t very familiar with. So there was some anxiety with having my introduction with the SAW movies and having to speak about a genre I just didn’t have a lot of exposure to.”

Venganza Gazette: What’s changed about you as a host?

Jakob: “I watch a lot more movies and I discuss them a lot more — not just with my co-hosts, but with my family. We spend a lot of time discussing why a film does or doesn’t work.”

Marjorie: I have a different view of movies now. I see so much more that goes into a movie. More than just ‘it was good.’ I also can’t ever ‘turn off’ reviewing. When I see movies I’m not reviewing, I tend to dissect them.” 

Jakob: “My wife and I share what we consider great scenes with our girls, even if they may be too young for the entire movie. Is it crossing a line that we reenacted the ‘I drink your milkshake’ scene from THERE WILL BE BLOOD for our 10 and 6-year-old?”

Stuart: ”The biggest change for me is the zip code where I record. I’m no longer ‘Stuart In L.A.’ When I started Now Playing I always worried that things I said might come back to haunt me working in the Los Angeles entertainment industry. Now that I’ve stepped away from that scene, I sleep better at night.”  

Arnie: The differences are greater than the similarities, in my mind. What’s the same? A rotating cast of hosts and we devote one episode to one movie. What’s different? Everything else. Now Playing started as a show where we would record short, spoiler-free movie reviews.”

The first Now Playing Podcast episode, a review of "Spider-Man 3" was released on May 4, 2007.

The first Now Playing Podcast episode, a review of Spider-Man 3 was released on May 4, 2007.

Stuart: “A long show in 2007 was 30 minutes. Now we go twice as long on an episode of Twin Peaks.”

Arnie: “They weren’t going to be edited at all, as editing takes five-to-10 times the length of a given show.”

Brock: I do remember editing the first show I did with my wife – back then it was a two person review show, much like what Arnie and Marjorie do on Star Wars Action News.”

Arnie:As I had Star Wars Action News already I didn’t feel I had the time to undertake more editing. So they would be instant reaction thoughts, recorded immediately upon leaving the theater, and published as-is [with] minimal editing, [and] we also were going to focus on new releases only. Now we go through the history of film, with spoiler-filled critiques that are very long, and very well edited by a great team including Heath and David.”

Jakob: “We just go so much more in depth now. But for me, personally, I approach the show with a different attitude. When I first came on, I had a MST3K mentality. I mean, I had to review a bunch of SAW films — not really my thing — so I thought, ‘How many jokes can I make?’ Now, while we still shoot for humor at times, I try focus on the filmmaking and storytelling so I can articulate how those contribute to a film, good or bad.”

Brock: “Today we are a well-oiled machine, even more comfortable sharing our opinions and talking with one another. The shows back then, and especially when we started the roundtable format, had the best we could do technically at the time, and now the production values are insanely great thanks to our equipment, sure, but mostly because of the countless hours Arnie puts in producing each and every episode. And also the incredible, tireless work of our talented editors who make us all sound so good.”

Marjorie: “We are all so much older and wiser! I think that we all found our rhythm with each other. I have a natural rapport with Arnie because we are married and therefore spend a lot of time together. But Stuart, Jakob and myself had to build that.” 

The July 14 review of War for the Planet of the Apes will mark Now Playing Podcast's 700th episode.

The July 14, 2017 War for the Planet of the Apes review marks Now Playing Podcast’s 700th episode.

In addition to hitting the 700th episode milestone, several of the hosts are racking up big numbers behind the microphone. When the War for the Planet of the Apes review is released, Arnie will have hosted 676 Now Playing episodes, Stuart will have hosted 618, and Jakob will have hosted his 469th show.

Venganza Gazette: Do you have a favorite Now Playing episode?

Stuart:INCEPTION was an early favorite of mine because I think it was such a turning point for the show. Now Playing proved in that podcast that we could do more than heckle. On top of really liking the movie, I was proud of the way we broke down all of Nolan’s multi-level storylines and daunting thematic readings in a very concise 73 minutes.”

Arnie: I really am proud of PROMETHEUS. That was a film with disparate, and surprising, opinions from the hosts, and yet the conversation was always lively, and I think everyone made such great points. I re-listened to that show recently because of ALIEN: COVENANT and so it’s recent to my memory, but even before that it was a go-to for me to see three of the hosts bringing their A-game.”

Brock:I really liked what the guys did with RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Sometimes with a really good movie, a classic, practically flawless movie the show can be a little harder for us panelists to do. You can’t tear it apart, and there aren’t always opportunities to make jokes because the jokes have been made for 30 years already. Everyone is so familiar with the movie itself and the behind the scenes information already and on top of that the listeners know going in it that the hosts are all going to give it a green arrow. The team embraced all these challenges and showed us why Now Playing is as good as it gets with review shows. The guys did a great job with the commentary, the trivia, and played off one another beautifully making an entertaining show that was structurally and technically proficient. So much so that I have enjoyed listening to that show multiple times over. A highlight for me is when Stuart brought up the CASABLANCA correlation; not many people get that aspect of RAIDERS and I’m glad he did and shared it with the audience.”

Jakob: “I’m really enjoying our current Now Peaking discussions for TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN. What’s fascinating is we had the chance to do a whole David Lynch retrospective building up to this new series. With Lynch, as an auteur, there is so much of him in this return to Twin Peaks. It feels like a culmination of his entire aesthetic and viewpoint. Within the first two episodes we had brought up the influences of ERASERHEAD, BLUE VELVET, LOST HIGHWAY, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, and INLAND EMPIRE. I’m still not sold on this third season, but it has been insightful to discuss it in the context of Lynch’s complete works and not just the original run of the television show.”

Venganza Gazette: What’s the most positive feedback you’ve ever received from a listener?

Arnie: I can’t begin to express how touched I am by some listeners’ messages to us.  From troops stationed overseas who use our show to experience movies they can’t yet see to adults who say our show is like a conversation with friends, each message means so much.”

Marjorie: There have been a few people who have written to us about how listening to Now Playing got them through a rough patch in their life. And I think it’s utterly amazing that, even remotely, I was able to help someone.” 

Stuart: I never thought three people riffing on movies had the potential to heal, but I have been incredibly moved by all the stories fans have shared over the years about how we helped them laugh away depression, death, and some real big life challenges.”

Arnie:A handful of people have e-mailed with a very specific message and I’m humbled every time I read them.  These are people who have been in bad situations: illness or accident, divorce, job loss, the death of someone close to them, or sometimes a combination of those.  These are people who tell us they felt hopeless.  One person said, ‘I felt like I would never be able to laugh again.’  A couple people mentioned contemplating suicide.  These are deeply personal moments being shared via e-mail with us. Then their notes change tone and discuss how our show helped them through. We entertained them, in that one case we gave him the first laugh he’d had. We took their minds off their troubles and brought them a bit of happiness. That is my dream come true — to be able to entertain people and give them a few moments where they aren’t thinking about their day, their responsibilities, and their problems.”  

Stuart: “I never expected to have such impact on anyone, and I’m incredibly humbled by that.”

Arnie:It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I considered being a lawyer or a stockbroker. But in high school I realized the importance of entertainment in my life.  I had my own dark days in my teen and early adult years. What got me through those times were video games, movies, television, books – entertainment. So starting in high school, and really for the rest of my life, my goal has been to entertain. I wanted to give people that escape the way Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Will Wright, and Stephen King helped me to escape. My path to finding podcasting as that vehicle was a winding one, but it was the outlet I found. And I can’t express how touched I am when I read what we do does provide that for some of our listeners.  It fills me with purpose, and reminds me that we’re not just discussing the eighth in a bad series of direct-to-video sequels, we’re hopefully also entertaining and informing at the same time.”  

Venganza Gazette: What’s the strangest feedback you’ve ever received from a listener?

Brock: “I was at a Comic Con, talking to the vendor on the other side of the table about an action figure or something, and this guy standing next to me exclaimed ‘Hey, you’re Brock! I recognize your voice!’ That was pretty cool to be picked out by my voice alone.”

Marjorie: “I had some weird messages from guys who liked my voice.” 

Stuart:It was pointed out very bluntly a few times on Facebook that I have a ‘squeaky voice’ when I get excited. Hey, I’m not going to say that’s untrue, but there’s only so much I can do about that until I finish going through puberty. How I wish I could hire Barry White to say all the things I’ve got to say!”

Brock: “There was this one [comment] we received years ago that accused me of trying to sound professional, putting on a radio voice when I talk or something. Arnie told Stuart and I about this thing one night when we were recording, and we all got a great laugh because this is how I talk! I wouldn’t have the patience or the discipline to put on a fake voice for hours on end, each and every time we do a recording session. I mean, I guess that is sort of a compliment, that my voice sounds that way, but the guy clearly didn’t have a clue about what he was talking about.”

Jakob: “One listener offered to pay for my dental work after he punched my teeth out because of my views on one film. I wonder if the police I had to involve became fans of Now Playing after I reported [him]?”

Arnie: I need to be vague about this for privacy, but a listener wrote in and told me how, in 2012, he had a workplace encounter with Bradley Cooper [and] he ended up turning Cooper on to Now Playing, specifically our HOWARD THE DUCK show. The next day Cooper told him he laughed his ass off listening to that podcast. He said he downloaded some other shows, including our ROCKY reviews. That is totally surreal to think of the voice actor who performed in GUARDIANS has listened to our HOWARD THE DUCK review.”  

Stuart: We get a lot of positive feedback when we slam a problematic movie like HOWARD THE DUCK or HALLOWEEN III.”

Venganza Gazette: What’s the one film you’re still waiting to review?

Jakob: I’d love the work through Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER. It’s a film that I’ve done a complete 180° on since its theatrical release. Originally, I recognized the amazing acting but the story left me cold. I recently re-watched it with my wife, who is a huge Phillip Seymour Hoffman fan. As we worked our way through the film, she helped me realize what a heartbreaking romance it is in the midst of some heavy ideas about religion and post-war America. I would love to discuss such a dense piece of work.”

Stuart:THE MANITOU! There is no crazier horror movie from the 1970s. It would be a perfect Easter Egg pairing with THE OMEN and ROSEMARY’S BABY franchises.”

Marjorie: “I would love to do a 70s disaster movie retrospective. There was a small heyday of disaster movies.”

Arnie: DONNIE DARKO is a favorite film of mine that I think is so rich for analysis, even if the director did make it so obvious with various supplements and the director’s cut.  

Brock: BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. It’s my favorite movie, and the first movie I say when people ask me for a film recommendation. Every time. Not enough people watch it anymore but they really should. It’s not a traditional western, but can be a hard sell to people who deeply dislike westerns. Perhaps we can bundle it THE STING and that sequel they made in 1979 with Tom Berenger. I have avoided watching that sequel but I’d watch it for Now Playing.”

Arnie:I made a vow to never watch S DARKO, the cash-grab DONNIE sequel with hardly anyone from the original involved.  If we reviewed DONNIE I’d probably have to watch S, and I really don’t want to taint my love of the original with a super-shitty sequel.”

Now Playing Podcast will release its War for the Planet of the Apes episode as part of its 2017 Spring Donation Drive. Supporters of the show can hear the review, along with all of the episodes in the Planet of the Apes series, at NowPlayingPodcast.com.

 

July 10, 2017 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

On Oscar eve, Now Playing Podcast hosts name their Best Picture picks

Let’s face it: Deadpool was never going to get a Best Picture nomination.

Despite the Golden Globes nom and those articles building up its Oscar chances, there was no way an R-rated superhero flick about sex and guns and unicorns was going to end up in the same category as 2016’s prestige films.

Now Playing Podcast host Arnie Carvalho put it best the morning the nominees were announced: #OscarsSoPredictable.

The Oscars are the Oscars. Movies like The Artist win Best Picture. Movies like Deadpool win MTV Movie Awards, which are still a thing all these years later.

So, in honor of the many films that won’t be celebrated at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony, the Now Playing hosts made their picks for Best Picture of 2016.

And the awards go to:

         The Nice Guys

“I rarely give any movie a perfect 5-star ranking. It seems every movie has something that could be fixed, tightened, or improved in some way. For this score I demand a movie that feels perfect immediately. This year I only ranked one movie 5-stars. Only one film had the intelligence, the entertainment, and the charm for such a ranking. It’s a film I loved when I first saw it in May, and each home viewing has deepened my appreciation.“ — Arnie 

“Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe are surprisingly good together. Being a period piece, you never know if it’s going to come off schlocky, but this worked. This movie turned me around on Gosling, who I had not been a fan of previously. The action and drama is just the right pace to keep you in the movie. And let’s not forget Angourie Rice, who played Ryan Gosling’s daughter. She was plucky and had an amazing presence for such a young actress.” — Marjorie

           The Lobster

“Easily 2016’s most cracked and surprising discovery for me. I kept thinking as I was watching this crazy sci-fi story about people forced to mate or be changed into animals that it couldn’t possibly sustain its delirious energy for much longer… AND the thing just kept opening itself up to bold, new interpretations! You laugh because the situations are as absurd as our own deeply held conceptions of love and marriage.” — Stuart

         The VVitch

“The VVitch is an almost perfect horror film that held me in suspense as American puritanism faces off against the supernatural. The movie spends great effort on authenticity, from its stylized spelling to sets and costumes to the dialect, making it easy to get lost in its haunting atmosphere. But even better is the depth of the film with its layered subtext commenting on religion, class, and gender.” — Jakob

         Edge of Seventeen

“I think many people dismissed it as a Juno ripoff, but this movie has a big heart and Hailee Steinfeld’s performance as an outcast teen dealing with the death of her father and the inevitability of growing up is impressive and emotional. Woody Harrelson is surprisingly charming and down to earth here as well.” — Justin

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on On Oscar eve, Now Playing Podcast hosts name their Best Picture picks

Why ‘Jason Takes Manhattan’ was Now Playing Podcast’s toughest show

To mark the 10th anniversary of Now Playing Podcast in 2017, hosts and staff are looking back at defining moments throughout the show’s history.

On February 4, 2009, Now Playing Podcast released one of its most memorable early episodes. On the eighth anniversary of the Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan review, host Arnie Carvalho reflects on the behind-the-scenes craziness that listeners never heard on the air.

Friday the 13th Part VII was our most loved show on that series. It was also our first big failure. It was our third recording on a Sunday night. We suddenly learned recording this many shows is exhausting, even for shorter shows. We made a ton of jokes about Friday the 13th but there was no content. More, it was our shortest recording of the series by far.

I walked away from the conversation with my sides hurting from laughter, but exhausted and frustrated the show wasn’t better. Stuart the e-mailed me and said he didn’t think the show was very good either. We roped Brock into the conversation, he agreed, and we re-recorded that show top to bottom.

BUT… that attempt wasn’t very good either. We were much better about explaining the beats of the movie, but we had told each other all of our jokes, and the fun wasn’t there.

I spent about 60 hours working on that show. I took both versions into the editing software and I took the funny from Recording No. 1 and put it with the thoughtfulness and the structure of Recording No. 2. The result was what some people still call our funniest show.

By the way, while doing the series it was Brock that started pushing for Star Trek. He seemed as excited for the Trek reboot as I was for the Friday the 13th one. I wasn’t feeling it, but then when we saw the download numbers for Friday the 13th, and when we realized how much fun we were having, we were all excited to boldly go into our next retrospective!

Now Playing Podcast’s Friday the 13th Retrospective Series was released from January 9 to Feb. 20, 2009. The 13 episode series can be heard on the Now Playing Podcast website.

February 5, 2017 Posted by | Movies, News | , , , , | Comments Off on Why ‘Jason Takes Manhattan’ was Now Playing Podcast’s toughest show

Now Playing Podcast Q&A: ‘Twin Peaking,’ Podbean, and More

Now Playing Podcast 10th Anniversary Banner
The launch of Now Playing Podcast’s Podbean support page has given listeners something many have been demanding for years: access to the show’s celebrated bonus episodes, which had previously been available exclusively during Now Playing’s bi-annual donation drives.

With those episodes now available via Podbean purchase and subscription options, listeners have been able to catch up on classic series’ including Jaws, Alien, and Planet of the Apes.

Yet, the question remains, does this mean Now Playing’s donation drives are going away?

Host Arnie Carvalho answered that question and more in a Q&A with the Venganza Media Gazette.

Venganza Gazette: How does the new Podbean option affect the donation drives?

Arnie C: We’re going to have a Silver Donation Series for a new retrospective: Pirates of the Caribbean. That’s a five-episode series, one that listeners have been demanding for some time. The Silver level series will be available both through PodBean and, due to listener demand, also through the “classic” method through PayPal for those who want the shows in iTunes.

The classic donation wiill be $10 for all 5 shows. With Podbean, the new Pirates series will be available for $2.99 per episode, pick which episodes you want.  After the donation drive ends the Podbean episodes will increase to $3.99 per episode.

That will be the only new movie series reviewed for donation this Spring.  While we normally do three movie series, with Now Peaking and the opening of the vault we don’t want our listeners to feel over-extended.  So the Gold and Platinum series will just be rereleases of series that are currently on PodBean, but getting new installments this Spring or Summer.

All that said, there will be a couple other bonus episodes.  We usually did some Easter Egg podcasts with donation drives.  Now we are going to release those types of one-off reviews to Patrons who support the show on an ongoing basis.  Details for that are on our Podbean Patron page.

Venganza Gazette:  How long will the episodes be available through PodBean?

PodBean’s technology allows us to offer these old shows. Until now we’ve have had to process all donations by hand and could not balance offering so much. If we continue past our 10th anniversary depends on listener feedback.

Venganza Gazette: What are the major differences between Podbean and the “classic” donation?

Arnie C: The advantage to going Podbean is instant access. In the past, donors received those shows via email, now they don’t need to wait, and they can choose which episodes they want if they don’t want the entire series.

The advantage of going “classic” is a slightly lower donation for the entire bundle. Those donors will also be grandfathered in for any future sequels, much like current donors with Alien, Jaws, etc.  But we are still processing all donations by hand, sending out weekly e-mails by hand, and so on.  PodBean purchases are by the episode so any new installments received would require an additional payment.

Venganza Gazette: And there’s a new Alien on the way…

Arnie C: And a new Planet of the Apes film. Both retrospectives will be available on Podbean — Alien is there now – but, again, those series’ will also be available through the “classic” donation method. Alien will be our Gold level series, for the traditional donation of $25 or more, also getting you the Pirates shows.

The Platinum level series will be all three: Pirates, Alien, and Planet of the Apes. In total, that’s going to be 20 reviews for a donation of $40 or more.

And of course, anyone who previously donated through Kickstarter, our 5th Anniversary DVD, or the original Apes and Alien series will get these new episodes e-mailed to them with no additional donation needed.

Venganza Gazette: What’s the plan for your Twin Peaks retrospective, Now Peaking?

Arnie C: Now Peaking is sort of a sub-show to Now Playing.  It will not be on the Now Playing site, it has its own web site at NowPeakingPodcast.com.  It also has its own Twitter and Facebook feeds.  That said, it is being made by us at Now Playing. It will be hosted by me, Jakob, and Stuart, and edited by our crack team.

Twin Peaks had an interesting formula–each episode of the series was one day in the life of Twin Peaks.  We will follow that pattern.  Our first show will be released February 24th (the day Laura Palmer’s body was discovered in Twin Peaks).  That review of the pilot episode will be available for free both on the Now Playing Podcast feed and on NowPeakingPodcast.com.

After that, future episode reviews will be part of a donation series, the money covering the costs of Now Peaking and also supporting Now Playing.  These podcasts will come out one a day until late March, keeping up with Twin Peaks’ in-universe timeline.  Then, when the Showtime series starts in May, we’ll release new episodes weekly.

There will be a total of 40 episodes or more, depending on how many Showtime releases this summer.  They will only be available through PodBean with each episode costing $0.99 each. You can also get a Season Pass of all the episodes for $29.99.

We are all really excited about Now Peaking and a chance to deep dive into the Twin Peaks universe.  Every book from The Secret Diary of Larua Palmer to The Secret History of Twin Peaks will be reviewed on Books & Nachos, the show itself will be reviewed on Now Peaking, and the Twin Peaks movie, Fire Walk With Me, will be reviewed on Now Playing, free for everyone to hear, on March 28, 2017!

The Now Playing Podcast Pirates of the Caribbean Retrospective Series begins May 5. The entire show schedule can be seen on the Now Playing Podcast website.

January 27, 2017 Posted by | Movies, News | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Resident Evil: Retribution – Patron Early Release

Thank you to all our Patrons who support our show!

We are humbled by the amount of support we have received from you Patrons, exceeding all our expectations in just a few weeks!

So we are happy to give you this early release of our review of Resident Evil: Retribution.  This will be available on the main feed for everyone on Tuesday, Jan 24th

Ten years after Resident Evil first hit screens it came back for Retribution!  This fifth movie brings back actors, and plot points, from previous installments. Can the return of Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Colin Salmon, and Oded Fehr breathe new life into this zombie series? Join the Now Playing hosts to find out!

January 20, 2017 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , | Comments Off on Resident Evil: Retribution – Patron Early Release

Resident Evil: Afterlife

It was no surprise that Resident Evil would return for a fourth film. That original series creator Paul W.S. Anderson returned, however, was surprising. Bringing James Cameron’s 3-D cameras he attempted to make the most eye-popping yet. Did this breathe new life into Afterlife or should we call in the executioner? Join the Now Playing hosts to find out!

January 20, 2017 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , | Comments Off on Resident Evil: Afterlife

Now Playing Podcast hosts reflect on ‘Friday the 13th’ series

To mark the 10th anniversary of Now Playing Podcast in 2017, hosts and staff are looking back at defining moments throughout the show’s history.

This week a Now Playing Podcast listener generously pointed out that Jan. 9, 2017 marked the eighth anniversary of the show’s first retrospective series, Friday the 13th. While eight years – the bronze and pottery anniversary – doesn’t get the attention of 10 or 15 years, there are a couple of reasons Now Playing listeners will want to look back on the occasion.

A New Beginning

The Now Playing Podcast hosts look back on the Friday the 13th retrospective.

The original “Friday the 13th” poster.

Today’s listeners take for granted Now Playing’s weekly releases, the hosts’ heavy research, detailed plot summaries, and professional production value. But before that first retrospective in 2009, the show was still finding its footing. Episodes were released once or twice a month, with revolving pairs of hosts, and, most notably, very brief runtimes. Most shows averaged about 20 minutes, a far cry from the 90-120 minute format it’s known for today.

Those Friday the 13th reviews started Now Playing on the path, but at the time it was just an experiment. With a reboot of the series on the way, the idea was to go back and review all previous entries (unusual for a show that largely focused on week-of releases and had “Now Playing” in the title), take a new approach to the editing process, and add a third host.

Brock:Friday the 13th was my first introduction to Stuart. I remember Arnie telling me he had a friend in mind for the third host – the one who did the Clone Wars cartoon movie review – but [Arnie] wasn’t sure if Stuart would want to do it.”

Arnie: “Stuart had also done the review of Midnight Meat Train with me and that long-time friendship led to great chemistry on the mic.”

Stuart: “I remember feeling uncertain about the necessity of a retrospective, or what I could contribute. I was very reserved, and was actually playing chess on my computer until my mouse clicking busted me. [I thought], ‘You mean I can’t do that?’”

Brock: “Those first few shows were not only an experiment in format, but also in our chemistry.”

Arnie: “We were getting a feel for what we were doing. My notes were scattered, Brock didn’t want to share points ahead of time, and Stuart sent long, written reviews of each film before recording.”

Here is an excerpt from Stuart’s write-up of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter:

I’m now convinced there never was much merit to this series, and the only reason it was so profitable was because it was created the ideal date scenario for teens in the 80s.  Kids snuck off to watch a forbidden R-rated movie where they would be stimulated by nudity, sex, and violence.  And like a gateway drug, watching would lead to doing and I wish we had statistics on how many station wagon back seats saw action post-screening.  And since they came out in such quick succession, and movies didn’t get rushed to videotape in less than a year, you could practically guarantee that you could attend a FRIDAY film and get laid at a theatre or drive-in near you whenever you could land a date.  Who would have guessed Jason had so much in common with Dr. Ruth?  And why do I keep having to review soft porn like it’s worthy of intellectual discourse?

Brock: “I remember editing some of the Friday the 13th shows and how (by today’s standards) rudimentary our tracks were that it made for some, let’s call them ‘challenges’ in the editing process.

Arnie: “It was intended that each movie recording would be only 10 minutes. When I started sending notes Brock was afraid the shows would be too long.”

Brock: “Once the download numbers started coming in and the response we were getting exceeded all expectations Arnie and I were just blown away. We knew we hit in something. “

Arnie: “Before the Friday the 13th series we would get between 50 and 500 hits per show. With Friday the 13th we started at 5,000 and went up from there. I remember being ecstatic at getting 40,000 downloads in one month!”

Brock: “And then I advocated we do Star Trek as a follow up. That was a tight window but we made it and well, look where Now Playing is now.”

New Blood?

The eighth anniversary of Now Playing’s Friday the 13th retrospective is also a reminder that it’s been eight, EIGHT years since we last saw Jason Voorhees on screen. Proposals for a sequel, reboot, and television series have been discussed for years, but the most significant (and it is significant) development for the property has been Gun Media’s Kickstarter-funded Friday the 13th video game, which is expected to be released later this year.

As for the next theatrical film, that’s anybody’s guess. The Now Playing hosts will be there, but they’re not holding their collective breaths for any of the rumored release dates.

Arnie: “I expected a sequel in 2011 or 2012, especially after seeing the huge opening for the 2009 film.”

Stuart: “That Platinum Dunes reboot was not something to build on (ditto Freddy) so it doesn’t surprise me that they’ve been unable to come up with a proper sequel.  That said, I thought for sure we’d have another TV series. A CW show with kids at a lake house that worry about pimples, peer pressure, and getting impaled by a guy in a hockey mask.”

Brock: “Studios keep coming back to Leatherface and his chainsaw, so it is only a matter of time before Jason dons the hockey mask once again.”

Arnie: “Paramount does have that new film about to go into production (theoretically). Is it coming out this year? It’s supposed to shoot this Spring for release…October? Next February? With so many false starts (the found footage idea being the worst) I’m not making any plans just yet. I’m ready to go camping whenever Jason returns to Crystal Lake, and hey, this Friday is Friday the 13th!”

Now Playing Podcast’s Friday the 13th Retrospective Series was released from January 9 to Feb. 20, 2009. The 13 episode series can be heard on the Now Playing Podcast website.

January 13, 2017 Posted by | Movies | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Resident Evil: Extinction

Alice goes Beyond Thunderdome on the Fury Road in Resident Evil: Extinction — a Mad Max movie for gamers (it even ends with a final fight in a cage!). In this post-apocalyptic wasteland a group of survivors band together to travel to Alaska, where they are promised a civilization free of zombie infection. But who is their biggest obstacle — the zombified birds and humans, or Umbrella Corporation’s middle management?  Grab a game controller and join the Now Playing hosts to find out!

January 12, 2017 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , | Comments Off on Resident Evil: Extinction

Now Playing Opens the Vault for 10th Anniversary

For years Now Playing Podcast listeners have received bonus podcasts for supporting the show during its bi-annual donation drives. These exclusive retrospective series’ have included some of the most sought after reviews – Alien, Child’s Play, Jaws, and others. When the donation drives end, those series’ have always gone back into the Now Playing “vault,” rarely to be heard again.

But we recognized that not every listener has been with Now Playing since the beginning. Maybe you first caught the show during the Marvel retrospective, and never had a chance to hear The Thing series. Maybe you became a listener during the Fast & Furious series, and have always wanted to hear The Matrix review.

So, as Now Playing Podcast enters its 10th year, we are opening the vault in a brand new way, through our Podbean Hosting Site. Now listeners who previously missed out can download every donation series in Now Playing history. And, because so many of you have been asking for an a la carte option, you can download individual shows, even our exclusive secret Easter Egg podcasts such as our 2010 San Diego Comic Con review of I Know Who Killed Me.

Another option available is the subscription option, which allows you to support Now Playing and receive all previous donation series’ plus every additional bonus show for 12 months.

How it Works

To access these bonus episodes you will need a PodBean account and a Web browser. Once you’ve made your donation for the episode you can listen on the PodBean player (available in the App Store), download it to your device, or listen on your computer.

We are in the process of adding all previous retrospective series’ to Podbean, but you can access the first series, Child’s Play via the Now Playing website.

Crowdsourcing Support

If you’re not interested in the vault series’ and just want to support the show, you can do so through our PodBean Patron page. You’ll be helping our show and still receive campaign rewards — including exclusive, bonus podcasts! These shows will not be available for purchase — they are only available to our backers, or those who get an annual subscription for all our shows.

Now Playing Podcast couldn’t have made it 10 years without listener support. Here’s to you and another 10 years!

January 4, 2017 Posted by | News | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Now Playing Opens the Vault for 10th Anniversary

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

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 (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

Kristy Swanson Signed Our ‘Deadly Friend’ DVD and You Could Win It!

Kristy Swanson signs cover of "Deadly Friend" DVD

Kristy’s autograph on the “Deadly Friend” DVD cover.

We fired a lot of basketballs at “Deadly Friend” during our Fall Donation Series, but Now Playing Podcast will always have love for its star, Kristy Swanson. She’s our first Buffy. She’s Christie Boner. She’s the mannequin in “Mannequin Two!”

Kristy proved she’s also a friend of the show by signing our “Deadly Friend” DVD at Days of the Dead Chicago, and now it could be yours!

Enter to win the signed DVD by going to the Now Playing Podcast forums and leaving a post about one of the 16 films in our Fall Donation Series. Supporters have heard us review all five films in “The Fly” series and our “Horror of ’86” reviews will lead into our “Re-Animator” retrospective before year’s end. Tell us which of the films we’ve covered is your favorite and why, and you could be our winner!

The contest runs through Dec. 31, when our donation series comes to an end, and a winner will be contacted shortly thereafter. You don’t have to be a donor to participate, so don’t miss your chance to win!

ENTER HERE

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Conventions, Movies, News | , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Venganza Q&A: Why 1986 was a huge year for Now Playing Podcast

Cover art for the Now Playing Podcast Horror of 1986 retrospective series

The Now Playing Podcast Fall Donation series runs through December 31, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Playing Podcast has a thing for 1986. The proof is in the archives. If you count nine of the films on tap for this fall’s donation drive, you’ll find the hosts have reviewed at least two-dozen pictures that are celebrating their 30th anniversary. That includes Howard the Duck, Aliens, The Golden Child, Transformers: The Movie, – man, 1986 was the best year. If Now Playing Podcast ever reviews Solarbabies I’ll die happy.

In a Venganza Media Gazette Q&A, hosts Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob talk about that year in movies, and why it’s one for the ages.

Venganza Gazette: What do you remember about 1986 and that huge summer at the movies?

Jakob: By 1986 I was just old enough to start to really understand that some movies were good and some were bad. I remember begging my parents to take me to Howard the Duck. This was the first time I remember feeling hyped for a film — it was from George “Star Wars” Lucas — and then coming out of the theater thinking, “What’s this strange new feeling? I’m disappointed with that film. Movies can be bad?” Now I can see the man behind the curtain as opposed to being at a point filled with all the emotions and memories that come from discovery.

Arnie: It was the year I started to go to the movies every week of my summer vacation, and often more than once. I was 11 years old and starting to read behind-the-scenes articles and magazines, novelizations and source material. If you read my 40-Year-Old Critic review series on the Gazette you know movies were always in my blood, but in 1986 they also became the air I breathed. So we have a perfect storm–the studios producing big franchise films, and me being very nostalgic of that period having seen so many of these with friends and family.

Stuart: I had seen half of those [donation drive] movies as a child the year they were released and had a strong sense of nostalgia reflecting on them – remembering the theater I went to, my thoughts as a kid. Every decade has its own flavor, and the 80s was certainly an era that excelled at producing franchise ready summer entertainment that put big special effects and youth centric storylines at the forefront of moviemaking. For me 1986 was the greatest concentration of that type of film.

Arnie: If you look at the [1986] calendar, from May 9 to August 22, almost every week had a big blockbuster or franchise film release. Short Circuit, Top Gun, Poltergeist II, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Invaders from MarsKarate Kid II, Psycho III, Aliens, Nothing in Common, Friday the 13th Part 6, and even Maximum Overdrive – Stephen King himself being a movie franchise.

Stuart: Everyone seemed to be chasing after the Spielberg aesthetic and box office.

Venganza Gazette: Can you compare it to another year or era in film?

Stuart: The 1990s was a return to that 70s emphasis on director driven stories and provocative visions. But the millennium has definitely brought us back to a 80s blockbuster mentality.  I think 2012 was just as big a year for Now Playing as 1986 because we saw new installments to big long franchises like Marvel, Batman, Alien, not to mention the kickoff to new series like Hobbit and Hunger Games.

Venganza Gazette: What did you think about going back 30 years for the 2016 donation drives?

Stuart: to have the opportunity to go back and see the influential films of my youth is a great way of charting my own personal growth, as well as the evolution of genre films. I’ve reached an age where my childhood feels like a very distant memory.

Jakob: Especially the sci-fi series. I think many of our listeners had similar feelings — why else would they be so excited to listen to us talk about Space Camp? The horror series is a little different because I was too young and my parents would never allow me to see these films when they were released. But there is still that nostalgia – that era with the VHS box art. I remember looking at House and April Fools Day and just thinking they must be the scariest movies ever!

Stuart: Even the turkeys and one-off curiosities not deemed box office successes are fun to go back to because they all reinforce the virtues and values of the era’s film movement.

Jakob: I guess I’ll find out if these films can live up to their great poster art.

Venganza Gazette: Any chance of a sci-fi or horror of 1987 series coming?

Stuart: I don’t know that I hold every summer in such high regard as the one from 1986. I don’t think we’re looking to do this every year. No “Sci-Fi of Summer 1987.”

Venganza Gazette: Do you think it’s important for younger filmgoers to go back and see films released before they were born – and not just the classics?

Arnie: Important isn’t a word I would use. I don’t spend my time seeking out obscure films from the 1920s through the 1960s – it’s the classics that are important to see.

Jakob: I think anyone who cares about film as an art form and an ongoing story – both from a technical viewpoint and humanities – will want to search out films from any era. The concept of “canon” or “classics” are useful as starting points. But the “losers” can be just as interesting as the winners of film history.

Arnie: There is a lot of fun to be had in films 20, 30, and 40 years old, sometimes because the movies are great, and sometimes because they’re now so out of date or fantastically awful. God knows not every film we’re covering is one that deserves preservation in the Library of Congress’ vaults.  I’d simply hope that younger film enthusiasts are open to older films.

Stuart: It’s often been lamented that there is nothing new under the sun, and all ideas have been done before.  But I see that as the reason why someone would bother to look at old films.  I find it fascinating to see how previous generations of filmmakers tackled the same genres and storylines.

Arnie: I have found some great enjoyment in films before my time, many of which I was initially resistant to see – The Maltese Falcon and Curse of the Fly for example.

Jakob: Stuart’s excitement for director Samuel Fuller convinced me watch his movies from the 1950s and 60s. Many of these old, B-movies by Fuller are so brazen in their politics and viewpoint that it is hard to forget them.

Stuart: While some film grammar from certain eras may seem obtuse and off putting to modern audiences, I’ve found that almost every decade excelled at at least one kind of art form (be it musicals, romantic comedies, or Westerns). Going back to the ’80s is about watching a generation hit its stride with horror and science fiction.

Jakob: If someone’s top 10 is a list of blockbusters from the last five years, they’re probably pretty boring. Don’t be boring. Don’t let someone else define your classics, greats, and canon.

The Now Playing Podcast 2016 Fall Donation Series runs through December 31, 2016 and features three retrospectives: The Fly, Horror Movies of 1986, and the Re-Animator series.

Now Playing Podcast is reviewing 9 films from 1986 as part of its Fall 2016 Donation Drive

Cover art to Now Playing Podcast’s “Horror of 1986” retrospective series

October 2, 2016 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Venganza Q&A: Why 1986 was a huge year for Now Playing Podcast

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

Oh Yeah, Now Playing Podcast Reviewed ‘Ferris Bueller’s’ 30th Anniversary Soundtrack

In the pre-Napster days, there was nothing more frustrating than having to scour every record store in a 40-mile radius to find that rare song that for some inexplicable reason had been left off the soundtrack to a hugely popular movie. (Do you have any idea how many years it took me to find Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything” because my worn out, taped-off-WGN copy of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 shrunk the end credits to the point where I couldn’t read the name of the band? Yes, I’m still mad about this Chrysalis.)

Now Playing Podcast reviews the 30th anniversary edition soundtrack to Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Front cover art

Fans of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off know that pain. They’ve known it for 30 years as they desperately tried to recreate the film’s greatest moments but came up short where it really counted. Sure, it’s easy to get “Day Bow Bow” and “Twist and Shout” on your playlist, but good luck getting your hands on “Beat City.” How are you supposed to make that traffic-free morning commute into Chicago without The Flowerpot Men riding shotgun?

At long last, the search for scratchy bootlegs has come to an end. Specialty label La-La Land Records has come to the rescue (again) with the first official release of the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off soundtrack. Since 2009, producers Dan Goldwasser and Neil Bulk have been working to collect the rights to nearly all of the film’s music, and the result is a 35-track collection that includes the aforementioned Beat City (and seven other singles), composer Ira Newborn’s original score, and even the marching band overlay of Twist and Shout.

In an interview with Now Playing Podcast, Goldwasser and Bulk discussed the “daunting” task of assembling the soundtrack, why the project took seven years to realize, and why not all of the film’s music could be included.

So join Arnie, Marjorie, and Justin as they discuss the music of Ferris, and Arnie talks to Goldwasser and Bulk as well as an interview with, and performance by, the group Blue Room!

 

The release of the Ferris Bueller soundtrack comes during an unofficial “Celebration of ‘86” at Now Playing Podcast. The show’s bi-annual donation drives have featured “Sci-fi Summer of ‘86” and “Horror of ‘86” retrospectives, respectively, as well as a surprise July review of that year’s Short Circuit. Listeners can also expect Now Playing’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off review before the end of September.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Soundtrack Review By Now Playing Podcast

Insert page for 30th anniversary “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” soundtrack

 

September 16, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Hear Venganza Media Podcasts on TuneIn

Venganza Media podcasts are available on TuneIn Radio

Venganza Media podcasts Star Wars Action News and Now Playing Podcast are now available on streaming audio service TuneIn, giving listeners the option to hear new and past episodes through an expanding list of platforms, including smart TV’s, gaming consoles, vehicles, and devices such as the Amazon Echo and Roku set-top box.

Users with a free or premium account can download the TuneIn Radio app to access the shows, which can be saved for quick access under the “favorites” setting.

By adding its shows to the TuneIn library, Venganza Media joins a list of content providers that includes The Nerdist, CNN, and Major League Baseball.

San Francisco-based TuneIn launched in 2002 as RadioTime and now offers users access to more than 100,000 radio stations, along with millions of audiobooks, podcasts, and on-demand programs.

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hear Venganza Media Podcasts on TuneIn

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

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

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

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

A New Voice Joins Now Playing Podcast

JustKozyNow Playing Podcast is getting a new host; one whose voice will sound familiar to longtime Venganza Media listeners. Justin Kozisek, a host and contributor to Marvelicious Toys and Star Wars Action News, will add Now Playing duties to his plate for some upcoming, unannounced (that means it’s a secret) shows.

Kozisek becomes the seventh member of the rotating panel, and although he’s primarily known for his collecting and customizing knowledge, listeners have heard him offer film critique during movie segments on Marvelicious Toys, a show that he has hosted since its launch in 2010.

A fan of indie comedies, Kozisek ranked Wet Hot American Summer, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Dazed & Confused among his favorites, although he can find reasons to love films of every genre.

“I’m a ‘try anything once’ kind of guy and will give almost any movie a chance,” he said. “I look at movies as entertainment first and art second, then based on what a film is trying to accomplish I adjust my outlook accordingly.”

“I very rarely hate a movie and when I love a movie it’s because it earned it!”

Kozisek is also a professional industrial designer with experience in model making, drafting, special FX and latex make-up design.  He has created album artwork for hundreds of bands, PC and Nintendo games. More than a fan of films, Kozisek’s design background has led to him working on several.  He was creative director on the documentary There Will Be No Stay, also designing its movie poster. He also was a graphic designer on indie film No Resolution.

“All of this adds up to me being infatuated by the treatment of products in films,” he said.  “If an item like Pepsi pops up in a movie today we all know that it was paid for, but I enjoy catching a glimpse of things that were supposed to be obscured in older movies (before the tie-in game was afoot).  I love it when someone like Tarantino makes a brand for his movie universe – Apple Cigarettes is a great example.”

Movie making is a family affair for Kozisek. His wife Chevy is a producer and make-up artist with work MV5BMTkwNzE5Nzk0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzU2NzA0NDE@._V1_UY1200_CR88,0,630,1200_AL_ranging from horror films to music videos.  She has done both studio and FX make-up. Her effects work can be seen in April Showers, a film about a school shooting directed by Columbine survivor Andrew Robinson.  Chevy also produced the 2016 drama No Resolution.

When asked about his favorite Now Playing Podcast retrospective, Kozisek pointed to the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street series, which is well known among fans for including songs from an obscure “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” album (featuring a surprisingly game Robert Englund).
“I think that retrospective really helped solidify what Now Playing is all about,” he said. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that truly loves all of those movies, but the shows really made revisiting them a lot of fun.”

As do the fans. Kozisek credited Now Playing’s longevity (the show will turn 10 next year) and the popularity of Venganza’s podcasts to its listenership and the community they’ve formed on social media and the show forums. The podcast format, he said, creates a shared experience, much like watching a film you own on television.

“There’s something comforting about knowing you are watching the same movie that other people are watching, and Now Playing creates a ‘couch’ for people to gather and enjoy the experience together.”

Hear Justin’s First Now Playing Review – Short Circuit – at NowPlayingPodcast.com

June 30, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A New Voice Joins Now Playing Podcast

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

CIVIL WAR: Choose your side – VOD on 9/2 or Blu-Ray on 9/13!

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Captain America: Civil War comes home! Video on Demand Sep 2, Blu-Ray Sep 13!

The year’s best action film, Captain America: Civil War has a release date set. The question is: can your home theater handle all the heroes on screen?

Featuring Captain America and Iron Man, along with Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Falcon, Vision, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, War Machine, and more, this is the biggest super-hero movie ever and it’s coming to your home!

A 3-D Blu-Ray deluxe set will be released, alongside a regular Blu-Ray.  Bonus features include a commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” – a two-part making-of documentary, deleted and extended scenes, and more!

Hear Now Playing Podcast’s full review of the movie, then head to Amazon.com now and get your pre-order in!

The full press release about Civil War is below.

BURBANK, Calif., July 1, 2016 — Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” has conquered both audiences and critics, debuting to $179.1 million—the fifth-biggest domestic opening of all time—and earning a 90% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  “Captain America: Civil War” is the highest-grossing film of 2016 domestically, internationally and globally, earning more than $1.14 billion at the worldwide box office. It also continues Marvel Studios’ winning streak as the 13th consecutive film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to debut at #1 at the domestic box office.

 

When Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” arrives early on Digital HD, Digital 3D and Disney Movies Anywhere on Sept. 2 and on Blu-ray™ 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on Sept. 13, viewers can join the nonstop action and pick their side—Team Cap, commanded by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), or Team Iron Man, led by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).

 

Rogers and Stark are joined by a star-studded lineup of beloved Marvel Super Heroes, including Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie) Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle), Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Vision (Paul Bettany) and Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), along with new recruit Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and joined by two new additions to the MCU: T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland).

 

More than 60-minutes of thrilling, exclusive bonus material includes: an inside look at the evolution of lead characters Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, a behind-the-scenes exclusive on the making of Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” never-before-seen deleted scenes and hilarious outtakes. Plus, home audiences can learn more about the latest additions to the MCU and get an exclusive, first look at Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, coming to theaters Nov. 4, 2016.

 

 

Bonus features include*:

DIGITAL HD/3D & BLU-RAY:

  • United We Stand, Divided We Fall – The Making of Captain America: Civil War Part 1 & Part 2 – As the tension mounts, sides are chosen and lines drawn. Learn more about the characters on each side—from Captain America and Iron Man to the latest recruits. In this complete behind-the-scenes look at a landmark in the Marvel saga, we’ll examine their stories through exclusive footage and interviews and discover just what went into selecting the Super Hero teams, filming the epic action sequences and introducing Black Panther and Spider-Man to the MCU.
  • Captain America: The Road to Civil War – Explore the First Avenger’s fascinating evolution from loyal soldier to seasoned, conflicted hero who questions authority.

 

  • Iron Man: The Road to Civil War – From Gulmira to Sokovia, delve into the development and evolution of one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

 

  • Gag Reel – Break the tension of this high-stakes conflict with some hilarious outtakes featuring the lighter side of your favorite Super Heroes.

 

  • Deleted & Extended Scenes – Check out never-before-seen footage that didn’t make the final cut of “Captain America: Civil War.”
  • Audio Commentary – Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely deliver scene-by-scene insight and explain the storytelling challenges they faced creating the third installment of the Captain America franchise.

 

  • Open Your Mind: Marvel’s Doctor Strange – Exclusive Sneak Peek – Go behind and beyond the scenes as Doctor Strange makes his journey to the big screen.

 

*Bonus features may vary by retailer. The DVD does not include any bonus materials.

 

The most explosive clash to ever rock the Marvel Cinematic Universe ignites a firestorm of conflict in the game-changing epic, Captain America: Civil War.  In the wake of collateral damage, government pressure to rein in the Avengers drives a deep wedge between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), causing a catastrophic rift that escalates into an all-out feud.  Against a backdrop of divided loyalties, their fellow Avengers must deal with the fallout. Pick a side in this spectacular adventure, packed with mind-blowing action, suspense and exclusive bonus content!

 

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is directed by Emmy® Award-winning directors Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Kevin Feige, p.g.a. is the producer of the film, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.

 

DISC SPECIFICATIONS (applies to film content only):

Product SKUs:                                   Disney Movies Anywhere, Digital HD/3D/SD, Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D+Blu-ray+Digital HD), Blu-ray, DVD (no bonus) and On-Demand

Feature Run Time:                                            Approximately 147 minutes

Rating:                                                                                                       PG in U.S.; PG in CE; G in CF

Aspect Ratio:                                                                         Blu-ray & Blu-ray 3D = 1080p High Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)

                                                                                                                     DVD = 2.39:1

Audio:                                                  Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks

DVD = English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio

Languages/Subtitles:                     English SDH, French & Spanish

June 30, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on CIVIL WAR: Choose your side – VOD on 9/2 or Blu-Ray on 9/13!

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 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

Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys Scarlet Witch MMS – Civil War Version

 

Hot Toys - Captain America Civil War - Scarlet Witch Collectible Figure PR_13

“I can’t control their fear. Only my own.”
 

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War has been critically acclaimed and enjoyed by audience around the world since its release! As the Avengers’ actions in Lagos have caused collateral damage where innocent people are killed, the Sokovia Accords proposed by the United Nations has divided the Earth’s mightiest heroes into opposing teams led by Captain America and Iron Man!

Today Hot Toys put up for pre-order the 1/6th scale collectible figure of the gorgeous and powerful member of Team Cap –Scarlet Witch!

The highly-accurate collectible is specially crafted based on the image of Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in the film featuring head sculpt with long curly brown real fabric hair and new makeup application, brand-new and specially tailored costume, interchangeable hands with red translucent fingertips and effect accessories to simulate Scarlet Witch using her powers, and an Captain America: Civil War themed figure stand. Furthermore, an approximately 2.5cm tall miniature running Ant-Man is included as a bonus accessory!

Do not miss out on the opportunity to add the stunning new Scarlet Witch to your collection today!

Hot Toys – MMS370 – Captain America: Civil War – 1/6th scale Scarlet Witch Collectible Figure Specification
~ Movie Masterpiece Series  ~


The 1/6th scale Scarlet Witch Collectible Figure features:

  • –      Authentic and detailed likeness of Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Captain America: Civil War
  • –      Head sculpt with movie-accurate facial expression, new makeup application, and long curly light-brown real fabric hair implantation
  • –      Body with over 28 points of articulations
  • –      Approximately 28 cm tall
  • –      Seven (7) pieces of interchangeable gloved hands including:
  • –      One (1) pair of relaxed hands
  • –      One (1) pair of hands with red translucent fingertips for power-using effects accessories
  • –      One (1) gesturing right hand with red translucent fingertips
  • –      Two (2) gesturing left hands with red translucent fingertips
  • –      Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted

Costume :

  • –      One (1) red colored top
  • –      One (1) red colored leather-like coat
  • –      One (1) pair of black leather-like pants
  • –      One (1) pair of black boots

 

  • Accessories:
  • –      One (1) necklace
  • –      Two (2) types of power effects accessories
  • –      Captain America: Civil War themed Team Captain America figure stand with character’s nameplate and the movie logo

 

Bonus Accessory:

  • –      One (1) miniature Ant-Man in running position (Approximately 2.5cm tall)

Are you bewitched yet? Then head over and order now!

May 31, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys Scarlet Witch MMS – Civil War Version

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

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

Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys Die Cast Iron Man Mk 46 from Civil War

Hot Toys - CACW - Mark XLVI Collectible Figure_PR15“You just started a war!”


Today, #TeamIronMan gets love from Hot Toys.  Up for pre-order now is the 1/6th scale collectible figure of Tony Stark’s new Iron Man armor – the Mark XLVI to the Hot Toys MMS Diecast series which the collectible figure is made of diecast material, and realistically designed to look even more like the armor as it appears in the film.

The highly-accurate Mark XLVI collectible figure is greatly detailed and specially crafted based on the image of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man Mark XLVI in Captain America: Civil War. It features a newly sculpted Tony Stark head sculpt, an interchangeable helmeted head, sophistically  developed sleek and streamline designed armor, 28 LED light-up points throughout the body, specially applied metallic red, gold and silver colored painting on armor, real-like thrust fire accessories, the helmet of Captain America, and a specially designed debris diorama figure stand.

Do not pass up on the opportunity to add the leader of Team Iron Man to your prized collection!

Check out the gallery below and get your order in now!

Hot Toys – MMS353D16 – Captain America: Civil War – 1/6th scale Mark XLVI Collectible Figure Specification
~ Movie Masterpiece Series  Diecast ~

The 1/6th scale Mark XLVI Collectible features:

  • –       Authentic and detailed likeness of Mark XLVI in Captain America: Civil War
  • –       Newly sculpted head sculpt with authentic likeness of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in the movie
  • –       Alternate helmeted head with LED light-up function (white light, battery operated)
  • –       Approximately 32 cm tall
  • –       Metallic red, gold and silver colored painting on the sleek and streamline Mark XLVI armor design
  • –       Contains diecast material
  • –       28 LED light-up points throughout parts of the armor (white light, battery operated)
  • –       Chest armor can be detached to reveal interior mechanical design
  • –       Interchangeable shoulder armor (regular, missile firing)
  • –       Fully deployed air flaps at back of the armor
  • –       Four (4) pairs of interchangeable hands including:
  • –       One (1) pair of fists
  • –       One (1) pair of hands with articulated fingers and light-up repulsors (white light, battery operated)
  • –       One (1) pair of battle palms with light-up repulsor (white light, battery operated)
  • –       One (1) pair of hands with real-like thrust fire effect
  • –       Articulations on waist armor which allow flexible movement

 

Accessories:

  • –       One (1) 1/6th scale Captain America helmet
  • –       Two (2) real-like thrust fire accessories attachable to the feet of the figure
  • –       Debris diorama figure stand with with Mark XLVI nameplate and the movie logo

 

 

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys Die Cast Iron Man Mk 46 from Civil War

UPDATE: Hot Toys MOVIE PROMO Captain America on WAITLIST!

UPDATE:  The Movie Promo Captain America is now on Wait List, less than 48 hours after going up for order.  If you want this figure, the best chance is to get on the list fast.  

I said this item would sell out fast and it has.  Get on the list now and cross your fingers.  Good luck!

Hot Toys - CACW - Captain America (Battling Version)_PR7

If you’re #TeamCap you will want to hurry to Sideshow Collectibles! The new Movie Promo figure is up for pre-order:  Captain America – Battling Version.   These Movie Promo edition figures are very limited and usually sell out fast, demanding top dollar on the secondary market.  With Civil War just a couple weeks away, it’s a sure bet this won’t be in stock for long!

Also up for pre-order is another member of #TeamCap — Scarlet Witch!  But this is Wanda from Age of Ultron in her badass “New Avengers” outfit worn at the film’s final scene.

Keep your Avengers team growing with these two new figures…but if you can only order one, trust me…get the Cap.

The specs on these figures:

Hot Toys - CACW - Captain America (Battling Version)_PR5Hot Toys – MMS360 – Captain America: Civil War – 1/6th scale Captain America (Battling Version) Collectible Figure Specification
~ Movie Masterpiece Series  ~

The 1/6th scale Captain America Collectible Figure specially features:

  • –   Authentic and detailed likeness of Chris Evans as Captain America in Captain America: Civil War
  • –   One (1) Captain America helmeted head sculpt
  • –   One (1) newly painted un-helmeted head sculpt
  • –   Movie-accurate facial expression with detailed wrinkles and skin texture
  • –   Newly developed body with over 30 points of articulations which naturally portray Captain America’s muscular body in the film
  • –   Specially applied battle weathering effects on costume
  • –   Approximately 31 cm tall
  • –   Seven (7) pieces of interchangeable gloved palms including:
  • –   One (1) pair of fists
  • –   One (1) pair of shield holding palms
  • –   One (1) shield throwing right palm
  • –   One (1) shield catching left palm
  • –   One (1) finger pointing right palm
  • –   Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted

 

Costume:

  • –   One (1) newly tailored Captain America suit with star emblem and red and white patterns
  • –   One (1) pair of newly tailored blue embossed patterned pants with pouches, knee pads, and red trims
  • –   One (1) pair of fabric coated elbow pads
  • –   One (1) pair of fabric coated knee pads
  • –   One (1) brown leather-like back shield holder and body strap
  • –   One (1) brown leather-like belt with pouches
  • –   One (1) pair of black boots

Weapon:

  • –   One (1) metal circular red and blue Captain America shield with scratch-like marks and weathering effects

 

Accessories:

  • –   One (1) broken Crossbones helmet
  • –   Debris diorama base with Captain America nameplate and movie logo

Hot Toys - AAOU - Scarlet Witch (New Avengers Version) Collectible Figure_PR4Hot Toys – MMS357 – Avengers: Age of Ultron – 1/6th scale Scarlet Witch (New Avengers Version) Collectible Figure Specification
~ Movie Masterpiece Series  ~

The 1/6th scale Scarlet Witch (New Avengers version) Collectible Figure features:

  • –      Authentic and detailed likeness of Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • –      Head sculpt with movie-accurate facial expression, new makeup application, and long curly light-brown real fabric hair implantation
  • –      Body with over 28 points of articulations
  • –      Approximately 28 cm tall
  • –      Six (6) pieces of interchangeable hands including:
  • –      One (1) pair of relaxed hands
  • –      One (1) pair of hands with red translucent fingertips for power-using effects accessories
  • –      One (1) gesturing left hand with red translucent fingertips
  • –      One (1) gesturing right hand with red translucent fingertips
  • –      Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted
  • Costume :
  • –      One (1) red colored leather-like long jacket
  • –      One (1) pair of black leather-like pants
  • –      One (1) pair of black boots with red colored highlights

 

  • Accessories:
  • –      One (1) pair of long gloves
  • –      Two (2) power-using effects accessories
  • –      Avengers: Age of Ultron themed figure stand with Scarlet Witch nameplate and the movie logo

Check out the photo galleries below, then order now at Sideshow Collectibles’ site–the only place you can get these two figures!

 

 

 

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on UPDATE: Hot Toys MOVIE PROMO Captain America on WAITLIST!

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)

Marvel Madness — And the Winner Is……

2016 Marvel Infinity Gauntlet Madness Bracket - Finals

What a March Marvel Madness it has been! We started with 32 heroes plucked from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including films, TV shows, and Netflix. 29 single-elimination matches took place with you deciding the results in each case! Sure, you could have voted Howard the Duck beats Hulk, but the voters seemed to keep to the reality defined by the Marvel media.

There were close matches, like when Luke Cage beat Winter Soldier by 1 vote. And there were landslides, like when Hulk smashed Deathlok. But throughout there were fun match-ups that pitted friend vs friend. The full bracket with results is above.

And the end result came down to the two strongest heroes — Hulk vs Thor for the championship! And the contest wasn’t even close.  With 68% of the vote, the winner is……..

Hulk Wins

 

Hulk smashed his way through Deathlok, Black Panther, Iron Man, Punisher, and Thor to become the 2016 Marvel March Madness Champion! This green golliath truly was unstoppable in this mash-up of heroes! (Perhaps this is why Banner was sent away on a Quinjet in Age of Ultron as Civil War would simply be decided by Hulk).

Thanks from all of us at Now Playing Podcast and Marvelicious Toys to everyone who voted in any and all of these matches.  It was fun for us to see how the results went, and maybe next year we can do it again with new heroes like Dr. Strange, or perhaps with the villains — Iron Monger vs Abomination is a match I’d pay to see!

Finally, a special shout-out to Stephen Finley who wrote out narratives for each of the matches — and more often than not the vote followed his story! He posted several of them in our forums, and they’re a very fun read!

Finally, don’t forget to check NowPlayingPodcast.com in just a few weeks for our review of Captain America: Civil War, and join us biweekly at MarveliciousToys.com for the latest Marvel toy collecting news and reviews!

Thanks again for taking part, and EXCELSIOR!

See all the details of the Marvel Madness Infinity Gauntlet and download your bracket sheet

Hear all the Marvel Movies discussed at NowPlayingPodcast.com

Love Marvel Toys? Head to MarveliciousToys.com!

April 6, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Marvel Madness — And the Winner Is……