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Don’t Pick Up the Phone — Stephen King’s CELL coming to video Sep 27

Stephen King had never tackled zombie tales before Cell, his 2006 novel.  Now that story comes to the screen — and to your home on DVD and Blu-ray.

Cell stars John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. These two starred together in 2007’s King film 1408. Now they pursue another King tale of suspense and terror as two man racing against the clock to stop a horde of rabid killers as their city descends into apocalyptic madness.

Cell will be on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD on Sep 27.  The disc will have a feature commentary and making-of featurette. The DVD will be $19.99, the Blu-ray $24.99.

is currently available on Video on Demand.

The full release is below

 

DESCRIPTION

Experience action-packed terror as two men race against the clock to stop a horde of rabid killers as their city descends into apocalyptic madness in the pulse-pounding thriller, Cell, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital), and Digital HD on September 27from Lionsgate. The film is currently available On Demand. Based on Stephen King’s chilling book, the film stars John Cusack (Love & Mercy) alongside Oscar® nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Best Supporting Actor, Pulp Fiction, 1994) and Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy). Cell was directed by Tod Williams from a screenplay by Stephen King and Adam Alleca. The home entertainment release ofCell contains audio commentary with the director and a look behind the scenes of the film in the “To Cell and Back” featurette. The CellBlu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

 

Stephen King’s best-selling novel is brought to terrifying life in this mind-blowing thriller starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. At the Boston airport, Clay (Cusack) witnesses a scene of chaotic mayhem when an electronic signal turns hundreds of cell phone users into rabid killers. Desperate to find his estranged wife and son, Clay teams with a train driver (Jackson) to battle the horde of murderous “phoners” as the city descends into apocalyptic madness.

 

CAST:

John Cusack               Love & Mercy, Being John Malkovich, Chi-Raq

Samuel L. Jackson      Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight, The Avengers

Isabelle Fuhrman         The Hunger Games, Orphan

Owen Teague             Wild in Blue, Echoes of War, TV’s “Bloodline”

Clark Sarullo                Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anthony Reynolds      The Hunger Games, Iron Man 3

Erin Elizabeth Burns    TV’s “Stan Against Evil”

and Stacy Keach        TV’s “Prison Break,” The Bourne Legacy

 

BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES*

  • Audio Commentary with Director Tod Williams
  • “To Cell and Back” Featurette

*Subject to Change

 

Year of Production: 2016

Title Copyright: Cell © 2014 CELL Film Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2016 Saban Films LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Type: Theatrical Release

Rating: R for Disturbing Violent Content, Terror, Brief Sexuality and Language

Genre: Thriller, Action

Closed-Captioned: None

Subtitles: English and Spanish; English SDH

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Blu-ray Format: 1080P High Definition, 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1) Presentation

DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1) Presentation

Blu-ray Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio™

DVD Audio Status: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

July 14, 2016 Posted by | Books, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Don’t Pick Up the Phone — Stephen King’s CELL coming to video Sep 27

Hollywood Shuffle: Inside the Now Playing Podcast schedule

We were supposed to be getting Tom Cruise for Christmas. That was the plan anyway, as Now Playing Podcast had circled a December release date for the latest Mission Impossible film. Release dates don’t always stick. In the case of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed sequel was scheduled to open Dec. 25, but was moved up nearly five months to July 31.

This is the reason Stuart in LA keeps two schedules – one in Excel and one in his head. The Now Playing Podcast host has been overseeing the show’s calendar for years, arranging and rearranging release dates for its many retrospectives, bonus shows, and the occasional one-and-done flop (Green Lantern, Cowboys and Aliens).

With Now Playing’s Mission Impossible Retrospective Series set to begin on Tuesday, Stuart took a few minutes to chat about the show’s calendar and the ongoing Hollywood shuffle.

Q: What happened with Rogue Nation’s release date?

“My personal belief is that Paramount needed to beat Bond to the screen; 007 taking on Blofeld in November’s Spectre made Rogue Nation look like small potatoes in December. Once it was clear that Bourne 5 wasn’t going to be ready until summer 2016, Cruise pounced on the open July release date. [Rogue Nation] will be on DVD by the time Bond is in theaters. Honestly, our calendar is so full in the second half of the year that we probably wouldn’t have had room to cover Mission Impossible if it had kept its original release date.”

Now Playing Podcast has already announced that its long-awaited Star Wars retrospective will arrive in the later half of the year, and just last week news broke that Now Playing’s 2015 Fall Donation Series would cover the entire Quentin Tarantino catalog, leading up to the release of the director’s The Hateful Eight.

Q: How did you end up in charge of the NPP schedule?

“I actually really enjoy lists. I make a list for everything; what I’m going to do this week, restaurants I want to try, release dates for movies I want to see, albums I want to hear, upcoming concerts, etc. It’s my way of pretending I am in control of a chaotic world, I guess. Doing the NPP schedule is just a logical extension of the way I run my life.”

Q: Because you live and work in Los Angeles, do you have an “inside track” on release dates?

“How I wish that were true! It would be great if the marketing departments from these studios leaked me their release plans early. No, I read it in the trade magazines like everyone else. Box Office Mojo is a great site.”

Q: What’s the craziest last-minute schedule shuffle you’ve had to make?

“A week before we were going to release Blade Runner Universal moved The Adjustment Bureau out of July 2010 and into Valentine’s Day 2011. So we literally had no shows to release. The only things we had in the can were the 8 other Philip K. Dick podcasts. We ended up filling the hole with really random things: the X-Files two-fer, Scott Pilgrim, The Lost Boys trilogy. Back then we also took a few weeks off between series’. That’s something we’d never do now.”

Q: How far ahead is the calendar planned?

“The calendar is set for the rest of the year. I have some very good ideas about what 2016 will look like, and I’m aware of all the continuations to franchises we’ve started coming back in 2017 and beyond. But I try not to get too attached to any plans because they are sandcastles on a very turbulent beach. One release change and it is all gone.”

Much of that future planning involves Now Playing’s Stephen King Retrospective Series, which began with the Carrie reboot in 2013. The hosts plan to review every King adaptation that has made it to the screen, but the end date is still unclear.

Q: How far ahead does the Stephen King retrospective go?

“It has been our hope to tie Stephen King back to another theatrical adaptation at some point. We were all set to sync up the NPP calendar with the release date of It. But now that Cary Fukunaga has walked away from that project, I have no idea when we’ll get to It. That said, it’s nice to have a series that can be broken up into small parts. King allows me to spackle any holes that appear in the calendar. Like, if they suddenly decide to yank Star Wars out of December, there will still be a Shawshank Redemption.”

Now Playing Podcast releases new episodes every Tuesday on its main feed. The 2015 Spring Donation Series – covering the Indiana Jones, WestWorld, Goonies, and Jurassic Park films – runs through July 31.

June 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hollywood Shuffle: Inside the Now Playing Podcast schedule

New Podcast: The Stand by Stephen King – Part 1

TheStandCover1With his fifth published novel Stephen King went big–a tale about God and demons with the backdrop of a dystopian future. Involving fears both realistic and fantastic, many King fans cite this as the author’s best work to date. Now Arnie continues his reviews of all King’s works with this multi-part podcast series reviewing The Stand.

In the first part of this podcast series Arnie reveals the history of the stand and how it was inspired by Patty Hearst and some dead sheep. He also provides an analysis of the original, iconic cover art, and how George Lucas and J.R.R. Tolkien factor into this 1978 novel!

: http://www.booksandnachos.com/Podcasts/BN114A-King27-TheStandPartA.MP3

      

January 5, 2015 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: The Stand by Stephen King – Part 1

Stephen King’s The Stand Revisited in Books & Nachos Multi-Part Podcast Series

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For more than a year the above-pictured copy of The Stand has been my constant companion.

The way Mel Gibson’s character in Conspiracy Theory never when anywhere without his copy of Catcher in the Rye, wherever I went this paperback, becoming ever-more battered and torn, went with me.

For this copy was the first of three versions of King’s seminal fantasy novel that I read in 2014.  This copy contained the text found in King’s 1980 paperback printing of the book, which varied slightly from the original 1978 hardcover and the 1990 “Complete and Uncut” version of the novel.

It was in this book that I took my primary plot notes on the novel, writing on the pages with pen and highlighter.  Then as I next read the 1990 revised Stand, and then the 1978 hardcover version, it was this paperback I constantly returned to for comparison.

Now I can put this book in a drawer for my review of Stephen King’s The Stand is complete and starting the afternoon of Monday, January 5th, 2015, you can hear it at BooksAndNachos.com.

The Stand is an epic tale broken down into three books, as well as a prologue and an epilogue.  Likewise my podcast review will be broken into multiple parts and released one per day during this week.  (Though the review of The Stand will be released in fewer parts, and have a shorter run-time, than the sum of all 20 reviews for the short stories in King’s Night Shift collection).

Leaving this book behind is bittersweet.  While I have enjoyed spending so much time in King’s post-apocalyptic universe I’m also really happy to finish this, the most difficult and involved review I’ve ever done.

I hope you’ll join me for it!

While you wait for the Books & Nachos review of The Stand, you can hear our review of the TV Mini-series posted now at Now Playing Podcast’s web site.

January 5, 2015 Posted by | Books, Movies, News, Reviews | , , | 1 Comment

MARVEL & STEPHEN KING’S DARK FANTASY EPIC RETURNS IN DARK TOWER: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE – HOUSE OF CARDS #1

MARVEL & STEPHEN KING’S DARK FANTASY EPIC RETURNS IN

DARK TOWER: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE – HOUSE OF CARDS #1

Eddie Dean Comes Face to Face with the Gunslinger!

New York, NY (December 16th, 2014) – Marvel, in collaboration with Stephen King, is proud to announce the latest chapter in the Dark Tower series – DARK TOWER: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE – HOUSE OF CARDS. Beginning in March 2015, New York Times Best-Selling writers Peter David (Spider-Man 2099) & Robin Furth (The Dark Tower: A Complete Concordance) along with critically acclaimed artist Piotr Kowalski (Marvel Knights: Hulk) continue to bring the dark macabre action from Mid-World to our world in the third installment of Stephen King’s epic masterpiece!

THE DARK TOWER: DRAWING OF THE THREE – HOUSE OF CARDS marks another milestone for the graphic fiction sensation that’s captivated fans worldwide as the saga moves to the second volume of King’s magnum opus.

The troubled streets of New York City pulse with the beat of desolation and crime. Among the dissidents of the city is Eddie Dean a troubled young man gifted with the ability to open doors to other worlds has smuggled narcotics from Nassau to New York City, but now Eddie has to escape a packed airplane guarded by armed Custom Agents! How will Eddie avoid prison and yet also fulfill his contract with the dangerous mobster Balazar? The answer lies in Mid-World, and with a dying gunslinger named Roland!

 

“In the latest chapter of King’s epic tale there are some fascinating connections being made within the Dark Tower mythos, expanding on the histories of the characters and revealing their twisted ‘family tree,’ says series Editor Mark Paniccia. “Fans will get a real thrill as we discover what kind of role Eddie Dean plays in Roland Deschain’s plans to bring the tower down.”

 

A bold new chapter begins as the landmark series makes its historic return to comic shops this March in Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE – HOUSE OF CARDS #1.

 

STEPHEN KING’S THE DARK TOWER:
THE DRAWING OF THE THREE – HOUSE OF CARDS #1
Written by ROBIN FURTH & PETER DAVID
Art by PIOTR KOWALSKI
Cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
On Sale March 2015!

 


December 16, 2014 Posted by | Books, Comic Books, News | , , , , , | Comments Off on MARVEL & STEPHEN KING’S DARK FANTASY EPIC RETURNS IN DARK TOWER: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE – HOUSE OF CARDS #1

Books & Nachos THE STAND Review — Update

The Stand

 

Stephen King’s writing of The Stand was fraught with delays.  He suffered writer’s block, lost his way with the story, and ultimately had to release Night Shift as a stop-gap so his publishers had something to release.

It feels appropriate, then, that my Books & Nachos review seems to be going through the same cycle.

As host of the Books & Nachos podcast I’ve reviewed over 50 novels, short stories, comics, and non-fiction works.  I’m aware of the work involved, which includes not only reading the work but researching its history and truly contemplating the meaning of the book.  Yet, even with this experience the review of The Stand is unlike anything I’ve undertaken thus far.  As my review of The Stand is delayed, I’ve received several e-mails asking about the release and I felt it important to update you, the constant listener, on my progress.

When I look back on 2014 the dominant memory I’ll have is King’s epic novel.  I have read this book three times, both the originally published 1978 version, the slightly revised 1980 Signet paperback, and then the 1990 Complete & Uncut Edition.  I took copious notes on each.  I read several accounts of King’s writing of the novel, both major and trivial.  I watched The Stand mini-series (which we reviewed at Now Playing Podcast) and heard King’s commentary, which also added light on his prose work.  I’ve even read the Marvel Comics adaptation so I can review it as well.

But trying to take this information and distill it into one podcast has been daunting.  I did, for quite some time, suffer from writer’s block–my introduction was written, rewritten, and rewritten again but I couldn’t bring myself to tackle the analysis.   I had hoped to have my review of The Stand done by November 1, ready for release around Thanksgiving with our review of the movie.  Needless to say, I missed that date due to the writer’s block.

Now, I’m excited to say, the review is written, but due to the Thanksgiving holiday as well as illness I have been unable to record.   With a holiday schedule growing ever-more-hectic as we approach Christmas, the time I hoped to record has been taken by other more immediate, personal concerns.

That said, progress is being made!  While I cannot provide an exact release date for this review, it will be out before the Christmas holiday (barring more illness).

In the end, my thought is this:  those anxious for this review may be frustrated by the delay, but that will be forgotten.  This review will be online for people to hear for years, and I’d rather put out a product I can be 100% proud of rather than rush to meet a deadline and have a review that doesn’t satisfy me or you.

Additionally, this delay is not going to impact the reviews coming down the pike.  I am well into reading King’s next work The Long Walk and that review will be out in early January, followed quickly by my review of The Dead Zone which will coincide with the Now Playing Podcast review of that movie the week of January 12th.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll join me at Now Playing Podcast for our current series.  On the main feed we have reviews of the horror movie Maniac and, coming tomorrow, the review of the 2012 remake.  And on our donation feed we have reviews of all Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, as well as reviews of all seven Leprechaun movies!  Plenty of content to keep you entertained while I record and edit The Stand.

Thank you for your patience, and I will update again when the review is ready for you to hear!

 

December 8, 2014 Posted by | Books, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

After lows of ‘Corn’ series, ‘Now Playing’ looks forward to Nolan films

Artwork for Now Playing Podcast Christopher Nolan Retrospective Series

Artwork for Now Playing Podcast Christopher Nolan Retrospective Series

Now Playing Podcast host Arnie Carvalho once read an email from a listener urging him to review only bad movies because it leads to funnier conversations.

“He said we should just be a comedy show,” the film critic said from his Manhattan hotel room on Saturday, while on a break from covering New York Comic Con.

Did that listener have a point?

“None of us wants that,” Carvalho answered. “We enjoy covering all types of movies, but if we only watched low-rent trash I think our souls would die.”

It’s a marvel he and his Now Playing co-hosts — Stuart Atkinson and Jakob Brewster – even have any life left in them after enduring nine films based on Stephen King’s Children of the Corn.

This week’s review of Children of the Corn: Genesis not only marks the climax of the Corn saga, but also an exhausting exploration of King’s Night Shift collection; more than two dozen reviews of mostly forgettable film adaptations like The Mangler, Graveyard Shift and Trucks.

Few films in the Night Shift series have been worthy of a recommend, but that hasn’t kept hardcore Now Playing listeners from making the show one of the highest rated on iTunes throughout 2014, with seven of the nine Corn reviews appearing in the Top 10 rankings for TV/Film podcasts.

“I really expected listenership to drop off as we got deep in those fields,” Carvalho said. “But our listeners are awesome.”

“I only half-jokingly say more people downloaded our review of Children of the Corn 7 than actually saw Children of the Corn 7.”

With Night Shift in the rear view, Now Playing Podcast launches its next retrospective on Tuesday: A five-episode study of director Christopher Nolan’s filmography, leading up to next month’s Interstellar.

After considering other horror properties to follow Corn — including Hellraiser and The Amityville Horror — Carvalho shifted gears and lobbied hard for a director-focused retrospective, targeting Nolan after Now Playing previously covered his Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception.

“The hosts needed some meatier films to chew on, and I also think listeners want to hear about movies they’ve actually seen,” he joked. “With the good movies we usually can have deeper conversations about filmmaking, themes, and intent.”

“The problem with the Corn series was that by the 9th film there was nothing left to say, it’s like the old joke about the definition of insanity.”

October 11, 2014 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Corn Connection’ finds A-lister among ‘Harvest’ players

corn3

Every actor has to start somewhere, and somewhere is often low-budget horror.

There are plenty of examples; Leonardo DiCaprio in Critters 3, Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander in The Burning, and Jennifer Aniston in a film Now Playing Podcast donors can hear about very soon.

As for this week’s Now Playing Podcast review of Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, we managed to find some famous faces among the cast. Okay, make that one star, some genre actors and a couple of extras you might recognize if you watch a lot of bad flicks.

But I’m not here to reprint IMDB resumes; the Corn Connection shows you where to find the actors and actresses within the Now Playing archives. So let’s get going.

Charlize Theron (Young Woman/uncredited)Alien Retrospective Series

Harvest was Theron’s first film, before she went on to become a superstar in movies like Mighty Joe Young, The Legend of Bagger Vance and Aeon Flux. Also Monster.

It’s crazy to think that an actress like Theron was only referenced on Now Playing Podcast once, but it’s true; back during the 2012 donation drive, when the hosts covered Prometheus as part of the Alien Retrospective Series. Unfortunately, that series is no longer available.

Michael Ensign (Father Frank Nolan)Superman Retrospective Series

Ensign is an actor you’ll recognize, although maybe not for his role as a newscaster in 1978’s Superman. I’m sure he gets more looks from fans who loved him as the snooty hotel manager in Ghostbusters, or in his role as the evil bus driver in License to Drive.

Ed Grady (Dr. Richard Appleby)Children of the Corn Retrospective Series

Does it count if your Now Playing moments came twice in the same retrospective series? Because that’s the case with the late Mr. Grady, who played the same character in the second installment, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice. Maybe someday the hosts will cover Grady’s role in The Notebook.

Rance Howard (Employer)Psycho Retrospective Series

Howard, like Theron, has had roles in major blockbusters (his son is Splash director Ron Howard). Howard, like Theron, only appears once in the entire history of Now Playing Podcast (1998’s Psycho). And Howard, like Theron, appeared in a donation series that’s no longer available on the main feed (bummer).

Rif Hutton (Arnold)Star Trek Retrospective Series

Hutton’s resume includes a long list of television and film credits, but only one of those movies was featured on Now Playing Podcast. So look for his role as a Klingon guard the next time you sit down to watch Star Trek: Generations.

Anthony Hickox (Hans, also executive producer)Return of the Living Dead Retrospective Series

Hickox appeared as Dr. Hickox in Return of the Living Dead 3, another film that’s currently locked in the Now Playing Podcast archives. But he’s also a director, with a resume that includes Waxwork, Waxwork 2: Lost In Time and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.

Brian Peck (Jake Witman)X-Men Retrospective Series, Return of the Living Dead Retrospective Series

Peck’s resume lists a number of genre films, but his role as Hot Dog Stand Patron in X-Men and News Reporter in X2: X-Men United made him part of the Now Playing universe. He also appeared in the first three Return of the Living Dead films as the characters of Scuz, Special Zombie and Ballistic Technician, respectively. Unfortunately, those Living Dead shows are locked away in the vault.

So there you have it. A few more recognizable actors than the previous Corn film, but many who only have connections to Now Playing donation series’. Wondering how you can become a donor? This way.

Did we miss anyone? If you spot an actor or actress with a connection to Now Playing Podcast leave a comment and help a fellow listener!

September 3, 2014 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘Corn Connection’ finds A-lister among ‘Harvest’ players

Corn Connection: Thinnest threads in ‘Final Sacrifice’

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In The Corn Connection, Venganza Media searches the Now Playing Podcast archives for films featuring the cast of The Children of the Corn series

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice exists in that very odd place for low-rent horror sequels: It’s not good enough to bring back actors from the first film, and not quite bad enough to draw genre stars willing to sign on for ironic reasons, or for the chance to have their names above the title.

Even Pumpkinhead II had Punky Brewster, and those Prophecy sequels had Christopher Walken.

The Final Sacrifice has… no one.

An exhaustive search through the annals of IMDB turned up only the thinnest threads connecting the “stars” to the Now Playing Podcast archives. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge, and perhaps take a listen to some shows you might have missed along the way.

So, for your listening pleasure, here’s where you can find the cast of Children of the Corn II and the films they’ve appeared in:

Christie Clark (Lacey Hellerstat)A Nightmare on Elm Street Retrospective Series

Clark was a child when she played Jesse’s sister Angela in Freddy’s Revenge. And you probably thought you could rewind to see her in the pool party scene. Shame on you.

Wallace Merck (Sheriff Blaine)Friday the 13th Retrospective Series, Robocop Retrospective Series

Mr. Merck was one of the unfortunate paintball players that stumbled upon a resurrected Jason Voorhees in Jason Lives. Spoiler: He didn’t make it.

He also played “Gun Shop Owner” in Robocop 2, which Now Playing covered earlier this year.

Joe Inscoe (David Simpson)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Retrospective Series

This actor appeared as “Police Officer No. 2” in the first TMNT film. Again, we’re grasping at straws here.

Marty Terry (Mrs. Burke/Mrs. West)Philip K. Dick Retrospective Series

Terry appeared in a “Pre-Crime PSA” in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. You can go back and try to spot her, or you can go listen to the Now Playing hosts talk about the picture.

Robert C. Treveiler (Wayde McKenzie)Carrie Retrospective Series

This actor appeared in another sequel to a King film that the author wanted nothing to do with: The Rage: Carrie 2. He played a “patient.” One can only assume it’s during the mental hospital scenes. Do we really have to go back and verify?

Bonus! Treveiler does have a role in Frank Darabont’s The Mist, which Now Playing Podcast will get to (eventually) as part of its Stephen King retrospective.

So there you have it. Not too much in The Final Sacrifice to link back to the archives. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps we should simply thank the actors for their participation, and part ways.

Maybe we’ll have better luck next week with Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.

Did we miss anyone? If you spot an actor or actress with a connection to Now Playing Podcast leave a comment and help a fellow listener!

Listen to Now Playing’s review of Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice now at NowPlayingPodcast.com

 

August 27, 2014 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Corn Connection: Thinnest threads in ‘Final Sacrifice’

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

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

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

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

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

It’s The Corn Connection.

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

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

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

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

NP

How many connections can you make?

 

 

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

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

NP_TMNT-Art_1400

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40 Year-Old-Critic: Carrie (1976)

carrie movie posterIn The 40-Year-Old Critic, Venganza Media creator and host Arnie Carvalho recalls a memorable film for each year of his life. This series appears daily on the Venganza Media Gazette.

See a list of all reviews

Last October, prompted by the release of the remake, Jakob, Stuart, and I reviewed 1976’s Carrie for Now Playing Podcast. It was the first film in our ongoing (with no end in sight) Stephen King Movie Retrospective. I came to that series a Stephen King fan, as I’ve followed his work since the mid 1980s. While researching Carrie for that review I realized I am likely only a Stephen King fan thanks to Brian DePalma’s film adaptation.

It’s not that I believe DePalma’s Carrie to be the best adaptation of a King novel, for proof you can listen to my thoughts in our Now Playing review. I think it’s a well-crafted and enjoyable film, but some poor characterizations and pacing issues prevent me from heralding it as the best King film to date.

I think Carrie’s greatest achievements took place off-screen.

King’s debut novel was published in April 1974, five months before I was born. Carrie sold well — especially in paperback — and secured the author a multi-book deal, but its overall performance was not exceptional. Even a year later, with the release of his second novel, Salem’s Lot, King was still not a household name. All of that changed in ‘76 when Carrie hit theaters. DePalma took that story, added his visual style and a Hitchcockian score, and the result was an Academy Award-nominated film.

I have no doubt that the success of Carrie in theaters gave King the boost he needed to achieve critical mass and have his first hardcover bestseller in 1977 with The Shining.

Carrie 1st Edition CoverIt helps that King is a prolific storyteller, and I’ve always believed his appeal comes from engaging stories filled with relatable characters. No cinematic success can turn a poor writer into one of the bestselling authors of all time. But with Carrie, a spotlight was shone on King.  He was exposed to a broader audience than the bookstore shelves could ever provide. De Palma opened the door and King had the talent to walk through it.

The result is publishing history. I grew up going to schools where it seemed every third student was reading a Stephen King novel. Not only were my friends engrossed in the pages, but the parents of my friends were also reading King. I was enthralled. As a child drawn to horror — and simultaneously terrified of it — I couldn’t not read these books.

The first book I read was Carrie, suggested to me by lifelong friend and fellow Now Playing host Stuart. A few weeks after finishing the novel I saw De Palma’s film for the first time, and I became a Stephen King fan. He was the first author whose name would make me immediately interested in a book.

King has published 64 novels — most of them bestsellers — as well as countless short stories, and I have read most of them. I continue to read King as I enter my 40th year, and will continue through my 41st, 42nd, and so on, until one of us dies. I’m also reviewing every widely-published Stephen King story on our Books & Nachos podcast. As I write this I’m also working on a review of his ‘78 masterpiece, The Stand.

And it all goes back to DePalma’s Carrie. Without that film, it’s possible King would have been one of 1,000 authors who publish countless books for their niche audience, but never gain widespread attention. That film was a cultural phenomenon that shaped me as a person.

Tomorrow — 1977!

Arnie is a movie critic for Now Playing Podcast, a book reviewer for the Books & Nachos podcast, and co-host of the collecting podcasts Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys.  You can follow him on Twitter @thearniec 

 

August 6, 2014 Posted by | 40-Year-Old Critic, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments