Venganza Media Gazette

Tech, TV, Movies, Games, and More

Stuart in L.A.: Don’t mistake ‘Hunger Games’ for ‘Twilight’ romance

When The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 bows in U.S. theaters on Nov. 20, it will cap a film saga that has seen four films in three years, grossed more than $2 billion (at the time of Part 2’s release), and transformed leading actress Jennifer Lawrence into one of Hollywood’s most lauded, and richest stars.

The film’s release will also mark the end of Now Playing Podcast’s Fall 2015 Silver Level donation series, in which listeners can hear reviews of the aforementioned Hunger Games franchise, as well as the two Japanese Battle Royale films. Both series’ are based on popular novels that feature groups of children isolated by their governments and forced to kill one another for survival. Yet while there is no question that Battle Royale was conceived and presented as a violent thriller, The Hunger Games has occasionally been written off as a Young Adult fantasy for teenage girls – akin to the Twilight franchise.

In addition to reviewing the films for Now Playing Podcast, host Stuart Atkinson is also reviewing the Battle Royale and Hunger Games novels for Now Playing’s sister podcast, Books & Nachos. Stuart spoke with the Venganza Media Gazette about the differences between The Hunger Games books and films, the audience it attracts, and whether the franchise has a future after this fall’s sequel.

Q: Is there a misconception that The Hunger Games is geared toward young teens? The violence is very adult.

Stuart: “I think it’s a misconception to think these films could ONLY be enjoyed by teenagers. I first became aware of Hunger Games as a book phenomenon in 2010. I’d read a magazine article explaining that today’s young women and girls love reading dark science fiction involving kiddie death matches. That kinda blew my mind. I have a young niece. It made me wonder why such nihilism would appeal to girls her age. Once I read the trilogy, it was obvious that this story had much wider appeal. It touches on ideas and satirizes things that anyone engaged with our 21st century social media culture is going to find entertaining.

Q: You’ve mentioned that The Hunger Games have more in common with Stephen King’s The Running Man than Twilight.

Stuart: Yeah, I see The Hunger Games as part of a long tradition of stories involving children killing each other for sport. Battle Royale, King’s The Long Walk (which he wrote before The Running Man), and even Lord of The Flies. I haven’t read Twilight or seen any of the movies, but my perception is that it’s a soap opera where a girl must choose between two dudes. Hunger Games has a love triangle too, but it would be a real stretch to call it a romance. Lionsgate owns the film rights to both Twilight and The Hunger Games, and I think they’ve marketed them as sister franchises. Don’t believe the poster. Katniss enters the arena fighting for her life, not trying to get a date. Think of this as Disney Channel greenlighting The Running Man.

Q: Without giving too much away, what are the biggest differences between the books and the films?

Stuart: I definitely feel like the movie makers struggle with how to portray child violence in a PG-13 movie, particularly in the first movie. You read The Hunger Games and there are some really ghastly things in there that they wouldn’t dare bring to the screen. Reading the story makes your mind deliver the R-rated version Lionsgate was unwilling to make.

Q: For those who haven’t read the books or seen the films, is there a definitive end to this series? Any chance of sequels or spinoffs?

Stuart: There are characters left alive at the end of Mockingjay, so I suppose there could always be more. But I see a very definitive end to this particular story. If they made more films in the Hunger Games universe they would probably involve new characters in a new trilogy in some distant time afterward. Kinda like Star Wars Episode VII, or these not-quite Harry Potter spinoffs they have planned for next year.

Now Playing Podcast’s The Hunger Games Retrospective Series begins Friday, Nov. 6.

November 6, 2015 Posted by | News, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Comments Off on Stuart in L.A.: Don’t mistake ‘Hunger Games’ for ‘Twilight’ romance

Brock returns to co-host Now Playing Podcast ‘SPECTRE’ show

At the end of every 007 adventure the same line appears in the credits: “James Bond Will Return.”

He’s not the only one back for 2015’s SPECTRE. When Now Playing Podcast listeners start streaming the latest review in the show’s James Bond Retrospective Series, they’ll hear a familiar voice.

Brock. James Brock.

Although he’s the voice of Now Playing Podcast’s opening narration and closing credits, listeners haven’t heard longtime co-host Brock review a series since the 2013 Riddick retrospective. Brock, who sat on the panel for Now Playing’s first retrospective in 2009, talked about his return to the show as a co-host and what’s next after Bond.

Q: How much have you missed being a regular co-host? Are there any recent series’ you wish you could have been a part of?

Brock: “I do miss it, and some days more than others — especially the recording sessions, the interaction with my fellow panelists. You all got a taste of what it is like to record the episodes on the live [Kingsman] show and with each episode’s outtakes. We can have a great deal of fun recording these shows. There are times when it hits me unexpectedly, like when — and I am sure we all do it, co-hosts and listeners alike — you listen to the show and you find you are talking back to the podcast in response to something a host said. So in that warped way I am on every panel! Truth be told, I feel blessed to be part of this amazing show and am looking forward to my return to the panel.”

Q: You’re back for Bond, what about that series are you most looking forward to?

Brock: “Are you kidding? SPECTRE is back in the fold, which likely means Blofeld! Us Bond fans have been looking forward to SPECTRE and Blofeld’s return since Diamonds Are Forever. In the For Your Eyes Only pre-credits scene they strongly hint that is Blofeld of course, but they never actually call him that by name. I am also hoping they connect SPECTRE to the mysterious Quantum organization in Quantum of Solace, which is also the one Le Chiffre was working for in Casino Royale. They completely skipped over that in Skyfall, so here’s hoping we get some answers and connections. We will see soon enough.

“On paper, they made some good decisions with casting Christoph Waltz, David Bautista and Monica Bellucci, and bringing back director Sam Mendes. But it always comes down to a good script. Skyfall is the most successful Bond movie to date, so the audience expectations are at an all-time high for the series. I have hope SPECTRE will keep the Bond resurgence going strong.”

Q: Have you been practicing saying “Brock, James Brock” in the mirror?

Brock: “In the mirror, no. In the car or in the shower, absolutely. This is a podcast, after all; it’s all about how it sounds, not how it looks.”

Q: You’re also coming back for Creed, are you excited for the film? What were your thoughts when you heard there would be a spinoff to Rocky?

Brock: “I think the idea is solid, a logical progression to continue the series while allowing itself enough space within that concept to become its own thing. I much prefer this idea than yet another unwanted, unneeded remake of a classic or a gimmicky reboot. I like that Creed is focused on a new character that younger audiences will want to watch, that they can get behind and root for; and simultaneously the fans of the original series can have an instant connection with because we are familiar with the character’s father. Ideally, Creed is a strong enough movie to potentially start a whole new series of successful spin-off films.”

Q: Is this something we can come to expect in the future? Will Brock be back for the next Halloween film, the next Friday the 13th, or even a Jaws sequel??

Brock: “That is the plan, yes. I look forward to coming back to the panel as much as opportunity and my schedule will allow.”

Q: 2016 will be the ninth year of Now Playing, which means the 10th anniversary is coming fast. Did you ever see the show lasting this long, and why do you think it’s been so successful?

Brock: “Truly unbelievable, isn’t it? After that first retrospective series I knew we were on to something. The potential of this show is limitless. The only thing I ever thought would make the show stop would be the inevitable running out of movie series to review! But thankfully, with Hollywood as sequel happy as ever, and obsessed with rebooting every dormant brand name series they can find, Now Playing should be able to go on for quite a long time to come.

“I think there are three big reasons why the show is so successful. First, it is the format: we do retrospective series’ where we devote a full podcast episode to each entry in a movie series — including the sequels or TV movies — that don’t always get, or frankly deserve, that sort of scrutiny or attention. The second reason is the panel. We all get along and feed off each other nicely, you can’t fake good chemistry. But on top of that, we all come prepared. That is a big part of Now Playing, that we put the time in for each and every series, and as a result we have informed, and often hilarious, conversations about all sorts of genres of movies, no matter what grouping of hosts are on the panel for a particular series. And lastly, the show is successful because the hosts and the audience take the ride through each movie series together. We hear feedback from our fans on social media and the forums about their opinions, their ideas, which hosts they think will give the green or red arrow on the next episode and so much more. We love that we have such involved and knowledgeable fans that join us each and every week at Now Playing.”

Now Playing’s James Bond Retrospective Series continues Nov. 10 with the review of SPECTRE.

 

November 4, 2015 Posted by | Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Horror Master John Carpenter Teams With Venganza Media

HORROR MASTER JOHN CARPENTER TEAMS WITH VENGANZA MEDIA

Iconic director will pen foreword to company’s first book

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield, Ill. – Oct. 30, 2015 – John Carpenter, the visionary creator of the Halloween film franchise and director of cult classics The Thing and They Live, is teaming with the hosts of Venganza Media’s Now Playing Podcast, and adding his name to the company’s first publishing project, Underrated Movies We Recommend.

Carpenter will write the foreword to the fan-funded book, which features discussions and reviews of 125 undiscovered and underappreciated films selected by the hosts of Now Playing Podcast. The renowned “Master of Horror” will share his thoughts on films that fly under the radar, but slowly build a strong following of fans and become classics in their own right. Underrated is a celebration of filmmakers like Carpenter, the director, producer, screenwriter, and composer who is earning the respect of a new generation drawn to such memorable films as Escape From New York and The Fog.

Carpenter’s participation also adds another incredible chapter to the story behind Underrated and the fan-driven effort to bring the book to life in 2016. Launched as a 30-day Kickstarter project with a $40,000 goal, the book became an instant must-have for Now Playing Podcast listeners, who powered the campaign past its goal in the first four days, and went on to raise an astonishing $115,482 in pledges. Fans can pre-order the book now at the Now Playing Podcast website.

Underrated is being produced during one of the busiest years in Now Playing Podcast history. As the hosts write furiously behind the scenes, they continue to deliver extensive weekly reviews of 2015 biggest blockbuster franchises, including Star Wars and Jurassic Park. This fall, the show’s faithful supporters are also being treated to reviews of The Hunger Games franchise and the films of Quentin Tarantino.

Suggested tweet: Film legend @TheHorrorMaster to pen foreword to @NowPlayingPod #NowUnderrated book!

About Venganza Media Inc.

Venganza Media Inc. is an independent multimedia company and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network. Film fans and collectors worldwide know Venganza as the producer of Star Wars Action NewsMarvelicious Toys, and Now Playing Podcast. Since 2005 Venganza has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to listeners, while its staff and fleet of contributors have established the company as a premier source for film reviews, celebrity interviews, and collecting news for audiences of all ages.

About Now Playing Podcast

Since its launch as a short-form, off-the-cuff movie review show, Now Playing Podcast has grown into one of the most successful and celebrated independent programs online and consistently ranks among iTunes’ Top 10 TV/Film podcasts. Its ability to stand out in a crowded field is largely attributed to Now Playing’s highly-acclaimed retrospective format, keeping listeners engaged week-after-week as its panel of critics chronicle decades of hits-and-misses while maneuvering Hollywood’s hectic release schedule.

Media Contact: Jason R. Latham JasonL@VenganzaMedia.com

October 30, 2015 Posted by | News | , , , , , | Comments Off on Horror Master John Carpenter Teams With Venganza Media

This is ‘The Force Awakens’ trailer

“There were stories about what happened.”

“It’s true. All of it.”

The newest Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer just premiered and promptly blew us all away.

What can you say? It’s glorious, and it does a fantastic job of keeping us clueless with regard to the plot. No doubt everyone who wants to see it has seen it, but here’s the trailer one more time. And just below are some hi-res screen shots provided to Venganza Media by Lucasfilm and Disney. If you have a favorite shot from the trailer, come over to the Now Playing Podcast Facebook page and share it with the rest of us!

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

Courtesy: Disney

October 19, 2015 Posted by | Movies, News | , , , , , , | Comments Off on This is ‘The Force Awakens’ trailer

Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys to Host Wizard World Bash in Chicago

 

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Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys are hosting a party Aug. 22 at Wizard World Chicago — and you’re invited!

A long time ago… August 30, 2005, to be specific… Venganza Media, Inc. launched Star Wars Action News, the world’s first podcast dedicated to Star Wars collecting.   In 2010 Venganza then began Marvelicious Toys, focusing on the toys, statues, and games based on the characters from the Marvel comics and movies.

Over the past 10 years both shows have evolved from podcasting pioneers to a major force in the industry and the collecting community, even producing the official podcast for Master Replicas, a Star Wars and Marvel licensee.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, fans are invited to join Star Wars Action News, Marvelicious Toys, and Now Playing Podcast hosts Arnie, Marjorie, Brock, Justin, Jerry, Daryl, Andrew, and more at the Star Wars Action News 10th anniversary bash during Wizard World Chicago. The party, also celebrating Marvelicious Toys’ 5th anniversary, will be hosted by the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.  The event begins at 7:30 p.m., and will feature door prizes, appetizers, cake, and a cash bar.

Tickets are priced at $15 for children 12 and under, and $25-$75 for adults. Adult tickets include bonus exclusive collectibles ranging from T-shirts to the exclusive Star Wars Action News badge and lanyard, plus a collectible coin previously only available to those who work on the show.

In addition, all adult tickets enter you in the drawing for a huge selection of door prizes.  Items have been provided by DorksideToys.com, Big Bad Toy Store, Kotobukiya, Hallmark, Venganza Media, and many more.  Attendees can win items ranging from a Deadpool statue to entire waves of Star Wars figures, and more!

Get your tickets now and follow coverage of these milestones at VenganzaMedia.com and its affiliated podcasts!

 

About Venganza Media Inc.

Based in Springfield, Ill., Venganza Media Inc. is a multimedia production facility and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network.

Film fans and collectors worldwide know Venganza as the producer of Books & Nachos, Star Wars Action News, Marvelicious Toys, and the iTunes Top 10 movie review podcast Now Playing.

Since its formation in 2005, Venganza has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to listeners, while its staff and fleet of contributors have established the company as a premier source for film reviews, celebrity interviews, and collecting news for audiences of all ages.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | Comic Books, Conventions, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys to Host Wizard World Bash in Chicago

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

Now Playing hosts talk Indy, Crichton and more

Dr. Jones prepares to introduce villain Mola Ram to Kali.

Dr. Jones prepares to introduce villain Mola Ram to Kali.

Twice a year, Now Playing Podcast holds a pledge drive, offering bonus shows as a “thank you” to listeners who support independent podcasting. This spring, hosts Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob will be reviewing the Indiana Jones films and “Goonies” for Silver Level donors, and the “Westworld” and “Jurassic Park” series’ from novelist Michael Crichton at the Gold Level.

Jakob: Indiana Jones has been requested by many, many listeners for a while. It’s always exciting getting to talk about iconic films; to get into the technical side that makes them more than just a “cool” movie, but true historic cinema.

Arnie: It’s been discussed as long as we’ve been doing Retrospective Series’. I always vetoed it, not wanting to end on a lousy film — and one I’d reviewed in the early days of Now Playing to boot.

Stuart: Lucas and Ford would tease the possibility of an Indy 5, but I never believed it was imminent.

Jakob: We found a way to end [the retrospective] — not on Crystal Skull — but on another Spielberg production about hidden treasure and booby traps that will hopefully wrap this series up more positively.

Stuart: It had been so long since I’d seen most of the Indy movies, I really was looking forward to re-experiencing it through adult eyes.

Arnie: I haven’t seen Crystal Skull since theaters–and never wanted to again!

Jakob: I do have a story for the podcast about meeting someone who had only seen Crystal Skull, which brought a unique perspective.

Stuart: [Arnie and Jakob] say they could quote every line from Raiders. I only remembered it in fragments… how did that monkey eating the poison date tie in with melting Nazis? I was excited to have a loved series on the docket.

Yul Brenner as the Gunslinger in "Westworld."

Yul Brenner as the Gunslinger in “Westworld.”

The inclusion of Michael Crichton’s “Westworld” and “Futureworld” for Gold Level donors comes as HBO prepares to debut a JJ Abrams and Jonah Nolan series adaptation of the films, which tell the now-familiar story of chaos at a futuristic theme park. “Westworld” was released in 1973, while the sequel arrived three years later. The concept was also adapted into a 1980 television series, “Beyond Westworld.”

Stuart: They seemed like the right films to add to the four Jurassic Park’s to make it Gold Level.

Arnie: That was Stuart’s esoteric pick, but it makes sense as a tie-in to Jurassic Park. Both are theme parks run amok, brought to us by Michael Crichton.

Stuart: I don’t think I ever read a review of Jurassic Park in 1993 that didn’t mention Crichton’s Westworld as an influence.

Jakob: They’re not films I’m familiar with, but that’s one of the joys of Now Playing — getting the opportunity to watch movies that haven’t hit your radar.

The park is open.

The park is open.

Although “Jurassic Park” remains the most successful adaptation of a Crichton novel, there have been more than one dozen films based off his work. Crichton has also received writing credits for numerous screenplays, including 1996’s “Twister.” However, Now Playing’s Spring Donation Series may be the only time films based on his novels are reviewed on the show.

Arnie: Given that we’re doing Jurassic Park as a donation series I think we can rule out a full Crichton retrospective. It would be unfair to put “All Crichton other than Jurassic” on the main feed while Jurassic Park is locked in the vault. I don’t see Rising Sun and The 13th Warrior as big draws for a future donation drive.

Stuart: I agree with Arnie that it’s no longer a possibility as a franchise. But who’s to say a one-off of Twister or Congo might not appear when you least expect it.

Jakob: The only way I’m going to watch Twister again is if we do a “really stupid natural disaster movies” retrospective, with the likes of Volcano, Dante’s Peak, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012. And I don’t see that happening. So, no, I’m not interested.

The first episode in the Spring 2015 pledge drive — “Raiders of the Lost Ark” — will be released to donors on April 17. Details can be found on the Now Playing Podcast website

April 4, 2015 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Now Playing hosts talk Indy, Crichton and more

VENGANZA KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN CLOSING IN ON STRETCH GOAL

VENGANZA MEDIA KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN CLOSING IN ON $95K STRETCH GOAL

Exclusive podcasts, print and audiobooks offered to supporters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield, Ill. – March 10, 2015 – Having met its $40,000 funding goal in just 10 days, Venganza Media this week entered the final leg of its Kickstarter campaign to finance Underrated Movies We Recommend, the first publishing project from the hosts of Now Playing Podcast.

With 9 days remaining on Kickstarter, Underrated is closing in on a $95,000 stretch goal, which would boost the project from an e-book of 100 movie reviews to a printed copy and audiobook featuring 25 additional reviews. The audiobook is currently among the most requested options from the show’s listeners.

To reach the stretch goal, Now Playing Podcast has increased the incentive to participate, offering new, Kickstarter-exclusive podcasts to the campaign. These exclusive shows include reviews of Stanley Kubrick’s classic A Clockwork Orange and the notorious Olivia Newton-John dud Xanadu, along with previous Now Playing listener poll entries Super 8 and Wes Craven’s Shocker.

In addition to increasing their podcast output, the hosts continue to reveal the films they’ll review in Underrated. So far, 37 titles have been announced and can be viewed on the show’s Kickstarter page.

Venganza’s Underrated Movies We Recommend campaign runs until Thursday, March 19.

Suggested tweet: Support @NowPlayingPod #NowUnderrated book and get @Kickstarter exclusive podcast reviews!

About Venganza Media Inc.

Based in Springfield, Ill., Venganza Media Inc. is a privately-owned multimedia production facility and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network. Film fans and collectors worldwide know Venganza as the producer of Star Wars Action NewsMarvelicious Toys, and the company’s flagship program, Now Playing Podcast. Since its formation in 2005, Venganza has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to listeners, while its staff and fleet of contributors have established the company as a premier source for film reviews, celebrity interviews, and collecting news for audiences of all ages.

About Now Playing Podcast

Since its launch as a short-form, off-the-cuff movie review show, Now Playing Podcast has grown into one of the most successful and celebrated independent programs online and consistently ranks among iTunes’ Top 10 TV/Film podcasts. Its ability to stand out in a crowded field is largely attributed to Now Playings highly-acclaimed retrospective format, keeping listeners engaged week-after-week as its panel of critics chronicle decades of hits-and-misses while maneuvering Hollywood’s hectic release schedule.

March 10, 2015 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on VENGANZA KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN CLOSING IN ON STRETCH GOAL

Poll lets you choose film for Now Playing Podcast

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The poll will close Feb. 27.

Tuesday’s live episode of Now Playing Podcast featured plenty of bonus material for fans, including the chance to choose a movie for the hosts to review in the coming weeks.

A poll on the Now Playing website gives listeners the option to choose from Babadook, Wes Craven’s Shocker, Sinister, John Carpenter’s They Live, and The Usual Suspects.

Carpenter’s 1988 sci-fi actioner (starring Rowdy Roddy Piper!) immediately took the lead in early voting, but fans of Craven’s Shocker countered with a #VoteShocker hashtag on social media. As of Wednesday morning, They Live still led, followed by The Usual Suspects.

The poll closes Feb. 27, and the winning selection will be announced during the March 3 review of 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Listeners who don’t have a favorite in the poll can still choose a film for Now Playing Podcast to review by supporting the show’s Kickstarter campaign.

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Now Playing Podcast needs your support to fund “Underrated Movies We Recommend”

 

February 18, 2015 Posted by | News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Poll lets you choose film for Now Playing Podcast

Venganza Kickstarter campaign offers once-in-a-lifetime rewards

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VENGANZA MEDIA KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN OFFERS ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME REWARDS

Take a seat and review a film with the hosts of Now Playing Podcast

This Kickstarter Campaign is now live!  Visit it at 
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1346264441/now-playing-underrated-movies-we-recommend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield, Ill. – February 11, 2015 – Despite logging nearly 500 film reviews in 8 years, the hosts of Venganza Media’s No. 1 ranked Now Playing Podcast aren’t ready to slow down, and for the first time they’re giving listeners a chance to join them on the air.

Today Venganza Media announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund the company’s first publication: Underrated Movies We Recommend. The project will see the Now Playing hosts leap from the podcast to the page with intense discussions of 100 films you might have missed, but are still worthy of your time.

The campaign begins during the Feb. 17 live review of Kingsman: The Secret Service at NowPlayingPodcast.com. To reach its $40,000 goal in 30 days, Venganza Media is giving fans the opportunity of a lifetime: choose a film, any film, and co-host an episode of Now Playing Podcast. The show will be recorded, edited, and released to the world in early 2016.

Other rewards available on Kickstarter include printed and downloadable copies of Underrated, Now Playing Podcast artwork, autographed merchandise, lifetime subscriptions to bi-annual bonus shows, and access to the prized Now Playing Podcast vault, which contains long-sought episodes released exclusively to donors and unavailable for years, including the Jaws, Alien, Evil Dead, and Poltergeist retrospective series’.

Suggested tweet: Support @NowPlayingPod #NowUnderrated book on @Kickstarter and you could co-host the show!

About Venganza Media Inc.

Based in Springfield, Ill., Venganza Media Inc. is a privately-owned multimedia production facility and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network. Film fans and collectors worldwide know Venganza as the producer of Star Wars Action NewsMarvelicious Toys, and the company’s flagship program, Now Playing Podcast. Since its formation in 2005, Venganza has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to listeners, while its staff and fleet of contributors have established the company as a premier source for film reviews, celebrity interviews, and collecting news for audiences of all ages.

About Now Playing Podcast

From its humble beginnings as a short-form, off-the-cuff movie review show, Now Playing Podcast has grown into one of the most successful and celebrated independent programs online and consistently ranks among iTunes’ Top 10 TV/Film podcasts. Its ability to stand out in a crowded field is largely attributed to Now Playings highly-acclaimed retrospective format, keeping listeners engaged week-after-week as its panel of critics chronicle decades of hits-and-misses while maneuvering Hollywood’s hectic release schedule.

Media Contact: JasonL@VenganzaMedia.com

February 11, 2015 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New look for Now Playing

VENGANZA MEDIA DEBUTS NEW LOOK FOR NOW PLAYING PODCAST
Website redesign gives users access to new content, show release schedule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield, Ill – November 5, 2014- Today Venganza Media Inc., the producers of popular collecting podcast Star Wars Action News, unveiled a new website for its flagship program, Now Playing Podcast. The show’s worldwide audience now has easier access to its extensive film review archive and schedule, as well as a redesigned streaming media player and expanded content from show contributors.

“Now that we’re closing in on 500 movie reviews, it seemed a natural step forward to improve the user experience,” said Now Playing Podcast creator and host Arnie Carvalho. “Our listeners keep us on-the-air, they’ve asked for the ability to easily view and search our upcoming review calendar as well as our archives. We want them to know that we listen to them as well.”

The new show calendar can be accessed from the Now Playing Podcast home page, and will include details of weekly film reviews as well as series’ covered during Now Playing’s bi-annual pledge drive.

The website’s revamped archive page includes a drop-down menu — another requested feature — that will allow users to easily search and select their favorite Now Playing Podcast reviews.

In addition to the updated search and schedule features, users will find expanded biographies of the Now Playing Podcast staff, as well as links to news content from the company blog, the Venganza Media Gazette.

About Venganza Media Inc.
Based in Springfield, Ill., Venganza Media Inc. is a privately-owned multimedia production facility and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network. Film fans and collectors worldwide know Venganza as the producer of Star Wars Action News, Marvelicious Toys, and the company’s flagship program, Now Playing Podcast. Since its formation in 2005, Venganza has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to listeners, while its staff and fleet of contributors have established the company as a premier source for film reviews, celebrity interviews, and collecting news for audiences of all ages.

About Now Playing Podcast
From its humble beginnings as a short-form, off-the-cuff movie review show, Now Playing Podcast has grown into one of the most successful and celebrated independent programs online and consistently ranks among iTunes’ Top 10 TV/Film podcasts. Its ability to stand out in a crowded field is largely attributed to Now Playing’s highly-acclaimed retrospective format, keeping listeners engaged week-after-week as its panel of critics chronicle decades of hits-and-misses while maneuvering Hollywood’s hectic release schedule.

Facebook: Now Playing Podcast
Twitter: @NowPlayingPod

November 7, 2014 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , | Comments Off on New look for Now Playing

Corn Connection: ‘The Gathering’ surprises with actual stars

“This can’t be right, I know these people.” – Arnie Ccorn4

Now Playing Podcast surprised listeners Monday night with the early release of its Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering review, the latest entry in the Stephen King Retrospective Series.

The film was certainly not in award contention when it hit video stores in 1996, but many of its stars may look familiar to viewers, and one member of the cast would go on to greater fame and an Academy Award nomination.

In this week’s Corn Connection, we’re taking that star’s resume, along with the rest of the Corn IV cast, and pointing you toward their places in the Now Playing Podcast archives:

Naomi Watts (Grace Rhodes) DC Heroes Retrospective Series

Naomi Watts is a household name today, but the 21 Grams and Mulholland Drive actress had just a few indie credits under her belt when she headlined in The Gathering. Her most notable role at the time of the film’s release was alongside Lori Petty in Tank Girl, a poorly-received adaptation of the British comic book.

Tank Girl was reviewed in 2013 as part of Now Playing’s DC Heroes Retrospective Series.

Karen Black (June Rhodes) – Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses & The Devil’s Rejects Retrospective Series

Karen Black, who passed away last year, had enjoyed a long career before appearing in Children of the Corn IV. Today she is celebrated as a pioneering “Scream Queen” and horror fans may know her best from her role as Mother Firefly in director Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses.

Now Playing reviewed House and its sequel, The Devil’s Rejects, in 2009.

William Windom (Doc Larson)Planet of the Apes Retrospective Series

This actor’s IMDB resume lists more than 250 credits, but he wasn’t a star in the Now Playing universe until this past summer, when the hosts reviewed Escape from the Planet of the Apes, a show that was made available during the Spring 2014 Donation Series.

Marietta Marich (Rosa Nock)The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Retrospective Series

Marich should be recognizable to Now Playing listeners; she played Luda Mae Hewitt, the matriarch of the crazed clan that raised Leatherface in 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and its 2006 prequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.

Both films were covered during 2010’s Chainsaw retrospective.

Harrison Young (Drifter)Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses & The Devil’s Rejects Retrospective Series

Another actor who went on to work for Rob Zombie, Harrison Young starred as doomed father Don Willis in House of 1000 Corpses. You might also recognize him as the elder Private Ryan in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.

Overall, those are some pretty good connections. Things should pick up next week when Now Playing covers the fifth (of nine!) Corn entries. We won’t spoil it, just go to IMDB if you’re curious.

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 9, 2014 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Corn Connection: ‘The Gathering’ surprises with actual stars

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’

Now Playing soars on iTunes, Bleeding Cool covers ‘The 40-Year-Old Critic’

Venganza Media celebrated dual successes on Thursday, as Now Playing Podcast’s Guardians of the Galaxy review cracked the Top 5 on iTunes, while the company’s latest project — Arnie Carvalho’s The 40-Year-Old Critic — received a welcome reception from pop culture website BleedingCool.com.

“I love hearing people talk passionately about their interests, and there are fewer people that do so with as much vigor and resourcefulness as one Arnie Carvalho,” Bleeding Cool’s Jeremy Konrad wrote of the Venganza Media founder and Now Playing Podcast co-host.

In anticipation of his 40th birthday, Carvalho has been taking a look back at an influential film for every year of his life. That list includes hits like Jaws and E.T., but also notorious flops such as Popeye and Howard the Duck – the latter having previously been featured in one of Now Playing Podcast’s most famous episodes.

Konrad’s Q&A also covers the podcast’s popular donation shows, Carvalho’s toy collection, and Now Playing Podcast’s continued dominance of Apple’s iTunes podcast page.

Now Playing Podcast is currently featured in iTunes “What’s Hot” section, and on Thursday the review of Guardians of the Galaxy reached No. 3 on the Top 200 TV & Film episode chart. The review — released Monday — is the latest entry into Now Playing’s celebrated Marvel Comics Movie Retrospective Series, which began in 2011 and has covered every theatrical and television film featuring a Marvel superhero.

Now Playing Podcast is also wrapping up its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles retrospective, with the final film in the five-episode series scheduled for release Tuesday, Aug. 12.

http://www.venganzamedia.com/Gazette/2014/07/31/venganza-media-announces-the-40-year-old-critic-series/

 

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/08/07/a-podcaster-looks-at-40-arnie-carvalho-the-podcast-guru-talks-now-playing-star-wars-action-news-and-more/

 

August 8, 2014 Posted by | 40-Year-Old Critic, Comic Books, Marvelicious Toys, Movies, News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews, Site Information, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Now Playing soars on iTunes, Bleeding Cool covers ‘The 40-Year-Old Critic’