Dec 27, 2011
After Rocky defeated Drago, and Communism, in Rocky 4, The Italian Stallion returned to his roots for Rocky 5. The director of the original Rocky film, John G. Avildsen, is back in the diretor's chair, and Rocky is back in Philly, broke once more. Due to brain damage Rocky cannot fight his way out of this situation, but with the family's only remaining possession, Micky's gym, Rocky finds himself training a new up-and-comer Tommy Gunn. This film takes a beating from fans and critics alike, but which way did the Now Playing judges rule? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Brock to find out!
Dec 20, 2011
Rocky went the distance with Apollo Creed, found the Eye of the Tiger and beat Clubber Lang, but four his next fight he's taking on the biggest enemy of all--communism! When Russian Olympic Gold Medalist Drago kills Apollo in an exhibition match, Rocky must fight to avenge his friend and defend his country's honor. Rocky 4 was the highest grossing of all Rocky films, but is it the best of the best? Listen to Brock, Jakob, and Arnie's review to find out!
Dec 13, 2011
As heavyweight champion Rocky traded his passion for glory. Now he worries more about his product endorsements and his new, plastic surgery enhanced face than his boxing matches. Fortunately Rocky's manager Mickey is shielding the champ, only letting Rocky fight punks who don't stand a chance. But when tough, hungry, up-and-comer Clubber Lang refuses to take "no" for an answer Rocky has to get the eye of the tiger...with the help of an old enemy. In theaters Rocky III was a hit that outgrossed even the original film, but with Mr. T in the spotlight can this film still go the distance or is it past its prime and ready for retirement? Listen as Arnie, Jakob, and Brock once more step into the ring for this Rocky review!
Dec 6, 2011
Despite losing the boxing match by decision, Rocky was the undisputed box office champion of 1976. So three years later, the Italian Stallion was back on the big screen and this time he was there to "Win, Rocky, Win!" With Sylvester Stallone now behind the camera as well as in front, and the entire cast of the original film returning, does Rocky II pack a punch? Listen as Arnie, Jakob, and Brock step back in the ring and find out!
Nov 29, 2011
It's sometimes hard to believe Sylvester Stallone is an Oscar nominated actor and writer. After all, Demolition Man and The Expendables aren't usually the films that get Academy notice. But in his career-making role as washed-up fighter Rocky Balboa Stallone captured accolades and audience dollars. Now, for Rocky's 35th anniversary, Now Playing hosts Arnie, Brock, and Jakob are watching and reviewing all six Rocky films, starting with this 1976 original. Can this film still go the distance with modern audience? Listen to find out!
Nov 22, 2011
The Punisher's attempts at a franchise continue to be shot down. While 2004's Punisher film failed to blow up the box office, strong DVD sales convinced Lionsgate to move ahead on a sequel--only to have director Jonathan Hensleigh and star Thomas Jane drop out. But the project moved on, now a second reboot for the Marvel Knight. Ray Stevenson strapped on the skull-logo flack jacket to fight classic comic book villian Jigsaw in this ultra-violent comic adaptation. Does this third Punisher film finally hit the target, or is it yet another misfire? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart's final installment in the Punisher Retrospective Series to find out!
Nov 15, 2011
With Blade a cinematic success Artisan Entertainment brought another R-rated Marvel property to the big screen--The Punisher. Starring Thomas Jane in the title role and John Travolta as bad guy gangster Howard Saint, this adaptation remained closer to the character's comic book portrayal, putting him in his signature skull outfit and with a story based on Garth Ennis' acclaimed Welcome Back Frank story. But this film was punished by most critics, only to find its audience on DVD. Is this film justice for our hero, or punishment for the viewer? Listen as Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart are here to live once more, or die once more, or review once more and find out!
Nov 8, 2011
In 1989 the second Marvel Comics hero got his shot at big screen glory -- The Punisher, a murderous vigilante who dispenses the ultimate punishment to criminals. To comic book fans, Dolph Lundgren's portrayal of the character barely resembled the original material. Gone was the giant skull on the Punisher's shirt, and instead of a Viet Nam war hero Frank Castle was now a police officer waging a one-man war against the mob. But is the true punishment that inflicted upon viewers of this film? On this week's Now Playing, Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob continue their Marvel Movie retrospective with this first Punisher film, so listen to find out!
Oct 31, 2011
After Red Dragon's success more Lecter films were guaranteed, and to keep with author Thomas Harris' original vision this time the movie was not just based on one of his novels--the Hannibal Rising screenplay was written by Harris in conjunction with the new novel telling of Hannibal the Cannibal's early years. Can this film provide a future for the series without Anthony Hopkins, and does Gaspard Ulliel's Hannibal rise to the occasion? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's final review in the Hannibal Lecter series to find out!
Oct 25, 2011
Quickly after Hannibal hit theaters production began on yet another installment of the Hannibal Lecter franchise, and this time instead of looking forward to Harris writing another Hannibal story they looked backwards to Red Dragon, Harris' first novel featuring the caged cannibal. Already made into a film in the 80's, Manhunter, now the story is retold in an adaptation more faithful to the original novel and with Hopkins again reprising the role that he is best known for. With an all-star cast and director Brett Ratner at the helm, was this film a needed update or a desperate cash-grab? Listen to Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart's review to find out!
Oct 20, 2011
Warning: This podcast deals with subject matter that will be objectionable to the vast majority of listeners. No one under the age of 18 should listen, and those over the age of 18 should listen with caution. Last year the world was fascinated by The Human Centipede. What started as an underground, unknown movie only shown at midnight in select theaters ended up a global phenomenon. Word of the sequel spread fast, and the buzz increased when the film was banned in the UK. Now the sequel is here and the full sequence twelve-person Human Centipede is ready to be revealed. Do four-times the people equate to four-times the entertainment? Listen as Stuart, Marjorie, and Arnie line up to review this sequel and find out!
Oct 18, 2011
When Silence of the Lambs was received with critical acclaim and box office success, audiences waited with baited breath for the reunion of the cannibal and the agent -- Hannibal and Clarice. But despite audience anticipation, author Thomas Harris did not complete the sequel novel Hannibal until 1999, and upon its release many of the talent associated with the original film declined to return. But with new director Ridley Scott, fresh off his Oscar for Gladiator, behind the camera and Hopkins returning to chew up the scenery and his victims, could this film live up to the last or is it too much for audiences to swallow? Listen to find out!
Oct 11, 2011
It's iconic. Fava Beans and Chianti. Quid Pro Quo. Goodbye Horses. Based on Thomas Harris' second novel, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, and director Jonathan Demme came together and made a picture that captured both the pop culture imagination and swept the Academy Awards. Now, continuing their Hannibal Lecter series, Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie watch and review this seminal crime horror film. Does it hold up two decades later? Listen to find out!
Oct 4, 2011
Before Anthony Hopkins was having fava beans and a nice chianti, Hannibal Lector was played by Brian Cox in Manhunter, a 1986 film from Miami Vice's Michael Mann. A serial killer is on the loose and FBI profiler Will Graham has been called out of retirement to stop him. To do so, Graham turns to his old nemesis, the man he put in prison, Hannibal the Cannibal. With a plot that closely mirrors Lector's most iconic appearance in Silence of the Lambs, Manhunter was a failure in 1986 but is now a rediscovered favorite for Lector fans. Can this film hold a candle to Lector's later appearances? Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob review Manhunter as their first film in the Hannibal Lector retrospective series, so listen to find out!
Sep 27, 2011
Daredevil made money but when Affleck became toxic at the box office, Fox studios proceeded with a spin-off rather than a sequel, and despite being dead at the end of Daredevil Jennifer Garner was back reprising her role of Elektra. Donning the iconic red silk outfit for this outing, Elektra is an assassin who finds her conscience and must go up against the evil ninjas of The Hand to protect The Treasure. Is Elektra a treasure to movie fans, or should this franchise have not been resurrected? Listen to Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie to find out!
Sep 20, 2011
After the success of X-Men, 20th Century Fox quickly green-lit another Marvel superhero film--Daredevil! With Ben Affleck still riding his career high after The Sum of All Fears cast as the blind lawyer cum vigilante Daredevil seemed poised to swing in right behind the success of 2002's Spider-Man. Aided by a strong supporting cast including Colin Farrell, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, and a pre-Iron Man Jon Faverau, this film broke box office records its opening weekend, but in the court of public opinion this film has been forgotten. Now, continuing their look back at every movie based on Marvel's superhero comics, Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart take the stand and bear witness to Daredevil. Was justice served? Listen to this podcast to find out the verdict!
Sep 13, 2011
Blade II made over $150 million worldwide, so it was no surprise that two years later Blade was back in theaters. What was surprising is he brought friends, in the form of Jessica Biel, Parker Posey, Natasha Lyonne, and Ryan Reynolds. Can the daywalker stand up to the star power in this cast? And does the return of Blade's comic book nemesis Dracula inject new blood into the franchise? Listen and find out!
Sep 6, 2011
Blade was an unexpected hit in 1998, and so in 2002 Wesley Snipes returned to the role for the first sequel in his career. This time, with a still mostly unknown Guillermo del Toro at the helm, and writer David S. Goyer penning the script, did the Daywalker really get his chance to shine? Listen to Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob's review to find out!
Aug 30, 2011
By 1998, the only Marvel Comics character to get a wide theatrical release was Howard the Duck. But Dark Knight writer David Goyer would change all that with Blade, starring Wesley Snipes as the comic book vampire slayer. With Stephen Dorff as charismatic vampire Deacon Frost, Blade redeemed comic based movies after Batman and Robin and kicked off the Marvel Age of movies. But can this pre-Matrix combination of CGI and black leather stand up today, and how does it fit in with the other Marvel comic book movies? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's review to find out!
Aug 23, 2011
Dracula, Lestat, Angel, Nosferatu, Spike...Jerry??? While Hollywood continues to mine all vampire properties to build on the current fang mania, the 1985 cult film Fright Night was not one with the name recognition that made it an obvious choice for a remake, but with Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Marti Noxon writing, and an impressive cast including Colin Farrell and David Tennant, this unlikely remake seemed like it may make vampires scary again. But can it live up to the 1985 original in the eyes of fans, and will it appeal to new audiences? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Brock to find out!
Aug 19, 2011
Now Playing finishes its Final Destination Retrospective Series with the newest installment in the series. Sam and his coworkers are on their way to a work retreat when a bridge collapse nearly kills them all, but Death's design is still coming. Does Tony Todd's Bludworth have an insight into Death's plan that can help them save their lives, or are they Dust in the Wind? And do audiences care, or do we just want to see inventive death scenarios? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Brock as they review this installment and find out!
Aug 16, 2011
Despite having dusted Jerry in the first Fright Night film, Charlie Brewster has been convinced by his therapist that there are no such thing as vampires, and yet when Jerry's sister Regine comes looking for revenge Charlie's only hope lies with Peter Vincent-Vampire Killer! With a new girlfriend for Charlie, a new crew of baddies, and no Evil Ed in sight, does Fright Night Part 2 live up to the original? And even if it did, could you find a copy to watch? Listen to find out!
Aug 12, 2011
In 2009 Rob Zombie returned to the twisted mind of Michael Myers in Halloween 2...and no one cared because horror films had entered a new dimension: 3-D! Capitalizing on this new cinema gimmick was The Final Destination, the fourth in the franchise. With Final Destination 2 director David R. Ellis returning to stage another car crash, this time on a speedway, and psychic Nick trying to save the lives of his friends from such threats as a car wash, a swimming pool, and a chain link fence, do inventive deaths inject new life into the Final Destination series? Listen to find out!
Aug 9, 2011
Jerry and Billy would be great neighbors, were it not for all the apple cores they leave in the yard, and the bodies of dead prostitutes they take out in garbage bags. But while the rest of the neighborhood seems not to notice, Charlie Brewster realizes the truth--Jerry is a vampire. In 1985 Fright Night brought back the Vampire genre from the dead with its mix of horror and comedy. With Chris Sarandon as the evil, yet fashionable, Jerry, and Roddy McDowell as Peter Vincent, the fearless vampire killer, is this film's allure eternal, or should it have been buried in the 80's? Listen to Stuart, Arnie, and Brock to find out! Then come back to NowPlayingPodcast.com as we review all the Fright Night films, culminating with a review of the remake starring Colin Farrell!
Aug 5, 2011
You could describe Wendy's life as a roller coaster. She is facing high school graduation, her best friend is about to dump her doe-eyed boyfriend, and she's having psychic visions--of a roller coaster crashing. Armed with her magic camera, Wendy and friends must try to cheat death, but be it a car crash, a nail gun, or a tanning bed, death's design shall not be thwarted! With original director James Wong returning, is Final Destination 3 a fun roller coaster of carnage? Listen to Jakob, Arnie, and Brock to find out!
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