Dec 31, 2013
It may only take a drop of water to make a new gremlin, but it took six years and a slew of writers, directors, and concepts to make a new Gremlins film. Finally original director Joe Dante returned in 1990 to give us Gremlins 2: The New Batch. With a gang of genetically modified gremlins taking a bite out of the Big Apple this film opted for more comedy than horror. Did that work for our hosts? Listen to this final Now Playing of 2013 to find out!
Dec 24, 2013
In the mid 1980s there was no bigger name in film than Steven Spielberg. As a director he had a string of major hits, including E.T. which became the top grossing film of all time. Even films he didn't direct but only produced, such as Poltergeist and The Goonies, benefited from having his name high on the title. Also in this category was Gremlins, the 1984 film about a small town overrun by small, evil creatures. Directed by The Howling's Joe Dante, this film provided a combination of horror, comedy, and Christmas. Now join Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob as they review this film, from the cuddly Mogwai to the creepy Gremlins to that lingering smell that makes Kate hate Christmas.
Dec 17, 2013
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is considered a horror classic, but original Shining author Stephen King never felt it lived up to his original vision. So in 1997, for the novel's 20th anniversary, King and longtime collaborator Mick Garris reunited to bring The Shining to audiences as an ABC mini-series. While time has not granted this series the iconic status of Kubrick's film, is King's vision one worth seeing? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart's review to find out!
Dec 10, 2013
Stephen King is a best selling, award winning horror author. Stanley Kubrick is regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. When these two came together a horror classic was born -- The Shining. It has scared audiences for over thirty years, and now Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob are reviewing it as the next film in the Stephen King Movie Retrospective Series. But King famously dislikes the movie. Will any of our hosts agree? Listen to find out!
Dec 3, 2013
When the first TV miniseries based on 'Salems Lot came out in 1979 Stephen King was an up-and-coming author. His novels had become bestsellers based of popularity of Brian DePalma's film Carrie, but he was not the brand name that he would become. As such the TV version of Salem's Lot ended with middling ratings. But by 2004 the author had not only been crowned the King of horror, he was also the monarch of miniseries, with The Stand, It, and others giving big ratings to networks. As such, as the 30th anniversary of 'Salem's Lot's publication approached, another miniseries was made. Starring The Stand's Rob Lowe, as well as Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer, does this adaptation provide more frights than the original? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's review to find out!
Nov 26, 2013
A Return to Salem's Lot has a town called Salem's Lot and vampires. Beyond that, this direct-to-video release has no ties to Tobe Hooper's 1979 TV mini-series or Stephen King's original novel. But helmed by the director of The Stuff and It's Alive, is this 80s film a fun time? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart's review to find out!
Nov 19, 2013
When Carrie came out in 1976 Stephen King was an unknown author, but after the success of Brian DePalma's film the author was put in the spotlight. His older books became paperback bestsellers, and his new books topped the charts in hardcover. So expectations were high in 1979 when 'Salem's Lot, the second adaptation of King's work, hit screens. But rather than being in movie theaters, King's 1976 vampire novel was produced as a television mini-series. With horror master Tobe Hooper directing could this small-screen film live up to the quality of big-screen King horror? Listen to find out!
Nov 12, 2013
It will be 2015 before the Avengers assemble on the big screen again, but Disney and Marvel will fill that time with films focusing on individual Avengers and their disassembled heroics. Earlier this year we had Iron Man 3, and now Disney hopes to catch lightning in a bottle again with the help of a thunder god in Thor: The Dark World. The mighty Avenger must once again fighting an ancient enemy of Asgard, continue arguing with Odin over how best to rule the kingdom, and all the while try to romance his human love interest Jane Foster. Are the Now Playing hosts excited for Thor's return, or just glad to have Loki back on screen? Listen to our review to find out!
Nov 5, 2013
In 1982 DC's Swamp Thing seemed ready for the big time with a major motion picture. But with that original film failing to grow on audiences, it would actually be in 1983 that Swamp Thing blossomed--as new writer Alan Moore took over and revamped the character. With the newfound popularity for the man-plant hybrid a new, low budget film was commissioned and released in 1989. Does The Return of Swamp Thing bear fruit, or is it another rotten comic adaptation? Listen to the Now Playing review to find out!
Oct 31, 2013
Charlie Brewster is a teenager with nothing on his mind but his girlfriend Amy. But one night out his bedroom window Charlie sees a woman bitten by a vampire. No one believes Charlie's story, not even his friend Ed, but perhaps monster expert Peter Vincent can be the one to save the day! Have you seen this plot before? In addition to being the story for the original Fright Night film and the 2011 remake, it's told yet again now in the Direct-to-Home-Video release Fright Night 2: New Blood. It's the same basic story...but this time in Romania! Does this third retelling of Tom Holland's vampire tale have fangs, or does it just bite? Listen to this special bonus Halloween review from Now Playing Podcast to find out!
Oct 29, 2013
By 1980 Superman had proven audiences of all ages could watch in wonder as comic books came to life on the big screen. But the next DC hero on the big screen wasn't Batman, Green Lantern, or even Aquaman, it was Swamp Thing. The film was directed by Wes Craven and starred James Bond baddie Louis Jordan and scream queen Adrienne Barbeau. It did not find box office success but did lead to a sequel, a TV series, and a cult following. Did the film just need time to bloom, or did it wither on the vine? Listen to Now Playing's latest DC Comic movie review to find out!
Oct 21, 2013
The posters declare "You Will Know Her Name" but for fans of horror, Brian DePalma, or Stephen King you already know her name--Carrie, the outcast girl whose telekinetic powers will be both her salvation and her damnation. When it was announced this film was being adapted to screen for a third time even original author King said "Why, when the original was so good?". But now the new adaptation is in theaters to tell a younger generation of movie lovers why they should know her name. Was King right and this film unnecessary, or can this film still shine in the shadow of the 1976 original? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart's review to find out!
Oct 15, 2013
Everyone is anxiously awaiting Carrie, the 2013 adaptation of Stephen King's story starring Chloë Grace Moretz--in theaters this Friday! But Carrie has already been retold in the 21st century--in 2002's made-for-television movie Carrie. Starring Agnela Bettis (May), written by Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and TV's Hannibal), and directed by David Carsons (Star Trek: Generations) the film has strong genre talent, but has been mostly forgotten. Does this remake deserve a second look? And can any insight into Friday's release be gleaned by this 11-year-old version? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart's third Carrie review to find out!
Oct 8, 2013
The Rage: Carrie 2 is not about Carrie White, the star character in Brian DePalma's 1976 film. Nor is it about another girl named Carrie. No, this movie tells the story of Rachel, Carrie White's telekinetic half-sister. With more than a few plot beats taken from Stephen King's original novel, The Rage adds 1990s style, dialect, and production values. There's little hope that this sequel could match the then 23-year-old original film, but the question is can The Rage: Carrie 2 be any good at all? Listen to Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart's next review in the Stephen King Movie Retrospective Series to find out!
Oct 1, 2013
It's hard to imagine a time when Stephen King wasn't the king of horror fiction. It's hard to imagine a world without such influential stories including The Shining, The Stand, Christine, and King's first novel, Carrie. Yet before November, 1976 King was just another author with two modest-selling novels. But when Brian De Palma decides to adapt Carrie for the big screen he created an iconic horror movie staple, and from that King's book sold millions of copies and his career was minted. Now, in anticipation of the upcoming third adaptation of Carrie starring Chloë Grace Moretz the Now Playing hosts go back to watch and review De Palma's original. It's the start of Now Playing's massive Stephen King retrospective series, looking at all the movies based on King's writings, starting with Carrie. Does De Palma's blood soaked tale of a teen outcast still hold up over 35 years later? Listen to find out! Then join Arnie at booksandnachos.com for his review of the original novel!
Sep 26, 2013
The Lords of Salem -- are they an up and coming rock band? Or are they a coven of reincarnated witches who plan to bring the son of Satan to Earth? In Rob Zombie's latest feature film it's both. With Zombie's muse and wife Sheri Moon-Zombie starring as Heidi, a radio DJ who also may be mother to the Antichrist, does this film cement Zombie as the new Lord of horror? Listen to this BONUS REVIEW to find out!
Sep 24, 2013
Insidious Chapter 2 scared more than audiences, it scared up a huge box office return showing that audiences are still hungry for spooky scares and ghost movies! Picking up mere seconds after the first film ended, director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell answered all the lingering questions and finally revealed the fate of the Lambert family. Were the reveals satisfying, and what may be in store for Insidious Part 3? Listen to Stuart, Marjorie, and Arnie's review to find out!
Sep 17, 2013
James Wan's first film, Saw, redefined horror for the 2000s. By 2011 the Saw films had run their course, and audiences turned their attention to more ghostly horror in the form of the Paranormal Activity series. So is it any wonder that when the writer and director behind Saw teamed up with the Paranormal Activity studio a new horror franchise? With Insidious 2 taking top spot at the US box office last weekend, the Now Playing crew go back to watch and review the original. Does this film scare the hosts? Listen to find out!
Sep 10, 2013
Riddick is a hard man to kill, but Universal Studios and the poor reception of Chronicles of Riddick almost did the job. Through the tenacity of writer/director David Twohy and star/producer Vin Diesel the antihero was able to again overcome the odds and return to the big screen. With a story that comes off more as Pitch Black: Part 2 than a follow-up to Chronicles of Riddick, does the back-to-basics approach work? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Brock's review to find out!
Sep 3, 2013
In Pitch Black Riddick was part of a small group of humans who had to survive one long night. Now Riddick is a warrior going to battle against a Necromonger army to save all of civilization! It's quite a turn for the former convict, and for the film series as it expands in scope with this sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick. Is this change of concept a welcome enlarging of Riddick's universe? Listen to Jakob, Arnie, and Brock's review to find out!
Aug 27, 2013
A group of space travelers crash land on a deserted planet populated with carnivorous alien monsters. But perhaps even more dangerous to the survivors is Richard B. Riddick - an escaped convict with a high body count in his history. Riddick was actor Vin Diesel's star-making role, but does Pitch Black stand up to the Now Playing reviewers' spotlight? Listen to find out!
Aug 20, 2013
At the end of the first Kick-Ass film Red Mist plotted his revenge while Kick-Ass enjoyed high school with girlfriend Katie and Hit Girl, orphaned with the death of Big Daddy, had to adjust to normal high school life under the watch of new guardian Marcus. It was an ending that begged a sequel, and now it has one! With a city full of costumed heroes, including Jim Carey joining the cast as new hero Col. Stars and Stripes, can Kick-Ass still kick ass? Listen to find out!
Aug 13, 2013
Wolverine cannot be killed, and it seems neither can his film franchise. Despite tepid fan response to X-Men Origins: Wolverine a second solo film featuring Hugh Jackman was quickly put into production. With creative changes behind-the-scenes and a change to make The Wolverine a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand, it was released with the promise of being "The Wolverine film you've been waiting for." Does it live up to that hype? Listen to Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart's latest X-Men movie review to find out as we bide our time until 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past!
Aug 6, 2013
Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and all their surviving operatives get a sequel in their sixties with RED 2. Do newcomers Anthony Hopkins and Catherine-Zeta Jones inject fresh blood into this franchise, or has the joke gotten too old even for this crew? Listen and find out.
Jul 30, 2013
80s action star Bruce Willis may have gotten older, but he's still considered RED - retired and extremely dangerous. Do Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie have a laugh watching senior citizens strap on pistols to blow holes in the CIA's rep, or is this AARP action-comedy D.O.A.? Listen and find out.
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