He knows the score. He gets the babes. He kills the bad guys. He is Machete! The character was originally seen in a joke trailer in the Rodriguez/Tarantino Grindhouse double feature. Then in 2010 that joke became a major motion picture. Did the film live up to the trailer's promise? Listen to this episode of Now Playing to find out!
"If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." So said Star Wars creator George Lucas regarding the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. The two hour CBS special reunited Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, alongside most of the original Star Wars cast. It also gave fans their first glimpse at the bounty hunter Boba Fett! So how can it be so hated, shunned, and disavowed? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
Lucas promised it would never happen. He repeatedly swore that Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was the last Star Wars film. Ever!
In 2005 Revenge of the Sith was touted as the last Star Wars film. Ever. So fans were surprised and amazed in 2008 when the announcement came that Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be an animated, feature film. Originally developed as four episodes of the Clone Wars series, the footage was spliced together to feature length. With Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee reprising their live-action characters, does this glorified TV pilot deserve its place as the final Lucas-era Star Wars movie? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
Apollo Creed was a major part of the Rocky series through the character's death in Rocky IV. Now his son Adonis takes center stage in Creed -- the seventh movie to feature Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. Can Michael B. Jordan's Adonis be the new box office boxing champ? Listen to this episode of Now Playing Podcast to find out!
George Lucas wrapped up his six-part Star Wars saga with Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. This film needed to create the links between Lucas' two prequel films and his much-beloved original trilogy. Showing the rise of the Empire, the fall of Anakin Skywalker, and the downfall of the Jedi Order is an ambitious feat for any film. Did Sith rise to the challenge? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob for their review to find out!
The Phantom Menace opened to a big box office...and a big backlash. But for 2002's follow-up Attack of the Clones director George Lucas pulled out all the stops. Fans finally got to see in live action the origins of the Stormtroopers, Boba Fett, and an army of Jedi going to war. Did this universe-expanding story result in a better movie? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
Star Wars returned to the big screen in 1999 with Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Sixteen years after Return of the Jedi the hype and anticipation were at manic levels. The result was the highest grossing Star Wars film of all time--and lots of internet hate. Now Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart travel to Naboo, Tattooine, and Coruscant to review The Phantom Menace. Is the hate deserved, or could no film live up to such high fan expectations? Listen to find out!
Despite being a box office draw for 50 years, James Bond's last outing Skyfall shattered all expectations, making over $1 billion worldwide. That set expectations exceedingly high for the next Bond adventure -- Spectre. The movie brings back the classic cadre of Bond baddies, as well as the star and director of Skyfall. Did this film hit its target? Join Brock, Arnie, and Stuart to find out!
It's a long-standing horror movie trope: teens who have sex are murdered. Friday the 13th, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and dozens more films followed this pattern...but no film has made it as literal as It Follows. "It" is a supernatural creature that is passed through sex. When "It" is after you, your only escape is to pass it on by having sex with someone else.
Artisan Entertainment and Haxan Films wasted no time releasing a sequel to The Blair Witch Project. Intending to capitalize on the first film’s huge success they rushed Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 for release while the original film was still part of the cultural zeitgeist. The sequel goes meta as we watch a group of fans of the original film take a pilgrimage to some of its filming sites when strange things begin to happen and some of the team go missing. Despite being directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger Blair Witch 2 never escaped the original’s shadow and has been mostly forgotten. Does Book of Shadows conjure up scares to match the original? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
In 1999 two great fears gripped the American people -- Y2K and The Blair Witch Project. This little movie was made for only $20,000 but it became a Sundance darling. Released by Artisan it went on to become the most profitable movie of all time, shot its stars and makers to superstardom, and opened the door for more "found footage" horror films. But without the hype of the moment does the Blair Witch still have what it takes to scare you? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
1984's television movie The Ewok Adventure was a smash success for ABC, and soon George Lucas was working on a sequel. The result is Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. A darker continuation of the previous movie, Battle for Endor introduces new baddies, and a new heroic character played by Wilford Brimley. Was the Force with the Ewoks this time? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
George Lucas didn't want to do any more Star Wars movies after Return of the Jedi, but he wasn't done in that universe. Inspired by kids' affection for the furry Ewoks Lucas ordered the creation of an Ewok TV Special, which grew into The Ewok Adventure - a two-hour ABC Movie of the Week. Does Star Wars work on the small budget of the small screen? And when did Wicket learn to talk? Join our hosts for this review and find out!
George Lucas concluded the Star Wars trilogy in 1983 with Return of the Jedi -- a film thought for many years to be the final Star Wars movie ever. Needing to tie up every plot thread in two hours, this conclusion has been polarizing among fans, with some in the pro-Ewok camp, others anti-Ewok. Could this film ever live up to fan expectations? And which is better: Jedi Rocks or Lapti Nek? Join Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart for their review of Return of the Jedi to find out!
When it was released The Empire Strikes Back was the highly anticipated sequel to the biggest movie of all time. And it became widely known as the best Star Wars movie ever made. With creator George Lucas taking more of a back seat, and an even bigger push on special effects, does this film live up to its reputation? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
It's been seven years since the last Transporter film was released. In that time the series continued on television, but now is racing back to theaters with The Transporter: Refueled. This movie is intended to start a new trilogy of films, but without signature star Jason Statham has the series run out of gas? Listen to find out!
In 2008 Jason Statham came back for one last ride in Transporter 3. This time Frank has to drive the daughter of a Ukranian politician to Odessa, avoiding danger and romantic entanglements along the way. The film ended Statham's run as the Transporter, but launched the American career of aptly-named director Olivier Megaton. Did the trilogy end on a high note? Listen to find out!
The first Transporter film was a modest theatrical success, but thanks to DVD sales put star Jason Statham back in the driver's seat. Again directed by Louis Leterrier, the second Transporter film's fast ride cemented Statham's status as an action star. How does it measure up to the original? Listen to find out!
If you need someone or something moved quickly, Frank Martin is your man. This former Special Ops soldier has moved to France and now works as a freelance driver for big spending criminals. His illicit career survives by strict adherence to rules, but when he breaks two of the rules he finds himself the target of a human trafficking ring.
The plot is simple, but this action film from Luc Besson and Louis Leterrier launched Jason Statham's career as an American action star. Should you go along for the ride? Listen to find out!
It's been 20 years since Roger Corman first made (but never released) the world's first Fantastic Four film, and now we get our fourth. Gone is the humor of the Tim Story duology; instead, Chronicle director Josh Trank created a grim and gritty version of Marvel's First Family, more based on the Ultimate Comics version than any other. But behind the scenes squabbles and internet gossip led to this movie's record low audience and critic ratings. Can this film be, if not Fantastic, any good at all? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
In Tom Cruise's fifth Mission: Impossible film he finally goes up against the original television series' legendary foe -- The Syndicate. This evil group of spies and assassins has infiltrated the globe and is prepared to start a revolution. With the IMF disbanded for dangerous and risky tactics, can Ethan Hunt and his team possibly uncover and stop this Rogue Nation? And even more risky, can the fifth installment of a series still retain a high level of quality? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!
Tom Cruise's MIF Agent Ethan Hunt is back with a mission to literally stop the end of the world. Disavowed by his agency, can Ethan stop a madman from launching a nuclear missile? And do newcomers Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg mix up the Impossible formula? Join Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart to find out!
The second phase of Marvel Studios' Cinematic Universe is going out small. Compared to their other Phase 2 films, the hero is smaller, the budget is smaller, the box office is smaller. But it's a big moment as comics' final founding Avenger arrives on the big screen. The film was fraught with production delays and creative changes, but can Marvel prove good things come with small packages? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!