Now Playing -- The Movie Review Podcast
Summary: Join us for in-depth reviews and commentary on some of your favorite movies, both new films in theaters as well as reviews of every installment of some of Hollywood's longest running franchises!
"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! What a difference $4 billion makes! Now, a decade since the last live action Star Wars film, Disney brings us The Force Awakens. The baton is being passed from the old trilogy's heroes to a new group, played by Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac. But with the shadow of the prequels hanging over the series, does director J. J. Abrams' new film fall to the dark side, or the light? Join Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob in this episode of Now Playing to find out!
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!
Tarantino had dropped off the radar for six years after Jackie Brown, but in 2003 he returned to Kill Bill. This violent kung fu film was too big to be contained in one movie, so it was cut down the middle. It stars Uma Thurman as "The Bride," a woman out for revenge on those who almost killed her. With her yellow outfit and her sword, did The Bride spear the hearts of our reviewers? If you support Now Playing you will get this bonus "thank you" gift. Then you can join Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart 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!
From the mind of bestselling crime author Elmore Leonard, and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, comes Jackie Brown. This tale of deceit among gunrunners features 70s star Pam Grier, as well as Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Robert Forester, and Tarantino staple Samuel L. Jackson. Coming immediately after Pulp Fiction Tarantino chose make his first film adaptation. How does it compare to his original works? Donate to Now Playing to hear this review and 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 rebellion against President Snow and the Capital has reached its zenith. Under the leadership of President Coin, and inspired by The Mockingjay Katniss Everdeen, the districts have joined forces and are fighting for their own freedom. But all is not what it seems, and it's time for The Girl on Fire to face one final Hunger Games. Is this final installment in The Hunger Games film series a worthy conclusion? If you make a $10 or more donation to Now Playing before the end of our Fall, 2015 donation drive you can listen to this bonus movie review podcast and 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!
Last night The Hunger Games film series reached its conclusion as Mockingjay Part 2 was released in theaters. Prepare for that ultimate conclusion by joining Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie as they review Mockingjay Part 1 in this podcast. Did Suzanne Collins' third book need to be split into two movies? And how does a Hunger Games movie work with no games? Donate to Now Playing, support the Podcasting rebellion, then you can 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!
The 2012 Hunger Games movie proved Katniss and her games could be as successful on screen as they were on the page. Color Force and Lionsgate wanted to ensure continued success with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Released over a year later, the second film established Hunger Games as a November release staple. And with this sequel there's a new director, new writers, and almost double the budget. Did more money mean a better film? If you make a donation and support Now Playing you can join Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob 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!
The Hunger Games novels topped the New York Times best seller lists and went on to become Amazon's all-time top selling book series (outselling even Harry Potter). Jennifer Lawrence was an acclaimed Oscar-nominated actress gaining mainstream attention after her role in X-Men: First Class. When those two came together, with Lawrence playing lead character Katniss in the Hunger Games movie series, the result was a worldwide phenomenon. The first three films alone grossed over $2 billion worldwide. Now the fourth and final Hunger Games film is set to be released, and leading up to Mockingjay Part 2 Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob are watching and reviewing all the Hunger Games movies. Did the original movie The Hunger Games do the book justice? And how is it not just a young adult series? Donate to Now Playing to help keep the podcast going into next year, and you can listen and 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. Yet It Follows is not a morality tale; the director takes this concept to new and frightening places. So should you watch It? Join Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie to find out!