Now Playing Podcast

Now Playing Podcast

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Now Playing Podcast is a weekly film review podcast and the flagship program in the Venganza Media Podcasting Network.

Since 2007, Now Playing Podcast has delivered more than…

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Announcing: The Now Playing Advent Calendar

Prepare for a month of yuletide cheer from Now Playing with our Advent calendar. Each day we'll spotlight a classic Christmas-related review from our archives...and end with a brand new Patron-exclusive review on Christmas day! It starts tomorrow, so prepare to be merry!

Everything Coming to Now Playing Podcast in December 2020

It’s been a long and exhausting year, but Now Playing Podcast is leaving 2020 on a high note, with nine all-new episodes for listeners and supporters. It’s a good thing December has 31 days.  Here’s everything coming to Now Playing Podcast in December 2020. December 1 - 48 Hrs. December was supposed to be the month of Eddie Murphy, with our hosts taking their first real deep dive into the actor/comedian/singer/GOAT’s filmography. But now that Amazon has moved the Coming to America sequel to March, it’s going to…

What 'Wonder Woman 1984' Means for WarnerMedia, HBO Max, and the Future of Moviegoing

By Jason R. Latham Wonder Woman 1984 will be delayed no more. After bouncing around the 2020 schedule -- from June to August to October to Christmas Day -- while U.S. states struggled to contain the spread of coronavirus, WarnerMedia on Wednesday announced it would stick to its December 25 theatrical release date but also premiere the film for one month on its HBO Max streaming service at no extra cost to subscribers. The decision -- inconceivable and unconscionable prior…

An Oral History of Now Playing’s ‘Friday the 13th’ Retrospective

In a crowded field of competing film-focused podcasts, Now Playing Podcast has managed to separate itself from the pack via its acclaimed retrospective format, keeping listeners engaged week after week as the show’s panel of critics chronicle decades of Hollywood franchise hits (and misses).  But it wasn’t always the plan. Now Playing Podcast launched in 2007 as a short-form, off-the-cuff movie review program focused on new releases. Early reviews of Spider-Man 3, Iron Man, and The Dark Knight not only lacked the in-depth conversation that listeners are now…

‘Navigator’ Star Recounts Pitfalls of Child Stardom, Redemption in ‘Life After’ Documentary

By Heath Chamerski On August 1 1986, Walt Disney released Flight of the Navigator. Considered a seminal family sci-fi flick, it grossed $18 million at the box office on its way to becoming a cult hit on VHS and cable. Navigator is the story of 12-year-old David Freeman, who mysteriously disappears in 1978 only to return eight years later, not having aged a day, and before long he's whisked away on an alien spacecraft and with the help of a…

'Halloween' Franchise Ranked

by Jason R. Latham Every fan holds a certain film or franchise close to the heart, and it’s not always easy to articulate the reasons why. Beloved films don’t have to be box office hits or critical darlings, and it’s okay to overlook a movie’s flaws because of the way it makes you feel.  My Halloween fandom goes back to the early 90s, after Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street had both played themselves out. But even earlier, I remember elements of the Halloween franchise…

Everything Coming to Now Playing Podcast In November 2020

Despite all that’s happened in 2020, there’s a lot to be thankful for at Now Playing Podcast. This year, we’ve launched our IN FOCUS newsletter, hosted a series of summer watch parties, started up a Letterboxd channel, and we never missed a week of podcasting. That last part is only possible because of the support of our listeners, and so we’re rewarding you in November with a full slate of  new episodes every Tuesday and Friday. This month’s schedule features two all-new retrospectives, a long-requested sci-fi horror series…

The Scariest Films Our Hosts Have Ever Seen

Do you remember which film gave you the biggest jump scare of your life? All of us can point to at least one example of, “The scariest movie I ever saw!” but as we all know, one person’s nightmare fuel is another person’s fandom. For every viewer so freaked out by Freddy Krueger that they can’t watch another A Nightmare on Elm Street movie, there’s another happy to indulge in annual Nightmare marathons and endless replays of that Freddy’s Greatest Hits album. But enough about the…

Is This How Theaters Die? Not With a Bang, But a Whimper?

October is a time for scary movies to play large in packed theaters. But this is 2020. The theaters aren't packed, and the scariest thing in the auditorium may be the person two seats away from you with a cough or a runny nose. There have been many think pieces published regarding the viability of cinemas in 2020 and beyond. This is not one of those. It's now clear: the theatrical experience as we know it won't survive their coronavirus…

Recent reviews

Blessed be! Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart are under the spell of The Craft, the first high school movie of the '90s to stick up for the wiccans. Strange things start happening when naturally gifted magick user Robin Tunney blows into an LA Catholic school from the North, and joins a coven of weirdos led by Wicked Witch of the West Fairuza Balk. Is hunky football jock Skeet Ulrich the snake-in-the-grass that will undo all this supernatural Girl Power? Or were the foursome mistaken for ever putting their trust in deity Manon? Join the circle and listen at nowplayingpodcast.com/episode.htm?id=1950

Most Americans remember the First Gulf War as a quick and decisive U.S. victory, but director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) sees it as the beginning of a White House corporate takeover in his 2004 version of Manchurian Candidate. Should shellshocked Denzel Washington get back on his meds, and stop accusing fellow soldier Liev Schrieber of being a sleeper agent? Or is this Vice Presidential hopeful really in the pocket of Big Pharma, or worse… his mother Meryl Streep!? Find out if this remake truly is a dream by Listening Now at nowplayingpodcast.com/episode.htm?id=1949

Mary Elizabeth Winstead flees an angry lover in New Orleans only to crash her car at 10 Cloverfield Lane. Should the battered woman be afraid of bumping into the big monster that toppled New York City in the previous installment? Or is she just being gaslit by her paranoid survivalist savior John Goodman? And how does this claustrophobic game of Chutes and Ladders play to an audience that's already been living in quarantine for months?

Listen: nowplayingpodcast.com/episode.htm?id=1937

Election got you stressed? Tune out today's political noise and vote to reinstate the 1962 Manchurian Candidate instead. Can troubled soldier Frank Sinatra stop Deep State Communists from using a brainwashed Korean War vet to gain control of the White House? And would the country be any better off run by Angela Lansbury, who uses her windbag husband and the power of television to promote Red Scare fake news and Murder, She Wrote reruns? Find out if Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie endorse this paranoid classic.

Listen: nowplayingpodcast.com/episode.htm?id=1948