For the Christmas…


Darlene Love performing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on Letterman.

It will finally feel like Christmas when Darlene Love sings on the David Letterman show tonight. It’s a holiday tradition that I’m going to miss now that Letterman is ending his “Late Night” run.

I’m not a Letterman guy, I was watching Arsenio during the whole “Tonight Show” thing back in the early 90s, and even when I was up every night for Kilborn’s show, I wasn’t watching the lead-in.

But this is the one thing that makes me tune in every year. I mean, Darlene Love is Mrs. Murtaugh from the “Lethal Weapon” movies, I wouldn’t miss that. And “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is the greatest Christmas song ever.

If you need proof, here’s a supercut of her performances on Letterman going back decades.

Always in fashion

Snip20141218_21What a debut for Now Playing Podcast’s “Ocean’s Eleven” retrospective. The review of the 1960 film is No. 2 on iTunes right now, which proves the Rat Pack never goes out of style.

It’s great coincidence that the review was released the same week we found out that Las Vegas’ “The Rat Pack is Back” show was moving to a new home at the Riviera. My wife took me to the show for my birthday in 2009. It was great, thinking about it reminds me why I love Las Vegas.

Now it’s time to get ready for Tuesday’s review of Clooney’s 2001 “Ocean’s Eleven” remake.


Previewing Now Playing Podcast in 2015

Snip20141204_73I just published a post for Now Playing Podcast previewing two upcoming reviews in 2015 — both for iconic franchises that have been covered on the show.

I’m already in full James Bond mode following the news conference announcing SPECTRE as the title for next feature, which is set for November. After seeing director Sam Mendes introduce the cast, I went straight to my iTunes Bond playlist, and now I’m watching You Only Live Twice on Netflix.

I was less excited after watching the trailer for the next Terminator film, and, judging by the Internet’s reaction, I’m not alone. You should read the debate on the Now Playing Facebook page.

But as I wrote at the Venganza Media Gazette, it’s still early. People are outraged over the fact that it’s a reboot and there’s a new Sarah Connor and an older cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger.

My first reaction wasn’t great, but now I don’t really feel one way or the other. I’m actually still more annoyed that FOX canceled The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and that was years ago.

It takes me a while to get over things.

For the holidays…

Snip20141125_36Thought I’d share this from Now Playing Podcast’s sister podcast, Marvelicious Toys.

Today the show kicked off its annual gift “X-Change” event, connecting collectors with others around the world in a “Secret Santa” gifting program. Here’s some more information from the Marvelicious website, and a link to the press release that went out to collecting and hobby sites this morning.

I should probably take part in the “X-Change” this year, because I really want to get my hands on those Classic X-Force Minimates.


Holiday heist


As mentioned on Tuesday, the Now Playing Podcast schedule has been updated through the end of the year, and the highlight (for me at least) is the Ocean’s Eleven Retrospective Series.

I talked with the hosts — Arnie, Jakob and Stuart — covering the series, below is a bit from the story posted on the Venganza Media website:

Q: These movies were hard to miss, what are your Ocean’s memories?

Stuart: I have only seen the first George Clooney movie, and my memory of it is vague but pleasant. I tend to like series’ with a long history to them.

Jakob: I’ve actually seen that first one a handful of times and I remember almost nothing of [Ocean’s] Twelve. I can only hope the sequels have that party vibe of Ocean’s Eleven. That’s why we decided to transition from 2014 to 2015 with these films. Everyone wants to ring in the New Year with a great party.

Stuart: I look forward to seeing the Rat Pack define the Vegas of 1960, before the town and the franchise become more of a theme park attraction with the contemporary films.

Q: Arnie, did your recent trip to Las Vegas stir Ocean’s memories?

Arnie: I actually stayed at the Bellagio, and while I didn’t encounter Terry Benedict, I did get to watch the fountain show — with Ocean’s well on my mind. I was itching to re-watch the series after that trip.

Strangely the best Vegas connection I had wasn’t from the Ocean’s series, but from The Stand. The crucifixion scene was filmed on Fremont Street in Vegas and some of the signage was very familiar!

Read the full story here and check out the Ocean’s Eleven retrospective, starting Dec. 16 at

Press play


I’ve been playing Awesome Mix Vol. 1 all day after watching Guardians of the Galaxy last night.

The fact that this soundtrack has sold so well is a testament to the marketing of that movie — and the fact that the movie was fantastic. I figured most people would already have these songs in their music library.

Anyway, this will be a short post because I’ve got work to do, but here’s the link to get the soundtrack free for today only. It’s on Google Play.




Snip20141116_85It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

The Now Playing Podcast schedule was updated this morning to give listeners a look at which series’ will be covered through the end of the year, and instead of the traditional “Horror for the Holidays” theme, we’re going to Vegas!

The famous "Ocean's Eleven" photograph, circa 1960.

The famous “Ocean’s Eleven” photograph, circa 1960.

When Arnie first told me Ocean’s Eleven was on tap for December, I almost did one of those Rocky jumps with my fists in the air. The Ocean’s series is beloved in our household, for its coolness and its unique connection to Las Vegas.

I remember, when I moved to Vegas in 2001, my friends and I stumbled upon some of the Ocean’s Eleven filming at the Bellagio. My friend Warren took pictures of George Clooney, Scott Caan and Matt Damon playing cards while all these people stood around just watching them.

Our sad attempt, circa 2001.

Our sad attempt, circa 2001.

That year, when the film came out, I rallied my friends in Rochester to recreate the famous photo of Frank Sinatra and his Ocean’s crew standing around a pool table. I love that picture, even though I never fixed all the red eye.

I tried to rally my Las Vegas friends to do it again when Ocean’s Twelve came out in 2004, but only about six people showed up. So what we ended up with was a really nice shot of us standing at a pool table.

The Now Playing Podcast Ocean’s Eleven Retrospective Series starts December 16, and in the coming days I’ll be posting more details about the shows, along with some perspective from the hosts recording the reviews.

Happy Holidays!