Twelve is the new eleven

I’m a little late with this, but it’s been a hectic New Year already. Anyway, with the Now Playing Podcast Ocean’s Twelve review now online and just waiting for you to download, I wanted to share my failed attempt to recreate the famous Rat Pack photo (again) in 2004.

You have no idea how hard it is to get 11 guys together in a room when there’s nothing in it for them. “Hey, put on a suit and come get your picture taken like the Rat Pack,” didn’t work as well as it did in 2001.

edited picture
We’re so famous.

So instead of reenacting Ocean’s Eleven we got “Latham’s Seven” standing next to the pool table at (now closed) The Ice House in downtown Las Vegas.

It’s not the Rat Pack, but it’s pretty cool.

Also, thank you to all the listeners who made Now Playing’s Ocean’s Twelve review No. 2 on iTunes in its debut on Thursday. The final review in the Ocean’s retrospective — Ocean’s Thirteen — will be up on Tuesday.



Woke up to the greatest gift of all: Now Playing Podcast is No. 1 on iTunes’ TV/Film podcast rankings.


The review of 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven did even better than last week’s show. Congratulations to my fellow staff members at Venganza Media, it takes a ton of effort to put the shows together and they do a fantastic job every week. It couldn’t happen without listener support, so thanks to everyone who downloaded the show.

The Ocean’s series will take us through the end of the year, and 2015 is going to be huge for Now Playing Podcast. So big announcements are on the way.

I’m very lucky to be a part of this team, Merry Christmas to all!

E-O Eleven

Don’t forget to listen to the Ocean’s Eleven review at today. It will be up in the late afternoon, and I’ll tweet when it’s ready.

When the film was released in 2001, the cast got together to recreate Sid Avery’s famous Rat Pack photo.


And, as I’ve written previously, I got my friends together in the pool room of Jillian’s in Rochester and attempted to take our own famous photo. All these years later and I still haven’t fixed the red eye.

Mitchell's Eleven



Where News Comes First

Don Cheadle watching a hotel implosion on News 3.

It will be hard for me not to miss Las Vegas this week for a couple reasons:

1) It’s the first Christmas away from the desert in 10 years.

2) Now Playing Podcast releases it’s review of 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven on Tuesday, and that’s just gonna bring back so many memories.

The picture above is a screenshot from the movie, it’s a scene where Don Cheadle’s character is watching the implosion of a hotel on the news. The graphic you see at the bottom is the old KVBC-TV logo.

News 3… Where News Comes First!

I started at KVBC (now KSNV) in April 2001, and when I got to town they were still filming Ocean’s (I might have mentioned that in a previous post). I thought it was the coolest thing in the world to see my station featured in the film.

That’s the old KVBC-TV logo!

A reporter and photographer from our station also made blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos toward the end of the film, and I remember shouting in the theater when I saw them on screen.

Ocean’s Eleven was such a big deal for the city back then, especially because it was released in December (which, at the time, was a slow month) and only a couple of months after September 11 (the tourism industry was really struggling). Seeing the Strip on the big screen was great promotion and the movie was such a great party you couldn’t help but walk away with good feelings about Las Vegas.

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.


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

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!