I saw it coming

Snip20150115_105My prediction of “great things” for the Now Playing Podcast review of The Dead Zone came true this morning, when we woke to see the show debuted at No. 2 on iTunes, ahead of some really tough competition.

If you haven’t heard the show, check it out and stick around after the hosts give their recommendations to hear more details on the live show happening Feb. 17. There’s going to be a chat with the hosts following the show and some big announcements, which I cannot reveal.

With The Dead Zone wrapped up, the Now Playing Stephen King Retrospective Series will be on hold for a bit, as we start looking at Richard Linklater’s Before films and the Oscar-nominated Boyhood.

The first review — Before Sunrise — is out Tuesday.

Oh and speaking of Oscar nominations…

One thing

I’ll miss seeing this year is AMC Fearfest, the network’s annual horror marathon leading up to Halloween.

In years past I would put the channel on mute in my office and work while Friday the 13th, Child’s Play and Stephen King films played in the background. These days I don’t have the time to enjoy it, and, because I’m a cord-cutter, I don’t get to watch the marathon at home (#FirstWorldProblems).

Fearfest starts Friday with a King movie marathon. First out of the gate is the truly awful adaptation of Graveyard Shift, starring the dad from The Monster Squad, a dad from Terminator 3 and another dad from Rob Zombie’s Halloween. I’ll let you figure out which dads I’m talking about.

You might also want to refresh your memory of the film and some other King stories by checking out the Stephen King Movie Retrospective Series over at Now Playing Podcast. Here’s a link to the Graveyard Shift episode.

After ‘Corn’ lows, ‘Now Playing’ turns to Nolan

An edited version of this post first appeared on the Venganza Media Gazette

Now Playing Podcast host Arnie Carvalho once read an email from a listener urging him to review only bad movies because it leads to funnier conversations.

“He said we should just be a comedy show,” the film critic said from his Manhattan hotel room on Saturday, while on a break from covering New York Comic Con.

Did that listener have a point?

“None of us wants that,” Carvalho answered. “We enjoy covering all types of movies, but if we only watched low-rent trash I think our souls would die.”

It’s a marvel he and his Now Playing co-hosts — Stuart Atkinson and Jakob Brewster – even have any life left in them after enduring nine films based on Stephen King’s Children of the Corn.

This week’s review of Children of the Corn: Genesis not only marks the climax of the Corn saga, but also an exhausting exploration of King’s Night Shift collection; more than two dozen reviews of mostly forgettable film adaptations like The ManglerGraveyard Shift and Trucks.

Few films in the Night Shift series have been worthy of a recommend, but that hasn’t kept hardcore Now Playing listeners from making the show one of the highest rated on iTunes throughout 2014, with seven of the nine Corn reviews appearing in the Top 10 rankings for TV/Film podcasts.

“I really expected listenership to drop off as we got deep in those fields,” Carvalho said. “But our listeners are awesome.”

“I only half-jokingly say more people downloaded our review of Children of the Corn 7 than actually saw Children of the Corn 7.”

With Night Shift in the rear view, Now Playing Podcast launches its next retrospective on Tuesday: A five-episode study of director Christopher Nolan’s filmography, leading up to next month’s Interstellar.

After considering other horror properties to follow Corn — including Hellraiser and The Amityville Horror — Carvalho shifted gears and lobbied hard for a director-focused retrospective, targeting Nolan after Now Playing previously covered his Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception.

“The hosts needed some meatier films to chew on, and I also think listeners want to hear about movies they’ve actually seen,” he joked. “With the good movies we usually can have deeper conversations about filmmaking, themes, and intent.”

“The problem with the Corn series was that by the 9th film there was nothing left to say, it’s like the old joke about the definition of insanity.”

Now Playing Podcast hasn’t released its 2015 schedule, but Carvalho is already teasing a return to King in the New Year, along with some familiar franchises with big sequels in the works.

“It’s a huge year for blockbusters and there’s no way we can get them all in; we’re still discussing which ones we will review,” he said. “And there will be some actually good King movies, like The Dead Zone and Creepshow, to fill the gaps in between.”

Now Playing spawns ‘Gremlins’, loads up on King in 2014

Below are excerpts from a story posted to FOX5Vegas.com. You can read the article here.

Now Playing Podcast has released its 2013-2014 winter schedule, one that brings horror home for the holidays with “Gremlins” and promises to go heavy on Stephen King next year.

In-between, listeners will get a new installment to 2010’s Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio retrospective after “The Wolf of Wall Street” hits theaters, as well as a “Robocop” series that will coincide with the remake’s release in February.

But, as the hosts promised, the bulk of Now Playing’s future will revolve around King’s catalog and the everlasting cycle of film and television adaptations that dates back to the 70s.

Now Playing — which peaked at No. 2 on iTunes’ TV & Film rankings this week – launched its King retrospective in October with four episodes covering the author’s first novel, “Carrie.”

The hosts – who admit the series will take years to complete – have committed themselves to covering titles with even the loosest connection to the author. That means audiences will hear reviews of “King in name only” films such as “The Lawnmower Man” and the “Children of the Corn” sequels (eight and counting).

To make things interesting, they’ve also chosen to cover each property according to the original book’s publication date, so popular adaptations of “Pet Semetary” and “It” won’t air until long after the aforementioned “Lawnmower” and other works from King’s 20-story “Night Shift” collection.

The first “Night Shift” adaptations, “The Woman in the Room” and “Boogeyman,” will be released Feb. 25. A complete list of Now Playing’s winter schedule can be found on the show’s website.