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After lows of ‘Corn’ series, ‘Now Playing’ looks forward to Nolan films

Artwork for Now Playing Podcast Christopher Nolan Retrospective Series

Artwork for Now Playing Podcast Christopher Nolan Retrospective Series

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 Mangler, Graveyard 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.”

October 11, 2014 - Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I’m glad you don’t just do bad movies. A bad movie in a good series, such as Batman and Robin, is very entertaining to listen to but when there are 9 films in a series, all of which will be bad and are obscure enough that many haven’t seen them anyway then it just becomes monotonous. I still can’t believe we went from the Psycho series last Halloween to it being Leprechaun this year! Talk about two opposite ends of the spectrum! Most of Hellraiser may be bad but a retro will be worth it for the first film alone. I’d love to hear you guys review Dog Soldiers, American Werewolf in London, Descent and EC comic movies so there is still plenty of good horror to cover.

    Comment by rod | October 12, 2014

  2. While it CAN be funny to rip on a bad film, it quickly gets repetitive, boring, and even depressing to trudge our way through awful series like Children of the Corn and Leprechaun(though of course I was with you the whole way lol). I think it’s a GREAT idea to do director-themed series’ (like the Nolan and even the Scorcese/Dicaprio ones) for one great reason… variety. The films won’t all be rehashing/re-imaginings of the same old plots and ideas. I’m all in favour of reviewing good films more often. It makes for a better listen, frankly.

    Comment by James Turpin | October 12, 2014

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