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5 Now Playing episodes to stream while waiting for Santa

It’s December 24. You’ve already watched Scrooged and Christmas Vacation, and the only holiday options left on Netflix are Santa Paws and those ABC Family Christmas movies where Melissa Joan Hart falls in love with Mario Lopez.

It’s not all bad. Turn off the TV and turn up some classic episodes of Now Playing Podcast. If your relatives complain (or ask what a podcast is) just tell them these shows are holiday-themed. That’ll keep them quiet, and keep you entertained until TBS starts showing A Christmas Story at 8.

Here are 5 Now Playing episodes to stream while waiting for Santa:

Die Hard


That guy was also in a James Bond movie.

Does Die Hard get three recommends? The answer is obvious, but the episode is engaging for its scene-by-scene comparisons to the film’s source material; Roderick Thorp’s “Nothing Lasts Forever.” The Die Hard Retrospective Series also includes a review of Frank Sinatra’s The Detective (the first appearance of Thorp’s hero, Joe Leland) and gets better as the films get worse (there’s plenty to laugh at in A Good Day to Die Hard).



Where did they even learn to read?

Released on Christmas Eve of 2013, the Gremlins episode has hosts Arnie, Stuart and Jakob flashing back to their childhood selves and trying to figure out if they should laugh or cry during Phoebe Cates’ tragic Christmas story. There are clips of people performing that monologue on YouTube. Watch them.

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2


It never gets old.

Because #GarbageDay.

Batman Returns

Honestly, I'd rather play this SNES game than watch "Batman Returns" again.

Honestly, I’d rather play this SNES game than watch “Batman Returns” again.

Hosts Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob put the spotlight on the Tim Burton sequel that was too dark for McDonalds. This episode is great for its exploration of early 90s Bat-mania and is stacked with behind-the-scenes trivia (Marlon Wayans still gets residuals for this movie?). Highlights include the story of how Batman-obsessed Arnie swayed Stuart into seeing the film, and (spoiler alert) the former’s reaction when Returns turned out to be a bust.

The Aviator

Leo listening to Arnie bash his movie.

Leo listening to Arnie bash his movie.

Because December 24 is Howard Hughes’ birthday, and because this episode could have been titled The Aviator: Arnie Unleashed. The host begins his verbal assault on Scorsese’s 2004 biopic seconds after the opening credits and refuses to let up during the hourlong episode. He’s not trying to be funny, but his criticisms are hilarious. “I don’t think you’re gonna give this movie one thing Arnie, you really seem out to kill everyone down to the caterer,” co-host Stuart says at the 43-minute mark.

December 23, 2014 Posted by | Movies | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Now Playing episodes to stream while waiting for Santa

Now Playing plots holiday heist with ‘Ocean’s’ crew


The “Ocean’s Eleven” series starts Dec. 16

Now Playing Podcast is ringing in the New Year Rat Pack-style, and listeners can join the caper as hosts Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie cap 2014 with reviews of the original Ocean’s Eleven and the George Clooney-led Ocean’s Trilogy.

The lighthearted series is a shift for the heavily horror, sci-fi and superhero-focused show. You’d have to go all the way back to December 2011’s Rocky series to find a Now Playing retrospective without tights, gunfights or gore (except for this part).

The hosts, who spent the better part of 2014 laboring through adaptations of Stephen King’s Night Shift stories, took some time out from recording to chat about their expectations for this A-list franchise.

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.


The 1960 “Ocean’s” crew

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!

Q: Jakob, has there been any talk of starting a “Rat Pack Retrospective”?

Jakob: There wasn’t any talk previous to the decision to cover the original Ocean’s Eleven. Whether we are open to it now? Well, I don’t want to spoil how we feel about the film.

Having covered Sinatra previously in The Detective to kick off our Die Hard series, listener feedback wasn’t great for going back to older films. But I never want to say we absolutely won’t do a series. Maybe we’ll have a “Rat Pack Retrospective” hosted by all of our fathers.

The contemporary "Ocean's" crew

The contemporary “Ocean’s” crew

Q: Stuart, after sitting through Children of the Corn and Leprechaun, are you relieved to take a break from horror for the holidays?

Stuart: There were longer franchise options discussed – the four Gingerdead Man films might have fit nicely under the tree in a different year. But I’m not sure anyone was eager to unwrap anymore low-rent slasher flicks.

I like that we’re getting more into the spirit of New Year’s Eve with Ocean’s Eleven. We hope that listeners are feeling festive too, and won’t mind saving Santa’s Slay or You Better Watch Out for another time.

The 4-film Ocean’s retrospective begins December 16, following the 2-part Maniac series. At the same time, the Now Playing Podcast Fall Pledge Drive will continue on a separate feed, where donors can hear reviews of the Peter Jackson Hobbit films.


November 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Now Playing plots holiday heist with ‘Ocean’s’ crew