Now Playing - The Movie Review Podcast

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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

No one was better suited to convert the role playing mechanics of the best-selling Final Fantasy series into stirring cinema than game creator Hironobu Sakaguchi.  But dreams of writing and directing the world’s most photorealistic animated movie crashed to earth like a meteor when The Spirits Within landed in theaters in summer 2001. Gaia only knows what podcasters Justin, Arnie, and Stuart will find inside the wreckage of this poetic tale of parasitic alien invasion!  So let down your defense shields and listen now.

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Rampage

32 years after making its debut as a city-leveling coin-op video game, Rampage bursts onto the big screen as a brand new movie. So why are Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Joe Manganiello so eager to shut down the Chicago block party being thrown by giant gorilla George, mutant crocodile Lizzie, and massive wolf Ralph?  Join podcasters Arnie, Justin, and Stuart as they try to figure out why New Line Pictures plunked so many quarters into this arcade classic. 

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Doom (2005)

Long before he took on a Rampage of giant gorillas, wolves and lizards, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson led a squadron of Doom-ed Marines to Mars for another blowout with video game baddies. The 1993 first-person shooter Doom changed the way millions looked at their PCs. So why wasn’t the 2005 movie adaptation a similar success? Join Justin, Arnie, and Stuart as they analyze the DNA of this box office bomb to determine if its the handiwork of angels or demons.

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Ready Player One

Get ready to “clan up” with Arnie, Justin, and Stuart for a podcast review of Ready Player One. Steven Spielberg’s latest sci-fi adventure imagines the future of entertainment to be pop culture icons of the past populating a massive cyber playground.  Should viewers cough up the coins it takes to slip on a pair of 3D glasses and join gamer Wade Watts (Ty Sheridan) - along with Freddy Krueger, Hello Kitty, Iron Giant, and countless other superstars of the 1980s and 90s - for a virtual reality scavenger hunt? Listen and find out.  

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Tomb Raider

It’s been 15 years since Lara Croft last raided movie theaters, but now a new Oscar-winning actress is picking up the controls and racing into action. Tomb Raider 2018 - an origin story for the scrappy video game heroine - finds Danish Girl Alicia Vikander tracking her missing father Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West) to a mythical Japanese island crawling with mercenaries and booby traps.  Listen now to find out if survivors Stuart, Arnie, and Justin have reached higher ground in the Now Playing Arcade.

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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life

Angelina Jolie reprised her role as England’s most scantily clad excavator for her second and final Tomb Raider adventure. Cradle of Life finds Lady Croft diving into sunken ruins with Greek sailors, motorcycling across the Great Wall of China with Gerard Butler, and ascending African peaks with Djimon Hounsou.  All in the hopes of beating blackhearted bio-engineer Ciaran Hinds to Pandora’s Box. Listen and find out if this 2003 sequel is plagued by the same problems that made Arnie, Justin, and Stuart deathly ill watching previous video game adaptations.

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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Five years after busty British archaeologist Lara Croft stole the hearts of PlayStation owners, the planets aligned to bring the video game vixen to the big screen in the skin of Oscar-winning bad girl Angelina Jolie. The 2001 Tomb Raider movie finds Lara racing against the clock to reach an ancient time machine before its claimed by future James Bond Daniel Craig and The Illuminati.  But will she avoid the pitfalls of other arcade-to-movie flops and flip the arrows green for fellow treasure hunters Justin, Arnie, and Stuart? Listen and find out! 

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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

It took 15 years for filmmakers to hit the reset button on Street Fighter, with a second movie ditching JCVD’s paramilitary squad in favor of an origin story for kung fu pianist Chun-Li.  Does Smallville star Kristin Kreuk prove legendary in the title role? Is Oscar-nominated giant Michael Clarke Duncan slumming for work by teaming up with unconscionable real estate developer Bison (Neal McDonough)?  Is embarrassment the reason Black Eyed Peas rapper Taboo won’t remove that mask?  I gotta feeling confused video game players will have a good good night when they listen now.        

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Street Fighter

Podcasters Justin, Stuart, and Arnie have been taken hostage by Street Fighter, the infamous 1994 movie adaptation of the popular arcade fighting game. How much Van Damme-age can the boys withstand when the "Muscles From Brussels" goes American in a blue beret to beat down villainous megalomaniac Bison (the last movie role for terminal song-and dance man Raul Julia). And does this Shadaloo showdown improve when con artists Ryu and Ken, yellow-skinned mutant Blanka, fake news crew Chun-Li, Honda, and Balrog, and even Aussie pop star Kylie Minogue join the fray? Listen now and find out.

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Double Dragon

The fly-kicking Lee Brothers were quick to mimic Mario’s leap from coin-ops and cartoons to a live-action feature film… and just as quick to fail. The 1994 action flick Double Dragon finds video game heroes Billy Lee (Party of Five heartthrob Scott Wolf) and Jimmy Lee (martial artist Mark Dacascos) scouring post-apocalyptic LA for the second half of a magic medallion.  Will Justin, Arnie, and Stuart find their battle with Robert "T-1000" Patrick less tortuous than a repeated knee to the face? Listen now and find out.

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