Now Playing Presents: The Marvel Comic Book Movie Retrospective Series

Synopsis

Welcome to Now Playing's Marvel Comics Movie Retrospective Series where in anticipation of the ultimate comic book crossover movie The Avengers in 2012 we will be watching and reviewing all the Marvel Comics films! Join us as we review everything from Howard the Duck to X-Men, Spider-Man to Fantastic Four!

Episodes

  • The Amazing Spider-Man

    The Amazing Spider-Man

    06/07/2012 Duration: 129h33min

    It was to be the biggest Spider-Man movie yet! 3 villains! Green Goblin 2! Sandman! Venom!! If that's not enough trouble for Peter Parker, Mary Jane is also jealous of the new girl Gwen Stacy. It had fanboys squealing with anticipation, and then crying in anguish, as Arnie did in Now Playing's first-ever movie review. Now Arnie revisits Raimi's third Spider-Man film, joined this time by Jakob and Stuart. Has time changed Arnie's view of this film? Listen to find out!

  • Spider-Man 3

    Spider-Man 3

    02/07/2012 Duration: 126h43min

    It was to be the biggest Spider-Man movie yet! 3 villains! Green Goblin 2! Sandman! Venom!! If that's not enough trouble for Peter Parker, Mary Jane is also jealous of the new girl Gwen Stacy. It had fanboys squealing with anticipation, and then crying in anguish, as Arnie did in Now Playing's first-ever movie review. Now Arnie revisits Raimi's third Spider-Man film, joined this time by Jakob and Stuart. Has time changed Arnie's view of this film? Listen to find out!

  • Spider-Man 2

    Spider-Man 2

    29/06/2012 Duration: 110h42min

    Raimi's 2002 film Spider-Man went on to be the highest grossing superhero film of all time, and so a sequel was swinging into theaters just 2 years later. Spider-Man 2 brings back all the primary characters from the original, and introduces a new foe in the form of Doctor Octopus. Did Spider-Man suffer a sophomore slump? Listen to Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob to find out!

  • Spider-Man (2002)

    Spider-Man (2002)

    26/06/2012 Duration: 121h27min

    Spider-Man is one of the best known comic book superheroes in the world, but his road to the silver screen was a bumpy one. Rights issues, bankruptcy, and technological challenges kept Spider-Man webbed up for over a decade despite numerous attempts to launch a theatrical series. But in 2002 cult director Sam Raimi's vision of Spider-Man lept into theaters and broke box office records, climbing to the top of the charts, becoming the highest grossing superhero movie of all time and even besting Star Wars: Attack of the Clones for opening weekend and total dollars. As we near The Amazing Spider-Man series reboot, Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob look back at Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy starting with the 2002 original. A decade later does the film still hold up? Listen to find out!

  • Spider-Man: The Dragons Challenge

    Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge

    22/06/2012 Duration: 01h06min

    Despite being green lit for a television series, Spider-Man did not live long on CBS before being squashed under the boot of network executives. But the series was given a final hurrah with a two-hour movie Spider-Man: The Chinese Web, known in its theatrical release as Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge. To help clear J. Jonah Jameson's college friend from conspiracy charges, Spider-Man must travel to Hong Kong. Did the series end leaving our hosts wanting more? Listen to Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie's review and find out!

  • Spider-Man (1977)

    Spider-Man (1977)

    19/06/2012 Duration: 01h26min

    For over a year the hosts of Now Playing have watched and reviewed every movie based off a Marvel Comics series, but now they enter into their last Marvel review series with the most popular Marvel Comic character of all time -- Spider-Man! His red and blue spandex suit is iconic, outshining even Mickey Mouse in global brand awareness, and his 2002 movie even bested Star Wars in the box office. But before Tobey Maguire became the face of Spider-Man, there was Nicholas Hammond. Continuing their roster of prime time superhero shows, CBS ordered a two-hour pilot movie featuring Spider-Man, a college student and part-time photographer. Can the production budget of a 70s television show do justice to Spider-Man's amazing powers? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's review to find out!

  • The Avengers

    The Avengers

    07/05/2012 Duration: 167h24min

    THE AVENGERS! Breaking worldwide box office records this super-hero team-up is a film that seems impossible to make, and yet they did! After a year of reviewing movies based on Marvel Comics characters, listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's review of this blockbuster film! Did it make a year's worth of viewing worth it, or did it fail to come together? Listen to find out!

  • Captain America: The First Avenger

    Captain America: The First Avenger

    01/05/2012 Duration: 113h08min

    By the summer of 2011 fans were ready for Avengers, but Marvel Studios still had some groundwork to lay before they could assemble. And in July the final character, the First Avenger, was introduced to audiences. But the fifth film in Marvel's series might be the hardest sell yet, a World War II period piece with a goody-goody hero. With Fantastic Four's Chris Evans donning the red, white, and blue outfit, did Captain America: The First Avenger stand alone, or was it just biding the time for ten more months until The Avengers was released? Listen to hear Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie's review of this film as well as the short A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer.

  • Thor

    Thor

    24/04/2012 Duration: 107h39min

    In three films Marvel had created a cinematic universe based on science. Iron Man used advanced technology to power an armored suit; Bruce Banner used genetic manipulation and medicine to create The Incredible Hulk. But in their fourth film leading up to The Avengers they brought in a new element straight out of Norse mythology--Thor, the god of thunder. With a mighty hammer, a winged helmet, and a flowing red cape, Thor and his fellow Asgardians fought off the evil Ice Giants, but for his cocky war-mongering Thor was banished to earth, stripped of his powers. Can a thunder god fit in with an otherwise science based Cinematic Universe, and is his story a compelling one? Listen to Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob to find out as they review Thor, and the Blu Ray bonus short The Consultant!

  • Iron Man 2

    Iron Man 2

    17/04/2012 Duration: 108h08min

    The first Iron Man film set the gold (and red) standard for Marvel superheroes in movies, but Marvel Studios knew the pressure was high to build up to The Avengers so just two years later Iron Man 2 was released. Jon Favreau was back behind the camera, and Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow were still starring, but now Don Cheadle dons the War Machine suit, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke team up as villains, and S.H.I.E.L.D. has a much larger presence in the form of Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Scarlett Johansson's Natalie "Black Widow" Rushman. The film is certainly bigger than the first, but is it better? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob's review to find out!

  • The Incredible Hulk

    The Incredible Hulk

    10/04/2012 Duration: 120h46min

    Mere months after Iron Man went supersonic at the box office Marvel's second issue of its Avengers movie series smashed its way into theaters--The Incredible Hulk! But after Ang Lee's film disappointed just a few years earlier Hulk's biggest enemy was audience expectations. Behind-the-scenes strife between producer/star Edward Norton and Marvel Studios only helped to add to audience superhero fatigue in a summer that also included The Dark Knight, and Hulk went on to be the lowest grossing Marvel studio film to date. Is Hulk truly Incredible, or is it as toxic as Bruce Banner's blood? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

  • Iron Man

    Iron Man

    03/04/2012 Duration: 111h40min

    Who would win in a fight, Thor or the Hulk? In comic books, team-ups are the stuff of legend, fulfilling geeky desires while also increasing comic sales. But what can easily be done on the page is not so easy to transition to the screen, which may make this summer's The Avengers the most ambitious movie ever. Bringing together the larger-than-life characters of Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, and Black Widow all led by Nick Fury, the cast is as impressive as the characters. Now, leading up to The Avengers, Stuart, Jakob, and Arnie are reviewing each of Marvel Studios' films. In our first review we look at 2008's Iron Man. Starring Robert Downey Jr, who had been more famous for his off-screen performances than his on-screen roles, and featuring a superhero that was not well known outside the comic reading crowds, the film went on to be the second highest grossing film of the year (bested only by another costumed billionaire vigilante--Batman ) and remains the highest grossing film in The

  • Hulk

    Hulk

    23/03/2012 Duration: 125h08min

    First Blade, then X-Men, then Spider-Man...Marvel's summer blockbuster films were just getting bigger and bigger, so expectations were high when Hulk smashed out of the small screen and into a big screen feature film. Directed by Ang Lee, coming right off his acclaim for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, this was a Hulk that stayed more true to the comic book incarnation of the green giant, but also dared to be a psychological drama as well. Is this a strong film worthy of its hero, or a puny attempt to cash in on a Marvel character? Listen to Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie to find out!

  • The Death of the Incredible Hulk

    The Death of the Incredible Hulk

    16/03/2012 Duration: 01h23min

    A new science experiment holds the key to curing David Banner of the Hulk, but a group of terrorists plan to steal the device and the scientists who created it. In Death of the Incredible Hulk television audiences said goodbye to the Hulk, but is the ultimate performance of Bill Bixby an enjoyable watch, or will it kill the Now Playing hosts? Listen to find out!

  • The Trial of the Incredible Hulk

    The Trial of the Incredible Hulk

    09/03/2012 Duration: 01h15min

    After Thor and Hulk was a smash hit in the ratings another Hulk movie was quickly approved. David Banner is arrested for a murder he didn't commit, set up by crime Kingpin Wilson Fisk, and the only one who believes David's story is his attorney--Matt Murdock. By day Matt tries to clear David's name in the courts, and by night he takes on David's fight as the vigilante known as Daredevil! Is this a team-up made in comic book heaven? Listen to Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart's review to find out!

  • The Return of the Incredible Hulk (Death in the Family)

    The Return of the Incredible Hulk (Death in the Family)

    06/03/2012 Duration: 01h26min

    In November 1977, The Incredible Hulk premiered on CBS. But just a few weeks later, a second pilot movie aired to gauge audience reception to the now-famous Incredible Hulk formula. David Banner, on the run and searching for a cure, stumbles into a murder plot. Julie's stepmother and doctor are slowly poisoning the girl. Can David and old coot Michael save the girl? With such future TV stars as William Daniels (voice of KITT on Knight Rider) and Gerald McRaney (Major Dad), is this an Incredible series launch? Listen to Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart's review to find out!

  • The Incredible Hulk Returns

    The Incredible Hulk Returns

    02/03/2012 Duration: 01h15min

    In 1987 The Incredible Hulk Returns and he brought a friend with him--Thor! Comic book crossovers are the thing of geek legend. Everyone wants to know who will win in a fight, Batman or Spider-Man. But due to licensing issues, on-screen comic book crossovers are rare, even for superheroes from the same publisher. That is what makes this summer's Avengers film so special, getting all the superheroes in one place! But long before Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth put Hulk and Thor on the same screen there was Lou Ferrigno and Eric Kramer in a story of murder, mystery, and action! With all three principle actors from The Incredible Hulk TV series reprising their roles, is this a smashing Hulk movie? Listen to Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob to find out!

  • The Incredible Hulk (1977)

    The Incredible Hulk (1977)

    28/02/2012 Duration: 01h22min

    The Incredible Hulk has been a staple in Marvel Comics since his first appearance in 1962, but to many The Hulk is less known for his comic book persona than his portrayal by Lou Ferrigno in CBS' hit prime time series The Incredible Hulk. Starring Bill Bixby as David Banner, a scientist who overdoses on gamma radiation, the series ran for five years, and it's impact can still be seen through references in both the Eric Bana and Edward Norton Hulk film adaptations. Now, as Now Playing starts its next leg of it's Marvel Comic Movie Retrospective, leading up to The Avengers, Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart are reviewing the television movie that started it all--The Incredible Hulk. Does this incarnation of the green giant make our reviewers angry? And would you like them when they're angry? Listen to find out!

  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

    19/02/2012 Duration: 102h26min

    After Ghost Rider set theaters ablaze in 2007 a sequel seemed assured, but it took five years to get here. But now Nicholas Cage returns in the quasi-rebooted Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Johnny Blaze can have his curse lifted but first he must stop the devil from transferring his soul into the body of a young boy. From the directors of the cult hit Crank films, does this Ghost Rider spark with Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart? Listen to find out!

  • Ghost Rider

    Ghost Rider

    14/02/2012 Duration: 116h20min

    With a flaming skull, a leather jacket, and a bad bike, Ghost Rider embraced the biker comics counterculture in the 70's and had a resurgance as a dark hero in the 90's. The first Ghost Rider film broke box office records, and now Nicholas Cage reprises his role as the devil's bounty hunter. And continuing their look back at all movies based on Marvel Comics heroes, and in anticipation of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Jakob, Stuart, and Arnie will be watching and reviewing both Ghost Rider films. In the first movie, Johnny Blaze tried to woo childhood sweetheart Roxanne while eating jelly beans and listening to The Carpenters, but Mephisto has other plans for the stunt biker. Do Jakob, Arnie, and Stuart go along for this ride? Listen to find out!

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