Monday, March 29, 2010

*300th post*- As long as it doesn't have a hatch or a smoke monster I'm fine

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Andy over at Fandango Groovers has started up something that all film lovers/enthusiasts have thought or have been asked before "If you were stuck on a desert island what are the eight films that you could not live without?" I personally have been asked this question many times and to be honest with you it is quite hard. I have seen over 2000 movies both good and bad and eight is a really hard number to dwindle it down to.

I could go for the simple and just list off my top 8 films of all time but really that seems like a giant cop out. Instead I took a more in depth look at my film collection and decided upon 1 film from each genre that I consider important. Some overlap in terms of genre but overall I tried to diversify it as much as possible. Do some of my top 8 make it in? Yes in fact half of them ARE in my top 8. That being said I DID want to do films that weren't in my top 8 but four HAD to be in there.

*WARNING- I realize that this is not a list that everyone will agree with. This is my opinion and my opinion alone. If you don't like it tell me why in the comments but THIS is my definitive list. I am sad that some of my favorites couldn't make it but I WAS trying to think outside the box. Hopefully that never happens again*


Anywhoo....onto the list:

First up is "If I was stuck on a desert island this is the ANIMATED film I couldn't live without"
Yeah this was actually probably the toughest category for me. I have grown up with SO many animated films that it was hard to choose one over any others. I was half tempted to put The Hunchback of Notre Dame because of it being the darkest and arguably the deepest Disney film ever made. Another part wanted to put anything Winnie the Pooh related since it was my favorite and still is my favorite cartoon to this day. And then part of me wanted to go with something more recent like Princess and the Frog. I love Princess and the Frog but in all honesty it's still too young to really be the ONE movie. And then there was The Lion King. I was ten seconds away from putting the Lion King when I heard something today.

While at college (university for other folk) I heard someone utter the phrase "Let's get down to business." To some that is just a term that a lot of people are used to hearing but for any 90s kid one thought/response always pops into our heads "To defeat...the Huns." Because of that I decided to choose Mulan as my ONE animated movie. It's memorable, entertaining, exciting and a blast to watch to this day.

Second is my "If I was stuck on a desert island this is the MYSTERY film I couldn't live without."
A highly underrated cult classic, the film version of the famous board game has always been one of my favorite movies. It's great use of character actors like Christopher Lloyd and Tim Curry as well as it's witty dialogue, intriguing mystery, multiple endings and subtle nuances that work as foreshadowing (guy looks up at chandelier when he walks in and later it almost falls on him) this is one film I just can't live without. This is a choice I had picked from the beginning and was the second movie that popped in my head when I heard "Film you couldn't live without."

Third is my "If I was stuck on a desert island this is the ROMANTIC COMEDY I couldn't live without."
I swear this isn't cheating. If you are one of the people who has seen this film than you can understand WHY I chose this as a romantic comedy. Yes it's a gross out, vulgar, crude, foul comedy like the many dime a dozen nowadays but it also has HEART. The character development between April and Adam is reminiscent of classic 80s Rom Com's like 16 Candles and Pretty in Pink. The struggle Nick has with whether or not he is cheating even though his wife cheated is one we see in many Rom Com's nowadays like It's Complicated and Extract. Then we have the swinger Lou who is reminiscent of Stiffler's before him and the nerdy guy who is the comic relief like in SO many movies. And it does it all between non stop laughs and an almost awwww inducing ending. Overall it's a great film and the closest I ever want to come to EVER having a Rom Com on my desert island.

Fourth is my "If I was stuck on a desert island this is the SCI-FI film I couldn't live without."
I could have chosen from the hundreds and hundreds of sci-fi films over the years but I ended up choosing this one. You know why? Because it has longevity and it's brief.

Films like the Star Wars series couldn't work because I could only take 1 (or all six but screw over some other films) and films like Blade Runner and Brazil couldn't work because they are too long to take in one sitting so I decided to go with Cloverfield because without credits it is about 76 minutes which is short and sweet.

It also helps that it showcases why the cinema verite' (First Person Films) work and how films that are mysterious or have hidden messages in their credits, screen, background or poster are extremely effective. It also showcases the "Jaws" monster way of doing monster films by briefly or only showing you bits and pieces of the monster so when you get the full reveal it's quite breathtaking.

It also helps I have seen it 7 times and it NEVER gets old.

Fifth is my "If I was stuck on a desert island this is the ACTION movie I couldn't live without."
Do I need to really explain why this is on here? The writing is witty, smart, sophisticated, funny, tongue in cheek and entertaining. The acting is brilliant showcasing some of the best acting from both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton and the action is raw, intense and gritty. It's a FIGHT CLUB for Pete's sake so people are going to get the crap beat out of them. Altogether Fight Club is an extremely quotable film that is action packed, well written and acted and really IS a film I CAN'T live without.

Sixth is my "If I was stuck on a desert island this is the DRAMA/THRILLER I couldn't live without.
Martin Scorsese's best film since Goodfella's and arguably one of his all time best, The Departed is a smart and gripping crime drama that is exciting from start to finish. Jack Nicholson's part is intense, sometimes tongue in cheek and quite disturbing at times. Matt Damon, whom viewers of my site know I can't stand, is quite good as well. Leo DiCaprio is brilliant, Martin Sheen is brilliant, Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin are brilliant, everything that has to do with this movie is brilliant.

Now there are a lot of dramas I could have chosen from but in all honesty none have as much longevity or are as entertaining as The Departed. A deserved spot on the list.

Seventh is my "If I was stuck on a desert island this is the COMEDY I couldn't live without."
I know what most of you are thinking: "Travis you have used comedies in your list already so why have a separate category for comedy?" I'll tell you why: BECAUSE SHAUN OF THE DEAD IS THE BEST COMEDY EVER. Here is why.

  • Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are the dynamic comedy duo
  • Edgar Wright wrote and directed it and he is an amazing writer and director
  • The story is simple and sweet but OH SO FUNNY
  • Zombies...nuff said
  • Action scenes
  • Homages to other films like Reservoir Dogs and all George A Romero films
  • Queen is in the soundtrack
  • It's British therefore it is funnier
  • It's highly quotable
Need anymore reasons? Didn't think so. It's the best comedy ever and my favorite movie ever. And I've seen it 58 times...that has something to do with it.

Last but not least is my "If I was stuck on a desert island this is the FOREIGN film I couldn't live without."

Action speaks louder than words and I think this scene proves exactly why it deserves to be on the list. Great acting, great writing, a mindf***ing twist ending, great action and a plot that is entertaining from start to finish. The best foreign film ever in my opinion and one that shouldn't be missed. A great and deserved film on the list.

WELL...that is my list. What to watch on a desert island by Travis McCollum. Some surprises, some not so much. Tell me what you think in the comments below and I will see you all next time

PS: Thanks for your continued support of The Movie Encyclopedia. I wouldn't have made it to 50 let alone 300 posts if it wasn't for all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


  1. You know I'm taking part in this as well, but I'm with you, the 8 movies I'm picking aren't perfect movies and all don't even make my top ten, but they are the most enjoyable movies to re-watch for myself, and what's cool about this kind of list is it isn't really debatable, you can only contribute your own personal point of view. It isn't necessarily a matter of taste. For instance Labyrinth is going to be on mine!

  2. A couple of those will be on my list, as well (Shaun and Oldboy for certain).

  3. Yup - I could bring Fletch (well, I just might still), but I practically know it by heart already. I want to bring movies that I might not have seen a thousand times that would still reward multiple viewings. Fight Club is another all-time favorite (top 3) that I think I might leave behind. Had I only seen it once or twice, it'd definitely take the trip, but I'm pretty sure I've caught all (or most) of the sight gags and Brad inserts and what not as is.

    I've only made my mind up on two thus far...

    Congrats on your milestone, Travis!

  4. Oldboy is my favourite movie of the past decade and Fight Club my favourite of the 90’s but I think I only have room for one on my list!

  5. Okay, now I'm simply keeping tabs of the films that people blogged about today that I despite. First I came across Repo: The Genetic Opera, then Brazil, then Boondock Saints and now Fight Club. Guess it's just one of those days. Good list regardless.

  6. Interesting list, indeed. I've tried to compile a my own list of films I'd take to a desert island or some other deserted place, but it changes from day to day so I've simply given up.

    P.S. Did you really see "Shaun of the Dead" 58 times? Damn!

  7. Great list Travis! A bit surprised to see Hot Tub Time Machine in there because... it's not on DVD yet! lol. Thumbs up on Cloverfield, quite an underrated sci-fi/horror movie and obviously, most of the rest of the list is self explanatory :)

  8. Shaun of the Dead, good choice, along with The Departed and Fight Club. Not as keen on Cloverfield, but still a good movie:)

  9. Great choices, all of them.

    (is Oldboy really the best foreign film? I mean, that's a very wide many other countries, besides US, have a non-propaganda-centered film industry?)

  10. Hey Travis -- longtime reader, first-time commenter! (Oh come on, that joke never gets old.)

    I can't believe I forgot "The Departed." Doh! I count that among Scorsese's best. LOVE the DiCaprio/Damon pairing. And kudos x 3,000 for picking "Mulan." It's my favorite Disney film and spawned my favorite Disney soundtrack.

  11. I did put THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME on my list, along with LILO & STITCH. Gotta love the nonstandard Disney animated classics. :-) Nice list!