Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Coach kayaking tale and top 5 lists (not top films or actors)

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

Well I have plenty of reviews coming soon as well as more Christopher Walken Appreciation Month, but I thought I'd take this post to take care of some things that have been on my mind.

First is the Coach interview...when I do these Survivor interviews it is usually a pretty long discussion. In the end I usually end up with 8-10 pages of material. Some of it is making sure it's really them security questions, some of it is how are you doing and some of it is for the intro. What I then do is take that material, pick and choose the best, most detailed questions and answers and post it for everyone.

During the Coach interview I was quoted as saying "I've always been a fan of you and your kayaking stories" Do you want to hear one?" "No...anyway." If you notice I put a "..." in there. Usually if I put a "..." in the answers it is because between that and the next sentence...things are said.

My point is that Coach DID tell a kayaking story. The reason I didn't post it is because it's the story he's been telling everybody in all of his exit interviews. Because it wasn't unique or original I didn't think it was necessary to print on this blog. But since I won't stop getting crap for "turning down" a kayaking it is.

"I was down in Mexico and I was kayaking. This guy gave me ice that was actually some kind of poison or something. Probably something that was dipped in diesel fuel, I dunno. The ice sat there and melted in my cooler. I was three days south of the nearest land and it was 95 degrees out. The problem was I couldn't drink the water. So I dumped it all out and was without water. For four days I floated around without water with nothing around me. With the heat baring down on me I tried to push through it. But after those four days I finally passed out. Then out of nowhere Bill Ronstadt, of the famous Ronstadt family, came up to my kayak in a large sailboat. He fished me out of the water and pretty much saved my life. I was dehydrated, unconcious and almost dead. And he saved my life."

There you's not unique but it's still a good story.

Since I'm not one to waste posts though I also decided I'd take this time to create some top 5 lists. Does most of it matter? No. If you listened to the recent Demented Encyclopedia (widget in the doobly doo to the side) you know my top 5 films and actors/actresses, but what about my other top 5s? I won't do like food or extraneous things but I think you all deserve to hear some of my favorites.

First is my top 5 most read blogs:

If you've read my profile then you know that I follow A LOT of blogs. So to pick five favorites is really hard. So instead of just picking, I checked my view counter of all the blogs I've visited and found five blogs that I read the most often. So without further ado:

Rachel over at Rachel's Reel Reviews is not only a big part of the LAMB (she tallies all the LAMBscores), a contributing member of the LAMBcast on occasion and an always welcome co-host of the Demented Encyclopedia but she is also the author of a really great blog. Not only does she do great movie reviews but now she has great weekly features that range from what's on TV to what trailers are out now. She works really hard and considering she is also a mother of a young child, it's a wonder she gets anything done. A great site if you ever get the chance to check it out.

Jason Soto over at Invasion of the B-Movies runs a really great site. He not only does a phenomenal monthly podcast called "Lair of the Unwanted," he also has great features on his site (like Date My Mom, Bad Movie Ultimate Cage Match...which I dominated..., and lists (part of why I'm doing this)) and he has a great sense of humor about it all. He touches films that I would never touch again and he is actually an upcoming guest host on the Demented Encyclopedia. A good friend and a great's to lost by single digit numbers to number 3.

Ventilation Shaft and Magnum are a crazy duo. They're funny, they're entertaining, they're friends and supporters of The Movie Encyclopedia and they're a site you should check out. They are great writers, cover movies that I even haven't heard of, they dedicate an entire month to manliness, they're editorials are deep and thoughtful and they proudly show boobs...mostly because they can but hey I don't have the balls to do it. And these guys do. Don't let the content warning scare you away...let it encourage you to click yes. It's a site you shouldn't miss.

What more can be said about Dylan "Fletch" Fields that hasn't already? A stand up guy, a great writer, the creator of LAMB, the creator of the LAMBcast and the person who let me join LAMB and thereby helped me get to know all these other mentioned blogs. His site is great, his features rule, and if you don't read it...shame on are missing out.

I swear the fix isn't in. The numbers did all the talking with this list. But in all serious Nick Jobe of R2D2 is my podcasting partner, my closest blogger friend, a Ben Foster enthusiast, a fellow Shaun of the Dead lover and an all around great guy. This guy has a passion for film I rarely see and I always look forward to working with him on TDE. So congrats on getting number 1 deserve it.

Now onto another Top 5 inspired slightly by He Shot top 5 podcasts:

Oh and don't worry, LAMBcast and The Demented Encyclopedia aren't on there. I can be objective. With this list I just looked at my iTunes view counter and was able to come up with my top 5.

5. Big Mike's Movie Podcast

"Big" Mike Mendez of Big Mike's Movie Blog not only has a great site, but he also has a great podcast. Despite only having had 4 episodes so far, each and every one of them is thoughtful, deep, interesting and a joy to listen to. If you aren't listening, you should be.

4. The Film Cynics

Not only do they have a great podcast (just look up the Film Cynics) and a great blog, but they have a great video blog as well. Here is just a small excerpt. But these guys are great fun to listen to and you really NEED to listen to these guys.

3. Filmspotting

With almost (or by the time this is published they will have reached it) 300 episodes, the guys over at Filmspotting are a force to be reckoned with. Fun, insightful, entertaining, the pinnacle of movie podcasting...besides The Demented Encyclopedia of course =p

Just check can't miss it.

2. The Matineecast (or manateecast whichever you like)

Mad Hatter has got a great thing going. His blog is amazing if you ever get the chance to check it out and on top of that he has a brilliant podcast that is fun, funny, interesting, entertaining, engaging and a bunch of other adjectives. Our Canadian brother has a well organized and well oiled machine and someday I hope to be honorable enough to guest star. A brilliant site and amazing podcast.

1. The Simon and Joe Film Show

Oh Simon and Joe...funny, insightful and brilliant are understatements. I'm half tempted to use the "It's British therefore it's better" line but it's not just because they are British. Their unique spin on podcasting, their great back and forth's, their great material and now their brilliant video podcasts as well, it's hard to say that it is not one of, if not the best podcasts out there. They are also supporters of The Demented Encyclopedia and I was even mentioned in two episodes. One for good because I ticked off Simon...but we smoothed that over. In the end it's my favorite podcast and certainly my most listened to.

Well that's it for the FILM related stuff but I would also like to do my top 5 games and songs while I'm at it because when else will I have the opportunity?

TOP 5 FAVORITE SONGS (well 6 but one is a tie):

5. Knights of Cydonia- Muse

Muse is a very unique band. These three Doctors (they all three have PHD's) create masterful song after masterful song. Some are haunting and deep, some are just kickass, some are anti-government, and then there is Knights of Cydonia. On top of being one of the best music videos of all time, the song is the equivalent of the modern day Bohemian Rhapsody. Starting off slow and haunting and slowly climaxing into a huge power driven guitar solo and powerful harmonies, this song always gets me going in the morning, even on the crappiest of days.

4 (tie) The White Stripes-Seven Nation Army and R.E.M-Losing My Religion

Meg and Jack White are an interesting duo. Claiming to be brother and sister but really ex-husband and ex-wife, this duo creates music that is unheard by modern day standards. Even though it's only two instruments at a time (guitar and drum, bass and drum, piano/keyboard and drum) it sounds like an entire rock band of 6 or 7 people. This song always gets me pumped up, is fun to listen to and is how alt rock SHOULD sound.

But I'm a moody person and sometimes I just want a song to unwind to and that's what my other number 4 is for

R.E.M is a great band. Political activists, openly gay singer, mandolin toting, spit fire lyrics (you know what song I mean) and they're timeless. A great metaphor of a song with great lyrics, this is the song to unwind to.

3. Blues Traveler- Runaround

A song forgotten by many but not me. One of the few songs I can actually play on guitar, this song is upbeat, true to my life, fun, and it's just a song I've grown up loving and I've never stopped loving it. Silly? Maybe. But one of my favorites.

2. Rush- Tom Sawyer

Ahh Rush...arguably the smartest band in the world still touring today (I'm seeing them in concert in August). Their lyrics are deep, passionate, thoughtful, intellegent and full of symbolism. You could take a college course devoted to interpreting their songs. Add that to brilliant bass and guitar playing and the second best drums of all time and you got my number two favorite of all time.

BEFORE going to number 1 here are my honorable mentions that fill out my other 5 in my top 10 list
10. The Who-Won't Get Fooled Again
9. Paint It Black-Rolling Stones
8. Rage Against the Machine-Wake Up
7. Harder,Better,Faster,Stronger-Daft Punk
6. Metallica-One



Even before Mike Tyson parodied it on The Hangover, In the Air Tonight has always been my favorite song of all time. Slow, haunting, oddly disturbing tale of retribution and revenge, beautiful voice, and great, subtle instrumentation leading up to the money shot...the drum solo. The drum solo, albeit brief makes this song stand out from everything else. Not only is it powerful, but in context with the song it's the exclamation point that really moves you to goosebumps. Here's to you Phil Collins.

Now onto my final Top top 5 video games...

5. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory
The entire Splinter Cell series (and for that matter the world because the books are amazing) is a brilliant work of video gaming and has left a lasting impact on gamers everywhere. The newest one is simply brilliant but the one that will always stand out to me is Chaos Theory. The most thought out and mature story, the best combat, the best stealth and the most polished, Chaos Theory stands out as the best of the series.

4. Heavy Rain
Quantic Dream's smash hit and debut on the Playstation 3 is brilliantly acted and written and is a true evolution of gaming storytelling. It does things that you wouldn't expect a video game to do and it really is a very engaging and touching game. It has a slow pace and it takes about 30 minutes to really get into it but from beginning to end this is a wonderful game.

3. Indigo Prophecy
The game right before Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream's Indigo Prophecy was a game that didn't mess around. You wake up and you are covered in blood with a dead body in front of you. From there you play a double story playing as the hunter (cops) and the hunted (the killer). It's a deep story with plenty of twists and turns and it's still fun to play all these years later.

2. Shadow of Destiny
A very under appreciated and unloved game, Shadow of Destiny was the first game made by the Konami team after Silent Hill 2. If you can find this rare gem it is definitely worth it. A time traveling murder mystery where the victim is you. Yeah...that's hard to beat...why isn't this a movie yet?
1. The Secret of Monkey Island

Pirates+George Lucas+Monkeys+Tim Schaffer+timeless humor+lovable characters+adventure=my favorite game of all time.

Well that about does it. Hope you could stomach all of this and I will be back with more reviews shortly. Thank you.


  1. Wow - a jam-packed post filled with lots of goodies!

    Ya know, you could've just told us about that story and we (probably) would've left you alone. Still, thanks for sharing it. :D

    Woo - #2! I figured your Demented Encyclopedic brother would be #1, so I was thrilled to take the runner-up spot. You guys should get an apartment together or something and write a sitcom.

    Four of my favorite podcasts, and probably my most listened to as well (actually, TDE and Big Mike's are about tied, if only because you each have roughly the same number of eps). My top 5 would probably switch out Filmspotting, which I've never listened to, for Destroy All Movies, which can be damn funny. Aside from that, all of the movies podcasts I listen to belong to LAMBs. I guess I just like to keep it "in-house" and leave the big-time podcasts to everyone else.

    Some great songs there, too...except for that dreadful number one. The only time I like Phil Collins is when Patrick Bateman is spouting his love for him/Genesis. I, too, am a Muse lover. Hard to pick their best song, though - it'd be about a 15-way tie.

  2. I realize that but any excuse I guess to do a huge post...;p

    Yeah it was actually the view numbers that did it. All of my top 5 are pretty close but you were a very close number two...

    A Nick and Travis sitcom WOULD be hilarious.

    Yeah Filmspotting is certainly something. If nothing else for sheer mass. But I will have to give Destroy All Movies a look

    Yeah I figured my number one would get the most crap. Actually my number two and one tend to switch periodically but for some reason that drum fill (solo is a bit much) always gets me. Plus I have some good memories with that song (if ya know what I mean)...and yes Muse was the toughest one for me but Knights has always been the most epic for me.

    glad you like it. i know its not a post #400 or anything special but when else was i gonna do it?

  3. Thank you for all the praise, Travis. It means a lot.

    As for your lists, I can't comment on the podcasts because mostly I don't find the time to listen to them.

    @Top 5 songs
    You have an interesting taste. I remember being hooked on 7 Nation Army when it came out. But time passed since then, and I have found my "calling" in heavy metal, although I listen to other music like film and video game scores, country and post-rock. My Top 5 varies from time to time, but my #1 doesn't:
    Blaze Bayley - Smile Back at Death
    . A great epic song inspired by the film Gladiator.

    @Top 5 games
    Out of the 5 games, I haven't played Heavy Rain (because I don't own a PS3, unfortunately).

    - Splinter Cell was a good game, but since I'm a Meta Gear Solid type of guy, I wasn't really blown away by this title. Very playable and very enjoyable, but compared to MGS... Michael Ironsdie rules, though!

    - Indigo Prophecy, it's called Fahrenheit in EU. I began playing it once, some years back and can't remember why but I haven't finished it. But I will, I definitely will. I hear the story is great and the gameplay is quite unique.

    - Shadow of Destiny, finally someone brings this title up! Amazing, intriguing and very innovative game that slipped under the radar. Such a shame.

    - Monkey Island. Tim Schaffer is a genius. A year ago, I had played through Psychonauts, Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle. I can't remember when a game got me laughing so hard. Just brilliant!

    P.S. You didn't make a list of your Top 5 books.

  4. Thanks for the shout out, Travis! Great post with some very interesting song choices. Glad to find a fellow White Stripes lover!

  5. Heck yeah! Thanks for the love, brotha. Oh, and thanks for posting that kayak story! And for future reference, typically when you're writing something and you cut out information that is there, you put [...] with the brackets and all. At the very least, if the HTML gets you, I'd use parenthesis (...). It'll help solve confusion. You could then asterisk the information and have some footnotes to explain what was cut in a short summary, if it's worth mentioning.

  6. Thanks for the shoutout in the website portion. You techically listed 6 podcasts (since you mentioned ours) but whatever. I'll take being your 6th favorite podcast.

    And jesus that's an old ass screengrab.

  7. Great post Travis! Completely agree about Cool Awesome Movies being a great site. I also love the song Losing my Religion :)

  8. I only just found this post! Thank you so much for those kind words Travis! I still miss TDE fondly ... my Tuesday morning commute is quieter without it!

    I said that the 'shutter island' debaucle was a highlight on the LAMBcast, it was purely fun and games and I meant no harm through it!

    Great to see some blog posts resuming again on this fantastic site! and I hope you're still listening to TSAJFS!