Thursday, February 23, 2012


Back in June of 2010, I referenced a new podcast that my buddies Tom and Joel started called "Movie Conversations" (click here to read the original post). Believe it or not, they have continued to record this podcast once a week, and are still going strong, having recently recorded their 100th episode! In honor of their great successes, I thought I would go in a bit more detail in describing the podcast, highlighting some of my favorite episodes, and giving you my best reasons for why you should listen to these guys!

Before I get too far into this, I need to make a confession. These guys have recorded an hour-long podcast once a week, creating over 100 episodes over the course of about two years now. That being said, I was definitely late in arriving to the listening party. After learning what a podcast was, and then realizing this one is actually pretty entertaining, I made a goal to catch up and listen to every episode. Only problem was, I got into it when they were about 75 episodes in, and 75+ hours of listening was a daunting task. So after a few different experiments of how to most efficiently catch up, I have made a HUGE commitment and have challenged myself to have listened to all the podcasts by June. That may not sound like a huge commitment, but on top of what I have already listened to, that is roughly 70-80 more episodes to listen to in 100 days. But I am committed, and have started listening to their past podcasts on my way to and from work, along with during my lunch break and any other time I'm in the car. I have temporarily given up music in support of catching up with the irreplaceable witicisms of Tom & Joel. So as you read my review below, know that I am listening to their podcasts, in order, from earliest to most I may not be as current as they are! For your point of reference, as I write this today, I am currently listening to "Sports Documentaries" (recorded 4/21/11)...

So as I mentioned in my first post about this show, these guys have an insane amount of knowledge about movies, actors, and actresses that ranges across all genres of movies. As just a casual movie fan, I expected to be somewhat lost in their back-and-forth discussions about specific movies or actors, but surprisingly they do a great job in keeping the show topical and interesting, regardless of your movie prowess. What I was even more impressed with was the well-developed structure to the show on a consistent basis.

Every week, they choose a "main topic" such as Rachel McAdams or Hockey Movies, where they discuss an actor's filmography with their personal opinions inserted throughout. But in addition to this roughly 30 minutes of discussion, they start the show with what movies they have seen that week (Joel watches more movies 85% of the time), what movies are new to theaters that week, and random updates and personal gripes. I tend to enjoy this first half of the story the most, as it lends itself to more of their witty banter and inevitable arguments over completely inane subjects.

They also insert some great games like MASH (this was a hit early on in the podcast's life), and "Guess the Celebrity Age" (in which Joel has an uncanny ability to be incredibly accurate...for people under the age of 60). But I don't want to spoil too much, so read this post, then go enjoy the podcast!

As a bit of background, my friendship with Tom and Joel was formed around sports, and it still serves as the main subject of our discussions today. That being said, I have a certain affinity for the episodes where they discuss sports genre movies, or specific sports movies. But I will try and point out a few others along the way. But trust me, all of these episodes are worth listening to for a variety of reasons beyond their movie knowledge, like: their complete distaste for certain actors, their unwavering opinions, the potential for one of them to be slightly inebriated, the occasional off-color joke, and of course, random cameos from famous actors (you'll have to listen to see who!).

Jim Carrey (3/25/10)
This is my personal favorite for obvious reasons. For those of you that don't know, Jim is my boy. But that alone doesn't make this episode worth listening to. I recommend this one for the "Jim Carrey Movie Bracket" where they create a March Madness bracket by ranking 16 Jim Carrey movies (giving them #1-4 seeds) and walking through the bracket to see which movie comes out on top. Spoiler alert - I have some major fundamental disagreements with their decisions, but appreciate the time and effort nonetheless.

Childhood Baseball Movies (4/8/2010)

Phenomenal episode where they wax nostalgic for movies like Rookie of the Year, Little Big League, The Sandlot, and many more. These are the best movies of my childhood, and Tom and Joel share many of my points of view on these movies, and their banter extends well beyond the plot-lines of these movies, extending into spirited debates about all things in the movies and in childhood.

Saved by the Bell (3/17/11)

I know what you're thinking..."Wait a minute, that's a TV show!" But not to worry, Tom and Joel only focused on the two Saved by the Bell made for TV movies ("Hawaiian Style" and "Wedding in Las Vegas"). For any of you growing up watching this show, you will love hearing these two rehash some of the most ridiculous details of these movies!

Honorable Mention to the must-listen-to "My Cousin Vinny", "Mighty Ducks" and "Drew Barrymore" episodes!

Every week, Tom and Joel end the podcast by "plugging" the podcast, letting listeners know how they can support the podcast. As I end this post, I thought I would do the same!

WEBSITE - Visit their webpage at

- If you are a user of, go to the Movie Conversations website, click on the Amazon link at the top of the page, and then go about making your normal purchases...and for directing you to Amazon, Tom and Joel get a small kick-back percentage of your purchase (no additional charge to you) to help with their operating costs

- Follow them "@movieconvos"

- Follow them at

- Search "Movie Conversations" and subscribe to them, and leave them a review and give them 5-stars!

- Check out Joel's shirt designs at

BOTTOM LINE - If you like movies, and you like laughing - you need to be listening to this podcast! It won't disappoint!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Since I have not posted regularly in a while, I obviously have let a ton of topics go by without adding my commentary. That being said, I figured I'd devote this time to share with you all the random topics, news, thoughts, experiences and ideas that have come through my head recently. I will be smoothly transitioning from one topic to the next, so keep up!

Man, she had some pipes, didn't she? I mean, she could belt it better than anyone. My mom used to rock out to some old school music when my sister and I were kids, and Whitney always topped the list. The other hot artists on the list? Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, UB-40, and my boy Luther Vandross. Now that is a childhood worth living. Speaking of my childhood...

I am now living in a house, with my fiance, getting married this year, with a best friend whose baby is due next week...what gives? Now don't get me wrong, I love my life, and to be honest, I still crave Sunny Delight and laugh at fart sounds, but I swear one morning I woke up and I was living the real-life version of Tom Hanks' in "BIG". I wear suits and ties and drive to work and take conference calls on my Can't I go back to the days of YooHoo, patched-up jeans, and arts and crafts time? Speaking of arts and crafts...

Will someone please tell me why someone hasn't invented scissors that have soft cushioning on the insides of the thumb and finger-holes? Or if this exists, please tell me where I can find them! I mean, seriously, you cut more than seven items, and you're hand is shot, has random bruising on the sides of your fingers, and you dread cutting anything else! And when you're helping make your Save the Date cards and invitations, we're talking a couple more than seven! Shouldn't 3M or some company like that just have a monopoly on this stuff?! Speaking of that...

Why do I suck so bad at this game?! Whether it was playing as a kid with my sister (much smarter sister, I should add) or with Julie at home...I'm not sure I've ever won a single game, ever! I'm serious! Whether I take the strategy of buying up every property, or making bank on some houses and hotels, or relying on excellent rolling skills to land on Free Parking and passing Go, I always get my ass handed to me. It's never even close. I always end up being the guy (actually, I always choose the Top Hat piece) who picks up the dice, looks at the board, and realizes that landing on Income Tax or Chance will be my only non-death options. The worst part is, I still enjoy the game! I'm a sucker for good board games. Which brings me to...

Now, I know I have a bias as I loved all of the board games from my childhood (click here to read my post on nostalgic board games), but c'mon, someone has to come up with a good new game? I don't claim to be creative enough to do so, but I haven't played a good new board game in forever! If you have suggestions on good board games, please post your comments on this blog post for me to explore! Speaking of posting comments...

I swear, I have maybe five readers (holla!), and they probably check this once a month these days (which is my fault, as my posting has been sightly suspect as of late). If you are reading this, and either enjoy the content, or are a glutton for punishment and subject yourself to reading my gripes, let me know if you're reading this at all, and if so, what you like and don't like! I could rant and rave about anything, but I'm not sure it's worth it if no one is reading it! Speaking of ranting and raving...

Now I know this is not a new concept or complaint for anyone, but HOLY HELL, this is ridiculous! I don't care whether it's a personal size small bag of Doritos, or a party bag of Ruffles...the fact that I have to go elbow deep in that greasy bag to reach the first chip is annoying as hell. These are supposed to be bags of food, not hot air balloons! I wonder if the chip bag manufacturers are actually well-intentioned 'do-gooders' on a mission to eliminate obesity and junk-food habits in the U.S. in order to promote healthier lifestyles? Probably not, but speaking of healthy lifestyles...

No, I'm not going five days a week and dead-lifting and bench-pressing tons of weight like the ultimate machine you all know me to be...(I actually couldn't stop laughing as I wrote that line). I joined it because I wanted to be more active and decided that playing racquetball would be a great, fun way to keep me busy! So I'm playing racquetball 1-2 times a week, and man did I forget how intense that game can be! I've got the welts and bruises to prove that I still don't choose the best route to the ball, but it's fun nonetheless! Speaking of long words like "nonetheless"...

It's three words...when did it become one? I'm just gonna end on that question.