Desert Island Classics – The Cinematic Katzenjammer



Whilst I eagerly await your blogathon entries (please feel free to join in, click HERE for details), I wanted to shine some light on my long running Desert Island Films series, and more importantly the people who joined in and made it so much fun to do. I am therefore randomly visiting the archives and re-posting a few of the lists with some added kind words. I present to you; Desert Island Classics…… You may have read all 89 (!!!) of the lists so far, but I hope you won’t mind seeing a few of them again, and who knows, you may even find some new blogs to read.

To kick things off, I thought I’d start with my good friend Nick and his site The Cinematic Katzenjammer. Nick has been very helpful to me in my time as a blogger, aside from being a sounding board for my ideas, he has done some great design work and will be doing even more if he pulls his finger out……His site is the go to place for everything movie related, and with a big team of writers they cover all bases whilst being one of the best looking sites around. He is also looking for more volunteers for his own blogathon – The CK Movie Challenge, just click the link for the details. All in all, his is a site you should all be reading, and these were the films Nick decided to take to his Desert Island.


Desert Island Films is about choosing 8 films you would take if you were going to be stranded on a desert island and explaining your choices. They don’t necessarily have to be your favourites, just 8 films, no more or no less! You are also permitted to take one book and one novelty item which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.


The Princess Bride (1987)“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

princess bride

My all time favorite flick, The Princess Bride has the lovely ability to be watched over and over and never become boring. It’s a fairy tale of the glorious sort and has Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…What more could you ask for?

As a movie lover who is absolutely terrible with quotes, The Princess Bride is the rare kind of film that I can actually talk along with, as I am that obsessed. And to all of you that quickly judge me, a man, as a lover of The Princess Bride- go watch it before you give me a hard time, you silly nancies.

The Sandlot (1993)“You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”


Every summer, The Sandlot burns it images across my television as I watch it over and over. There’s something about the film that’s just so fun, so creative, and so damn American, I can’t help but crave the summer when watching it. It’s one of my favorite comedies of all time and is packed with one-liners I repeat almost as much as The Princess Bride.

I recently discovered that a lot of my non-American friends have never even heard of the flick (damn you Canada!), and I hope that my inclusion of this movie on the list will motivate them to go find it themselves and bask in the glory of a baseball movie.

The Dark Knight (2008)“Why so serious?!”

the dark knight

Yes, this film is on everyone’s list of favorite flicks, but there’s a reason for that, isn’t there? The Dark Knight not only revolutionized the way we look at superhero movies, but at summer blockbusters in their entirety. Christopher Nolan’s universe exploded into a massive world with TDK and gave Batman a story he’s been waiting to be a part of for almost 80 years. Not only is the film fitting for the hero, but we finally got to see The Joker, an insane agent of chaos, in the form he’s been dying to be in. Heath Ledger delivers an Oscar worthy performance and has gone down in history as one of cinema’s greatest villains.

It’s also worth mentioning that the film changed the way The Academy (yes, the g’damn Academy) comes up with the Best Picture nominees. Following the backlash of not including The Dark Knight on its annual list, The Academy expanded the category to up to 10 nominees.

Before Sunset (2004)“Baby, you’re going to miss that plane”.

before sunset

Good God is there a better film that depicts a more realistic romance than this? Part 2 of the Before Trilogy, Before Sunset reunites Jesse and Celine nine years after the events of Before Sunrise. The entire film is simply a 90 minute walk through Paris, as the two lost-lovers reconnect over incredible conversation, and has two of the best performances I have ever seen. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are absolutely perfect together, with their chemistry oozing out of your screen and right into your lap. It’s intimate, it’s emotional, and at times, even hard to watch, but holy cow is it incredible.

Cloud Atlas (2012) “This world spins from the same unseen forces that twist our hearts.”

cloud atlas

Unfortunately for me, I was unable to watch Cloud Atlas in theaters. It’s quite the shame, really, given the scope and ambition of this gorgeous masterpiece. Cloud Atlas is unlike anything I have seen before and it’s a true testament of the value and creativity of film-making. It’s in these facts that Cloud Atlas needs to be re-watched over and over and appreciated in every frame, picture, and actor. The film features a cast of only a handful of actors, who play a handful of roles stretched across a myriad of timelines, which only helps reiterate the fact that everyone and everything, across time and space, is connected. It’s a beautiful idea that’s executed brilliantly and has an incredible score to accompany it.

Plus, it’s almost three hours long. So if I have to drag my ass to a deserted island, Cloud Atlas alone will occupy plenty of my time.

Sunshine (2007) “We’re only stardust”


Debating on which Danny Boyle film to include on this list was quite the chore. On one hand, I wanted to include 28 Days Later, but being alone on a deserted island with images of “zombies” scratching themselves on the inside of my eyelids did not sound that pleasant. So I decided to go with Sunshine, his 2007 film that’s one of the best sci-fi flicks in recent memory. Telling the story of a small crew set to the sun to reignite it for the sake of humanity, the film is gorgeous in its special effects and even more haunting with its soundtrack. In the end, one of the characters talks about his own time, left alone, where he found God and talked to him about our existence and the value of life. Something definitely worth contemplating on an island by yourself.

Forrest Gump (1994)“Stupid is as stupid does”

forrest gump

I’ll admit, I almost included another Robert Zemeckis/Tom Hanks collaboration on this list, but I felt Cast Away may have been too upsetting given my circumstances on the island. So I chose to go with the classic Forrest Gump, another film you always find yourself watching whenever it comes on the TV. Forrest Gump is an American movie through and through and features one of the most likable, yet simple, heroes throughout all of movie history. It’s funny, it’s heart-breaking, and it just enough feels to put you in whatever mood you’re looking for. Hanks is superb (and Oscar-winning) and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t hold this film in high regard.

Amelie (2001)“These are hard times for dreamers”


French love starring the gorgeous Audrey Tautou, what’s not to love? Amelie is my favorite film of one of my favorite film-makers, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Mixing fantastical elements with an energetic realism, Jeunet manages to find the happiest moments and humor in everything. When you’re alone on an island, you need that kind of optimism. The film also boasts an incredible score by Yann Tiersen, allowing me to enjoy the film by just listening to it.


As for literature, you’ll find me having a much harder time picking a book than I did the eight films above. I’ll admit, I’m not much of a reader, but am really trying to remedy the situation. I guess I just prefer my stories playing out on screen a lot more than on the page. Call me… new school? Regardless, if I had to choose a book to take with me, I’d have to settle on On Writing by Stephen King. It’s a semi-auto-biography from the master of horror, who includes personal stories with lessons on how to become a better writer. Part text book, part personal anecdote, On Writing is one great read.



As for my luxury item, I’d have to keep it simple. A shit ton of paper and a bunch of pens (or one pen that never runs out of ink). I can draw, I can write, and even make paper airplanes? In the end, when you’re all alone, if you don’t have a way to outlet your creativity, you’re pretty much screwed.

The worst part of it all? Having to transcribe it all when I get rescued. Carpal tunnel syndrome, much?


Thanks again to Nick for taking the time to join the prestigious castaway list. If you would like to submit your choices and add your name to THIS LIST, please drop me an email to –


Leave a comment


  1. I’m a Classic? Hell yes. I feel handsome. Thanks for the shout out!!


    • Haha, yep and if this project bombs I’ll blame you! I even made the special classics poster all on my own 🙂


    • theipc

       /  July 31, 2014

      You’re still around??? I thought you and Film Hipster eloped and were living as husband and wife, making love under the Tuscan moon every night?

      Color me surprised!!


  2. Tom

     /  July 30, 2014

    Top picks from a top blogger! 😀

    It is good to see TDK up there, even despite it almost being a cliche choice at this point (one I’m painfully aware of since I can’t stop citing those films as some of my favorites, ever haha), you’re 100% right: it’s massively popular for a reason. It’s just a superhero adaptation done well.

    Moving on, I’d like to see Amelie and the entire Before. . .trilogy, to see what the fuss is all about with those guys. I don’t doubt the hype, but the hype has gotten me extremely curious.


  3. Wow what a blast from the past! It’s cool to see a Head in a Vice Desert Island post again!


  4. Cool cool cool! Love it 🙂


  5. I’ll have to look our entries up and see what we had on them. Mine may have changed a bit. Maybe Garry’s too. These are such fun to do anyhow 🙂


  6. The Sandlot on Blu-ray is what dreams are made of. Such a good movie!


  7. Abbi

     /  July 31, 2014

    Some cool choices here.



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