Monday, May 11, 2020

Happy 10th Birthday Week, F This Movie!

by Adam Riske
Q: F This Movie! or Draft Day?
A: F This Movie!

Happy Birthday F This Movie! It’s humbling to think you’re coming up on 10 years of existence. I’m forever grateful you’ve reached this milestone and forged your way through one of the most bewildering, difficult decades I can imagine. You’re an essential resource in my life; a daily reminder that every day might not be good but there’s good in every day.

I’ve spent seven years as a contributor to the site but three years as a fan before that. I’ve said it many times, but from the first time I listened to the podcast (which was F The Music Box Massacre) I knew it was special. Patrick and JB talked about movies like I talked about movies. They were smart (they’re still smart) but didn’t talk down and they gave me a way to stretch as a movie fan. There’s been many cases where someone’s influence or passion at F This Movie! has inspired me to seek out a film or genre that I might not have ordinarily. Plus, the variety of recommendations over the 10 years has been tremendous. It’s not the syllabus of the same 1001 movies I need to see before I die.
I kind of warmed my way into being a contributor to the site. I started to comment and send Patrick occasional emails and I got to know the family by stopping by and saying hello at Music Box events or the random bump-in at our shared local AMC megaplex. This lasted for maybe a year and a half. I remember sitting with Patrick, Doug, Jan and JB at The Massacre in 2012 (held at my and JB's shared theatre we wouldn’t take home to mom – The Portage Theatre) and thinking “They should just ask me to be part of the site. I’m not going to ask them. I want it to be organic.” I was sending out signals and waiting to be asked out to prom so to speak. In January 2013, Patrick emailed me and Heath Holland (he and I joke that we’re in the same draft class…the seedlings of Draft Day were starting to appear) and asked us if we’d like to contribute to the site. I remember it being a big moment for me and I couldn’t wait to say yes. Up to that point I had been trying to find my “thing” in adult life – sailing, stand-up comedy, improv comedy, etc. – and writing for a movie site seemed fun. It’s been way more than that.

I’ve told Patrick this before, but one of the biggest gifts he gave me as a writer – something that’s hard for me to think about some days (I guess I am a writer) – is he was cool with me writing about whatever I wanted and pivoting to new ideas when I felt creatively tapped out on something (e.g. my early Doc Hollywood column, which I quickly felt was too condescending). More importantly, he seemed interested in allowing me to be myself. At the heart of it, I think the main reason F This Movie! is so important to me is because I’ve been myself here for seven years and our hub of the world seems to like that. I dabbled in trying to be serious on the site, such as writing a ton of reviews to try to get into critics’ groups, and while that didn’t work out as planned it honestly didn’t even bother me. I was part of the group that I really wanted to be a member of already. I won. Asking for more was no longer necessary for me. Plus, now that I had no fear of recourse from film critics; I could follow my heart and put Wish Upon at #6 on my top ten list.
I’ve made some real friends at F This Movie! and shared some great memories. Patrick has felt like a big brother. I can’t even put into words what a great person he is. Erika is my best friend at work (at our fantasy Blockbuster Video). JB is the film teacher I always wanted. Jan is my swiss army knife friend, equally adept in cooking, poetry, and Blade Runner. Plus, her answers at film Q&A’s are like commencement speeches. I can’t get enough of them. Mike Pomaro is the guy I would follow to any convention to share in our mutual nerdiness for horror and pop culture. Adam Thas (of the once-coined “Adam Beta” fame) is the mini-rivalry (because same first name and how could we co-exist?) that never was because he’s a gem and a super funny guy. Rosalie, a person I’m ecstatic we have onboard, is so nice and even better now that I know she owned several Vin Diesel wall posters. Speaking of Vin Diesel, Mark Ahn is like a home within a home as we share dinners at Yu’s Mandarin, and such classics as Birth of the Dragon, Parasite, and non-classics like Rambo: Last Blood, which was my recommendation we see, and, of course, the last movie we’d see in theaters for a long long time – the now infamous Bloodshot. Side note: I bet Bloodshot is kind of a little happy it has stayed in the national film consciousness this long. Erich’s my dude. I love his music. I love that he asks me about his music. I love that he’ll create an entire song about a woman on PTO after I send him some chicken scratch lyrics as a goof. Robyn is so much fun to talk to and shares my love of Disney movies (even though I suck at watching them on Disney+) and YouTube vloggers – an essential outlet for me so Thank You, Robyn. Doug is the only person, for real, that I worried for a long time about impressing. It was all in my head but for some reason I didn’t think I was worthy until I got an endorsement from Doug. I think I have it???? Finally, my brother in arms at Reserved Seating, Rob DiCristino. I suggested we write reviews together because his reviews and my reviews were so different that I thought a formula was there for something interesting. What ended up happening was I met a dude who sneakily has become my best friend. Even though I’m older, Rob is my consigliere in many ways (not for crime; that’s Erika).

I love our followers, affectionately referred to at times as F-Heads. I feel like I want to adopt many of you and claim you as my own before one of the other contributors on the site does. I’d name all the names (Hi Dana! Hi Sonia! Hi Margo! Hi Daniel! whose own shows I’ve been lucky enough to guest on), but I don’t want to leave anyone out. Let’s just say if you’re sitting here reading this, I’m thankful for you too. You are all so nice and knowledgeable and you make F This Movie! better by being part of our family everyday, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here with us these past 10 years. Is that all I have to say? Yeah, I think so. For fun, though, here’s some of my favorite podcasts we’ve done. Here’s to many more years of F This Movie! It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Favorite F This Movie! Episodes (shows I wasn’t on)

Runner-Up: American Reunion – Doug and Patrick really dug deep on a movie that’s not great. I still remember Patrick’s real concern that Jason Biggs might lose his family.

10. (tie) Wanted/Ghost – My favorite Mark Ahn episode from another movie I don’t like. Snowmageddon! Thunder Snow! Plus, Ghost-schmoopy is my favorite schmoopy.

9. Fighting Cancer with Movies – I remember listening to this in my car as I drove over to do my spot (following Jan) for the F Breast Cancer! event and thinking “I can’t follow that!”

8. The Leprechaun franchise – Mark Jones remains the best bit in the history of the site.

7. UHF – Erich and Patrick really knew what they were talking about and further elevated a movie I like. Erich episodes are always sneakily great for me.

6. Top Gun – The Haverick should have been an entire line of merch.

5. Halloween (2007) – Just like this movie kept Patrick up the night he saw it, this show kept me up the night I listened to it. There’s a lot to unpack in the Rob Zombie Halloween movies.

4. Josie and the Pussycats – Prime Rob. I love hearing his love (which I share) of early-2000s female rockers on full display.

3. High Fidelity – The analogy of the site being the record store and Patrick is John Cusack was like when you find out what Rosebud means.

2. Plan 9 From Outer SpaceEd Wood is one of my top 10 favorite movies and this is the best supplement to it.

1. F The Music Box Massacre – My Sliding Doors moment. If this episode didn’t exist, I probably wouldn’t be here at the site. It’s the best show I will ever listen to of any podcast for the rest of my life for that simple reason.

Personal Favorite I Was On

The 2017 Holiday Show –I can’t explain it. I just had the best time recording this with Patrick and I think it shows on the episode. I was probably more insightful elsewhere, but those aren’t the episodes I remember as much as this one. This felt magical to me, which is ultimately the goal of a holiday special.


  1. Adam, I love everything you wrote here so much even putting aside your sweet comment about me.

    You really sum up what's so special about this site & group of people, and I look forward to every column and podcast with your name attached.

    Did I get a little emotional reading this? Yes. Because there's no crying in baseball, but all emotions are allowed and encouraged at FTM and that's yet another reason I love it. :)

  2. I always look forward to episodes with you on them. I know I'm bound to hear about either a lost 90s gem or a new release that I have wrongly and naively turned my nose up at. If it gets an Adam endorsement it always has something interesting about it. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks for your support Ryan S! Have a great day.

  3. One of the things I adore about this community/site/podcast is every seems so fucking genuine and like Adam said in his column, organic. No shitty radio voices, no fake banter. I adore that I can hear/read some really insightful takes and information about a movie then hear "this movie is fucking awesome" or an Kelly Jo Minter impression. It's the best of both worlds!

  4. Listening to everyone on the F This Movie podcast when stumbled upon it 7 years ago was the best thing that could have happened.
    Its the highlight of my work week when I get to listen to people who feel like friends giving me a master class in film.
    Between reading the sight and listening to the podcast, I've discovered so many movies because I truly trust everyone's movie opinions that it motivates me to expand my viewing.
    My favorite episodes is when Patrick (Adam you always are me laugh playing off Patrick) and whoever that episode features, come at a movie with differing positions and dissect the strengths and weaknesses.
    That said, the "Chris Farley Show" episodes are always a joy.
    Thank you everyone for what you put out for all of us and Happy Birthday F This Movie!

    1. Thank you for being with us for 7 years! That's amazing.

  5. Yeah, this site and podcast is the best, but it's all the better with you Adam. I'm constantly amazed by how much writing you can put out, not to mention how good it all is. This piece is terrific.

    I think one reason people love F This Movie so much is how much everyone celebrates weird opinions and tastes. Everyone is welcome here, and that's amazing. And Adam, you certainly embody that with movies like Wish Upon! haha And I love it.

    Everybody ready for the best Junesploitation yet??

    1. Thanks so much for being in our world Daniel! You're awesome.

      I'm more ready for Junesploitation this year than I have ever been.

  6. Thank you for all the laughter you have given me. I really enjoy yours thoughts on movies but more your honesty as a person and your funny sense of humour. Big love to ya

  7. Adam, you are MY dude. Your contributions to this site, and to Twitter, and to dreams I will only share with my therapist, have meant so much to me over these past however many years. I'm always excited to listen to an Adam 'n' Patrick podcast (so much so that I spent hours flexing my "enhance" FBI audio muscles making sure your People Under the Stairs conversation was not lost to time... worth it). I love the goofy columns we've written together. Even if they had stayed email conversations, again... worth it. Thanks for taking me to my first Music Box movie (my last theatrical experience since we all hunkered in bunkers), and for helping make my Chicago trips all the more special.

    It feels like we're signing each other's camp yearbooks, except we get to stay at camp and I'm the weird kid locked away doing the fake radio show. It's cool, though, because I get to play "PTO" on a loop 24/7.

    1. You're the only person from New York I want to run over parking cones with (not a metaphor)

  8. I missed the first 5 years of this site which I will forever kick myself over. I've always been amazed by Patrick's eye for talent as I can't think of a single contributor over the years who I didn't like. Some may have had shorter tenures than others, but many of them like Heath, Stephanie, and Alejandra have gone on to do great things at other podcasts and sites.

    You in particular Adam have become so integral to FTM and what makes it great though, and embody the "Movie Love for Movie Lovers" motto in your ability to unabashedly and unironically champion movies that other people dismiss. Thank you and thank all the FTM contributors for continuing to make this community a positive place and for all the insight and humor you bring.

    1. Ross, you're awesome. So glad you've stuck with us. Thanks for the comment!

  9. I can't wait to walk around a convention with you again, Adam.

  10. Adam, you are very much a writer, sir! And with respect to all the amazing contributors, you have this "everyman" quality that I very much enjoy. Thanks for what you do.

  11. This is such a heartfelt piece! Love it, and have loved your very consistent contribution to the site since I started listening. I think I started listening pretty much around the time you joined the podcast/website. The pod's where you are co-hosting are definitely the ones that make me laugh the most. And you were the sole voice of positivity on the infamous Interstellar podcast. It's been fun to see your friendship with Rob grow over the past few years. And I appreciate your soft spot for 90's movie.

    Thanks, dude! Here's hoping you stick around for the next 10 years.