in Top Ten

Continuing our site’s 10th-anniversary extravaganza, I bring you my Top Ten favorite John Posts. It wasn’t easy going through ten years of reviews, which is why I stopped looking after I found ten I at least liked. Whether or not any of the following posts were actually good is debatable. All I know is they are posts I liked at the time and am not too embarrassed by today. Without further ado…

This isn’t a long post, it’s not a good post either. I only wrote this cynical birthday post about Val Kilmer to reach a post count for the end of the year—his birthday is January 31st. I’m sure anyone who has seen and trashed our “Brendan Fraser is Fat” video on YouTube would consider this joke a new low, but it’s all in good fun. I like Val Kilmer and I mean no venom or ill will regarding his weight and slumping career. It’s just a dumb joke for myself. Val, you can be my wingman anytime.

I explained the whole plot to Unfriended in excruciating detail right after I saw it. Sometimes you just got a lot of free time on your hands, you know?

I still can’t believe Christopher Lee recorded two historical metal albums at the end of his life. This post is about my reaction to Lee’s second metal album. Both were about King Charlemagne with Lee taking the role of the titular monarch, but I chose the second album because liked it better. Keep in mind neither were good, mixing in melodramatic strings and theater rejects playing other characters in this conceptual mess. What I like about this review is I have fun with it, but I’m still honest about my overall opinion. It was stupid, but it was cool because, well, it’s Christopher Lee. R.I.P. Count Dracula/Count Dooku

“Retrospecticus” posts (the theme title was stolen from a Simpson’s gag) were lists, we did when we delved into an entire catalog of an artist or filmmaker. I’ve done retrospectives for the Coen Brothers, The Black Keys, the Resident Evil Games, but if I had to pick a favorite I would go with Spoon.

One, it’s a band I’ve spent a lot of time with. I’d already heard all of their albums many times before deciding to do a retrospective. Thus, it didn’t feel like a scattered collection of new thoughts about albums I’d just heard minutes before writing the post. Two, it was a challenge because the differences between Spoon albums are subtle. You really have to work at it to find something unique to say about each album. I like to think I did an okay job with that. Do you?

It’s a blast to review bad movies for me and this one was no exception. The horrible dialogue and story and effects. Everything! This is one of the most embarrassing films I’ve ever seen. I’m glad there’s a record of me explain why that is. It’s purrrfect.

A few years back I decided to take advantage of a terrible pun and do a five-week retrospective of the Planet of the Apes movies. What was so fun about this one was how the films seemed to get weirder and weirder as they went on. Even though only one (maybe two) of the movies are good it was an enjoyable experience exploring such a goofy franchise. It’s bananas to think how heavy and philosophical that series has become with the recent trilogy.

I wish we did more recaps of conventions and concerts. It’s a nice time capsule of our experiences. This was a post about the time I saw the Beach Boys back together for their 50th anniversary at the Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, WA. Because I went with 50 factoids I feel like I haven’t forgotten a single thing about that show. From Mike Love’s bad jokes to the band screwing up on “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)” it’s like I’m still there among a sea of drunk baby boomers.

As an added bonus this post was linked by a Brian Wilson fansite once. So it continues to pick up those good vibrations.

Watching and reviewing all the Miyazaki movies was a magical experience. The only problem is they were all so good I felt bad not having anything critical to say about them. Though it makes me smile to revisit my first viewings of films like Ponyo and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Miyazaki is one of my favorite storytellers and I’m glad I got to do this tribute to his work.

A handful of years ago I became obsessed with contributing Photoshop pics to’s Photoplasty contests. I never won—I did take 2nd once and was the featured photo for another list—but I was happy to be a part of a site I’d enjoyed for many years. I always meant to make the leap from submitting Photoshop’s to submitting articles, but never found the courage. One idea I almost went forward with was “The Top Ten Songs the Beatles Gave Away” I like to think it’s a unique idea, but never submitted thinking it was too niche.

Not long after I decided to post the list here on where it regularly generates respectable traffic. It’s not getting thousands of clicks a day, but people seem to check it out and I’m happy because I spent a lot of time on that one. If there is one band I’m comfortable writing about it’s the Beatles and I’m glad I have something out there I can be proud of. Imagine that.

Far too often I feel like I’m talking out of my ass with my reviews of movies or albums. Like, why would anyone want MY TAKE on the latest Kendrick Lamar album or Guardians of the Galaxy movie? What do I have to offer that you can’t get a better version of on a thousand other pop culture sites? Yet I always feel comfortable reviewing old horror movies. Not only because I understand them, but I understand their influence on the cinematic landscape, the trends that follow, the clichés, and what makes them great. Thus, I like to think my 12-part series on the Friday the 13th series last year is the best representation of my strengths as a writer.

Starting on January 13th, 2017 week-after-week (every Friday) I reviewed a Friday the 13th movie. For each film, I made a point of not skimping on the plot, explaining the ever confusing series continuity, and sharing behind the scenes stories. I went into most of these films for the first time, worked on each post for about two days before posting, added links to clips from the films and kept the tone light and comical. My favorite touch was that I would often spend the first three or four paragraphs reflecting on each film’s place in the grand scheme of the genre. I talked about things like reboots, box office returns, and cultural significance. I’m not saying they are the best reviews of these movies online—far from it—but I think I had a fresh take. Which is why I can’t wait to do the same thing again with my Halloween marathon beginning in August.