Desert Island (Digital Versatile) Discs

It’s collaboratin’ time. The great Fandango from the great movie blog Fandango Groovers has very kindly invited us – and a whole host of other movie bloggers – to pick the DVDs they would bring with them to a desert island. As both us Rosses already live on islands, we are ideally placed to name the perfect flicks to watch in order to while away the hours. To read Fandango’s list and those of other bloggers, click HERE. They’ve all named eight movies each. Because there’s two of us (and because we’re lazy), we’ve named four apiece. Check out our picks after the jump.


What a preposterous idea! What on Earth would I be doing watching DVDs if I was stuck on a desert island? Where would I plug my DVD player in? How would I keep the sun from shining on the screen? Where would I get my popcorn and Coke? How would I access my website to write about how crap they are? Alright, SUPPOSE I play along and SUPPOSE I imagine I have nothing to do but lie on a beach and watch DVDs all day… aw, man that would be sweet…


If I’m only allowed to bring four discs (who knew the luggage restrictions were so strict?), then longevity is the key. Moulin Rouge! is a film I can watch and then watch again as soon as the credits roll. The pure energy of the film always cheers me up, even though the ending is quite glum. In fact, I seem to keep forgetting what happens in the end (even though it is described in the opening lines) which perhaps is one of the reasons I can watch it again and again. Plus I can sing along all day long and nobody will complain. Not that anyone ever does – I do a mean Come What May.

Click HERE to watch a clip


Bit of an obvious one, and probably on a few bloggers’ lists. If there’s one film that defines the word ‘hope’, it’s this, and if mine needs some recharging while I sit and wait for a rescue ship, Dufresne and co are always up to the task. If Andy can manage 20 or so years in Shawshank topped off with a swim in a river of shit, then I think I can manage a leisurely movie session on a sunny island. This island is one of those sunny ones, right?

Click HERE to watch a clip

CAST AWAY (2000)

It makes sense to me to bring a film I haven’t seen before. I’m assuming I won’t have access to Netflix? Cast Away is on my list of ones to watch, so what better time to do it? Also, I imagine I could pick up some tips on survival and making friends with the native sports equipment.

Click HERE for clip

9 SONGS (2004)

This film is an absolute triumph of British cinema, challenging the censors that so frequently decimate the director’s vision without a second thought for his artistic intentions. The film’s lifeblood is its pulsating soundtrack, featuring generation-defining music from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Elbow, Franz Ferdinand, The Von Blondies, Primal Scream, Dandy Warhols, Super Furry Animals and Michael Nyman. Seriously though. I’m gonna need some smut. Can’t rely on hollowed-out coconuts forever…

Click HERE for clip



Having been unfortunate enough to have already been stuck on an island (Ireland) with Ross McD for a considerable period of time, I think I would be well prepared if I found myself trapped alone on a desert version. I wouldn’t necessarily take the four movies that I like best (I’d probably feel a bit more lonely after watching Zodiac under a palm tree, and as for Jaws, well…) but the films that over the years, be they recent or decade-filled, have almost come to be regarded as good friends.


A movie that makes This Is Spinal Tap look like This Is Not As Funny As Some Kind Of Monster. The rockumentary on James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and co is a film that just keeps on giving. I’ve watched it a number of times and on every viewing I find something fresh and funny that I hadn’t noticed before – a quip here, a seemingly bland throwaway line there. It’s also a film I can easily dip in and out of. Like a good book you’ve read dozens of times, you can just flick to a random chapter before sitting back and enjoying the ride. The DVD also has a plethora of extra scenes that were funny enough to make it into the finished film. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s got lots of music on it too. And on a deserted desert island, who’s gonna shout at you to turn down the heavy metal?

Click HERE for clip


Who needs to explore an island when I have these guys to do all the exploring for me? After a hard day’s sweeping the sand from my hut, watching this will be the perfect way to unwind. The filmic equivalent of calling round to your friends when you’re ten years old and going off on an adventure, The Goonies is exciting, soothing and riproaring fun all at the same time.

Click HERE for clip


‘Why aren’t you popular with the Chicago Police Department?’ I’ve tried to write about Midnight Run before and I just find it a real struggle. I could say it’s funny and I could say why it’s funny but I can never quite put it into words well enough to do the film justice. Let’s just say it would keep me in constant good humour were I to be stranded on an island all by myself.

Click HERE for clip


Yeah, that’s right. I’m going to be bringing Black Rain on a desert island with me. You can stick The Godfather and Raiders Of The Lost Ark where the sun don’t shine, quite frankly. Black Rain is absolute drivel. Even though it was released at the fag end of the decade in 1989, it is probably more of an ‘eighties’ movie than your Ferris Buellers or your Pretty In Pinks. Watching it is like biting into a Wham bar and playing with Bruce Sato at the same time. It’s not very good, but is one of those films that has a strange hold on me. It’s arguably Ridley Scott’s worst film (yes, worse than A Good Year) and yet I can’t turn it off if it comes on TV. Maybe it’s because the allure of watching Michael Douglas play a renegade, fish-out-of-water New York cop is too much. Maybe it’s because I keep rewatching it in the hope that Andy Garcia doesn’t get his head sliced off this time. Or maybe it’s because I have no taste in films whatsoever. Whatever the reason, Black Rain is coming with me. Because I love it.

Click HERE for clip

For the full list of Desert Island Discs from all movie bloggers, click HERE


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40 Responses to “Desert Island (Digital Versatile) Discs”

  1. Was going to include Castaway in mine too, as thought it would be appropriate!

  2. Looking through The Shawshank Redemption isn’t in many other lists. I’m pretty sure you’re the only person to mention 9 Songs, its actually a good movie. When I looked in earlier to see if the link worked I saw Cast Away and thought it was McG taking the piss then I came back and read it. There could be some great survival tips in there, I wouldn’t know I havent seen it either! Onto McG’s picks. All I can say is you have gone up in my estimations by picking Some Kind Of Monster, inspired choice.

  3. I didnt think it was possible to go up any further in your estimations, Fandango

  4. I like how you guys also require smut if you’re going to be cast away for eternity!

  5. Paragraph… uh, just Ross McD, not this Ross.
    the difference is i have an imagination

  6. Black Rain is one of Ridley’s worst, and it’s actually the only film of his I’ve seen where I literally cannot remember anything anything about beyond the poster. I know I’ve seen it though.

    Hey, it would be pretty cool if you took a film to an island and literally forgot everything that happens the moments the credits rolled.

    And I don’t know about The Shawshank Redemption. I have a feeling that film would just drive me crazy with all that hope while I’m hopelessly stuck on an island.

    I thought somebody else would take Shawshank so I left it off… uh, thank you! I dig your list because it’s eclectic… you got a bit of everything up there… should help to pass the time.
    PS. If your “island” can be Ireland then I’m going to Sandals!

  8. Interesting list to say the least especially from McG! I knew someone would bring Cast Away. Good movie but let’s face it, that’s akin to watching yourself on your deserted island 😉

  9. yeah, good call Castor. unfortunately, looking at himself all day is McD’s idea of heaven. dunno why he needed to bring 9 Songs…

  10. Ross McG: You had me at Midnight Run…

  11. God, that cast photo from Moulin Rouge is freaky… I feel like they’re watching me through the monitor…

  12. Borrowed Moulin Rouge from a co-worker four months ago, still haven’t watched it, now I shall. Just put Some Kind of Monster on my queue last week. This is a thing of beauty. Solid picks, guys. Really beautiful shit.

  13. My first thought was bringing Cast Away, too, but then again with a state-of-the-art theater system, who needs Wilson?? 🙂 I was thisclose to bringing Moulin Rouge, it’s definitely my 9th pick… but yeah, this luggage restriction was really a tough one!

  14. Did Cast Away count as a desert island? There were trees, and water, and I don’t know the technical term for ‘desert’, but it didn’t seem very desert(y) to me.

    Anyway, Wilson kicks ass. He is truly a better man than I.

  15. Castaway? Hahahahahahaha!

    Black Rain? Well played.

  16. “It makes sense to me to bring a film I haven’t seen before.”

    I commented on this as well; no way am I taking a movie I haven’t seen with only 8 choices. With 50, perhaps, but not eight (and certainly not 4!). That said, Cast Away is at least a fitting title, and it’s a pretty obvious movie. You ought to know by now whether you think you’d like it or not.

    The Goonies was inspired as well; what better movie to motivate you to look for hidden treasure on this island?

  17. Gotta say. 9 Songs is a film that I did not expect to find on these lists, but props to you for choosing it. A great film. Great lists, all in all!

  18. @Fletch, haha – if I knew whether I’d like films or not before I looked at them, I could have saved myself from a lot of pain and boredom by not watching The Informant!

  19. @Simon, arent desert islands those little guys with exactly two palm trees, a hammock between them and sharks circling?

  20. Like you’d need your imagination with me in revealing desert island attire on the neighbouring isle….

  21. your island may be close to mine, but youll never get near to beating me in a movie battle
    oh, i went there.

  22. Why, you’re so slow…..well you’re not very fast at all, are you?

  23. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    Boys Ross, I can’t find a thing to disagree with here, although I’ve never seen “9 Songs” or “Black Rain.” I’ll get right on that.

  24. fast enough for you, young man

  25. MCarter… i dont think McD has seen 9 Songs either
    as for Black Rain, you really dont need to see it

  26. Black Rain? The cover says it all. Really, it does.

    Mainly “You wish you were this badass”, over and over again.

  27. Oh wow, the Goonies!! Absolutely awesome pick!! Also,what better movie than Castaway to bring to a deserted island than that, since it’s a veritable survival guide with Tom Hanks showing you how to make fire, lose weight and perform crude dentistry:)

    Your list makes me realize I still haven’t seen Moulin Rouge…

  28. Marc, get on that now, it’s the fifth greatest film of all time

    Ms Carter, I havent seen all of nine songs, just the good bits 🙂

  29. @ Ross McD: Yes.

  30. As ususal I find myself agreeing more with McD.
    Castaway might not be a great choice though, since it’s veeeeeery long, good but not great, and might put you off teh whole getting rescued idea.
    Totally agree with Moulin Rouge being a film you can watch again straight away. I’ve done it more than once…

  31. The Goonies!! that is a good one. completely forgot about it.
    Andy: I can’t tell… if it’s an “A sharp” or if it’s a “B flat”!
    Mikey: Heh, if you hit the wrong note, we’ll all “B flat!” 🙂

    Castaway- obvious choice. Include this one in mine too.
    Moulin Rouge- the fifth greatest film of all time.. not so sure.

  32. […] 3. This one has proved a popular choice, which I’m picking for much the same reasons as Ross McD.  This is a movie I can (and have) start watching again straight away as soon as it’s […]

  33. ‘ah, the beauty of subjective film appreciation, dividing film heads the world over.

  34. Great List!!! I want to put some of those in my list too but we can only pick 8.

    Cast Away will be perfect for this event…hehe we can learn from Tom Hank. I didn’t know there was a movie on Metalica, I’ll look for it now…thanks for sharing that

  35. Can’t agree with 9 songs inclusion, wouldn’t watch that again.

    Not a bad soundtrack, but thats about it.

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