Top 5 Worst Movie Dads

Just in time for Father’s Day, develop a new appreciation for your dad by listening to Anderson and Bryan discuss the TOP 5 WORST MOVIE DADS.  Plus, find out how Bryan ruins Anderson’s weekend.

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/tfvpodcast/Top_5_Worst_Movie_Dads.mp3]

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Featured Artist: Phontaine

Click here for a list of films mentioned on this episode.



27 thoughts on “Top 5 Worst Movie Dads

  1. Love the podcast but I’m surprised by your comments about Chinatown. The title is explained in a quote at the end of the movie which itself sums up the entire theme of the movie. I’ll let this excerpt from an article explain it more eloquently than I could.

    “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

    It’s a pretty gnomic expression, but this is precisely its beauty. Part of the reason why this oddly dismissive line is so memorable is because of its vagueness, because it’s so clearly a metaphor. It’s the kind of line written to be thought-over, and despite being a mere five words long, it sums up the tone of the entire film.

    Taken literally, Jake’s partner is implying that in this part of town anything goes. There are mentions of Chinatown throughout the film, and Jake’s had some ill-fortune there before (though it’s never revealed what took place the first time around). Really, though, its meaning is much broader. The lawlessness isn’t limited to Chinatown: those with power and wealth are above the law no matter where the location. In a sense, Jake’s colleague is really just offering him advice: don’t bother trying to battle rich, powerful enemies, he implies, there’s nothing you or I can do to change the way things are.

    But the quote takes on an even larger meaning when you consider that this sense of futility and disillusionment wasn’t limited to the world of the film. Around the time of the release of Chinatown, the American public were in a state of despair. By the early to mid ‘70s, the idealism of the ‘60s was long gone, the public had been jolted out of its complacency after witnessing governmental abuses of power everywhere from Watergate to Vietnam. The government, just like Jake’s wealthy antagonist Noah Cross, were getting away with murder. Nothing could be done, and powerlessness bred apathy. The public may as well have shaken their heads and told each other, ‘Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.’



    Posted by J | August 22, 2013, 2:22 PM
  2. So many people come on here and just complain. To them I say: let it go and enjoy the best film podcast in the multiverse. Thank you.


    Posted by The Troof | June 13, 2012, 3:46 PM
  3. Bryan, please listen to any of The Film Vault podcasts and listen to how many you say the words “uh” or “um”. Seriously, pick any one. Holy shit it is annoying. Along with stopping your interruptions of Anderson, please stop this too. Thank you.


    Posted by Jake | June 13, 2012, 12:29 PM
  4. Complaining about the “spoilers” is like saying you couldn’t enjoy a concert because someone told you in advance what songs the band would be playing or you couldn’t appreciate a painting in an art gallery because you had already seen a picture of it in the newspaper.

    Everyone knows that Hamlet dies in the end of the eponymous play but they still teach it in school because the story is simply a device to showcase superior writing. A film’s plot is simply a device to showcase acting and cinematography. If it wasn’t, people would would just buy the scripts at a bookstore and read them.

    The Harry Potter and Twilight series are two recent examples of this. Presumably most of the audience at these films knew exactly what was going to happen but still paid their money to see the film because they wanted the cinematic experience.

    It’s probably symptomatic of our narcissistic society that people believe that others shouldn’t be allow to discuss film plot points (on a film discussion program) if they themselves have not gotten around to seeing the film.


    Posted by TJ | June 12, 2012, 10:52 PM
    • Knowing the songs the band is going to play is one thing – telling me in detail about something the band intended to surprise the audience with is another. I don’t see anyone complaining about discussing plot points. We’re talking about the big reveals. There’s a difference – and it’s a big one.

      I don’t know if you noticed, but even Bryan vehemently protested when Anderson threatened to reveal any plot points about Promethius; not the big reveal, mind you, plot points. It’s why we don’t tell people what’s in the gift-wrapped box before they open their birthday present.


      Posted by Gail | June 13, 2012, 8:54 AM
    • So I first heard about Capturing the Friedmans on this podcast on the Top 5 Disturbing Documentaries episode. In that episode they were able to talk about the movie without talking about what specifically happened, they hinted at it but didn’t reveal what it was. However, in this episode Bryan didn’t hint he just told everything that happened so now when I watch it, I won’t be surprised at what happens. There are times when spoilers bother me, but usually they don’t. For example, I had a friend who read all of the Harry Potter books before me and told me what happened when I didn’t want her to and that ruined it for me. I do understand that Bryan and Anderson can’t make everybody happy by having a podcast about films and not being able to talk about them in depth without people bitching that they spoiled the movie. I get it, and this was the only time I was upset about it. I will say that on a podcast about films people should be prepared for spoilers and while people can be upset about it (myself included) it’s probably not going to stop happening.


      Posted by Chantel | June 13, 2012, 12:00 PM
  5. I coudnt believe shen Layne killed himself Im surprised Bryan doesnt watch Mad Men


    Posted by Zach | June 12, 2012, 4:29 AM
  6. I adore you guys AND, Bryan, I haven’t seen the movies you spoiled for me today. Anderson, there’s something odd about Bryan’s zeal for spoiling movies. He cares so much about our experience as listeners, except on this issue; it’s a complete mystery to me. I’m counting on you to reel him in for us, Anderson. He doesn’t get it for some reason. Please save us from Bryan’s special form of turrets.

    You know what it could be? ::sniff:: The chemo.


    Posted by Gail | June 11, 2012, 5:10 PM
  7. I had my doubts about this episode because of the subject but I was pleasantly surprised. However, one thing bothered me, I didn’t like how Bryan spoiled Capturing the Friedmans. I finally decided to rent it and I haven’t seen it yet but I was excited to see it because of the Top 5 Disturbing Documentaries episode from way back when. I have listened to that episode a lot and finally decided I should watch Capturing the Friedmans, and it was spoiled for me. I understand that you guys aren’t sure what the audience has seen but try not to spoil the movie. I don’t know how many times this has come up and usually I don’t care but this one bothered me. I did enjoy the list though, unfortunately nobody came to mind for me but I wish I had seen Chronicle before this came out because Andrew’s dad was horrible and he would’ve been on my list for sure.


    Posted by Chantel | June 11, 2012, 10:10 AM
  8. This episode’s picture is appropriate because it reminds me of the scene in “Due Date” in which Robert Downey Jr.’s character opens up about his dad’s abandonment of him then Zach Galifianakis bursts into wild laughter and says, “My dad would never do that. My dad LOVED me.” In this case, it’s Bryan’s reaction to Anderson’s revelations that his dad traumatized him by taking him to disturbing movies.

    Re: Drive. Time has already proven that you guys were 110% incorrect about it. You even said something like, “FILM SCHOOL PROFESSORS WILL BE SHOWING THIS FILM TO THEIR STUDENTS FOR DECADES TO COME.” Uh, no. The tragic part about it, as many people have stated, is that it started as very promising then nosedived. It’s ironic that Christina Hendricks is in it because it’s just like Mad Men– all style with nothing underneath. Also, if Ryan Gossling were ugly people would just think that he is an unlikeable psycho, not a mysterious, taciturn cool guy.


    Posted by Michael P. Gowdy | June 11, 2012, 9:17 AM
  9. BB, I am a big fan and have been listening to this podcast from the beginning, but I have never been so angry. It always frustrates me when you spoil movies. Do you not realize that you completely ruin movies for people that have not seen them? I love movies and it is not uncommon for me to watch 10 – 15 per weekend because I am a big loser, but that being said, even I have not seen all of the movies you guys talk about on the show (although I have seen Chinatown of course). Not everyone can watch the amount of movies you guys see, so therefore everyone can not be expected to see even the classics, no matter how long ago they are released.

    Many people listen to this show to get ideas of movies to see. And when you ruin the reveal on shows, you are destroying their ability to get the full enjoyment of the show. You could have talked about Chinatown by just mentioning the character, stating that he is a horrible dad and said no more. That way the people that have seen it would know why, and it creates some intrigue for those that haven’t seen it. Also, it does not help to spoil the movie, then AFTER you have spoiled it to say, “Spoiler Alert”. If you insist on spoiling the ending to movies, please at least have the courtesy to say, “I am going to spoil the ending of a movie. If you do not want to know the ending, skip ahead 2 minutes”. One of the best “services”, if you will, of this show is it introduces people to movies they haven’t seen, and when you spoil the endings, it completely destroys the service you are providing. You are a very intelligent person, please use more tact in the future, no matter how old the film is.

    And Anderson, you will probably not like The Change Up because it is silly and not “hipsterish” enough for you, but it has a lot of funny stuff in it. I enjoyed it (but I enjoy most movies, which is why I like to watch them).


    Posted by moviejunkie | June 10, 2012, 9:32 PM
  10. Can we liven up the gambling segment a little bit (or get rid of it)? Picking Rotten Tomatoes scores is getting old especially as Bryan and Anderson seem to be taking turns at being totally clueless. And now that they seem to be headed for the inevitable tit-for-tat of assigning movies that no one wants to hear about and they don’t want to see, what’s the point?

    Logan, earn your 13-15% and come up with a fresh idea here.


    Posted by Tom | June 10, 2012, 3:57 PM
  11. Discussion of “Happiness” and how awful it would be for that character reminded me of Peter Lorre in “M”.


    Posted by SteveC | June 10, 2012, 9:16 AM
  12. best. episode. pic. ever.


    Posted by Wendy | June 10, 2012, 12:46 AM
  13. holy shit. bryan ruined one of the greatest endings of a movie ever. WTF. im so glad i watched it beforehand.


    Posted by lee | June 9, 2012, 10:30 PM
  14. It’s funny listening to Anderson saying that Prometheus isn’t a prequal. I saw it today and it is ABSOLUTELY a prequal. And after Anderson sees it, he will agree. There is no denying it.

    Nice job, Bryan, on cutting down on the interruptions.


    Posted by Pete Horansky | June 9, 2012, 6:05 PM
  15. 1:23 and 30 seconds for the best part of the pod.


    Posted by Mark W | June 8, 2012, 8:30 PM
  16. Rosebud was the sled.

    Spolier Alert.


    Posted by Abbi | June 8, 2012, 2:38 PM
  17. The Change-up is a solid movie. I realize it isn’t the change-your-life, art house movie with ambitious style but not eveything has to be. It is a mainstream comedy with a reboiled plot, but the Reynolds and Bateman were great together, the humor was edgier than I’d expected, and it was just laugh out loud funny. I was thoroughly entertained.


    Posted by Joe L | June 8, 2012, 2:03 PM
  18. Yes Anderson it does explain why his foot’s bleeding in The Perfect Host, you just missed it.


    Posted by Elle | June 8, 2012, 1:50 PM
  19. Bryan, here’s the thing about spoiling 45-year-old movies… Mankind was not all born on the same day, going through life at the same time. Spoiler alert: children are born every day, and eventually they will grow up and want to watch older movies. Should a five-year-old kid expect to have the ending to The Sixth Sense spoiled for him because it’s 13 years old?

    That being said, if you’re listening to a podcast that revolves around movie discussion, then you’d be an idiot to not expect there to be spoilers. I have no problem with you spoiling movies (it hinders the discussion not to), just the logic behind your justification for doing so.


    Posted by Kevin | June 8, 2012, 9:43 AM
    • I came on here to comment on that as well. I love The Film Vault but it really frustrates me that Bryan can’t seem to figure out why its bad the spoil even old movies. What is really confusing about his lack of understanding on the matter is that I thought the whole point of Film Vault was to bring up older movies and therefore encourage people to check out more than what is new to theaters. If you are going to spoil those movies then I really don’t understand the point of even bringing them up.

      Plus, Netflix streaming has really made the point of “it’s a 45 year old movie” moot. A few years ago if you hadn’t seen Chinatown you probably weren’t going to see it if not by chance. Now, with an endless supply of classic movies on streaming service people are encouraged to check out classics that they had previously not gotten around to. Such is the case with me and Chinatown (which is number 3 on my instant queue).

      I guess my point is just that there is really no excuse for spoilers anymore. Its definitely possibly to talk about movies without spoiling them and if you are going to spoil at least let us know. I appreciate that you did with Chinatown so I could stop listening but I’m afraid Bryan wouldn’t have if Anderson hadn’t said anything.

      Other than that keep up the great work guys. Been listening every Friday since your premiere on ACE.


      Posted by Dan | June 8, 2012, 11:33 AM
  20. Brian – So glad you brought up Capturing The Friedmans. It is a fantastic, compelling, and disturbing documentary. However, you seem to have skewed some of the major details in the film. At the very least, the it leaves the issue of whether Arnold was a bad father very open. He was undoubtedly a pedophile, which I suppose might make one a terrible parent regardless, but there is a huge doubt as to the validity of the charges presented in the film especially if Arnold has ever done anything inappopriate to his own children and subsequently the issue of Jessie’s guilt or involvement. Brian’s recap doesn’t accurately represent this. (I’m not trying to be TFV fact checker, but the movie wouldn’t be nearly as effective if the case were that conclusive.)

    The film certainly leaves those issues open at the least, if not downright casting doubt on the charges. I think one of the most disturbing aspects of the movie is that at times, it appears as if Arnold is a great dad, and even considering that option feels creepy to the audience. Anyway, this is one of my all time favorite docs! I suggest watching the dvd extras and looking into this which gives some perspective to the social context of the time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-care_sex-abuse_hysteria. It’ll only take a few minutes and adds so much to one’s understandingn of the movie.

    Side note, I hope Anderson can get Brian to go back to top fives that lead to movie suggestions. This was a fun episode, but doesn’t leave me with a long list of movies I want to check out like Top Five instant streams or Top Five Biographical documentaries or something.

    Didn’t mean to just post a bunch of turdy complaints. TFV is probably my favorite podcast. I just wanted to throw these items out there.


    Posted by Joe L | June 8, 2012, 8:18 AM
  21. Such a fun episode. Anderson’s story about him and his to-be bride watching Bryan’s #2 is so awesome. Meant for each other, in the nicest way possible.
    Bryan is a horrible person for picking THAT movie for Anderson.


    Posted by LFC | June 8, 2012, 5:42 AM
  22. worst movie dads? will they match up with the stories of bad dads from loveline?

    doubt it


    Posted by DocDroo | June 8, 2012, 1:27 AM

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