Podcast Review: The Film Vault

The first podcast in the series that I wasn’t previously listening to and I’m already wondering why I even bothered!

The Film Vault

The Gist

The Film Vault is a podcast based out of, I believe, Los Angeles, that has been around for a few years now, I think. The reason I’m so murky with my facts is because The Film Vault was just recently canceled by its host network and then brought back independently. That may not even have been the first time the podcast was canceled, changed networks, or the like. All this means is that there are no dedicated archives of the show, nor is there a repository of information about the show. Thus my background info is a bit shady, but them be the breaks folks. As far as the content of the show goes, an episode is usually released weekly, running somewhere around an hour to an hour and a half. The hosts are Anderson Cowan and Bryan Bishop, and their main drawing point is a top five feature. There are other features they run, but to be honest the feature names are irrelevant as every one of the features is the same, “this is a movie I just watched and I’m going to talk about it” with no real external or internal theme separating one feature from another.

Episodes Listened To

#Unknown: And We’re Back
#Unknown: Top 5 Comebacks
#Unknown: Summer Movie Recap 2011

My Thoughts

The Film Vault was recommended to me by a guy whose opinion I don’t always agree with, but I gel with the type of guy he is. However, I can not for the life of me understand what he sees in The Film Vault. Unless I am mistaken he has called The Film Vault one of the best, if not the best, film related podcasts out there. I ended up falling on the other end of the spectrum. The Film Vault is at the bottom of the barrel with such crap like Comedy Film Nerds, it is that worthless of a podcast.

I’m being harsh right out of the gate, I know, but the show really left me no choice. From the start I was annoyed by the show on every possible level. I could sit here and tell you that The Film Vault is professional as far as its audio and technical aspects are concerned. I could, but a piece of shit is still a piece of shit, no matter how pretty the toilet it is deposited into. There isn’t a single redeeming quality to be found in The Film Vault, and trust me I tried like heck to find some sort of redeeming quality. Try as I might at every turn I was left with a show that had nothing to say about film, featured a pair of annoying hosts, and was too interested in name dropping to bother bringing actual film discussion to the table.

It made perfect sense when I found out that The Film Vault sprang from an association with Adam Carolla. I’m not a fan of Adam Carolla, he isn’t funny and when he does talk about movies, such as his second appearance on The Nerdist, he comes across like a man who has no idea what he is talking about. Once I found out that The Film Vault had previously been on Carolla’s podcasting network my distaste for the show made even more sense. The Film Vault brings the same level of aimless crassness to the table that is the norm for Carolla. There’s a level of banality to The Film Vault that is impossible to get past, and I could never shake the feeling that I was listening to two guys trying to talk about film as opposed to actually talking about film.

If that last sentence was confusing, and I can see how it could be, it is spelled out in the way the two hosts comport themselves. They aim for humor mixed with film talk, but they fail in both regards because neither man is funny and neither man is knowledgeable about film. I know the type of show that Anderson and Bryan want to put out and I know the type of show they think they produce. The reality is that they produce a show devoid of worthwhile content. The hosts of The Film Vault are more interested in annoying turns of a phrase, nose sniveling, and name dropping than producing an actual quality show. I get it guys, you live in LA and you know a lot of people. Guess what, no one cares how many people you know and it sure as heck doesn’t make me want to hear what you have to say. Say something of interest, stop with the stories about your interactions with “insert celebrity name here” and tell me something that makes me think you have a reason to occupy my ears every week.

You know what, there’s not much more I feel the need to say about The Film Vault. It’s a terrible podcast, one of the worst I have ever had the displeasure of listening to. The show has its legions of fans, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why. There’s no worthwhile film talk to be found in The Film Vault. There’s no humor to be found in The Film Vault. There’s plenty of banal surface discussion, name dropping, and a pair of annoying hosts to be found in The Film Vault. If that’s your thing then have it, I’ll kindly pass and enjoy my life all the more for it. My obvious advice is that you unsubscribe from The Film Vault, it’s the only course of action that makes any sense if you are a person who actually loves film and likes to laugh.

The Bottom Line




51 responses to “Podcast Review: The Film Vault

  1. I like Carolla quite a bit. In his podcast he is about as quick on his feet with a good joke as anyone.

    That said, I completely share your disdain for the Film Vault. I tried maybe 5 episodes and there wasnt a single interesting choice amongst the top 5 lists….and I think Id seen every movie (its nice if a podcast helps one discover a few things). The worst part was the red light green light segment in my opinion.

    One of the episodes I listened to guest starred the Comedy Film Nerds by the way.

  2. I had trouble picking a worst part simply because I felt just about every second of the show was in the running for being the worst part.

    Ouch, was that these guys plus the Comedy Film Nerds guys, because that is just an unholy combination of suckiness.

  3. Ouch. Sorry I steered you wrong, Mr. Thompson! I can’t say I’m much surprised, though, as it’s a show that seems to have more loathers than lovers.

    Taste is taste, so I won’t debate you on the merits of the show, but I would like to contest one point: “neither man is knowledgeable about film.” While it’s true that Mr. Bishop’s spectrum of film-watching is not the most expansive, he is well-versed in the trivial aspects of film; he has done quite well in both Totally Topical TiVo Trivia and the The Leonard Maltin Game, for example. As for Mr. Cowan, he attended film school, worked in film production, and has seen many films. (Unfortunately, years of recreational drug and alcohol use have somewhat clouded his memory.)

    And, for anyone interested, many of the pre-ACE shows can be found archived here: http://www.thefilmvault.net

  4. I guess I should explain my “lack of knowledge” comment. In the context I’m using it I’m not referring to anything either man has done outside of the podcast, simply the way they present themselves on the podcast. In that regard I truly do not feel like either man puts forth any views that cause me to think they bring any sort of actual film knowledge to a discussion about film. Hope that clears that bit up.

    But hey, the podcast works for you, and that’s all that really matters. 🙂

  5. bill is an idiot.

  6. Ah, thanks for the oh so constructive and well thought out feedback.

  7. unlike your feedback

  8. Ah, but seeing as how it’s my blog I don’t offer any feedback. I post, I respond, but I don’t offer feedback, feedback is what you have just attempted to do.

  9. your dumb

  10. Quite the astute and learned response.

  11. YeahFilmVault

    We’re doing it for Van Gogh!

  12. How dare you sir???? Bald Bryan is podcast royalty..at least we now know Bald Bryan’s made it..

  13. Welcome to Obama’s America…

  14. Yeah- You can do it for whomever you wish.

    Aaron – He’s made it about as much as I’ve made it, which is not at all.

    Hank – Obama’s America is a pretty nice place to live, or it would be if not for all the Conservatives.

  15. YeahFilmVault

    What about your boy?

  16. Don’t have any boy to speak of.

  17. TwiceOnSundays

    Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion.

    But I am always perplexed at people who look at something popular that they don’t like, and just can’t wrap their head around someone liking something they dislike. It might not be for everyone, but I love hearing about something other than the newest movies, and it’s fun to make your mental list and see which host matches up with your thoughts about great performances or scenes in movies.

    Also, as a parent who is a decade or so behind on movies, you can get a ton of great movie recommendations for content readily available. (Loved God Bless America – a movie I would not have otherwise considered). TFV is great!

    One thing we can agree on: Anderson is not funny.

  18. Do you do this to troll or are you just an idiot?

  19. Alt Universe Hank Lewis

    Welcome to Romney’s America.

  20. Twice – I’ll be honest, popularity doesn’t have much to do with my thoughts on The Film Vault. I mentioned the legion of fans the podcast has to highlight how in the minority my opinion was going to be. That beings aid I think my last paragraph answered your initial critique, I simply do not hear anything worthwhile in the podcast and that’s why I can’t wrap my head around others loving it so much. I understand that a lot of people do love it, but based on the content the podcast offers it’s hard for me to understand why so many people love it.

    Sam – As I’ve said to some others, your response is quite astute and shows a willingness to engage in healthy discussion that I admire.

    Hank – How original…

  21. Scott in NC

    It’s a fun podcast, Bill. Give it another listen and you might be suprised.
    BTW if you are interested in all the comments recently, Anderson and Bryan had your review read on the air.

  22. Thanks for the offer Scott, but I’m not interested in giving the podcast another shot. If anything the reactions of the majority of fans of the podcast have further shown me that The Film Vault, and its community, are not something I wish to be associated with. And I figured most of the comments were as a result of the review finally being discovered by the show, or at least the shows community of fans.

  23. Wow your wrong. I feel bad that you can’t get into a good podcast like this. As a fellow blogger I respect your choice to bash somebody. However you must love the fact that since this podcast just found your review I’m sure your site meter is now exploding beyond your wildest dreams.

  24. I wouldn’t say wrong, just of a different opinion than most. Actually I’ve had a small spike from this, but I’m still around my usual numbers.

  25. Rick Rittmeyer

    I hate films and I don’t like to laugh. The Film Vault rules!

  26. With those qualifiers your devotion to The Film Vault makes a lot of sense.

  27. Haha this is laughably bad. I truly hope your writing/opinions have improved since 2011, sir.

    Do it for Van Gogh!

  28. As we all know there is no such thing as a bad opinion, or a wrong one for that matter.

  29. That was a poor choice of words on my part. You don’t really deal with opinions in this review, instead you pass your judgments off as if they are facts. You claim with certainty that they “aim for humor mixed with film talk, but they fail in both regards because neither man is funny and neither man is knowledgeable about film.” Both hosts are knowledgeable about film (one worked in the film industry and both went to film school). Maybe you personally don’t find the hosts funny but you should at least understand that most people disagree with you. Your condescending tone toward the show and listeners who enjoy it probably contributes greatly to the backlash you’re receiving from myself and others.

    To steal a line from you, I know the kind of review you wanted to write and I know the review you think you wrote. The reality is that what you did write was devoid of worthwhile content. A thousand-word waste of time that ironically only became worthwhile once it was read for laughs on the very show you were criticizing.

  30. I disagree! Love the show, think its funny and interesting. Some people don’t like how it rambles sometimes, but look… its a show about two real friends discussing movies. Don’t you ramble with your friends? It wouldn’t be the same show if it was heavily formatted like an overly produced television program.

    Also… there are most certainly such things as bad opinions and wrong ones. For instance, some people are of the opinion that gay people shouldn’t get married. This is both bad and wrong.

    And Hank, L O L with the Obama’s America. Good job.

  31. Smack – It’s a review of a podcast, that means it is inherently an opinion piece. I don’t need to state over and over again that’s it’s my opinion, that would be redundant.

    Working in the film industry does not mean one is knowledgeable about film.Stating your opinions where they actually show an inkling of knowledge means that one has shown film knowledge. Neither host ever did that, and I expressed my opinion over their lack of film knowledge in the review.

    I really don’t care if fans of The Film Vault are forming some kind of backlash towards my review. I stand by the opinions expressed in my review, just as I’m sure the fans of The Film Vault stand by their opinions that the podcast is not terrible.

    Actually, the views this review has gotten since it was read on the show, or at least since you guys say it was read on the show, are still less than the views the review had before said reading. Either way, like I said before, I stand by my review, both the quality and content of it. You don’t like it, that’s perfectly fine. I don’t expect everyone to like my reviews, and I’m more than open to the fact that some people will find my reviews terrible. Perhaps that’s something fans of The Film Vault need to open themselves up to.,

    Pat – I’m not a fan of overly structured podcasts, it’s one of the main reasons why I don’t like Filmspotting. But, the rambling in The Film Vault wasn’t interesting to me, and that’s not the type of rambling off-topic discussion I like.

    I’m not on board with the idea of bad or wrong opinions. One can disagree with opinions, argue with opinions, and state why they don’t like an opinion. But, by their very nature opinions are on a subjective topic like podcasting are devoid of any wrongness or badness.

  32. Alt Alt Universe Hank

    Welcome to Ron Paul’s America.

  33. As usual your wit is of the highest originality.

  34. Someone Unimportant

    The Film Vault is two guys talking about movies and having fun. They don’t overly dissect films or act overly pretentious (accept in jest). They try NOT to spoil movies unlike a lot of other podcasts. And the running gags are a lot of fun, some of which are in the comments above.

    And some opinions can be wrong. If your pants are on fire and your opinion is everything is fine, you are not only wrong, but might want to seek a therapist after a fire extinguisher.

  35. I’m glad that you find the show funny, I don’t. The running gags did nothing but bore me, or make me cringe with how unfunny they are. The same goes for your general feelings on the podcast, I’m glad you liked it, I didn’t and gave all the reasons for why I didn’t.

    As I stated above a podcast is a subjective art form, and because of that there can be no bad/wrong opinions about it. Whether there can be bad/wrong opinions about objective situations is a different argument that doesn’t apply to something as subjective as podcasting.

  36. Julius Corum

    Your loss William, Bald Bryan is going to be reviewing “cider house rules” next episode

  37. Not much of a loss for me, but I’m sure his fans will enjoy whatever he reviews.

  38. YEAAAAAAAAAAAA the film vault.

    im glad miss movies found this review for the boys. crappy review but bald and anderson made it funny to hear. too bad they plugged ya though. however it was plugged to all TFV fans so i doubt it will really help much.


  39. bill you are a moron. almost everything you say isn’t even true.

  40. JHDK – You can find my review crappy all you want, I’m not about to stop you from thinking as such.However, I stand by my opinion, and the quality of my review.

    Michelle – Outstanding critique, as has been the norm from the majority of The Film Vault listeners.

  41. Why Bill?
    We’re trying to put Logan through junior college!

  42. Good for you I suppose.

  43. generalskeeves

    This review compliments of a man who claims Christopher Nolan is a hack director. That is all.

  44. Ah yes, the “I disagree with your taste in film, therefore I invalidate your opinion” argument, highly intelligent.

  45. Disagree. I find the Film Vault to be quite listenable. Both of the hosts are likeable and witty, and the films they discuss are usually quite good and appropriate for their chosen list category. Unless the list category itself is something I hate, I am always interested in hearing what movies Bryan and Anderson come up with. It’s not the best podcast I listen to, but just like you are puzzled by what other people see in the podcast, I am puzzled by why you see so little in it. The hosts list movies and go through the reasoning behind including said movies on their lists. Their reasons are usually quite good and the movies are often ones that I haven’t seen. There is nothing there to inspire such an overwhelmingly negative review. It’s almost like you formed an opinion before you started and allowed that to color your entire experience. Is this also how you review movies?

  46. Now it is clear that Bill is a stupid person.

  47. RD – I can turn that around on you. There’s nothing in the podcast that is worthy of your overwhelmingly positive remarks. It’s almost like you formed an opinion before you started and allowed that to color your entire experience.

    Now, there’s not much that can come from that line of dialogue, because it’s a reductive argument. Just like you taking the reductive approach that you did., I gave clear reasons for why I did not like the podcast and why I felt it was of a low quality. I go into every podcast I listen to with the hope that it will be a new podcast I can add to my listening queue. I said that The Film Vault was a terrible podcast because after listening to three episodes that was the opinion I had formed, with nary a preconceived notion in sight.

    Gayle – Another learned comment from the bevy of highly intelligent people who constitute the listenership of The Film Vault.

  48. Bill your blog is stupid

  49. Thanks for the highly intelligent comment.

  50. Bill – I too disagree with your take on TFV. I have listened to it for a long time and have grown quite fond of Bald Bryan and Anderson. Even if you don’t like the podcast I find your review more mean spirited than instructive. I think calling it a POS within the first couple of paragraphs was unnecessary. When I read you review as objectively as possible I didn’t see a lot of specifics except your annoyance the the hosts “name dropped” which I don’t really feel they do a lot. It felt more personal as if they had offended you or did something to you in person. Also I think your comments back to the people that wrote serious disagreements to your review were dismissive and haughty (IE anyone disagreeing with you are morons hence that is why they like the show.). You seem to display no tolerance for honest disagreement or differences in taste.

  51. The middle three paragraphs I wrote in my review were very specific in what I did not like about the podcast and why it did not work for me. I gave general reasons, followed by some specific examples.

    As for your second point, I’m at a loss as to what you are referencing. When people left comments that were actual critiques of my review I responded in kind. I did not name call, imply that people were morons, or disparage their opinion in any way. In fact, I went out of my way on numerous occasions to say that I realize others like the podcast and that their opinion is a perfectly valid opinion. The refrain that I went to most often was, “Hey, the podcast works for you, and that’s all that really matters.”

    The comments that were nothing but one line troll pieces, those did not deserve an intelligent response and they did not receive one. Now, I appreciate comments like yours, even if I do not agree with what you took away from my review, or my comments. However, as I have said quite often, you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that.

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