Sunday, September 30, 2012

Question: What are your favorite Guilty Pleasure movies?

I think the term 'Guilty Pleasure' can mean different things to different people. The accepted definition is something you get a kick out of, but feel guilty because other people think it sucks. That's difficult for me because when I like something and other people think it sucks, I don't feel guilty. I just think they're wrong.

Being a Horror enthusiast, I've grown up surrounded by films that most would consider guilty pleasures if they considered them at all. So I'll have to be selective and keep the horror movies and the Jean Claude Van Damme movies to a minimum. Maybe the whole genre of an actor who isn't really famous anymore beating up other dudes needs to be left out so they don't dominate the list; movies like Road House and Out For Justice should be filed in the video store under 'Guilty Pleasure'. (I know there aren't any video stores anymore.)

As always, I'll do my best.

Favorite Guilty Pleasures - Movie Edition

50) House of 1000 Corpses (2003) - Rob Zombie's first effort is a joyous, messy romp.  A lot of people didn't seem to get it. I got it and good. Dr. Satan!
49) Mr. Baseball (1992) - Tom Selleck as an over the hill major leaguer in Japan. Feel good sports romp. Mustache.
48) Unleashed (2005) - Under the radar gem directed by Louis Letterrier and written by Luc Besson with the unnatural pairing of Jet Li and Morgan Freeman.
47) The Wrong Guy (1997) - Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall in a starring role. Enema Bag Jones.
46) Eragon (2006) - Straight up fantasy movie that nobody seemed to like. I liked it.
45) Cyborg (1989) - It doesn't hold up all that well, but I've got a soft spot for this Van Damme vehicle. Scene where he un-crucifies himself helps.
44) Barbarella (1968) - I have no idea if this movie is considered good by others. All I know is zero gravity naked Jane Fonda sure seems like a guilty pleasure to me.
43) Beerfest (2006) The Broken Lizard guys in full ludicrous speed. Love the scene where a series of events cause women to tear each other's tops off because boobs.
42) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) - Maybe I just feel bad for Tim Burton. The music in this movie was terrible, but Johnny Depp was delightful.
41) Troy (2004) - People seem to like ragging on this Wolfgang Peterson epic. I agree that Orlando Bloom is weak, but Brad Pitt as Achilles is inspired and the fight between him and Hector is legend.
40) Constantine (2005) - I know the fanboys will murder me, here. I really thought - separate from the source material - that this movie was really fun. Loved Stormare's Devil.
39) Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) - I was actually surprised to learn that people held this movie in such low esteem. Valuable alone for being the last next generation crew film.
38) Rush Hour (1998) I recall people saying good things about this movie until we all turned on Brett Ratner. Chris Tucker is funny and Jackie Chan is incomprehensible/kicking ass.
37) Grandma's Boy (2006) - An Adam Sandler movie without Adam Sandler. And dare I say better because of it? No, no. This movie is very funny, though.
37) Quigley Down Under (1990) - More Selleck love as he plays a hired gun for an Australian farmer and proceeds to Eastwood a bunch of tools.
36) Spider-Man 3 (2007) - Don't take my head off. I thought the Sandman stuff was good, and though Venom was jammed into the movie, I couldn't help but think it was cool to finally see him on screen.
35) The Passion of the Christ (2004) - The reason this is a guilty pleasure for me is because, as a non-religious person, I watched this movie the same way I'd watch something like Clash of the Titans. Pretty good story; violence and Monica Belluci. (see also: Shoot 'em Up)
34) Spartan (2004) - Not one of the more tauted efforts from David Mamet. It seemed appropriate to represent him on this list because some think he's a hack, some a genius. I go back and forth. You may have forgotten: Val Kilmer = Good.
33) Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) - Crazy French epic about monster hunting and ass kicking with a hint of Vincent Cassel brilliance. People generally like it when they get exposed to it. If you know what I'm saying.
32) Matrix: Reloaded/Revolutions (2003) - Come on! Are you still complaining about these movies? There's more sword fights, gun fights, kung fu fights and all around awesomeness in these movies than you get anywhere else, and we're still pissed that they didn't make any sense? Don't care. Larry Fishburne cuts car in half with samurai sword. Enjoyable.
31) Night of the Creeps (1986) - Gotta start slipping in some horror. Fans of the genre like this flick, no one else has seen it. Bought it the minute it came out on Blu-Ray. Guilty.
30) Lady in the Water (2006) - Sometimes you can't explain it away. Sometimes you watch a movie and you love it, and barely care that others hate it. This fairy tale did it for me from top to bottom.
29) Ghost Rider (2007) - There's a theme here. I'm forgiving with movies that give me something I've always wanted to see. Ghost Rider, all lit up, burying dudes with his chains. Couldn't keep the smile off my face. (This selection also represents the Nic Cage is hilarious in everything portion of our list.)
 28) Rocky 4 (1985) - This is a great example of a guilty pleasure, and one that has permeated pop culture. The training scene is legendary.
27) Private School (1983) - Any movie with the word school in it probably belongs on this list. Private School is about...I don't know. There's titties.
26) Devil (2010) - No one gave a shit about this movie. If this came out in the eighties, dudes would have gone nuts. It's awesome; like a great Twilight Zone episode. People trapped in an elevator, one of them's the Devil.
25) X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006) - I was invested, alright? Gimme a break. Loved seeing Beast and Colossus throwing down. Ice Man teaching Pyro a lesson. The trees were pretty...
24) From Beyond (1986) - Director Stuart Gordon of Re-Animator fame taking on another Lovecraft story with all the craziness, nudity and gore the eighties would allow.
23) Sucker Punch (2011) - I have this philosophy, maybe from all the bad Horror movies I've consumed. If there' a lot of rad shit in a movie, it can't be all that bad (see: Matrix sequels). Scantily clad women kung-fu-ing the hell out of robots, nazis and giant samurais. If I gave you this description, you'd watch the movie.
22) The Ice Pirates (1984) - Don't get much guiltier than this. No water in the future. Robert Urich is a swash-buckler in space. Shit gets real. Well known in some circles for the dong removal apparatus.
21) Under Siege (1992) - The only reason this isn't higher is because I think it might actually be a good film. Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey being crazy, Seagal kicking the shit out of everyone and one of my favorite topless scenes in movie history: Erika Eleniak jumping out of the cake. Rewound that one a few times, let me tell ya.
20) Night Breed (1990) - A Clive Barker novella directed by the man himself with one David Cronenberg in a starring role. Midian is where the monsters live. Go check it out for yourself.
19) Blade 2 (2002) - Again, in some strange reversal, this movie could be way higher; I'm not even sure this is a guilty pleasure 'cause it's so damn good. Wesley Snipes really beats ass all over town in this one. Suplexes and elbow drops included.
18) The Prophecy (1995) - Walken as a pissed off Gabriel on earth. Angels warring in Heaven. Viggo Mortenson as Lucifer. Eric Stoltz, Elias Koteas...are you on Netflix yet?
17) Superman Returns (2006) - People were hard on this one. Story was a bit wacky toward the end, but they got the ideal of Superman right in a very important way. The scene where he's listening to the world was, to me, worth the price of admission. Kevin Spacey is always top notch and James Marsden is so good he probably wrecks the movie a little.
16) Con Air (1997) - Insane movie, insane cast. Nic Cage's insane hair. This is a guilty pleasure supreme.
15) Return of the Living Dead (1985) - I love this movie. I think a lot of people do, but some films are destined to feel like guilty pleasure no matter how many people like them. "Send more paramedics."
14) Underworld (2003) - This should be everything I hate about genre movies. Overly romanticized vampires, slick leather outfits, female lead that looks like she couldn't kick down a pile of pillows. And yet...magic happens.
13) Demolition Man (1993) - Snipes beating ass again, hilarious future, least annoying Sandra Bullock performance despite how annoying she is. Taco Bell, MurderDeathKills, Dennis Leary and ratburgers. Oh, and the three shells.
12) Prince of Darkness (1987) - The forgotten John Carpenter masterpiece. A director that deserves to be on here, despite the fact that every time he makes a great film, it doesn't deserve to be considered a guilty pleasure. Tough choice, but Prince of Darkness is under-watched if not under-appreciated.
11) Hard Target (1993) - Holy shit. John Woo directing Van Damme and Lance Henriksen. That is all.
10) License to Kill (1989) - Now we're in the shit! A Timothy Dalton Bond movie. Can you feel it? The guilt and the pleasure? Oh, yea, rub it all over your body. Note: I think this movie is awesome. Bond stripped of his licence to kill - more dangerous than ever! Ba-Na-Na-Naaaa!
9) Strange Wilderness (2008) - My guiltiest of guilty pleasures are definitely comedies, as you're about to see. I laugh at this movie every time, harder each time. It's absolutely ridiculous. The clips of the nature show alone are worth the watch. Monkeys do make up 90 percent of the world's monkey population.
8) Piranha (2010) - Young Horror maven Alexandre Aja takes the remake bull by the horns and produces one of the most fun movies you could imagine. If your idea of fun is nudity and gore. Mine is. Guilty as charged.
7) Reign of Fire (2002) - Christian Bale, Gerard Butler and Matthew McConaughey in the future fighting dragons. Yep. That may be the definition of guilty pleasure. Dragon breathing fire down into the castle is one of my most memorable in-theater experiences.
6) Get Smart (2008) - Steve Carell is undoubtedly funny, but it's been hard to find the proper lead vehicle, at least in terms of straight comedy. I believe this was it. He's brilliant as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway is awesome as 99. I honestly don't get why people didn't like it. Shouldn't even feel guilty about this one.
5) Daredevil (2003) - Let's be clear. The director's cut of this movie is so far superior, that it goes beyond guilty pleasure. But the theatrical release is the one that people saw and panned. Yea the playground fight sucks, but the rest is pretty good. The scene where he beats ass in the bar is really, really good. And the way they created his 'sight', like sonar? Cool.
4) Ski School (1990) - Ah, Dean Cameron. You were brilliant. People get thrown beers out of nowhere and there's plenty of naked boobs. And another of my favorite, most rewound topless scenes in film history starring playmate Ava Fabian. Wowzers.
3) The Love Guru (2008) - Were people tired of Mike Myers? I thought this movie was really fun. Not great, so perfect for the guilty pleasure category. "Nice hat. I had a hat like that once. Then my mom got a job!"
2) Orgazmo (1997) - Mormons before the Book of Mormon. Trey Parker directed himself in this one, about a good guy Mormon turned porn actor turned superhero. Yep. I've seen this movie a lot.
1) Your Highness (2011) - Apparently this movie was made for me and only me. I've seen it half a dozen times already, and I'm the kind of guy who watches movies he loves twice, three times max. Every time I watch it, I laugh out loud at something else. The tone, of modern speak in medieval setting, just does it for me. It's number one, and it should be, but it's a whole lot more pleasure than guilt. "If your vagina...is anything like my hand...there will be no problem."

Short Answer: Like all lists, I'm sure I'll think of something else and feel like an ass for forgetting it. A lot of guilty pleasures out there to be had.

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