My Top 10 Guilty Pleasures: Movie Edition
I think most people have at least a few movies they aren’t exactly proud of really enjoying. Whether it be because they’re juvenile (my case mostly), goofy, sappy, or just downright weird, the public perception isn’t in the same as box office gems like Indiana Jones or Star Wars. For me, these are the movies that when I come across them on TV, I can’t bring myself to turn them off.
This list is long, so I’m not sure all of you will make it through it. I expect at least one comment below of “tl, dr”, or “too long, didn’t read.” Hopefully there are some that can appreciate my dorky favorites. I’ll start with a super-simplistic synopsis of the film, minus twist endings…then I’ll tell you why I like it so much.
An attractive guy and girl meet in New York City and split up on purpose; thinking fate will bring them together again…it doesn’t. Years later, they’re both engaged and can’t help but wonder what could have been. From two different points of view, they try to find each other. Was it fate’s plan all along?
It seems extremely simplistic and formulaic, but then again, what romantic comedy’s premise doesn’t? I’m a fan of John Cusak’s work and Kate Beckinsale’s looks. The later might be the main reason I watched this for the first time a couple years after it came out. I will neither confirm nor deny if salty liquid has left my eye sockets while watching the end of this movie. Also, Jeremy Piven is the best friend. Post-hair plugs, pre-douchey HBO show.
There are some funny parts in it surprisingly. Like epic shanai solos.
When two brothers take a trip to Oktoberfest in Germany to mourn a dead relative, they stumble upon a super secret beer drinking Olympic games. They get embarrassed when they try to compete and return the following year with their friends after vigorously training (getting drunk) to get revenge on the Germans.
The film making team consisting of five guys known as Broken Lizard has been pumping out goofy R-rated comedies since hitting it semi-big with Super Troopers. Confession, Beerfest is most likely in my top five movies of all time.
Though I’m a fan of all Broken Lizards’ work, for me, this is their magnum opus. There are so many quotable moments throughout that when the name Beerfest is mentioned around my house, my significant other can only utter a disgusted “ugh” in response.
3. Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Yes, Klowns with a K. That means it’s radical to the max, man.
An unsuspecting teenage couple, trying to get their rocks off, comes upon a space ship masquerading as a circus tent that landed in their town. It’s full of freakish, man-eating clowns. With the police and military apparently doing something more important, it’s up to them and only them to take down the Bozos. You’ll never look at cotton candy the same way again.
I know, it sounds too good to be true. Every couple of years around Halloween (or when Netflix has it on watch instantly), I’ll watch this awesomely bad, funny/kinda scary, piece of the 80s. Although I was barely born when this came out, I remember my big brother and sisters renting it at Blockbuster when I was little. I still hear the ending theme song in my head from time to time.
4. V for Vendetta
A top-secret government lab is experimenting on a British man until it explodes and burns down. He’s the only one tested on that survived, but was still badly burned. In a totalitarian England, he begins to hunt down and kill everyone responsible for the accident. At the same time, he tries to bring freedom back to the people with his female sidekick (Portman) by taking down Parliament, literally.
This has two huge stars in Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, though you never see Weaving’s face. It’s also the one where Portman shaves her head. It’s not your basic rise up against a corrupt and evil government picture. It parallels our greatest fears of present-day government issues. The overall creepy vibe is due to the realism and that it could happen now.
Odds are you’ve seen the mask V wears even if you didn’t know where it came from. Also, turn on the news sometime, it’s the central logo for the hacking/freedom group Anonymous. Just make sure to put on your tin foil hat before popping this in the dvd tray, if you’re not wearing it already.
This is the every day life of a convenience store clerk and his friend that works in the video store next door. Well, only with everything going wrong in every facet imaginable. They live and discuss relationships and human interaction at its raw core. He wasn’t even supposed to work today.
This is Kevin Smith’s first movie. It’s in black and white, and he maxed out a ton of credit cards to finance it himself back in the early 90s. Like all his movies, it’s based where he grew up, New Jersey. No special effects. Comic book jokes. Lots of dirty humor. This one, like all of his movies, is about dialogue and getting to know just a couple characters. It pulls no punches. And in case you didn’t know, Kevin Smith is Silent Bob.
A goody, two-shoe Mormon guy is lured into starring in a pornographic picture, though he doesn’t actually take part in any of the filthy stuff. He needs the money to get married to his equally goody two-shoe fiancée in Salt Lake City Utah. But it turns out the director isn’t such a nice guy and won’t let him out of the business. When he finds out his co-star in the X-rated film is an inventor, they use his inventions to “incapacitate” their enemies.
This is from the South Park guys, so the R-rating is no joke. When I was little I expected this to be full of nudity and basically porn. I didn’t get to see it/forgot about it until I was an adult. Turns out, like most of the directors projects, it’s a spoof.
Any time you’re about to see some gratuitous T&A, a man’s hairy butt jumps into frame. Other than teasing preteen boys, it’s a very funny commentary of the adult film industry. Porn legend Ron Jeremy makes an appearance. Again, very goofy and over the top crudeness. I think I may have found what makes me laugh.
Slackers, and best friends can’t seem to do anything right. Until they invent a sport that combines basketball and baseball….with almost none of the athleticism. All major sports stars and teams change cities on a dime (plus a bunch of other stuff). This causes fans to turn their backs on most sports. Baseketball vows to be different and is a huge success right away. Can the league survive new ownership fueled by greed?
This is the movie by the South Park creators I got to watch as a kid. It’s got many of the same actors as Orgazmo, along with one of my crushes as a kid, Yasmine Bleeth. Gross-out humor makes the “sike out” arguably the most enjoyable part of the sport. Cameos by a lot of famous commentators make this unbelievable situation slightly more believable.
8. Office Space
A water cooler comedy directed by the creator of Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill. A cubicle jockey loathes going to his job and feels trapped working for a nameless corporation. His boss tries to make him work weekends and his friends try to get him out of it. The main character is then hypnotized and does everything he wants to, which isn’t much. As it turns out, that’s what it takes to get ahead in the business world. Jennifer Anniston is his love interest and works at a TGIFridays clone. He and his friends try to screw over the company and it doesn’t go as planned.
I starting to sound like a broken record. If you read my other blog about Hollywood it makes sense though. There’s nothing really new anymore. What sets this quirky movie apart is the clever relatability of the characters. This movie is very grounded. Anyone that has ever worked in an office will understand this man’s plight. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is where The Office got some inspiration.
9. The Mist
An adaptation from a Stephen King book. Town is overrun by a mysterious mist (hence the title!). A bunch of people decide to hide out in a supermarket. There seems to be a large amount of big scary killer monsters from another dimension in said mist. A bunch of people die. Religion and fear start to take over and divide the townsfolk. What will happen next?
As the description says, this is pretty straightforward. The stars of this film are the monsters. Some fly, some have giant tentacle arms, and some are a bunch of disgusting spiders. So I’m saying it’s not for the faint of heart. More commentary on society here with controlling the masses by fear and/or religion (don’t kill the messenger). It seems I’m into a lot of social commentary. I’m learning a lot about myself :-)
The key to this movie is the ending. Unlike M. Knight Shyamalan, it doesn’t make the whole movie. It does what a twist ending should do…enhance the movie and surprise/shock the audience. Damn you Sixth Sense!
10. The Mighty Ducks
A very young Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek, The Fringe) and Emilio Estevez as Coach Bombay star in a child’s underdog hockey movie. A failed NHL player/turned peewee coach teaches hockey to a bunch of kids that don’t know how to play hockey. Goofy slapstick humor ensues. Translation: a lot of falling down on the ice and goofy one-liners. The love story between the coach and the single-mom of one of the kids is a memorable side story.
If you spoke to an 8-year-old me, he’d tell you this is the most awesome movie ever! Also, I’d ask if you wanted to play Ninja Turtles; you're Shredder. Anyway, I always loved the dark flashback moments of when the coach was younger and how failure haunted him. He was trying his best to make sure something similar didn’t happen to the kids here.
I know it’s been done a million times, but when they came back and won the final game for the championship, I was on the edge of my seat. The next two movies in this trilogy I still enjoy, but don't quite live up to the original story for me.
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