· Guilty Pleasure Movie: A movie that you know is shit, everybody knows is shit, the entire world has labeled it as shit, there’s a massive consensus that it is shit, and yet you keep going back at it because it’s so entertaining to watch.
Guilty Pleasure Movies (or G.P.M.’s) are the subject of many internet reviewers nowadays. The Nostalgia Critic himself has quite a few as he admitted in his videos, so here I am going to list my Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies. Now, I will not be including Twister in this list for two reasons: One, despite it’s not liked by everybody in the world the movie needs, at least, a rating under 6 in the IMDB; and two, because it’s already in my Top 30 films of all time, on number 3 nonetheless, so there’s no need to add this movie to more lists…well, unless I make a list about “Career killer movies”. Let’s go!
10. - Alien VS Predator: Requiem.
Why not starting the list with a movie so bad it made the previous one look good? That was for everybody, except me! I liked this movie a lot when it got released in theaters, and it got even better in the DVD cut. But let’s be honest here, the movie is a chopped of Frankenstein abomination that tries to take elements from every other Alien movie with the excuse of “fan service” just to cover their “lack of ideas”. We have like 70% of Aliens moments, 15% of Alien 3 moments, and 10% of Alien VS Predator moments (for some reason). The 5% left is what makes this movie so awesome: The Predalien. The mix between Alien and Predator makes this movie a delightful guilt to watch. He is the alien embodiment of a sex machine, face fucking every woman he finds with his genital-tongue. How high can the Guilt-o-meter go? It’ll go around 11 at the scene where he impregnates the already pregnant woman. Nice.
9. - Transformers.
To be fair with each and one of you: I watched Transformers as a kid. I had the toys. But I wasn’t so much into it…I preferred to play with my Jurassic Park action figures. Throwing Alan Grant and the kids to the jaws of a Raptor was more awesome to me than watching Transformers and play with my toys at the same time. I also recreated scenes of James Bond movies with my Action Men. Plain and simple, when Transformers (just Transformers, no number 1, nor subtitle) was released and I went to the cinema and watch it I liked it a lot. It wasn’t until later when I realized how many parts of this movie needed some polishing and a re-write. There is too much comic relief, John Turturro is unnecessary, and the mother of Shia Labeuf needs to be impaled by a transforming forklift. But seriously, everything else is entertaining and good. The action is stable and understandable, no shaky cam, and the more complex action scenes taking place in slow-mo (the high way scrap was kickass). The acting is passable, but Shia Labeuf does a good job, sometimes too over the top but he is really fun to watch. And of course, you can’t go wrong with a movie that kept the original spirit of Optimus Prime intact. “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings”. That’s a childhood piece wrapped in a manwhich, so stop whining and take a bite.
8. - The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride.
I was about to name this “Top 10” a “Top 9 ½” because the second part to The Lion King was a direct to DVD movie that never saw a theatrical release. Still, I was hyped for this movie. I waited for hours trying to get a copy and paid a total of 4.000 pesetas (around 24 €) for a VHS copy (no extras, no nothing, and the quality was shit). I loved it. I liked it so much I wrote fanfics of it even before I knew what fanfics were. I made my own movie awards to give this movie a lot of them, and started drawing lions all the time, just for this movie. Analyzing it nowadays, it’s not that good. Its plot is riddled with incongruence; it’s full of animation glitches and continuity errors; the digital effects look like they were made with a Nintendo 64; and the songs are just terrible (with the exception of two). But yet, this movie is a lot of fun to watch. For starts, the character of Kovu is a wonderful tragic figure with the best character arc of the entire movie, as he goes from psycho mindless killer to heart broken exiled pariah. This is also helped by the wonderful work of Jason Marsden, who gives a lot of humanity to Kovu (irony anyone?). The other thing that makes this movie so cool are the songs “He lives in you” sang by Donna Summer, and “My Lullaby”, a villain song that is also a ton of fun to watch, just to see how close Disney gets to turn a kiddy movie into a dark pole dancing session for lionesses (don’t believe me? Rewatch the movie). Lots of action, lots of errors, lots of fun, lots of guilty pleasure, this is the formula of every Direct to Video sequel Disney always makes.
7. - Rambo III.
You know, I will not write a single thing to explain why is this movie a guilty pleasure for me and just post you guys this youtube video.
(Note: I couldn't embed the video in the article because the YouTube user disabled the option)
1:10 – Kicked in the face, dropped into a hole, hung and then blown up. Can you say overkill? And if that wasn’t enough…
7:30 – The ultimate showdown: Helicopter VS Tank. Who wins!? RAMBO! This movie is glorious.
6. - Armageddon.
The more I watch this movie the more I move from “Oh my God this movie is super badass action” to “Oh my God, this movie is so unintentionally funny”. We are going to leave on one side how could Michael Bay sneak up twice in my list and talk about the movie. While back then I loved every second of it and thought the acting was great, the rhythm very well paced and really well written, I realized I was looking at the movie upside down. The writing is terrible, the acting is deplorable (with the exception of a couple of actors) and the rhythm is draining if anything else. The first and second act go so slow you feel you are watching grass growing, and the third act is so busy you can easily get lost despite the movie being so streamlined. So what saves this movie? Well between the un-funny that turns smirking acting of Steve Buscemi, the great work Ben Affleck does with his A.J. Frost character, the hilarious Michal Clark Dunkan and the energized Peter Stormare the acting is pretty much covered. Plus, there’s a lot of wrongness no-nos when at the start of the movie a meteorite rain falls all over New York blowing holes in people, buildings and dogs. And yet again, this is one of those movies made before Bay started copying Paul Greengrass with the shaky cam action, so the action scenes are very clear and well done. But seriously, did they have to try tingle our heart with the father-daughter story between Tyler and Willis? My God, I have never so many sexy cries in a movie, not even Lord of the Rings has that many.
5. - Lady in the Water.
Here is the mandatory M. Night Shyamalan entry for this list, but seriously, let’s look at this guy’s career for a moment. “The 6th Sense” and “Unbreakable” were masterpieces. “Signs” was okay, but not guilty pleasure material. “The Village” was just plain shit and there wasn’t a single factor that made me like that movie, at all. It was “Lady in the Water” that was, basically in its entirety, build from guilty pleasure material. We have that shameful character Shyamalan wrote for himself where he portrays himself as a prophet who will be killed by what he writes (you know, just like it’s going to eventually happen), the film critic who gets eaten by the grass covered cousin of Wolf Link from Twilight Princess, the “oh so hilarious (sarcasm)” racial stereotypes, but most important of all guilty pleasures is Bryce Dallas Howard. I swear to all that’s holy in the movie making world, this girl was born to look good in any movie she is in, but Lady in the Water is like an entire playboy magazine dedicated to her. Despite we don’t see anything, she spends the entire movie wearing a shirt (and sometimes not even that), she is pale like a doll, has the piercing eyes of an enchanter and has the cutest smile in the world. The character might not be fully well developed but you do feel worried anytime something bad happens to her, making her very likeable and realistic, despite her being a paranormal kind of mermaid that has no tail. This just proofs why I am not a movie critic: Because I can excuse a movie having shitty story, shitty filming, shitty writing, shitty ending and shitty characters (most of them not all) just because it has a hot chick on a shirt.
4. - Hot Shots: Part Deux.
I will admit though, not many people claim this movie bad. In fact, many people will say that compared to other spoofs nowadays, this is genius, intelligent and lots of fun. But let’s be fair, this movie is not that good. We like it because of how bad it is, and many times a bad movie is even worse if it knows it is bad. Luckily, “Hot Shots: Part Deux” is so self aware of itself that is almost as if it has self conscience, making the movie a lot of fun to watch. It’s like seeing somebody making a joke, failing at it and then making a very good parody of itself failing at making the joke. It’s full of fourth walled moments, elongated jokes, punch lines, one liners of the punch lines, Richard Crenna reprising his roles in “Rambo 3”, and Martin Sheen trapped in the endless loop of Apocalypse Now only to tell his son how much he liked him in “Wall Street”. Plus, any movie that contains a body counter that keeps going up even when people are not getting shot and claims to be “The Bloodiest Movie Ever” deserves a pat on the back and say “Well you chap, you’ve done pretty well but off the stage now”. It’s mindless, funny fun, something we can’t have nowadays with any spoof comedy even since the douche bags who made “Meet the Spartans” and “Epic Movie” took over the monopoly of spoofs in this time period. Looks like the dark ages are back. At least we can keep looking back at the 90’s.
3. - Mystery Men.
I say this before and I say this again. This movie is a mix between Watchmen (the comic) and the Saturday Night Live show. It has everything that’s wrong with Ben Stiller movies, yet none of that “fun for all the family” bullshit he is trying to sell. To say it this way, this was “Dodge ball: A true underdog story” but with superheroes and minus Vince Vaughn (sadly, I wish he was in this movie). What really blew my mind is how this is actually based on a comic book, yet as hard as I tried I couldn’t find a single page of it, so I can’t compare. Still, you have to admit that the plot is not a problem, nor is the acting. Story and characters are really good, rounded and enjoyable. What fails in this movie, like a megaton hammer aiming out of a switch, is the directing. I don’t know what it is with that but it seems careless. I would have chosen somebody else to direct this, like Joss Whedon, or the guy who made the Austin Powers movies. Also, the special affects are shit. You know how in some movies they do tend to not over blown the special effects by working little on them yet making them refined enough? Well, not the case in this one, as we have a movie filled with graphics taken out of an early PSOne cinematic. But seriously, that’s worthy of sacrifice if I can enjoy such memorable characters like “The Shoveler”, played by William H. Macy, or “The Blue Raja”, beautifully over the topped by Hank Azaria (is there anything this guy can’t do?), or “Mr. Furious” played by the literally tame Ben Stiller. So if you are willing to take a twisted knife and shove it into the director and special effect technician’s respective chests, sit down and enjoy one hell of a super-hero-mess-action-comedy awesomeness.
2. - Street Fighter: The Movie.
This movie is…is…well, it’s fucking terrible. It represents everything that’s wrong with movies: Terrible plot, terrible directing, incredibly over the top acting, unbearable accents, unfunny jokes, bad script, awful music, one liners, cheap special effects, unholy action sequences, and Jean Claude Van Damme. Yet, it’s one of the best movies ever made. I am serious. It’s not the fact that it has so many bad things it actually makes it awesome but…No wait, it’s exactly that! This is the prime example, the Arc of the Covenant of “Bad movies that are so bad are awesome”, because that’s exactly how it is, as every (bad) aspect in this movie is counter-stroke by a sentence starting with “…but”. The action is terrible executed, but damnit you can perfectly see what is going on. There are too many characters in this movie, but it’s awesome to see everybody at the end fighting each other using realistic versions of their special moves. Jean Claude Van Damme’s accent is terrible, but his Guile impersonation is uncanny. Edmund Honda is not from Hawai, but the exterior characterization is perfect. Zangief wasn’t with the bad guys, but “Quick! Change the channel!” The jokes are terrible, but they are so bad you laugh at how bad they are, and in the end are funny. But on top of all, the master himself, Raul Julia. I can’t say a single bad thing about his M. Bison portrayal. HE IS M. BISON. The voice, the acting, those bug crazy eyes, the one liners he throws with more strength than his fists. Everything about him is good, good, good, good, good, good and good. Also, if you are not interested on all that, you can always go for Kylie Minogue as Cammy, in a tight blue top.
1. - Every Pokémon movie ever made.
Like every person out there with enough free time to share their opinions on the internet, I am highly influenced by my childhood. I love videogames, movies based on videogames and TV Shows based on videogames. Pokémon is no exception. A videogame turned into a TV Show that, at the moment of writing this, then spawned the bewildering number of thirteen movies (and surely still going with another 32 more movies in the making). Due to my limited resources (and to the fact that I live in a 3rd world country) I only managed to watch 7 of those, being:
- Mewtwo Strikes Back, the weakest and worst of them all, with an ending that doesn’t satisfy me even to this day when I learned to love and adore ambiguous endings.
- Revelation Lugia, often called “The Power of One” to those who like to follow the herd, a movie so damn better than the original it actually manages to hide its crap factor, but in the end so many things happen and the movie looks so good you don’t even care.
- Lord of Unown Tower, which managed to scope some accusations of bestiality for showing a family formed by a dog-father and a human mother, and happens to be the movie fans hate but non-fans kind of like (they go as far as calling it Miyazaki-esche).
- The voice of the Forest, a movie so short it’s sad because it’s so bloody good and well written and constructed you just wish for it to go longer.
- Mewtwo Returns, a direct to video anime of 60 minutes with terrible animation and recycled soundtrack but that has some of the best writing in the entire series (and it’s quite sad when the most thrilling moments on the entire movie are just conversations really, but they are pretty good!).
- Lucario and the Secret of Mew, probably the longest Pokémon movie with a count around 100 minutes which was made just to serve some fan service for all those furry lovers of Lucario (seriously, this movie started the foot fetish that surrounds every rule 34 picture ever, including those made by myself).
- The Guardians of Altomare, a weird as fuck movie featuring two dragon siblings, and one of them (the female one) falls in love with the protagonist Ash (what is with Ash and his Pokémon that always fall in love with him?). The movie walked between David Lynch and The Care Bears, but not as awesome as it sounds.
Just those seven movies left me exhausted, and it’s impossible for me to analyze all of the without making this article go on for ages.
Is it the fact that I could enjoy a simple story based on one of the best RPG’s ever made? I don’t think so. The stories in the Pokémon movies range from the retarded after-school-special bullshit (Mewtwo Strikes Back goes from the fear of technology to the morals of magic powers) to the Lord of the Rings and Pixar excellence (The Voice of the Forest is, to this date, the best written movie-based-on-a-videogame ever made, seriously, go check it out), so you can’t judge it there.
Do I watch it for the stunning visual style? Not so sure either. The animation goes from the jittery and glitchy (Mewtwo Returns or even Revelation Lugia suffers from this in several moments) to the slender and beautiful (Lord of Unown Tower looks gorgeous and The Voice of the Forest is tear-jerkingly beautiful), so it is really hard to judge the movies in this aspect as well.
Voice acting, sound, music, characters, that travels a sideways path that goes from the deplorable (basically all of Mewtwo Strikes Back and parts of the other movies) to the masterful (once again, The Voice of the Forest, I can’t emphasize this enough).
So, what the hell makes these movies so enjoyable for me to keep going back at them with a growing feeling of guilt burning in my guts? I want to give you an answer, and not saying that “I don’t know, I can’t explain”, so I think I love these movies so much because watching them, while playing Pokémon in your Game Boy or Nintendo DS, catching them, training them, and then leveling them, teaching them abilities, seems a lot more fun when marinated with a movie. It’s part of a phenomena that I am a fan of, like the Star Wars fans that read the novels based on the movies, I as a Pokémon fan I watch the movies based on the videogames. No matter how bad, no matter how hammy, no matter how cheese, I will keep going back at these films any day of the year, knowing they are really bad, yet really fun to watch.