My Top 10 Guilty Pleasures
We all know the films. They are the movies that we have trouble defending. We’re almost embarrassed that we like them, because we know they are not good movies. Sometimes, people make fun of us for liking such things, and in a way, they’re right. However, “guilty pleasure” films are as important to us as individuals as the films we admire, the ones we think are great, or the ones that are routinely put on all time lists. They are a reflection of our youth, or maybe the side of us that doesn’t want to take things so seriously, or the part that wants to simply lay back and just be entertained for two hours, even though we know what we’re watching may be complete rubbish.
Honestly, I debated with myself about actually writing this article. Do I really want people to know that I enjoyed watching these movies? Some of the movies on this list I can proudly say that I like, but others I would rather keep to myself. I started and stopped a number of times, but in the end, I thought, “oh heck, why not?” Might as well throw it all out there, and see what comes back. Every now and then, saying that you like a film that is universally panned can make for great conversation, although you’ll probably be the only person on your end of the table.
With that said, here are my Top Ten Guilty Pleasures:
#10: 17 Again (2009)
I’m not a fan of Zac Efron. I had little to no interest in his work with the High School Musical movies, and his role in Hairspray (2007) was pretty much used to milk the success of that. I came in to 17 Again expecting a terrible movie, but to my uttermost amazement, I found myself enjoying the movie more than I had thought. Sure, the idea of a person magically switching to a different age is an idea we’ve seen done much better, an example being Tom Hanks in Big (1998), but here we see it done surprisingly well, dealing with issues such as regret, loss, friendship, and family. Zac Efron is believable enough, the supporting characters do their job, and the comedy and drama are handled effectively. The best part of the film was watching geeky Ned (Thomas Lennon from Reno 911) hilariously try to seduce high school principal Jane (Melora Hardin from The Office). Who would’ve thought that expertise in Elf-language could get you so far?
#9: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)
I think it goes without saying that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III is the worst of the series, just look at the premise: through the power of a magical scepter, the four turtles, along with their reporter friend April O’Neil (Paige Turco) are transported back in time to feudal Japan, where they must battle the evil Lord Norinaga (Sab Shimono) to reclaim the scepter and return back to the present time in New York City. Norinaga ain’t no Shredder, that’s for sure, but as a kid, there was something interesting about watching Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael walk around ancient Japan, riding on horses, breaking in to Japanese fortresses, and battling deadly samurai warriors. The action is surprisingly good for what its worth, at one moment Raphael breaks a warrior’s bow-and-arrow by throwing his Sai, shown in one unbroken shot, that’s gotta count for something. Oh well, at least this one had Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) and NOT Vanilla Ice.
#8: Hook (1991)
When you hear the name “Steven Spielberg”, what films do you think of? Jaws (1975)? E.T. (1982)? Jurassic Park (1993)? Schindler’s List (1993) perhaps? Hook probably would come last to most people, heck, some may think that it’s his worst movie. But to me, I found it to be quite entertaining, it’s the kind of movie made by grown-ups that still remember what it’s like to be a kid. Robin Williams played Peter Pan great, first as the old worrisome family man, then as the exuberant kid who wants to have fun and never grow up. In this adventure, the now grown up Peter returns to Neverland to save his kids from the evil Captain Hook. Dustin Hoffman should have been nominated for something for his role as the captain, he completely disappears in to the character; he is arguably the biggest highlight of the movie. The set design was great, and the special effects were state of the art at the time. However, the comedy wasn’t very funny, and the Lost Boys were not very memorable, except for Rufio, played by Filipino-American actor Dante Basco, who was probably the coolest character of the whole film. Bangarang!