I haven’t done one of these in forever. And, funnily enough, I’ve also done a completely separate type of post (though just one) based around guilty pleasure movies. But good ol’ Jason at Invasion of the B-Movies is running a Blog-A-Thon about guilty pleasure movies and has asked all those willing to write up our top 10 guilty pleasure movies.
But I wanted to do this a little bit differently, to give it a little more personality. First, let us define a guilty pleasure movie. Typically, these movies are either really bad, but you can’t help to love them, or they’re entertaining, but you’d never admit to owning them out of embarrassment. There are numerous reasons a movie can be seen as bad or embarrassing, but I wanted to focus on just one of those traits in this top 10: specific actors or actresses. How many times have you talked to a friend or co-worker about a movie you enjoy or a movie coming out, and their response is along the lines of “Oh… doesn’t that have Jessica Alba/Ben Affleck/whoever in it? Eff that.” Specific actors or actresses can immediately turn somebody away from even fathoming the film… but there are some rare instances where said actors/actresses can pull off a really good film (at least in your own eyes). However, you’re too embarrassed to even bring up the film because it has this or that person in it. Well, this top 10 list is a tribute to those kinds of guilty pleasures… by listing my top 10 of said types.
10. The Guyver.
Faulty Actor: Mark Hamill.
Reason of Love: Has anybody really seen any of Mark Hamill’s movies outside of Star Wars? Now… has anybody who actually has actually enjoyed them (outside his wonderful cameo appearance in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)? The Guyver was a cheesy live-action version of an anime where Mark Hamill was the biggest name in the movie (and wasn’t the lead). It had an off-the-wall story (as most anime does). It had bad acting. It had monsters as men in suits—done the wrong way. I haven’t seen this movie in ages, but I remember always enjoying it (even though I knew it was terrible). Its tone is actually pretty dark if you can get over its cheesiness, so that’s something…
9. The Transporter
Faulty Actor: Jason Statham.
Reason of Love: If you ask anybody their favorite films of all time, I bet the majority of the people will not list one movie with Jason Statham (at least not a movie in which he was the lead). He’s a cool dude, and his action is always awesome, which is why I love this movie. It’s brainless in its story, and its action is over-the-top, but that’s what makes it so darned awesome. How can you not love the oil-slick fight? Plus, the movie was written and produced by my favorite writer/director, Luc Besson.
8. School for Scoundrels.
Faulty Actor: Jon Heder.
Reason of Love: School for Scoundrels… AKA Jon Heder going from dork to badass. Wait… did I just use Jon Heder (you know, Napoleon Dynamite) and badass in the same sentence? I believe I did. Well, I don’t know about that, but he can pull off equal amounts of jerk and nice guy to make the movie believable. I enjoyed the story (both the normal story and the love story/triangle), as well as the seemingly triple-twist thing there at the end. The two guys (Heder and Thornton) were continually messing with and conning each other that by the end of the movie, you didn’t know who was telling the truth anymore. Overall, though, I thought the movie was funny in its little ways, bringing out good performances all around.
Faulty Actor: Ben Affleck.
Reason of Love: Yet another actor who everybody loves to hate on… but this movie, based on a selection from the almost never-ending pot of Philip K. Dick stories, is done really well, and co-stars the vastly underrated actor, Paul Giamatti (as well as recently made more-famous Aaron Eckhart). I love movies based on Philip K. Dick stories anyway, but this one just had a really cool idea. A guy who reverse engineers things and then has his memory of it erased finds himself on a hit list, then discovers that he left himself miniscule objects as clues and helpful artifacts to stay alive and figure out what exactly he just finished building.
Faulty Actor: Keanu Reeves.
Reason of Love: Whoa! Even without its highly improbable moments (bus jumping huge gap), a movie that takes place primarily on a bus has a ton of action and is adrenaline pumped. There’s really not much more to say about the movie, really. I mean, who hasn’t seen it by now?
5. Pitch Black.
Faulty Actor: Vin Diesel.
Reason of Love: Quite similar to Jason Statham, we have a bald action hero who typically makes so-so movies. But Pitch Black is one of his earlier ventures, before he became a huge name (AKA before The Fast and the Furious), and it has one of his coolest characters ever, Richard B. Riddick. He’s one of my favorite sci-fi anti-heroes ever. The movie has a very suspending-the-disbelief story (crash landing on an alien planet that has dangerous nocturnal alien monsters hours before a super-long total eclipse with a man who has eyes that allows him to see in the dark)… but it’s just so cool. Unfortunately, its sequel, Chronicles of Riddick, took the story in an entirely new direction and tone, ending with a cliffhanger and set-up for a couple more movies that most likely aren’t going to be made.
4. Idle Hands.
Faulty Actor: Jessica Alba.
Reason of Love: Okay, so she’s not the main character, but his love interest. Still, I’ve actually had somebody refuse to watch the movie simply because she was associated to it. I think that’s reason enough to add this to the list. Add on the immensely popular Seth Green, the vastly underrated Elden Henson, the sexy Vivica A. Fox, and one of the biggest could-have-been-but-wasn’t actors out there, Devon Sawa, then you’ve got… well, one bizarre cast. It’s a horror-comedy about a guy whose hand gets possessed by the devil (and thus has an occultist bounty hunter-type woman after him), and he kills his two best friends, who then come back from the dead to just hang out and party. It’s weird, but it’s fun. And who doesn’t like the scene at the end with Jessica Alba getting her dress accidentally ripped off while she’s tied down to the top of a car?
Faulty Actor: Ben Stiller.
Reason of Love: It’s a well-known fact that Ben Stiller is running out of steam as of late, and not a lot of people are really enjoying his work much anymore (Tropic Thunder is hopefully going to rejuvenate his career). But back in the day, he made some pretty fun movies, and this was one of them. He’s the villain of the movie, a workout-a-holic who takes over a fun fat camp and makes everybody feel like losers, then proceeds to starve, humiliate, and destroy them (not physically…). It’s campy (no pun intended), and not a whole lot of people probably remember it, but it will always have a place in my heart!
2. Good Burger.
Faulty Actor: Sinbad (or Kenan or Kel).
Reason of Love: Um… it’s Good Burger, one of the greatest things to come out of Nickelodeon (or All That) in a long time. That’s really all there is to it. I’m a dude, he’s a dude, she’s a dude, we’re all dudes, hey!
1. Surf Ninjas.
Faulty Actor: Rob Schneider (or Tone Loc).
Reason of Love: It’s so over-the-top that it basically makes fun of itself for you. But to spare myself typing it all up again, this was the movie I’ve already discussed as a guilty pleasure movie in the past. The post can be found here.
Runners-up (not all of them fall under the faulty actor thing… just guilty pleasure movies in general): Step Up 2 The Streets, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Face/Off, Newsies, The Hills Have Eyes (remake), The Faculty, My Boyfriend’s Back, Any Disney Animated Musical. And the one movie that NEARLY made this Top 10 was The Butterfly Effect, but I think too many people really like that movie for it to be considered a guilty pleasure.