I fundamentally disagree with the term ‘guilty pleasures’. If a film/game/pastime brings you joy and isn’t hurting anyone why on Earth should you feel guilty about it?
So in the spirit of ignoring this nonsense here are a few films that I have a lot of fondness for. Did they do well at the box-office? No. Did they get great reviews from critics? No.
Are they guilty pleasures!? NO!
Between American Psycho and Batman Begins there was a seemingly awkward period of time for Christian Bale. Was he an action star or an indie darling? In 2002 both Reign of Fire and Equilibrium attempted to answer that question. Neither lit the world alight (well, one sort of did) but one has always stayed with me.
In a suspiciously German-looking alternate future, Bale’s Grammaton Cleric upholds the law of no feeling…until he doesn’t. Clearly riding on the long black coat tails of The Matrix, Equilibrium introduced it’s own style of fighting. The gun kata was invented in the director’s back garden. Despite that this nonsense way of avoiding bullets actually looks pretty damn cool. In addition, unlike a lot of lower end sci-fi this story has a message in amongst the action too.
The film gets extra points for the following –
- Bale wears a really cool watch, a version of which I still own.
- There is a cute dog.
- DuPont says “cooly” in a very odd way whilst Preston says “If I was gonna shoot you, I’d shoot you in the face”.
Alec Baldwin would have made a good Batman. I was pretty sure of that already but then I watched The Shadow. He had the jaw, the hair, the physicality. It was all there!
Hollywood wasn’t sure what they were doing with comic book movies back in the nineties. Pre X-Men and Spider-Man it was really only the Batman films and even they were patchy. Gritty realism hadn’t come about but they were a far cry from Adam West.
But The Shadow has a charm about it as it recreated an earlier time. Baldwin can do both smooth and intimidating with ease. His alter-ego is a cackling killer; a bit hammy but enjoyable. No surprise to find that Batman was partly based on him.
The ending always makes me chuckle too; our hero has people in all the right places.
Really not sure what was with that fake nose though.
If you rocked up to the cinema looking for a cohesive story and Oscar worthy acting you were wasting your time. I did not, as I was way too young to see this on the big screen. Luckily I had the chance not long after and tuned right into into the cool fights and one-liners.
It’s actually one of only two films directed by Paul W.S. Anderson that I can stomach (those damn Resident Evil films still bug me).
Christopher Lambert is about as miscast as Rayden as Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is perfect as Shang Tsung, but it works! It’s as though he’s been given lines, ignored half of them and then makes shit up whilst chuckling to himself.
Sub-Zero and Scorpion aren’t given anything else to do than look cool and fight. At least they nailed that.
Not Another Teen Movie
I distinctly remember seeing a poster for this in the cinema foyer and thinking “another crap spoof film, no thank you”.
So in a way this film sums up this article best. It might look terrible but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything there to enjoy. Don’t judge a film by it’s poster.
Over the years it’s become a favourite of mine and quotes are still used between myself, my wife and my siblings. It doesn’t rely on gross-out humour and it’s language isn’t too harsh.
I don’t even understand all the references! It just tickles me.
“I know you would Reggie Ray.”
“Janey Briggs…is hot.”
Not sure what happened to Chris Evans though…
Which films do you feel have been harshly judged by popular opinion?
What are your ‘guilty pleasures’?