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Guilty Pleasures: Five Films I’m Ashamed I Love

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
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While there is certainly an art to choosing really bad films, sometimes a movie can affect you in ways that it shouldn’t, or even has any right to. The following is a list of five films that, yes, I really, truly enjoy. Whew, that’s a weight off! I encourage others to post their own guilty pleasure movies, and you don’t have to stop at five cause, believe me, I gots way more than that! Mine are in no particular order, except for the first one. Cause, well, let’s face it, it rocks. 

Excalibur (1980) Directed by John Boorman.

I honestly cannot understand why people dislike this film. Really. For me it has all the power of a great, mythic tale: knights in armour, beautiful landscapes and rousing action. The movie drips with raw intensity, which could explain why others find it campy. But I think it captures more closely the way people probably behaved in the Middle Ages than any other Arthurian, or Arthurian-like, fantasy ever made. Boorman had guts to make this film the way he did. Instead of a watered down world to appeal to the masses, a la Lord of the Rings, he gives the legends and fantastic tales the rough and brutal treatment they truly deserve.

Project X (1986) Directed by Jonathan Kaplan

I don’t know. Usually I tend to stay away from the whole chimpanzee genre. But this one just gets me all weepy. First of all, it’s one of those classic plots – boy joins military, boy trains chimps to fly planes for the Air Force, boy (Matthew Broderick) hates the way chimps are being exploited by military, boy sets chimps free, chimps save world from nuclear disaster. But it’s not as silly as all that. Honest! By the time Goliath saves the day by sacrificing himself, I’ve been reduced to a teary-eyed, blubbering idiot.

Medicine Man (1992) Directed by John McTiernan

Okay, so it’s not a bad bad movie — it’s one of those ones you might happen to come across on TV on a Sunday afternoon, and you stick around to watch the rest of it. I saw this in the theatres and I loved it. Mind you, I was slightly less critical back then, but my opinion of the movie remains the same, nevermind the whole cultural relativism thing. Sean Connery and Lorraine Bracco certainly aren’t the Hepburn/Tracy pairing of our time, or any time for that matter, but they’re fine to watch, even if Bracco can be annoying at times. The environmental message hit me hard when I was eleven — you know, back in the days when CO2 emissions were just barely above 1990 levels. Oh 1992, where have you gone?

Jurassic Park III (2001) Directed by Joe Johnston

Actually, when you think about it, this movie could have been a whole lot worse. It has everything going for it that Jurassic Park II was lacking; it’s fun, it’s got Sam Neill, and it’s got the best gag in recent cinema history – the old dinosaur swallowing the cell phone routine – trust me, it’s gold. The film also has a fool-proof dinosaur-island survival action plan: when you find unprotected raptor eggs, steal them, let the raptors hunt you, then, when all seems lost, exchange the eggs in return for not being devoured. I can’t wait to try it out for myself.

Octopussy (1983) Directed by John Glen

Poor Roger Moore. He’ll always be remembered as the silly Bond. And it’s true; he sort of floated through his adventures, with barely a scrape or a misplaced hair. But I think his Bond movies get short shrift, The Spy Who Loved Me is solid, For Your Eyes Only was as good as anything made with Connery, and The Man With the Golden Gun has Herve Villechaize and Christopher Lee as baddies. Nuff said. Octopussy however, is so darned ridiculous it makes Die Another Day look like an exercise in restraint. It’s got camels doing double-takes, crocodile camouflage costumes, Moore dressed up as a clown, a pair of evil, knife-throwing circus twins, and an island filled with a bevy of beautiful, um, what were they . . . mercenaries? It seems Bond’s toughest villain wasn’t Ernst Stavro Blofeld, it was the 1980s. llewopemearg

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, March 20, 2007 12:29 pm

    There’s no reason to be ashamed of Jurassic Park. I haven’t seen the others, though.

    -Matt
    http://www.mattgunn.ca

  2. James17930 permalink
    Tuesday, March 20, 2007 2:18 pm

    Well, I haven’t seen JP:3 so I can’t say.

    Excalibur I have to give another chance.

    Octopussy — I have to admit I had no idea what was going on. It was so ridiculous and convoluted it actually surprised me when it ended because I didn’t know what was happening.

  3. tanya permalink
    Tuesday, March 20, 2007 2:45 pm

    Jurassic Park III I agree is one of the greatest worst movies ever. I heard they started shooting it without a script, which tells you something. The others as well are fantastic choices. My #1 would have to be Clash of the Titans. And I have it on DVD.

  4. Tuesday, March 20, 2007 2:59 pm

    Ah yes, Clash of the Titans. I haven’t seen that since we were forced to watch it over, like, a week in Grade 9 English class.

    I guess we were doing something on mythology. I hope we were anyway, as by 1993 those claymation special effects were a little bit out of date…very fun to watch though.

  5. James17930 permalink
    Tuesday, March 20, 2007 9:09 pm

    Wasn’t the claymation one Jason & the Argonauts?

  6. Wednesday, March 21, 2007 9:18 am

    Jason & the Argonauts is older – but both were done by Ray Harryhausen.

  7. James17930 permalink
    Wednesday, March 21, 2007 10:15 am

    Ah — both! I see.

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