“My God, how can you watch that shit!”
Yes, that sentence has been directed towards me a few times. As has…
“I thought you actually had some intelligence!”
Well, I’d like to think I do but that doesn’t preclude me from enjoying the simple things in life too from time to time. Not every film we watch needs to be of such depth it makes us question our very existence, hell, sometimes it’s just a pleasant sensation to disengage the brain and enjoy the ride. Also, some movies are just so bad they’re good. That’s scientifically proven. Ok. I lied about my last sentence.
To be honest, I don’t think that you should feel guilty about liking anything. We’re all individuals and as long as you have a thought out rationale and are not just caught up in hype or hysteria then I’d always respect that opinion. An awareness of faults is healthy though right?
So, in a very public naming and shaming, here are some movies that I realise you may think are poor/cheesy/not what a man of my brilliance should be watching but I love anyway. I’m taking a deep breath and off I go…
Rocky IV (1985)
I love the Rocky series. I think the first movie is a bonafide classic and the final part is a great movie in its own right. Everything in between, while not reaching those heights still offers solid if overtly masculine and broadly painted entertainment. My love for ‘Rocky IV’ comes from my love of seemingly invincible opponents in any film combat related. Ivan Drago played by a young, towering Dolph Lundgren fits that bill perfectly.
‘Rocky IV’ is a product of the 80′s with its ‘us and them’ politics, soft rock montages and larger than life action however I find myself absolutely loving it and even if it’s on TV I’ll always find myself watching it until completion. Who’d have thought back when the gritty original came out, in under 10 years Rocky would be living in a mansion with a sentient robot servant and then single handedly stop The Cold War by defeating a Russian giant then delivering a speech about tolerance and change. Top man. Top film.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
As a male, you’re stereotypically not allowed to enjoy a romantic comedy. This suits me fine as I generally despise the celluloid most are printed on. These days I’m generally a cynic when it comes to romantic involvement. When it comes to romantic comedies I’m even more so. I’d go as far as saying that I’d rather masturbate with sandpaper than watch 95% of the absolutely predictable shit that Hollywood churns out. Boy and girl meet. Something prevents them from being together. They realise they have to be together and start dating with ‘hilarious’ consequences. The guy fucks it all up. The guy wins her back in the final reel. YAWN. However, there’s something about ’10 Things I Hate About You’ that really warms my Grinch-like internal organs.
Maybe it’s Heath Ledger’s charismatic and likeable lead. Maybe it’s that Julia Styles plays a character who isn’t an absolute bimbo and is there for more than star power and/or eye candy. Maybe it’s the awesome soundtrack. Most of all, I think it’s because the movie has a liberal sprinkling of cynicism and a whole lot of heart. It’s sharply written, frequently funny and the acting is spot on, especially from a young Joseph-Gordon Levitt. I can’t help loving it, call me soft if you want. I will crush you.
Top Gun (1986)
My last choice is Tony Scott’s dog-fighting testosterone fest ‘Top Gun’. Now, I am one of the few people on this earth that doesn’t despise Tom Cruise. I think of the Hollywood A-listers around today, he’s among the most consistent and when given the right material can actually act a little. Watch his excellent turn in ‘Magnolia’ for a prime example. In ‘Top Gun’ as Maverick I feel cruise channels and projects pure movie star aura onto the screen. Cocky, arrogant, disrespectful to his superior officers, dangerous yet there’s enough humour and vulnerability there you can’t help but like the guy.
Cruise carries the film with the help of Kelly McGillis and who can forget the cheese-filled theme song ‘Take My Breath Away’? If alien life wanted me to show them the 80′s I would provide them this film and say, there it is. Aside from the cheesy fun, the dogfight scenes are spectacularly shot by Scott. They’re exciting, well edited and incredibly involving. I’ll sign off my case saying that the ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ scene with Goose and Maverick may be the best bromance segment in movie history. I will however draw a line under the beach volleyball scene. We’ll forget about that one.
So, what are your guilty pleasure movies?