We all have them. They sit on the back of our shelves under a blanket of dust and we hope no one will know they’re there. But when you’re alone, you reach back for that small collection. Close the blinds, lock the door, and take off your pants…because what you’re about to do is frowned upon. What? …porn? No, you sickos! These are movies you’re too embarrassed to enjoy. These are movies that you find some unknown pleasure in watching. (Still sounds like porn, doesn’t it?) These are the Hollywood failures that you still love to watch. And as much as I love watching movies, it’s only rational I have several. It’s almost like they’re the uncool kids at lunch. You wouldn’t want to be caught dead with the girl who doesn’t wear clothes her size. Or the guy who collects umbrellas from eBay and can’t wait to show them off in class. (Best made up hobby ever!) But no matter how strange that person might be, they always have friends. These are some of mine. (By the way, the reason you take off your pants is so you don’t stain them with Cheeto fingers. Why ruin a good pair of pants?)
5. The Jacket
Granted, not a well known movie to be embarrassed of. But what’s not to like? Adrien Brody? Yeah, he’s a weird guy. A good actor, but probably not the most enjoyable to hang with. Keira Knightley’s American accent? She’s playing a drunk. Chalk it up to slurred speech. Plus, it’s Keira Knightley. You may have your quarrels with her acting or looks, but I think she’s beautiful and I love seeing her on screen. Kris Kristofferson? His name is too fun to say to dislike him. Daniel Craig’s American accent? Yes, that’s right. I said James Bond. And no, Daniel Craig is arguably the best actor of the Bonds. So what is it then? Well, it might be the story. It’s weird. Not disgusting or impossible to follow. Just…weird.
Sometimes I love a little dose of some trippy sci-fi shenanigans. I don’t know how to explain time travel while in a straighjacket locked in a morgue drawer and under the influence of experimental drugs, but I think it’s a fun dark concept. Time travel is one of the most used and continuously re-imagined genres out there. And you might as well stick the subject in an IV and leave me be, because I can’t get enough. Is there a rehab for time travel addicts? Could you imagine the conversations that take place in those community circles? Am I blowing your mind right now? If you said yes, will you marry me? If you said yes again, I was just kidding.
4. The Day After Tomorrow
Can you really ever get enough of seeing unimaginable destruction to our planet? (That’s a rhetorical question.) The Day After Tomorrow has many things wrong with it. Let’s comically and seriously address them in a long string of reasons that I may or may not provide evidence for. The title is stupid yet annoyingly hard to forget, Dennis Quaid’s acting, the president who probably used to be an underwear model, the science behind freezing instantly that Jake Gyllenhaal can physically outrun, Sela Ward’s acting, people thinking they can travel in sub-arctic temperatures, wild rabid wolves, being able to survive for weeks with only snack machine food, the movie makes it look like the storm happened in 2 days and everything is fine after, the annoying B story character vice president/politician who goes through “character growth”, etc. But as much as I can tear this movie apart, I have to say I really enjoy watching it. The destruction is really why anyone watches it, the script just has to hide behind the apocalypse shadow. And the acting doesn’t matter either, you know most of them will probably die. It’s simply put, a fun movie.
I have to mention the biggest reason why this movie is as great as it is, the budget. Roland Emmerich directs with his specialty in imagining the end of the world. Independence Day and 2012 are two others raining from his brainstorms. He’ll never win an Academy Award, but he’ll have a job till the day he dies. (A well paying job at that.) With the success of The Walking Dead on television right now, it might be possible for The Day After Tomorrow to spin into a TV show. Think about it. The only reason people (myself included) like The Walking Dead is because they never want a good zombie movie to end. Now we get one loooong one that doesn’t! The Day After Tomorrow might have to be changed to The Day After X Number of Seasons We Last Until We’re Canned but it still holds some promise. Even smaller networks are able to attain a large special effects budget. Just look at Smallville, 10 years and that show revolved around super human feats. It’s possible we could watch the world slowly die week after week! Someone get me in touch with NBC!
3. Phone Booth
Phone Booth is another underrated yet terrible movie. Colin Farrell, a fun guy to watch no matter how horrible he is. Kiefer Sutherland, has a great maniacal yet intelligible voice. Forest Whitaker, good enough for me. Katie Holmes, a pretty face (let’s be honest, that’s all she’s really paid for). But the real reason this movie makes it to number 3? I love the story challenge. 98% of the movie takes place on one street. In one phone booth. Doesn’t move. That is a difficult premise to shove down an audience’s throat. Because we’re Americans and in our instant gratification ADD minds things have to be moving and changing. When we desire a change of scenery we get it. (I’m again included in this.) “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder” – Me. (Actually it’s Alfred Hitchcock, but I wanted to sound smart for a second.) That quote has weight to it. Or should I say had. Because now a film should be either extremely fascinating or should make sure to stay under our time limit of inevitable boredom. And the ability to make an interesting story like Phone Booth did, I find that admirable.
I never watch this movie or suggest it around my friends. Everyone wants to have the best of the general consensus of opinions or have the weirdest yet justifiable final word. I can’t defend Phone Booth like that. It’s not a fun crowd movie. If you and you’re film loving friends want to enjoy a movie together, do what I do. Either turn terrible movies into drinking games or stick with Jurassic Park quality level moving pictures. I once tried to show some friends Mystery Men. I am not ashamed to say how much I love that movie. It’s brilliant. But it’s too different for most people. Phone Booth is too different for most people, and Phone Booth really isn’t brilliant at all. So enjoy it alone in the privacy of you’re secluded home entertainment system, otherwise fingers will be pointing and laughter will be had. Also, if these moments hit YouTube please please please send me a link so I can laugh at you too.
2. Godzilla (1998)
Yep, Roland Emmerich made this list twice! Much like apocalypse movies, I love a good monster movie. They’re instantly a hoot. Ferris Bueller, I mean Simba, I mean Matthew Broderick has always been someone I thought was entertaining to watch. Just is. Jean Reno, love him. Hank Azaria, hilarious. Harry Shearer, hilarious. (Why did I use the same word to describe those two? Because they’re both prime voice actors on The Simpsons, which is hilarious.) Kevin Dunn, eh. I only wanted to bring him up because in most movies he plays someone’s father. Which from my friends and I he has forever earned the nickname “Father Fatherson”. Oh! And let’s not leave out the most important character, Godzilla! There will always be a few monsters who’s story and fandom will never die. Dracula, Frankenstein, King Kong, The Coneheads, and Godzilla. (The Coneheads fandom is just me, and I’ll never die.) So seeing a modern Godzilla with mildly excellent special effects is the best! Well…for 1998, the special effects were supreme. Like a fast food special value meal but from the White House kitchen. (Yeah, I don’t really get that simile either.)
But for every other purpose, this isn’t a good movie. Maria Pitillo is whiny, yet cute. The tactics for killing Godzilla are ridiculous. The single fact that they lose Godzilla and can’t find him is supremely ridiculous. Like a fast food spe…(nah, still doesn’t make sense). Evacuating New York City is impossible. But they all hold a sliver of truth and it allows you to forget those silly not-really-insignificant things as they destroy this monstrous Godzilla of a Godzilla. And I love it all. I even love that they get you to care just a little about this mutant lizard and when they finally do kill it (if you’re mad I ruined the ending, get over it…it’s the more predictable than a Disney princess movie) you feel this necessary yet difficult ending resolve in your heart. But then again, you have to enjoy it like I do to feel anything for this movie. What can I say? Destruction is a great way to go in Hollywood!
1. Eight Legged Freaks
If you know anything about this movie, including the title which you have just read from above, you probably already know you wouldn’t like it. Let me fill you in on the basic details. It stars David Arquette. Hey! Don’t get up from your computer, come back! Alright, those of you who have stayed here’s the quick idea behind the movie: spiders are being fed mutated food, they get big, and start taking over the small town nearby. See! Simple. Yet most likely immediately qualifying as a waste of time. I’m correct, aren’t I? You have no desire to see this. Well, buckle your fold out desk chair because here we go. It’s a comedy. It’s not witty nor completely thought out, but it’s a comedy. If you know me in person, you know that I love a well done absurd story like Mars Attacks! or Tropic Thunder. Well this one is more like a cherry on top of the ice cream sunday that may be a few days past ripe. But I still savor the moment.
Giant spiders attacking a town ranks up there with Attack of the 50 Foot Woman or Honey I Blew Up The Kid, it’s dumb and not an accepted premise by the current living generations. But I love it. I laugh every time. And I don’t regret watching and owning this movie. This post may make you think less of me after you read it, but if you really think about it you have secrets just as bad as Eight Legged Freaks sitting in your closet. Only I’m the one who’s writing about it for MILLIONS to see! (I’m lying, I’m lucky if I read this post after I’m done writing it.) Oh, did I forget one perk about this movie? Well, let me fill you in. Kari Wuhrer and her daughter Scarlett Johansson are in this movie. Want to see it now? (Be warned, when this was released ScarScar JoJo was 18. So you’re probably sitting on the fence of being creepy.) Alright my friends, now that I have fully and successfully persuaded you to see this movies (No?…Okay), I’m going to put my pants back on and wash down these Cheetos with some Peeps. DON’T JUDGE ME!