What is a guilty pleasure? Well the internet tells me it’s “something, such as a film, television programme, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.”
We all have those films or TV shows that we love to watch but everyone else thinks are utter dross. For whatever reason we keep our adoration of these properties to ourselves or a close number of people. Well the Geekstalkers have decided to bare their souls to you lovely readers as they talk about their guilty pleasure films (and some TV shows). Do not judge us, we have good reasons for loving these movies and I guarantee some are on your list too. Before you read on, don’t forget to check out our previous Geekstalkers posts below;
Enjoy these guilty pleasures, we certainly do!
Ben Fenlon from SuperNerds UK – @HailLeviathan
The idea of a guilty pleasure film, for me at least, is an odd one. Surely you should just like what you like?
On the Supernerds UK Podcast, we actually have a segment called “In Defence Of…” , where we talk about films we love that are largely critically maligned or have flopped in the cinema. The first one I did was Batman and Robin, the film that nearly killed the superhero movie.
It’s silly, it’s colourful, it takes liberties with the source material, it has woeful dialogue, but it’s funny. Closer to the 1966 television version, our Caped Crusaders, George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell, suit up in some nippley rubber costumes and face off against the cheesiest of villains.
Arnold Schwarzenneger‘s Mr Freeze, Uma Thurman‘s Poison Ivy and Jeep Swenson playing a monosyllabic, trenchcoat-wearing Bane try to freeze the earth, so our heroes, along with Alicia Silverstone as an admittedly unnecessary version of Batgirl have to stop them.
Mr Freeze and his ice puns have managed to remain in the public consciousness ever since ( “allow to break the ice”) and Thurman’s Poison Ivy became the iconic look for the character and people still dress like her for Halloween.
Director Joel Schumacher cranked up the neon lights, over the top set design and tried to make a fun, camp adventure. The mid 90s audience didn’t connect with it but I’ve always enjoyed it.
It’s a daft romp, a Sunday afternoon hangover movie to watch while you’re waiting for dinner. It’s not the best Batman movie, but it’s not the worst (Hello The Dark Knight Rises).
I’m not saying it’s high art, but as late 90s superhero films go, at least it’s not Spawn.
Chris Smolinski @RamblingRiter
So this month we talk about guilty pleasure films. This can encompass many genres, many titles, that some will agree on and others will just get a good laugh off of your choice. The very first thing that came to mind was: The Last Dragon
But then I thought, who doesn’t love this movie? It is a masterpiece. So I had to slap on the old think tank and try again. The next movie that popped into my mind was Big Trouble in Little China but that falls into the same category as my previous choice.
I mean have you ever asked someone about the movie and they reply with, “Oh I didn’t like that.” Exactly, “said no one ever!
So I had to dig deep this time around. “What do I enjoy that might get my man card revoked?” Was really the best question to ask.
Then it hit me. Musical Movies! I am a sucker for a movie that has a all-out dancing/singing fest. I’m talking all three High School Musicals, both Grease movies, especially the second one, and even the two teen beach movies. But my favorite of all these movies is: Rock of Ages! It’s set in the greatest era the 80s. It has awesome music, cheesy lines, and amazing actors. If you love a good musical movie do yourself a favor and watch it today!
Seb Reeves – @TheRealMrSeb
I love watching movies, and when I have found a film that I really enjoy, it is difficult for me to even consider the possibility that its actually not really that good at all. I understand the concept that there should be some sensation of guilty in owning a film that has been universally panned. But my choice for this #Geekstalkers topic has pride of place in the front row of my DVD collection. With Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis taking on the role of my favourite Marvel family, my guilty pleasure is the 2005 version of ‘Fantastic 4’ I loved it so much, I bought the extended edition.
This cast starred together on two outings of the franchise, and although much maligned, I would definitely rate it above its 1994 and 2015 counterparts. Written by Michael France and Mark Frost and directed by Tim Story, the first of the two films with this cast basically follows the tale of how the Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Benn Grimm obtained their powers, came to terms with their changes and quickly bonded as a team to face off against none other than Victor Von Doom.
Yes, there is quite a bit of cheese and it is CGI heavy, but I like it. I believe that the cast that was given the difficult task of bringing a beloved Marvel family to life; was well chosen and did a good job of it. I was happy to finally see them grace the silver screen and I’m going to watch it again right now. ;p Guilty – Not a chance, Pleasure – You’re damn Skippy 😉
Markus – @TheMarckoguy
In our world, movies of varying types of quality can be found. Some amazing, some absolutely awful, some mediocre… and some perplexing. And by that I am of course talking about guilty pleasures. Those movies that are bad but some people find enjoyment in. I um… I got a few of those. But I want to talk about a specific one, so I don’t overburden you with bad/enjoyable movies.
My choice of guilty pleasure movie is Drive Angry, a 2011 action movie directed by Patrick Lussier, starring Nicolas Cage.
The story follows Milton (Cage), as he escapes from hell to kill an evil cult leader named Jonah King (Billy Burke), because the cult leader killed Milton’s daugther and is about to sacrifice Milton’s granddaughter. Also, Milton runs into a woman named Piper (Amber Heard) who joins Milton on his quest. And now we have our ridiculous action movie that I just love.
Sure, the story doesn’t have a lot of weight, the characters aren’t very well fleshed out, and most of the performances are… interesting, for lack of a better word. And the CGI is awful… so why do I love it. Because it embraces the ridiculous stuff to create one of the most enjoyably dumb action movies ever. As I watch the movie I find myself laughing at all the ridiculous shit going on throughout the movie. I mean, there’s a scene where a fully clothed Nicolas Cage has sex with a naked lady, while also killing a bunch of dudes… how could you not enjoy that type of stupid stuff?
By the way, Cage might actually be giving the most subtle performance out of every actor in the movie. No Nicolas Cage freakouts in this movie, which is a bit of a shame, but I feel like the ridiculous action scenes ham it up enough to compensate for the lack of Crazy-Cage.
I also feel like I should mention that we have William Fichtner in the movie, playing the devil’s right hand man who’s been sent to try to get Milton back to hell. He’s called the Accountant and he doesn’t give a shit about anything.
He might’ve been the best character in the movie. I don’t want to give too much away about him, because he is best experienced on your own. Billy Burke as cult leader Jonah King, delightfully hammy… not much else I can say there. Amber Heard as Piper, she was badass and actually punched a dude in the movie… I mean a real punch, not a fake one. Yeah, the cast here is awesome.
If you’d judge Drive Angry in terms of overall craft, it is quite bad. But if you look at it as a dumb, violent, stupid, ridiculous, and dumb action movie that you could watch with your friends while drunk (please drink responsibly), then you’re gonna have a blast with Drive Angry. It’s a bad movie, but I enjoy it… It’s my guilty pleasure.
Ken Major – @KenMajor83
A musical with Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta-Jones working there way through all the main 80’s Power-Ballads from the likes of The Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard sounds awful right? Well actually it’s a whole lot of fun!
I probably should say now that having seen various West End shows in the last 10 years I’m always eagerly waiting to see how the movie adaptation fairs again the stage production.
It all started having wanted to see Spamalot (based on Monty Pythons The Holy Grail) as Fifth Doctor Peter Davison was the star casting for that show. Being a massive Doctor Who fan, I always like to see those that are associated with the series in different roles.
I do find with Jukebox musicals (taking previously released songs and trying to connect them to the plot) unless they are based on an artists life can be quite weak.
But Rock of Ages strength is that it’s set in a bar during 1987, so generally any song from that era would have worked.
With so many instantly catchy songs, that even though it’s nowhere near my favorite musical it’s certainly one I can rewatch numerous times!
Ben from #nerdschatting- @nerdschatting, @ben_nerdchat
He’s not a machine…..he’s a man!
My guilty pleasure movie is a quintessential slice of pure 80’s Americana.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Rocky 4, starring Sylvester Stallone.
I saw Rocky 4 in the cinema when I was 7 years old. It was one of the first video’s I was given for Christmas by my Mum. I can watch it all day, quote every line, and it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
The first Rocky movie was made in 1976 and felt like a lot of other bleak, world weary 70’s movies of the time. It was a drama film, with a smattering of sport thrown in at the end for good measure. However it had something else. It had a character that people fell in love with. The permanent underdog, Rocky Balboa!
Fast forward 9 years to 1985, and Rocky movies are basically like superhero movies now, where Rocky can’t be beaten by any living man! Or he can, but he gets back up and tries again…and wins! He defeats the bad guy. I love that about the Rocky movies; he never ever gives up. He trains, and tries again and inevitably wins..!
Rocky 4 tells the story of US boxing being invaded by a Russian superhuman boxer known as Ivan Drago. Played with epic stoicism by Dolph Lundgren, Drago is the nearest thing to a super villain the Rocky movies had. He’s chemically enhanced! He also goes to a level pat that of Rocky 3’s Clubber Lang as Drago, spoilers, fights Apollo Creed before Rocky…. and kills him in the ring! As much as Clubber was a good foil to Rocky, he didn’t kill anyone. So straight away, Drago is not only a threat, he’s a deadly one.
The movie then moves into what Rocky movies do best, MONTAGE! You get a montage of Rocky remembering all the good (and bad) times with Apollo. You then get Rocky holding a press conference saying he will fight Drago in Moscow on Christmas Day! Then you get probably the best training montage ever put on film, with some of the most inspiring 80-‘s soft rock you’ve ever heard!
The final fight is just utterly RIDICULOUS. Rocky is beaten from pillar to post for 14 rounds, getting in a few shots of his own here and there, (inspiring the great line where after Rocky cuts Drago, Rocky’s trainer Duke says to him “You cut him, you hurt him. You see he’s not a machine. HE’S A MAN!) however mostly getting his brains beaten in (Rocky 5 discusses this fact, that the fight left him brain damaged). The final round lasts about 5 minutes (a normal boxing round is 3) and just in time, Rocky knocks Drago out to win a victory for America against Russia (height of the cold war remember!) and avenges Apollo.
The film then ends with both an overly sentimental and obvious political speech by Rocky telling the Russian crowd that now loves him, that everyone can change and they can settle their differences.
Yep, in my guilty pleasure movie, a boxer wins the cold war. Beat that!
Ian from SuperNerds UK – @ianyoungkop, @SuperNerds_UK
So my guilty pleasure was always going to be interesting, with me admitting on our podcast that my guilty pleasures are old musicals that I used to watch my Nan and also being the 80s cheese lover of the SuperNerds mine was always going to be an ultimate cringe fest! In 1988 a film starring, Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans, was released! Sounds impressive, right?… wrong!
The previously mentioned actors play 3 aliens that crash land their spaceship in Geena Davis’ swimming pool, Geena then takes them in and an hour and half of musical numbers, cliche’d comedy, inter-planetary romance and the most absurdly bright colour pallet you’ve ever witnessed ensues! Geena Davis plays beautician Valerie, who invites the intergalactic travellers into her home, gives them a makeover, and dances and sings her way through this absolute cringe fest! Now it’s terrible, so so terrible, but I can’t help but watch it over and over again!
The songs are hilariously cringeworthy bad, the comedy gloriously over the top and misguided, and what makes this so funny, is you get the feeling the actors thought this was good! This was 80’s MTV wrapped in a brightly, coloured package, and I know I’ll revisit it again! I don’t recommend this to anyone because I genuinely don’t think anyone else will be able to bare it, this isn’t The Room, or any so bad it’s good classic this is just so bad it’s bad! My name is Ian and this is my guilty pleasure and I already feel judged!
Movies have a way of transporting us to another time or another place and allow us to escape reality into a fictional one through its various genres and styles. In the world of movies, each person as his or her own favorite film that many have written off (by either critics or moviegoers or even both) as a mediocre or bad movie, which have been dubbed as a “guilty pleasure” film. As I said, there’s really no right or wrong choice for a person choosing a particular film. So, what’s time “guilty pleasure” movie. Well, its 2016’s fantasy film Warcraft (or Warcraft: The Beginning in international territories) is my guilty pleasure film. And where’s why.
Suffice to say, if you’re not a familiar with the film (or its original property), Warcraft is a fantasy-based computer game that’s original RTS games (Real-time strategy) that now as expanded into a highly successful MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Outline Roleplaying Game), with new content being released every so often to keep its outline world growing and its players engaged its game’s universe. While I’ve never played the MMORPG, I’ve enjoyed playing the original RTS games as well reading about the game’s backstory, diving deeper into its myth and lore of the realm of Humans, Orcs, and Elves, and the other denizens that populate this fantasy world.
Given its popularity, a feature film was basically a forgone conclusion and, in 2016, the conclusion was final realized with Warcraft, a blend of live-action and CGI visuals to bring to life the first chapter in the clash between Humans and Orcs. However, while fans of the Warcraft games will mostly please with this movie, most critics and moviegoers, however, weren’t on-board with film, finding the movie to be difficult to connect with its non-fan based (i.e. casual moviegoers). Warcraft only made roughly $47 million at the US domestic box office (thankfully it made up for it international box office) and received lower grades on various movie websites, including receiving a score of 28% on Rotten Tomato. Suffice to say, that a sequel to Warcraft movie is very unclear and might not happen. However, that doesn’t bother me (although I would like to see one) as the Warcraft movie is a film that I love.
First off, let me say that I’m a huge fan of the fantasy genre (i.e. video games, movies, TV shows, novels, etc.). So, I was already on board with this feature film project way before the film finally materialized. It has everything a fantasy savant would like: a faraway kingdom of various fantasy races (Human, Orcs, and Elves), kings, mages, knights, an invading army, and primordial magical powers. You get the idea of what trying to say. Thus, just with its premise, it’s a fantasy lover’s dream and has plenty of other nuances within its fantasy-based genre. Second, with the film being a fantasy, it’s almost a bit of that heightened fantasy look. What I mean is that it just isn’t a realistic fantasy (i.e. something like HBO’s Game of Thrones) as Warcraft has that pure “high fantasy epic” feeling. This includes, Larger than life characters, monstrous beings, and a grandiose tale of good and evil. Even the practical sets design and weapons and armor designs are “heightened” with a gilded ornate finishes and grandiose opulence that it feels like Jones and his team are romancing the fantasy genre with Warcraft. Thus, movie itself looks incredibly beautiful (to a fantasy lover’s visual perspective). There’s also a way of how it all comes together and just feel entertaining (well, at least for me).
Next, I like a lot of the actors that appeared in the movie. Seeing actor Travis Fimmell (Ragnar Lothbrok from the TV show Vikings) as Lothar, Robert Kazinsky as Orgrim, Toby Kebbell as Durotan, and Ben Foster as Medivh made me like the movie even more as all these actors I like in their various other projects (in both film and TV). Other noteworthy actors / actresses in the movie, include Dominic Cooper, Daniel Wu, Paula Patton, Ruth Negga, Clancy Brown, and even Glen Close appear in the movie. Lastly, being a fan of the history and lore of the Warcraft universe, it was pretty interesting to see the story come alive on the big-screen. Yes, some things were different from the video game to silver screen, but it was kind of cool to see all the various places and locations appear within the movie (i.e. The Dark Portal, Stormwind, Karazhan, Dalaran, etc.) as well as seeing all the various important characters make up the main roster of its lead characters So, yeah, I totally geeked out to see characters like Durotan, Orgrim Doomhammer, and Medivh on the big screen (total nerd moment).
So those are my reasons why Warcraft is my guilty pleasure film. I can watch this movie all the time and I’ll never get bored with it. I guess all I can say is this: For Azeroth! For Azeroth and the Alliance!
Dan from Nerdifi @Nerdifi_MCR
Okay, I admit it. I’m a culture snob. But when it comes to guilty pleasures. Well… They’re a luxury the culture snob can ill afford. When we love a film or TV show that popular opinion deems inferior, we either have to vociferously defend its artistic merit (Batman V Superman) or reverse engineer its failings to make them seem like their USP (Batman & Robin). Therefore we’re unable to combine guilt and please. That said… I’m an absolute sucker for “Desperate Housewives“.
On paper, it’s everything that the culture snob and class warrior in me should despise; a cabal of infinitely wealthy women navigating the soap opera dramatics of this caricature of suburban life. But it’s in its caricature that the show’s appeal lies. From the outset it makes it perfectly clear that it’s not taking itself too seriously, and for all the preposterous machinations of the plot, the show manages to be engaging and enjoyable. Chalk it all up to clever writing and outstanding acting.
The show makes you genuinely care about characters you’re predisposed to hate by alternately playing up and subverting stereotypes. Eva Longoria’s Gabby, for example, is shallow, vain and materialistic but she also demonstrates incredible compassion, loyalty and solidarity. Marcia Cross plays Bree Van De Kamp with the manic intensity of a malfunctioning Stepford Wife, yet demonstrates supreme pathos when the perfect facade of her family crumbles all around her. I went into this show determined to hate it, yet found myself falling in love with it despite outward appearances. Therefore, consider it my guilty pleasure!
Dave from Jack and the Geekstalk @JackGeekstalk
I might lose some of my street cred for this (because I started with so much to begin with!) but my guilty pleasure film is Daredevil (2003). Yes the acting isn’t great, some of the effects are less than good, the choice of soundtrack is questionable (Evanescence? Really?) and a blind Ben Affleck is one of the most uncomfortable performances of the early 00s, but I love this film.
I have tried to convince people that this film was Affleck’s audition for Batman (with little success), the Man without Fear and the Dark Knight are actually pretty similar. Both use fear to stop their bad guys and both have a love for shadows and leather. The vigilante voice is quite familiar too! I will say this, Affleck’s performance as Matt Murdock is laughable, some of the expressions he has are downright bizarre and don’t seem to fit with the tone of the scene, and try as Jon Favreau might, the chemistry between Matt and Foggy just isn’t there!
The abridged origin story is really good and even though young Matt is a bit annoying the film perfectly displays the devotion he and his father have to each other. The blood crushed rose is a bit forceful but seeing Matt develop his powers is one of my favourite origin sequences. Talking of powers, when we see Affleck in full Daredevil mode it is beautiful. The radar-like super sense looks and acts like it would in real life. It can be his greatest asset but can also be overwhelmed by loud noises. The bar scene near the start of the film in particular is a great combination of martial arts ass kicking and super powers. The way the audio cuts out everything except what Daredevil is focusing on I thought was brilliant.
I will not acknowledge the playground fight so don’t expect me to talk about it. Jennifer Garner’s Elektra was a misstep (though not as much as her spinoff film), it was strange that their on-screen chemistry felt forced considering the two actors were married at the time! Garner was better just as the romantic interest instead of being a trained assassin but I was happy with the way she ‘died’ (sounds morbid I know) after all Bullseye is the guy that never misses!
Colin Farrell hammed it up to new levels for this film. He goes proper comic book villain and I don’t care who you are but if you don’t find the plane scene where he kills an old lady with a peanut then you are dead inside. His final fight and subsequent death scene are a bit rubbish but the character as a whole was as ridiculous as the film needed. Talking of villains, Michael Clark Duncan‘s Kingpin was an inspired casting choice. We needed a physically imposing bad guy that Daredevil couldn’t just beat down and he was intimidating. Much like Vincent D’onofrio‘s Netflix version you believe he could crush you with his bare hands.
So yeah, Daredevil. Considered to be one of the worst comic book films out there but I love it and will continue to watch it hoping that some day I might develop superhuman athleticism through an enhanced sense of touch – cos that’s how it works apparently!
Oh and it has one of the earliest Stan Lee cameos!
Lou from Jack and the Geekstalk @JackGeekstalk
I have a really strange thing, where I don’t really like watching new films, even when it’s a film that I’m excited about or really interested in. It is to Dave’s eternal frustration that I have a pile of DVDs still in their wrappers, but will consistently choose to watch a select few films over again and again. Those films don’t have to be particularly good or critically acclaimed either. One such film is most definitely a guilty pleasure for me – The Day After Tomorrow.
It’s fair to say that I love disaster films, Twister is one of my all time favourites, and in a twisted way I kind of enjoyed 2012 (mainly because I ridiculed it). When The Day After Tomorrow came out, I insisted on seeing it at the cinema, which is unusual given my aforementioned aversion to watching films I haven’t seen before. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have re-watched it since then; in addition to anytime I spot it being shown on TV, I will frequently choose it out of the vast array of films we own and enjoy every second of watching it.
I know it isn’t a good film. The science doesn’t stack up, the characters are questionable, the effects are not the most realistic, nor is the plot line. The creeping icy death which chases Jake Gyllenhaal‘s character back through the library, where he is racing to save his not-quite-girlfriend should be cringingly bad. I know that a lot of people will disagree with my love for this film, but the truth is, I think I have a slight obsession with tornadoes/severe weather (from a distance- somehow I don’t quite think storm chasing is a career move for me) and this film feeds that in plenty of ways. By the time the initial exciting weather aspect which hooks me in has died down, I find myself engrossed in the story and half wishing I was wrapped under a blanket by a fire in New York Library with the characters.
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