Junk Drawer: Guilty Pleasures

BY KYLE VAN DEN HEUVEL, ALEX GRUBER, CHRISTOPHER HEIM, ANASTASIA MONTAVON and COLIN HERZOG

Deep down, we know they’re stupid, but we love ‘em still.

Kyle: “Hot Shots! Part Deux”

This movie is a cinematic masterpiece. Written by Jim Abrahams of “Airplane” fame, this movie is just as zany if not more so than “Airplane.” Great scenes include Charlie Sheen’s character mowing down a village with a machine gun which eventually turns into a shooting gallery with video game sound effects being played, as well as the scene in which the two female leads have a fight which turns into “American Gladiators” complete with the Joust pugil sticks and the authentic first part of the Eliminator.

Alex: “Superstar”

Released in 1999, “Superstar” is based on the popular “Saturday Night Live” skit and follows Mary Katherine Gallagher, an awkward Catholic schoolgirl who tends to smell her armpits when she’s nervous, as she attempts to realize her dreams of movie stardom and the perfect movie kiss. Rotten Tomatoes gave “Superstar” a 32 percent rating for its “dumb script” and I cannot argue with the website on that point. However, the moronic humor (a cheerleader named Evian, after the bottled water) and parodies of movie culture (“Bubble Boy”) are exactly what make this film a “superstar” (cue rimshot).

Christopher: “Bad Boys II”

I know lately it’s become a hip thing to hate on director Michael Bay because of his live-action “Transformers” franchise. While I may not be a fan of the “Transformers” movies myself (more power if you are), this action-comedy starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence remains one of my favorite “dumb” action movies. Smith and Lawrence play two Miami police detectives investigating the recent influx of ecstasy. Not only do Smith and Lawrence have a hilarious chemistry, “BBII” also contains some of the most badass action sequences committed to film (Smith and Lawrence crashing a Ku Klux Klan party, the chaotic freeway chase sequence and the explosive climactic assault on a Cuban mansion). It’s loud, excessively violent, filled to the brim with vulgar language and humor and a bit bloated (2 ½ hour runtime), but I love it anyway. Heck with “Transformers 5,” when am I gonna get a “Bad Boys III,” Mr. Bay?

Colin: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”

A film that’s easy for some to write off as hipster—which is rather understandable, given how often these outcast main characters play obscure music, mock society and much of their delivery may as well have been directed by Wes Anderson with how often they mutter or speak monotone—or that could just be Michael Cera playing Michael Cera. Regardless, this story at its core is surprisingly layered and the direction by Edgar Wright is fantastic. The special effects are top notch and creatively give each fight a different feel as the slacker Scott Pilgrim fights his love interest’s seven evil exes in order to win the right to date her, with the battles including a bass battle against a vegan with superpowers, a Bollywood dancer, a stuck-up actor and a scumbag music producer. The premise may as well be from an arcade video game, a crazy label it embraces full-heartedly, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Don’t let the hipster vibe deter you: there’s plenty of solid performances, fun and satire to be had here.

Anastasia: “Red Eye”

This thriller directed by Wes Craven actually has mostly positive reviews. However, this is far from a good movie. There’s no real suspense, the characters are stereotypes at best and the whole thing is really just laughable. I love/hate this movie so much because I find it so funny. Of course, because it’s not a good movie, I’m always really ashamed when somebody finds me watching it. I’ve seen it more times than I can count and could probably quote it from memory if I tried really hard.

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