Guilty pleasures are often the most fun films you’ll see. It’s like junk food versus gourmet. Sure the gourmet food has complex layered flavors and textures that make eating it a meaningful experience, but DAMN sometimes a single combo from Wendy’s is so freaking good! In the middle of the summer sometimes what you want is some cotton candy when you and a group of friends hit the theater. These sorts of films aren’t “good” in the classic sense but they are entertaining in some way.There were some tasty films that just fit the bill this year. Here’s the list:
5. Drive Angry
Nicholas Cage can do good films and actually be great in them. It’s true. Unfortunately his ratio of bad films to good ones has been leaning heavily in the bad direction over the last 10 years. Drive Angry appeared to be one such bad film, and it was, bad in just the perfect way. The goal with Drive Angry was to create an over the top grindhouse film and for the most part that’s absolutely what the film is. Cage plays a man who escapes from Hell to save his daughter who has been kidnapped by a cult. Does that sound like a 70’s grindhouse film? Along the way there’s tons of violence, campy one liners, T&A, and perhaps one of the most ridiculously hilarious sex scenes ever put on film. This is the perfect film for a Friday night with pizza and some drinks.
4. Fast Five
I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Fast and the Furious films. The first one was OK but overall I’d just rather hit the gas and pass these films by. Fast Five was hyped because it literally brought every major character from the first four films back plus THE ROCK. The film that follows is exciting, action packed, and epically fun. The Rock versus Vin Diesel is a perfect setup and hopefully Fast Six will continue that trend. Diesel isn’t known for being the most articulate guy in the world but did anyone else notice that the guy could barely form words in this film? Who cares they literally drag a vault through a city!
3. Sucker Punch
Zack Snyder brought us one of the most stylized films of 2011 and it’s definitely style over substance but the style is just too much fun. The film features a group of badass girls kicking ass in great outfits. So, yes this is definitely a guy movie. With that said there are some solid action scenes and excellent one liners. Scott Glenn chews so much scenery in this film I kept expecting him to whip out a salt shaker and spice up the scene to his liking prior to the feast. The story is basic but it doesn’t matter. It’s 90 minutes of unadulterated fun!
2. Real Steel
Real Steel features Hugh Jackman as a dead beat father who builds robots and fights them in the ring. When things seem their worst he and his overly precocious son make one last stab at it with a very special robot. Is it too similar to E.T. and The Iron Giant? Yes it is, even more so than Super 8. Do many of the characters come off wooden and under developed? Yes. Are the robots badass? Absolutely! Are the fights scenes tons of fun? Check. Is the overly precocious kid unbelievable but still entertaining? Yup he’s pretty great. This movie is just plain and simple 80’s style fun.
1. Transformers Dark of the Moon
By all rights this film should have not been good. I expected to hate it. I mildly enjoyed the first film and kind of hated the second one so my expectations for this installment weren’t high. After seeing this film I had to step out of the theater and say “Yes I actually liked it a lot.” The CGI and 3-D were both nothing short of stunning and the action was appropriately awesome. This film is also style over substance but the substance that’s in the film is fairly well executed. Also there’s a fair amount of humor in the film that’s not just amusing but incredibly funny. You want a really great time in the theater or even on your big screen TV? Look no further. You want compelling characters and complex and deep story? See my top 10 best of the year list.