By Nick Maylor
I don’t feel guilty for any movie I enjoy. The title of this article isn’t completely accurate in that sense. These are movies that are widely considered poor in quality and come with a sense of shame when admitting to liking them. John, Alan, and Craig have all written instalments for this series. My time has come.
I have excluded films that, while popular opinion has been unkind, popular opinion is definitively wrong. Jersey Girl (2004), Death to Smoochy (2002), A Million Ways to Die in the West (2013), Man of Steel (2013), and several others are these. They are examples of films where pride is felt in admiring them. I don’t even really feel guilty for the ones I’ve included below.
All any movie really must accomplish is to deliver on its promise.
In no particular order…
10. GREEN LANTERN (2011)
Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool and everything is as it should be in that department. He has stated he will never play another superhero henceforth. Smart decision. He will likely continue to play Deadpool for some time and I am completely content with that.
He wasn’t ideally cast as Hal Jordan. I don’t think he was particularly bad in the role. His performance doesn’t bother me at all. I loved the look of this film. The CGI suits of the Green Lantern Corps were appropriate and well done. I can’t spot a particularly bad performance in this film. Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong and Angela Bassett are all good. Temeura Morrison, Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke Duncan and were perfectly cast as Abin-Sur, Tomar-Re and Kilowog, respectively. Martin Campell is a solid director but the film is obviously flawed. Warner Brothers/DC have struggled in one major way compared to Marvel Studios; a lack of faith in their filmmakers and overextension from the studio machine, micromanaging the films’ productions. This seems to be the case here.
It’s a good-looking movie; a perfectly enjoyable popcorn flick.
9. TRANSFORMERS (2007-)
I played with the toys as a child. They were cool.
That photo is of a giant humanoid mechanical alien sitting on top of a mechanical alien dinosaur dragon. Some movies aren’t just stupid; they are stoopid.
Those transforming plastic toys were fun as a child. They weren’t just action figures you played with, they taught you a little something about engineering. When I walk into a Michael Bay film, I’ve signed a mental contract acknowledging that I’m going to have to shut my brain off to some extent. What could I want out of a Transformers movie? I didn’t expect much. I had a very small checklist of things I wanted to see:
- Giant, alien-robots beating the crap out of each other
- Cool cars
Can’t say it didn’t deliver.
8. ARMAGEDDON (1998)
I’m a fan of science. I think it’s a good thing. This movie doesn’t care about that.
Michael Bay, mental contract, etc….
This movie has a stellar cast, fun soundtrack and a compelling narrative. It sets up a ton of characters quickly and establishes them well. There’s a lot that it gets right. All the players deliver. It makes no sense but it is solid entertainment, none the less. I love Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis in this film. Especially together.
I love that Aerosmith song, too.
7. DAREDEVIL (2003)
Yep. Ben Affleck again. He’s taken a lot of heat for the first half of the 2000s. Affleck himself claims this movie as the one he truly regrets. I don’t really understand why. He’s made a fine Batman. He wasn’t a terrible Daredevil. The whole cast performs amicably in this movie. There’s a fun Kevin Smith cameo. Jon Favreau would go on to direct Iron Man (2008) after playing Foggy Nelson here. Colin Farrell is always interesting and this film is no exception. Michael Clarke Duncan did a great job with Wilson Fisk.
In 2004, an R-rated director’s cut of Daredevil was released, reincorporating approximately 30 minutes of the film. It is significantly better than the theatrical cut and was praised by now Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige. There’s worse fodder you could spend your time on.
6. HOSTEL (2005)
I’m no massive horror fan. I’m not someone who thinks that the bloodier a film is, the cooler it is. This movie had interesting characters, quality acting, and a witty script. The concept is interesting. The entire cast is great. From Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson as the two leads, Eyþór Guðjónsson as Óli; an Icelandic man they are travelling with, to Jan Vlasák as The Dutch Businessman. Rick Hoffman also has a hilarious and disturbing cameo.
I’ve stayed in a few hostels but so far, no torture porn. The movie makes you think.
5. FREDDY VS. JASON (2003)
I didn’t know what I wanted from this movie. I got all of it. There isn’t much chance one could have made a better film pitting these two horror icons against each other. The plot device to put them together is established well very early in the film. Freddy Kruger has resurrected Jason Vorhees to terrorize Elm Street and the residents of Springwood (Freddy’s turf). Because Freddy’s powers aren’t strong enough yet, he can’t manifest in the waking world. This is combined with a mental block put in place by Springwood’s community. They have collectively “forgotten” their dark past with Kruger, suppressing any discussion of it. The people don’t remember Freddy and thus, he has no power over them.
Jason does like a good boy and starts slaughtering Springwood’s residents. Once Freddy gets strong enough to take the town himself, Jason won’t stop killing people, taking victims from Freddy. The bad guys don’t like to share and so, they duel.
There’s also an interesting plot device where Jason’s nightmare has Freddy using water to torture him. Apparently, Jason is terrified of water because he drowned. It’s a smart plot device even if it is inconsistent with everything we know about Jason. He lives next to a lake and seems completely comfortable being submerged in that lake during the cold of the night.
Still, it’s fun.
4. ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (2004)
When the two monsters finally battle, mandible-to-mandible, it’s spectacular. Much like the previous entry, this movie established the premise quickly. Predators are sentient and technological humanoids. Xenomorphs (from the Alien franchise) are mindless parasites. The warrior culture of the Predator race saw them breed Xenomorphs to kill for sport and glory. Throw in some humans and you’ve got some semblance of a plot. The film is pretty forgettable but has its share of cool moments
3. SPEED RACER (2008)
Genetically, I’m less than 1% different from the chimpanzee that appears in this film. Sometimes bright colours are enough to get the job done. Anyone who might be looking for something “Trippy” should check this movie out. It would stand to reason the psilocybin or THC enthusiasts might get something transcendent out of the experience. It’s bright, colourful, stupid and cheesey beyond belief but it’s far from the worst movie I’ve ever seen.
2. STAR WARS PREQUEL TRILOGY (1999-2005)
My favourite Jedi is Obi-Wan Kenobi; all thanks to Ewan McGregor. There’s no real reason for The Phantom Menace (2001) to exist. The other two aren’t great. The original trilogy does, however, contain the best light-sabre fight sequences of any Star Wars films yet made. The love scenes are unbearable but the action is always exciting. If I see them on TV, I’ll most likely watch until the next commercial break.
Comments section below.
BATMAN & ROBIN (1997)
The suits have nipples. The puns are terrible. Why did they change Batgirl to be Alfred’s relative? Why did they have Bane at all?
George Clooney appeared in the worst Batman movie but he wasn’t the worst Batman. I found him more compelling in the role than I did Val Kilmer. If you run into George Clooney on the street, tell him you want your money back for this movie. The actor has stated that he will happily oblige anyone who does this.
What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!
-Mr Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
If you are going to drop horrible one-liners like that, please don’t add insult to injury by getting your facts wrong. Dr. Victor Fries is supposed to be a smart person.
No Ice Age is responsible for killing the dinosaurs. First of all, the entire accusation is flawed because dinosaurs didn’t actually go extinct. That’s why we still have birds. Secondly, the event he is referencing is the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event. It was caused by the impact of a massive comet or asteroid 66 million years ago.
The worst movie that has Batman in it still has Batman in it. It’s ridiculous but it’s still fun to watch.
Nick is an actor/writer/comedian/musician from Hamilton, ON Canada. Having been a film nut since the early days of his life, Nick has had an obsession with cinema and popular entertainment. Nick has written for thecinemaholic.com and is the current Foote & Friends “expert” on all things geek/superhero/comic-book related. Nick is the host/producer of the official Foote & Friends On Film podcast. Nick met John when studying acting at the Toronto Film School, for which John H. Foote was director and Film History professor. The two have been arguing ever since.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMaylor