The guiltiest pleasures of 2010


22nd December 2010

2010 has been a bumper year for movies that nestle somewhere between 'demented genius' and 'unparalleled garbage'. Here are our favourite guilty pleasures of the year: please don't judge us.

Ali, Editor - From Paris With Love

The latest product to plop off the Luc Besson production line, From Paris With Love requires the year's most Herculean suspension of disbelief - buying John Travolta as a shaven-headed, goatee'd tough guy capable of rooftop chases. Obviously, the sight of the star of Old Dogs huffing and puffing around gay Paris like an overweight Jason Statham is highly amusing, more so when he's partnered with cold shower Jonathan Rhys Meyers (face like a smacked arse throughout) and insists on calling him "Pard". Banter!

The more serious Travolta and co behave, the more hilarious the film becomes: the gun battles and fight scenes are rendered ludicrous by JT's "action face" and the dialogue sounds like it's been dragged through Google Translate backwards. It's a god awful turd, but From Paris With Love is the kind of terrible film that has such unshakable faith in its own awesomeness, all you can do is shake your head in disbelief and laugh. A bit like the French in general, really.

Guilt equivalent: Ordering chicken and chips in a posh French restaurant.
Matt, Staff Writer - The Losers

For me, this is the winner of the action team movie of the year. More fun than The Expendables, less silly than The A-Team and not as shit as Red, The Losers contains all the elements you need in an over-the-top ensemble blockbuster: big guns, slow-motion walks and lots of "oh no, he di'nt" banter to emphasise the camaraderie.

The film runs through so many spoofable action clich�s, it's as if director Sylvain White was working from a checklist, but somehow it all remains hugely enjoyable thanks to the absurdity of characters like Jason Patric's egomaniac pantomime villain and Chris Evans' 'joker of the pack' - whose motormouth antics amazingly manage to be genuinely funny rather than, as you'd expect, annoying as fuck.

Guilt equivalent: Realising you've been watching the Men & Motors channel for two hours.
Luke, Technical Director - Black Death

Look, we all know Black Death is never going to win any awards. But for what it may lack in finesse it more than makes up for in the hacking and slashing stakes, as Sean Bean (taking a break from losing track of kids) and his band of God-fearing scoundrels lock swords with raggedy scum in a variety of medieval settings - like an ultra-violent version of The Crystal Maze. Or Lord Of The Rings.

Proceedings adopt a sinister tone as Pagan seductress Carice van Houten turns up (channelling Hammer Horror's finest vamps), intent on exposing the hypocrisies of Bean's precious religion in a battle of religious rhetoric. Of course it's about as intellectually stimulating as a school panto, but the fun had by all is evident throughout, and carries the plot to a wonderfully dark and surprisingly enjoyable conclusion.

Guilt equivalent: Picking at a scab then wiping it on your jeans.
Chris, contributor - The Expendables

Let's just get this out of the way up front: The Expendables is a complete mess. However, it's a fun, action-packed mess that provides a blast of nostalgia for latchkey kids who spent countless hours sitting in front of TVs during the 80s, watching the cinematic exploits of the Johns Rambo, Matrix and McClane.

Sure, the camera work and editing on Sylvester Stallone's latest comeback vehicle are pretty terrible, but the game cast appears to be having a ton of fun, and it's hard not to feel a rush of excitement when the explosions start flying about 30 minutes from the end, stopping only when it's time to roll the credits.

Guilt equivalent: Eating two Rustlers microwavable burgers one after the other.
James, contributor - The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Notwithstanding the cursory Shiznit adoration of the cult of Cage, The Sorcerer's Apprentice presents the viewer with a near-addictive parade of celluloid insanity enacted by a cast who really should know better. Jay Baruchel rocks out to GCSE Physics experiments whilst Alfred Molina, Toby Kebbell and the Borg Queen mince around as preening archetypal villains, feasting on scenery like starving ragamuffins in the snow.

That leaves Nic himself, who spends the film needlessly torpedoing relationships, grooming schoolchildren with antiques and discussing the merits of certain footwear. No explanations are necessary; this is bloated cinematic decadence at its finest.

Guilt equivalent: Pausing momentarily outside a Games Workshop.
Kirsty, contributor - Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

In the interest of openness, I must admit that I watched Diary Of A Wimpy Kid because I got the date wrong, and thought it was Hot Tub Time Machine night. I was a week early. Having seen the trailer and chuckled, I figured I'd give it a shot and I was glad I did.

There's a Wonder Years feel about it, as we watch normal kids get kind of shat on by other normal kids; they fall out, make up and try desperately to become cool and accepted, but in the end they're wimpy kids who get beat up by girls. It's impossible not to cheer them on, and any movie that features a mother/son dance to the Beastie Boys' 'Intergalactic' is A-okay by me.

Guilt equivalent: Genuinely enjoying an episode of iCarly.
Rob, contributor - Piranha 3D

Come on, when haven't boobs been a guilty pleasure? And Piranha 3D has them in their jiggling,�three-dimensional masses. Throw in some blood, body parts, ferocious fish, the odd giggle, Doc Brown and a pair of 3D glasses, and what you have is the ultimate in glorious B-movie shit.

Oh, did I mention two of the boobs belong to Kelly Brook? Well, they do. And she even swims naked. Still not convinced? The proposed sequel will be called Piranha 3DD, see because DD is a bra size! Oh, the laughs to be had with that! Just don't expect James Cameron to be involved.

Guilt equivalent: Wanking over the FHM calendar in the absence of any real porn.

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