Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Movies

This was a confusing list to make. It’s one I’ve been wanting to make for a while, but I just wasn’t completely sure how to go about it. I don’t actually even like the title of the list because I certainly don’t feel guilty about loving these movies, I just do. As I stated before, this was a confusing list to make. That’s because I wasn’t quite sure where to draw the line between the masterpieces I call the best and the movies I love regardless of their flaws.

Making this list helped me realize that, in terms of movies, when you like the big picture, you’ll almost always look past any slight flaws because you’re enjoying yourself and vice-versa, when you don’t like a movie you’re going to look for flaws. At the end of the day, this is simply a list of  movies I love  that don’t hold a candle artistically and thematically to the many movies I would call my favorites.

10. Saw Saga

If I were to feel guilty about enjoying a movie (or series for that matter), I would probably feel guilty about enjoying the Saw movies. Of course the first one is my favorite, but I’m actually a big fan of the entire story. For some reason I really enjoyed watching the whole complex story pan out. It is the horror series of my generation and it entertains me to no end.

9. Star Trek

Star Trek is the newest film on this list and while I love most of these movies because of nostalgic reasons, that didn’t play a part with Star Trek. I had never seen anything Star Trek before this movie and I wasn’t expecting much, but with this new Star Trek film I was blown away. It was fun, exciting and everything just worked.

8. Sin City

By essentially recreating the panels of Frank Miller’s original stories Sin City tells a fast-paced collage of intertwining tales of brutality, crime, lust, etc. Like all of the movies on this list, I could pick up and watch Sin City any second and be whole-heartedly entertained. I might just add that, visually, this may be my favorite movie.

7. The Punisher

This is the movie that inspired me to make this list. After watching it recently I realized that every once in a while I should definitely take a break from what I see as art and just watch a movie and enjoy. Watching The Punisher again was like watching a combination of Batman Begins, Gladiator and Unforgiven. It doesn’t reach the amazing levels of those movies, but it is fun as hell.

6. Hot Fuzz

I was a big fan of Edgar Wright’s latest film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and I absolutely love Shaun of the Dead, but I don’t enjoy either of those films as much as I enjoy Hot Fuzz. The give and take of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg is ridiculous and when you match that with the great satire on cliché action movies what you get is a fantastic time through and through.

5. The Matrix Trilogy

From this point on, this list was nearly impossible to make. When I came up with the idea to make a list out of my top ten favorite guilty pleasure movies, the movies from five on came almost immediately to mind. I’m obsessed with The Matrix Trilogy, and I’d like to emphasize “Trilogy”. Like everyone, I’m a huge fan of the first and how it showed what an action movie could be, but I also love both sequels and The Matrix Revolutions holds a special place in my heart. I might even call it my favorite.

4. Death Proof

Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite director’s to have ever made a movie. While Death Proof is no Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds or Pulp Fiction, I still can’t help the fact that I always feel the need to pick it up and watch it again because of how much I enjoy every single moment. No one writes dialogue as well as Tarantino and its just as good here, then there’s Kurt Russell as the awesome villain, Stuntman Mike and a fantastic two-part set up that builds to one of the greatest car chases in film.

3. Casino Royale

If I viewed all of the movies on this list the way I view most movies and take in every aspect, this could easily be called the best movie on the list. Daniel Craig fully embodies the James Bond for a new generation. This is new 007 series filled with realism and grit. This is a James Bond who can almost die, who has only his wits and strengths as a secret agent to save him, not a ridiculous array of gadgets. It manages to change almost every aspect of the series, while paying homage to the gimmicks you need from a 007 movie. In terms of execution, this is far and away the best movie on this list and it also manages to entertain from beginning to end.

2. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Before Christopher Nolan’s Batman series came into my life, I had never anticipated a movie more than I had anticipated seeing Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I obviously didn’t enjoy The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones  that much, but this one looked appealing. This was to be the final Star Wars movie that would not only connect the two trilogies, but also essentially tell the origin story of my favorite character in the series.

At the time, I was not disappointed. I loved every single moment. I couldn’t get enough. I had built this idea up in my mind of how amazing this film would be and some how it turned out to be just that. As I matured it became clear that this wasn’t the masterpiece I had made it out to be in my mind, but it still means so much to me and I can say with out a doubt that it entertains me more than any other Star Wars movie.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

This is it, there is no other film that has ever been made that comes close to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. There are many films that reach a level of perfection and I would call them my favorites for many different reasons. With Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, like no other film I can look past its flaws and be completely taken away by the swashbuckling adventure at hand.

One of the reasons it stands apart as my favorite guilty pleasure movie is because of the incredibly memorable characters. I have an unconditional love for what Geoffrey Rush did with the character Hector Barbossa, even Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley play some what of an important part to the epic that is At World’s End, Bill Nighy is fantastic as villain, Davy Jones, and every secondary character has something different to offer. Let us not also forget that Johnny Depp manages to offer one of the greatest characters in history with the now iconic, Captain Jack Sparrow.

I love the whole series, I really do. But I just wanted to emphasize how much I care for this single film in particular. Artistically and thematically this film pales in comparison to films I’d call my favorite films. However, for lack of a better phrase, this is the ultimate guilty pleasure movie in my mind. Sometimes you need some mindless fun. It’s nice that not every film is trying to say something broader, but merely trying to entertain. It’s nice to just have some escapism and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is one of my favorite forms of escape.

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Top Ten Movie Endings

An ending, sometimes its the thing that makes or breaks a film. Sometimes an ending can be considered the most important aspect of any film. The entire plot, the characters, the tale at hand is all leading to one point, the ending. At so many points I’m completely engrossed in a beautiful film and wondering just how their going to take this fantastic plot and end it.

If you’re watching something amazing, you’re going to be saddened if it doesn’t end on an amazing note. There are unfortunately times where a film is incredible up until the ending. That’s how important an ending is. There are also other times (and these make for some of the best endings) when a film is pretty decent, but becomes a masterpiece because of the ending.

This list celebrates my absolute favorite movie endings. I’d like to say that each ending becomes a billion times less powerful with out watching the the movie in its entirety first so if you haven’t seen the movie I’m talking about, don’t read into why I love that ending. It would ruin the movie, but here it is. These are my top ten favorite movie endings.

!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!

!!!DON’T READ INTO THESE ENDINGS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE!!!

!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!

10. Batman Begins

Even before 2008 when I fell in love with The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker, I was blown away by the original Batman Begins. They’re have been many endings that attempt to make you excited for a sequel, but no other film made me as excited for a sequel like Batman Begins and the flip of that card did. Then on top of that, they end with brilliant written last lines: “I never said thank you”, Gordan says. “And you’ll never have to.” Batman says before he flys off. Takes my breath away each time.

9. Dead Poets Society

Its rare to get me as emotionally involved in a movie as I was at the end of Dead Poets Society. The film just builds and builds upon a story surrounding characters we love. The film just plays with your emotions. You absolutely love everyone in the movie that the filmmaker wants you to love and you absolutely hate everyone in the movie that the filmmaker wants you to hate. The plot is driven, eventually reaching a climax that makes you want to stand up on the nearest chair yourself. A truly beautiful film.

8. Unforgiven

Unforgiven is the greatest western in existence. It introduces you to two aging gunman in the west. A one-time ruthless bandit and murderer (William Munny played by Clint Eastwood) and a sheriff whose tactics in justice are nothing short of brutal (Little Bill Daggett played by Gene Hackman). We get to know these two characters eventually reaching the end, in which we see the two meet. “I ain’t like that no more”, William Munny constantly says throughout the film. The film builds and builds to one of the most memorable climaxes in film. Unforgiven was amazing throughout, but its the ending that makes it a masterpiece.

7. No Country for Old Men

When No Country for Old Men was released in 2007, a general complaint about the film was its unexpectedly dull ending. I’m not quite sure what the general consensus on the ending is now after the public’s had years to think about its meaning, but I honestly don’t care. The ending of No Country for Old Men is one of the greatest of all time. I truthfully not exaggerating when I say that my heart is pounding each time it ends. It’s a truly brilliant ending to a truly brilliant films and I never second guessed my placement of it on this list.

6. Fight Club

Fight Club is one of my favorite movies of all time and one of the reasons for this is because of its fantastic ending. And I’m not just talking about the fact that we find out who Tyler Durden truly is. The ending scene between the Narrator and Tyler Durden makes for one of the greatest scenes in film. We get the bravery of the Narrator as he shoots himself in order to get rid of the anarchist Tyler Durden, than we got a shot of true love as the Narrator holds the hand of Marla Singer. This is all happens right before we get to view a bunch of skyscraper’s leveled to the ground.

5. Pulp Fiction

The ending diner scene in Pulp Fiction is my favorite scene in film and it makes for one of the greatest endings in film. The ending of Pulp Fiction is amazing in the way that it somehow manages to take everything in the film that didn’t make much sense and then gave it some sense. We get to see why the film began the way it did, then we see why they weren’t in their suits when they went to the bar earlier in the film, why Vincent was alone when he was shot, etc. And this is all told through a scene involving the greatest writing ever put on the silver screen.

4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The ending to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is absolute perfection. That’s truly the only way to describe it. It somehow finds a way to make you incredibly sad and incredibly happy at the same time. There is no possible way it could’ve had a better ending. All you can do after watching the ending of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is sit back, take a breath and say, “wow, now that’s a movie.” The ending doesn’t make the movie because even before the ending I felt as thought the movie was a masterpiece, but the ending certainly solidified that thought.

3. There Will Be Blood

Its honestly hard to put into words just how amazing I feel that the ending to There Will Be Blood is. The whole movie we watch a rivalry between two undoubtedly terrible people. We watch as these characters constantly one up each other in despicable. The plot just weaves through the rise of an awful person and leads to one of the most mind blowing finales you could ever ask for. My heart just skips a beat every single time I hear Plainview say “Those areas have been drilled”. I absolutely love There Will Be Blood and the ending almost makes me tear up because of how brilliant it is.

2. The Usual Suspects

If you know anything about movies and you saw the title of this Top Ten list, you had to have guessed that The Usual Suspects would be on this list. The Usual Suspects has the greatest plot twist in film. The very mention of plot twist brings to mind the amazing ending to The Usual Suspects. The Sixth Sense pales in comparison.

The most beautiful aspect of The Usual Suspects is in the way that it makes you think that its going to end a certain way making the film great, but not amazing. Then the film becomes a masterpiece in the way that it flips the entire plot upside down and gives you a completely different and unexpected ending. Its truly an amazing film that I have watched so many times and will continue to watch till the day I die.

1. Inglourious Basterds

There is absolutely nothing and I mean nothing that is as satisfying to me in any movie than the ending to Inglourious Basterds. Col. Hans Landa is unquestionably one of my favorite characters in film and I absolutely love the fact that he gets exactly what he deserves in the end of the World War II epic Inglourious Basterds.

Quentin Tarantino has a knack for establishing these incredibly compelling villains, whether its Bill from Kill Bill or Stuntman Mike in Death Proof, who get exactly what’s coming to them. Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino’s magnum opus and that’s in part due to the fact that it ends on its highest point.

One of my favorite lines in film history is, “I mean if I had my way, you’d wear that god damn S.S. uniform the rest of your pecker suckin’ life. But I understand that ain’t practical. I mean at somepoint your gonna have to take it off. So, I’m a give you a little something you can’t take off.” If you’ve watched the rest of the movie leading up to this line and this scene, you can’t help but grin. The ending of Inglourious Basterds is the greatest ending in film.