If I could travel through space and time, the first thing that I’d like to do…
…is go back in time and buy a copy of Action Comics #1. No wait, make that Action Comics #1 and a copy of Detective Comics #27. But on the way back to present day, I might stop and buy some Apple stock, and maybe visit places I haven’t been to, like Las Vegas.
Okay, day-dream over.
Welcome back to Turning 40. The weekly series of Top 10 things important to me as I rapidly approach my 40th birthday in March. This weeks Turning 40 returns to one of my favorite hobbies, the movies! But this time, I take a look at My Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies, and here they are:
10. Dunston Checks In
“Dunston Checks In” Robert Grant (Jason Alexander) and his two sons Kyle (Eric Lloyd) and Brian (Graham Sack), who live with him at the Majestic Hotel. But when his boss Mrs. Dubrow (Faye Dunnaway), hears that the hotel is being considered for a six-star rating by the Le Monde Guide, his planned family vacation is put on hold.
Then there is hotel guest Lord Rutledge (Rupert Everett), a skilled jewel thief who has come to the Majestic to take advantage of its wealthy clientele, and he’s arrived with his pet orangutan, Dunston, who has been trained to be Rutledge’s partner in crime. But things go wrong when Dunston gets lost in the hotel’s air duct system, only for Kyle to find him, at which point the chaos begins.
I know the premise for “Dunston Checks In” is ridiculous,” but the orangutan is so damn lovable I can’t help but laugh. The kids are funny too, and some of the running around in the hotel will bring a smile to your face. And for the record, “Dunston Checks In” is the only thing in which Jason Alexander has ever made me laugh.
9. That Old Feeling
I’m as surprised as you to see a Bette Midler movie on this or any favorites list. Not that I have anything against her, she just happens to be in this movie. Still kinds strange to see her on this list though, ain’t it?
For the record: Bette Midler is fine in this movie, she has some very funny moments. But, she is not one of the reasons I like “That Old Feeling.” The best part of this movie for me is the relationship between Paula Marshall and Danny Nucci.
They are my favorite characters because you actually see them go from enemies, to allies, to friends, and eventually fall for each other. The chemistry between the two is undeniable, and it clearly wasn’t acting because they’ve been married since 2003.
Now we come Sylvester Stallone first (on purpose) attempt at comedy. The movie in question is 1991’s “Oscar,” directed by John Landis.
The plot of “Oscar” centers around a mob boss in 1930’s Chicago trying to go straight. The film stars Sylvester Stallone, but the supporting cast is the best part of the film. Let’s see, there’s Marisa Tomei, Ornella Muti, Tim Curry, Chazz Palminteri, Don Ameche, Peter Riegert, and more. It’s their work and comedic timing that always catched my eye. As for Stallone, he has a couple of decent moments, but it’s hard to take him seriously most of the time.
7. Get Over It
“Get Over It” is one of those silly teen movies that nobody noticed when it came out in 2001. Well, I noticed, and I even paid to see this movie in the theatre. Out of all the teen movies that came out around this time, “Get Over It” is one of the few with well-rounded characters with clear motivations. And unlike other flickjs, this movie actually has a few good laughs.
The film is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” an revolves around about a high school senior who desperately tries to win back his ex-girlfriend by joining the school play she and her new boyfriend are performing in.
This is typical stuff for this movie genre, but as far as teen comedies go, “Get Over It” had a pretty decent cast: Ben Foster, Kirsten Dunst, Melissa Sagemiller, Shane West, Colin Hanks, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Swoosie Kurtz, Ed Begley, Jr., Carmen Electra and Martin Short.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot: the “Thong Song” guy is in the movie too, but I won’t hold that against it.
6. Center Stage
The only reason I saw “Center Stage” on the big screen was because I had a free screening of it. Hey, I’m never going to turn down a free movie. But to my shock, I actually enjoyed the story about the American Ballet Academy in New York City.
Strangely enough, this is another movie starring Zoë Saldana before she was a big name. Just goes to show you how much of a range she has. She’s great here of course, but my favorite character is played by 1998 Olympic figure skating champion, Ilia Kulik.
The scene where he has to tell a woman he’s KGB is hysterical, and one of the more fun moments on the movie. He turned out to be a decent actor, so I’m surprised he didn’t do more stuff after “Center Stage.”
5. The Delta Force
After a helicopter crash, with the U.S. Delta Force evacuating to their C-130 transport, Captain Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris), against orders, rescues his wounded comrade, Peterson (William Wallace), from the burning helicopter before the team finally evacuates. McCoy then expresses his disgust for the politicians and the military hierarchy that ordered the mission, and announces his resignation.
Five years later, Lebanese terrorists hijack American Travelways Airlines Flight 282, flying from Cairo, Egypt to New York City. The hijackers take all 144 passengers and crew hostage, where they make demands to the United States government that, if not met, will result in the death of each of the hostages. Now it’s up to Delta Force to save the passengers, assuming of course they can get McCoy
back into the fold.
“The Delta Force” is the only Chuck Norris movie I like, and the only one I own on dvd. I like the movie, not for Norriss’ performance, but because I like the team work Delta Force uses. These guys use their heads, rather than gadgets, although they do have some cool bikes.
Also of note, Lee Marvin as Col. Nick Alexander, was a badass in this mmovie, and great leader. Not bad for a guy who was over 60 at the time.
4. Bring it On
I’m popular to boot,
I’m bitchen, great hair
The boys all love to stare
I’m wanted, I’m hot
I’m everything you’re not
I dominate the school
Who am I? Just guess!
A movie so ridiculous it has spawned several sequels. But non will ever match the randomness and fun of the original “Bring it On.” And let’s face it: everything is better with a little Dusku
3. Flash Gordon
“Flash Gordon” is the campiest, cheesiest movie you will ever see. The supporting cast is surprisingly strong, but the special effects are bad, and the lead actor can’t act. But none of that matters one bit.
I have loved this movie since I first saw it one Saturday afternoon on WLVI tv in Boston around 1990. I had no idea “Flash Gordon” would become one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, I was just in awe of the premise, and the potential this thing had. Even today I watch this movie a couple of times a year, much to the dismay of the wifey.
2. Out to Sea
When someone mentions a Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, people automatically think of “Grumpy Old Men” or its sequel. For me however, my mind immediadlty goes to 1997’s “Out to Sea.”
In the film, brother in-laws Charlie (Walter Matthau) and Herb (Jack Lemmon) pose as dance instructors on a cruise ship. Charlie coaxes the widowed Herb to join him on board without disclosing the two will need to dance or they’ll owe over $5,000 for the cruise.
But Charlie promises there will be plenty of available and lonely women at sea. Once on the ship, Charlie starts romancing the wealthy Liz (Dyan Cannon), while Herb falls for Vivian (Gloria DeHaven). But the new romances won’t matter if they can’t survive sadistic cruise director Gil Godwyn (Brent Spiner).
I’ve seen “Out to Sea” at least 20 times over the years, and it always makes me laugh. Some of the stuff Brent Spiner is just unbelievable, and Matthau and Lemmon are comedy gold as usual. This little comedy is much better than people think.
The first time I saw “Mannequin” was in 1987 when I went to the movies with my cousin. She really wanted to see the movie, and since she was the adult, I had little choice in the matter. But to my surprise, I actually like the movie.
It’s not so much the film’s central love story that I like. My favorite parts of the movie are the ones with James Spader and G. W. Bailey. Their characters still make me laugh even after all these years. “Mannequin” has many fun moments, but when Bailey starts shouting “She’s the dummy!” I can’t help but cry from laughing so hard.