Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Grease

Posted: March 28, 2013 in Movies, Music
Tags: , , , ,

Grease is the word that you heard. It’s got groove; it’s got meaning.

Grease is the time, is the place, is the motion.

Grease is the way we are feeling.

Wait…what??

grease 3And so begins one of the most popular movie musicals of all time. Of course having said that, there aren’t a ton of really popular movie musicals out there to choose from. So how is it that this particular one, a movie with a blend of 70’s disco beats and 50’s classic feel with a splash of basic storyline stirred-up with a full batch of bad acting, has not only stood the test of time but continues to be a cult favourite over 30 years after it was released?

Grease Sing-A-LongI guess that’s the question, isn’t it. I mean, it’s not hard to see that Grease has a pretty basic storyline. There’s no real plot twists to speak of and it’s ultimately a “boy meets girl” kind of movie, so it’s not like The Sixth Sense or Inception or anything like that. The music, while fun and catchy, isn’t anything particularly brilliant. The acting is bad…just plain bad. From John Travolta’s over-the-top schtick to Jeff Conaway’s greaser friend to the ridiculousness of the faculty…each person is a caricature as opposed to being a character.

greaseAt it’s core, though, it’s got heart. And really, I think that’s why so many people love the movie and the music and the acting and the story so much after so long.

There are a multitude of reasons for why this movie should be forgotten forever (the sequel, Grease 2, has been considered a “guilty pleasure” but at the end of the day it’s just REALLY bad and should definitely be forgotten forever), but because it still lives on it has to be considered a major guilty pleasure.

Oh…and that whole “You’re the one that I want” song just never leaves your head once the movie ends…

Indiana Jones 4

I grew up as a fan of Harrison Ford. I remember sitting in the theatres in the late 70’s watching Star Wars for the first time. I remember actually owning the soundtrack to Raiders of the Lost Ark on vinyl.

Ahhhh…those were the days.

Indiana Jones 4I wanted to forgive George Lucas for almost single-handedly destroying the Star Wars franchise with his horrible dialogue, Jar Jar Binks, and bad acting-infused “second trilogy”. I thought he would have learned his lesson. Surely he wouldn’t wreck the Indiana Jones series, would he? I mean, wouldn’t Spielberg or Ford himself jump in if things got too out of hand?

Apparently not.

Indiana Jones 4 (i.e. “…and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull) was the movie that was supposed to bring back an incredibly well-loved character and hopefully launch an entirely new Indy series with his son (i.e. Shia LaBeouf) as the lead. Unfortunately, what we got was a movie with very little Indiana Jones elements and a whole bunch of alien nonsense.

Oh…and that whole swinging monkey scene. And Cate Blanchett doing a horrible Russian character. Sigh…

Indiana Jones 4Listen, there were some Indy elements in the movie. The chase scene with the Russians was fun (the library scene was classic Indy), the jungle chase scene was good, and having Marion Ravenwood (i.e. Karen Allen) return was a nice twist. Some of the comedy and the set-up scenes were right out of the original Indy movies. The problem was Lucas infusing his love for all things alien into a series that should have had ZERO to do with aliens.

Sure, Indiana Jones movies were never the most realistic (Temple of Doom, anyone?), but they always tried to have some semblance of realism in them. While the 50’s were huge with Area 51 conspiracies and Russian communism fear-mongering, did they really need to be combined so blatantly?

Indiana Jones 4Yet people still watch and enjoy the movie. While openly criticized as being the worst of the series, it grossed almost $800 million worldwide and spawned talk of yet another sequel. I can’t lie…I’ve watched it on more than one occasion and own it on DVD (thought I’m not 100% convinced on buying it on Blu-Ray quite yet).

You want to hate it. You openly criticize it. You blow it off as “sucking”. Yet, you’re strangely drawn to watching it. This, my friends, is what a guilty pleasure movie is all about.

A Knights TaleA knock-off Gladiator-esque arena filled with people stomping their feet and clapping their hands to Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, and yet the story is set in 14th century Europe.

This just reeks of bad cheese, doesn’t it?

Yet that’s kind of the point. The creators of this movie realize that the music doesn’t quite fit the scene…and that’s why you should think it’s “cool”. What other movie has ever done such a thing? What other movie would have taken that type of chance?

What other movie has a “spur of the moment” dance sequence set to David Bowie’s “Golden Years”?

Well…you certainly don’t see scenes like that every day in movies, do you?

Heath-Ledger-Promo-Shoot-AKT-a-knights-tale-12062059-1547-2000But here’s the thing: the movie is actually quite entertaining.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “great” or “awesome”, but it’s certainly “good”. It’s the fact that the movie isn’t actually “bad” that makes this cheesy movie so much fun (the excellent cast certainly helps, too). If it sucked, then the whole concept would fail. Because it’s good, you’re sitting back watching it and wondering just why in the world the movie’s soundtrack includes Thin Lizzy and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

But it does. And you like it. And people around the world like it.

5085_headingYou really shouldn’t…the concept, in theory, doesn’t work. Yet here it is…a movie that made over $110,000,000 worldwide at the box office and continually plays on television every year, over a decade after it was released. It’s become a modern-day version of a fairytale filled with action, romance, true love, and a scene featuring “Low Rider” by War.

Obviously, this movie has become the very definition of being a “guilty pleasure”.

A-Knight-s-Tale-Wallpaper

Godzilla…yes, THIS Godzilla.

I’ll put this first and foremost on my list of movie guilty pleasures because so many people really REALLY didn’t like it.

But let’s face it, the expectations were so astronomically high for this movie that I don’t think they ever could have been filled (unless somebody like James Cameron had taken over the reigns). Add to that a Jurassic Park-esque final two chapters and it became less and less about this giant lizard the world had come to know and love…as it now looked remarkably like a giant T-rex.

And in spite of the bad acting (sorry Hank Azaria…you’re still one of my favorites) and the bad storyline and the mish-mash of everything else, I have to admit that every time I see those eggs hatch and then watch the ensuing Jurassic Park chase through Madison Square Garden…well, the guilt I feel is only matched by pure unadulterated bliss.

I know I’m not alone on this…

And now with the idea that there will be yet another attempt to make a “mainstream” Gozilla movie, I’m sure I’ll have another post ready for me in about another ten years.

Though it’s doubtful that any new version will be as crap-tastic as this one.