February 24, 2005

The Anti-Oscars

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If it hasn’t become apparent to you by now, we here at DAZE have no respect for the idealistic frivolities in life, among which are concepts like “meaning” or “decency.” In lieu of the upcoming 77th Academy Awards, a shamefully vain and thinly veiled attempt at self-congratulations constructed by the most narrow-minded of organizations (Hollywood), DAZE has decided to recognize movies of a different sort. Why even bother giving mass-produced figurines to films that teach us about life or elucidate the deep recesses of the human existence? Let’s not kid ourselves. We all know that when it comes down to it, you would much rather melt on your couch for an evening of unhealthy eating accompanied by say, EuroTrip than opt for something of the Mystic River variety. So here’s to the guilty pleasures of the movie world, films that we secretly love despite the public ridicule they often endure.

Major League II

Major League II has to be one of the most entertaining sports movies that also manages to contain almost no meaning. Sure, the flick attempts to make a point by having “Wild Thing” Vince Vaughn go through an identity crisis. However, the real reason we watch this film is for lines like, “Women. Can’t live with ’em, they can’t pee standing up.” Even funnier is how the film tries to overlook the fact that the character of Willie Mays Hayes is played by a completely different actor than in the first film. As always, the real highlight is announcer Harry Doyle, played by real life baseball announcer Bob Uecker, who pretty much ad-libs all of his lines and seems noticeably intoxicated during the majority of the film. — Mark Rice

National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation

The most recent installment in the always venerable Vacation series has the Griswold family heading for Las Vegas. As with all the Vacation movies, the plot is rather simple: put Chevy Chase in charge of a family trip, add water, let mayhem and comedy ensue. There’s just something about this flick that makes it work. Maybe it’s the family’s trip to the Hoover Dam (“You can take all the dam pictures you want and don’t forget to stop by the dam gift shop”). Or maybe it’s how Wayne Newton ends up trying to destroy Clark and Ellen’s marriage. It might even have to do with how Clark loses all of the family’s money and is forced to go to a junk casino and gamble on games like “I’m thinking of a number.” — Mark Rice


This is the current movie of choice after a night of heavy drinking. Who could have guessed that such mindless, predictable entertainment could also be so enjoyable? From the opening musical number, which includes a heavily pierced Matt Damon screaming at us that “Scotty doesn’t know!” to hanging out with British soccer goons, this is the best rental for your money. It’s worth watching just to argue over how much supporting actor Jacob Pitts looks like the illegitimate son of David Spade. — Mark Rice

Down to You

Here’s a cute movie, unfortunately crippled by Freddie Prinze’s unfailing butchery of every script he’s ever had his hands on and Julia Stiles’ stiff demureness. The on-screen couple’s lack of chemistry leaves much to be desired and director Kris Isaacson’s knack for narration through constant character commentary gets distracting. Recognizable names like Rosario Dawson, Selma Blair and Henry Whinkler fill in fun and quirky roles, making the film an ensemble effort. Sure the ending is ridiculous and all, but we don’t see movies like these for reality do we? — Sophia Asare

Center Stage

Okay, what would you expect from a cast made up of actual dancers? What the cast lacks in acting credentials they more than make up for in phenomenal dance sequences. To sum up, think Fame’s gawky little sister that couldn’t with the archetypal characters you’ll find in any motivational sports team flick. All’s well that ends well and the movie concludes in a tidy, neat package that makes everyone better off than from where they began. And I didn’t even discuss the Mandy Moore song from the soundtrack. This is cheese at its finest. — Sophia Asare

Drive Me Crazy

I know I’ll have to try my hardest to defend this one. It doesn’t help that it’s named after a Britney Spears song or that it stars wholesome Melissa Joan Hart. But this movie is so much more than what its plastic, teenybopper packaging and bubblegum advertisement campaign would lead you to believe. Instead of Britney Spears, The Donnas make a cameo in the obligatory school dance scene. Hart and Entourage’s Adrian Grenier have great dialogue and chemistry in this often borrowed and recycled tale about high school cliques. There are the usual “parents just don’t understand” musings, but the movie’s plot is a little more real with an absent and emotionally unavailable asshole dad as well as a parent lost to illness. You might even find yourself singing along with The Donna’s on their cover of REO Speedwagon’s “I’m Gonna Keep on Loving You” — Sophia Asare

Valley Girl

Before he was “fuckin Castor Troy” in Face/Off or the alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas, Nicolas Cage was quite the ’80s man with hits like Peggy Sue Got Married, Moonstruck and Birdy. But before all of that, however, there was Valley Girl, where he plays the punk Randy who is after a valley girl’s heart. This is one of the few times in movie history where a teenage character is portrayed by a teenager. Cameron in Ferris Bueller was at the time, 30 and The O.C.’s Ryan, is a 27-year-old portraying a 17-year-old. Valley Girl is a 90-minute time capsule of 1982 with red and blue hair, Modern English, Men at Work and the Psychadelic Furs filling out the soundtrack as well as like totally posh parties. The only thing missing is a special appearance from Uncle Rico. Idiot! — Dan Cohen

Vision Quest

Athletic Matt Modine loses 40 pounds to beat a champion wrestler guy who likes to carry trees up stadiums instead of, I don’t know, lifting weights. Linda Fiorentino sidetracks his one-dimensional mind and shows him that there are much more fun ways to cut the pounds. Madonna makes her first theatrical appearance singing “Crazy for You,” Forest Whitaker is in it, Journey lends a few songs and the wrestling coach is a fat guy who likes to wear spandex with the team. Yes, I think that the above is enough to qualify that as a sufficient guilty pleasure. Don’t stop believing, Mr. Modine. — Dan Cohen

Sex and the City

It’s not a movie, but Sex and the City is a man’s ultimate guilty pleasure. At first I thought it was soft-core porn but then I realized it had good writing. None of the ladies ever wore the same dress twice and Kim Cattrall sleeps with a different person in every episode. Add in the schoolgirl hot Kristin Davis, Miranda for bitch points, empathetic Carrie and you’ve got a show for girls that guys can’t get off of … but one that they can get off watching. Pun intended. What I’m waiting for is Sex and the City: The College Years. Kristin Davis and Sarah Jessica Parker are in sororities, Cattrall bones the entire football team while Miranda is an angry girl who works for a dining hall. Come on, somebody, write it! — Dan Cohen

Archived article by Sun Staff