Acquired Tastes: My Guilty Pleasures

I love movies that are straight-up good but I also like movies that are arguably good and bad. These are the "Bad" movies that I can't help but enjoy, along with their strands of cinematic DNA. Warning, I'm a Michael Bay apologist.
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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets. (154 mins.)
Director: Michael Bay
“ Most Michael Bay movies should be treated like two movies. 'Bad Boys II' felt like two Bad Boys sequels in one package. 'The Island' was a dystopian sci-fi mystery for the first half and then halfway through it turned into an all-out action thriller. 'Transformers' was simply, part Spielberg film, part Bay film. 'Dark of the Moon' follows this tradition, but more so. It feels like a conspiracy movie, a teen dramedy/romance, a bizarre-surrealist comedy, and an all-out action fest.

This is a Michael Bay movie, liking or hating a Bay film is based on a matter of taste. These movies definitely don't work for everyone.The first movie is positively surreal. It starts off as a bit of a conspiracy thriller, as the prologue recounts the discovery of the Autobots with the moon landing. Then it shifts to an awkward teen-coming of age storyThe plot is in service to the action and thats ok by me. Shia Labeouf's, Sam does a lot less in this than he did in the last two movies. But his character's evolution and along with his real-life switch from Blockbuster star to Indie-Actor is interesting. There are probably near a dozen comic relief characters. For me Bay's bizarre comedy works in doses. This movie overdoses. I can never fight it, it sends the viewer in an almost sugar-coma of comic relief. I will admit that the comic relief doesn't get as annoying as its predecessor. The highlight of this portion is John Malkovich as Sam's Boss. His weird cameo is hilarious and he owns every scene he's in with his bizarre goofiness. His scenes add an air of surrealism that just elevates this film somewhere else. The Robot action we get is fantastic, I can get through all the *beep* as long as the robots are good.

The second movie is the the entire movie it was made for. This part is reminiscent to the Cuba-Climax in 'Bad Boys 2' but with robots. The action is visually stunning and some of the best action Bay has done. I remember when this came out and I saw an Ad on TV, and a critic quote called it a "Game Changer". Many critics and hardcore cinephiles may scoff, but Hollywood must've noticed, because the whole "City-Under Siege" concept really blew up with this movie. Just look at 'The Avengers' and 'The Dark Knight Rises'. City invasions aren't necessarily new in action cinema, but 'Dark of the Moon' transcended the possibilites within that concept. The Avengers took it from a (blatant) visual level (come on, just look at the giant flying thing in the city battle), while The Dark Knight Rises took it from a more conceptual level (a city completely cut-off from military personnel). Not a knock, just an observation.

I honestly think this may be Bay's Best film, and it cements his triumph in Cinema for elevating guilty pleasures to the realm of art.

And that building sequence!...

Cinematic DNA: Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, every single Michael Bay movie, Jurassic Park, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, War of the Worlds (2005), Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Cloverfield, Avatar, Super 8, Battleship, and lets not deny it, Marvel's The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. ” - ifilmstuf24
Moonraker (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle and discovers a plot to commit global genocide. (126 mins.)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
“ Bond in Space brings out the inner-child in me with its stunning imagery and non-stop fun. Sure its silly, but its a wonderous piece of escapism. That is all.

Cinematic DNA: You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Flash Gordon, Return of the Jedi, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. ” - ifilmstuf24
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls. (122 mins.)
“ I really enjoyed this movie when I first saw it, and I still like it to this day. That's it really. It definitely has its problems (I won't go into them, you all know what is wrong with this movie), but it is thoroughly entertaining, and I actually like it a bit more than 'Last Crusade'. Yeah, you read correctly.

Cinematic DNA: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Star Wars Prequels, Octopussy, The Mummy, Die Another Day, National Treasure, Spider-Man 3, Live Free or Die Hard. ” - ifilmstuf24
Armageddon (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, N.A.S.A. recruits a misfit team of deep core drillers to save the planet. (151 mins.)
Director: Michael Bay
“ An asteroid "The size of texas" is gonna hit earth so NASA must send Bruce Willis, Affleck, Chick, Mr. Pink, Owen Wilson, William Fichtner and Michael Clarke Duncan to the rock (pun intended) to blow it up. As awesome as it sounds. And Charlton Heston narrates the opening.

Cinematic DNA: Meteor, Top Gun, Deep Impact, The Rock, Con-Air, Pearl Harbor, Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. ” - ifilmstuf24
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Hobbs has Dominic and Brian reassemble their crew to take down a team of mercenaries: Dominic unexpectedly gets convoluted also facing his presumed deceased girlfriend, Letty. (130 mins.)
Director: Justin Lin
“ Like a James Bond movie on roids with fast cars and ridiculousness, "Furious 6" is a masterfully done guilty pleasure. With a script that has a fun self-awareness and is attuned to character, the film is a huge bundle of joy. I couldn't remember the main plot or the villains objective, but I still had a good time hanging out with these characters and that is the sign of a good guilty pleasure.

Cinematic DNA: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Transformers, Skyfall ” - ifilmstuf24
Bad Boys II (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Two loose-cannon narcotics cops investigate the flow of Ecstasy into Florida from a Cuban drug cartel. (147 mins.)
Director: Michael Bay
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
The Fantastic Four learn that they aren't the only super-powered beings in the universe when they square off against the powerful Silver Surfer and the planet-eating Galactus. (92 mins.)
Director: Tim Story
Batman Forever (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Batman must battle Two-Face and The Riddler with help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin. (121 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Sam Witwicky leaves the Autobots behind for a normal life. But when his mind is filled with cryptic symbols, the Decepticons target him and he is dragged back into the Transformers' war. (150 mins.)
Director: Michael Bay
“ I didn't like 'ROTF' the first time I saw it at a midnight showing back in the summer of 2009. I was a Huge fan of the 2007 original and I expected 'ROTF' to be even better. But instead of walking away from 'ROTF' with a sense of innocent glee that I had felt two years before, it made me feel like I had been through a two and a half hour binge of every drug and alcoholic beverage imaginable. The day after was bizarre for some reason, I truly felt out of myself. The day just didn't seem normal and not in a good way. It wasn't until a few viewings (and a few years) that I was able to appreciate it. Most of you don't blaze it though, so you probably won't understand that and I don't blame you, because this movie is enough to make one's head spin, shake, get thrown around a bit and then finally get blown-up, only to be taken to a robot heaven that's gonna get you The Matrix of Leadership before zapping you back to life so you can tell Megan Fox you love her before bringing Optimus back to life so he can defeat the Fallen and end the movie abruptly and listen to Linkin Park before the next sequel.

But other than that, it taught me an important lesson in cinematic expectations, and that you should always keep an open mind, especially when dealing with Michael Bay.

Cinematic DNA: Transformers, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Steven Spielberg's 1941, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Bad Boys II, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, along with every film ever made in the history of film put into an editing blender. ” - ifilmstuf24
Planet of the Apes (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
An Air Force astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet where evolved, talking apes dominate a race of primitive humans. (119 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
Backdraft (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don't get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose. (137 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
Fear (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
When Nicole met David; handsome, charming, affectionate, he was everything. It seemed perfect, but soon she sees that David has a darker side. And his adoration turns to obsession, their dream into a nightmare, and her love into fear. (97 mins.)
Director: James Foley
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there while another team approaches with another agenda. (129 mins.)
Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh pursue an arms dealer who is a former LAPD officer. (118 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
Pearl Harbor (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941. (183 mins.)
Director: Michael Bay
“ Pearl Harbor; or How Michael Bay managed to fit every movie cliche imaginable into a 3 hour movie. Damn! Bay really did it with this one. This movie has the audacity to spell out its own cliches. And take those cliches and mutate into even more cliches. All one needs to do is watch the scene where Affleck waits at the train station for Beckinsale. In that scene Affleck describes the cliche the audience is about to witness to best-bud Josh Hartnett, "I told her not to come see me off, but I want her to come so I know she loves me". Becks arrives just too late so she can have her own cliche of standing alone and crying while the music whales because she was just seconds late. Pearl Harbor is Bay's most Epic Soap Opera.

Cinematic DNA: Armageddon, Battleship, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, along with every WWII movie. ” - ifilmstuf24
Van Helsing (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
The notorious monster hunter is sent to Transylvania to stop Count Dracula who is using Dr. Frankenstein's research and a werewolf for some sinister purpose. (131 mins.)
Director: Stephen Sommers
“ I am convinced that Stephen Sommers only directs cartoons. The novelty of 'Van Helsing' is that its a Monster-Mash. Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Wolf Man! Its 'Flash Gordon' for the 2000s.

Cinematic DNA: Universal Monster movies, Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein, Flash Gordon, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Blade, The Mummy (1999), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel's The Avengers. ” - ifilmstuf24
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
John Rambo is released from prison by the government for a top-secret covert mission to the last place on Earth he'd want to return - the jungles of Vietnam. (96 mins.)
“ 1982's 'First Blood' should be considered a standalone film. Telling a compelling story of post-vietnam angst, encapsulated in the character of John Rambo. The reason it should be considered a standalone is that its' sequels are cartoons, and that's a good thing because they're great cartoons. 'First Blood Part II' may be a ridiculous vietnam-revenge driven fantasy, it is a fast-paced and slick action film.

Cinematic DNA: First Blood, Rambo III, Rambo, Rocky IV, Cobra, Commando, Predator, True Lies. ” - ifilmstuf24
Street Fighter (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  
Col. Guile and various other martial arts heroes fight against the tyranny of Dictator M. Bison and his cohorts. (102 mins.)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A diamond smuggling investigation leads James Bond to Las Vegas, where he uncovers an evil plot involving a rich business tycoon. (120 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
Batman: The Movie (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The Dynamic Duo faces four supervillains who plan to hold the world for ransom with the help of a secret invention that instantly dehydrates people. (105 mins.)
This Means War (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman. (103 mins.)
Director: McG
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
A giant egg is unearthed at a construction site and soon opened, releasing the terrible Ivan Ooze, who wreaks vengeance on Zordon for imprisoning him millennia ago. With Zordon dying and their powers lost, the Rangers head to a distant planet to find the mystic warrior Dulcea. (95 mins.)
Director: Bryan Spicer
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe. (119 mins.)
Director: David Twohy
Savages (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend. (131 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
Scarface (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed. (170 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
The Informers (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
One week in L.A. in 1983, featuring movie executives, rock stars, a vampire and other morally challenged characters in adventures laced with sex, drugs and violence. (98 mins.)
Director: Gregor Jordan
“ This is like if Bret Easton Ellis' material was adapted by Tommy Wiseau into a hard R lifetime movie. It has drugs, boobs, horrible acting (seriously, everyone reads their lines so awkwardly; Mickey Rourke and Billy Bob get a pass, because lets face it they aren't really acting). The reason that i like this movie is because of what a fail it is. The multiple storylines just sort of happen and they were trying to emulate a "Magnolia"-type narrative but they never come together in any way and in the end it really tries to shove some sort of moral message down your throat (I still don't know what kind of message) and again it comes out of nowhere. The most positive things I can say about it is that the cinematography looks nice at times (as good as a soap-opera in others) and it has a good 80s soundtrack (not the score, it sounds so generic). It kind of sucks that this was Ellis' chance to adapt his own material and he was let down by whoever butchered his script. But a train-wreck is what we have and what a great wreck it is.

Cinematic DNA: The Room, The Wedding Singer, Short Cuts (if directed by Tommy Wiseau), Boogie Nights (if directed by Tommy Wiseau), Magnolia (if directed by Tommy Wiseau) , Less Than Zero (if directed by Tommy Wiseau) , American Psycho (if directed by Tommy Wiseau) ” - ifilmstuf24
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
The Turtles and the Shredder battle once again, this time for the last canister of the ooze that created the Turtles, with which Shredder wants to unleash an army of new mutants. (88 mins.)
Flash Gordon (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth. (111 mins.)
Director: Mike Hodges
“ Flash!... Ahhhhhhhhh!!!

That is all.

Cinematic DNA: Flash Gordon Serials, Batman: The Movie (1966), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (1977), The Wizard of Oz. ” - ifilmstuf24
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Edward leaves Bella after an attack that nearly claimed her life, and in her depression she falls into yet another paranormal relationship - this time with werewolf Jacob Black. (130 mins.)
Director: Chris Weitz
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi. (115 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek across America to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age. (124 mins.)
Director: Roland Emmerich
2012 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A frustrated writer struggles to keep his family alive when a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate mankind. (158 mins.)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Speed Racer (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A young driver, Speed Racer, aspires to be champion of the racing world with the help of his family and his high-tech Mach 5 automobile. (135 mins.)
Land of the Lost (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
On his latest expedition, Dr. Rick Marshall is sucked into a space-time vortex alongside his research assistant and a redneck survivalist. In this alternate universe, the trio make friends with a primate named Chaka, their only ally in a world full of dinosaurs and other fantastic creatures. (102 mins.)
Director: Brad Silberling
Drew Peterson: Untouchable (2012 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Following the mysterious disappearance of his fourth wife, a man is accused of the murder of his third. (84 mins.)
Director: Mikael Salomon
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Captain Kirk and his crew must deal with Mr. Spock's long-lost half-brother who hijacks the Enterprise for an obsessive search for God at the center of the galaxy. (107 mins.)
Director: William Shatner
“ Caught this on cable a while back, and it was pretty entertaing. I didn't mind tha campfire scenes with Shat, Bones, and Spock, I thought it was a nice little touch. The story is pretty invovlving, if nothing that special. Its funny to think that William Shatner directed this. With that knowledge you really shouldn't take this entry too seriously, but it is good fun.

Cinematic DNA: All Star Trek movies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. ” - ifilmstuf24
Billy Madison (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
In order to inherit his fed up father's hotel empire, an immature and lazy man must repeat grades 1-12 all over again. (89 mins.)
Director: Tamra Davis
Happy Gilmore (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A rejected hockey player puts his skills to the golf course to save his grandmother's house. (92 mins.)
Director: Dennis Dugan
The Room (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  
Johnny is a successful banker who lives happily in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiancée, Lisa. One day, inexplicably, she gets bored with him and decides to seduce his best friend, Mark. From there, nothing will be the same again. (99 mins.)
Director: Tommy Wiseau
Laserblast (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  
A teenager stumbles upon an alien weapon, which transforms him into a grotesque killer. (85 mins.)
Director: Michael Rae
U Turn (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A man heading to Vegas to pay off his gambling debt before the Russian mafia kills him, is forced to stop in an Arizona town where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. (125 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
After being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Camp Crystal Lake. (91 mins.)
Director: Joseph Zito