PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

The Guilty Pleasure Films of 2010

A collection of 10 films that make us feel bad for loving them so - though we can easily defend each and every one... we think.

5 - 1

Film: For Colored Girls

Director: Tyler Perry

Cast: Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, Phylicia Rashad

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/film_art/c/coloredgirls-poster.jpg

Review: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/133156-for-colored-girls/

Display as: List

List number: 5

Display Width: 200For Colored Girls

For those familiar with Tyler Perry’s previous films, this adaptation will not be a surprise. The material intrinsically plays into the writer’s well known frame of retro-reference, and while not as bawdy and burlesque as his other works, it sums up his strategies surprisingly well. At his core, Perry is a showman, someone who understands the inherent value in melodrama, manipulation, and most importantly, music. His theatrical pieces are like revivals, simplistic Bible and relationship messages measured out in cliche filled conversations and powerful gospel songs. In the case of For Colored Girls, poems are now the tunes. Indeed, this adaptation is unusual in that it feels like a musical without a score. In the movie translation of the title, Perry never lays a foundation for the concept. He just sets up his story, introduces his cast, and then delivers the devastating insights. Bill Gibron


Film: Hot Tub Time Machine

Director: Steve Pink

Cast: John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Chevy Chase, Collette Wolfe, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/news_art/h/hot-tub-time-poster.jpg

Revie: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/123020-hot-tub-time-machine/

Display as: List

List number: 4

Display Width: 200 Hot Tub Time Machine

The title says it all. Hot Tub Time Machine is a high-concept comedy that's completely aware of its utter silliness, and mostly embraces it. Getting former teen icon John Cusack to tweak his '80s roles by playing a dissatisfied fortysomething who travels back in time with his buddies to a rockin' Greed decade ski resort was great. But what really makes the movie work is the rest of the cast of friends. The always-dependable Craig Robinson, the perfectly-cast Rob Corddry as the pompous ass, and Clark Duke in a breakout performance as the young nephew who wasn't alive in the '80s. What makes the movie a guilty pleasure are its missteps, like too many cheap jokes about fashion and music and the casual homophobia. There's also the uselessness of Chevy Chase's hot tub repairman, not to mention the painfully forced romantic subplot between Cusack and Lizzy Caplan. But the real joy of Hot Tub Time Machine comes from its shameless tweaking of time travel cliches, particularly those found in Back to the Future. The kicker is seeing Marty McFly's Back to the Future dad, Crispin Glover, as a grumpy one-armed bellhop in the present who has both arms and a sunny attitude in the past. Chris Conaton


Film: The Book of Eli

Director: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes

Cast: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/news_art/b/book-of-eli-poster.jpg

Review: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/119050-the-book-of-eli/

Display as: List

List number: 3

Display Width: 200The Book of Eli
Warner Brothers

If The Road Warrior was a morality play that met up with M. Night Shayamalan (when he made quality films), the end result would be The Book of Eli. A simple concept of a man on a mission to preserve a book that will save post-nuclear holocaust mankind, The Book of Eli’s screenwriter Gary Whitta endows his tale with several surprises and well-written roles that don’t play like stock characters. Denzel Washington stars as Eli, the aforementioned man whose aforementioned mission is complicated by Carnegie (Gary Oldman), an opportunistic warlord / Wild West throwback who has seized power in one of the world’s last thriving outposts and wants the book for his own ends. With top-shelf action scenes choreographed by martial artist Jeff Imada and equally top-notch performances from the always-solid Washington and Oldman and a strong showing by Mila Kunis (now receiving raves for her pirouette-turn in Black Swan), The Book of Eli’s surprise twist of an ending jettisons the film into the rare category of “guilty pleasure” viewing minus the guilt. Lana Cooper


Film: Kick-Ass

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/news_art/k/kick-ass-poster.jpg

Review: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/129003-taking-names-and-chewing-geek-gum-kick-ass/

Display as: List

List number: 2

Display Width: 200Kick-Ass

It should have been more popular. Instead of arguing over the controversial nature of a clearly fictional tween assassin, cults and online shrines should be speaking out about their love for Hit-Girl’s heroism. As an attempt to both mimic and mock the superhero ethic, as a warm love letter to the genre and another noted installment in same, this more than meta geek out should have been the Spring’s break out hit. Instead, its invention and excitement were moderated by a proto-PC desire to turn every aspect of the movie into a full blown debate. Three decades ago, kids could ninja their way through a lame family film experience and no one really cared. Add in a serious subtext and some curse words, and suddenly it’s time to readjust one’s moral compass. Too bad they missed the fantastic forest for the talking point trees. Bill Gibron


Film: The Expendables

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/news_art/e/expendables-poster.jpg

Review: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/133887-the-expendables-blu-ray-bad-assiness-is-the-new-nostalgia/

Display as: List

List number: 1

Display Width: 200The Expendables

The Expendables is Sylvester Stallone’s latest very silly attempt to revisit his glory days, a movie about violence as a brutish conduit for moral justice. Greedy Somali pirates, crooked Latin American dictators, slimy rogue CIA drug kingpins, and even some good old All-American abusive lunkheads all get their just desserts, as delivered by a coterie of muscle-bound übermensches under Sly’s watchful command. Much of that righteous violence is impressively staged -- Sly has learned some tricks over the years, not the least of which is how to film furious action with clarity and power -- but simple, dumb, righteous violence it remains. The politics of morality, gender, and society in this film are about as subtle as an explosion (and there are a few of those as well, as should be expected). Taken for what it is, it’s not without its delights; just don’t dare to take it for anything it isn’t. Ross Langager


Prev Page

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.