DAY 8: GUILTY SECRET PLEASURE
Today’s pick should be a movie which you’d maybe be a little reluctant in admitting to liking, or at least a movie which might cause you to pause for a beat before you confess to being a fan. My immediate go-to in this category was going to be The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (Hillenburg/Osborne, 2004) since, quite often when I’m explaining my non-elitist, anti-snobbery outlook to movies, I’ll mention how Dekalog (Kieślowski, 1989) sits happily alongside SpongeBob on my shelves. But then, I realised that I’ve made that comparison lots; I’ve never missed a beat when declaring my love for the little guy whoooooooo lives in a pineapple under the sea (absorbent and yellow and porous is he!). So I can’t exactly use him.
So, what do I feel the most guilty about? Right up until this morning, my choice was going to be Freddy Got Fingered (Green, 2001), the Tom Green comedy vehicle which garnered an 11% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and a zero-out-of-four from the late great Roger Ebert, who said of it: “This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels[…]. The day may come when Freddy Got Fingered is seen as a milestone of neo-surrealism. The day may never come when it is seen as funny.” Now, this is a movie which I’m not quite ashamed to say I find hilarious, but I don’t volunteer that information too freely, too often. So it qualifies, for sure.
But then I saw in the news this morning that today is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek (1966-1969) first airing on television. See, I’ve never been a Trekkie, I’d never seen an entire episode of Star Trek or any of its more modern variants, and the only “original cast” movie I’d ever seen was Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (Nimoy, 1984), and I’d only seen that because we were forced to watch it at school one day by some nutjob science teacher who wanted to draw all sorts of parallels between it and the resurrection of Christ (Yay Catholic education!). So it’s fair to say I’ve never given a good f*ck for Star Trek. It can “boldly go” and bumfun itself, for all of me. Still, I recently decided to give the new, rebooted movies a try (the first two JJ Abrams films, that is. I haven’t seen the newest one yet). I don’t know why; uniformly terrific reviews plus, since it’s all a reboot, a chance to come in with a clean slate, maybe. And (whispers) I quite liked them! But here’s the shameful bit: Although I admitted to the wife that I’d checked out a Star Trek film, I didn’t admit that I’d actually checked out two, or that I’d enjoyed either of them. And when she caught me idly inspecting a box-set of the movies in our local supermarket, she said, “What are you looking at that for??” and I snapped “Nothing, nothing!” and hurriedly put it back.
Gentlemen: The stars have aligned, the day is the perfect day, and I am ashamed to admit to a guilty secret pleasure: I enjoyed Star Trek (Abrams, 2009), and that’s the film I’m nominating today. If I win the dice throw, I will sit and enjoy it here in front of my gobsmacked, disbelieving family. So there.
Up against Star Trek today goes Dumbo (Sharpsteen, 1941) courtesy of my wife and District 9 (Blomkamp, 2009) from my son. Quite why he feels that might be a guilty pleasure escapes me but that’s twelve year-olds for you. Perhaps Neill Blomkamp is really naff and unfashionable across the school playgrounds of the UK? Who knows.
EDIT Aaaaaand all that careful consideration was for nowt in the end anyway. I lost the throw, and here on Star Trek’s 50th birthday, I’m “enjoying” Dumbo. Shazbut.