Against the Crowd

bannerfans_16176859Wendell at Dell On Movies has proposed this inspired idea for a blogathon: Against the Crowd. Basically, you name one movie that you love even though everyone else hates it, and one movie that everyone loves but you actually hate. I’m already licking my lips in anticipation! Thanks, Wendell, for letting us play!

 

Sean’s picks:

46a639ecd69330827bc6a3212bab82a0One I love that everyone else hates: Night at the Roxbury (11% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer) – Honestly, if you hate this movie, I don’t want to know you. It’s wonderful. It’s so funny and kind of sweet and somehow all came together out of a one-note SNL skit. It’s pure genius, like seriously, the wedding scene is the best possible way to break up your brother’s wedding to Molly Shannon. And casting Richard Greico as himself, and then having him give life advice to Dan Hedaya? Simply amazing.

 

 

One I hate that everyone else loves: Life of Pi (87% on the Tomatometer) – After reading the life-of-pi-01-1920x1080book, the movie was such a let-down, and somehow it still got a best picture nod? You know, I’m not much of a reader but this book is one for the ages and the movie simply does not do it justice, and butchers the end reveal which absolutely defines the book and makes you want to immediately read it again.

 

Jay’s picks:

One I love that everyone else hates: Mixed Nuts (7% on the Tomatometer) – This movie is not well-known, so let me paint you a picture: a small group of counsellors are running a crisis line on Christmas Eve while facing down joblessness (hello, funding cuts!), clients with no boundaries (but a transgendered Liev Schrieber does a mean tango), and of course, loads of their own personal shit. The counsellors include Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, and the esteemed Madeline Kahn. So when a certain counsellor (namely, myself) goes to work at her own crisis line on Christmas Eve, the blow is made that much softer by watching this movie that makes me feel just a little less alone, and a little more merry. The jokes are as cornball as they come, but once a year I want to see Adam Sandler play his ukulele, Jon Stewart get road rage on rollerblades, Garry Shandling dress as a Christmas tree, Anthony LaPaglia get high on tranquilizers meant for dogs. Is that so weird?

One I hate that everyone else loves: Can I possibly pick just one? Sean suggested “any thing comic book” which is almost but not quite true (maybe more “anything super hero” but even that’s not fair, because a couple have transcended the genre but otherwise, yes, I’m tired, and they’re clichéd and over-reliant on CGI), and then “anything franchise” which again is almost but not quite true – and I don’t think it’s fair for me to pick Lord of the Rings or Star Wars Or Hunger Games because the truth is, I haven’t seen them. I just hate them on principle. So I’m left with two movies that will assuredly get me into hot water: The Hurt Locker (98% on the Tomatometer), and 12 Years A Slave (96%). I hate them both for basically the same reason: while I wouldn’t say either is bad, I’d say both are derivative and listless. I’ve seen better, more memorable movies in both their respective genres. However, I suspect these particular movies garnered their excessive attention from the Academy for reasons other than strictly merit. And that’s really frustrating. I saw The Hurt Locker almost immediately upon release and was like: “meh.” I don’t like Jeremy Renner. I’m pretty sure this movie was supposed to be suspenseful but when you spend the whole time thinking, “God, why won’t he just die already”, it sort of cooks the goose. And I know it’s a proud American tradition to demonize one’s enemies, but the situation in Iraq was so much more complex than this movie knows how to give it credit for. It has no point of view. Yes, dismantling a bomb is a gruelling job. But where are these bombs coming from? Who is making them – and why? This movie wants to be important but congratulates itself for being “apolitical” when political context is exactly what’s needed. 12 Years A Slave I watched before the Oscars of course, but late enough after its release that I’d heard all the hype and went in believing it. There is one scene, one particular scene, where he is left hanging from a tree, with his toes just barely brushing the ground, left there for hours, constantly on the verge of death, and worse still (for me, the viewer anyway), all the other slaves witnessing this scene yet completely helpless to do anything about it – fuck. That scene went on WAY too long, which was exactly the right amount of way too long because it makes us the right amount of crazy uncomfortable. That scene was the only redeeming moment in the whole 12 years. The rest was torture porn, every bit as exploitative of Django Unchained was accused of being, only without Tarantino’s style. Chiwetel Ejiofor is sublime, communicating so much with his eyes – but he has to. The script sure isn’t giving him much more than the same trite lines that have already been recited. In fact, it almost feels like this movie belongs to the villains – Fassbender has the juiciest bits, that’s for sure. McQueen is intent on making us flinch, making this film feel like a slavery-themed edition of the Saw series. The Academy awarded what should have been a movie of hard truths, but in reality it was just hard to watch. (Dear white people: hating this movie doesn’t make you racist!) The gruesome images served to shock people into forgetting there was no emotional complexity here. And even if there was, it would come to a screeching halt with the Brad Pitt stunt-casting. How is it even possible to over-dramatize a movie about slavery? McQueen finds a way. I’ve read Solomon Northrup’s 12 Years a Slave and you know what? The material deserved a better treatment.

What about your picks? Half as juicy as mine?

p.s. Matt – you’re it!

 

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36 thoughts on “Against the Crowd

  1. Andrew

    OMG! YES to everything you say about Life of Pi. I loved that book so much and was so excited for the movie and then…it was such a letdown. It was NOT a great adaptation. Such a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Wendell

    Thanks for doing this, guys. Much appreciated.

    Another SNL skit, FTW. Didn’t hate Night at the Roxbury, but didn’t really like it, either. Didn’t much care for it as a skit so that explains that. I did love Life of Pi, but I haven’t read the book.

    Never even heard of Mixed Nuts. Hard to believe considering that cast. I have to find this so I can watch it with a few other Christmas movies. I thought The Hurt Locker and 12 Years a Slave were both excellent. I do get where you’re coming from, though.

    Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jay

      Oh we had fun, it’s a great theme, and obviously we were just waiting to be asked!
      I also like Roxbury the movie but didn’t care for the skit at the time (because I actually never liked Will Ferrell on SNL, found him obnoxious but have been able to tolerate SOME of his movies).
      Mixed nuts is actually considered ‘one of the worst movies ever made.’ Directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, whom I also adore. I will be loyal to this movie to the end.

      Like

      Reply
  3. renxkyoko

    My sister had obsessed on Lord of the Rings, had watched all a million times, and me ? Just the first one, and that’s it. I have a very silly reason why I didn’t like the movie. * I didn’t like to watch 3 hours of oil and grime. * LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. DotedOn

        Hahhahaha, no, I actually admitted it right away. Like when I saw The Sound of Music two Christmases ago (and also tortured my kids with it 🙂 )

        Like

      2. Jay

        Haha, cousins of ours insisted we MUST watch The Sound of Music, couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it, thought it was a travesty, a wasted childhood, etc, etc.
        I watched it and was like: wtf! This?

        Like

  4. Brittani

    Nice picks, guys! I agree with Life of Pi and the Hurt Locker. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them as much as everyone else did.

    Like

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  5. Jana

    I hate The Big Lebowski. Completely. Totally. And usually quietly. People do not react well when they hear you don’t like this beloved ‘cult classic’. This movie is why cults introduced cyanide flavoured Kool-Aid to start with; because the very thought of existing in a world where people bandy about its useless quotes is enough to at least entertain the sweet, sugary salvation of mass suicide! There is nothing good about the movie. No redeeming characters or even moments, no good looking characters, no legitimate laughter, no satisfying resolution to any sort of conflict, no thought-provoking moments or inspiring cinematography. No clever dialogue or inspired acting. Nothing. The Coen brothers didn’t just miss the boat with this one, there was never a boat. They were just purposefully leading you to an empty harbour to drown.
    But well, you know, that’s just, like, my opinion, man..

    And that is not a marmot!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Novroz

    I like this blogathon, I did it too few months ago and my answer of overrated goes to Frozen.

    I quite like 12 years a slave but it’s not the kind I want to see again anytime soon.

    Great write up.

    Like

    Reply
  7. reocochran

    I liked the movie you like, too. Night at the Roxbury along with some corny movies with teenagers. (Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club and 16 Candles.)
    I liked The Wedding Singer with Adam Sandler. Not sure if people hated it but I have met a few people who really liked Drew Barrymore in this one.
    I know I am supposed to respect srviceman and yet I hate almost all war movies. I actually liked “Born on the Fourth of July” (Thanks, Tom Cruise) and “Good Morning, Vietnam,”(Thsnks, Robin Williams!)
    I don’t really like The Deer Hunter or Apocalypse Now. I watched them once and remember they were well acted with great stories but won’t watch them again.

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    Reply
  8. fernandorafael

    Even though I don’t hate it, I agree with Sean’s comments on Life of Pi (“this book is one for the ages and the movie simply does not do it justice, and butchers the end reveal”).

    Like

    Reply
  9. Lorna

    I want all of you people to come to a moviethon at my place!

    My hated-by-most and loved-by -me would be Zoolander. Just writing the name makes me laugh. I also have to shamefacedly say how much I loved both the book and the movie of “Somewhere in Time”, which makes all 6 of the people I know who have read/viewed it unable to eat for a week. Also the little-known “Bugsy Malone” was such a delight that I paid $64 for a DVD from China.

    Miracle on 34th Street in any one of its bedamned outings was really hateful to me, but loved by masses; and I am alone in the world in a queasy state caused by most Adam Sandler movies…’Franglish” and the 9/11 movie he made being the exceptions .

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jay

      Yes, tracking down a $64 DVD from China probably does qualify for major out-of-the-way bonus points in this race.

      I’m also very intrigued by the Miracle hate! That’s a really great one to have in your back pocket for a post like this though.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Lorna Cunningham-Rushton

        As for “Miracle”, just think soppy-faced little girls, the word itself and sick-making soundtrack. I have another issue though—I can’t get WordPress to accept me as a recipient of notifications of your post. Consequently, I’m 5 or 6 behind, and have been Assholeless more than I need.

        Like

      2. Jay

        The truth is, I kind of agree with you on Miracle. I’m realizing I’ve mentally been giving it a pass because it’s a Christmas movie, and those are always so schmaltzy. But I’ve definitely kept my distance, and you’re putting into words why that is.

        And I’m sorry about WordPress. My brother in law suggested it as a platform but you know I’m a Blogger girl and I don’t quite have the hang of this.

        Also: being assholeless sounds like SUCH a predicament!

        Like

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