The “Against the Crowd” Blogathon!

against the crowd blogathon 2

When I read about this blogathon over at Cinematic Corner, I knew I had to do it immediately! Everyone has those films where you think, “This is not as good as people believe it to be”, or conversely, “I wish more people loved this!”. Luckily, Dell on Movies has created a blogathon where we can share these films with everyone, called the Against the Crowd blogathon. I love it!

Here are the rules if you wish to partake:

1. Pick one movie that “everyone” loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have a score of at least 80% on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you hate it.

2. Pick one movie that “everyone” hates (the more notorious, the better). That movie must have a score of less than 30% on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you love it.

3. Include the tomato meter scores of both movies.

*****

I really hate…

American Hustle tomatometreamerican hustle three

I’m very aware that this is an unpopular opinion. It’s difficult to argue with a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score, but I firmly believe that people got caught up in the hype with this. It’s funny because the central story of American Hustle (2013) is about con artists pulling heists on everyone, and that’s exactly what the film seems to have done with the general film-viewing populus. I wrote an “Is it worth paying for a ticket?” review of it here.

I passionately dislike this film because it is so average on so many levels. The story is messy and forgettable, it has a massive plot hole that no one seems to care about, the script seems to go nowhere because director David O. Russell let his cast do whatever they wanted with their dialogue, and on top of it all, it was way too long. The four central actors – Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper – each got an Oscar nomination for this, and it makes me so sad and angry because there is no way that their performances warranted such high praise. Actually, Christian Bale is the only actor that might have deserved it. I have no idea what the Academy were thinking for the rest of them. The fact that Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux didn’t get nominated for their beautiful performances in Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013), and this cavalcade of mediocrity did, is actually physically painful for me to think about.

On an aesthetic level, it’s amazing. Great cinematography, music choice, costuming, general 70s vibe, et cetera. And it was fun to see all of these actors interacting with one another as an ensemble. But those qualities alone do not an Oscar nomination make! Everything else is so “meh” and pointless. And that makes me hate it.

However, it is worth noting that American Hustle was nominated for ten Oscars and won a total of zero. So maybe someout out there in the Academy agrees with me that this film is just not that good.

*****

I really love…

Spice World tomatometrespice world is awesome officially

I’ll be the first 26-year-old idiot to confess that I still love the Spice Girls. That’s one childhood fad I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of. In addition to their stellar musical output, I actually really love their feature film, Spice World (1998). Everyone else in the entire world seems to hate it, which is fair enough. There’s just something really cheerful and charming about it that reminds me of good times, with funny moments and dumb lines of dialogue that have generally stood the test of time. For example, the moment where Victoria AKA Posh Spice yells in an unconscious hospital patient’s face, that was funny. I haven’t seen this film for a couple of years, though. The last time was when I made my partner watch it, almost as a test to see if we were cinematically compatible. Plot twist: he didn’t hate it either!

Here’s a list of some of the celebrities and musicians you can expect to see in Spice World: Roger Moore (I adore him), Stephen Fry, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Bob Geldof, Bob Hoskins, Hugh Laurie, Meatloaf, Jonathan Ross, Jennifer Saunders, Dominic West (McNulty!), Alan Cumming, Barry Humphries… the list goes on. Half of the fun when watching this film is picking out all the random cameos throughout, and the ways in which they embarrass themselves by partaking in the Spice Girls’ silly antics.

Spice World is kind of a stupid film, but it’s super cheesy and a lot of fun. At least it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I don’t mind being one of the weird people who loves this film. Good 90s memories. And technically it has the same amount of Oscars as American Hustle, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it David O. Russell.

58 comments

  1. American Hustle wasn’t flawless but I did enjoy it. Well argued all the same though. Great idea for a piece. If I do it, it will be for the Lego Movie. 96%!!!!

    1. Thanks Alex! 🙂 I’ve never seen the Lego Movie, but that score is far beyond what I would expect for it!!

  2. Yeah I did think American Hustle worked overall but it was overhyped to no end. I’m glad it didn’t win everything or people would’ve hated it forever. And you’d be surprised about Spice World; I worked at a movie theater until recently and we did a midnight screening that was PACKED, and I don’t think ironically either.

    1. You’re totally right! If the American Hustle cast had won all their awards or if it had beaten out 12 Years A Slave for the top one, people would have been rioting on the streets. Seeing Spice World at a midnight screening sounds like the best fun ever! I’m glad there are still people out there who love it as much as I do! 🙂

  3. Thankyou!! I’m right there with you in that small percentage that can’t stand how popular American Hustle became. Everything you mention is spot on, a very mediocre film and I was so happy to see it come away from the Oscars without a single award.
    Great choice in Spice World too, I haven’t seen it since it first came out and I was 7 or 8, but I have very fond memories of it’s silliness.

    1. I was experiencing a great deal of schadenfreude when they didn’t win any Oscars too! I was really looking forward to watching it when it came out and for it to be so “meh” was very disappointing indeed. There was heaps of potential there. Whereas Spice World, now that film didn’t disappoint at all! My 10-ish-year old self was pretty happy with it!

  4. OMG!! I was going to do Spice World but changed my mind at the last second!! Awesome post!! 🙂 – Jenna

    1. Haha, thanks Jenna! Spice World is awesome! 😀

  5. ANNA!!!!

    Look for a special piece from me about Hustle in a couple of weeks 🙂 🙂

    wink wink

    1. I can’t wait to see what it is! 😀

  6. This is a great post idea! I loved American Hustle, but I guess 93% means a lot of people liked it too. Awww poor David O’Russell! Anna just hates you! It’s ok we all like and dislike weird stuff out there. Spice World omg I used to have to sit through that movie for days, my little sister used to watch that on a loop. Which one was your fave? (I know you had one don’t lie) 🙂

    1. I think my favourite thing about American Hustle is that it rhymes with the director’s name! Saying “David O. Russell’s American Hustle” out aloud is really satisfying for some reason! Haha, so weird. Love those Spice Girls, and no lie, Ginger was always my favourite! Did you have a fave?

      1. HAHA yes the whole reason for hating it is because it rhymes with director’s name. Too funny! Baby spice of course! 🙂

  7. I enjoyed your post a lot and I have heard from some people that I know that they hated American Hustle too, so you are not the only one that hates it too. Also, I heard a lot of Spice World and I want to see what my reaction will be once I see the film someday.

    If you want to check out my Against the Crowd Blogathan post, I will give you the link just in case you want to read it.

    http://moviereviewsfromjames.blogspot.com/2014/07/against-crowd-blogathan.html

    1. Thanks heaps James! Spice World is one special film. Loved your choices – I thought the Thirty-Nine Steps was an okay film, but the book is infinitely better!

  8. I quite liked American Hustle… but then I also quite liked Spice World…

    1. The best thing about this post is that all the Spice World fans are coming out of the woodwork! I’m loving it! 😀

  9. I think I like American Hustle a tad more than you, but it’s definitely one of those that thrived on hype. And you’re so right, Adèle Exarchopoulos’ Oscar snub was scandalous! Great work Anna.

    Adam.

    1. Thanks Adam! 🙂 The hype was out of control for American Hustle! And I got caught up in it too. I’m sad that I didn’t like it because I was really looking forward to seeing it at the time. But I’ll never be sadder than how I feel about Exarchopoulos’ snub!

  10. If there was one movie I would’ve bet wasn’t going to show up in this Blogathon it was Spice World. And that’s what makes it a great choice. Never saw it myself. I was too old to give a crap about their music (though I do find Mel B. extremely attractive). So I never even thought about watching it. I really like American Hustle and most of the performances therein. That also makes that a great choice. And you’ve made a great argument against it. This was a very entertaining read. Thanks for participating.

    1. Thanks Wendell! 🙂 Both for your comment and also for creating such an inspired blogathon, it was a lot of fun! I’m loving reading everyone else’s as well. There’s something about these extreme opinions that makes them really interesting!

  11. I share your sentiment on both films XD Hustle is so overrated i can’t even begin to understand it! I was still very little when me and my friends started to listen to spice girls, the movie was, as you said it, cheesy XD but it was also delightfully fun and campy in a good way, and above all it’s about girl power! *did you remember that xD* I can not bring myself to hate it XD

    1. I totally forgot to put the phrase “girl power” in my little summary! Love those Spice Girls, introducing the concept of feminism to zillions of young women was probably the best thing they ever did. Even if it was a fairly watered down version of feminism! No one could hate anything as cheerfully well-meaning as that. 😀

  12. Spice World? I don’t know what to say Anna, i’m suddenly overcome with an existential horror!

    1. Someone call Ingmar Bergman, there’s a film to be made about this! 😉 I also suspect it would make a pretty great drinking game, if that helps.

  13. Wow, some interesting choices. What was the major plothole for you in American Hustle? Never seen Spice World and don’t think I will unless someone pays me well for it 😉

    1. Thanks Nostra! The big plothole in American Hustle is regarding the massive mafia threat that happens towards the final third. It’s built up to be so significant to the outcomes of all the characters and they spend lots of time on it, but then it’s completely forgotten about by the end – just in time for a stereotypical “everything turned out fine” ending, which would not have happened if the mafia situtuation was such a huge threat. It made me feel so annoyed when I saw it at the cinemas!

      P.S. I’ll pay you ten bucks to watch Spice World. 😉

      1. Alright, I get your point.

        Hmmmm, ten bucks? Could realize my dream of getting paid to watch movies. I accept Paypal 😉

  14. Nice picks, and definitely ones I would pick for myself doing the blogathon. To me, David O’Russell has been able to replicate the awesome success he had with the Fighter. Both American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook are total messes. I didn’t strongly dislike the casts but the stories, and the constant symbolism of frauds in AH was so annoying.
    I haven’t seen Spice World in such a long time but I agree that it is just a fun movie to watch from my childhood. Girl Power ftw!

    1. Thanks Katy! I’ve never seen The Fighter, maybe I should. I think American Hustle had a good sense of vibrancy and creatively it was awesome. Just a shame that the story and everything else didn’t match it. I recently watched Silver Linings Playbook and didn’t think it was anything special! Love those Spice Girls though! 😀

  15. Ah, I love Spice Girls! They were so 90’s and I love 90’s. I own all of their albums 🙂

    1. You have good taste Sati! 😀

  16. Hmmmm I really hate jagten and really love only god forgives.

    1. Those are some controversial choices, I love it! 🙂

  17. I love the concept behind this blogathon! For the record, I also HATED American Hustle. It just didn’t make any sense. If the best part of a film is the costuming/set design, that’s usually not a good sign. As for the Spice Girls, while I haven’t seen that film, I do like their music. Yes! I do! And so does my boyfriend. haha!

    1. Haha, you should do this blogathon! And I agree, I’m usually totally influenced by film aesthetics but it just wasn’t enough to cover the problems of that one. Both Spice Girls albums are so much fun. I love that your boyfriend likes them! 😀

  18. What a brilliant idea for a blogathon! Great choice with American Hustle. I didn’t HATE it but it was extremely overrated.

    1. Totally agreed! I do feel sad about it though because at the time I was really looking forward to seeing it!

  19. I’m with you on American Hustle. I honestly didn’t understand why the film was getting nominated for so many awards. It was very hyped, when I didn’t really see anything remotely special about it.

    1. Totally agree with you there, it was so hyped up. I remember feeling alright about the fact that it was nominated for so many Golden Globes because people might see some sense at the Academy Awards and give it zero nominations. But no dice!

  20. My first thought when I read the blogathon rules was American Hustle. I really didn’t understand the hype and was irritated by the indulgent dialogue. Also, *unpopular klaxon alert* I actually don’t love JLaw. I think she’s good, but massively overrated.

    1. You know, I kind of agree with you! I used to be a JLaw fan but over time I’ve started to become a bit irritated by her. She is amazing in Winter’s Bone though. I don’t think she deserved an Oscar nom for her role in American Hustle, even though she was entertaining! And you’re right, the dialogue was so indulgent!

  21. Very cool Anna! Very good pick on American Hustle. Pfffffffffff.

    1. Haha, thanks Zoe! That pretty much summarises my feelings about American Hustle: Pppffffffff!

      1. Yeah what an overhyped film for NOTHING.

  22. “Cavalcade of mediocrity”? I’m pretty sure i should re-title my blog that. Brilliant! I’m in full compliance with your thoughts on American Hustle. I thought it was like watching a someone desperately trying to impress Martin Scprsese, and not have it really work out.

    I, sadly, have never seen the Spice Girls movie, but I’d be willing to watch it.
    A lot.

    1. Haha! “Cavalcade of mediocrity” is all yours! 😉 My partner thought all of American Hustle was about David O. Russell trying to be PT Anderson, which I kind of get. But I can also see the Scorsese connection. Sorry O. Russell, try harder next time!

      I would actually really love to read your thoughts on Spice World! It sure is one special film.

  23. I thought American Hustle was a meh too. I think a certain con was suppose to big on the audience, but err…so many people were getting con left and right is it any surprise anymore that there’s another con?

    1. So many cons that the film itself was one big con! Seems like they also conned the general cinema-viewing public into thinking it was a good film.

  24. […] really resonated with me because a) I agree wholeheartedly, and b) I also wrote about this for the “Against the Crowd” Blogathon. Good times! Shitfest Summer 2014 has also been a general favourite of my July as everyone’s […]

  25. HAHAHA, true, they have the same amount of Oscars.

    American Hustle was such bullshit! I’m still mad about those 10 nominations, there were so many others who deserved it a hundred times more — starting with Adèle and Lèa. Truer words than “passionately dislike” haven’t yet been spoken of this film. Great write-up, Anna, I’m glad we agree on this one.

    1. Thanks Elina! 😀 I’m re-watching Blue is the Warmest Colour at the moment and silently fuming that it wasn’t at least nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Totally robbed!

      1. It couldn’t be nominated for that, some crap about dates or regulations. But it was totally eligible for Best Actress, as much as I’ve heard! So unfair. I really want to see it again too!

  26. LOVE this!!! Very cool idea. I didn’t hate American Hustle, but I DEF thought it should’ve been about a million times better. The performances were great, but the story? Meh. I haven’t seen Spice World in ages, but that was one of my faves back in the day. 😀

    1. I’m so happy that I keep finding people who didn’t like American Hustle! I felt like the only one for such a long time. As for Spice World, now that is a truly excellent piece of cinema.

      1. Oh I’m with you on American Hustle fo sho. And yes–Spice World = instant classic. 😉

  27. […] partook in this most excellent blogathon last year and it looks like we’re back for round two in 2015! Wendell of Dell on Movies is […]

  28. […] far, I’ve participated in the “Against the Crowd” blogathon in 2014, and in 2015, and now it’s time to participate in 2016! Like I said back in 2014: Everyone […]

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