The “Against The Crowd” Blogathon – 2015 Edition!

against the crowd blogathon 2

I 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 revisiting the “Against the Crowd” Blogathon – where us film connoisseurs can vent our spleens regarding overrated and underrated films.

Here are the rules if you wish to take part:

1. Pick one movie that “everyone” loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have a score of at least 75% on 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 35% on Tell us why you love it.

3. Include the tomato meter scores of both movies.


I really didn’t like…


garden state tomatometer

Garden State (2004) is a bit of an interesting one as it was released at a time during my high school experience where everyone was all, “This film is soooo, like, representative of my complex emotions and inner turmoil”. Teenagers, right? There are a couple of things I like about this film, but on the whole, I have decided through repeat viewings that it is so mediocre, contrived and pretentious that my mind can’t really understand it. It is so twee and self-aware that my brain rejects it like it would instinctively reject images of rotten food or giant spiders. I admittedly like a lot of pretentious stuff, but this one is just intolerable to me.

Zach Braff is mumbly to the extreme and Natalie Portman plays a generic manic pixie dream girl type character, both characters displaying an amazing lack of depth. The story bumbles along at a peculiar pace until it eventually reaches a predictable and fairly melodramatic conclusion. Really not a fan!

There are some things I do like about it though. The soundtrack is pretty great with some fitting song choices, as is the composition of some/most of the shots, with some lovely cinematography by Lawrence Sher. But the overall pretentiousness and shoegaziness of it all is just too much.


I really liked…


hook tomatometer

It blows my mind that Hook (1991) has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 30%. It actually freaks me out and I refuse to believe it, because for me, this is such a beloved childhood classic. I am sure that most people of my generation will know and love this film, which makes me think that there may have been some disillusioned adults reviewing the film at the time, who didn’t quite understand its magic. Who could forget the amazing food fight scene, the one and only Rufio, the creativity of the Neverland scenery, and Peter Pan’s final showdown with the villainous Captain Hook?

Robin Williams is so great in Hook as the busy father who has no time for his children, but finds through his adventures in Neverland a renewed sense of what it is to be a child and to think from the perspectives of his children. This central premise is surrounded by the Peter Pan story, originally told by J. M. Barrie but with significant embellishments. The script can be generally cheesy and filled to the brim with many and varied emotions, but it is brought to life through the talent of Robin Williams, whose natural exuberance shines through at all times. I also love Dustin Hoffman’s performance. He is nearly unrecognisable as Captain Hook, both scary and funny at the same time.

Hook is surprisingly touching and filled with iconic moments. It’s not a perfect film but it’s filled with nostalgia for me. I also completely forgot that Steven Spielberg directed this. He’s definitely made way worse films (cough).


Will you partake in the “Against the Crowd” Blogathon this year? You have until August 21st to post your choices!


  1. Those teenagers with their complex feelings 🙂 Love the post!

    1. Haha, so complex! Thanks Natasha!

  2. SHEESH I didn’t realize I was that much older than you… : (((((((((((((((((((((((((

    (I’ve never seen either of these)


    1. Not that much older! That crappy Garden State came in towards the end of my high school career, although people were still talking about it during university.


  3. Glad to read that u still hold a soft spot for 1 of your childhood faves.
    What r your thoughts about the forthcoming Pan w Hugh Jackman?

    1. I find that I usually have a fondness towards films I watched over and over during childhood, and Hook was definitely one of those! I will definitely see Pan. Looks like a good cast!

  4. I liked Garden State but didn’t love it. For me the main character was just too selfish. Great soundtrack though, and everyone was really hoping he would do more polished films in that vein. I am guilty in that I did like the Natalie Portman role. Shame he hasn’t done too much since. I haven’t seen Hook since as a kid, but I did like it then. The joke about the grandfather finding his marbles again was lost on me at the time mind haha.

    1. I think Zach Braff made another Garden State-style film but it was not very well received at all, plus I remember it was crowdfunded which people were really angry about at the time. I love all the cute jokes in Hook! My favourite part will always be the food fight scene.

      1. It was a bit of a PR disaster from what I heard yeah. Will be interesting to know where he goes from here.

  5. Brittani · · Reply

    YES! I hate Garden State. What a pretentious piece of shit. This film depends heavily on having a good soundtrack, but when you take that away, it’s awful.

    1. Totally agreed! Imagine if the whole thing was set to Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ over and over again.

  6. I haven’t seen Garden State but I LOVED Hook! Granted, I haven’t seen it in years, but it was great! I’m so pleased you included it!

    1. I just can’t believe it has such a low score on RT! Makes me want to watch it again!

  7. I feel so out of the loop on this one. They’re two movies I meant to see at one point or another, but didn’t. You’ve now got me intrigued in both. And this is a very funny post. I love the word “shoegaziness.” I’m going to have to try and cram that in to a real conversation, somehow. Thanks for participating! Happy to have you on board, again!

    1. Thanks heaps Wendell! 🙂 You should definitely see Hook one day! Maybe avoid Garden State though.

  8. I haven’t watched Hook since I was a child but I do remember loving it back then. Damn the Tomatometer!

    1. That crazy Tomatometer hates a lot of childhood classics. Space Jam has 35%, which is also ridiculous because Space Jam is amazing.

  9. I didn’t like Garden State either. Not seen hook so I can’t comment. 🙂

    1. You should definitely see it one day, it’s a 90s childhood classic!

  10. I completely agree re: Garden State. It’s mediocre and boring, and I really can’t see why people hold it in such high regard, except for the music.

    1. Yeah, the praise has always puzzled me. It’s one of those films that’s incredibly full of itself. Even Natalie Portman couldn’t save it.

  11. abbiosbiston · · Reply

    I have to admit that I have seen both of these but can’t remember anything about either of them.

    1. Sometimes films just go in one eyeball and out the other! That’s what happened to me and Barton Fink, I totally forgot I had ever seen it.

  12. Those are pretty honourable picks, I’d say. Zach Braff is pretty barfy.

    1. Haha! Barfy is the best description ever.

  13. Hook is such a blast from the blast, can’t believe it has such a low score! And it also puts nostalgia into perspective, Hook might not be my favorite childhood movie, but I do remember it and I saw it AGES AGO so in terms of memorable/nostalgic, it deserves a higher score for sure!

    Haven’t seen Garden State so…. I guess I agree. 😀

    1. Hook was the best! I still can’t believe the low score, it’s such nostalgic goodness! As for Garden State, it’s super lame. It’s maybe worth bothering with just to see it, but it’s totally underwhelming!

  14. It s nothing he did, and I have nothing against Hawke himself, but he s introduced as a lackadaisical deadbeat dad. You know what though?

  15. […] 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 has those films […]

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