Blogathons

Against the Crowd Blogathon 2021

If we all felt the same way about every movie, there would be no point in discussing them, would there? That’s the basis of Dell’s annual blogathon, Against the Crowd. If you aren’t familiar with Dell on Movies, check out his blog now and give him a follow, his knowledge of movies is so enviable! I’ve only taken part in Against the Crowd once before I think, but I’m already looking forward to taking part again next year!

I won’t try and explain the rules because 1, I’ll mess it up and confuse you and 2, Dell has already done a wonderful job himself, so here they are for you now:

  • Pick one movie “everyone” loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have score of 75% or more on rottentomatoes.com (or at least 7.5 on imdb.com). Tell us why you hate it.
  • Pick one movie that “everyone” hates (the more notorious, the better). That movie must have a score of 35% or less on rottentomatoes.com (or 4.0 or less on imdb.com). Tell us why you love it.
  • Include the tomato meter scores of both movies.
  • Use one of the banners in this post, or feel free to create your own (just include all the pertinent details), or just mention this blogathon if using an audio or visual medium.
  • Let us know what two movies you intend on writing, vlogging, posting, or podcasting about in one of the following ways: Comment on this or any AtC 2021 post on this site, tweet me, or hit me up on instagram @dellonmovies, or e-mail me at dellott@yahoo.com.
  • Publish your post on any day from Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12, 2021, and include a link to this announcement. If you’re a podcaster or YouTuber that is interested in participating just talk about your chosen movies during your closest podcast and/or video to those dates and mention that you are taking part in this blogathon.
  • If posting on social media, use the hashtag #AgainstTheCrowd2021

I very nearly picked a pair of quite recent movies where the tomato meter score shocked me, but I hand-on-heart think most of you could agree with my views and that’s not quite so fun, so I’m going with a couple of older movies. One very old, and another that just makes me feel old. I apologise in advance for my views, and it was great having you as a follower up until this fateful day.

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Casablanca (1942) 99%

Yikes, I knew Casablanca would have a high score, but I wasn’t expecting it to be 99%. I watched it around 6-7 years ago for the first time back when I was determined to watch all of IMDB’s Top 250 movies. I never made it, but one day for sure. I straight up hated the movie, I’m sorry. I’m not a lover of old movies to begin with, but there are of course exceptions to that rule. I love a bit of romance, but I’m too modern and I need more substance and excitement on screen to really hook me.

What I hated the most was the famous line, “Here’s looking at you, kid”. First of all, ‘kid’ isn’t an endearing term to me. That’s what one of my neighbours calls out to me when he’s out walking his dog. Secondly, it felt like it was already decided that was a great line that would be famous, so it was going to be stuck into the movie as many times as possible. As the youth of today would say, it gave me the ‘ick’.

So yeah. I’m really sorry – but nothing about Casablanca appealed to me at all.

Here’s the importance of doing your homework before writing a blog post. I’d already decided my ‘hated’ movie was going to be Twilight but I’m looking it up now to find the score and it’s higher than I expected! So good in fact, that it breaks the rules if I chose it. So if you’ll allow me some desperate scrabbling time…

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Bubble Boy (2001) 31%

So I delved into some of my favourite actors and sought out which ones were rated bad. As last month was Jake Gyllenhaal month here it seemed fitting to pick one of his movies and I was APPALLED to learn that Bubble Boy was rated so low. What more do you people want?! It’s a charming little romcom from 20 years ago featuring an adorable baby-faced Gyllenhaal playing a boy forced to stay inside because he has no immune system. No one can stay inside forever however, so he designs himself a bubble suit to enable him to go outdoors and let’s face it, the way the world is heading this movie might not be so fictional after all.

It’s just a cute movie. Is it great? No. No it isn’t. But it’s charming and entertaining and I’d watch it 10 times back to back before I watch Casablanca again. In fact, it has a better romance than Casablanca, and it even has a better memorable quote. “Dog poo?! This is awesome!”.

Thank you Dell, for allowing me to ruin any credibility I might have had. I’ll accept the abuse likely to be thrown my way in the comments!

Blogathons

Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021

Drew and Kim are back again with their Ultimate Decades Blogathon! In previous years they’ve covered the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s – but rather than go back further in time this year they’re switching up the format and are focusing on years ending in a 1. You can find a list with all of this year’s entries here. With so many movies in so many eligible years, it was impossible for me to pick just 1 movie to talk about so instead I’m bringing you 5 of my favourite movies spanning 5 decades!

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1971 – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

I’ve watched very few movies from the 70s but one of those just so happens to be one of my childhood classics. Watching it now, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is quite a terrifying story but as a child it was magical. Didn’t we all just wish we could visit the factory and eat all the sweets and chocolate we could?

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1981 – Raiders of the Lost Ark

This blogathon serves as a perfect reminder that I need to have an Indiana Jones marathon soon. I remember watching the Indiana Jones live show at Disney World as a child and thinking I was watching the real deal. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve seen every movie in the franchise yet so watch this space but in the meantime, can we all agree Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best of them all?

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1991 – Beauty and the Beast

I talk about this amazing, greatest of all time Disney movie far too much so I’ll keep this brief but come on, this was the only option for me. My Mum likes to tell me that this movie was played so much when I was little the VHS tape was worn to nothing but as it’s also her favourite Disney movie I’m not convinced that it was me who demanded it be played daily.

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2001 – Donnie Darko

There were a lot of movies I wanted to pick for this year but it has to be Donnie Darko. It opened my eyes to a movie genre that wasn’t animation, action or comedy and was basically the beginning of my love for weird movies. There’s something new to discover with every watch of Donnie Darko.

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2011 – The Muppets

Yes, I know this is an odd choice. There were some fantastic movies released in 2011, but I’ve realised that subconsciously I’ve been picking movies that mean something to me on a deeper level rather than simply great movies, and so I had to pick The Muppets. If I were to explain my sense of humour to you – this movie is it. It’s essentially me in movie form. And fun fact – at our wedding we walked back down the aisle to ‘Life’s a Happy Song’!

Blogathons

Girl Week 2019: Female Directors of 2019

For now the 5th year running, Dell at Dell on Movies is celebrating all things female in the movie world with his Girl Week Blogathon. Last year I decided to write a post about my favourite female directors of the year, and came to a shocking discovery that out of the 47 2018 releases I’d seen so far that year, only 4 were directed by women. FOUR. Can you believe that? It meant that instead of writing about my favourite 4 movies directed by women, I had to talk about literally the only 4 movies directed by women that I’d seen!

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So this year it seemed only right to check my stats for 2019 so far and see if there’s been any difference. At the time of writing, I’ve seen 70 of this year’s releases so far, and 8 of them have been directed by women. That’s still shockingly bad, isn’t it? 2 of those 8 are co-directed by women, too.

To be completely honest – I don’t make a concentrated effort to find female-directed movies. I’d had to look up each movie in my diary on Letterboxd because I don’t pay much attention. Next year, I think I owe it to my fellow gals to actively watch their movies!

Still, 8 gives me a big enough number to at least do a Top 5, so let’s crack on with that. Missing out on my Top 5 are:
#8 Wine Country, Directed by Amy Poehler
#7 Someone Great, Directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
#6 Little, Directed by Tina Gordon Chism

Which leave my Top 5 as:

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#5 Late Night, Directed by Nisha Ganatra

I’m of the opinion right now that Emma Thompson can actually do no wrong. Even in the most mediocre movie, her mere presence lights up the screen. I missed Late Night in the cinemas because of the luke-warm reviews but gave it a chance in the end. Whilst I didn’t love it, I still laughed a lot. There’s plenty to like here, even if it does get a little heavy on the politics at times.

Nisha Ganatra has also directed Chutney Popcorn (1999).

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#4 Captain Marvel, Directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Bowden

It’s that time of year now where I sound like a broken record, “NO WAY was this released this year” but seriously, does Captain Marvel feel as recent as it is to anyone else? Perhaps it’s just because the trolls have been crying for over a year now. I’m well overdue a rewatch of Captain Marvel but flaws aside I really enjoyed it, and I thought Captain Marvel made a fine addition to the team in Endgame, too.

Ryan Fleck and Anna Bowden also directed Half Nelson (2006).

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#3 Always Be My Maybe, Directed by Nahnatchka Khan

2019 has to go down as the year of Keanu Reeves, right? Can we all hand-on-heart honestly say we would have watched this little Netflix gem if we didn’t know Keanu Reeves had the best cameo of all time in it? Keanu aside, whilst the movie world is flooded with lame romcoms, Always Be My Maybe is one of the good, if not great ones, and is equal parts hilarious and heart warming. Well worth a watch if you haven’t already.

Always Be My Maybe (2019) is Nahnatchka Khan’s directional debut. 

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#2 Frozen 2, Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

I haven’t written my full post for Frozen 2 yet because it’s one of those movies that I really enjoyed, but ask me to talk about it and I can only nitpick at the parts I didn’t like. It IS good though. It has a big theme around growing up, and maturity, which is fitting really for it’s main audience who are 6 years older than they were when the original came out! Can you tell I’m completely avoiding talking about my feelings towards it? Watch this space…

Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee also directed Frozen (2013).

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#1 Booksmart, Directed by Olivia Wilde

This one sure divided opinions, huh? There’s a ‘this is the next Superbad’ camp and a ‘this is entirely overrated’ camp from what I could tell. I was never a huge fan of Superbad to be honest, but I loved Booksmart. Not all the jokes landed, but it was a perfect representation of female friendship.

Booksmart (2019) is Olivia Wilde’s directional debut.

Finally – if you don’t already follow Dell on Movies you should right that wrong straight away, keep an eye out on his blog for a Girl Week roundup next week!

Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic (#22) I Have Spoken!

It’s been quiet here this last week – partly because I haven’t watched any movies and partly because I’ve been playing The Witcher 3 far too much. It’s such a time sinker! I turn it on, tell myself I’ll only play for an hour, and before I know it I’m dropping to sleep in front of the screen because it’s 11pm and I haven’t stopped. It’s made me even more excited for the Netflix show but at the same time…Henry Cavill just isn’t my Geralt. We’ll see.

Last week I complained about Disney+ and well, let’s just say I watched the first episode of The Mandalorian anyway. In fact, by the time I publish this post I’ll have seen episode 2 as well. It’s SO GOOD. Like, better than I thought it could be. What is it with droids in Star Wars? They literally steal the show. IG-11 had me in stitches, I sure hope he can be fixed.

This weekend I’m seeing Last Christmas which I’m so excited about, despite the terrible reviews I saw on Twitter. I’m fairly sure The Report is out too so I’m going to have to stay away from games this weekend to squeeze it in.
(If it’s not blatantly obvious yet – I wrote this post last Friday expecting to post it over the weekend. I’ve seen Last Christmas. Haven’t stopped crying yet.)

In other blog news I need to highlight something that Dell at Dell on Movies is working on. For 5 years now Dell is hosting his annual Girl Week blogathon. It’s running from 25th November till 1st December and it’s all about celebrating women in the movie world. Last year I wrote a post highlighting the female directors of 2018, and I’m planning a very similar post again. Check out Dell’s announcement post here, and if you don’t follow him already, you really should!

Blogathons

2019 Blind Spot Movie List

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Apologies for the radio silence for the last week or so, but I’ve just been taking the time to enjoy the Christmas break, as well as deal with a lot of illnesses (and a broken TV!) in the family. I’ve spent some time planning for 2019 and part of that includes taking part in the Blind Spot challenge, created originally by Ryan at The Matinee and now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes.

I’ve tried a couple of years to take part but always fell behind around Spring. I think it’s because I picked movies that although deemed classic, amazing, must-see, etc – they weren’t movies that really interested me, so it was really hard to find the drive to give up an evening for them.

This year I’ve been more realistic about what I think I would actually like to watch, and so without further ado, here are my choices for 2019:

JANUARY – Oldboy (2003)

FEBRUARY – Rear Window (1954)

MARCH – Saving Private Ryan (1998)

APRIL – Heat (1995)

MAY – The Matrix (1999)

JUNE – Gladiator (2000)

JULY – American Beauty (1999)

AUGUST – Chicago (2002)

SEPTEMBER – The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

OCTOBER – The Shining (1980)

NOVEMBER – Million Dollar Baby (2004)

DECEMBER – Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Wish me luck! I’ll update this post with links as and when my reviews are up, and I’ll probably pin the post to the menu of my blog for easy viewing.