Unpopular opinions: we have them. A spirited behind-the-scenes discussion about the pop culture trends we just aren’t that into blossomed into this blog post, in which we confess how much we really don’t like that thing. Or, conversely, like that thing nobody else likes. Grab a bushel of rotten tomatoes and get ready to pelt us, because we’re sorry-not-sorry about the following things:
Unpopular Opinion: I don’t understand why people like Vertigo. Its overdramatic, ridiculous plot is equaled only by the overacting. I get the cinematography and music are great, but that can be said of some car commercials, too. I’ve watched it several times over the years and I still don’t get the hype. If you want to enjoy some Hitchcock, for my money, you’re better off with Rear Window or Strangers on a Train.
Unexpected Opinion: I’m addicted to Project Runway. No one has ever accused me of being stylish, I have no clue when Fashion Week takes place, I think fashion industry beauty standards are pretty horrible/harmful, and I don’t watch any other competition shows. However, I’ve seen almost every episode of Project Runway, know the name of the dog in the fabric store where the designers shop, and have been the driving force that has devolved more than one book club meeting into a discussion of last week’s challenge.
My feelings about Gone Girl are akin to Elaine’s feelings about The English Patient: I really, really hated the book. I actually couldn’t even get through it, I disliked it so much! I wonder if I hadn’t read this book just before starting it if I would have liked Gone Girl better. That said, I am looking forward to seeing the film of Gone Girl. Even as I was reading it, I thought that it might be one of those rare books that I prefer as a movie.
I cannot stand Tom Hanks. Something about his characters, and I’m not sure what, makes me want to introduce their faces to a concrete wall – but I would never do that, because I’m sure Mr. Hanks is probably a decent fellow overall. Heck, he collects typewriters, which is just just quirky enough to make me give him a pass.
And even though I don’t like him, I would never try to stop you from liking him – we have a wide array of 53 different Hanksian DVDs here in the Main library (both fiction and nonfiction) for you to choose from. Please, take them home so I don’t have to look at them.
Brace yourself nerds, because I’m about to tell you something you’ve probably never heard someone say: I don’t hate the Star Wars prequels.
I’ll give you a minute to calm down.
You good? Great!
Now, I’m not saying they’re better than the Original Trilogy, but they’re not as awful as the Internet will have you believe. The Phantom Menace, while giving us Jar-Jar Binks (ugh) and Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker, also gave us Liam Neeson as a bad-ass Jedi, Darth Maul, and podracing, which led to one of the greatest video games of all time. And then there’s the grandness of John Williams‘s music and gorgeous costume design.
Also, can we just talk about Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi for a second. He totally dissolved into the role and flawlessly channeled Sir Alec Guinness. Since Disney is in Star Wars spin-off mode now, I’d love to see more adventures with McGregor as Obi-Wan set between the trilogies, not unlike in Kenobi.
And while I’m irking nerds, let me say this: Having not yet seen Interstellar, Christopher Nolan‘s best film was The Prestige and The Dark Knight Rises, despite being filmed in Pittsburgh (much to my joy), was underwhelming.
I’ll be hiding over there now. Thanks.
There are some beloved cultural icons that, in truth, just make me shudder. In the literary world, The Cat in the Hat always made me nervous, both as a child hearing the story and as an adult while reading the story either in a professional role or in my personal life. I was loath to read it aloud to my kids, for fear my anxiety about the mother coming home to find “Thing One” and “Thing Two” still there with the house a complete mess, would show in the telling of the story and thus I would be passing on my irrational fear of Dr. Seuss characters to them.
That same sense of anxiety creeps over me whenever I’m subjected to an old episode of I Love Lucy (especially the chocolate factory episode) or The Honeymooners. I don’t love Lucy but only find her frustratingly bumbling. And her relationship with her husband, for me, borders too closely on condescension and disrespect that I cringe when I see them together. That same cringing is felt whenever I see clips from The Honeymooners. The yelling and threatening between couples and friends makes my skin crawl and my fingers itch to dial the local family welfare office number. I’m probably the only person who isn’t over the moon and in love with these cultural icons. Sorry, not sorry.
I’m not sure if this is an unpopular opinion or a dirty secret, but…I still like Duran Duran.
Not just the 80s-era Duran Duran, mind you. I’m talking about 1992’s Wedding Album, a track from which was cleverly used in the film Layer Cake. I’m talking about the abomination of a cover album, Thank You, which is so bad, it’s brilliant. Liberty has its moments. Red Carpet Massacre is dance-worthy, with a little help from Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. And All You Need is Now is a nice reminder that getting older doesn’t have to mean giving up doing what you’re good at. Especially if you’re still pretty good at it (auto-tune notwithstanding).
You can laugh if you want. It’s not like I can hear you anyway…
Hi. My name is Melissa. (Response: “Hi Melissa!”) I’m here today because I have a confession to make. Once I tell you this particular fact about myself, you may never look at my blog posts the same way ever again. But that’s the chance I just have to take. It will be good to get this off my chest once and for all. I’m hoping that this announcement will finally free me. So here goes… I don’t like Tolkein. I’ve no interest whatsoever in seeing the movies and I’ve never read any of his books all the way through.
It’s not that I haven’t tried. I have. I attempted to read The Hobbit myself a couple of times. I even had someone special in my life read it to me, thinking that maybe read aloud it would hold my interest. But it was a no go on any of these occasions. I don’t think I ever made it past the first chapter without falling asleep or getting bored. (And I have too many things on my “To Read” list to read something that I’m not completely into.) I’ve always been surrounded by people in my life who LOVE Tolkien’s stories. So, it’s not necessarily that my “tribe” had any sort of prejudice against him. It’s just me.
But please understand that I haven’t passed my biases down to my progeny. My son loves The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and The Hobbit as well. I haven’t convinced him to read the books yet, but I’m working on it. He just prefers nonfiction right now. But eventually I’ll bring one of Tolkien’s tomes home, put it in front of him and we’ll see what happens then. Just know that it won’t be me reading it. Thanks for listening.
I like quite a few things other people would consider twee–such as Wes Anderson films, Belle & Sebastian, making soup, baking, cardigans, cats, and mix-tapes. I also like some very un-twee-like things that people may not expect, which is good, because otherwise I might be borderline insufferable.
For example, I love AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and many songs others might consider Jock Jams. And do you know what else I like? Really stupid action movies. I like the Fast & Furious series of movies, and not because they’re works of art (although they kind of are), but because they’re super fun and there are lots of scenes where cars drive really, really fast while Jock Jams play.
I love movies with tons of gratuitous violence (with one caveat: I don’t care about horror movies or cars.) I was cheering in the theater when President Bill Pullman gave his final speech in Independence Day. I am the girl who thinks it’s perfectly appropriate to go see Reservoir Dogs on a first date. Armageddon, Natural Born Killers, Face-Off, anything with “air” in the title (Air Force One, ConAir), everything by Quentin Tarantino. I love ’em all. And OMG, if it has a terrible Aerosmith song as the theme or is historical (Alexander, Gladiator, Spartacus) I’m in Heaven!
I don’t “get” the Beastie Boys. In fact, I find them un-listenable-to. I have no idea why they are considered pioneers.
No shame dear reader, no shame.
Frozen was one of the biggest movies of 2014 even though it technically was released towards the end of 2013. Just by mentioning the word, I’m sure that “Let It Go” is popping up in everyone’s minds. Please try to contain your excitement or anger. A lot of people love the movie and some have even coined it the best Disney movie ever. I was NOT one of those people.
Personally, I think that it was overrated for a couple of reasons. One is because it had elements that we’ve seen before in other Disney movies. For example, the love story. We’ve seen this a dozen times (Aladdin & Princess Jasmine, Ariel & Prince Eric, Simba & Nala, etc.) Another example is the princess element. I mean, there’s a whole section in our series collection at our CLP location devoted to Disney princesses. Nuff said. Also, there was singing which we’ve seen in just about every single Disney movie. It’s rare to see a Disney movie without singing.
Sure, it’s the highest grossing Disney movie of all time, but that doesn’t make it the best. I can name several Disney movies that were better (The Lion King, Aladdin, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and The Incredibles) just to name a few. “Let It Go” was a big part of the movie’s popularity and yes it’s a decent song, but The Lion King’s soundtrack blows that out of the water. Overall, Frozen was a cute movie, but it’s not worth all of the hype.
My husband claims that if he really knew how much I disliked Elvis, there’s a good chance that we wouldn’t have made it past our first date, much less down the aisle. He says it’s absolutely un-American to hate Elvis. Maybe so. Regardless, I can’t stand anything about him. (Elvis, I mean; The Husband’s all right … most days.) Doesn’t matter whether it’s the sappy, every-song-sounds-the-same music or the cheesy-looking movies I have no intention of ever seeing, I’m the girl holding the door wide open whenever Elvis leaves the building.
Quick and dirty: I’ve never seen Jurassic Park. Why? I dislike Hometown Hero Jeff Goldblum that much. Like Tara, I love the Fast & Furious movies (Tokyo Drift!). My love of crazy action movies also extends to both 300 and 300: Rise of an Empire (I am here for Queen Gorgo). I’m more than happy to help Ginny derail book club to talk about Project Runway (We love Fabio and Dmitry). I think Woody Allen is overrated. Yes, even Annie Hall.
We’ll give you a few moments to recover from shock. But once you’ve mustered up your outrage, make sure to leave us a comment and tell us why we’re wrong. Or, quite possibly, why we’re absolutely, positively right.