The Top 10 Movies I Liked More Than Everyone Else Did

Last May, I began what was going to be a four-part series of blogs chronicling some of my favorite and least favorite movies. I began with a list of my top 10 least favorite movies of all time, and then wrote a top 10 listing of the movies I didn’t like nearly as much as everyone else did. Immediately after that, I hit a creative slump that lasted for months – my next blog didn’t come until October. As a result, I never got a chance to finish with my ten movies I liked way more than everyone else did, and then the main event – my top 10…no scratch that, top 30 favorite films of all time. Well, it’s time to stop putting these lists off. These blogs need to happen. So  let’s get back on the saddle with today’s writing piece, all about ten movies I liked more than everyone else did. Possibly even more than you did!

Like the previous blogs, I want to make something clear: In most of these cases, I can understand why someone would consider one of these movies to be garbage. After all, not everyone has the same taste in movies. So before you send me hate mail for liking a movie you think is trash, remember that I probably see your point of view very clearly. But like the previous blogs, you aren’t allowed to send me ranting messages unless you wish to grant me unlimited access to your bank account and all your possessions. So thank you in advance for that! I know a lot of people skip these first few paragraphs when reading these types of blogs. Don’t you just love loopholes?

There is somewhat of a criteria for what I mean by “everyone else” when I say I like something more than everyone else. In fact, it can be broken down into the following three categories:

-FRIENDS/FAMILY/COWORKERS: Any collection of people I interact with on an everyday basis. They collectively seem to dislike the movie more than I did. Either they didn’t care for it or plain hated it.

-CRITICS/THE ACADEMY/IMDB/ROTTEN TOMATOES: Maybe my friends liked the movie, but the critics sure as hell didn’t. If the movie is getting critical panning, low ratings on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, no Academy nods, and it’s a movie I still enjoy, it qualifies for this list.

-THE INTERNET AS A WHOLE: Message boards are filled with vile comments against the movie. It may have a cult following, but overall it’s regarded as a waste of time and garbage. Maybe both. But as I’ve said before, as a wrestling fan, I generally ignore the majority of the comments fans make online, because they’re often rude, pushy, snobbish, or just plain dumb.

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Remember, we all have different tastes in film. Forgive me if I get a little too defensive at times. Even though I may understand your point of view, these are still ten movies that I like to a degree. So take it easy and relax. Sit back, and let’s count down:

 

THE TOP 10 MOVIES I LIKED WAY MORE THAN EVERYONE ELSE DID

 

There may be some SPOILERS ahead, so be warned. I try to avoid them where possible, but a few could slip through. Please take note before reading.

 

10. AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER

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There is little doubt that the third Austin Powers movie is the weakest of the trilogy. The first movie was a pretty fun parody of the British spy genre. The second one was good too, although not as good as the first, it featured some new jokes and plot twists that made the movie fun on its own. The third one recycles a lot of the jokes from the first two movies, and makes them enjoyable, but not as strong as the first showing. It also offers some weird character development choices for Seth Green’s Scott Evil character, and Mini-Me, not to mention the big plot twist behind Dr. Evil’s origin. Mike Myers also stretches his comedic character portrayal abilities as thin as possible with the obnoxious Goldmember character. I get that Myers wants to do yet another accent for a character, but this one really falls flat.

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We get it. He loves gold.

In fact, Goldmember’s main humor comes from other people making fun of him, and nothing that he really says or does. Whether it’s Doctor Evil mocking his accent or Nigel Powers (that would be Austin’s father) being scared of the Dutch, the only funny jokes made about Goldmember are made at his expense. In short, the third Austin Powers movie really isn’t as good as its predecessors.

All that said, I still enjoy this movie.It’s still an Austin Powers movie. Were you expecting sophisticated humor? I know I wasn’t. I was expecting Austin Powers humor, and I wasn’t disappointed. Some of the jokes I really do enjoy, like the Austin Powers movie in the opening scene. Although gags are recycled, there are new twists made to them to make them fun. There are still hilarious subtitle jokes involving Mr. Roboto, and anything Michael Caine says or does is great. While this movie isn’t a comedic masterpiece, it’s still an enjoyable ride, which is all that matters in the end.

When I feel like watching an Austin Powers movie, this is obviously my last choice, but when I do watch Austin Powers in Goldmember, I have a good time. It may be weakest of the trilogy, but is it THAT bad? I don’t think so.

 

9. GROWN UPS

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It’s an Adam Sandler comedy after the year 2000, so it’s already got that working against it. Following the success of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, it seemed like Adam Sandler started making movies for the sake of making movies. Many of his newer films were total bombs, both in quality and at the box office. In fact, I’ve been told that his movie Jack & Jill is one of the worst movies ever made. Thankfully I haven’t seen it. Still, I enjoy some of Sandler’s work, and I check out films of his I think will be enjoyable. Sometimes I’m right (The Longest Yard) and sometimes I’m wrong (Little Nicky). In the case of Grown Ups, I was right.

Grown Ups is about four childhood friends (Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade and Chris Rock…also Rob Schneider is there) who meet up when their old basketball coach passes away and wind up planning a trip to their old lake cabin for a weekend of fun. The movie is a pretty easy tale to relate to. Have you ever met up with a group of old friends who now have families and caught up with them? It’s about reminiscing and also moving forward with life. Since it’s a Happy Madison comedy, there is some gross humor thrown in (the old lady’s bunion for example isn’t very funny) but I found myself laughing at a LOT of the humor in the movie. Whether it’s the old friends mocking each other, the wives from different backgrounds bonding, or the kids reactions to everything around them, I found myself laughing a lot at this movie.

I understand why people would shy away from this film. I understand why people shy away from Adam Sandler in general these days. But in the case of Grown Ups, I had a great time, and I still regularly watch this movie when I see it on. Grown Ups 2 you can skip though. Not even Stone Cold Steve Austin makes it funny.

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I’m sorry, WHAT’S your favorite movie again?

Next time Grown Ups is on, give it a try. You might be surprised.

 

8. NAPOLEON DYNAMITE

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Napoleon Dynamite is a VERY hit or miss movie. You either really like it and find it funny, or you really hate it and think it’s awful. There really isn’t much middle ground. While it can be quite obnoxious, and while I completely understand you if you’re one of those people who thinks this movie is trash, I actually like it. But I probably like it for a different reason than you’d think.

As some of you already know, film is a true passion of mine, and it’s an industry I sadly never even got a chance with. One of my dreams was to make movies, and become a famous director, but sadly those days seem like they’re far behind me. While I remain hopeful, I still plan a lot of smaller independent film projects that I really want to get launched at some point. Because of this mindset, I have a tendency to check out and really enjoy indie films. Indie films rely solely on storytelling. There isn’t a big budget or focus on special effects to distract from the heart of the film. In a lot of ways, indie films can be better than blockbusters.

In the case of Napoleon Dynamite, it’s not a great film – I’m not going to argue that. But it’s charming in its own way. It was an indy film that made it and developed a cult following, much like Juno or Clerks. It’s also one of the only things I can truly associate with Idaho pop culture. What else is there, potatoes?

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Idaho fresh.

While Napoleon Dynamite can be a tad slow and even annoying at times, it’s not without its charm, and I appreciate that.

Side note: the first time I saw this movie, I didn’t like it, but only because we watched it in class with our professor constantly pausing it to give his own IMDB trivia list. Movies are best enjoyed uninterrupted on the first watch. Thanks for that, Vic!

 

7. MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE

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Go Go Power Rangers! As a child of the 1990’s, I grew up watching the Power Rangers kick butt. Their popularity had reached a zenith in the mid-90’s, so it was only natural for a major motion picture to come next. However, being that this was based on an (admittedly) cheesy kid’s action show, there was no way that the movie wasn’t going to be cheesy as well. The critics REALLY gave this movie a beating, but to me, it’s a classic romp through the greatness of the mid-90’s.

The movie is certainly flawed when it comes to special effects. The Ninja Megazord and the creatures they battle are not rendered all that well. Some of the action moves performed by the Rangers themselves are ridiculous, like Tommy’s flying corkscrew at the temple…even as a kid I thought that was dumb. Yeah, it’s cheesy and not super-highly budgeted…but dammit, it’s the POWER RANGERS, so BACK OFF!

If I had an actual complaint about this movie, it’s that it happened after Jason, Zach, and Trini left the group. While I have nothing against Rocky, Aisha, or Adam, they weren’t the core rangers from the original season that I grew up with. Fortunately, Billy, Kimberly, and Tommy (the best ranger ever) were still there. As for the villains, Ivan Ooze is one of the coolest villains in Power Rangers history.

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Look at how badass that look is. No wonder Zordon almost met his end to this dude.

Ivan Ooze would go down in Power Rangers history as one of the funniest villains too. His commentary and one-liners still make me giggle as an adult. The way he bullies Goldar (another extremely badass looking villain) is hilarious. He looks cool, he sounds cool, and his hostile takeover of Lord Zedd’s palace and no-sell of Zedd’s powers shows he’s not someone to be messed with. Ivan Ooze is so badass, he would eventually become a gun wielding reverend in Hot Fuzz.

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“Fuck off, grasshopper.”

The storyline of the movie explains how the Rangers got the ninja powers, which would be the next evolution of the show after the Thunderzord era. While the show’s official canon would take a different turn, using a weird blue Mega Man like character called Ninjor, this movie had the Rangers journey across space to a distant world to obtain their abilities. While the plot is silly and farfetched, the entire concept of the Power Rangers has always been corny. Tell the critics to shove it and just enjoy the ride. Granted, if you’re not a fan of the show, you’d probably hate this movie, but if you were, it’s a really, really, good time.

Also, Dulcea.

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6. ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE

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In the late 80’s, Disney had an animation resurgence. After a long period of time without any really good or classic animated hits, they gave us The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and other spectacular films that were both visually stunning and emotionally engaging with great characters, stories, locations, and song numbers. As the 2000’s approached, Disney appeared to lose a step, and the critics starting getting harsher towards their animated movies. So when Disney released this tale about the lost city of Atlantis, devoid of big song numbers, it got horribly panned – and in my opinion, deserved none of it.

Milo isn’t going to be a classic hero, and Kida isn’t going to be a legendary princess that becomes synonymous with Disney, but the movie itself is good. Damn good. In fact, I’d even say this is Disney’s darkest movie since The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996. It has a brilliant voice cast, supernatural elements wrapped in legend, spectacular animation that doesn’t distract from the story, a lot of good humor, and even a really good villainous plot.

So why was this movie so hated by people? Your guess is as good as mine.

I noticed that Doug Walker, better known as the Nostalgia Critic, also did a list like this, and this movie made his list too. It’s amazing to me that people overlook this story, as I think it’s in the top percentage of Disney numbered animated films. It’s the Youngster Joey’s Rattata of Disney films!

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Pictured: A perfectly reasonable comparison to Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

Maybe because this movie followed the awesome buddy comedy of The Emperor’s New Groove, and was then followed by the awful Chicken Little, that’s why it kind of got pushed aside. But seriously, it’s a really good film that anyone who likes Disney, animation, history or just good storytelling should consider watching. It has emotional moments, funny moments, and even some moments that put you on the edge of your seat. Check out this movie if you’ve never seen it. I can’t hype it up enough!

 

5. ARMAGEDDON

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I love disaster movies. They’re one of my ultimate guilty pleasures when it comes to movies. None of them are particularly great, but they don’t have to be. They just need to have a story that kinda-sorta makes sense and then have a lot of famous landmarks exploding. Even if they story isn’t so great, it helps to have a fun cast with hilarious moments and lots and lots of destruction. Armageddon has all of that.

Armageddon came out in the summer of 1998, on the heels of Deep Impact, a bad movie that the critics loved, because Morgan Freeman was the president in it. They actually liked it because the story was “realistic.” Even though a comet striking Earth won’t cause damage (look it up) they went with the whole premise of “who lives and who dies.” Not a horrible idea by any means, but I really hated that movie. In fact, i you look at my “Top 10 Movies I Didn’t Like But Everyone Else Did” blog, I mention Deep Impact. Meanwhile, Armageddon had the critics all saying it was bad, while I kept saying it was good!

Come on, Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck go blow up an asteroid. How can you not love that?

Plus this movie made Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” infamous. You all know it. If you don’t, here it is:

Armageddon has everything a good disaster movie should have – a plot that’s is JUST above the believable line (not really but work with me here), a colorful and fun group of characters that you actually care about, lots and lots of things blowing up, TONS of comedy, an emotional punch to the gut (the ending…I won’t spoil it but if you’ve seen it you know what I mean), and a killer soundtrack. Armageddon has it all – except for the critic’s backing.

But screw them. I know fun when I see it.

Is the movie ridiculous at times? Of course it is, it’s about an asteroid that is going to destroy the planet that came out of nowhere, and they send a bunch of drillers in place of trained astronauts up to destroy it. Are the characters completely over the top? Yes…Steve Buscemi is up there after all. Are the actual destruction scenes a little crazy? Duh, it’s a disaster film. Is it a great movie? No. Is It a good, fun movie? YES. Stop ragging on it.

 

4. SPACE JAM

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Yes, there are people out there who HATE Space Jam. Don’t believe me? Google them. They exist, and they will probably piss you off to no end when you see the comments they make about this film.

Space Jam was a HUGE part of my childhood. I mean, it’s Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes playing basketball! Sure, Jordan isn’t a great actor, and the storyline isn’t a classic Looney Tunes cartoon, but who cares? A lot of people apparently…but they can get squashed by a MonStar for all I care.

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I didn’t know Dan Aykroyd was in this picture.

Excellent cameos. All the classic characters. REALLY funny jokes. It’s amazing that people hate this movie. But I am not one of them. I will always love this movie, and I will always watch it with a giddy smile on my face. I love this movie.

I’m actually getting mad having to defend Space Jam. Time to move on.

 

3. CLOVERFIELD

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Now here is a movie that, if you hate it, I completely understand. In fact, I could probably count on one hand the number of friends who loved this movie as much as I did. I’ve had over 100 friends tell me they HATED this movie, and some even called it the worst movie they’ve ever seen. That’s pretty harsh criticism. I can’t honestly say I can defend your opinion that far, but if you think this movie is trash, I can easily see why. Extra-shaky found footage, a weird and non-explained plot, some pretty annoying characters, and a military that’s been called “the worst monster movie military of all time.” It’s very easy to understand the hatred this movie gets.

So why did I love it? I think it boils down to two elements for me. One, it’s a monster movie, which I have a definite soft spot for. Two, it was shot in a (then) relatively unfamiliar film style. Some films had done this prior, but I didn’t like them, such as The Blair Witch Project. For some reason, I was REALLY intrigued by the found footage style for this type of movie. While I can understand a complaint about the monster not having an origin story, that’s actually an element of the film I really enjoyed. It showed how the average person would react to such a horrible situation. There was limited information on what was happening, because the people directly involved with the camera had no idea what was going on. The military seemed a little disorganized and prone to destruction at the expense of the civilians, but again, they had no idea how to react to such an incident. This is a monster attack, people! How would YOU react? Yeah, the characters kind of suck, but this movie helped launch T.J. Miller’s acting career, which has landed him some cool roles in movies I really enjoy, like Deadpool and How to Train Your Dragon.

If the found footage style of this film makes you sick, don’t completely write it off. Some movies using the style are actually done very well. Into the Storm and Chronicle are two prime examples that come to mind. Give them and the genre a fair shot. If you don’t like Cloverfield, I’m not blaming you. But I think some of the criticism it gets is way out of line. Sure it’s far from being a great movie by any means, but the worst movie of all time? Hardly. Call it a bad movie if you will, but there are WAY worse movies out there.

In fact I can think of 20 in past blogs I wrote about. Even with a clear head, I wouldn’t list any of them over Cloverfield. Sorry haters. I’m not siding with you on this one.

And for those of you leaving comments on my work, can you please not write an essay about your hatred of Cloverfield please? I’d like actual feedback on the blog. I know how people feel about this movie already, so you’re not going to add anything to it. Thanks!

 

2. INDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

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The Indiana Jones franchise are classic film serials which are a tribute to the B-movies that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas grew up loving. Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade are some of the best movies ever made, while Temple of Doom isn’t as good but is still a fun ride. When Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out in 2008, a lot of people got their first experience with Indy on the big screen. Most everyone agrees that this is the worst of the four Indiana Jones movies, but come on, was it really THAT bad?

James Rolfe, better known as the Angry Video Game Nerd, did a top 10 list where he talked about sequels that weren’t as bad as everyone said they were, and this was the very top of the list. He made a lot of good points about audiences taking the film too seriously, and acting as though nothing bizarre ever happened in an Indiana Jones film. While he understands the film’s major complaints (the monkeys, gopher, fridge and alien) he also makes some good counter points to those complaints. As silly as the monkeys and gopher are, they only last a few seconds. Sure, hiding in a refrigerator to avoid a nuclear blast isn’t possible, but neither was diving out a plane on an inflatable raft and landing on a mountain side. My favorite part was his comment about the alien: “Was it that surprising? It’s right there in the title! The crystal skulls are thought to be extraterrestrial. There were all kinds of documentaries about them on when this movie came out, but I guess nobody watched them.”

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It was in the title the whole time.

Was there too much CGI? Sure, I get that. But the plot wasn’t all that bad. And who didn’t mark out seeing Harrison Ford don the hat and whip one more time? If you go back and watch the old movies and pick apart the plot lines, NONE of them make sense! But if you do that, you probably hate fun. So don’t do that.

I had a really good time watching this movie. I get the complaints, but I don’t think it was that much worse than Temple of Doom. Raiders and Crusade are classics that can’t be beat, but there’s no way I can agree with people who rip this movie apart unmercifully. Is this what people are going to be saying about the next movie? All I hear are people acting excited that a fifth movie is even happening. I can’t wait for that to get ripped apart too!

On a side note, the South Park episode (which James mentions too) about all this is brilliant. You should definitely check it out. They mock the common complaints about the movie itself AND how the fans overreacted to the film. They even depict Indy being raped by Lucas and Spielberg! Classic South Park humor.

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Season 12, Episode 8 – “The China Problem.” Watch it!

 

1. STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE

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It all comes down to this. The Star Wars prequels as a whole are panned by everyone from film critics to fans to my own friends and family. It’s definitely the most hated film on this list by far, because it’s the most watched, highest grossing, and part of the biggest franchise in cinema history. It’s totally understandable why people hate on the Star Wars prequels, especially shifting their main focus on The Phantom Menace. I get it. But at the same time, I not only enjoyed the Star Wars prequels…I really enjoyed them.

To really analyze this one, I have to break it down piece by piece. Let’s start with the common complaints.

-Too much CGI. Yes, there is definitely an over-abundance of CGI effects used here, to the point where nothing even looks like a special effect anymore. BUT, Episode 1 also used a LOT of practical effects that never get proper credit.

-Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker is annoying. Agreed, but what were you expecting? This isn’t Drew Barrymore in Interview with a Vampire or even Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street. Did anyone see Jingle All The Way? He was whiny in that movie too. George Lucas isn’t exactly known for riveting dialog, and while people hate admitting it, the original Star Wars movies didn’t always have the best acting or lines either. Let little Jamie have his Turbo Man and move on.

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Still one of my favorite Arnold roles.

-Midichlorians. No argument here. I preferred when the Force was more mystical too, but you can’t win them all.

-Jar Jar Binks. I get it, he’s probably the worst character in any Star Wars film, but can you really blame George Lucas for trying? He wanted to create a character the kids would love, and when it didn’t work, he tuned him down for the other installments. Plus, the fans LOVE making fan theories about him. I think a lot of you secretly like Jar Jar.

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“Meesa back!” The greatest Sith lord of all time?

-Politics. Is this really a big shocker? Did you think the prequels were just going to be Jedi battles and somehow an Empire formed around this? Besides, if you listen to my podcast Talkin’ Talkies, we sort of explained our Emperor Palpatine theory and how he planned EVERYTHING from the start. Since I don’t have those episodes backlogged yet, the basic jist is to pay attention to everything he does from the start and see how he manipulates everything around him. He makes the Trade Federation blockade Naboo because that can help him get elected to chancellor, and manipulates Queen Amidala into throwing a vote of no confidence at the present chancellor. Once he wins the election, it’s a simple matter of creating a war and playing both sides, until he can finally convince the senate that the Jedi are evil, and restructure the republic into an empire. It’s actually freaking brilliant, and too much to type out here. We can discuss this one on one if you like.

Okay those are some of the big complaints, now let’s take a fair shake as to the good elements.

-Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Ian McDiarmid. No matter what your complaints are about Episode 1, they get some top notch actors to play pivotal roles in the story. Ewan McGregor captures a young Obi-Wan Kenobi perfectly, while Ian McDiarmid shines as a younger Senator Palpatine. Liam Neeson does a great job performing the calm yet disobedient Qui-Gon Jinn. Natalie Portman, who can do no wrong, plays a perfect strong female leading role as the woman who would eventually become the mother of Luke and Leia. Do I really need to comment on Samuel L. Jackson?

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Say “trade dispute” one more time…

-Pacing. The film is paced extremely well. Even though the dialog can be clunky, there’s never a moment of truly wasted motion. That’s a good thing in any film.

-The worlds. Naboo is beautiful, and the concept of Courscant is incredible. You can’t possibly hate on that.

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Probably the prettiest planet in the galaxy.

-The soundtrack. Duel of the Fates. ’nuff said.

-The Podrace. An original idea that simply wasn’t possible in the original films. The podrace itself is exciting and features from genuinely funny moments involving Watto’s ridiculous gambling habit and Jabba the Hutt’s attention span.

-The battles. A cool space battle, a cool field battle, and one of the best Lightsaber fights in all of Star Wars canon. If you didn’t enjoy the triple threat between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul, I seriously don’t think anything can entertain you.

Do the Star Wars prequels have faults? Most definitely. A lot of them. Are they bad movies? They aren’t great movies. Are they THAT bad? I say no. Even Episode 1, my least favorite out of all of them, is still a movie I enjoy.

Star Wars can absolutely do no wrong!

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OH WAIT YES THEY CAN.

 

So what did you think of my movie picks Are they ten movies you hated? That’s okay! I totally get it! But I’m still going to defend them regardless.

My apologies that this blog came so much later than my last movie blogs. I really hate creative slumps, and I’m glad to be back into the rhythm, even though I don’t think this was as strong as my other writings.

So what comes next? The big movie blog MAIN EVENT. I’m going to list my favorite movies of all time. But this won’t be a top 10, no sir…not even a top 20…I’m going for 30! Much like my favorite Simpsons episodes blog, there are simply too many movies I truly love to not get a full list together and count them off. From small indie films to gigantic blockbuster productions, I like films from every genre, every era, and every art styles…but only 30 of them will make this cut. Which will they be? Stay tuned to find out!

JERSEY RAIN!!!

 

 

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