Never the less, like The Dark Knight Rises before; many came to insult the critics that don’t share the same world view as them. And given how The Force Awakens was spit roasted by right-wing anti SJW commentators that regularly criticise ANTIFA for attacking people who they disagree with politically; that’s saying a lot giving their low view of fans of Rogue One and Episode 7. So where did all this hate and yet constant need of approval from this poor site come from? When it comes to Rotten Tomatoes being used as well a fire starter of back lash from disappointed audiences; the trend usually involves a big budget blockbuster being panned by critics and triggered fanboys lose their shit; despite the opposite happening now to Star Wars; this didn’t start with Suicide Squad, or X-Men: Apocalypse, despite starting the bullshit rumors of the site taking bribes from Disney; it didn’t even start with Batman V Superman, but it started with its predecessor: Man of Steel. 2013 was a divisive year for cinema geek culture. With multiple big releases such as Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 splitting their fan bases down the middle in terms of their responses. Hell at the time Thor’s second solo film was the MCU’s lowest rated project before Inhumans took that title. But Man of Steel was possibly the most divisive movie ever in terms of its quality explained by the reviews at the time. As the film was discussed as either being a cancer to the name of the Superman character, or the cure for said cancer. With the Rotten Tomatoes score reflecting this with a 56% rating. With many people calling Zach Snyder a hack, many of them brought up the film’s Rotten Tomatoes score as proof the film’s failures, and as someone who can say they liked and still keep a straight face, there are some worth mentioning. But whatever positive aspects that can be said about the film didn’t matter to those that were out for Snyder’s blood, because they got slightly more than half of the critics on their side.
And mob rule it was. As numerous well-known film reviewers on sites like You Tube became the fuel of many flame wars in the comment sections of their reviews of the film. This brought two faces of both sides debating it. As the discussion devolved into the extreme ends of fanboys and haters both throwing any coherent opinions against them in the dumpster file of those amused by loud noises and fancy special effects; or the dumpster of ‘they’re slamming the film based on bias perceptions of how they personally think a Superman movie should be made and nothing else’, all for ease of dismissal. The problem became less the faults of the film, but the spite often coming of those discussing it. I’m not saying that people like Erod The Blockbuster Buster for example had an axe to grind against Zach Snyder’s vision, but I am saying he (and others) took pride in guessing that Dawn of Justice (a film he admitted that he was planning to review negatively) would be a critical dud, as for the past two years he claimed this film would suck literally since the day it was announced.
But no matter who had the best argument or anyones thoughts on the film good or bad; given how Rotten Tomatoes draws its reviews directly from professional critics, or collect a review else where and sorts them into a nice and tidy pile of user and critic reviews, and a percentage of those who liked the film is presented. The logic went that the critics opinion meant that any mass consensus on a film, as judged via the tomato meter, must be cinefile gospel. Want to convince people that your negative views on the latest blockbuster rings true? boom! “26% on the tomato meter means it sucks”. Except what many of these people didn’t and still don’t realise is that’s not how the site works. People are so interested by the scores of an film’s review, they’ll focus on the numbers than the means to get the result. With none of those people realising that the percentage wasn’t an overall score of the movie, it was the consensus of what a bunch of critics think.
Rotten Tomatoes works like this: let’s say I made a movie and some how secured a wide release for it. Then on opening day I got ten professional critics to review it. If I followed the same judging system as the tomato meter, I would have to take into account that any sum opted review score lower than a six out of ten would count as a negative review; and anything below 59% on the tomato meter, is enough to grade a film as rotten. If seven critics gave my film a five out of ten or lower, the consensus would be that 70% of critics didn’t like my movie, while the other 30% gave my film higher ratings; there for putting at the rotten end of the metre with my movie rated with a 30% approval rating. Now sure the scores of the reviews are counted up, and even displayed underneath, but the big number is the only one that counts, so the only one we should listen to; at least that what everyone from the average person to big time marketing directors seem to think.
How else did you think that Doctor Strange, on the eve of its release, gained a perfect 100%, despite only have fourteen reviews and an average score of mid sixes to low sevens from individual ratings? And if you say “by being paid by Disney” I’ll beat the knowledge into if I literally have to. As I was saying, since the review scores were above a five, then each of the dozen or so critics recommenced Doctor Strange
under the sites rules. Even that is a common problem with the site as since the tomato Meter accounts for the amount of people who liked a film rather than the reasons for their opinions; you end with often inflated scores when comparing the meter and average scores. Particularly when two different films can get similar scores in one, but different on the other. Critics are to bad films, what heroin is for your teeth; the more you have, the worst the effects are.
Then came the criticism of how the site operated, and the realisation of it’s a research tool and source, then the simplified rounded number. The difference between Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB; the former presents the average score as a key feature. The discussion came between asking legitimate concerns, about how black or white the tomato Meter is, and bring up its lack of awareness of the concept of middle ground. And then there’s the flying monkeys that start throwing feces soaked petitions to shut the site down out of spite, due to the critics views of a highly anticipated film. With this petition released during the eve of the premiere of Suicide Squad. With it being rightfully laughed at by the masses; whether it’d be from the result of the film or the actions on principle. Regardless no one else since took that petition seriously no matter how many people were excited to see Margot Robbie in red and blue booty shorts.
But the biggest problems of the site, is the way it’s treated, depending on whether the big percentage does or doesn’t say nice thing about any given film. This is why I bring up the nerd war over Man of Steel, specifically the ones who hated it to the point they were calling the DCEU destined to fail before Batman V Superman even had a trailer; let alone meme status. Because the fan discord of the new Star Wars films is a similar yet backwards version of Man Of Steel. With the DCEU’s fall from…grace i guess, back in 2016, many people were willing to verbally bitch smack defenders of Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and then Justice League when they were getting spit roasted by the site; particularly at those lynching the site for giving a film they’d not seen yet a bad review. Now I’ve seen numerous of online content creators who were defending the site and its critics by saying: “yes these aren’t good”; are now some of the many with the pitch forks and torches at Rotten Tomatoes headquarters for giving a film a rating they’re not happy with; throwing the paid shill accusation like an aids cure. Sort of like…exactly like the Suicide Squad petition and other bullshit claims of Disney rigging the game against every other studio, but suddenly a pointless casino scene and Luke Skywalker drinking green seal milk is evidence enough that Disney is the sugar daddy of the movie industry.
Say what you will about The Last Jedi, but if either of these petitions makes sense in your head, you don’t give one damn about fair critique, particularly how the most negative, leftist bashing reviews of Episodes seven and eight regularly confuse disagreement with refusal to listen due to blindly following the “leftist propaganda within the film” which shows a lot doesn’t it. Not saying all hate for this film is because of the political reasons, there are parts I don’t like either. But I’m now regretting that i put Sargon and The Rageaholic on my favourite You Tubers list given how they’ve made carrers out of saying “the left can’t take critisim” and yet paint fanboys of Episode seven, and ones with legitmate critisim agaisnt their points on the matter with the same broad brush. Anyway, when films like The Dark Knight Rises, Suicide Squad and The Last Jedi are causing the critics of the site to get their inboxes flooded with hate mail and rants about the how broken the site is; If you’re wondering why many studios are pulling a Hilary Clinton in the sense that they blame everyone else first, self reflecting later; there’s your answer folks.
Because Hollywood knows that If their expensive blockbuster gets rated poorly on the most popular film review site on the net, well that becomes a headline, which turns audiences away; and the studio executive has to explain why said movie made less money than the leading brand of bottled piss. So in the meantime enforce review embargoes until after the opening day, unless it gets rated Certified Fresh, then that’s easy marketing to get asses in seats.
In closing, i want to think about something: we either live in a world where a mass consensus of people reflect a film’s quality, and protest demanding said people to be silenced is a petty move; or it isn’t. Not saying you have to agree or like The Last Jedi, but saying you don’t agree with a popular opinion is more braver and professional than saying the system is broken that day because you disagree!
Thank you for your time.