Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Forget Rotten Tomatoes, Give Me Some Fresh Perspective

Last night my boyfriend asked me to watch Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice with him. Unsure of what to expect I pulled up the Rotten Tomatoes score. When I saw the TOMATOMETER (Dun Dun DUUUUUUN) score screaming 27% at me in big bold letters, I reluctantly negotiated watching what was sure to be a horrible film with him only if he would watch Big Hero 6 with me as our next movie. I made some popcorn and prepared myself for the misery that was sure to come.

So I have something to admit here. It’s not something I like to do, or do often. I’ll type it once and once only: I was wrong. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was AWESOME! It was full of action, drama, awesome technical effects, and had one of my favorite actors of all times, Jessie Eisenberg. I just didn’t understand. How could Rotten Tomatoes have gotten it so wrong?!
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer

Upon further research, I learned that Batman V Superman is not the first title to be shamed by critics and loved by audiences. made a list of 15 movies Rotten Tomatoes has rated “bafflingly low” (see the full list HERE) On this list are movies like Billy Maddison (46% Tomatometer, these guys must need to go back to school), Space Jam (35% Tomatometer, ouch right in the childhood!), and a huge shock, my favorite and the cult classic, The Boondock Saints with a score of only 20%!
Seriously, how does this not give you goosebumps?!

On the flip side, Rotten Tomatoes has rated some HORRIBLE movies better than Batman V Superman.  Elite Daily made a list titled: 11 Bad Movies With A Better Rotten Tomatoes Rating Than ‘Batman V Superman’  (see the full list HERE) On this list you’ll find movies like Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never (65% Tomatometer, really?!?!?! ), Twilight (48% Tomatometer), even Paul Blart Mall Cop beat Batman V Superman with a score of 33%.

                                           No really, shes the world's best actress...... NOT!

Fiske looks at this phenomenon in his writing. He addresses three main “sets” of reasons why critics don’t like movies. Fiske states that the first set addresses that most films are going to follow a certain set of guidelines; things like what is good and evil or children in general being innocent. The second set of criteria that critics take into account when creating a score for a movie looks at how predictable or obvious a movie is. Does the guy get the girl? Does good conquer evil? Could we guess the ending of the movie when it began? Lastly, is the idea that the movies need to provide some kind of challenge.
Image result for film critics
Fiske asserts that while these things are seen as negative to critics, it is what makes a movie enticing to the masses and I’d have to agree. I want to watch a movie that is entertaining, that has good visual effects, makes me feel something, and that helps me relax and unwind. This is what makes a movie “good” to me. I’m not worried about if it’s too easy. Look at Avatar. If you’ve seen Dances with Wolves or Pocahontas, then you know what happen in Avatar. This doesn’t take away from it’s amazing visual effects and entertainment value. This movie won countless awards despite using one of the most overused plot lines in cinema history.

                                               Seriously, how amazing is this visually?
In the end, I learned that Rotten Tomatoes and movie critics in general are not always the best representation of what consumers are going to like. From now on, I will wait to watch a movie before I look at or at least consider anyone else’s opinion on it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with my boyfriend and Baymax.


Do you look at or take into consideration what film critics say about a movie before watching it? How do their opinions effect you?

Have you ever loved a movie that critics hated or vice versa? What was it? Why did you like it and why did critics hate it?

What do you look for in a movie to determine if it's good or not?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post! I enjoyed reading it.

    If I'm excited to see a movie I really try to avoid reading any type of review. I like to be able to form my own opinion, and if I read something before hand I find myself anticipating it as the movie rolls along. I try to get my friends to do the same thing. I don't want anyone to have prior feelings about a film before seeing it. I even start avoiding trailers after a certain point if I'm really excited about something.

    Pretty frequently I find myself liking movies that didn't do well critically. I watch a lot of comedies, and it is rare that those movies are universally liked by those that review them. Superhero movies also don't do super well critically, and I build my whole summer schedule around those things.

    My answer to your final question might be a cop out, but if I leave a movie theatre with a smile on my face knowing I enjoyed the film I consider it good. It might not be a great artistic film, or something that will win an award, but if I enjoyed my time watching it I consider it w a good movie.