Does Rotten Tomatoes Hurt Entertainment?

What is with people nowadays? People have been waiting with baited breath this week to see what the Rotten Tomato score for Justice League will be. Really?!? Does a bad review make a movie less entertaining -or- a good review make a movie more entertaining?

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Either way the score has been reveled and it’s not very favorable for the Warner Bros. movie. At the time of this writing Justice League has a 43%. That score is far below the score of Wonder Woman, but on the bright side its much higher than Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad.

Let me back up a second…

I have no investment in Justice League but I do have an investment in fairness and I believe someone who gauges their entertainment on the thoughts of others is unfair to the medium of movies and unfair to themselves. At the end of the day the moral of the story should be “don’t follow the masses, be your own person.”

Justice League or comic book movies in general aren’t the only forms of entertainment impacted by Rotten Tomatoes and other critic sites. Almost every facet of entertainment is being judged by critic totalitarian score systems. One of the biggest victims other than movies have been video games. I admit that in the past I have used Metacritic before to browse video game scores. This was way before the whole explosion of total critic score shit. At the time it was nice to see a cross section of reviews from magazines and websites and see what the scores were, but I read every single review and based those on my decision not just a simple number or letter score. But sadly in recent years those scores alone have been enough to sink companies and put hard working people out of a job. As far as movies go the Rotten Tomato score keeps people from seeing a film. Either someone is afraid of seeing a dud or afraid of looking stupid for enjoying a movie with a low score.

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A review is a weird thing. In a perfect world they should be un-bias and factual, but they aren’t. Even the most seasoned critic uses everything from their surroundings, theater performance, crowd reactions, how they feel that day, and even what they ate for dinner to judge something in THAT MOMENT OF THEIR LIVES. See how I capitalized that? That’s because it’s their lives, not yours or mine. Until I go through the same chain of events the reviewer did in that given moment, they don’t speak for me. Sure, I may agree with something’s they say but I can only draw that comparison AFTER seeing the movie or playing the game. I can’t agree with them before hand and use their judgment to not go to the cinemaplex.

It’s that reason that on paper Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and others should work because it’s an average. So all movies should start at 50% and go from there, higher percentage movies being enjoyed by more reviewers and a lower percentage the opposite. But that only works if 100% of reviewers didn’t bring their own baggage with them to the movie theater.

How many times have you loved -or- hated a movie, just to reverse your decision after a second time watching it. I know I have. Sometimes I’m a hard nut to crack. I like a lot of weird shit that someone my age wouldn’t typically like, so scores don’t mean shit to me. I’m also horrible to ever hand out scores myself because I find most movies entertaining on some level, and shouldn’t that be what it’s about? My level of excitement goes up or down after viewing something, but all-in-all I’m entertained…and I want to be. The older I get I find that I have less time to be entertained, so I have become more open to everything and anything (within reason) that entertains me.

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Enough about me, back to Rotten Tomatoes…

So imagine 100 reviews from across the country and all of them saw Justice League. Some live in rural areas, some in cities. Some have families, some are single. Some like action movies, some like drama movies. Some think comic book movies are silly, some think they are great. Some like Mexican food, others like Italian. Some are well off, some are struggling to pay their bills. The list goes on and on and on, but each one of these things impacts the viewer on a television show they watch, or a movie they have seen in some way. When you start lining these things up its probably not 50-50. That’s the reason very few of us in life see eye-to-eye. People are in strafe constantly over bigger things than movies, so why would something as trivial as a movie be any easier?

Hey, sometimes they get it right and a great movie gets great scores…but how much of that comes from the second string of reviews that don’t want to be left out and just follow the crowd? I know, I know…I probably just sound like a crackpot and I’m ranting for the sake of ranting and for that I apologize. I will stop here, even though I can keep going on….

I mean they are starting to put Rotten Tomatoes scores on DVD covers, WTF…sorry…sorry…

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Anyway, all I can say is don’t let others influence your decisions to see a movie or not. You can always take advise and do with it what you will but don’t let a number keep you from enjoying something you want to see. My advise, find a reviewer, a single voice, that shares a lot of the same views as you and listen to their advise and reviews. But still do your own thing, you’ll be happier that way.

 

14 thoughts on “Does Rotten Tomatoes Hurt Entertainment?

  1. It’s no different than any other source of reviews, the more famous of which are already being quoted on covers and posters. I don’t know why people act like RT is the ultimate answer in terms of quality, especially when there are still other big places like IMDB that have completely different results sometimes.

    And then there’s the other side of it, speaking of IMDB. You can go on there and Justice League has an 8/10, but if you look at the reviews, it seems to mostly be a lot of over-enthusiastic hardcore DC fans claiming that it’s a 10/10 and the greatest movie ever made. Kinda silly.

    Meanwhile DC’s last few movies before Wonder Woman had what, like 14% on RT? And still made almost a billion each. I think they’ll be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, no worries for Warner Bros. I think I’m aganist the whole trend of letting reviews or collective scores dictate where entertainment is heading. Studios are scared of getting a low score and afraid of taking chances. In the video game world I think it’s worse though

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  2. Amen Rob! I couldn’t agree with you more! I’ve always preferred to see a movie myself before reading too many reviews a) because I’m scared of spoilers and b) because I want to get my own sense of the film and form my own opinions before I see what others think of it. Now, I grant that the field of art criticism is an important and valid one. And I grant that reviewers often know more about the mechanics of film than the average moviegoer and that their opinions are (often) valid and informed. BUT I also know that we all love what we love! As you say above, art is completely subjective and it’s important we recognize that. Someone can love something. Someone can hate it. Someone can be indifferent…and it’s all good. I love what you said here and I love how you said it. Aaaahh, this is PERFECT. I actually found myself pumping my fist in the air as I read this :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you brother. I think there is a place for it too. Back in the day you only had a couple big name reviewers and you could pick which one or two you followed…now everyone is a reviewer and it really muddys the waters. I mean I’ve done a couple of reviews but I tend to pick out things people will like in a film or TV show rather than an over all score. Like if you like A, than you’ll like B.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also think this affects people not giving things a chance. So often now a new film or TV show or whatever will be “a hit” or “dead in the water” after a week or two. There are SO MANY new shows and films being released and, in this immediate culture, there’s no time to build a following, allow characters/plots/etc. to develop, or fall in love with something. It seems a few reviewers often offer their opinion and then everyone else just kind of follows suit.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly, when it comes to movies we all have different tastes, and just relying on percentage scores like that is just silly. Even if I end up not liking the film that much, I still I like the whole experience of going to the cinema anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

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