Brett Ratner v Rotten Tomatoes: Noon of Hubris
I’d like to address Brett Ratner’s statements regarding Rotten Tomatoes last weekend at the Sun Valley Film Festival. Brett Ratner believes the film critic aggregation site is a destructive force in Hollywood. He believes that reducing a film to a number, based on hundreds of reviews from print and online sources, is not doing the film justice. Realizing that it would appear he was just bashing film critics, he harkened back to the days of Pauline Kael’s reviews when it was an art. The art part is my interpretation of his statement here:
“I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.”
We could discuss the disappoint that shook the world, a.k.a. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, all day long. I’ll keep this short, and bear in mind, I was entertained by the movie. But, you disappointed the nerds Brett Ratner. I know you aren’t responsible for that, but someone should slap whoever thought they could mash all that plot into three hours. As someone who looked forward to seeing Doomsday in a film since 1992 when Superman died, I hope whoever designed that “thing” for the movie sharts at a party. And, why not just bring back Supes at the end instead of that tease? Now we must wait until halfway through Justice League to see him when we already know he’s coming back?! What?!
Batman v Superman made a ton of money anyway. Actually, I don’t know how much $900 million weighs. But, the movie’s 27% didn’t seem to keep too many people from seeing these two comic book icons on-screen together for the first time. Let’s be real, how many times have we all heard someone say “I don’t care what the critics say, I’m going to see the new Pauly Shore movie.” Some critics didn’t even get to see The Force Awakens screening because Disney understands that it doesn’t matter what Star Wars scores, people will come.
EW reached out to Rotten Tomatoes who broke down how the scoring works:
“The Tomatometer score, which is the percentage of positive reviews published by professional critics, has become a useful decision-making tool for fans, but we believe it’s just a starting point for them to begin discussing, debating and sharing their own opinions.”
So, how bad must a movie be (in the eyes of people who criticize them professionally) if only 27% of the reviews for a film are positive? Does that seem unfair? Perhaps it would be better if we reversed it and said it was a 73%, but meant it negatively. People read reviews to gauge whether something is worth their money, because movie theaters are not cheap Brett. Unless they live in Blanchester, OH. And, if they do live there, they have my sympathy. But, most people don’t just read “any ol’ review”, they tend to stick with a critic that is like-minded and they’ve come to trust. Will we start bashing their friend who gives their opinion on movies next?
This has nothing to do with Rotten Tomatoes, but Ratner also stated that Rush Hour 4 could be in the works. Brett Ratner, have you no soul? The first was okay, the second was okay-ish, and I refuse to acknowledge any other films in that franchise. I hold you responsible for Chris Tucker’s career. You enabled him to disappear at the height of it, and as a fan it broke my heart.
Also, I will never forgive Brett Ratner for X3: The Last Stand. I booed in the theater surrounded by sheep who loved that horror-porn that you called an X-Men film. I don’t believe you’re a bad person, and every now and again am surprised to see your name in the credits of a movie I thoroughly enjoyed. I just thought of a movie titled Brett Ratner’s Dracula. I apologize to the readers if that just scared the s*** out of you.
Alright, I’ve said my piece, for now. What do you readers think of Brett Ranter and his sentiments? Does Rotten Tomatoes oversimplify ranking a film? Let’s discuss!
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