A few months back there was some news bits about how Rotten Tomatoes is killing the movie industry. The box office is seeing their worse performance in around 20 years, so yikes. And Hollywood, more or less, is blaming review aggregate sites like Rotten Tomatoes for their own lackluster ability to make good movies.
But there's more to it than that. It's not just that some studios can't get their shit together with brands that have had fantastic legs under their own mediums (eh hem, WB), but it's also how critics look at movies.
Right now it's not looking good for Justice League and you have to admit, when critics rip a movie, that can influence audiences. Even if audiences end up saying something totally different. But that's nothing new. For example, Suburbicon truly sucked to spend money on. The trailers tricked us into going to see it and we forgot to check IMDb's user ratings.
But let's take a look and some movies where critics bashed and fans loved. Here, we point out the difference in score between them on Rotten Tomatoes:
Scary Movie 5 75
The Boondock Saints 73
Atlas Shrugged I 62
Grown Ups 2 61
Bad Boys 2 57
Transformers II 56
Spy Kids 54
There was a 46 point spread between fans and critics scores about Justice League.
Admittedly, the way RT scores their reviews scores is fairly liberal and non-mathematical, and in the end, I don't want to see people fail at what they do for a living, which is make movies. But OH MY GOD, do they ever fail sometimes, and they fail hard!
Take the 2011 films Hanna or Drive for instance.
Both marketed like Suburbicon, to look like something fun or different than what they were and they all came out painful to pay and sit through in the theater.
Though, like most mediocre films like Suicide Squad, they aren't bad to sit through once they come on TV networks like Syfy, FX, TNT or what have you.
But still, as people get stung by tricky marketing or crap movies, they will start veering away from certain filmmakers altogether because it can be EXPENSIVE to go to the movies. I know a few people who have totally given up on anything Ridley Scott does these days. It recently cost me over $100 for three people to see one movie. (All costs included). That's effing nuts when all I can do is wait a few months and it will show up in a rental queue, or a little longer to come on HBO or even a bit longer, and just wait till it shows up on network or cable nets peppered with a thousand TV commercials.
This is why you see a distinction in how I refer to movies. I split them out between serious, dramatic films and just plain, popcorn fun movies. And I tend to lean to the popcorn side of movies often.
But how do I determine what movies I want to drop bucks on to see and tell you about? I hate seeing bad movies so you see very few bad movie reviews on this site. And to be honest, reviewers and their opinions are seriously suspect to personal perspectives.
How I Found Critics I Can Count On
So how have I found critics that I can trust when thinking about a movie I want to go see?First, you owe it to yourself to figure this out because there will be times you wish you had gone so to see a movie in theaters, but instead, you listened to any or all the critics.
Second, it pays to read beyond the headlines in this case. No, seriously. I know a lot of you see and make judgments from shear headline power, but again you owe it to yourself and the movie people to LOOK at a review. To make sure they are saying the words that make sense to you about a film.
My building of my selective critics list is not hard to execute, but it might take a little time but here's how it goes:
First, I picked about ten films... maybe film is too strong a word because I lean towards the popcorn bucket. (In more ways than one.) I picked ten movies I liked.
Then I went and looked them up on Rotten Tomatoes, since it aggregates a lot of critics. Oh my, they do have a lot of critics.
But basically I started amassing the names of those who liked the same movies I liked and after a while, I noticed a small collective of names that agreed with me.
Not all critics liked all my movies, but suddenly I saw a pattern where I wrote down the number of movies they agreed with me on. For example,
And, whoa, five? Yea, I cut it off there. But now you see from my fake set of names example, that I go to Ann for all my movies and if she did not review the next new movie coming out that I'm thinking of going to see, then maybe Bob or Charles reviewed a film I'm curious in seeing.
Then I saved the links to these critics profiles and websites, so I can do directly to them instead of floundering around on RT or the web.
And here's another interesting side affect from this:
I learned that sometimes an entire organization pulls together review teams with the same mindsets about films. For example, I've learned that within the org that Ann works for, almost the entire staff of reviewers seem to think or be like-minded about how they approach film reviews. So I found myself a bonus review test bed!
And that, is that.
To be honest, when I saw how the all the official critics were trashing Justice League, and destroying it's hopes at the box office, I looked up "my people," or critics, and sure enough, they pretty much said, it has its faults or flaws, but it wasn't bad. So I went and BOOM, they were right, Justice League did not suck.
Unfortunately, other things are happening to the film, because people are believing what they were told by "the sticks" and being swayed to not go. Bummer for everyone involved.
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