Friday, October 17, 2014

Rotten Tomatoes: Hot or Not?

Rotten Tomatoes: launched in 1998, technically owned by Warner Bros. but originally created by Senh Duong has become one of the most widely known film aggregator of it's time. The issue however is just that, the "like or dislike," "hot or not" aspect of it. But we'll get around to that later. For now, let's get the fun part out of the way, pretend we're Buzzfeed and play with lists and gifs.

I figured it'd be fun to reap the joys of the "hot or not" concept before ripping it to shreads. So let's take a peek at the movies that earned a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. The majority are (surprise) films I've never heard of or, you guessed it, "rotten" sequels. (i.e., Fox and the Hound 2, Mulan II, Kronks New Groove.) These are the films that, apparently, "all critiques consider to be bad films." I mean, I gotta hand it to whomever all these "critiques" happen to be in giving two thumbs down to The Never Ending Story II: The Next Chapter. But who exactly are they and who considered them qualified?

A promotional photo for the (apparently micro-aggresionally racist)
childhood dismantlement:
The Never Ending Story II: The Next Chapter
According to, the reviews are "based on a set of criteria." Hop onto the Rotten Tomatoes website and said criteria is described as follows, "Movie reviews in the Tomatometer come from publications or individual critics that have been selected by the Rotten Tomatoes staff. " 
(Specifics:  here.)

I then frolicked over to the other end of the spectrum of the long list composed by hundreds of qualified writers across a handful of mediums. Those that earned 100% on the "tomato-meter."

The list listed titles such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Battleship Potemkin, and Singin' in the Rain. Hmm... Did Film Aesthetics and Analysis use this wiki webpage to map out our class syllabus?

So what? I'll tell you what. This website is a review aggregator. Meaning, it calculates numeric averages based off of positive or negative ratings to make products easily comparable for consumers as well as creating databases to be sold to third parties. (That's a mouthful.)
Basically, there are obvious flaws to rating something into one of two categories. There is so much that goes into a film and it appears that Rotten Tomatoes ignores and neglects those beautiful complexities.
However, I believe the site is more-so used to spark conversation and expose films to people who wouldn't find them otherwise. For example, thanks to my eyes grazing that "0%" list this evening I do believe I will top off the night with Sex Lives of the Potato Men. 
(Why does this exist? I dunno, but I'm sure as hell glad it does.)
A British comedy about the sexual antics of a group of
potato delivery men in Birmingham. 

Please Watch Responsibly

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