Is rotten tomatoes "selling out"?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Lee, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i understand that ultimately, whether i want to see a movie is up to me...but i do use reviews as a general guidelines to see how others interpret the movie and see how my views compare with the rest.
    anyway...
    after seeing rt give insomnia such a high fresh rating...something like 95% with over 100 reviews, i thought for sure that movie was just going to blow me away. i expected to be floored with such high rankings.
    obviously i walked away less than impressed. it wasn't a bad movie...i just couldn't see how it got such good reviews.
    (i'm no expert film critic, but i do consider myself an above average critic.)
    so now i look at minority report - with 10 reviews it's already at 100% fresh. i can't help but think that's more than a coincidence. i'm willing to bet that by the time it's done, it will have a VERY high rating.
    so, here's my question.
    anyone can read a review and interpret it as positive or negative. i wonder who is sitting in the background of rt and making that call? who says whether that review they just read gets a fresh or rotten rating? i wonder if they're receiving any sort of "push" to put a positive spin on a movie.
    anyway, i'm definitely going to see minority report so i'll be curious as to how i walk away, what my impression of the movie was and how it compares to rt.
     
  2. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    Such a conspiracy theory would have to include a reason why they would want to give films an unnaturally high "fresh" rating. What's in it for RT?

    DJ
     
  3. Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins Supporting Actor

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    minda tricks don't awork on a me, only money...
     
  4. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    And how can RT "give" any movie a high rating? They just compile *other critics* opinions in one place. Read the whole review - they link them - if you're unsure whether a review is really positive or negative.
     
  5. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Every so often, someone posts this question...

    From what I gather, you think Rotten tomatoes might be a "sell out" because A) you didn't like a movie that got very good ratings and B) all 10 Minority Report reviews are positive?

    Isn't that a little thin?

    --
    Holadem
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    damin - good question. don't know the answer...but i'm not business savvy anyways!

    peter - i agree. what i'm asking is who (on the rt side of the house) makes the call. what is their criteria for summarizing as positive or negative?

    holadem - i see what you're saying and agree that my evidence is somewhat slim. as i mentioned, i just find it curious as to why a particular film can garner such extremely high praise from almost everyone? how many movies really live up to that claim?

    i suppose i can summarize by saying that i question the objectivity of the website. i'm not knockin' it by any means. maybe using the term "sell out" in the title was a little harsh...if a mod reads this please feel free to adjust my title accordingly.
     
  7. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    dj - they are NOT just providing a resource for criticism. they ARE also giving it a positive or negative rating. so, in effect, they are putting their own "spin" on a review. i understand that ultimately the reader should link to the source and make up their own mind...i'm just saying that rt is adding their own two-cents to a review.
    i would go through all the reviews and make up my own mind, but tbh, i'm just not that worried about it. [​IMG]
    i'm simply asking a question and wondering what other peoples thoughts are....no really looking to get into an argument over it. [​IMG]
     
  9. Guy_K

    Guy_K Second Unit

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    Also, there is a difference between 90 percent fresh, when all reviews give 3-stars and 90 percent fresh when all reviews give 4-stars. Of course, one can never tell just by looking at the fresh/rotten-meter
     
  10. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    I'm pretty sure they're selling out. They gave Joe Dirt a rotten review, and I saw it, and it was actually good. Then they gave something called Gosford Park a fresh review and it sucked ass. Obviously, they are being paid off if their score on films doesn't match my personal opinion.
     
  11. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    I don't buy into conspiracy theories...shouldn't RT have more of an influence before we buy into such things?

    However, I often read the reviews that are compiled and I must say this about RT:

    1) While they compile many reviews, they don't compile ALL reviews. Not even all "respectable" reviews. So, the "tomatometer" rating is not accurate in that way.

    2) I don't know who interprets reviews, but they are not always accurate. I've read many "fresh" reviews that are mediocre to bad. How anyone got "fresh" out of them, I have no idea. I've also read the exact opposite.

    So, as with any critical opinion...I take RT with a grain of salt.
     
  12. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    As someone who lists their reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, perhaps I can shed a little light onto the subject.

    When a critic posts their review at the site, they're asked to give all the info you see on the Movie Pages. The page looks like this:

    Title: Minority Report

    Star Rating/Grade: _______

    Fresh or Rotten: _________

    "Blurb" of 175 characters or less: "____________________"

    URL to review: _____________

    I can see how some may wonder how things are run there, but Rotten Tomatoes has no 'agendas' whatsoever. The 'Tomatometer' simply talles up the Fresh/Rotten counts of all the participating critics.

    Hope that helps. It's not some top secret thing; if you want to know something else, just ask.
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    ahh...thanks scott!
    that was what i was looking for. so, in essence, the fresh or rotten rating comes from the reviewer themselves and NOT from someone who works for rt?
    will rt accept anyones review or is there some sort of "credibiltiy check" that they do first?
    oh well, that clears up my conspiracy theory (even though i never actually used the words myself [​IMG] )....
    i must admit that i've probably watched way too much x-files though...
     
  14. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Nothing wrong with getting a little paranoid from time to time. It keeps people honest. [​IMG]
    Check out the front page at www.rottentomatoes.com . I'm positive that I saw something there about them 'accepting new critics'. I originally became affiliated with RT through my membership in the OFCS, so I can't offer much advice on that process.
    I'm not familiar with what RT's requirements are. I would assume the bare minimum would be solid writing and a workable website - although the website isn't even required, as RT houses LOTS of reviews for several "outlet-less" reviewers.
     
  15. clemente

    clemente Agent

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    I would imagine that there does have to be some interpretation on some reviews, do the "big reviewers" actually submit whether or not they think its rotten or fresh. Maybe someone on their staff.

    What has sometime bugged me is a control issue. Comparing one films 90% fresh to another films 90% fresh is only an effective strategy as long as you have the same set of reviewers, which I find not always to be the case.

    However, I'm willing to overlook my issues because its quite a handy resource. I tend to look more at the "cream of the crop" reviews though......not that outstanding or equally poor reviews have ever swayed my decision to see a movie.
     
  16. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    As Scott said and as has been pointed out in the RT feedback area, the reviewers themselves are asked to indicated a positive or negative review.

    Please remember that the RT score is NOT a measure of quality directly, a 95% film is not implied to be better than an 80% film.

    What is implied is that there is a 95% chance that you will LIKE the film compared to an 80% chance that you will like the other film.

    HOW MUCH you will like either is not covered by the RT rating, nor do they imply that it is.

    Yet people still equate RT scores as some overall ranking like IMDb, which they are not.

    Others have already pointed out why this is so - their is no WEIGHTING of the scores. Maybe if RT had each critic rank the film as a 1-10 and then compiled the average you might have some overall quality scoring instead.

    For example a film could get 10 6's. Another film could get 7 10's and 3 4's.

    Film A would have a 100% RT rank, Film B would have a 70% RT rank.

    BUT, Film A would have a 60 score and Film B would have an 82 score. So which is really the better film? It would appear that Film B is probably the better film, but that it doesn't have the mass mainstream appeal to all groups that Film A does.

    So when a film scores very high it often, though not always, indicates a pleasant but unchallenging film experience, whereas films in the 65-85 range are often more likely to be the "best" films of the year.

    FOTR is actually the oddball in having such a high RT score AND being considered one of the top films of the year too.

    Often children's fare will score best at RT since those films (Chicken Run for example) will simply not offend anyone, even if the film is not the best of the year.
     
  17. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    oh yeah...
    my bad dj - it looks like you were right. rt does appear to just be a "reposity" of critiques with nothing added internally.
    my apologies to you for my earlier rant! [​IMG]
     
  18. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  19. William G. Lipe

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  20. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    No, that was sarcasm at it's finest. Too strong to even require smiles IMHO.
     

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