UltramanGoji wrote:RT is a review aggregator, it collects reviews from critics of various sites, newspapers, and blogs. It's not its own site reviewing movies, it just calculates a percentage of critics who gave the movie a positive review and then forms a consensus from those reviews.
Most people look at a movies RT score and say "oh, it's 43/100 this movie stinks" which isn't what the percentage means. It means 43% of the people that watched this movie gave it a positive review. and 57% gave it a negative review. What they should be doing is looking at the critical consensus and seeing what critics actually have to say down below instead of following the pretty numbers.
There's also a very clear subset of people who blatantly hate RT because a movie they liked had a bad percentage and a movie they disliked got the opposite. You can tell who they are by how they act about it. RT is wrong until it's right for them.
This. And its not exclusive to the goji fandom, I was heavily involved in the DC fandom around the time the DCEU just started, and had mainly mediocre to negative critical responses. The same allegations where called out against RT, although with a little more Disney Corruption Buying Reviews flavor, and many where just floored with the idea that somebody could rate Suicide Squad a 27%. So many people don't understand that R.T. is a tool to see the generalization of critical response. The whole point is to not be a nuanced, but rather to show the trend in a large set of data.
And while I do tend to agree with Scorsese that people place way too much faith into this system, I don't think it is function/purpose-less. Its just that the function it does serve often conflicts with its public perception (I'll touch on this later). In this day and age with so many films being released, having a review aggregator can be helpful in making an economic decision to see movies in theaters. These experiences aren't cheap, and with so many decisions, a tool like Rotten Tomatoes can be used to filter out unfavorable movie experiences. "Ope, critics don't seem to like this one, maybe I'll wait for RedBox. Oh, this one gets good reviews, it'll probably be worth seeing in theaters". When used like this, RT can be very useful. It can also backfire, especially in cases where the perceived movie merit values increase with age (Blade Runner, aforementioned Alien 3), or is sometimes the byproduct of the disconnect between critics and general audiences. The critic praised audience hated phenomenon seems to occur when recognizing that critics have the inverse problem of G.A. They see too many movies, so the safe generic movie a GA might really enjoy becomes quite bland and unoriginal, where as the experimental less approachable movie gets really good reviews, at the confusion of the GA.
Now, while R.T. can be a good tool, its often horribly misused. The general public perception seems to be that R.T. is some sovereign authority of the quality of films. To some extent I feel this is a byproduct of the "Certified Fresh" and "Rotten" labels, but besides this I don't really think the website tries to sell itself to be anything its not. Then how has this public perception formed? I'll offer two hypotheses.
The first is marketing. Whenever a movie gets well received, it's almost guaranteed a commercial exclaiming it's Rotten Tomatoes Status, displaying it like a farmer might proudly display a cow as grade A beef (I know this is a bad analogy, but its the best I got at the moment). This sells the idea that instead of RT being some kind of trend analyzer, its an authority on the quality of movies. "Oh, Rotten Tomatoes says its good so it must be, otherwise that's false advertising".
The second is a byproduct of the information age, and the rise of the amateur movie critic. In this time of being able to communicate anything to anyone, anywhere, seems to lead to much greater sharing of opinions (guilty as charged
). With this comes the debates of people discussing movies in a way that while I don't particularly find to be incitement or useful, I am to hesitant to say is objectively wrong, after all movies are art, art and the means by which we judge it are also subjective. There are many times where the "validity" of a movie be in question, or a movie is being compared to another, and these scores are used as "evidence" of objectionable value. This is a problem made worse by the availability of these scores when searching the movie. Usually the RT score is plastered immediately under the film's poster when searching in Google. Together, in the nerd age of cinema, leads to a heightened importance to these scores, because the community has attributed them so much value.
I have personally shifted my movie analysis away from providing any rated scores, as I see them as juvenile and believe they reduce the artistry that is present to the objectivity of a math test. However, I have no disrespect to those who do rate works with such a system, and have no problem using a tool like RT to make an economic decision, I just don't use it to quantify the value of a film.
Take away. King of the Monsters Deserves its Rotten Tomatoes Score, not because of the film's quality or lack there of (depending on which side of the fence a viewer sits on), but because Rotten Tomatoes is an data aggregator, and regardless of whether you agree with the algorithm or not (be it the philosophy, actual mathematical model, whatever), the score KOTM received is and can only be a product of this system, like how every other movie deserves its respective RT score.