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Not screened means?

Aug. 5, 2009by: Paul Tassi

The endless debate about whether or not G.I. JOE is going to suck has been raging for quite some time now. First, everyone thought the idea was terrible. Then people liked the trailer. Then there were rumors it tested horribly. Then early reviews started being positive. But the latest front of the war? G.I. JOE isn’t being screened for critics. Not en masse anyways.

Though a few have seen the film already (our own JimmyO included), the film is being kept secret from almost everyone else. The decision to keep critics in the dark is usually a move to squelch bad reviews, and Slashfilm came up with this handy chart (click to enlarge) to demonstrate just how true this is.

It’s the sixteen movies over the past twelve months that weren’t screened for critics, and their subsequent Tomatometer ratings. As you can see, only two of them breached 40%, CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE and a Tyler Perry production. Everything else ranges from mediocre (UNDERWORLD 3, THE COLLECTOR) to the abysmal (THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI, DISASTER MOVIE). But trying to be the exception to the rule, G.I. JOE is currently sitting at 91% and you have to wonder if this critic blackout was a bit of PR blunder.

Extra Tidbit: Really, CRANK 2 has a 62%? I mean, its good at what it does, but for reference, 300 only managed a 60%.
Source: Slashfilm

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3:10AM on 08/06/2009
Crank > Crank 2
Crank > Crank 2
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1:01AM on 08/06/2009

Trust me this is a bad sign

Let's think about this, the film has a high RT score, really? Maybe that's because they've only shown this to a handful of online critics, then as soon as their film has enough reviews to form a consensus on RT... Bam! They cut everyone else off so that those other critics, who are typically much harsher on these sorts of films than their online colleagues, can't ruin the RT score until after opening weekend, or at least opening day.
Let's think about this, the film has a high RT score, really? Maybe that's because they've only shown this to a handful of online critics, then as soon as their film has enough reviews to form a consensus on RT... Bam! They cut everyone else off so that those other critics, who are typically much harsher on these sorts of films than their online colleagues, can't ruin the RT score until after opening weekend, or at least opening day.
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5:01PM on 08/05/2009

Critics.

In my oppinion I think Paramount is right in teir decision. I honestly don't know how many films over the years that I myself, and my friends for that matter, have watched and enjoyed only to hear nothing but negative things coming not only from critics, but also sites like this. In this day in age it seems people have lost the will to think for themselves, and end up basing film oppinions on what the critics say. With Paramounts decision to leave out the critics until opening day, I believe
In my oppinion I think Paramount is right in teir decision. I honestly don't know how many films over the years that I myself, and my friends for that matter, have watched and enjoyed only to hear nothing but negative things coming not only from critics, but also sites like this. In this day in age it seems people have lost the will to think for themselves, and end up basing film oppinions on what the critics say. With Paramounts decision to leave out the critics until opening day, I believe they are allowing the the movie going public their say first and that is how it should be. I think that most of these critics have spent so much of their careers expecting that everything they see is going to be bad that they have lost the ability to actually enjoy anything.
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3:41PM on 08/05/2009

Critics Are Usually Right

I'm tiring of the growing backlash against film critics over the past few years from the online community.

The Transformers 2 "critic war" did nothing to undermine their credibility. A movie's gross does not speak for its quality - most of the time the two have very little correlation.

And summer movies dont get a free pass just because they are spectacles. Spider Man 2 is a vastly superior film to say, X-Men 3, and critics are right when they distinguish between the two.
I'm tiring of the growing backlash against film critics over the past few years from the online community.

The Transformers 2 "critic war" did nothing to undermine their credibility. A movie's gross does not speak for its quality - most of the time the two have very little correlation.

And summer movies dont get a free pass just because they are spectacles. Spider Man 2 is a vastly superior film to say, X-Men 3, and critics are right when they distinguish between the two.
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12:41AM on 08/06/2009
Yes, yes they are. The people who complain about critics tend to be those who aren't very critical of films themselves, which is fine, but some people are a little more picky about what films they see and find critics pretty useful, especially if they know that a critic has similar taste to them.
Yes, yes they are. The people who complain about critics tend to be those who aren't very critical of films themselves, which is fine, but some people are a little more picky about what films they see and find critics pretty useful, especially if they know that a critic has similar taste to them.
3:36PM on 08/05/2009
I find Metacritic to be a more accurate depiction of reviews than Rotten Tomatoes.
I find Metacritic to be a more accurate depiction of reviews than Rotten Tomatoes.
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1:04AM on 08/06/2009
I agree, although I use both fairly often.
I agree, although I use both fairly often.
3:31PM on 08/05/2009
I find Metacritic to be a more accurate depiction of reviews than Rotten Tomatoes.
I find Metacritic to be a more accurate depiction of reviews than Rotten Tomatoes.
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10:28PM on 08/05/2009
i agree...
i agree...
3:01PM on 08/05/2009

Hmmm

Looking at Rotten Tomatoes you'll see that Joblo type sites ("geek" sites that would tend to like G.I. Joe more than "sophisticated" critics) are the ones who have seen the film. Definitely a move to inflate the rotten tomatoes score.

Not saying that's a bad thing, as critics are way too stuck up when reviewing films anyway. Making a "fun" movie isn't for critics, it needs to be "well crafted". I'm also not saying its a good thing, cause I still think the movie looks like shit, even with the
Looking at Rotten Tomatoes you'll see that Joblo type sites ("geek" sites that would tend to like G.I. Joe more than "sophisticated" critics) are the ones who have seen the film. Definitely a move to inflate the rotten tomatoes score.

Not saying that's a bad thing, as critics are way too stuck up when reviewing films anyway. Making a "fun" movie isn't for critics, it needs to be "well crafted". I'm also not saying its a good thing, cause I still think the movie looks like shit, even with the positive reviews from the geek sites.
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2:39PM on 08/05/2009
I enjoy the misspelling of "Bangcock Dangerous".
I enjoy the misspelling of "Bangcock Dangerous".
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1:31PM on 08/05/2009

The reason behind this

A Paramount rep actually explained their reasons for withholding the film, and it's for the reason you stated: they cited Transformers 2, and the "divide between audiences and critics." In other words, the critic is becoming redundant in our day and age -- at least for blockbuster films, that is -- and studios are recognizing it. Why let their films drop down to 30% on a popular site like RottenTomatoes when they know just as many people will flock to the film regardless? So they're only
A Paramount rep actually explained their reasons for withholding the film, and it's for the reason you stated: they cited Transformers 2, and the "divide between audiences and critics." In other words, the critic is becoming redundant in our day and age -- at least for blockbuster films, that is -- and studios are recognizing it. Why let their films drop down to 30% on a popular site like RottenTomatoes when they know just as many people will flock to the film regardless? So they're only screening it for "selected" few, i.e. Internet fanboys and the exact types who recommended Transformers 2.
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1:12AM on 08/06/2009
Although if people really didin't care what critics thought, then the RT rating wouldn't hurt their gross, so why not screen it for the critics if they're not going to hurt anything anyway?

Personally, I really don't buy that critics are out of touch wiith the public, aside from Transformers 2 the films that have made the most money this year (Star Trek, Up, The Hangover) have gotten pretty good reviews. The same can be said with last year, TDK and Iron Man were two of the biggest films of the
Although if people really didin't care what critics thought, then the RT rating wouldn't hurt their gross, so why not screen it for the critics if they're not going to hurt anything anyway?

Personally, I really don't buy that critics are out of touch wiith the public, aside from Transformers 2 the films that have made the most money this year (Star Trek, Up, The Hangover) have gotten pretty good reviews. The same can be said with last year, TDK and Iron Man were two of the biggest films of the summer and two of the best reviewed movies of the year.
1:28PM on 08/05/2009

300 was pretty weak...

300 was pretty weak... just for reference.
300 was pretty weak... just for reference.
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1:50PM on 08/05/2009
WRONG. As proven by my avatar.
WRONG. As proven by my avatar.
12:59PM on 08/05/2009

300 was at 74% when in the first 7 months...

all those other reviews are people who were dumb enough to wait til the movie came out on dvd to watch it .....

Anyway...GI JOE probably be around 50% when it's all said and done.
all those other reviews are people who were dumb enough to wait til the movie came out on dvd to watch it .....

Anyway...GI JOE probably be around 50% when it's all said and done.
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12:58PM on 08/05/2009
I find rottentomatoes to be useless because the movies I like range from around 0% to 100% on that site. It's also very predictable how the majority of critics will rate a movie. There's usually no surprises.

G.I. Joe is a movie I would predict critics would give thumbs down to so I think even though it seems to be doing well from early screenings, once the majority had their say, it would probably be voted rotten.

But, I definitely think whether a movie is rated fresh or rotten has
I find rottentomatoes to be useless because the movies I like range from around 0% to 100% on that site. It's also very predictable how the majority of critics will rate a movie. There's usually no surprises.

G.I. Joe is a movie I would predict critics would give thumbs down to so I think even though it seems to be doing well from early screenings, once the majority had their say, it would probably be voted rotten.

But, I definitely think whether a movie is rated fresh or rotten has absolutely no accuracy in determining what my actual opinion of the quality of the movie will be.

I like to read the reviews on joblo or arrow in the head because you guys seem like you have ACTUAL opinions and don't conform to what the sheep are saying. In other words, if you like a movie, you aren't afraid to say it, even if it's getting bad reviews. And you also aren't afraid to say you don't like a movie, even if it's being praised by other critics.

Ebert is like that too, but I guess since he's the most popular critic ever, he doesn't feel the need to conform either.
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