Rotten Tomatoes and the Wrath of the Dark Knight Fanboys
Working here at JoBlo.com, I have gotten used to certain Schmoes ripping me a new a-hole for any errors that I make in an article, whether it be spelling/grammar related or a dumb mistake (like referencing George Orwell's 1985...I am such a moron). But, my fellow news editors and I all know that if you let those comments bother you then working for a movie website such as this is probably not the right career path. You cannot let those comments bother you. But, there are rules posted for both the comments on the sites as well as on Movie Fan Central. Those rules exist for a reason. JoBlo himself wants to promote a fun and safe community for fans where we can all talk about our shared passion: movies. That does not mean that we always have to agree.
Over at Rotten Tomatoes, they seem to have gotten themselves into a serious Catch-22 with the reviews for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. The film is currently holding a "certified fresh" rating in the mid-80 percent. But, those reviewers who have dared to take a negative stance on the movie have been met with vitriol and very serious hate messages. This prompted Matt Atchity, editor-in-chief for the site, to suspend comments for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES until after the movie hits theaters this Friday. He wrote a letter to the patrons of the website entitled "This is why we can't have nice things." Check it out here.
There is a very fine line when it comes to the internet. On one hand, Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Warner Bros, who also owns THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Some will say this is a marketing ploy to protect their blockbuster from negative press. But, on the other hand, those commenting on the negative reviews by Christy Lemire and Marshall Fine, amongst others, are taking things way too far. The golden rule for commenting on websites is "don't be a dick". But you cannot control the trolls out there who will rip you a new one just for shits and giggles.
But all of that pales to the fact that the vast majority of those sending hateful messages to these professional critics have not even seen THE DARK KNIGHT RISES yet! Sure, I was disappointed to see some critics say that it was not the best film in the history of motion pictures, but that is their opinion. The entire point of being a critic is to criticize and there will never be an absolute consensus on every movie. Back when TOY STORY 3 was released, fans of the film went apeshit when the movie lost the rare 100% positive ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. Aw, damn, now only 99% of the world loves the movie! It is sullied for eternity! Come on, people, grow up!.
The only thing that matters once THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is released is whether you love it or hate it. I am sure 100% of you Schmoes will not love it. Based on the comments on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES stories we have posted here over the last several months, many of you didn't like the first two Nolan films. That is your opinion and you are absolutely entitled to it. The internet is a forum for us to share opinions. it should not be a place to attack others for having opinions of their own.
This will not be the last time that this happens to a movie. Matt Atchity is worried about a similar backlash when director Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is released later this year. “We may do away with comments completely or get to a place where comments are only activated after a movie opens.” I hope they do. Rotten Tomatoes should allow comments from those who have seen the movie. If that means blocking comments until the movie is released, so be it. The rest of those who want to share their thoughts can come to JoBlo.com or the site of their choosing. Just remember, don't be a dick.
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