Now, of all the determinedly contentious elements of modern-day filmmaking — and there are a lot of them — there are surely few more prone to cause folks to shout in ALL CAPS online than #RottenTomatoes. Sure, partisans of the DCEU vs. MCU "feud" can get vicious at times, and a whole lot of people have deeply held opinions on both sides of the currently raging debate over representation, yet for some reason, Rotten Tomatoes — a review aggregation site — brings out a pure and passionate rage in some people.
A number, it seems, that includes famed Hollywood director and producer #BrettRatner, who recently argued that Rotten Tomatoes is terrible for #Hollywood. Indeed, he feels so strongly about the matter that:
According To Brett Ratner, Rotten Tomatoes Is 'The Destruction Of Our Business'
That, at least, was what he argued during a recent appearance at the Sun Valley Film Festival, suggesting that:
“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on 'Batman v Superman' I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful."
Now, it's worth noting at this point that Ratner's company RatPac Entertainment co-financed #BatmanVSuperman, making his comments both highly informed and inherently biased.
Which is worth bearing in mind while considering his next words:
"People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad."
So, to clarify: According to Ratner, Rotten Tomatoes is terrible because there is no subtlety to its numerical review aggregation, and because of its lack of transparency when it comes to its aggregation formula. Which, in fairness, is a position many fans agree with, at least to a point. Here's the problem, though:
Brett Ratner Is A Famously Terrible Director, Who Would Of Course Hate Rotten Tomatoes
Ratner is, after all, the man who brought #XMenTheLastStand into the world, a film widely hated by fans of both movies and the X-Men, as well as the director of the widely skewered Hercules, Tower Heist and, most haunting of all, a segment of the infamous Movie 43. Now, sure, he also made #RushHour and Red Dragon back in the day, but it's worth noting that he also made Rush Hour 3, so that kind of balances itself out.
In other words? Ratner is famous for directing movies that many, many people don't actually like all that much, and though he's taken to producing more critically lauded projects of late (he was involved in the production of The Revenant, for instance), he remains best known as the creator of movies that many people don't want to see for the simple reason that they are widely agreed to be not all that good.
Which, of course, means that we need to take any comments he might make about Rotten Tomatoes (valid as his central point about its flaws may be) with a massive pinch of salt. After all, those "great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores" he's referring to? They could easily be Rush Hour 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand.
Though, in fairness, the latter of those currently has a 58 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so perhaps Ratner does actually have a point. After all, if X-Men: The Last Stand can wind up with as positive a rating as 58 percent, then something has to be wrong, right?
What do you think, though? Is Ratner right about Rotten Tomatoes, or is he just mad that they were mean about his movies? Let us know below!