Saturday, July 11, 2020

What Is Going On With The Last Jedi And RottenTomatoes?

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Adam Chmielewski
Adam Chmielewski is the latest Mid-Western transplant to take up residence in the City Of Angels. Aside from contributing to Nerdbot, he’s writing screenplays for film and television. Just like everyone else in Los Angeles.

I saw The Last Jedi, and honestly my head is spinning so much I am incapable of forming a real opinion on the film. Of course some things were great, but man do I have a bunch of questions. It sucked for me because due to life. Luckily my schedule gave me a couple of free hours on Sunday and I finally made it to the theater. Three days in Star Wars time might as well been three years. I did everything in my power to avoid spoilers but through friends and TweetsI still heard opinions I didn’t expect to hear.

Aside from all that, a story on I found on CBR.com (comic book resources) directed my attention to rottentomatoes.com, the famed, yet somewhat controversial review website. Currently, as of Monday December 18th around noon, the difference between critic’s and audience ratings of The Last Jedi are definitely worth noting. If you’re unfamiliar with rottentomatoes.com, it does two different classifications for a film’s rating. One is a score from the critics, the other is the audience’s score, and the latest Star Wars installment sits at 93% to 56% respectively.

I started following this on Friday, December 15th. Since then, the critic’s score has been in the mid-90’s and has not moved much. The audience score has fallen four points from my initial trip to rottentomatoes.com. I personally cannot verify if the audience rating was ever higher than 60%, however assuming it was, the drop in points is what’s significant because I was under the assumption that Disney, especially Star Wars, was a bad review proof commodity.

I’ve seen The Last Jedi and even though I was puzzled by such a low audience score before I saw it, now I understand.

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What I cannot comprehend is why the critic’s score is so high? I could understand something in the 80’s but a 93%? An over thirty point difference? It maybe my opinion, but it really looks like the media is sucking up to Disney on this one. In scrolling through different reviews, most of the really popular sites are generally positive. When you go to Screenrant or MonkeysFightingRobots, a little lesser amount of traffic than Consequence of Sound, their assessment seems to be a little more honest and in line with how I could imagine audience members rating the movie on rottentomatoes.

Yes, I’m about to go there…

Let’s take a look at the Justice League which, on rottentomatoes has a critic’s score of 40% and an audience score of 79%. A thirty-nine point difference. What is going on here? I know Justice League is flawed but 40%? Based on my experience, people had way more fun in the Justice League than The Last Jedi. I had never seen people laughing like that during a DC movie. There were loud bursts of applause, a couple times, and an all around better vibe. It was not the case with The Last Jedi. Even the scene where BB-8 pilots the walker fell flat AF.

So I have to ask… are the critics Hearsting Warner Brothers? Are they afraid to anger the beast known as Disney by throwing love at their competition? Now comes the part where you might bring up Wonder Woman, and it was amazing! With only one of six DC movies to get both critical and financial success Warner Brothers was bound to hit at some point. It was inevitable. I’ll ask you this question; notice how publications trumpeting the greatness of Wonder Woman were so quick to turn on Justice League?

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I didn’t think I would ever play the Hearsting card but after this weekend it has to be put out there. Hearsting of course is a reference to yellow journalism by Hearst newspapers which historians have theorized led to the Spanish American War and the criminalization of marijuana. Sorry Chris Hardwick. Now I know a RT rating won’t start a war, but I believe the world is underestimating the power of a bad review from a trusted source. The effect can shape your opinion without you even knowing it.

I’ll have to remind myself to check again in a month to see if Last Jedi’s RT score levels out.

As of now two things are now apparent; The Last Jedi is Disney’s Batman v Superman and Star Wars might be Disney’s DCEU.

By Adam Chmielewski

@PolishKaiju

Photo Credits- Disney/Warner Brothers/rottentomatoes.com

Do you smell something wrong with movie review websites? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!

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