This may seem like a bit of a rant and perhaps it is to some degree.
I’m not a film critic. I’m actually a pretty easygoing and forgiving viewer. Now that doesn’t mean I like every movie I see. I have turned off movies I don’t like, even walked out of a theater a couple of times. That also doesn’t mean I can’t critique a film, I do, I’m just not someone who views a movie with critiquing in mind. At my age I know what I like, I know what type of stories I enjoy and these days I’m rarely disappointed.
I’m really not a film snob, I had a friend who would snub anything he considered too commercial, and I’m open to many types of films. Movies to me are a form of art but to me I also enjoy the mindless escapism the types of movies I enjoy. I don’t mind serious film, but following on my last entry on how I loved the more lighthearted fare of the Science-Fiction films from the 90s, the types of movies I like are those that have a fun aspect to them.
I also feel many professional critics can be a bit snobbish and harsh. From a psychological perspective many people think negatively and even cynically and bring that into their criticisms. I’ve read some reviews that were more cynicism than critique.
Since judging art is so subjective, bad reviews generally don’t put me off on a film. I enjoy reading criticism of films but I don’t let them sway me and will judge for myself whether or not I enjoy a film.
I like to read the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I disagree where they put their fresh rating. I say if a movie has 51% rating that means a majority of critics liked a movie, albeit a small majority. So deeming a movie “Fresh” at 60% is a bit arbitrary.
What I’ve noticed is that within my DVD collection there are many movies from the Science-Fiction and Fantasy film genres that did not get fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. It goes to show that I really don’t listen to critics much. Also, I find, on social media anyway, no matter what movie is announced, haters come pouring out of the woodwork as if Pavlov rang his bell and his dogs begun salivating. People seem negative in general and closed minded. Nasty people have come along and questioned my taste in movies but in the end I like what I like with no apologies and what others think of my tastes matters not.
Here, in no particular order, are movies from my collection that have received a not so fresh rating.
Seventh Son – 20%
The Great Wall – 35%
Gods of Egypt – 15%
Jupiter Ascending – 26%
GeoStorm – 14%
Independence Day Resurgence – 30%
Batman & Robin – 10%
Judge Dredd (199?) – 17%
The Scorpion King – 41%
Journey 2 the Mysterious Island – 45%
Godzilla (1998) – 16%
The Day After Tomorrow – 44%
Van Helsing – 23%
Planet of the Apes (2001) – 45%
The Time Machine (2002) – 29%
Alien Trespass – 34%
Land of the Loss – 26%
Race to Witch Mountain – 43%
Skyline – 16%
Cowboys and Aliens – 43%
Green Lantern – 26%
Battleship – 34%
After Earth – 11%
John Carter – 51% *
GI Joe: Rise of Cobra – 35%
GI Joe: Retaliation – 29%
Pixels – 17%
Man of Steel – 56% *
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – 26%
Justice League – 40%
Power Rangers – 45%
Velarian and the City of a Thousand Planets – 49%
Pacific Rim: Uprising – 46%
Clash of the Titans – 28%
Wrath of the Titans – 26%
Immortals – 36%
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time – 36%
Star Trek: The Motion Picture – 44%
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – 22%
Star Trek: Generations – 49%
Star Trek: Insurrection – 55% *
Star Trek: Nemesis- 38%
* I included a few that do have an above 50% rating but those are still technically considered rotten.
# I also only included the 1998 American Godzilla movie even though there are many Japanese Godzilla movies that also have rotten railings. I will cover them someday on my new Godzilla Designs blog. https://godzilladesigns.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/the-eras-of-godzilla-films/
Film critic Roger Ebert passed away last week and I wanted to make some comments. In the 80s and 90s At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert was a staple of my TV viewing. As a film buff I enjoyed watching or reading the reviews of current movies and Siskel and Ebert were my two favorites. In some ways this blog would not be here if it were not for the influence of Roger Ebert. Watching their shows and reading his articles and then website, raised my interesting in reviewing movies myself. In 1999 I began writing reviews for movies, music and books on Amazon.com. As my renewed interest in science-fiction movies grew writing a blog to post my reviews was a natural step.
One of the things I enjoyed about Ebert’s work was his ability to articulate his views in an intelligent manner but also in a way that we all could understand and relate to. He was a film critic that enjoyed the movies the rest of us enjoyed and he was not a film snob. He also enjoyed artistic and obscure films but did not always indicate that these films were always superior to the films Hollywood produced. I found his reviews to be balanced and even when I didn’t agree with him he often spoke as if you knew that his words were his opinion only and a universal fact about a movie.
That was one of the things that I admired most about him. A reviewer I understood that his words were a subjective opinion and not anything more. That is one of the things I try to convey in my writing, that my words are only my opinion and that other views are welcome.
I want to have one last rant. 🙂 I never cared for the thumbs up or thumbs down on reviewing a movie. To me movies have never been an all or nothing event. A movie can have many things going wrong with it and yet there are times I can still find much to enjoy. I don’t think the thumbs up or thumbs down type of review can give out that type of information.
RIP Roger. Thanks for your work and the inspiration!
Beginning this week, Mondays on this blog will be dedicated to looking at box office returns for the science fiction/fantasy movies I am following. The majority of movies are released on Fridays and movie studios anxiously await the Box office returns because it is a pretty reliable indicator how well a movie will do in its initial run at the theater. If a movie does poorly on its opening weekend and word of mouth is not good for a particular film then chances are it will not do well at the Box office. I also like to look at both foreign and domestic box office receipts because the foreign market, consisting of a diversity of nations, often can help a film that has done poorly on the domestic market.
This past Friday, May 18, 2012, the movie Battleship opened in theaters nation wide. It failed to grab the number one spot and finished in second place behind the Marvel juggernaut “The Avengers” which as of this weekend has brought in a total of $457,078,000.00 domestically and $723,300,000.00 at the foreign box office for a grand total of $1,180,378,000!! Battleship brought in a total of $25,300,000.00 at the domestic box office and a more respectable $215,300,000.00 foreign. This is not a real good start for a movie that is supposed to be a summer block buster.
Although I still have great interest in seeing this movie the reviews coming in are not too favorable. On Rotten Tomatoes.com Battleship only has a 36% rating, which is hardly a fresh rating, among professional reviewers. However, 57% of movie goers have said they liked Battleship. The negative reviews do not discourage me because I have liked movies with far lesser positive views than that. In fact when I read reviews I don’t take them as Gospel but merely as a guide. For example, many of the reviewers for Battleship seemed to have gone into the film with a closed mind and then the film only validated their preconceived notions. In other words, this is a movie they didn’t think they would like and then they ended up not liking it because it is a movie than doesn’t pretend to be anything other than it is, a mindless pop corn movie. So that is what the movie looks like to me, a mindless pop corn movie, and that is what I am expecting.
Although Battleship will not sink the Avengers I do hope that it finds its audience and makes the studio a good profit. I would love to see more fun action packed popcorn munching movies made in the future.
Copyright 2012 WJFoley