Rotten Tomatoes

Culture Warrior

In the days leading up to the release of The Dark Knight Rises, Rotten Tomatoes found itself the gravitational Bizarro-world center of the film’s anticipation. In the comments section of the site’s review blurbs, negative – or “rotten,” in the parlance of the site – reviews were met with hyperbolic rage, sexist dismissal, and even death threats. The comments feature on the site was subsequently disabled, accompanied with a message from the Editor-in-Chief detailing the entire affair. Fingers were pointed directly and exclusively (and justifiably) at the commenters themselves for such disruptive and hateful rhetoric (though it should be noted that there were also plenty of comments that were altogether unremarkable). The Internet’s usual suspects – the power of anonymity/avatars to protect the identity of hateful speakers; the unchallenged given that webspeak is somehow inherently hyperbolic; the understanding that there have always been stupid, angry reactionaries, but the Internet simply gives them a public voice – were on full display. But in retrospect, several weeks after the furor has died down, it’s clear that there’s one question seemingly nobody asked in response, one that has at various moments plagued those who love and appreciate the art of film criticism: does the design of Rotten Tomatoes itself not invite exactly the type of high-decibel, absolutist discussion that the site subsequently attempted to quiet? When Matt Atichy wrote “This Is Why We Can’t have Nice Things,” shouldn’t those who value film criticism question the assumption within this response that the services provided […]


With big tech announcements being made today at the World Wide Developers Conference 2012, many have spent their afternoon with their eyes turned to tech blogs, in an attempt to stay on top of all the nifty new things that their iDevices are going to be able to do in the near future. Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage to deliver the company’s keynote speech, which revealed a whole host of new Apple products, some of which might even have an impact on how you plan your trips to the movie theater in the future. The first announcement that has implications for movie fans was the revelation that iOS’s disembodied personal assistant Siri will have added functionality once you update your Apple-made mobile devices to iOS 6. Mashable reports that a new partnership with Rotten Tomatoes will allow you to ask your iPhone or iPad questions like when and where a movie is playing, how it’s performed with critics, and how long it lasts. If you’re still undecided on what you want to see you can even ask your device to play the trailer. Or, if you’re not even certain what the name of the movie that you want to see is, you can ask it to search for the new movie with a certain actor. Just imagine the possibilities. In a matter of months there may be teenagers all over the world speaking into their phones and saying things like, “Siri, buy me 2 tickets to […]


What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that digs and digs and keeps on diggin’ until it finds the most interesting things from around the web. Tonight it’s pretty proud of its ability to find things that it thinks you’ll like. Do enjoy. Long after it was one of the most buzzed-about movies of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, even after packing promotional screenings at SXSW months later, Eli Craig’s horror comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had no distributor. Whatever the reason, no one wanted to bring these two bumbling hillbillies to the dance. Well now that’s all history, as Magnolia Pictures has acquired it. According to their press release, they will release it into theaters on September 30, with a VOD release on August 26. Personally, I can’t wait to see it again.


Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as MonkeyTailBeard38 and LifeFindzaWay394 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the duo attempt to figure out word of mouth, movie advertising, critical response, and which one is to blame when a movie fails. Or, you know, it could just be the movie’s quality, but we hate simple answers around here. What separates the blockbusters from the flops? What makes people go see movies?


For once, the merging of two online brands may actually benefit the end-user. That is, if they can come through on the great promise they’ve made.

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published: 12.17.2014
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