08 November 2021 375 Views

ETERNALS and the curse of Rotten Tomatoes

by James Murphy

ETERNALS is doing just fine. 

Is it universally praised? No!

Does it inject new life to MARVEL: Absolutely not. 

But the movie has its merits: via the crisis in movie criticism!

 

I made it clear that I disliked the look of ETERNALS. Too dour, serious, sombre. I am in the mood for a fun blasting comic book romp. Nothing like that seems possible anymore. 

But that is NOT the same as slagging off a movie I have not seen. It is emphatically different from condemning it based upon ‘identity politics’. And I have never and hopefully WILL never, lambaste or laud, a piece of art, based solely on the mathematics of measuring other reviews.

We now live in a world whereby Rotten Tomatoes rankings are as important if not more so than the actual Box Office or general reception to a cinematic event. Thing is: the brand of criticism is now bigger than the process it was intended to measure. 

The critics vs audience ranking system means that those who loathe a movie can cite the deficit in scores as proof of their dislike being valid. Equally, the makers of films and distributors can weaponise the trends as an equal vindication of quality. Taken together? It feeds the ethos of polarity in how we view and discuss the movies we love. 

There HAS to be some third way here. A centrist solution whereby yes, one views the critic and audience reactions but remains free to form an individual opinion and respect that of others.

Though I would never descend to conspiracy theory accusations of figures being ‘rigged’? I do feel it deeply unhelpful that our climate is now defined by an ‘us and them’ culture: critics v audience?

Remember, in a YouTube/blogging era, EVERYONE is now quite LITERALLY a ‘critic’. That starts with YOU!

Go see ETERNALS. Form your own view. Write your own RE-view. And take it from there? Here endeth the lesson. Have a fab week, one and all x

 



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