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  #1  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:01 AM
enomaj enomaj is offline
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Ever thoroughly enjoy a movie and find out the critics savaged it?

Watched Lockout with Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace. It's basically Die Hard on a Supermax space prison. Guy has to rescue Maggie after a prison riot that erupts on her fact finding mission. She's the First Daughter by the way. And Dad is standing by to give the order for a ful assault once she's rescued. The rest of the hostages will be collateral damage. There's also a subplot about a briefcase that Guy dumped off to a mystery man. That man is on the prison but he suffers from dementia brought on by stasis.

So I check out rotten tomatoes after rating it 5 stars on Netlix streaming. 33% critics, 44% audience. What gives?
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:03 AM
Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo is offline
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All the time.

The first one that popped into my head was the Speed Racer remake. 39% on RT, but I thought it was a blast. Really enjoyed it.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:16 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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I guess my TomatoMeter is pegged to that of the reasonably astute critics, because my personal ratings tend to agree with the RT ratings. That's often the case even when my opinion was formed long before I saw any reviews or the composite score. So films that come in at the 0-25 range tend to be ones I thought were sucky, too.

It's in the midrange that there's the most difference - movies I'd rate 80+ sometimes come in with an RT of 50-60. In most cases, the films are special-interest (Watchmen) or ones where I think (and the more astute positive critics seem to think) that those who gave a thumbs-down missed the point of the movie. Older example: if you read the negative reviews of Darkman, you can see that they never got that it was black, black humor. Viewed and reviewed from the perspective of being a straight thriller/drama, it does suck. You have to get the humor to appreciate it for what it is.

But in the end, you're your own best critic. So if you gave five stars to a movie and RT hammered it, so what? The question is... if you rewatch the movie in a few years, will you still rate it so highly? Or did this first viewing hit you in a time and way that obscured what the consensus thought sucked? I've had that happen, too. I think part of being an astute critic is to try and watch the film both as a viewer and in a meta mode, thinking about how it's going to age and strike viewers on repeated showings.
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:27 AM
MegaBee MegaBee is offline
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Originally Posted by Johnny Bravo View Post
All the time.

The first one that popped into my head was the Speed Racer remake. 39% on RT, but I thought it was a blast. Really enjoyed it.
That's mine, too. Scott Pilgrim wasn't kindly treated by the critics, either, was it?
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:34 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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Without trying to list specifics, I found out long ago that if I had read reviews before watching something, I would have missed a good percentage of my favorite movies and TV shows. So I wait until I have seen them to read the critics. I've had decent luck with Ebert and Rotten Tomatoes and maybe 75% of the things I like will get their approval. But it still happens too often that I will give something at least 3 stars only to see that they have had to stretch to give it one!

I worry at times that my tastes are not as sophisticated as I would like them to be, but I still prefer to make up my own mind before I see how wrong I was.
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:35 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I usually agree with the Tomatometer, but I quite like Oscar. 13%.
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:38 AM
Rollo Tomasi Rollo Tomasi is offline
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Originally Posted by MegaBee View Post
That's mine, too. Scott Pilgrim wasn't kindly treated by the critics, either, was it?
A pretty good 81%. It was the box office where that one was roundly rejected.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:00 AM
drastic_quench drastic_quench is offline
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No. The Tomatometer has a better claim to infallibility than the pope.

The disconnect is that I know cult movies suck as movies. I might still enjoy Jackass - The Movie (48%) -- but I know it doesn't pass muster as a movie. I don't need my campy romps to be critically acclaimed in the exact same way I wouldn't expect or require my Wrigley Field brat and beers to get four star raves from the Tribune's food critic.
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:00 AM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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I really liked Dinner For Schmucks. Didn't expect any Oscar nominations, but it was a comedy, and it made me laugh quite a lot, so that's a success in my book. Critics did not agree.

Also, my wife drags me to a good number of Romantic Comedies, most of which I simply tolerate. We went to see one called How Do You Know with Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson as Rudd's father. While I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say I "thoroughly enjoyed" it, I found it well above average for a romcom, and it kept me invested and engaged all the way through. It was a critical and commercial failure.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:09 AM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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I enjoyed Hotel Transylvania *far* more than I expected to, and it only got 43% on RT.
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:15 AM
hogarth hogarth is offline
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Congo -- I liked it just fine (although it won't win any Oscars), but Rotten Tomatoes gave it 21%.

Last edited by hogarth; 12-04-2012 at 11:16 AM..
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:35 PM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
I usually agree with the Tomatometer, but I quite like Oscar. 13%.
Me too! Oscar is made of awesome - made me a Stallone fan for life. So now when I see dreck like The Expendables (1 or 2) - terrible, but stuff gets blowed up real good - I can at least say, "But he was in Oscar."
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:48 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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Conan the Barbarian. The reviews I read were dismissive because they felt that Arnold couldn't act. I'm not sure what they were expecting, really...
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:56 PM
diggerwam diggerwam is offline
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I need critics. My life is too short and funds too tight to spend two and a half hours and/or more than ten bucks bucks on a crappy movie. There are a few directors than I will always go see, but favorite actor, hell no. If a movie gets mixed reviews I might go see it, but if it absolutely gets savaged by the critics, if will probably go on the netflix list and I'll probably let my wife watch it alone. I'll find something better to do, thanks.

Critics are an imperfect way to make choices but you need to have some basis to find quality entertainment. Don't have time, money or inclination to see every movie that shows up at my Cineplex. I probably have missed some reasonably entertaining movies but I've never walked out of a movie at the theatre and I've only turned off a half dozen movies at home in my life.
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:16 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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The first one to come to mind is Domino with Keira Knightley. 18% at RT. 9% (!) among top critics. I'm not a fan that much of the genre, but I found it quite a bit better than most action shoot-em-ups.
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  #16  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:40 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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I enjoyed The Star Wars prequels and Prometheus, so ... yeah ...
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:45 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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Originally Posted by Evil Captor View Post
I enjoyed The Star Wars prequels and Prometheus, so ... yeah ...
I liked Prometheus to. But its at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I don't think it was really "savaged" by the critics.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:10 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
I liked Prometheus to. But its at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I don't think it was really "savaged" by the critics.
I really liked Prometheus until I got on this board and read the discussion thread. It clued me in to a lot of weird and inexplicable stuff in the movie that I had overlooked, and now I like the movie much less than I did when I came out of the theater
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:12 PM
Feyrat Feyrat is offline
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A couple of time. I adore Death to Smoochy - I think it's brilliant and hilarious. The critics ripped it to shreds and seemed to almost universally miss the entire point of the movie. Some of the reviews I read literally left me boggled, wondering what movie they'd seen.
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  #20  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:27 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
Conan the Barbarian. The reviews I read were dismissive because they felt that Arnold couldn't act. I'm not sure what they were expecting, really...
They probably dismissed his chances in politics at the time, too.

And although it wasn't exactly savaged by the critics, Crash gets savaged on this message board all the time.
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  #21  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:55 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
I usually agree with the Tomatometer, but I quite like Oscar. 13%.
I'll agree with this. Very underrated.
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  #22  
Old 12-04-2012, 07:55 PM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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The Lovely Bones. I seem to recall it getting a lot of buzz before it was released, but I didn't pay attention to what the critics said when it actually hit theaters, and I didn't get around to seeing it until it hit DVD anyway.

Maybe it's just because a close friend of ours had just died when I saw it (who happened to be the father of another friend who died a few years before), but the movie really struck a chord with me, and I was pretty surprised when I looked it up on Rotten Tomatoes and saw that the critics lambasted it.

Last edited by joebuck20; 12-04-2012 at 07:56 PM..
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  #23  
Old 12-04-2012, 08:13 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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Anyone who thinks there's a James Bond film other than 1967's Casino Royale that's worth watching once, let alone twice, is just plain WRONG.

Yet somehow, the Rotten Tomatoes site has an extraordinarily large number of wrong people on it, where this film is concerned.
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  #24  
Old 12-04-2012, 08:21 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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Missed the edit window:

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the 1966 Batman, which is to Batman as Casino Royale '67 is to Bond, was treated much better on that site, although there are still a lot of WRONG people who rated many of the post-1988 ones higher.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 12-04-2012 at 08:22 PM..
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  #25  
Old 12-04-2012, 08:28 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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I mentioned this recently in another thread, but Return to Oz. Critics are reassessing it these days, but it's a fine movie and probably ahead of its time. Nowadays, when darkness is a virtue, it'd be very well received.
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  #26  
Old 12-04-2012, 08:39 PM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Originally Posted by enomaj View Post
It's basically Die Hard on a Supermax space prison.
Close. It's con-air in space.
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  #27  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:23 PM
Trick Rider Trick Rider is offline
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I thought White Noise was an interesting, tense horror movie with a refreshing amount of suspense.

9% last time I checked.
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  #28  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:40 PM
Seanette Seanette is offline
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Originally Posted by enomaj View Post
Watched Lockout with Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace. It's basically Die Hard on a Supermax space prison. Guy has to rescue Maggie after a prison riot that erupts on her fact finding mission. She's the First Daughter by the way. And Dad is standing by to give the order for a ful assault once she's rescued. The rest of the hostages will be collateral damage. There's also a subplot about a briefcase that Guy dumped off to a mystery man. That man is on the prison but he suffers from dementia brought on by stasis.

So I check out rotten tomatoes after rating it 5 stars on Netlix streaming. 33% critics, 44% audience. What gives?
As far as I can tell, critics tend toward the "true art is incomprehensible to common rabble" school of thought that holds that if it's entertaining, it's not ART, therefore it is unworthy.

I tend to ignore critics and form my own opinions.
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  #29  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:27 AM
Max the Immortal Max the Immortal is offline
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"Thoroughly enjoyed" may be overstating it, but I thought The Postman was okay. Rotten Tomatoes lists it at 9% from critics, 51% from audiences.
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  #30  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:46 AM
Dave Hartwick Dave Hartwick is offline
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Originally Posted by Seanette View Post
As far as I can tell, critics tend toward the "true art is incomprehensible to common rabble" school of thought that holds that if it's entertaining, it's not ART, therefore it is unworthy.
Not really. I mean, there are movie critics like that, but the majority are middlebrow. I will say, though, that I tend to be skeptical of some movies with very high RT scores. Critics tend to be generous toward films that offer novelty or prove some sort of point. Currently, a movie called The Sessions has a 95%.

Quote:
Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined - at age 38 - to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.
Yeah, no. I might watch it if my wife gets it but it just sounds lame to me.

As for movies I liked that got panned, all I really have is Not Another Teen Movie, which wasn't particularly good. It's just not as bad as RT made it out to be (28%). There's one scene I'm particularly fond of: the popular hero has to date the most hideous girl in school but not the conjoined albino twins, no, it's the arty girl with glasses and a ponytail.
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  #31  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:11 AM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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All the damn time. Including a depressing amount of what I see in theaters.

Starting with—one of my favorites is "GI Joe the Movie." The animated one, from the 80s. 'Nuff said.

Lessie...I enjoyed the Star Wars Prequels well enough and DIDN'T hate Jar-Jar; I liked Daredevil; I'm somewhat baffled by the hate for X3; I found Prometheus rather charming...

Jeez, I'm not sure where I am when it comes to "serious" movies that I liked, but the critics hate. I can't even think of any big examples...which I hope doesn't mean I've had too narrow a movie watching experience.
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  #32  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:19 AM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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I heard a very intense interview with someone in The Sessions, maybe it was the actor playing the disabled guy. I can't remember; I was so busy being incredulous at the entire premise. The thing I do remember is that it sounded like complete idiocy. But I'm prepared to believe a moving with a stupid-sounding premise can be good; there have been tons of them. It's all in the execution.

Last edited by Ellen Cherry; 12-05-2012 at 08:19 AM.. Reason: fixed de boo-boos.
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  #33  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:22 AM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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Yea, if you could judge a movie by a brief synopsis of its premise, there wouldn't really be much point in having critics.

I mean "a space wizard and a farmboy must rescue a princess from an evil space-station" sounds like tripe to.
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  #34  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:45 AM
Rollo Tomasi Rollo Tomasi is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave Hartwick View Post
Yeah, no. I might watch it if my wife gets it but it just sounds lame to me.

It's not. It's very entertaining and poignant, with really well-drawn characters. Plus, it has a refreshingly positive attitude about sex and the need for people to both understand and enjoy their sexuality. You should see it if it's showing near you.

But I do agree with you that the view of critics as anti–mainstream entertainment is way, way overstated, if not outright false. If you look at the summer blockbusters from the last decade or so on the Tomatometer, many of them have an overwhelming amount of critical support behind them. This summer had The Avengers (92%) and The Dark Knight Rises (87%), plus The Hunger Games (84%) from the spring and Skyfall (92%) from the fall. And last summer you had:

Thor (77%)
X-Men: First Class (87%)
Super 8 (82%)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (96%)
Captain America: The First Avenger (79%)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (83%)

It's pretty hard to look at those numbers and claim that critics (at least in recent years) don't give a fair shake to mainstream entertainment.
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  #35  
Old 12-05-2012, 09:51 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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I agree that critics tend toward liking middle brow entertainment. Most of the time, I hate a movie and then find out that it got a high score on RT, rather than the situation described in the OP.

Last edited by madmonk28; 12-05-2012 at 09:51 AM..
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  #36  
Old 12-05-2012, 09:58 AM
Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo is offline
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Originally Posted by Ranchoth View Post
Starting with—one of my favorites is "GI Joe the Movie." The animated one, from the 80s. 'Nuff said.
Sometimes when I'm feeling blue, I pull up the opening intro to that movie (with the fight at the statue of liberty). Always perks me up.
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  #37  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:40 AM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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Originally Posted by Ellen Cherry View Post
I heard a very intense interview with someone in The Sessions, maybe it was the actor playing the disabled guy. I can't remember; I was so busy being incredulous at the entire premise. The thing I do remember is that it sounded like complete idiocy. But I'm prepared to believe a moving with a stupid-sounding premise can be good; there have been tons of them. It's all in the execution.
Don't know if this will make a difference to you, but it is based on a true story.
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  #38  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:50 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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Mine is Duets, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis. It has a tomatometer rating of 20%. Ouch. Say what you will, I really enjoyed it both the first and subsequent times I saw it.
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  #39  
Old 12-05-2012, 09:41 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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My usual experience is the reverse - suffering through a bad movie (or leaving early) and finding out the critics loooved it.
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  #40  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:14 PM
grude grude is offline
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Pluto Nash- It was ok, kind of a tongue in cheek sci fi comedy(mob going after a guy living on a future moon with colonies). Going in I expected it to be the worst movie ever based on critic reviews, not even close.

John Carter- I am baffled how this movie got a single bad review, it has some mild problems but on the whole is a visually dazzling sci fi adventure.


I think sometimes reviewers get too caught up in the popular zeitgeist, a movie like The Postman just starts getting buzz as a turkey and then everyone feels compelled to pile on until the consensus has lost all contact with reality. See the numerous bad reviews Blade Runner received on its release, another case where buzz started that it was a turkey and it just snowballs. Roger Ebert has even done a 180 on his original review.
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  #41  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:46 PM
Waenara Waenara is offline
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John Carter- I am baffled how this movie got a single bad review, it has some mild problems but on the whole is a visually dazzling sci fi adventure.
I didn't bother seeing John Carter in theater, since it had bad buzz and bad reviews. When I saw it on Blu-Ray (my brother bought it), I was actually quite surprised how much I liked it. It wasn't a masterpiece, but I thought it was a solid movie. I didn't have any complaints about the casting, script or acting - they weren't the best I've ever seen but I wouldn't say they were actually bad in any way. For me I thought they were pretty comparable to many movies that have been more successful - like Captain America (which I thought was alright, not bad or great). John Carter also had some really good CGI that was pretty seamless and didn't seem like it was used gratuitously.

If I hadn't heard anything about it, after watching I would have guess it's score on Rotten Tomatoes as about 75-80%. Not the 51% it's currently at.
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  #42  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:22 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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It's a Wonderful Life had mixed reviews when it first came out; it wasn't, as mythology holds, considered a complete flop, but one would have been justified in missing it based on the critical reception at the time.

Pauline Kael, the one who felt the Nixon supporters closing in around her, didn't like 2001: A Space Odyssey very well and she certainly wasn't alone. Neither Bradbury nor Lester del Ray liked it very well, either. Again, though, there was a broad range of popular opinion at the same time.

But let's not embarrass reviewers (and that's what these people are: reviewers, not critics) with past missteps. I think the most recent Speed Racer film is very enjoyable in its natural setting (a very large screen in a dark room) simply because it is purely a visual experience, with the 'human story' (close-up on face, deliver line, close-up on face, someone else delivers line, close-up on face, voice-over, repeat) engaging while the film is in progress and somewhat interesting to talk about later but not something that distracts from the visual beauty.
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  #43  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:20 AM
Corcaigh Corcaigh is offline
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Originally Posted by Max the Immortal View Post
"Thoroughly enjoyed" may be overstating it, but I thought The Postman was okay. Rotten Tomatoes lists it at 9% from critics, 51% from audiences.
I also liked this movie, as did several of my pals



I also liked the Star Wars prequels, I can remember clapping enthusiastically at the end of TPM, only to discover everyone around me glaring balefully at me. there was a bee... ?
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  #44  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:11 AM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
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The 1996 version of The Island of Dr. Moreau, with Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer, is rated only 23%. Philistines.
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