When 1,000,000 People are Wrong

Here’s the thing. I like technology. I’m a fan. And for the most part, I think it’s peachy keen. But every now and then something happens that reminds me that some things, while good in moderation, can end up messing up with your life. Nothing big here: just Rottentomatoes.

You’ve probably heard of that site or used it. Basically, it compiles a slew of reviews for movies, then breaks them down into a liked it/didn’t like it evaluation. Take all that, add it up and take the average, and you have a percentage score that the site uses to then say whether a movie is good or not. If something gets a 95% positive score, then it must be good, because 95% of critics liked it. If something gets a 5% . . .

But the thing is, sometimes I disagree with critics. Sometimes every single critic out there might hate a movie, but I’d love it–because the movie’s perfect for me. But if I put too much weight in Rottentomatoes, then I end up missing that movie.

Case in point: Meet the Robinsons. It’s got a 66% fresh rating, which would make you think it would be okay. Maybe two and a half stars. But I watched it yesterday with TRC, and I loved it. Three and a half stars. I enjoyed it more than some of the Pixar movies. The jokes were fast and furious, all aimed at me. It reminded me of a computer animated Emperor’s New Groove. Then I went and looked at the reviews. Some people hated it, some people loved it. It’s like some people “got it,” and some didn’t.

In the end, I think you have to remember that the only critic’s review that counts for you is your own personal review. It doesn’t matter if everyone loved something–you can still hate it. And it doesn’t matter if everyone hates it and you love it. You don’t have to defend your likes and dislikes.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

6 thoughts on “When 1,000,000 People are Wrong”

  1. What about…
    Okay, I know we’re not supposed to judge people anyway, but sometimes I change my opinion of someone based on whether he/she did/didn’t like a certain movie. Case in point? A good friend of mine very strongly favored The Illusionist over The Prestige, and I was quite disappointed. I know, I know, The Prestige is dark and depressing. But I thought The Illusionist didn’t carry itself off successfully at all, so how could anyone say it’s better?!? Sigh.

  2. Re: What about…
    See, that’s exactly what you can’t do. There’s no accounting for taste, and I don’t think people need to justify their taste. I don’t like fish. It tastes yucky. If someone tells me I’m silly that I don’t like fish, fine. If someone says I stink as a human being because I don’t like fish, well . . .
    Some people don’t like dark and depressing. Any movie that’s dark and depressing, they will hate. Some people, on the other hand, only watch dark and depressing. Go figure.

  3. I tend to listen to certain people. (Mostly friends, not critics.) I have friends who recommend things to me that I hate. They know I hate that genre. I’ve told them before. But they are absolutely convinced that if I just watch *this one* that I’ll change my mind. And no, thanks.
    Then there are other people who seem to get what I like. They either like what I like, or understand what I like, and can give me good recommendations. (This is you, FYI.) When these people recommend something, I pay attention.
    I also pay attention to *why* they like these things. If someone loves a comedy because of all the slapstick humor, I’ll pass. If they like it because of the neat camera work and the dark themes, I’ll listen.
    But you’re right. Sometimes critics hate a movie, and I love it. Elizabethtown is a great example. It was billed as a romantic comedy. I went to see it under protest, because I hate romantic comedies. And then, out of everyone I went to see it with, I was the only one who liked it. Because, go figure, it was not actually a romantic comedy. So sometimes, you just get lucky.

  4. Yeah–that actually blends in with another idea that’s been kicking around my head. So much of what I think about a book or a movie has to do with how it’s introduced to me. High expectations + okay movie = I think it’s bad. Low expectations + okay movie = I think it’s good. Bad first chapter + okay book = bad book. Good first chapter + okay book = good book.
    I’m working on redoing the opening of ParkerBoy, and thus this whole idea is rather prevalent in my mind. I feel like if I can get the opening right, and the intro to Parker right, then the rest of the book should take care of itself. Anyway, that’s the hope . . .

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