Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The only tomato that is rotten, sir, is yours!

I have a beef with rottentomatoes.com. So much so that I didn't even make the preceding address a link, as to not give them extra traffic.

You see, everyone quotes a movie's score on RT (that's what us cool kids call it) as the final say on a movie's quality. But do you even know what that score represents?

RT (there's that cool moniker again!) recommends a movie as "fresh" if the aggregate score is 60%+. A movie is not recommended ("rotten", putting the R in RT) if the score is below that. But the thing is, they're not taking an average of all the reviews they cull from throughout the internet. They are using a binary system. If a movie got a recommendation, it will go in the fresh pile, regardless whether it got a lukewarm ok or a rave review. They are both counted the same according to this metric. Likewise, a movie whose individual score is less than 60%, say 2.5 stars on 5 in your local paper, will get a rotten tag. The reviewer may have been on the fence about a movie and thought it was just ok, but such a movie will be lumped together with god-awful dreck like the latest Transformers movie. Then, all the fresh reviews and all the rotten reviews are counted, and the score is given.

My problem with this is that there allows no room for nuance; it's either yes or no. Movies are a form of art and as such require shades of grey in between, something the fascist system at RT enforces.

However, all is not lost. Buried in tiny font to the right of the giant % score is "Average Rating". This is the true indication of what the critics think. It's the true average of the scores and a better indicator of the critical opinion of a movie. Were it not for this, RT would be a complete waste of time.

Either that or just go to metacritic.com.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fan of Facebook

I'm not sure exactly why this is, but I find it hilarious that Facebook allows people to be "fans" of things. I can understand becoming a "fan" of a band or a tv show on Facebook in order to see who else likes the same things as you to maybe have a discussion about it. But, like most things, people take this too far.

You can be a fan of just about anything on Facebook, it makes the word lose all meaning. I've seen some ridiculous things out there attracting fans, including (but not limited to) cuddling and sarcasm. Yay, I could be a fan of sarcasm. This is the greatest thing ever! I'm so awesome now!

I recently saw people become a fan of god and I thought this was too much. Firstly, the image associated with being a fan of god was a photo of Earth from space. Oooh, how divine! But the reason I find this funny is that I feel it should be offensive, no? On the one hand, you have people becoming fans of the Montreal Canadiens and Alexisonfire, yet the very same mechanism is used to be a fan of god. By no means a religious person, I would have thought that believers would be appalled at their almighty tritely being reduced to the same level as a local sports team or a terrible musical act.

Even better than being a fan of god is being a fan of peace. I kid you not, I have seen people become fans of peace on Facebook. What a conversation piece that is!

You're a fan of peace?! Wow, that's like so deep, man! Who would have known peace is something that would attract fans? Personally, I don't care for it but since I saw that you became a fan of it on Facebook, it totally changed my life. I, too, enjoy peace now. The power of Facebook compels me!


Why not become a fan of oxygen while you're at it?

All this to say that life was better before Facebook came along, allowing me to guess at people's stupidity instead of having it confirmed by their postings.