Thursday, February 16, 2006
Don't get me wrong, I still like to read critics reviews of movies, and I take them into consideration during a decision to attend/purchase/rent a movie. However, I have come to realize why really good movies get reviews less than they deserve. I just saw Mirrormask for the first time, and it was by all acounts brilliant. It wasn't, however, perfect, and I think that's why it only got a tomato meter reading of 51% (Rotten, by rottentomatos.com's standard of 60% or higher qualifying for a "Fresh" rating). See, when a really good movie has flaws, it's slammed by a lot of critics. But when a just ok movie is done with mediocre perfection, the ratings are in the 75-85% range. Example: Red-Eye. Sure, I enjoyed it, and probably would have given it a positave rating, but when considering it's 80% rating compaired to Mirrormask's 51%, that seems preposterous. Red Eye was a well paced thriller, but nothing more. The story wasn't complex or thought provoking, the acting wasn't above average, the directing wasn't ingenious, and the effects were only so-so (IE: The horrible shot of the RPG flying towards the hotel room from the river). This movie was safe, it took pretty much no chances, broke no new ground, and so wasn't the least bit creative or effective beyond a cheap thrill. Mirrormask, on the other hand, was all of these things. The flaws come partially in it's limited budget (the CGI could have been better), and partially in pacing (but not by much). Other than that, it was a brilliant story with a meaning and message. It might be because of high expectations for daring films, but mostly I think it's because of intellectual resentment. When a film is intellectually daring, the half-wit critics will find any reason what-so-ever to tear it to shreds out of resentment for not understanding it. Call me snobbish, but I stand by that opinion.
BTW: rottentomatos.com's readings are based on the percentage of positave reviews, not an average of a percentage grade individual reviewers gave the films.