I just paid my daily visit to Rotten Tomatoes, the website that aggregates movies reviews and rates films on their "Tomatometer" as either 'Fresh' (Good) or 'Rotten' (bad). A movie must have 64% or higher positive reviews to be noted as 'Fresh.'
Now I know that most people don't rely on film critics when choosing the movies they see. Most people choose movies based on who stars in them, who directed them or how good their trailers are. Some even choose based on genre (personally, I'd rather see a horror movie than a melodrama or a sci-fi action flick than a period romance). But I do read what the professional critics have to say and when critics overwhelmingly deride a movie as bad, I usually avoid it. Likewise, when critics overwhelming praise a film as wonderful, I try (with some exceptions) to see it.
Still, I am stymied by the Top Ten movies of last week. Particularly by the biggest box-office earner for two weeks in a row, Four Christmases. It has the second lowest RT rating (25%) of all of the Top Ten. In fact, five of the Top Ten are rated 'Rotten.' Only Punisher: The War Zone was rated lower (20%). Yet even it still managed to break the Top Ten. I mean, really now. Is it me? Just take a look at the Trailer for Four Christmases:
Now I ask you, was there anything even remotely funny in that trailer? And seriously, what the hell are Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenbergen and Kristen Chenowith doing in this movie? Do they really need the paychecks that badly? And why is this the number one movie in America? I mean, I love Reese Witherspoon in Election and Walk the Line and Vince Vaughn was okay in Swingers and The Wedding Crashers. But honestly, you couldn't pay me enough to see this movie.
So, does this make me a movie snob? Maybe. But I like to think I know the difference between a good film and bad one. Apparently, the American movie-going public does not. But, as my mother is fond of saying "That's why they make vanilla and chocolate."
More of this, anon.