Friday, July 31, 2009

Angry Rotten Tomatoes User Comments, Vol. 1

Both the salvation and the doom of the Internet lies in its anonymity. On the one hand, barring your online handle being your real name or making death threats against the president, you can pretty much post whatever the fuck you want free from consequence. If you make an idiot of yourself online, no sweat. If you make an idiot of yourself in real life, your only option is suicide.

On the other hand, most people take the freedom of anonymity as an open invitation to give in to their base instincts and behave like the violent, bile-spewing, quick-to-rage, feces-flinging baboons we've theoretically evolved from but still, given the opportunity, transform into at a moment's notice. Few places is this more evident than on the popular movie review compilation site Rotten Tomatoes.

Rotten Tomatoes is the second site down on my bookmarks; I check it damn near every day. But one thing I can't help but notice is that if you go to pretty much any given negative review, especially for a popular movie, people filled with fury and rage — not the kind of mild irritation you might have in real life at someone who hates the things you like, but the kind of violent, I'll-murder-you fury you might feel at someone who raped your sister — insist on posting their comments and letting the critics know how fucking furious they are.

I don't necessarily blame them. After spending all day at their shitty tech support jobs where in order to stay employed they have to swallow their retorts and politely say "yes, sir" to the guy shouting on the other end to put on their supervisor and they'll have them fired, all they want to do is log onto Rotten Tomatoes and see their favorite movie getting a digital handjob. It's all they have left. So who the fuck are those fucking critics to do their jobs and report how they viewed the film?! Safely behind the veil of anonymity, it's time to turn into a superhero of rage.

So in honor of the infuriated, I've decided to instigate a new monthly (or possibly bimonthly, if there's ever a month without any big movies) feature, Angry Rotten Tomatoes User Comments, on a quest to find the Angriest Tomato of the Month. For Volume 1, we turn our eye to Michael Bay's latest opus:

Albert O. gets thing started off right:

Joe B. bafflingly comes out against zucchini:

Travis L. scrawls an opus on why you're not smart enough to "get" Transformers:

Joe M. knows not only about your homosexual proclivities, but your genitalia, too:

Matt H., arguably the next Shakespeare:

Daniel A. comes to this site to [see reviews stating Daniel A.'s opinion], not some dumb *** critic who [states their opinion]:

Steven L. applies for internships with both Michael Bay and Sean Hannity in one post:

Jack O. cuts to the quick of your bitter existence:

Juan Carlos I., your crazy your the worst poster in the world:

Jackal's dementia is beginning to take him:

Evan H. adds his two sense in:

Cristian G.'s teacher had to gently recommended to his mom that AP English probably wasn't the best idea:

Uncontested, I'll admit, actually made me laugh in the way he intended with this one:

Steven B.'s otherwise nonsensical post becomes brilliant absurdist poetry with the last sentence:

Beyond the haphazard rage above, the favorite excuse of any Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen apologist is to blubber and whine that critics automatically hate every action movie and only want to watch black-and-white French art house dramas, so of course they can't appreciate Michael Bay's unfathomable genius.

You know, the same critics who gave Spider-Man 2 a 95%, and Casino Royale a 95%, and The Dark Knight a 94%, and Star Trek a 95%. They just out to get every action movie, man! How dare they suggest that not every action movie gets a free pass because of lack of ambition!

Mike S. knows the truth:

Paul L.'s argument might hold more water if the movie didn't spend endless stretches with humans:

Maynard S. demands to know how dare you, sir, how dare you:

Rodeoflip cried in his pillow all night after reading this review:

o0pazuzu0o... well, shit, I can't really say anything that name doesn't:

Mike G. can't stand ancient film noir garbage, like Spider-Man 2, and Star Trek:

Some fans, so furious, so wronged, so emotionally raped that they can't merely critique the review, must turn the rage towards the critic's profession. Because, you see, the job of a critic is to watch a movie and then either report on how much they loved, loved, loved it or shut up, or they should be fired.

First, you simply must meet Mike S., the patron saint of "GET A REAL JOB!!!!!" He's a hit at parties:

Joe M. actually wrote this and concluded it with "grow up":

Alexandra A. feels it is "completely unprofessional" for a critic to watch a movie and then critique it:

Garrett B. and Alexandra A. should get together and have indignant kids:

Aram J. feels you have "EPIC FAIL"ed for agreeing with the 80% majority:

Ityedmyshoetoday at least, in the thirteenth and fourteenth words of his next-to-last sentence, shows some self-awareness:

So we've well established that on the scale of awful, a critic doing his specified job by watching a movie and then critiquing it lies somewhere between genocide and directing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. But what could be even worse than that? Critiquing a movie while being a liberal or a woman, of course! Bring out your anti-liberalism and your misogyny, it's time for a party!

Renodc tries to hit the brakes at the end:

Schnoogs employs classic substitution, saying to the critic what he can't shout at his Obama-loving sister-in-law:

Eventide does his best (read: shittiest) impersonation of Eric Cartman:

Daniel A. has some issues with his mother:

Maynard S. uses "hardcore" as an epithet:

Rodeoflip composes an evenhanded argument until he loses control of it in the last sentence:

Now it's time to meet Scalan15, a Pokémon of the "Typical Anti-Michael Bay review, I bet If Spielberg directed this movie you would give it 5 Stars" species. Please note that this is less than a third of the total times he posted this, but I only got the ones where he was the first post to prove I wasn't just capping the same comment over and over (because that would be crazy!):

Now it's time to move on to this month's Angriest Tomato. This was an extraordinarily hard-fought, down-to-the-wire competition between two leading contenders, a real George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali of screaming in rage on the Internet about your shitty movie. But, in the end, there can be only one.

July's runner-up for Angriest Tomato is Issac U., who employs an artful combination of Mike S.-style "GET A REAL JOB!!!!!", insistence that not everything has to be an art movie you snooty fucking critics, implications that not enjoying two and a half hours of cartoon explosions means you hate your life, accusations of elitism, accusations of racism, and suggestions of suicide. It's a real powerhouse performance that easily could have won a weaker month, so although he narrowly failed, we need to respect a truly valiant effort:

And that brings us to July's Angriest Tomato, and an enormous congratulations goes to Estefan B. It was a tough call to make and I took little enjoy in having to inform Isaac U. of his failure, but in the end Isaac came off a little more indignant and arrogant and his posts felt a little more calculated, whereas with Estefan, looking at his comments alone, you can practically see him tearing his hair out in fury as streams of angry tears flow down his red, clenched face, breathing coming fast and hard, pounding on his keyboard, then his mom shouts at him to please calm down from the living room, and he shouts "NO MOM!!! YOU DON'T FUCKING UNDERSTAAAAND!!!!" before he kicks the door shuts and then lies on his bed, clutching a pillow and trying to catch his breath through his heaving sobs. It's my dream to be Estefan B.

I have informed Estefan of his impressive victory via Rotten Tomatoes, so Estefan, if you read this, please post your name and full shipping address and I will be happy to send you your congratulatory tomato.

That concludes July's edition of Angry Rotten Tomatoes User Comments. Stay tuned for August's edition, while we'll probably be discussing G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Inglourious Basterds, and we may even go retro and take a look at some Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince comments. Ciao.