Being a critic is a job -- you have to watch many, many movies -- in genres you do not like.
Imagine sitting through dozens of movies in the genre that irritates you. Imagine how good that movie would have to be to get a positive remark out of you.
I read a fascinating article in THE NEW YORK TIMES
Ms. Rampell is an economics reporter for THE NEW YORK TIMES and the chart detailing ROTTEN TOMATOES critics/audience ratings show it.
Cliff Notes version:
The biggest critical disconnect is romantic comedy.
The average romantic comedy is rated positively by 57 percent of Rotten Tomatoes users,
versus just 36 percent of Rotten Tomatoes-approved critics.
BUT LET'S TALK REAL WORLD HERE:
People tend to see what their bias whispers to them.
Take Alfred Hitchcock --
In his lifetime he never received an oscar for Best Picture, and his films were criticised by some critics for lacking substance.
However, since his death his reputation has grown and he is now widely regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time. His film Vertigo recently topped Sight and Sound’s prestigious critics’ poll.
Movie criticism is practiced by amateurs who have little schooling in the art of cinema or appreciation for film history, according to old-school professionals. In short, everyone has an opinion and is able to share it digitally.
When critics go to the movies, they sometimes take a free vacation.
Studios routinely host such events, bringing casts and crew together in a posh location to meet film press. Even more than that, the studios typically offer to pay all the writers’ expenses — airfare, hotel and meals.
It’s called the junket circuit — and it’s how some members of the film press spend many weeks of the year.
Alan Silverman, a former film correspondent for a number of radio outlets, recalls a couple of trips to Hawaii —
in one instance, the studio “was kind enough to throw in an extra day” (presumably, for a little more beach time at the resort). “We had a mini vacation,” he adds.
Critics are in the blurb business
Movie studios love to find the perfect review snippet they can use in an ad. And some critics appear to be willing participants in the game, writing in a gushy way that almost guarantees them a place in movie marketing campaigns.
(Cynics within the ranks of reviewers suggest such blurbmeisters do so to boost their own profile — in essence, they’re riding the coattails of Hollywood itself.)
In reverse mode, many critics seem to race to be the first to slam a Tent-Pole movie as with THE WOLVERINE which was a financial and audience success.
Critics are not exactly in tune with the public’s taste:
As measured by box-office results, Tyler Perry is one of the most entertaining filmmakers in history.
His movies — from 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” to 2012’s “Madea’s Witness Protection” — have grossed more than $600 million to date.
But to hear critics tell it, Perry is a hack — unsubtle, unfunny and overly sentimental.
To quote David Cornelius of eFilmCritic.com in his review of “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”:
“This is a film that’s gone way beyond the realm of bad, past disaster. This one’s in the area of all-time grand mistakes.”
Rotten Tomatoes, a film website that assigns a score based on a survey of reviews from as many as 200-plus critics, gives “Diary” a 15% approval rating.
By contrast, the audience rating approval for “Diary” on Rotten Tomatoes is 88%.
Movie reviews from Roger Ebert’s career
Legendary film critic Roger Ebert died at age 70 after a long battle with cancer. Here’s a look at some of our favorite Ebert reviews of films over his 46-year career. (Photo: AP)
How to explain this gap between critics and the public?
Some filmgoers see it as elitism at its worst:
“Most critics are trying to impress the public (and other critics) by flaunting their perceived affluent taste and intelligence,”
one movie fan wrote on a Yahoo message board about the issue.
It’s gotten so bad, critics actually prefer television to most movies!
Christopher Null, founder of the Film Racket website, says he “laps up” “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” “We’re in a golden age of television,” adds Null.
"The studios have decided that adult dramas are not what they’re going to make,” says Florida film reviewer Erstein. And that’s led critics to turn elsewhere for quality viewing."
Erstein counts himself a fan of “In Treatment,” saying it’s “better than most of what is on at the movies.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE REASON IS
WHY AUDIENCES DIFFER IN THEIR REACTIONS TO MOVIES
FROM THE CRITICS?