Strap in your retainers, folks, it’s about to insular. (*big puff on inhaler*) So, The Dark Knight Rises opens this Thursday, and reviews have been pouring in since the weekend. While the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, a few jerks couldn’t help dropping dooks in the punch bowl (and no one likes dook punch, except maybe your mom). While the average positive review garnered 15 comments or less, the negative ones shot into triple digits almost instantly. Marshall Fine’s early pan, comparing TDKR unfavorably to Transformers, earned 831 comments before commenting was closed and RottenTomatoes had to remove the link to keep from crashing his site. Death threats abounded, which seems like a perfectly reasonable response to a person who didn’t like a movie you haven’t seen yet.
Enter Eric Snider from Film.com, who thought it’d be funny to post a fake review snippet, saying “The Dark Knight Rises is easily the most disappointing Batman film so far – and I’m including Schumacher’s Batman & Robin in that statement.” It was a good prank and probably spiked his web traffic for the day. Downside is, Rotten Tomatoes didn’t think it was funny and subesequently banned him. But as a wise man once said, “You’ve got to pay the troll toll, to get into this boy’s hole.”
From a personal response by RT Editor in Chief Matt Atchity:
Which leads me to Eric D. Snider. He thought it would be funny to post a negative review link on Rotten Tomatoes that links to his own site. He misrepresented his review link. (In case you didn’t know, some critics post their own reviews, and my staff posts some — it’s about 50/50). By attributing the link to Film.com, he misrepresented that organization. This is not the first time he’s done this, nor is it the first time his journalistic ethics have been brought into question. In our opinion, by knowingly posting a link that isn’t a review (and he hadn’t seen the movie), Snider has abused our trust, and therefore, his reviews will no longer apply to the Tomatometer. [RT]
Aw, RottenTomatoes, WHY SO SERIOUS? (Does that joke still work, or do I have to make up something about this being Rotten’s reckoning now?). On a serious note, if anyone deserves a good trolling, it’s people freaking out over a negative review of a film they haven’t seen yet. Plus, it’s less a true trolling than it is a transparent prank – if they clicked the negative snippet, they’d be taken to an explanation that it was a joke. He wasn’t permanently misleading them (which I do think is lame, like when people post true-sounding fake articles on April Fool’s). Still, even if it was a good joke, he did still abuse RT’s system, so I can see why they banned him (though perhaps a permanent ban is a bit harsh). (And this is neither here nor there, but RT banning anyone is a joke when you consider the fact that they still allow reviews from Pete Hammond, who literally just writes collections of pull-quotes studios might want to use in their marketing. And not even good pull-quotes. If a copywriter had called Oliver Stone’s Savages “The perfect Stone-r movie” like Pete Hammond did, he’d be fired, and hopefully wedgied.)
Sorry. Look, I warned you that it was going to get insular, didn’t I? So what’s our takeaway in all this? Probably that we should be nicer to each other, especially when the discussion topic is a batman movie. Chill out, brosephs & brosephinas. Sometimes I think the only thing nerds hate more than sunlight is each other.