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September 23 2005

(SPOILER) Serenity is Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. Finally...enough reviews for Serenity to show up on the Tomatometer. Of course, it's too early to know what the final rating will be, but it's debuted as fresh. Do NOT read the reviews or even the blurbs if you're trying to stay spoiler-free.

I don't know who Ed Gonzalez is, but his aesthetic judgment is highly dubious.
2 1/2 stars out of 4 isn't a "bad" review Rotten Tomatoes :). I hope it stays fresh. I really really want this movie to do great.

I'm currently repressing any anxiety about this, I'm just so happy to get to yknow, see Serenity lol.
Yes, 2 1/2 stars out of 4 hardly seems "rotten" to me. Hmm. And Variety's review (the other supposedly "rotten" review), isn't *that* rotten. Will Rotten Tomatoes count UK reviews? There have been some super-duper ones. And there are other reviews that are very good that haven't made the site. Odd. I suppose they have a list of sources they pull from and that's that. Here's hoping more "fresh" reviews start pouring in.
If you read Gonzalez's entire review, it is quite a bit more positive than the small bite quoted...he gave it 2 1/2 out of 4 and did compare it quite a bit favorably to Star Wars. His concluding comments were actually quite positive. Given Buffy's time on UPN perhaps that comment isn't all bad. Still...the ego shows through.
Well, it seems a movie can consider itself lucky if it gets 3 stars from Slant, so 2.5 is not half bad. Also, Variety's Serenity review does not seem any more negative than their review of A History Of Violence (which, surprisingly is marked as fresh).
I just called my theather. Next week they are playing Wallace and Gromit(I thought that didn't come out til october?), History of Violence, The Greatest Game Ever Played, and..Serenity! Guess what crappy movie they aren't playing? Into The Blue. Isn't that shiney.

I hope the tomatometer rating doesn't go down. Alot of people use it as evidence if a movie is bad or good on film discussion boards and I don't want it thrown in my face.
I've seen rottentomatoes classify a 3 stars out of 4 review as 'rotten' on one occasion so their criteria is undoubtedly a little off at times.
I found this information on their site about how they classify reviews:

What is your methodology for defining whether a review that does not include a star rating or other objective grading scale counts as a Fresh or Rotten rating on the tomatometer?
Most critics from the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) enter their own quotes and ratings. For critics who don't enter in their own quotes and ratings, it's basically up to the judgment of the editors. They take into account word choice, rating (if any), tone, and who's the critic in their determination of whether a review is positive or not. If an editor is not certain about a review, it is sent to another editor for a second opinion. "Wishy-washy" reviews, reviews that are really difficult to determine if the critic recommends the film or not, are usually given a Rotten because if the critic is not confident enough to give the movie even an implied recommendation, then we shouldn't either.

On the Blade 2 reviews page, you have a negative review from James Berardinelli (2.5/4 stars), and a positive review from Eric Lurio (2.5/5). Why is Berardinelli's review labeled Rotten and Lurio's review labeled Fresh?
You're seeing this discrepancy because star systems are not consistent between critics. For critics like Roger Ebert and James Berardinelli, 2.5 stars or lower out of 4 stars is always negative. For other critics, 2.5 stars can either be positive or negative. Even though Eric Lurio uses a 5 star system, his grading is very relaxed. So, 2 stars can be positive. Also, there's always the possibility of the webmaster or critic putting the wrong rating on a review.

Also, there's info here about the criteria for a critic to become an 'approved tomatometer critic'.

[ edited by forcorreo on 2005-09-24 01:50 ]
In practice, I think they usually rate anything below three stars as "rotten" since it's not usually an endorsement that you should actually go to see the movie.

BTW -- I clicked on the "Shadows on the Wall" link, and they said that their review was not up because of an embargo by Universal on reviews until two days before opening. They also said their review was "rather good."

Also, I pay attention to critical trends and I'm going to cautiously opine that things seem to be trending in a positive direction for out little bdm. A nice new review from an apparent non-fan in Australia is up, along with the "rather good" non-review above.

Whatever you think of them, if you look at their overall taste, Ed Gonzalez and Derek U. from Variety are not very representative of most people's/critic's taste. They both strike me as being influenced by the Pauline Kael school of cinematic contrarianism.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-09-24 01:54 ]

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