How jealous are Obama and Romney that Batman inspires such passion? They only wish people would care about them as much as online commenters care about a movie they haven’t even seen yet.
Reviews are starting to pour in for Christopher Nolan's final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, and film review site Rotten Tomatoes has decided to block user comments for the first time ever, thanks to the level of vitriol against the few stray negative reviews.
Fans are always passionate about anticipated films and any critic who dares post a negative, especially anti-majority opinion, is often bashed in the comments. Things must've gotten particularly rough for The Powers That Be To Step In.
According to E!, two "rotten" reviews were particularly trashed: Marshall Fine of Hollywood and Fine's "grandiose not grand" review and Christy Lemire of The Associated Press's critique that the film was an "epic letdown."
Matt Atchity, editor in chief of Rotten Tomatoes, told the New York Times he and his colleagues spent several hours policing the AP's post and removing comments with misogynistic or threatening remarks.
After so much work trying to police the fanboys, Atchity wrote an open letter to Rotten Tomatoes readers:
"It's probably safe to say that The Dark Knight Rises is the most anticipated film of the year. More than The Hobbit. More than The Avengers," E! quotes Atchity's letter. "My staff and I knew full well that when the first negative review came in, the reviewer would get pasted in the comments. That dubious honor goes to Marshall Fine. He's a critic we've included on our site—he's got a respectable background in criticism, and we think he should be included on our site. ... As expected, we saw a mountain of comments come in about his review, and we're policing them to make sure they're in line with our TOS. Broadly speaking, threats and hate speech will get your commenting privileges revoked. But Marshall has the right to not like the movie, and people have the right to express their disagreement with him (although if you haven't seen the movie, your arguments may be on shaky ground). And we have the right to pull your comment down and ban you if we think you're acting inappropriately."
The RT editor left posters with an everybody-just-chill-out message:
“Just take a deep breath, step away from the computer, and maybe go for a walk. Have a smoke if you need one. There are plenty of other things to get angry about, like war, famine, poverty and crime. But not movie reviews.”
He told the New York Times that RT would probably bring back Batman user comments by Thursday or Friday.
Source: E! Online, New York Times