As an avid movie watcher and a lifelong Leonardo DiCaprio fan, I was beyond ecstatic when I saw a trailer for “The Great Gatsby.”
I loved the book when I read it in high school and could not wait for its debut. After months of sitting, waiting and wishing, I was utterly horrified as I sat at my computer and checked its ratings on the popular critic website Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Great Gatsby” received a 49 percent, classifying it as undoubtedly “rotten.”
“How can this be,” I thought as I perused the various reviews. My heart slowly broke as critic after critic described the film’s failed attempt to recreate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s larger than life romantic drama. I entered what many would call a state of denial, and in an act of sheer defiance, went to see the movie anyway.
Thank god I did, because “The Great Gatsby” didn’t just have some of the best acting I’ve ever seen, but the film was also an excellent depiction of the novel. The costumes, scenery and cinematography were enchanting, and the soundtrack brought a modern twist that was exciting and effective. It was emotional and heartfelt, echoing Fitzgerald’s cynical, yet poignant, message that humanity can be devastatingly cruel.
As I walked out of the theater, I came to a conclusion: Rotten Tomatoes, which I had always found to be relatively accurate in reviewing movies, is crap.
I must admit this dark thought had been lurking in the back of my head for several months. Deep down, a small part of me did not want to face the cold, hard truth that, recently, Rotten Tomatoes has provided its viewers with reviews that are not only flawed, but also inaccurate. It is shocking to me that a beautiful film like“ The Great Gatsby” could be ripped apart so harshly when recent movies have been given such unwarranted praise.
“Spring Breakers,” for example. This pathetic excuse for a film received a 66 percent from the website and rave reviews from critics who dubbed it a “social satire.”
“Neon bright and all raw energy, ‘Spring Breakers’ is a pulsating paradox of a movie, both a tangerine dream and a cultural reality check, a pop artifact that simultaneously exploits and explores the shallowness of pop artifacts,” said Rick Groen, a Rotten Tomatoes “top critic.”
Well, Mr. Groen, I would have to disagree with your statement. “Spring Breakers” was essentially a two-hour long porno, set to a Skrillex soundtrack. The plot was idiotic and the “artsy” cinematography gave me a headache.
It resembled a never-ending music video, in which Vanessa Hudgins and her trashy friends got wasted in Panama City, Fla., went to jail, were bailed out by James Franco, did some cocaine, robbed Gucci Mane’s house and lived happily ever after.
I wonder how Mr. Groen feels about “Girls Gone Wild,” or “Scary Movie 4?” My guess would be favorable.
My point in all of this is don’t let a critic, or Rotten Tomatoes, discourage you from going to see a movie. In fact, don’t let them encourage you either. Disregard them entirely. Go to a movie because you want to see it. Go because it speaks to you in some way. Go because it interests you. Maybe you will hate it, maybe you will love it, but you’ll never know until you experience it for yourself.