Regarding Lousy Movies & ‘Snob’ Critics

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 17th, 2014 at 10:15 am,

transformers revenge fallen reviews Regarding Lousy Movies & Snob Critics

Well. I’ve taken some heat for reviews in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such… interesting reactions to one of my reviews as I have for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Of course I don’t really care – back in the day it used to bother me when someone flamed me for a movie review, but now I actually get a kick out of it. icon smile Regarding Lousy Movies & Snob Critics

Of course I’m not alone – go to any site that gathers up an aggregate of movie critics’ opinions and you’ll see similar numbers when it comes to Transformer 2. The number of positive reviews for the sequel to the highly successful first film is abysmally low:

RottenTomatoes.com: 20%

MetaCritic.org: 35%

TopTenREVIEWS.com: 1.7 out of 4

Even over at IMDB.com, where it’s mainly “regular people” voting for films, it’s only getting 6.7/10 – not bad, but not an overwhelming vote of quality from “Joe Average.”

On the other hand, two days shy of being in theaters for even a full week, the film has already earned over $200 million in the U.S. and close to $400 million worldwide, and our very unscientific poll here on Screen Rant shows that 74% of visitors here rate the film either a 4 or 5 out 5 stars.

[poll id="9"]

The result? A backlash against movie critics the likes of which I’ve never seen before. There are accusations of impartiality (“you hated the first one so of course you hate this one!”), being too old to “appreciate” the film, being generally unclear on the concept of a “fun, summer popcorn movie,” and my favorite: Not liking it because I (and other reviewers) are snobby, elitist critics.

Generally speaking, action films that do well at the box office tend to get at least half way decent reviews (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Spider-Man 1 & 2, etc.), but this has to be the best-performing, worst-reviewed film in recent memory.

It seems that Michael Bay (who, for the record, I do not “hate” – his film The Rock is one of my favorite movies to pop in the DVD player from time to time) has tapped into the formula for entertaining the teen moviegoer who is easily amused by cool visual effects, big explosions and titillating shots of hot babes.

What’s ironic is that many of the same “elite” critics that skewered the sequel actually LIKED the first Transformers film, so those accusations are pretty ridiculous. Fine, I’m not one of those who liked the first one, but over at Rotten Tomatoes the first film had almost triple the positive score of the sequel (57% vs 20%), MetaCritics had almost double (61% vs 34%) and at IMDB where non-critics vote it was 7.4 vs 6.7.

The other funny thing is that here at Screen Rant I actually try to write reviews to help the average person decide whether or not to drop their hard earned bucks at the local multiplex. I also generally rate movies within the context and genre of where they fit and what they set out to accomplish. In other words I don’t judge Oscar-contender dramas on the same scale as a great comedy or an awesome Sci-Fi film. That’s why I can give Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, the amazing documentary Enemies of Happiness and Serenity all 5 out of 5 stars. Each of those films has a different goal, and each of them meets or exceeds it within the context of its genre.

Some may call that inconsistent, but I never claimed to be objective in my reviews – I have a certain taste and regular readers come to know that point of view and can judge whether or not they’ll like a film based on that particular point of view.

So as to the accusation of being an “elite snob,” here are a few movies that I consider “popcorn flicks” and which have received good reviews from me – and in some cases I’ve taken heat for being too easy on them:

So if a string of explosions, big CGI effects sequences, bad jokes and sight gags, no plot, lousy acting (HELLO Megan Fox) and foul language in a movie based on a toy line that will attract under-10-year-olds doesn’t strike me as a “fun” movie, that’s not my problem.

If you want GOOD action movies, keep supporting movies like Star Trek, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Hellboy, etc.

However, if you want more empty action movies, by all means, go see Tranformers 2 three or four times. But when you get a bit older and appreciate movies that have a good story and characters you can care about, don’t complain that there’s nothing but crap at the megaplex – because it’ll be your own fault.

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TAGS: transformers, transformers 2

100 Comments

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  1. Not to bash Bay again and praise the writers but it goes to show you what the producers and directors can do to a movie.

    If you have Abrams and good writers you get Star Trek.

    If you have Bay and good writers you get Tranformers II.

    What would have happened if Bay had bad writers . . .

  2. I wonder what would have happened if Transformers had Abrams. Think of the possibilities! Keep the incredible CGI, better acting, far better humor, no stupid sexual jokes, and robots that actually act like alien robots. That movie would be the greatest money-maker of all time.

  3. Ka’ pla! to Kahless!

    A brillant suggestion.

    A Transformers movie we could ALL be proud of.

    Robots with personality, humans showing true emotion, all with great CGI effects AND a plot.

    No wait – that’s way too much to expect. What’s the matter with me? I must have lost my mind. Expecting great action and great story in the same movie. Idiot I am . . . .

  4. @Fury
    ROTFLMBO!!!

  5. No, no, no Mr. Kahless. This is not a laughing matter.

    If we have any expectations in regards to a “summer pop-corn movie” then we could easily be called snobs and elitists.

    And you know better than I – there’s nothing worse then a Klingon Elitist.

  6. Yes there is, humaaan…..a petaQ who thinks this movie is honorable!!! :-)

    You’re killing me Fury! 8)

  7. I can’t help but laugh at this, all the drama this movie has caused between everyone. It’s hillarious I think I’d agree that the story lines faulty, but most movies are! But I’m not gona say anything else, just that Vic your the man! Hahaha I believe “angel dust” was true when he said that you’re a tricky fellow haha

  8. just think in 20 years, we get to look forward to movies involving guys who use playing cards in games that come to life!

    ….still waiting on the live action Jonny Quest movie to be announced…with Shia LeBeefsteak as Race Bannon!

  9. @Vic

    As Gaff said to Deckard at the end of Blade Runner,

    “You’ve done a MAN’S job, sir”

    Keep it up. Forget the nay-sayer’s, like you said, We can’t fire you….You’re the boss!

  10. Give me back my $15 Michael Bay! to.

  11. It is possible for Transformers to be better if Abrams made it, but at the same time remember Abrams isn’t flawless some of his movies are not great either. Also at the end of the day no matter who sits in that chair it will still be a movie about giant alien robots that turn in to cars. It can only be so good.

  12. DOESNT MATTER WHAT WE SAY BAD OR GOOD…IF THE MOVIE MADE MONEY ITS ALL THAT COUNTS IN HOLLYWOODS EYES..TRANSFORMERS2 MADE ALOT OF MONEY.

  13. CAPSBOY has spoken.

    End of discussion. Goodnight.

  14. @Fury2701

    hahahahahaha

  15. Has anyone else ever thought about the fact that these new movies are breaking box office record profits because every year ticket prices go up by a few dollars? Do the numbers take into account inflation?

    For instance maybe 5 or 6 years ago, matinee prices were around 5 to 6 dollars. Now they are 10 to 12 dollars. So if today’s movie only sells a little more than half the tickets of older movies, it breaks the box office records! That doesn’t seem right!

    What if they started measuring by number of tickets sold? I’d like to see those numbers.

  16. @dataschmuck

    well i don’t know where you live… but most of the place i go matinee prices are still 5 to 6 dollars and i live in New York.

  17. DataSchmuck a lot of places are still roughly 6 for matinee. In my city they are 5.50. Regular price to get in is 8.50 and has been for 10 years over here as well or right around there I think in the last 10 years they went from 8 to 8:50.

    Anyway if you go to Boxofficemojo.com they show the adjusted top 100 movies of all time. It’s not 100% accurate they even admit it on the site if you do a little digging, but it’s as close as you’ll get.

  18. We pay $15-$18 in OZ. That translates to roughly $13-$15US.
    I tend to wait for them to come out on Box office or DVD now, unless its something I really HAVE to see, like Harry Potter, or Star Trek.

    Some films have to be experienced with a theatre full of strangers to be enjoyed.

  19. @Datashmuck

    They also release films on FAR more screens than they used to.

    Vic

  20. ^^^^ Touché.

  21. Does money made by a movie really say anything of the quality? The Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers franchises make a lot of money too, you know.

  22. Looking forward to Part 3….make it a Go Hollywood

  23. Live Free or Die Hard and Transformers 2 were disappointments.

  24. There’s a difference between bitching about a movie and reviewing it.

    • And your point is…. what? Most negative reviews are “bitching” about a movie?

      Vic

      • I don’ t know if that’s what he meant but I would agree. As the number of “Professional critics” rise we see less constructive criticism and more stark attacks on those involved.

        • Klaw,

          I don’t know what reviews you’re reading but I haven’t generally seen reviews like you describe.

          Vic

          • There are many of them for display on Rottentomatoes. Especially in blockbusters.

        • Yes, this. You can be negative, but most of the time it comes across as unprofessional.

          It wasn’t directed at you, but generally.

          • Brandon,

            Fair enough. Really I think more than the average person those who review films WANT them to be great, so when they’re not I guess there can be some of what you’re talking about.

            Vic

  25. I see it like this – critics carry as much weight in me interest of watching a movie as does watching paint dry – it is their opinion of a movie and opinions are like a**holes – everyone has one. You will see what you want to see no matter how bad that move may be as long as you like it – what does it matter moving forward. I.E. Showgirls – Yea I kind of like it and it has a pretty good cult following and is on cable once in a while. Another Rocky Horror Picture Show – now the stipend for the midnight movie bar, once criticized but still has legs and who does not sing the Time Warp now and again? If every film was a boring older period piece with lots of foreign dialogue that pertains and is directed to no one watching the movie how much fun would that be?

  26. I have never read one useful review by either critic or “Regular folks.” I’m a strange guy that likes to view something for myself and develop my own opinion.( I know! Perish the thought right?)

    Fact is I found both Transformer movies fun distractions which is exactly what a movie should be.

  27. for me it depends on the type of movie like Transformers and part 2 they are from cartoons so don’t expect much which I didn’t but I liked them anyways now my 13 year old and 9 year old LOVED!!!! them because they are kids like star wars they are made to sell TOYS when you see a The Kings Speech action figure then all movies should be treated the same

    • David,

      Just wondering if the cartoons included masturbation jokes, robots peeing on people, robots humping a female character’s leg, and male dogs humping each other – because the movies are based on, you know, cartoons.

      Thanks,

      Vic

      • Reallt I think the belief that the movies were made for 10 year olds is a misconception. The Target audience is young men like me who grew up on the original have shown studios that we are entertained by movies like Jackass and dumb action like Transporter.

        I’m not denying that Hasbro wasn’t hocking toys off these movies but I think we have an attempt to appeal to both.

        And besides those jokes aren’t any worse then those presented in Shreck a movie that was specifically marketed as a kids movie and git favorable reviews.

        • Klaw,

          I was responding to Dave’s comments regarding the film being based on a cartoon and made to sell Toys. The target audience wasn’t 10 year olds, but of course kids would want to see this in droves. And I’m not a fan of that type of humor in the Shrek or other animated movies, either. It’s not necessary and it doesn’t add anything to the film.

          Vic

  28. I don’t know what to say about this. Feeling a little put upon?

    Everyone is a critic of what they experience. Ideally we find professionals whose opinions mirror our own in order to short-list our entertainment choices. The problem is, everyone reacts differently.

    Daredevil is a case in point. I loved it once I saw it. And, loved it more with repeated viewings. I haven’t the foggiest idea why others don’t but IMO it beats the Superman and Batman films hands down. Do many share my point of view? Apparently not. Go figure.

    Personally, I find it a great help when critics explain why the movie they rated deserves the scale they’ve given it. Example: Kofi’s critique on Hanna. 4/5. Nothing but glowing comments. Confusing. What did it do wrong that it lost that one point?

    • shido,

      That’s a good point about stating what detracted from the score – I try to do that in my reviews.

      Vic

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