Another sign that we live in a decadent era of excess and buffoonery? Legions of fanboys took up to the internet to vent their overwhelming wrath because a few audacious film critics opinionated that The Dark Knight Rises may not the best movie ever seen on the face of this Earth. HOW DARE THEY?
Subject of the brunt of the firestorm is Rotten Tomatoes-accredited critic Marshall Fine who had the bad luck of being the first one to give the much anticipated movie a “Rotten” rating. Within hours, hundreds of vitriolic comments were hurled at him and the traffic was such that his website crashed multiple times. And then came the death threats.
“I guess to me it crosses a line if someone shows up on my front step,” Fine told CriticWire. “Otherwise everyone’s entitled to their opinion. People have strong feelings about this stuff. Is it unfortunate that this is the way people express themselves? Well, yeah, I think it’s a measure of how powerless people feel in this society in general. Here’s their chance to get their rocks off at someone they don’t know.”
Rotten Tomatoes finally had enough on Wednesday morning and completely shut down the comment system for The Dark Knight Rises.”The job of policing the comments became more than my staff could handle for that film, so we stopped the comments altogether,” editor-in-chief Matt Atchity explained. “It just got to be too much hate based on reactions to reviews of movies that people hadn’t even seen.”
Not only is this a first but the website is looking to make wholesale change to the way discussion occurs by possibly moving to a Facebook-type system which would prevent anonymous comments. But let’s face it, this is akin to using bandaids on a gangrene-infested limb.
The bigger issue here is our society’s unhealthy obsession with making issues black and white. This manifests itself in the popularity of Rotten Tomatoes which assigns a completely meaningless “Rotten” or “Fresh” rating to every movie out there. If someone disagrees with the prevalent (preconceived) opinion, he must be a “troll” or a “douchebag”. Either way, he is wrong and his intelligence must be questioned.
And God forbid, 99% of these fanboys haven’t even seen the movie yet. The sheer devotion of thousands to something as trivial as a movie franchise is quite frankly pathetic.
What do you think of all this hoopla?