July 7, 2008

The Rottentomatoes Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Prior to becoming enlightened about the art of movies, I had no standard when it came to watching movies in theater. Regretfully, this led me to see movies like Inspector Gadget, the Bachelor, Godzilla, Blue Streak, Rush Hour 2, and a slew of other terrible movies. Since then, I (along with my brother Kenny) came up with a standard that saved me hundreds of dollars, time, and dignity. I don’t have a fancy name for it, and it is fairly straightforward. It’s based primarily on the tomatometer of RottenTomatoes, and it goes as follows:

Tomatometer-Willingness to Pay
100%-85%-VERY HIGH (I will probably see it unless an Act of God prevents me).
84%-79%-Medium (I like to call this the range of persuasion, which means I need a compelling/ very persuasive reason to go).
78% or below-Almost Non-Existent (It will take an exception or a gun to my face to make me go see it in a theater).
*Exceptions apply from 84% to 60%
*Developed by Kenneth and Keith Lucas

This simple criterion has saved me a great deal of time in the movie theater, and money. Some people say my system is too rigid, and I’ve engaged in fruitless debates about why I should change. However, like every rule, there are exceptions. So the method isn’t absolute. Here are a few of the exceptions:

1. Nostalgia Exception- this includes childhood movies, old TV shows turned into movies, and old childhood movies remade. “Childhood” is pretty vague, so use your discretion wisely. Watching Inspector Gadget or Street Fighters in theaters is not using your discretion wisely…
2. Dating Exception- I will probably never take a girl to go see There Will Be Blood (on a first date) unless I am absolutely sure she knows who Daniel-Day Lewis is. There are just some movies that are suitable for dating (i.e. 90 percent of Matthew Mcconaughey’s movies), while others are not (90 percent of the movies I like). Oh the conundrum…
3. “Job on the Line” or George Costanza Exception-Don’t lose your job because you can’t stomach watching a Chris O’Donnell movie. If your boss loves the Bachelor or Batman and Robin, and wants everyone to go, then go. This is just a cost that you will have to accept unless you don’t have anyone to report to or don’t mind being unemployed. (Also applicable to film critics since your job depends on reviewing movies of all sort)

I don’t want to spell out all of the exceptions. But I guarantee that if you follow this method, you will feel better about yourself, your marriage will be saved, world hunger will end, and no more movies like Little Man will be made. I understand that this is the age of Ignorance, but going to the theater to see White Chicks only sustains an institution that has caused many of the world problems. This is the institution of making crappy movies, and until we stop going to see them, we will continue to get annual Vin Diesel or Eddie Murphy movies. So let’s fight the system! It will start from the bottom, but in this age, anything is possible…


  1. Metacritic is better than RT.

  2. "Metacritic is better than RT"

    Depends on what you want out of a rating. Some people prefer quantity over quality. Hence, the more reviews the better. Others prefer the quality of a review, so they might presume that a top critic's judgment is more valuable (hence of more quality). I tend to base the quality of a review on the writing, and not the the name of the newspaper...so, I prefer more reviews, not so much who said it. That's not to say I don't value the quality. But, again, I base it on the writing (with little to no regard of who wrote it).