Comic book fans can sometimes be some of the most irrational creatures in the world.
Oftentimes comic book fans will complain that a film based on their beloved characters has taken too many liberties with the source material. In other instances, like the case of Zack Snyder's "Watchmen," the character stayed too true to the source material. Fans will complain if an actor isn't the proper race or in some cases that he doesn't have the right hair color to play the character.
Fans of DC Comics - and the films based on them - seem to have a new crusade.
Fans launched a petition to get the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes taken completely off the Internet. The petition has, thus far, garnered 18,000 signatures since its creation Wednesday.
The petition alleges that Rotten Tomatoes is biased against DC Comics movies and that it's giving an unfair advantage to movies based on characters from rival comic book publisher Marvel.
The perception of bias isn't anything new. Some fans have even gone so far as to accuse professional critics of taking kick-backs from Disney - the parent company of Marvel Comics since 2009 - in exchange for giving negative reviews to DC Comics movies.
Critical reception hasn't been great for DC Comics films since "Man of Steel" in 2013, but it seems that for some fans the negative reviews of "Suicide Squad" were the last straw.
There are a few problems with this petition. First and foremost, there is no governing body that presides over the Internet that would have any sort of authority to remove Rotten Tomatoes from the web. The purpose of a petition is to get the attention of someone who has the ability to fix whatever is at issue. In this case, there just isn't anyone who could to fix the issue.
Secondly, the creators of this petition obviously don't even understand how Rotten Tomatoes works. Rotten Tomatoes in and of itself doesn't review anything or assign a rating to any movie independent of outside forces. Rotten Tomatoes simply collects the reviews of professional critics and reports a percentage of positive reviews based on a pass/fail basis.
Critics upload their reviews, assign a rating on the 10-point scale and Rotten Tomatoes reports on how many critics reviewed the film positively. Anything above five is positive; anything below is considered negative. It's that simple.
Beyond the technical aspects of how review aggregator sites work, fans sometimes place too much weight on the opinions of critics. Critics don't always get it right, even when there seems to be a consensus. This problem is magnified when you go on a pass/fail basis. The difference between a 4 out 10 and a 5 out 10 can sometimes come down to a critic's personal preferences and have little to do with the objective quality of a particular film. At Rotten Tomatoes, however, that one point is the difference between a positive review and a negative review. In that way, Rotten Tomatoes can be kind of deceptive.
It's also important for fans to keep in mind that ultimately, whether a film is good or bad falls on the individual viewer. There are plenty of movies that - as a critic - I can't say are very good. But as a fan I can still enjoy them. My job, and the job of every critic out there, is not to tell our audience how to feel about a film. My job is simply to give the reader the information needed to decide for themselves whether a movie looks appealing or not.
If you feel my opinions align with yours, great. Use that information to make your decision. If you feel that my opinions tend to run counter to yours, that's great too. Use that information to make your decision. Film critics are a helpful tool, but fans shouldn't take our word as the Gospel. We are, at the end of the day, only human.
Keep watching TheBlaze for my review of "Suicide Squad" coming soon.
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