Welcome to the DC Weekly, where every week we cover the land of DC comics, TV, and movies. Be it random bits of news, TV show reactions, or miscellaneous reviews, editorials, or speculation, you can be sure to get your DC fix here!
THIS WEEK I discuss the impending hours to the release of BATMAN v SUPERMAN, the negative response it’s received so far, and how that shouldn’t sway your seeing the film, nor affect your overall impressions of the film.
DON’T LET THE TOMATOMETER INVALIDATE YOUR OPINIONS
Like many other hardcore film fans, I sat back at my computer in the waning hours of the critical embargo of BATMAN v SUPERMAN. For days, we’d gotten all kinds of impressions from fans who had seen an advanced screening, as well as others who had attended the premiere. Overall, there seemed to be a consensus that Batman was awesome, the action was strong, and the film seemed set a solid foundation for the DCEU.
However, fans were in for a big shock when reviews started pouring in for BATMAN v SUPERMAN. As of this writing, the film is at a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes–not exactly what we’d hoped for as fans. Of course, along with this came an outcry of smarmy haters, claiming they knew all along that the film would get PANNED by critics.
To them, I say “good for you for being right.” To them, I also say, “Who cares?”
Now I know what many LR readers think. For some reason, we’re labeled by readers as DC haters and Marvel fanboys. Many fans seem to think we get our jollies in talking down a movie, and that for some reason, we hate Zack Snyder and wish ill will on the DCEU. I can tell you right now that that is absolutely false. Believe it or not, we all here LOVE MOVIES. We absolutely love them, and have nothing to gain from bad films. Why on earth would I like to see a movie fail? I get no enjoyment out of watching a movie that sucks. Sure, if a movie looks bad in a trailer, we’ll say something. If a movie is bad, we’ll say something. But it by no means adds to our enjoyment to tear down the hard work of hundreds of men and women in the industry.
As fans of film, and as fans of the source material, we want these movies to be good. All of them. Even the ones we think will fail. I obviously can’t speak for everyone, butif I spend six months trash-talking an upcoming movie because I thin it looks terrible, and it turns out amazing, I’ll be the first to admit it. In no way is “being right” something that takes priority over actually enjoying a film, and if you’re one of those who would rather be right than enjoy a movie, then you are no true film fan.
Why do I say all this, you may ask? Despite what many seem to think, critics are generally not a sour bunch. They may seem like it online (snark is the default response to angry fans), but at the end of the day, they’re all film fans, and want to see good movies too.
When reviews started pouring in for BATMAN v SUPERMAN, in addition to the annoying haters claiming they were right along, we had an equal number of devout DC fans who claimed bias on the part of the critics, calling them Marvel fanboys and DC haters, despite not having seen the film themselves. Now I’m not here to point fingers or tell fans they’re wrong–I have yet to see the film myself, but will do so later tonight–but am here to say one thing: Don’t put too much stock in what critics say. They may have a completely set of criteria than you on what makes a film good.
Yes, film critics have their place, but at the end of the day, we all nee to understand that film is a subjective medium. This is especially important when it comes to comic book movies. While a typical film critic is likely to critique a comic book film in the same way he or she critiques any other movie, comic book fans are likely to come into the picture with a completely different set of expectations. Maybe they just want to see a killer Batman. Perhaps, they just want to see beautiful action. Maybe, they just want to see the DC Extended Universe finally get kicked off. In short, the things that a film critic looks at may be completely different from what you as a fan looks at.
So when you look at the Tomatometer and see it at 33%, I urge you to not let it sour your spirits. I also want you to keep in mind that a 33% isn’t necessarily as bad as it looks (granted, I’ll admit, it’s not great). Because of the way grades are done (at least in the U.S., from my knowledge), any thing below a 60% is seen as an absolute failure. But in thinking that way, we almost invalidate the critics who enjoyed the films that fall below that number. We have to remember what the number means. It doesn’t mean that reviewers gave it a 3/10, but it means that 3 out of 10 reviewers enjoyed the film. In a sense, it’s showing the general appeal of the film. So are those 3 reviewers who liked the film simply wrong because they aren’t in the majority?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely possible for a movie to just be utter garbage, but sometimes, the Tomatometer only shows that a film simply didn’t click with most critics, and isn’t always representative of quality. There are plenty of films that I love that didn’t click with critics. SPEED RACER is a film that’s quite possibly one of my favorites of all time, and I will defend that movie to the death. Critics, on the other hand, didn’t really think much of it, and it currently sits at a 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. Does that make me wrong (I understand I’m opening myself up for a snarky comment down below from some reader who thinks that movie’s a joke, but whatever)?
This is all a roundabout way for me to say one thing: don’t let this number influence your thoughts on the film. Just as I found myself in the minority of viewers who loved SPEED RACER, you may find yourself in the group of viewers who absolutely adore BATMAN v SUPERMAN, and it in no way invalidates your stance.
Between all the opinions, hyperbole, and hate that flies across the web, it becomes easier and easier to forget that all art is subjective. No one wants to be in the minority, because in web logic, if you’re in the minority, then you’re wrong. Now that’s an egregious conclusion to come to. No matter what the general consensus is about any piece of art, you should never let your own personal opinions become invalidated.
We have less than half a day until BATMAN v SUPERMAN officially hits screens. If you’ve been sitting at your computer, feeling a pit in your stomach grow from all the negative reception, take a moment and allow yourself a brief moment of solace in the fact that you may still very well enjoy the film. Yes, it’s possible that it won’t end up being everything you’d hoped, but why not decide that for yourself?
Happy BATMAN v SUPERMAN day, everyone, and I truly hope from the bottom of my heart that you all have a great time in the theaters this weekend.