Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bubba, rotten tomatoes, and ghouls gone wild

A few years ago, Bubba stumbled across a web-site that changed our lives. Well, at least our movie-viewing lives. The site was Rotten Tomatoes, a site that compiles reviews of movies from critics across the country and gives it either a "fresh" or "rotten" rating. If more than 60% of the critics gave the movie a positive review, it is considered "fresh"; less than 60%, it is deemed "rotten."

I didn't know it at the time, but Rotten Tomatoes would become the litmus test in determining what movies we will watch. It is our entertainment oracle, if you will, our cinematic crystal ball, a trusted advisor who must be consulted before a movie is viewed. After Bubba became converted to the site, he went to great pains to look up our entire DVD collection to see what percent of our movies met the "fresh" status. He was pleased to find that only 2 were considered rotten: Bedazzled (49%) and Just Married (20%).

Bubba gets a lot of flack from my family about his devotion to Rotten Tomatoes. My dad slyly derides his obsession by refusing to refer to the site by its proper name: it is either Soggy Tomatoes, Rotten Apples, or some other corruption of the title. This mockery has left Bubba unfazed: he is shameless in his promotion and devotion to the web site.

A few Halloweens ago, his devotion was challenged. My mom had purchased a Halloween film for us to watch, a frightening flick called "When Good Ghouls go Bad." Haven't heard of it? Count yourself lucky. This is one of those films that is so bad, it's bad. After the painful viewing process was over, Bubba suggested we look up the movie on Rotten Tomatoes, in an effort to prove once and for all that Rotten Tomatoes would have saved us from this cinematic nightmare. With bated breath we huddled around the computer, waiting for the assuredly "rotten" pronouncement. The result, however, produced an audible gasp from us all: not only did the website consider the movie "fresh", it had received 100% positive reviews.

Bubba was crestfallen. The credibility of his site was destroyed. My family continues to make fun of Rotten Tomatoes. Bubba continues to defend it.

The moral of the story? To borrow from Anchorman (64% on Rotten Tomatoes), when it comes to the infallibility of Rotten Tomatoes: Sixty percent of the time, it works every time. The other 40%, you better trust your instincts. And avoid morally challenged ghouls at all costs.


Stacy said...

Mike and Bubba are of one mind when speaking of "Rotten Tomatoes" Mike and I are not even avid movie goers but rest assured he will know what the percentage was according to "Stinky Tomatoes" (that's what I call it) in case a conversation comes up about a movie at least he can participate by telling what he knows according to "Stinky Tomatoes" If nothing else at least it helps him be a part of 2007 culture. . . The movies whether we see it or not.

janel said...

Perhaps the reviews on "When Good Ghouls go Bad" come from one reviewer who was related to the producer of the movie? Thanks for a good website. Rotten tomatoes is one of those addicting websites to me. Unfortunately, one of Mark's favorites (Kronk's New Groove) got 0%. I have yet to test out our movie collection...we'll see soon.