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Author Topic: Good vs. bad blockbuster sci-fi: Comparing Men in Black with Rogue One  (Read 337 times)

Tho Master Fie

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So after suffering through the latest Disney cash grab over New Years, I was sitting with some free time on my hands and wondering just why Rogue One was so ungodly boring.  I mean, I knew it was going to be a terrible film regardless - it was an uninspired cash grab Star Wars spinoff from the start (which I somehow figured would be more worth seeing than Collateral Beauty or a film that I had already seen - I was probably wrong).  However, I felt that I would at least be somewhat entertained at some point in the film - during The Force Awakens, there were at least a few moments where I was mildly interested in what was happening on screen.

Remember that line in Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones says "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know...tomorrow".  What a great line.  The film is filled with dialogue and ideas like this, stuff that just makes you smile and actually want to pay attention to what's happening in the film.  I don't remember a single line in Rogue One that wasn't either mindless exposition or some moronic cliché plucked from every terrible film ever made and thrown in there to kill running time.  Men in Black is by no means a particularly "deep" - or even terribly original - science fiction film. But this is what makes it the perfect  comparison.  It would be unfair to compare a cashgrab spinoff like Rogue One to an art film like 2001: A Space Odyssey.  But Men in Black was also made primarily to make money and please mass audiences, yet it gets it right.

Rogue One seems to mistake background information and exposition for actual characterization.  In Men in Black we know almost nothing about the backgrounds of the main characters (maybe a little bit towards the end) and we still feel like we know them personally, but in Rogue One they spend the majority of the first two acts giving us background information about the main characters - yet we still don't give a shіt about them.  Knowing who a character's parents are, where they grew up or what they've been doing with their lives up until the time period of the film does not equal good characterization.  A good film fleshes out it's characters simply through the way that they act and the decisions that they make.  Not to mention the fact that no character in Rogue One ever has any form of development throughout the film.  Apparently they died at the end, but I was too bored to care.

Men in Black formula:   Cast a few popular, charismatic people and write a cool plot revolving around aliens, some witty dialogue and a few action scenes.  And a bug wearing an Edgar suit.

Rogue One formula: Star Wars universe = instant cash.  Cast a young, pretty, dull British actress in the lead role and give her some retarded one-syllable name.  Throw in a bunch of minorities to help her on her quest to rehash the plot from a previous film, and then give a bunch of throwbacks to previous Star Wars films just to ensure that the fanboys will remain happy with what they're being fed.  Wait a second...this formula directly applies to The Force Awakens as well.  Huh.  Guess that's what you get when you sell out to Disney.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 02:34:28 pm by Winston »

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Diego Tutweiller

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.




My review, if anyone's interested:

I have always considered myself a Star Wars fan. The Empire Strikes Back is one of my favorite films. When I was a kid, I had more Star Wars action figures than I knew what to do with. These movies frustrate me sometimes-- some of them more than others-- but I still love them.

I have no love for Rogue One. From the first five minutes, it was clear to me that this film would be an absolute slog to get through. This movie starts off by establishing four different planets in rapid succession in scenes that last about thirty seconds each, setting a good tone for what the rest of the film will be like. It's rushed, but at the same time it also manages to be consistently boring.

The problem here is that the film spends far too little time on the things that really matter, instead devoting much of its runtime to absolutely pointless action. When looking at the original Star Wars films, there's very little fighting in them. The first film features a brief shootout at the beginning, and then proceeds to spend well over an hour on mostly character-driven scenes. The next fight scene, a lightsaber battle between two old geezers, is hardly exhilarating. And the spectacular climax is, by modern standards, quite concise.

This is not to say that Rogue One should be compared to A New Hope (though the comparisons certainly invite themselves). We can't hold all films to that standard. But the point is that in the best Star Wars films, the action scenes are often short and-- when compared to the movie as a whole-- forgettable. People loved the original trilogy not because of the action, but because of the characters. We learned things about them and the world they lived in, and as a result we began to sympathize with them. Through their decisions, we started to understand how their minds worked. They weren't exceptionally deep characters, but they were relatable, likable, and very charming.

Rogue One has none of these qualities. In every scene in this film, the dialogue serves only one purpose-- pushing the story forward. The film's plot is overcomplicated, and in order to fit all of its faux intrigue and tensionless action in, it does not bother to create a single consistent or human character. The script is a whirlwind of cliches, and when it's not borrowing from every other action film ever made, it's devoting precious time to weighty dialogue about the Empire and the Rebellion. There are many moments in the film that I would call "laughable," and most of them have to do with dialogue like this:

"We have to do this!"
"We can't, it's a suicide mission!"
"Well, I'm in."
"Me too."
"Count me in!"

The characters have backstories, but they're not what I'd call "relatable." Felicity Jones' character has been involved with the Rebellion all her life. The same can be said for Diego Luna's (every other character is there simply to sell action figures, so we won't get into them-- they appear and disappear as the plot demands them to). I'm sure these two main characters "kick ass" when it comes to fighting, but what they lack is a single intimate or personal moment with another human being. Every conversation they have is about military strategy, espionage, or the sacrifices they've made. Never once do we get to see them being people, and audiences have no frame of reference through which to empathize with them. What are these people's defining traits? That they're noble and badass? What great characterization.

Compare this to A New Hope. We see Luke sitting down to dinner with his family. Fiddling with a toy spaceship. Talking to R2 and 3PO about his hopes and aspirations. Han Solo's personality is established through the scenes with Greedo and Jabba, which don't become important for another two movies. A movie cannot be built solely on scenes that push the plot forward. Sometimes you need to just take a breather and throw in a scene that shows what the characters are like. It's incredibly simple, yet this movie never bothered to do it. And even in scenes that advance the plot, you can establish your characters' psychologies using how they go about solving a problem. Rogue One doesn't even attempt this-- its characters are grim, angry soldiers, and after spending two hours with them, it doesn't seem like there's much else to them.

The one saving grace to this film could have been its smaller scale. If the characters had achieved their goals through espionage and cleverness, their actions might have given us some insights into their personalities. Instead, after over an hour of weighty dialogue and action figure characters staging boring fight scenes, we are treated to a bludgeoning finale ripped straight from the Force Awakens playbook. "Red Leader, standing by." "Green Leader, standing by." It becomes big and dumb (or rather, bigger and dumber) as it progresses, squandering its limited potential by turning a small and contained story into another all-out battle for the future of the galaxy. Boy, I haven't seen many of those recently.

Rogue One is not just a bad Star Wars movie, it's a bad movie, period. There are some good visuals, but without developed characters, a compelling script, or coherent plotting to back them up, the film becomes an absolute maelstrom of CGI carnage and nothing else. Like The Force Awakens, it leans too heavily on callbacks to the franchise's past glories, offering up no memorable moments or characters of its own. All the originality here-- from the unimaginative new planets to the slightly redesigned ships-- is ultimately surface-level. At its core, the movie has nothing fueling it but plot-pushing dialogue and overlong action sequences, and as a result, it will please only those who have forgotten what Star Wars truly is. Gone are the days of well-developed characters, quiet scenes of interpersonal dialogue, and clever storytelling elements. From here on out, Star Wars is Disney's bitch. And they're going to Marvel the shit out of it.





TL;DR: Passable action and stupid humor mean nothing when your dialogue is boring and your characters have no personalities.
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Tho Master Fie

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Diego Tutweiller

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Frankie

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Yeah, there's no way that this film got that many good reviews from critics. Although, it may be possible because every one I know that's seen it either really loved it or at least liked it more than TFA (except for like two people).

But this was just such a snooze-fest, my god. I don't understand any of the praise whatsoever, every character was just god awful, I'm talking Suicide Squad levels of bad. Also, everyone seems to unanimously love the droid, but even the droid was terrible because I didn't laugh once when it was joking around. It was typical robot humor, nothing different and served to enhance the blandness of the film.

Suspect #1

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Just this year, Alice Through the Looking Glass flopped with critics.  I understand you're more than likely joking, but every time I hear someone bring up that theory, it kind of makes me pissed off.  Especially when there's pretty much no evidence to suggest it.  All it suggests is that you have a disconnect with critics and your own personal tastes on some movies, which is perfectly okay.
Goodbye!

Diego Tutweiller

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Just this year, Alice Through the Looking Glass flopped with critics.  I understand you're more than likely joking, but every time I hear someone bring up that theory, it kind of makes me pissed off.  Especially when there's pretty much no evidence to suggest it.  All it suggests is that you have a disconnect with critics and your own personal tastes on some movies, which is perfectly okay.

Okay, in all seriousness, the likelier scenario is far worse. The film is bad. The critics know that-- they're not that ignorant when it comes to movie criticism (well, maybe Shawn Edwards-FOX TV is, but he doesn't count). The question then is... why are they giving it positive reviews?

It's because they're censoring themselves. They know that, despite the death of print media, there's still a market out there for movie critiquing. Trouble is, they now have YouTube armchair critics like Stuckmann and Hal Rudnick to compete with. They know that the dumb popcorn-chomping masses love these movies, so in order to avoid alienating their readership, they pretend to like movies that they know are terrible. They direct their leftover vitriol at films like Warcraft, which everyone knew was going to suck anyway, and no one is the wiser.

This is a lot more sinister than "Disney is paying off critics." While I'm sure critics have been bribed in the past (just look at Ebert's review for The Mummy III if you don't believe me), something this large-scale is virtually impossible. Which is why I'm far more inclined to believe that the critics are self-censoring and cherry-picking positives. They're just trying to maintain relevancy in an increasingly dumbed-down filmmaking climate.

James Orenthal Cutler

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Just this year, Alice Through the Looking Glass flopped with critics.  I understand you're more than likely joking, but every time I hear someone bring up that theory, it kind of makes me pissed off.  Especially when there's pretty much no evidence to suggest it.  All it suggests is that you have a disconnect with critics and your own personal tastes on some movies, which is perfectly okay.

Sony was caught in the past bribing gaming critics.  Not an uncommon practice, Moody. 

Suspect #1

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Just this year, Alice Through the Looking Glass flopped with critics.  I understand you're more than likely joking, but every time I hear someone bring up that theory, it kind of makes me pissed off.  Especially when there's pretty much no evidence to suggest it.  All it suggests is that you have a disconnect with critics and your own personal tastes on some movies, which is perfectly okay.

Okay, in all seriousness, the likelier scenario is far worse. The film is bad. The critics know that-- they're not that ignorant when it comes to movie criticism (well, maybe Shawn Edwards-FOX TV is, but he doesn't count). The question then is... why are they giving it positive reviews?

It's because they're censoring themselves. They know that, despite the death of print media, there's still a market out there for movie critiquing. Trouble is, they now have YouTube armchair critics like Stuckmann and Hal Rudnick to compete with. They know that the dumb popcorn-chomping masses love these movies, so in order to avoid alienating their readership, they pretend to like movies that they know are terrible. They direct their leftover vitriol at films like Warcraft, which everyone knew was going to suck anyway, and no one is the wiser.

This is a lot more sinister than "Disney is paying off critics." While I'm sure critics have been bribed in the past (just look at Ebert's review for The Mummy III if you don't believe me), something this large-scale is virtually impossible. Which is why I'm far more inclined to believe that the critics are self-censoring and cherry-picking positives. They're just trying to maintain relevancy in an increasingly dumbed-down filmmaking climate.

In the world of film journalism, you're more likely to get more clicks for your website and more money if you give a negative review to a highly anticipated tentpole.  If anything, if they actually didn't like it, that's good from a business perspective.  Batman v. Superman was the most extreme case of this.  Because the movie was so hated by critics, I'm pretty sure it led to more people visiting not only the respective critic's reviews, but Rotten Tomatoes' site as a whole.  It certainly has gained more relevancy after that whole debacle.  Hell, some critics (like Armond White and Rex Reed) intentionally give negative reviews to highly awaited blockbusters (pretty sure Rex Reed gave the first negative review to both Arrival and Doctor Strange, correct me if I'm wrong) with the sole purpose of getting page clicks.
Goodbye!

Suspect #1

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Just this year, Alice Through the Looking Glass flopped with critics.  I understand you're more than likely joking, but every time I hear someone bring up that theory, it kind of makes me pissed off.  Especially when there's pretty much no evidence to suggest it.  All it suggests is that you have a disconnect with critics and your own personal tastes on some movies, which is perfectly okay.

Sony was caught in the past bribing gaming critics.  Not an uncommon practice, Moody. 

Oh yeah, I know it's certainly not out of the realm of plausibility, but throwing around baseless claims with no evidence is just really **** stupid.

Sony also has done this before in the film industry before (I remember one time they made a fake critic to give positive reviews to their negatively received movies, and in the leaked emails, I recall them saying they'd pay critics to give positive reviews to The Monuments Men after it began to get lambasted).  Of course, this doesn't mean every single "fresh" movie Sony makes was automatically paid off, but it does suggest they have a history of doing it.
Goodbye!

Diego Tutweiller

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Just this year, Alice Through the Looking Glass flopped with critics.  I understand you're more than likely joking, but every time I hear someone bring up that theory, it kind of makes me pissed off.  Especially when there's pretty much no evidence to suggest it.  All it suggests is that you have a disconnect with critics and your own personal tastes on some movies, which is perfectly okay.

Okay, in all seriousness, the likelier scenario is far worse. The film is bad. The critics know that-- they're not that ignorant when it comes to movie criticism (well, maybe Shawn Edwards-FOX TV is, but he doesn't count). The question then is... why are they giving it positive reviews?

It's because they're censoring themselves. They know that, despite the death of print media, there's still a market out there for movie critiquing. Trouble is, they now have YouTube armchair critics like Stuckmann and Hal Rudnick to compete with. They know that the dumb popcorn-chomping masses love these movies, so in order to avoid alienating their readership, they pretend to like movies that they know are terrible. They direct their leftover vitriol at films like Warcraft, which everyone knew was going to suck anyway, and no one is the wiser.

This is a lot more sinister than "Disney is paying off critics." While I'm sure critics have been bribed in the past (just look at Ebert's review for The Mummy III if you don't believe me), something this large-scale is virtually impossible. Which is why I'm far more inclined to believe that the critics are self-censoring and cherry-picking positives. They're just trying to maintain relevancy in an increasingly dumbed-down filmmaking climate.

In the world of film journalism, you're more likely to get more clicks for your website and more money if you give a negative review to a highly anticipated tentpole.  If anything, if they actually didn't like it, that's good from a business perspective.  Batman v. Superman was the most extreme case of this.  Because the movie was so hated by critics, I'm pretty sure it led to more people visiting not only the respective critic's reviews, but Rotten Tomatoes' site as a whole.  It certainly has gained more relevancy after that whole debacle.  Hell, some critics (like Armond White and Rex Reed) intentionally give negative reviews to highly awaited blockbusters (pretty sure Rex Reed gave the first negative review to both Arrival and Doctor Strange, correct me if I'm wrong) with the sole purpose of getting page clicks.

But page clicks mean nothing once people decide to stop listening to your opinions. Audiences don't want their indefensible love for boom-booms questioned. They want their opinions to be validated by "professional" critics so they don't feel like flyover cows when they go to see the new Star Wars movie. This is how echo chambers like the buzz for Suicide Squad get started-- everyone ignores the warning signs because they want the movie to be good. Sure, they might read negative reviews in order to channel their anger and frustration somewhere, but just look at what happens when you criticize these garbage films. Armond White has been demonized by people solely because he dislikes popular movies. When RedLetterMedia posted their negative review for Rogue One, the comments section was overrun by furious Star Wars fans. And need I remind you of RT's TDKR debacle with the Nolanites?

If you go against the grain these days, you're opening the floodgates to millions of half-lobotomized fanboys who will rant about how "The critics are wrong" and try to get Rotten Tomatoes shut down. So the critics have just given up. They're going to keep dumbing down their reviews until we're living in Idiocracy.

James Orenthal Cutler

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Just this year, Alice Through the Looking Glass flopped with critics.  I understand you're more than likely joking, but every time I hear someone bring up that theory, it kind of makes me pissed off.  Especially when there's pretty much no evidence to suggest it.  All it suggests is that you have a disconnect with critics and your own personal tastes on some movies, which is perfectly okay.

Sony was caught in the past bribing gaming critics.  Not an uncommon practice, Moody. 

Oh yeah, I know it's certainly not out of the realm of plausibility, but throwing around baseless claims with no evidence is just really **** stupid.

Sony also has done this before in the film industry before (I remember one time they made a fake critic to give positive reviews to their negatively received movies, and in the leaked emails, I recall them saying they'd pay critics to give positive reviews to The Monuments Men after it began to get lambasted).  Of course, this doesn't mean every single "fresh" movie Sony makes was automatically paid off, but it does suggest they have a history of doing it.


Tho Master Fie

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Perhaps it's a combination of things, but Diego's point definitely has some legitimacy.  It's possible that certain critics that are considered most important were paid off, some critics are wimping out and pretending to enjoy these films to stay relevant, and then the 3rd and most terrifying possibility - that some professional critics have become brainwashed by Hollywood's modern standards to the point where they actually consider these films to be good.

Suspect #1

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This is odd. We disagree on many things, but this is almost word-for-word my complaints about Rogue One. Even down to the stupid one-syllable names. You're absolutely right. I think it's the worst movie ever to come out under the Star Wars brand.
Seems like we just used different films for reference points.  Using the original trilogy definitely makes more sense for a review, but since I don't even like the original Star Wars films very much I decided to use Men in Black.

Yeah, and the comparison works. Like Star Wars, MIB isn't shooting for high art. It's just a fun, silly sci-fi movie. But it succeeds in what it's trying to do... unlike this abomination.

In other news, I'm starting to give more credence to your "Disney is bribing critics" theory...

Just this year, Alice Through the Looking Glass flopped with critics.  I understand you're more than likely joking, but every time I hear someone bring up that theory, it kind of makes me pissed off.  Especially when there's pretty much no evidence to suggest it.  All it suggests is that you have a disconnect with critics and your own personal tastes on some movies, which is perfectly okay.

Okay, in all seriousness, the likelier scenario is far worse. The film is bad. The critics know that-- they're not that ignorant when it comes to movie criticism (well, maybe Shawn Edwards-FOX TV is, but he doesn't count). The question then is... why are they giving it positive reviews?

It's because they're censoring themselves. They know that, despite the death of print media, there's still a market out there for movie critiquing. Trouble is, they now have YouTube armchair critics like Stuckmann and Hal Rudnick to compete with. They know that the dumb popcorn-chomping masses love these movies, so in order to avoid alienating their readership, they pretend to like movies that they know are terrible. They direct their leftover vitriol at films like Warcraft, which everyone knew was going to suck anyway, and no one is the wiser.

This is a lot more sinister than "Disney is paying off critics." While I'm sure critics have been bribed in the past (just look at Ebert's review for The Mummy III if you don't believe me), something this large-scale is virtually impossible. Which is why I'm far more inclined to believe that the critics are self-censoring and cherry-picking positives. They're just trying to maintain relevancy in an increasingly dumbed-down filmmaking climate.

In the world of film journalism, you're more likely to get more clicks for your website and more money if you give a negative review to a highly anticipated tentpole.  If anything, if they actually didn't like it, that's good from a business perspective.  Batman v. Superman was the most extreme case of this.  Because the movie was so hated by critics, I'm pretty sure it led to more people visiting not only the respective critic's reviews, but Rotten Tomatoes' site as a whole.  It certainly has gained more relevancy after that whole debacle.  Hell, some critics (like Armond White and Rex Reed) intentionally give negative reviews to highly awaited blockbusters (pretty sure Rex Reed gave the first negative review to both Arrival and Doctor Strange, correct me if I'm wrong) with the sole purpose of getting page clicks.

But page clicks mean nothing once people decide to stop listening to your opinions. Audiences don't want their indefensible love for boom-booms questioned. They want their opinions to be validated by "professional" critics so they don't feel like flyover cows when they go to see the new Star Wars movie. This is how echo chambers like the buzz for Suicide Squad get started-- everyone ignores the warning signs because they want the movie to be good. Sure, they might read negative reviews in order to channel their anger and frustration somewhere, but just look at what happens when you criticize these garbage films. Armond White has been demonized by people solely because he dislikes popular movies. When RedLetterMedia posted their negative review for Rogue One, the comments section was overrun by furious Star Wars fans. And need I remind you of RT's TDKR debacle with the Nolanites?

If you go against the grain these days, you're opening the floodgates to millions of half-lobotomized fanboys who will rant about how "The critics are wrong" and try to get Rotten Tomatoes shut down. So the critics have just given up. They're going to keep dumbing down their reviews until we're living in Idiocracy.

However, if they were to be attempting to pander to the masses in order to get them to be more respected by the masses, why the hell wouldn't they give high marks to films like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, films that were highly anticipated, with one actually being well liked by the general audience (Suicide Squad, which got a B+ CinemaScore, had good late legs, and a decent RT audience score)?  It's also not like Rogue One was universally panned by audiences either, and they have shown that audiences can and will go against the critics for Star Wars films (Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones had good reviews upon release, and Revenge of the Sith is definitely divisive among audiences).
Goodbye!

Tho Master Fie

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However, if they were to be attempting to pander to the masses in order to get them to be more respected by the masses, why the hell wouldn't they give high marks to films like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, films that were highly anticipated, with one actually being well liked by the general audience (Suicide Squad, which got a B+ CinemaScore, had good late legs, and a decent RT audience score)?  It's also not like Rogue One was universally panned by audiences either, and they have shown that audiences can and will go against the critics for Star Wars films (Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones had good reviews upon release, and Revenge of the Sith is definitely divisive among audiences).
You have to consider the audiences that these critics are pandering to.  Just as one example, hardcоre feminists are all over the internet nowadays.  Suicide Squad's main female character is Harley Quinn in a skimpy, skanky outfit that seems to serve no purpose to the film besides being eye candy.  Disney Star Wars films feature female leads that are "strong" and are the main driving force of the plot.

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However, if they were to be attempting to pander to the masses in order to get them to be more respected by the masses, why the hell wouldn't they give high marks to films like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, films that were highly anticipated, with one actually being well liked by the general audience (Suicide Squad, which got a B+ CinemaScore, had good late legs, and a decent RT audience score)?  It's also not like Rogue One was universally panned by audiences either, and they have shown that audiences can and will go against the critics for Star Wars films (Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones had good reviews upon release, and Revenge of the Sith is definitely divisive among audiences).
You have to consider the audiences that these critics are pandering to.  Just as one example, hardcоre feminists are all over the internet nowadays.  Suicide Squad's main female character is Harley Quinn in a skimpy, skanky outfit that seems to serve no purpose to the film besides being eye candy.  Disney Star Wars films feature female leads that are "strong" and are the main driving force of the plot.

Well, in the case of feminism, many would consider Wonder Woman to be a "strong" female character.  Granted, it was more of a supporting role, but it was considered one of the highlights of BvS. 
Goodbye!

Diego Tutweiller

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However, if they were to be attempting to pander to the masses in order to get them to be more respected by the masses, why the hell wouldn't they give high marks to films like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, films that were highly anticipated, with one actually being well liked by the general audience (Suicide Squad, which got a B+ CinemaScore, had good late legs, and a decent RT audience score)?  It's also not like Rogue One was universally panned by audiences either, and they have shown that audiences can and will go against the critics for Star Wars films (Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones had good reviews upon release, and Revenge of the Sith is definitely divisive among audiences).
You have to consider the audiences that these critics are pandering to.  Just as one example, hardcоre feminists are all over the internet nowadays.  Suicide Squad's main female character is Harley Quinn in a skimpy, skanky outfit that seems to serve no purpose to the film besides being eye candy.  Disney Star Wars films feature female leads that are "strong" and are the main driving force of the plot.

True, but at the same time, Marvel's movies never feature any female leads who are anything more than one-note, spandex-clad bimbos, and they never dip down below the 60% range. The difference, I suppose, is that one is owned by Disney and the other isn't... hmm...

Diego Tutweiller

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Well, in the case of feminism, many would consider Wonder Woman to be a "strong" female character. 

Lol.
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Suspect #1

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Well, in the case of feminism, many would consider Wonder Woman to be a "strong" female character. 

Lol.

Yeah, I don't necessarily think she is, but I could definitely see how one could say she is.
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Suspect #1

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However, if they were to be attempting to pander to the masses in order to get them to be more respected by the masses, why the hell wouldn't they give high marks to films like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, films that were highly anticipated, with one actually being well liked by the general audience (Suicide Squad, which got a B+ CinemaScore, had good late legs, and a decent RT audience score)?  It's also not like Rogue One was universally panned by audiences either, and they have shown that audiences can and will go against the critics for Star Wars films (Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones had good reviews upon release, and Revenge of the Sith is definitely divisive among audiences).
You have to consider the audiences that these critics are pandering to.  Just as one example, hardcоre feminists are all over the internet nowadays.  Suicide Squad's main female character is Harley Quinn in a skimpy, skanky outfit that seems to serve no purpose to the film besides being eye candy.  Disney Star Wars films feature female leads that are "strong" and are the main driving force of the plot.

True, but at the same time, Marvel's movies never feature any female leads who are anything more than one-note, spandex-clad bimbos

Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange changed that.
Goodbye!

 

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