Sunday, March 25, 2012

RottenTomatoes: 0% to 1% Initiative for A Thousand Words

How Rottentomatoes work according to their FAQ:

The Tomatometer measures the percentage of Approved Tomatometer Critics who recommend a certain movie -- or the number of good reviews divided by the total number of reviews.

The Average Rating is an average of the individual critic scores, based on a 1-10 scale. Each critic's original rating scale (star, letter grade, numeric) is converted to a number between 1 and 10, and then the numbers are averaged. Reviews without original ratings are not counted, and a minimum of five reviews with original ratings is required.

Most critics from the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) enter their own quotes and ratings. For critics who don't enter in their own quotes and ratings, it's basically up to the judgment of the editors. They take into account word choice, rating (if any), tone, and who the critic is in their determination of whether a review is positive or not. If an editor is not certain about a review, it is sent to another editor for a second opinion. "Wishy-washy" reviews, reviews that are really difficult to determine if the critic recommends the film or not, are usually given a Rotten because if the critic is not confident enough to give the movie even an implied recommendation, then we shouldn't either.

I strike with unruly vengeance when a film receives a 0% on a tomato meter. For zero percent of the critics to like something, completely ruins a movie's chances. Recently, the trouble Eddie Murphy Movie: A Thousand Words received the rock bottom rating of 0%, with the average rating of 3.2 out of 10. Not a single critic liked it. 

I searched through the reviews trying to find one comment, one sense that the movie could be raised from 0% to 1%, I am asking for an increase a simple percent so that the hundreds of people that worked on the film don’t go unnoticed, aren’t told that they should never have even attempted to make a film.

I found it. I searched and searched seeing green splat after green splat, until I saw one comment, one sign of hope for Eddie Murphy and his dedicated film crew. The beaming light within the darkness is Thomas Leupp of He wrote:

“There is a surprising sweetness and sincerity that manifests during A Thousand Words’ third act, when Jack realizes the error of his ways and tries to resolve the childhood trauma that led him to his present douchiness. It’s enough to acquit Murphy and his director, Brian Robbins, of charges of cynicism. Their crimes against comedy, however, are not so easily forgiven.”

Excusing the last comment, we find something positive, a glimmer of a good review. This has inspired me to write a letter to Mr. Thomas Leupp with the lofty goal of him changing his review to a red tomato and maybe get the film’s rating to rise from the depths.

I have included the letter below:

Dear Mr. Thomas Leupp:

I have recently read your review of Eddie Murphy’s A Thousand Words. I noticed that, and maybe it was a mistake on your part (since it was absent within other critics reviews of the film), you said something positive in respect to its realization. I applaud your rebellion against the critical mass.
The film currently holds a 0% on This rating leaves all the hard work and dedication of the PAs, to the lighting designers, to the editors, the real people that make a film work, go completely unnoticed and affects their employment in the future. The 0% demeans their trials and tribulations in making sure the film came to fruition. The zero says that these people never should have worked at all and their efforts resulted utter failing and they would have been better off not being employed.

Due to your obvious belief in writing how you actually feel about a movie, instead of being afraid that your taste will not align with your peers, I decided to ask you for assistance.

I am not asking for you to retract your review of the film or give it glowing, unsubstantiated glorification. What I am asking is for you to have your rating changed into a red tomato because you found something worthwhile in it. The film may not be raised any significant amount, it may seem like a drop in the ocean, but I think we can agree that those who worked on it do not deserve a 0%. They deserve better than that and you have a chance to applaud them, it may be the sound of one hand clapping, but they will hear it and perhaps others will too.

Thank you for your time,

 The Hollywood Defender

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