Like Tripadvisor for those in search of the best hotels, Rotten Tomatoes has become the go-to resource for movie watchers looking for recommendations. Reviews from trusted sources around the globe are aggregated into an overall percentage which deems a film “Fresh” or “Rotten”. 60% of good reviews will deem the film “Fresh”. Anything below it falls into the dreaded green zone.
Much like it’s travel counterpart though Rotten Tomatoes has become the scourge of some business owners (in this case studios and filmmakers) who claim it’s algorithm can be manipulated and that the whole rating system is counterproductive in the creation of art.
Now to temper the argument that Rotten Tomatoes encourages people to only watch “Fresh” movies the website is releasing Rotten Movies We Love. A catalogue of “Cult Classics, Underrated Gems, and Films So Bad They’re Good” it aims to defend and remind readers of the merits of some “Rotten” movies.
It’s a breezy canter through films dating back to the 1950s through to the recent past (Greatest Showman gets a spirited defense). Some films here you fully expect to see; Zardoz, hello, Xanadu, good to see you, Ishtar, ahoy! Orca-The Killer Whale, it wouldn’t be a party without you. Some are quite a surprise; Hocus Pocus? The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou? Die Hard With a Vengeance? beloved classics surely? Some a reminder that these films aren’t quite as good as you remember. Did anyone truly love Space Jam back in 1996? Has repeat TV showings of Twins made us think it’s actually funny? There are concise and enjoyable critiques of all these films and more.
Some films such as Event Horizon, The Craft and Rocky IV get their own critical essays to truly remind us. Yes, this IS CINEMA.
A light, easy book to flick through to see validation of those movies you’re certain deserve more love than the critics say. Given that it’s chock full of statistics, correct at the time of publishing, the shelflife of this collection is very small indeed. A perfect stocking filler of a book but not an encyclopedia to the underappreciated.