Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Rotten Tomatoes suspends Dark Knight Rises comments

Well, that was timely. I was halfway through a piece for Friday’s Ticket — miss it at your peril — on the rise of the internet hyper-fan as it relates to The Dark Knight Rises when a more than usually …

Tue, Jul 17, 2012, 17:40

   

Well, that was timely. I was halfway through a piece for Friday’s Ticket — miss it at your peril — on the rise of the internet hyper-fan as it relates to The Dark Knight Rises when a more than usually hysterical fight broke out on Rotten Tomatoes. I won’t say too much about my argument, but one strand involves the intemperate — and often misogynistic — online berating of any critic who dares to dislike The Dark Knight or its upcoming successor. We have already discussed this in relation to The Avengers. The first few negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are — even before the commentators have seen the film — rapidly deluged with reams of semi-literate, unreasonably personal rants. Yesterday, within hours of its posting, a review of the new film by¬†Marshall Fine at Hollywood & Fine had attracted more than 700 comments. Mr Fine’s own site crashed and the ¬†review was eventually removed from Tomatoes.

Then Christy Lemire (A WOMAN!), who reviews for Associated Press and Roger Ebert’s TV show, dared to put up her own unconvinced notice. A stream of anti-female bilge — much now removed — followed from the online nut-cases (most of whom, let us say again, had yet to see the film). Eventually, the good folk at Rotten Tomatoes bowed to the inevitable and suspended posting on their site. Under the rather wonderful headline “This is why we can’t have nice things“, Matt Atchity, RT’s editor in chief, commented: “I know that a lot of people will think we’re overreacting, and I know my own breeding, sexuality, and intelligence will be called in to question just for daring to ask for some level of respectable debate. That’s fine, I’m used to that.” Anticipating the inevitable Goebbels comparisons, he continued: “And don’t try and argue about your right to free speech — this is a business, and we have the right to refuse service to anyone we feel like.”

Quite right too. Now, back to that piece.

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