Scorsese Hates RottenTomatoes.com

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https://www.salon.com/2017/10/10/martin-scorsese-rotten-tomatoes/

Some excerpts....

"[Rotten Tomatoes has] nothing to do with real film criticism."

"They rate a picture the way you'd rate a horse at the racetrack, a restaurant in a Zagat's guide, or a household appliance in Consumer Reports," Scorsese wrote. "They have everything to do with the movie business and absolutely nothing to do with either the creation or the intelligent viewing of film. The filmmaker is reduced to a content manufacturer and the viewer to an unadventurous consumer."

I am sympathetic to the view that the tomatometer and metacritic averaged scores are less-meaningful, possibly-distracting measures of films than the actual reviews that are their source data, but these sites also present the reviews themselves, meaning someone serious about film criticism can ignore the simplified version and go in and actually read the reviews. So a review aggregator is "good" or "bad" depending on how it is used. But I also get the impression Scorsese is engaging in a cliched attack on film criticism in general.

"Good films by real filmmakers aren't made to be decoded, consumed or instantly comprehended," Scorsese wrote. "They're not even made to be instantly liked. They're just made, because the person behind the camera had to make them."

True, but booooring and mostly irrelevant to the legitimacy of film criticism.
Oct 11, 2017 12:08 PM
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I mean he's probably not going to rock up here. But maybe it's time to reanimate Lady Eowyn just in case.
Oct 11, 2017 1:25 PM
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He's mad Shutter Island didn't break 70%.
Oct 11, 2017 1:50 PM
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Oct 11, 2017 4:38 PM
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"Marty! Kundun! I liked it!"
Oct 11, 2017 6:06 PM
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I kind of get what he's saying. Rotten Tomatoes is a double edge sword. Artsy movies like Mother get destroyed at the BO because critics didn't really get it whilst on the other hand shitty cash-grabs don't make as much money as they used to. I don't really see it as a big deal though, because those artsy movies usually have legs if they get good word of mouth.
Oct 11, 2017 6:11 PM
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His criticism of RT is as superficial as RT's tomatometer. As wirthling mentioned, the reviews are published. Anybody seeking more in depth criticism can get it here, aggregated on one site. RT clearly takes ad money, and many of the writers are on that fuzzy line between genuine critic and entertainment reporter, but you can wade through all of that with a small amount of effort.

If I identify a movie I may be interested in but see the tomatometer is 33% or 88%, that's useful info, no matter it's worth to the field of film criticism.
Oct 11, 2017 7:07 PM
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neumdaddy

That?s about it, i think. He?s simply bemoaning modern culture without realizing it.
Oct 12, 2017 3:09 AM
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wirthlinghttps://www.salon.com/2017/10/10/martin-scorsese-rotten-tomatoes/

Some excerpts....

"[Rotten Tomatoes has] nothing to do with real film criticism."

"They rate a picture the way you'd rate a horse at the racetrack, a restaurant in a Zagat's guide, or a household appliance in Consumer Reports," Scorsese wrote. "They have everything to do with the movie business and absolutely nothing to do with either the creation or the intelligent viewing of film. The filmmaker is reduced to a content manufacturer and the viewer to an unadventurous consumer."

I am sympathetic to the view that the tomatometer ?and metacritic averaged scores are less-meaningful, possibly-distracting measures of films than the actual reviews that are their source data, but these sites also present the reviews themselves, meaning someone serious about film criticism can ignore the simplified version and go in and actually read the reviews. So a review aggregator is "good" or "bad" depending on how it is used. But I also get the impression Scorsese is engaging in a cliched attack on film criticism in general.

"Good films by real filmmakers aren't made to be decoded, consumed or instantly comprehended," Scorsese wrote. "They're not even made to be instantly liked. They're just made, because the person behind the camera had to make them."

True, but booooring and mostly irrelevant to the legitimacy of film criticism.

That's a weird quote at the end there. I feel that Scorsese would definitely appreciate serious film criticism, including from people like Truffaut and Godard who made their own films.
Oct 12, 2017 5:46 AM
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When Gene Siskel was sick, Scorcese joined Ebert for the "Best Films of the 90s" episode. So he's done it. Professionally.
Oct 12, 2017 5:56 AM
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I thnik for the average person the Tomatometer is a pretty reasonable way to assess the likelihood they'll enjoy something. People who enjoy divisive sorts of films know how to spot a fun 30-per-center.
Oct 12, 2017 6:50 AM
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I disagree with him, but that's like 0.01 downgrade of my respect and love for him (caveat, he's my favorite director).

Akin to Ebert's shitting on video/computer games as any possibility of being a true art form. Disagree, but again 0.01 downgrade (caveat, Ebert was my favorite critic). And *

Everyone has blind spots. Even some of the early feminists were rabid racists and eugenicists. Even MLK Jr's stance on gays was at times problematic. Even Gandhi and Ma Theresa were assholes in their way. Even Ta-Nehisi Coates says some truly dumbass things. Even Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris or Christopher Hitchens have been at times enormous morons, and sexists, and islamophobes, and again, morons.

Glenn Greenwald? Not a hero because no human can be. He'll eventually make some dumb terrible argument. Amy Goodman? Already done via Syria.

Modern feminists such as Jessica Valenti? Well I'm not sure there any of such that hasn't made utterly moronic arguments. Maybe I'm just a misogynist.?

Literature critics? There are still some thinking that Maya Angelou and Ted Hughes and Robinson Jeffers are great poets. And that Thomas Pynchon is better than Stephen King, or Agatha Christie.

TV critics? How else would one describe the ago-lauding of "The Sopranos" or "Madmen"? or "The Walking Dead" as top-five ever shows, unless they were morons.

Every good critic, worth reading, or every director, can be a bit stupid at times. And a bit tainted by a modern societal zeitgeist.

* Some...the best, such as Ebert, go back to a past review and reconsider. Try to learn more even at advanced age or impending cancer.

Scorsese cameo: "what would a .45 do to a woman's pussy" was okay...playing an asshole [Bickle should've immediately murdered you btw, he had no violent desire upon Foster or that Elvis wife, or that random g/f or wife of yours who you want to murder because she had sex with a "nigger"; his look of contemplation had zero to do with the scene since he had no desire to murder women]...but that's also maybe like Tarantino inserting cameos just so he can say "nigger". That's up to you Martin. Didn't repeat so maybe not as blatant as Quentin's fetish. So no big deal, if you felt that character needed and only you could play it...but yet again Bickle should'n't've just sat there and did nothing, unless he was also a racist or wanted women to die [bad scene].
Which sure his "washing" speech might make it seem so, but I think that was just a visceral sense, not tied to any sense (even with that local store shooting scene; of which Bickle intervened due to a black gunman, but not just so he could shoot a black person; and he was a bit disturbed at the owner's cover-up". Kind of sorry you also included that to maybe insinuate he wouldn't have shot the robber if the robber were white. Trying to put some racial component into the movie; despite DeNiro not actually playing a racist character. Kind of a disconnect there, Senor Scorsese. Or that Italian word. Seignor or something.

Bickle was a 'Nam vet, used to violence. But not towards any particular (not even VietCong or such). He saw himself as a superhero (and a bit of self-nihilist/hatred/suicidal) cleaning up the streets, only (preparing, yet not yet) doing so because no victim found yet [or evil worth dying in order to kill]. Then Foster was found, so balls out. Plus his disgust at local politicians [and so prepardness to assassinate that candidate (though maybe also just due to a slight insult), and soap operas on TV, all inane and tepid. I don't agree with his actions but I can understand them. And it wasn't about negroes, it was about his particular sense of justice. I think if Foster had been played by a young faux-innocent, damaged, smart black actress he'd met in a cafe his response would have been exactly similar when disgusted by her exploitation and finally seeing a true victim that he could try to do something about/free. I didn't think his motivations had anything to do with race whatsoever. Vietnamese 12 year old, Japanese 12 year old, white, black, mongolian, latino...he was trying to latch on to some way to effect and change things in a big, big way, and maybe as suicidal, to die himself also. And after the Foster cafe, found it. Not that he wasn't at all or in bit a racist. But that was in no way his motivation.

Uh sorry, went on a tangent a bit.
Oct 12, 2017 7:10 AM
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GigantopithecusScorsese cameo: "what would a .45 do to a woman's pussy" was okay...playing an asshole [Bickle should've immediately murdered you btw, he had no violent desire upon Foster or that Elvis wife, or that random g/f or wife of yours who you want to murder because she had sex with a "nigger"; his look of contemplation had zero to do with the scene since he had no desire to murder women]...but that's also maybe like Tarantino inserting cameos just so he can say "nigger". That's up to you Martin. Didn't repeat so maybe not as blatant as Quentin's fetish. So no big deal, if you felt that character needed and only you could play it...but yet again Bickle should'n't've just sat there and did nothing, unless he was also a racist or wanted women to die [bad scene].
Which sure his "washing" speech might make it seem so, but I think that was just a visceral sense, not tied to any sense (even with that local store shooting scene; of which Bickle intervened due to a black gunman, but not just so he could shoot a black person; and he was a bit disturbed at the owner's cover-up". Kind of sorry you also included that to maybe insinuate he wouldn't have shot the robber if the robber were white. Trying to put some racial component into the movie; despite DeNiro not actually playing a racist character. Kind of a disconnect there, Senor Scorsese. Or that Italian word. Seignor or something.

Bickle was a 'Nam vet, used to violence. But not towards any particular (not even VietCong or such). He saw himself as a superhero (and a bit of self-nihilist/hatred/suicidal) cleaning up the streets, only (preparing, yet not yet) doing so because no victim found yet [or evil worth dying in order to kill]. Then Foster was found, so balls out. Plus his disgust at local politicians [and so prepardness to assassinate that candidate (though maybe also just due to a slight insult), and soap operas on TV, all inane and tepid. I don't agree with his actions but I can understand them. And it wasn't about negroes, it was about his particular sense of justice. I think if Foster had been played by a young faux-innocent, damaged, smart black actress he'd met in a cafe his response would have been exactly similar when disgusted by her exploitation and finally seeing a true victim that he could try to do something about/free. I didn't think his motivations had anything to do with race whatsoever. Vietnamese 12 year old, Japanese 12 year old, white, black, mongolian, latino...he was trying to latch on to some way to effect and change things in a big, big way, and maybe as suicidal, to die himself also. And after the Foster cafe, found it. Not that he wasn't at all or in bit a racist. But that was in no way his motivation.

Uh sorry, went on a tangent a bit.

And all of that to be so incorrect.

You may need to revise the film at some point, or take a look at Schrader's screenplay. Travis may not be a complete racist, but his racist apprehensions definitely are an important component of his emerging violent side, and Scorsese's cameo is a bit of a catalyst for both. Travis' racism is never explicit, so maybe that's what's confusing you. But it's clear in the way black people in the film are seen, from Travis' POV shots, as menacing and suspicious. This is achieved in having long, wary shots of Travis watching black people from afar. The most conspicuous example is the fellow black taxi driver, that Travis noticeably avoids, until a shot of the black taxi driver pointing his finger at Travis, like a pistol, and we see both a POV of this followed by a shot of Travis walking away looking clearly intimidated. In this sense, the racism is subtle, repressed, but I don't see how anyone could miss the evident fact that it's there as a component of his paranoia.

To the theory of Scorsese using his cameo as an excuse to say "nigger": The word is in the scene in the screenplay, by Schrader not Scorsese, and John Cassavetes was originally intended to do the cameo in the film, but couldn't make it at the last minute, so Scorsese, on a tight schedule, decided to just do it himself. So bunk on this as well.
Oct 12, 2017 8:30 AM
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As for the issue of the thread, this criticism of the Tomatometer really only works if we're talking about the portion of the audience which sees the meter as some sort of objective metric of quality (which the average critic rating would be a better gauge maybe) as opposed to an aggregate of reviews, and frankly these dimwits are not the audience for which Scorsese, or the other "real filmmakers" that Scorsese champions, is trying to make their films.

I would only say that there is some chaff in the critical ranks, as more less-credentialed online critics are give basically an equal vote as the top critics. But then again, David Edelstein and Mary Jo Johnson are "top critics" and there's really no justification for either to have a job above writing cable guide movie synopses.
Oct 12, 2017 8:38 AM
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Janson Jinnistan
GigantopithecusScorsese cameo: "what would a .45 do to a woman's pussy" was okay...playing an asshole [Bickle should've immediately murdered you btw, he had no violent desire upon Foster or that Elvis wife, or that random g/f or wife of yours who you want to murder because she had sex with a "nigger"; his look of contemplation had zero to do with the scene since he had no desire to murder women]...but that's also maybe like Tarantino inserting cameos just so he can say "nigger". That's up to you Martin. Didn't repeat so maybe not as blatant as Quentin's fetish. So no big deal, if you felt that character needed and only you could play it...but yet again Bickle should'n't've just sat there and did nothing, unless he was also a racist or wanted women to die [bad scene].
Which sure his "washing" speech might make it seem so, but I think that was just a visceral sense, not tied to any sense (even with that local store shooting scene; of which Bickle intervened due to a black gunman, but not just so he could shoot a black person; and he was a bit disturbed at the owner's cover-up". Kind of sorry you also included that to maybe insinuate he wouldn't have shot the robber if the robber were white. Trying to put some racial component into the movie; despite DeNiro not actually playing a racist character. Kind of a disconnect there, Senor Scorsese. Or that Italian word. Seignor or something.

Bickle was a 'Nam vet, used to violence. But not towards any particular (not even VietCong or such). He saw himself as a superhero (and a bit of self-nihilist/hatred/suicidal) cleaning up the streets, only (preparing, yet not yet) doing so because no victim found yet [or evil worth dying in order to kill]. Then Foster was found, so balls out. Plus his disgust at local politicians [and so prepardness to assassinate that candidate (though maybe also just due to a slight insult), and soap operas on TV, all inane and tepid. I don't agree with his actions but I can understand them. And it wasn't about negroes, it was about his particular sense of justice. I think if Foster had been played by a young faux-innocent, damaged, smart black actress he'd met in a cafe his response would have been exactly similar when disgusted by her exploitation and finally seeing a true victim that he could try to do something about/free. I didn't think his motivations had anything to do with race whatsoever. Vietnamese 12 year old, Japanese 12 year old, white, black, mongolian, latino...he was trying to latch on to some way to effect and change things in a big, big way, and maybe as suicidal, to die himself also. And after the Foster cafe, found it. Not that he wasn't at all or in bit a racist. But that was in no way his motivation.

Uh sorry, went on a tangent a bit.


And all of that to be so incorrect.

You may need to revise the film at some point, or take a look at Schrader's screenplay.

Travis may not be a complete racist, but his racist apprehensions definitely are an important component of his emerging violent side, and Scorsese's cameo is a bit of a catalyst for both.

Travis' racism is never explicit, so maybe that's what's confusing you. ?But it's clear in the way black people in the film are seen, from Travis' POV shots, as menacing and suspicious.

This is achieved in having long, wary shots of Travis watching black people from afar. ?The most conspicuous example is the fellow black taxi driver, that Travis noticeably avoids, until a shot of the black taxi driver pointing his finger at Travis, like a pistol, and we see both a POV of this followed by a shot of Travis walking away looking clearly intimidated.

In this sense, the racism is subtle, repressed, but I don't see how anyone could miss the evident fact that it's there as a component of his paranoia.

To the theory of Scorsese using his cameo as an excuse to say "nigger": The word is in the scene in the screenplay, by Schrader not Scorsese, and John Cassavetes was originally intended to do the cameo in the film, but couldn't make it at the last minute, so Scorsese, on a tight schedule, decided to just do it himself. ?So bunk on this as well.


Hah. That black pistol driver pointing is Bickle going "huh?" at least as I saw that scene. Maybe he just doesn't have any black friends? And Bickle is also clearly not comfortable with the conversation with [actor I forget] when [actor I forget] starts going in on coons or something. He's looking to get out of that conversation--maybe because shell-shocked from 'Nam, maybe because he doesn't want to keep talking to some ridiculous person who blames all his ails on coons. "Wizard". Shut up about coons, asshole.

If Bickle was supposed to be a serious racist, then DeNiro didn't play the character very well. Subtlety all you want. Maybe Scorcese should've played the character if he thought Bickle was supposed to be either psychologically subtlety racist, or overtly racist. Certainly never overtly. So I guess subtly instead. Despite a lot of acting to the contrary. Of which of course as I say in the scene you mention, there are other "subtle" character reasons why Bickle might be uncomfortable (including gee, being in 'Nam so being shot at. Or is that too subtle.)

No bunk btw, I think I clearly demarcated such a Scorcese choice in my post that it was a needed role. WTF. Hadn't even read that yet called it, yet you call my correct read "bunk". Even as I dis-compared to such a like such as Tarantino using his cameos as an excuse to say "nigger".

The idea that Bickle was an anti-black racist, as subtle text, is just kind of weak. Even if Scorcese himself next says "Yes, I meant for Bickle to be a racist towards black people" I'd respond with "well you really didn't make that clear".

Except with say, that store shooting scene, which wasn't in any way a subtle note that Bickle only shot the robber because he was black. It was an overt scene. Maybe subtle racism exploded then. I didn't see that. I saw a superhero-in-his-mind, after preparing for a long while, finally afterwords doing it. And again--he appeared uncomfortable with that owner telling him to get out, afterwards the owner would maybe beat the black kid to death with a club. He didn't seem glad that he'd shot a black person. And didn't seem to be happy that the owner might kill the kid in a few minutes. Guess you saw some subtle smile on Bickle's face instead in that scene, finally able to kill a black person and get away with it? News to me. So incredibly subtle!

It's a great movie, great character, without such weird subtle insistence that Bickle is a racist.

Martin? Maybe you could chime in on this.

Albert Brooks isn't black btw (the most personal animus towards someone Bickle shows). Nor Jodie Foster. Nor Harvey Keitel. Nor wife of Elvis. Nor Italian $20 bill guy. Nor Senator Palpatine. You'd think a racist would've at least taken a few negroes down if he was looking to suicide.

So subtly racist I guess that the end-game is not killing any black people. That's the ultimate subtle.

And your claim that the Scorcese scene was a "catalyst" for Bickle's racism? The character is apprehensive of everyone. But okay, tell us why that scene catalyzed Bickle's racism to where later he went on some race-killings. Oh he didn't. Guess it just catalysts his racism even more subtly. From subtle 3 to subtle 4, despite anything overt.
Oct 12, 2017 8:54 AM
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Gigantopithecus"Wizard". Shut up about coons, asshole.

And yet, Wizard, who wouldn't stop talking about coons, was the only character that Bickle ever tried to confide in.

GigantopithecusNo bunk btw, I think I clearly demarcated such a Scorcese choice in my post that it was a needed role.

You said that "only you could play it", suggesting that this need for the character was more about Scorsese's need, and not about its place in the fulcrum of the story. It's bunk because the character was created by Paul Schrader (he felt it was needed), and Scorsese never wanted the role until there literally was no other option. Suggesting that Scorsese inserted the scene is only slightly less dumb than suggesting that Bickle should have killed him on the spot. Your entire read of the film is cracked.

GigantopithecusEven if Scorcese himself next says "Yes, I meant for Bickle to be a racist towards black people" I'd respond with "well you really didn't make that clear".

I don't believe the film is the problem here. Travis' latent racism has been cited enough, both by the filmmakers and analysts, that I'm almost surprised someone still refuses to acknowledge it.

GigantopithecusSo subtly racist I guess that the end-game is not killing any black people.

Except the guy in the store, of course.

You don't seem too keen on subtlety though, as you can't seem to see how they could show Travis' latent racism as a component of his paranoia and yet still not make this component his central motivation in the film. It must be very either/or for you.
Oct 12, 2017 9:29 AM
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He's right about this. The T-Meter or really any site that spits out a number attached to film criticism is gross. It simply isn't useful or proper to know x% of critics say when forced too that they like(or recommend) a certain film.

It's part of a very annoying and dangerous trend to try to science! everything.

God I hate how much weight "science!" is given in this culture. It's why stuff like the Google memo happens.
Oct 12, 2017 9:30 AM
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I suspect Scorsese's biggest complaint against RT, though unmentioned in the article, is Gigantopithecus posts.
Oct 12, 2017 11:58 AM
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I think the (critic's) tomatometer is remarkably accurate in assessing the quality of a film. It's actually amazing that simply counting the number of positive and negative reviews can ballpark how good a film is so well. It's a wisdom of crowds effect. It's not perfect, of course. But with the occasional exception, the tomatometer estimates what'd I'd comparatively rate a film with decent accuracy. If you were to take all the 90-100% films, 80-90% films and so on and ask me to tier films by quality as well, the overlap would be substantial.

I understand that our opinions of films can change with time as we think about them or our experiences change. I understand that a film quality shouldn't and can't be reduced into a simple number or ranking. But Scorsese has opinions about relative film quality too - we all do - and scores and rankings are just short-hand for communicating that.
Oct 12, 2017 1:59 PM
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Actually, he was talking about the forum, guys. No, not "forums" (and not "forii," Sprague): forum. Specifically GD. "Fucking cesspool," he said.
Oct 12, 2017 2:34 PM
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