Countdown To “Watchmen”

The highly-anticipated, almost-wasn’t-releasedWatchmen” film opens Friday in the US and there’s an interesting divide occurring at Rotten Tomatoes, the movie review aggregating site: while the “T-Meter Critics” are currently giving a aggregated rating of 68% (not bad), the so-called Top Critics are only giving it a rating of 14% (bad!).

rt-watchmen

Why the difference?

Well, the Top Critics tab only includes professional or highly-established critics, like A.O. Scott of the New York Times and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, while the 68% score is the result of the “professional” critics’ scores as well as anyone else the site surveys, including random Joe “I Write A Film Blog” Blow.

I like Rotten Tomatoes but only use it as a rough guide.  Part of my problem is that many of the reviews they sample from don’t provide numerical grades, which means RT must read the review and then generate a score based on the critic’s review. Thus, not an exact science. And when I do use RT, I try to stick to the Top Critics since I have no idea where the fuck they’re getting some of these people from. That said, I’ve never seen such a discrepancy between the total score and the Top Critics score; I wonder if it will even out as the release date nears and more reviews are published.

The film had it’s worldwide premiere in London last week.  Time Out London gave it 3/6 stars and the Times of London gave it 4/5 stars. I look forward to the NYT review…

Trivia: “Watchmen” was the only graphic novel to appear on Time‘s Best English-language Novels From 1923-present. (Source)

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