Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Processing the Reviews of Batman v Superman

I will update this post throughout the evening as more reviews come in. You can also see some of the fan reactions on Twitter, which are overwhelmingly positive.

Movie critics are under an embargo until 6:00pm EDT on March 22nd with regard to their reviews of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But a couple Spanish-language reviews slipped through and were captured on Rotten Tomatoes midday on the 22nd. They were both coded as "rotten" but a closer look reveals more nuance. The first review, from Cinema Movil, gave it a 2.5 out of 4 (so still above 50%... not sure why it was considered "rotten") and had quite a few good things to say about the movie. Its main drawbacks were the performances of Affleck, Eisenberg, and the pace of Act 1. But it concluded by saying that it was a step up from Man of Steel, in their opinion.

The second review, from Garuyo, was a 6 out of 10 (again, above 50% but still considered "rotten"). The negatives mentioned here were (a) trying to include too much, (b) a weirdly personal attack against Geoff Johns' involvement, and (c) some vague critiques of the tone and the narrative structure. It had some praise for Affleck's performance and said Eisenberg was interesting, if not perfect. To be honest, though, the review was a bit rambling.

Running average: 5.5 / 10

Before the premiere and early screenings, I compiled some early positive buzz. And don't forget, Al Roker gave it a 6 out of 5!

UPDATE 5:05PM CDT: Two more "rotten" scores on Rotten Tomates (RT), for a total of 4 rotten, 0 fresh, but they don't have the details of those new ones yet. Also, the first two average 61.3% which should be above the 60% fresh threshold, but are still listed rotten. Even if you say the tone of Garuyo is negative, rounding it down, the Cinema Movil is pretty positive and the 2.5/4 should be fresh.

UPDATE 5:08PM: It's now 6 rotten, 1 fresh, but they aren't posting any details beyond the first two.

UPDATE 5:12PM: 8 rotten, 1 fresh. Variety has a mildly spoilery review and praises quite a bit of the movie (e.g., visuals, editing,  music, lessons learned from Man of Steel) but didn't seem overly impressed.

UPDATE 5:21PM: 12 rotten, 3 fresh. Things not looking good so far. Many of the "rottens" are right on the edge, around 50-60% or a C+ grade. Some are pretty harsh, though. Hollywood Reporter criticized it for not being fun (I don't think it's supposed to be) and didn't like Lex.  Time Out (spoilery) seemed ready to critique the comic book genre and is using this as an opportunity.

UPDATE 5:29PM: 15 rotten, 5 fresh. The Miami Herald seems to have missed at least three layers of Batman and Superman's conflict, which is vengeful, psychological, and also philosophical in terms of the nature of justice. He also critiques the inclusion of the Waynes murder because we've seen it already, but can you really have a DC Movie Universe without showing the origin of Batman? There are some positives, though, such as the dream sequence, the tension building, and the ending.

UPDATE 7:58PM: With 40 critic reviews in, RT is at 16 fresh and 24 rotten. The percentage has gone up from 9% initially to 41% now, with the average score staying between 5 and 6 out of 10. It's still too soon for a consensus. There are probably going to be about 300 reviews when all is said and done, so we only have about 14% of precincts reporting, so to speak. Tonight I'm going to look for some patterns in these early reviews. One thing I can already see is that the negative reviewers often say it's depressing or no fun. (For me, the tone is a positive, not a negative.) Here's a positive review from Film Ink, though. And by the way, the original two reviews are still marked as "rotten" even though they meet or surpass the 60% threshold. This is why the average may be more useful than the percentage, with so many reviews coming in right around the breaking point.

UPDATE 8:57PM: Critics Choice has the movie around 76/100, contrasting with RT now at 39% fresh. Note that RT has decreased to 39% even though the average has increased to 5.4/10 now.

UPDATE 10:43PM: I'll give an analysis of reviews tomorrow, but right now there are still only 44 reviews in to RT, and I expect about 300 eventually. It's at 39% positive with an average of 5.5/10. On Critics Choice, the score is 78/100. I've read some really great analyses of the psychology and philosophy in the film (e.g., Forbes) but I've also seen people say that it's just visuals (they simply missed the deeper themes) or it's humorless (as if this is a bad thing).

No comments:

Post a Comment