Fans vs Critics–December 4 2020: I Am Greta Tries to Change the Critical Climate!
Friday Feud: I Am Greta, Freaky, Dreamland, Fatman, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey and Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds.
There’s a disclaimer right here that further explains how I come up with the conclusions that I do for Fans vs Critics. I put the disclaimer here just so I don’t have to spend so much time explaining it every week, which would likely annoy returning visitors. Welcome to the December 4, 2020 edition of Fans vs Critics.
There’s a war between fans and critics. Are fans the truth holders of cinema, keeping it sacred against the critic heathens? Or are critics just fans with a job? Every Friday I try to answer one simple question: do fans and critics agree on movies? Are they more alike than different? Why am I asking so many questions here?
I take new releases from a few weeks ago and look at the average rating. The reason that I take movies from a few weeks ago is because I want to see the initial reactions. You could take ratings over time and compare them–which people have done–but that’s not what I’m doing here. This doesn’t literally answer the questions posed in the first paragraph but it’s still of interest since a lot of articles are written within the first couple weeks of a movie’s release. It’s for fun ultimately, but there’s still some credence here.
Basically, I then compile data from IMDB, Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. IMDB is utilized for audience reception and since IMDB links to Metacritic for critical reception, I directly compare the two. Rotten Tomatoes provides both so it has a separate comparison.
This is the largest edition of Fans vs Critics I’ve ever done, with a whopping six movies included. There were even more movies released on the date I pulled from, but two of them–Mank and Ammonite–get wider releases soon so I opted to revisit them in a couple weeks when that happens. I did include some limited release movies like Fatman and Dreamland since there were enough ratings to do so.
Let’s get on with it.
According to IMDB/Metacritic, Fans And Critics Are Mostly the Same Person? Is This a Black Mirror Episode?
Already we see that the fans and critics feel essentially the same about 66.6 percent of the movies. Okay, I should have rounded up to 67 but I didn’t because I wanted to link to some eeeeevil music. There is also some movement on the other end of the spectrum, with one large difference! We don’t care about the similar opinion, so, go away. Let’s see how it breaks down by film.
Fatman is the large difference mentioned above. It appears that critics are not pleased by it, and I can’t possibly fathom that with a plot summary such as this one:
A rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus is fighting to save his declining business. Meanwhile, Billy, a neglected and precocious 12 year old, hires a hit man to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.– IMDB
It’s actually a considerate difference of opinion as well because if you feel that a rating of 50 is a passing grade, not only do they differ by twenty points, but one group enjoys the film while one does not. Can we still blame it on Mel Gibson’s previous offensive comments or has enough time passed where that’s old news?
One thing you have to know about this series is that I input the numbers but I don’t look at the charts until I’m writing it. This means that I am creating the story as I go, so I’m learning as you learn, except for certain occasions where I notice something of interest as I’m doing it. An apology is necessary for the similar opinion up above because it’s I Am Greta. This is foreshadowing.
On Rotten Tomatoes There’s Still the Threat of Violence but for the Most Part People Get Calmed Down
This is the Rotten Tomatoes that I know and love! If you’ve followed this series you’ll see that Rotten Tomatoes has the most hostility between the two groups, although it’s starting to level out. So when I see this I smile a bit because while, yes, there is more understanding between them, there are also two vehement disagreements! Yay, hatred.
Fatman is causing trouble across the web, apparently, but since we’ve discussed that briefly with IMDB and Metacritic, let’s just move onto the real culprit, I Am Greta. That’s right, the documentary about the environmental activist with autism, OCD, selective mutism who also suffered from depression is the flick that is peeving people off the most.
I’m not here to give my opinion on her politics or what she says and does. This is meant to be silly, so for the purpose of this atrocity of an article, I want to spend some time on the reception of the film itself. I didn’t show this during the IMDB section because I wanted you to see Rotten Tomatoes first, but what I’m about to show you truly boggles the mind. Okay, it doesn’t do that, but it is a first since I began this back in September. As of when this was written, this is what the ratings page on IMDB looks like.
“Unusual voting activity” eh? Is this a conspiracy from the overlords at IMDB to instill a certain agenda? Or is it just internet users being knobs?
And then there’s this.
Here’s a little insider’s secret that nobody asked for, but so far I have never seen the arithmetic mean or the median be so drastically different than the weighted average. Something sketchy is going on.
To be honest, I already knew that Greta Thunberg is a controversial figure. What I didn’t expect going into this was that the film about her would be as interesting to dissect for Fans vs Critics as Cuties was back on September 25th. Talk about divergent paths.
IMDB: There’s a whole lotta love on IMDB/Metacritic. I didn’t speak on Freaky, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds, Jingle Jangle or Dreamland because everybody is in agreement. That in itself is worth mentioning here though because having the same opinion has been relatively rare and now we have four of them in one week. That’s the biggest story here, but having one large different is also of note.
Rotten Tomatoes: There’s a lot of agreement on Rotten Tomatoes as well, but there’s also more disagreement in general. A similar opinion is obviously not the same opinion, so it edges closer to being a disagreement. In fact, three of the four similar opinions–Freaky, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds and Jingle Jangle–are all inching towards being on the other end of the aisle. Along with the large differences, Rotten Tomatoes shows a little more conflict.
The Final Verdict: In the end, once again this week, we see that the relationship between fans and critics is more generally amicable. There may be little spats here and there, that sometimes evolve into bulkier menaces, but when the day comes to its finale, we all just get along. How touching.
If You Wanted You Could Leave Now but if You Want More Numbers and Charts Then Stick Around, Friend
IMDB is wonderful for data because the website provides more detailed ratings by categories such as age group, sex and country. Rotten Tomatoes is stingier with their information but I’ve included a little bit more from them as well. However, until otherwise noted these charts are all from IMDB/Metacritic.
I’m sorry to every film that isn’t I Am Greta, Fatman and occasionally Jingle Jangle, because you are being seriously overshadowed by a 17-year-old and Mel Gibson.
Here you see an evaluation based on average ratings in the first page of graphs and the number of ratings per movie by each group in the second page of graphs.
Females rate the movies higher on average than the males. At first glance it isn’t significant but these ratings rarely vary that much to begin with. That there’s a seven point difference is, at the very least, worth specifying. When you drill down into the average ratings that’s where it becomes obvious that men hate Greta Thunberg.
You can’t make a vast derogatory statement about any group of people just by analyzing what they rate movies. Right?
I DO WHAT I WANT!
Ahem. You’ll notice that Jingle Jangle also has a 100 average rating from the under eighteen crowd. You’ll also notice that there’s only one rating from that same group. Because of that they operate on extremes sometimes, and that’s no different here. They also don’t seem to care for Greta, who is in their demographic. Of course, there’s only six of them so it could just be people from her school who don’t like her. Or people who are jealous of her success. Hey, I’m not throwing shade; I’m twice her age and I’m envious of what she’s accomplished and how world renowned she is.
The highest rating for Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds is from the <18 crowd. It brings me the slightest bit of pleasure to assume that there’s a lone teenager out there who really likes Werner Herzog.
Now we see average ratings per runtime and genre. What you should realize if you look at the line graphs on the left is that most of the movies are around the same length, except for one, which is two hours. So perhaps you think that a minute or two influences the proceedings and there’s also a sex joke there. I’m too classy to make it. We only do highbrow here.
Fans prefer horror and action, while critics prefer documentaries. Males prefer horror, then musicals, going against type to some degree because there’s a lot of research that suggests that men gravitate more towards non-fiction than women do. But we know that it’s because da boyz don’t like I Am Greta. Also, musicals; hey guys.
Females, on the other hand, like musicals and documentaries. The thing is, they like all the genres more than the males do, so they were a lot easier on flicks from this week than their evolutionary companions. Not only do they like documentaries more, but they also elevate the action movie to a higher plane. This week females are doing a better job of being both masculine and feminine. Uh oh, I’ve been replaced.
Critics prefer unrated movies, which doesn’t mean anything. My normal routine is to get the rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a couple movies didn’t have that information. I believe they were both the documentaries.
Fans, as a whole, appreciate a little bit of parental guidance. When you dig into sex then that remains true, but when you factor in the different ages… it’s still true. Same goes for both within the United States and outside of it.
We conclude the deeper dive into the stats by returning to the scene of the crime, Rotten Tomatoes. I would not make a good criminal, but if you’ve ever seen me then you’d already know that.
You see the Audience Score vs Tomatometer charts on the left side of the page? Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds and Jingle Jangle both have outstanding Tomatometer scores! Wow! That must mean that people love them, right?
As I do every week, I’m about to ruin the illusion of the Tomatometer and, in the process, the Audience Score as well. Look, the Tomatometer tells us something, but not what a lot of people think. It only speaks to the amount of critics that give it a passing grade. So, theoretically, a completely mediocre–but enjoyable–film could get a 100% if all the critics agreed that it is passable. That is rare, and generally when a Tomatometer score is high it tells us that a movie is worth a watch, but it’s not an average rating. Roughly the same can be said about the Audience Score, for all intents and purposes.
Also, I forgot that Ezra Miller was in We Need to Talk About Kevin, even though he’s, y’know, Kevin.
I do have a begrudging respect for the Tomatometer and the Audience Score. It makes charts look really combative, which is appealing for my objectives here.
I Am Greta isn’t being recommended by most people, and you wouldn’t catch a large portion of the critics assisting you to see Fatman. Fans are on the fence about Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds while a majority of the critics want you to invest in Herzog.
The Tally Thus Far
Here’s the outcome so far since I started doing this. This week did little to change the fate of IMDB/Metacritic because of having five agreements. Rotten Tomatoes has four so, as has been the case for a while now, it is still trending positively.
What we’re discovering, at least in the opening weeks of release, is that on both websites there’s an abundance of similar opinions. This means that while they’re nearing discord, they are still in line enough which each other to be considered allies.
One aspect I noticed this time is that it’s uncommon to only have a small difference of opinion on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s also infrequent on IMDB/Metacritic but they also don’t have hefty debate neither, so it’s a rather moot observation.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this. They’re a bit long and data heavy but I hope there’s enough entertainment scattered throughout that it doesn’t get dry. My intention here is not to bore you with numbers, but to use them to create some kind of story. Tune in next week!
This guy review bombs on Rotten Tomatoes. No, not really. He’s too cool for that.