At its worst, an aggregator like RottenTomatoes.com can be horribly reductive, mashing delicately constructed critical confections into a sort of uniform sludge for easy consumption. Sort of like Patton Oswalt’s account of KFC’s bowls. (Language alert!)
Patton Oswalt: KFC Famous Bowls
But sometimes it can serve as a home for genuine critical conversation. Take a film such as High-Rise: ambitious, messy, unafraid of ugliness, uninterested in winning you over. The critics, they are divided — and in interesting ways! Heck, even this critic was divided; I had to watch it twice before I figured out whether the parts I admired (oh, the anarchic joy of watching a jacked-up Luke Evans lead a parade of birthday-partying tots on an invasion of a pool that’s been closed for a posh private event) outweighed the parts I did not (oh, the utter unlikability of these people). Just wandering through the pull quotes makes for an interesting exercise in critical compare and contrast.
Oh, and I enjoyed my chat with director Ben Wheatley, who seems to be succeeding where Zack Snyder fails in the style department.
Also fascinating: the division over Money Monster, a film I thought was just clueless and lame in nearly every way. And yet some folks liked it.
As for Scott, he had what I’m guessing was an unexpectedly fine time at Our Last Tango, which documents the personal tensions between professional dance partners and an expectedly rotten time at Baskin, which nods at a bunch of horror classics and then dumps blood all over them.
And finally, when is someone gonna give Jason Bateman a hug? Between the nasty familial dysfunction of The Family Fang, Bad Words, and The Gift, and the goopy familial dysfunction of This is Where I Leave You, I’m starting to worry about the guy.