Rotten Tomatoes

June 17, 2017

The Best of Armond White: (A Retrospective) Part Four

All good things much come to an end, and we’re going to end this retrospective with something very special and something we can all relate to. Hate; deep-seeded, unadulterated hate. We love hate on the Internet, it’s what created the Internet and what makes it so wonderful!

Suicide Squad (2016): 25% RT Score

Armond Says: Think metaphorically again, and see that Suicide Squad entangles post-Vietnam and post-9/11 notions about heroism and citizenship…Suicide Squad is The Dirty Dozen for millennial viewers (and voters), who think their patriotic moral conflict is new.

Matt Says: Well that’s one way to put it. You could also say that “Suicide Squad” is a film bloated beyond repair with what we could agree on is one of the worst villains in recent comic book films. But on the other hand this film has been beaten to death and saying anything else about it is just white noise.

Green Lantern (2011): 26% RT Score

Armond Says: The F/X of Hal creating objects out of his ring’s green light are successfully, modestly fantastic. Such professionalism needn’t resort to dumb stereotyping.

Matt Says: There’s no doubt some of the effects were done nicely, but there was no saving this film from itself. An early blunder by DC that would set the tone for many of it’s future failures.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011): 32% RT Score

Armond Says: Depp’s caricature is so far past its expiration date that it forces speculation about the actor’s own movie stardom.

Matt Says: It’s safe to say that the ship has sailed on Jack Sparrow, and this film just kicked sand in the audiences’ faces.

Red Riding Hood (2011): 11% RT Score

Armond Says: Too bad Hardwicke didn’t adapt The Scarlet Letter — better yet, she could have transformed the asinine Easy A.

Matt Says: You get a two for one with this one. Not sure I understand the hate for “Easy A,” it was fun enough, but we can agree on that “Red Hiding Hood” should have stayed under the hood.

Morning Glory (2010): 56% RT Score

Armond Says: Morning Glory is just routine Hollywood dishonesty (with the most annoying song-score since Juno) and wastes its stars.

Matt Says: Another two-for-one with a dig at “Juno.” I can’t speak much for “Morning Glory,” as a film; it was forgotten about just as quickly as it was watched.

The Heartbreak Kid (2007): 29% RT Score

Armond Says: We deserve better than this and expect better from the Farrellys.

Matt Says: Personally I haven’t expected much from the Farrellys since “Kingpin.”

88 Minutes (2008): 5% RT Score 


Armond Says: 88 Minutes plays like a script Tom Cruise rejected back in the ’90s, forcing Pacino to run — across campus, across town, through parking garages, up and down stairs.

Matt Says: Let’s be honest, Pacino isn’t a very good runner onscreen. Just see “Insomnia” and “Heat” for prime examples of old men running poorly.

The Happening (2008): 18% RT Score 


Armond Says: A better title for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening would be Nonsense. It’s like an amusement park ride that has no reason for being — and no meaning — besides visceral excitation. Only difference is that The Happening isn’t fun.

Matt Says: Yeah, this film just isn’t good. I mean, it’s just bad. You’ll wish you were the person laying down in front of a riding mower.

Well there it is folks. You’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the Wild West that is Rotten Tomatoes there is a lot of blame to go around. However, the beauty of RT is the fact that it gives everyone a voice. Critics aren’t going to agree with audiences, and vice versa. But speaking from both a critic and a member of the audience; just go and watch film. Watch the worst of the worst and the best of the best. If you truly want to be part of the conversation, you need to see it all.

May 24, 2017

The Best of Armond White: (A Retrospective) Part Three

So we gave it a break last week, but let’s jump right back into our Armond White Retrospective. In this edition, we are going to look at the times when both the public and Mr. White actually saw eye to eye on films that are, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes, Certified Fresh.

Arrival: 93% RT Approval

Armond Says: Though a second-rate, semi-profound art movie, Arrival is nonetheless an ambitious demonstration of how the media manipulate our perception and our experience

Matt Says: Even with a backhanded compliment, the point is made clearly about how media affects the way we feel and react
to things.

The Player: 98% RT Approval 


Armond Says: The Player, which Altman made after years of struggle, with all Hollywood fascination worn away, is Altman’s dour version of Dante’s Inferno. His satire forces us to realize the obscenity of Clinton-era corruption – once again.

Matt Says: The Player is likley Robert Altman’s forgotten masterpiece, that deserves multiple viewings.

Kubo and the Two Strings: 97% RT Approval 

Armond Says: Kubo is a delicate tale addressing today’s sense of moral bereavement. This is conveyed through the boy’s search for the father he never knew. Little Kubo’s gallantry parallels the desperation of youth from broken families.

Matt Says: While I will mention the fact that Mr. White loves
nearly all animation, as long as it isn’t Pixar or Disney, I can’t
argue with how great “Kubo” is and it narrative works on
so many levels, and it’s emotion runs deep.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: 81% RT Approval 

Armond Says: It is easily the best American movie of this corrupted summer.

Matts Says: This corrupted Summer? Let’s take a look; Iron
Man 2, The Last Airbender, Shrek Forever After, Grown Ups…
yeah, pretty bad. But 81% for “Rise” that’s almost criminal.

True Grit (2010): 96% RT Approval 


Armond Says: True Grit speaks to our current moment of vengeful, moral uncertainty. It continues the same revamped Americana that distinguished the Coens’ sophisticated remake of The Ladykillers — a truly original religiouspolitical hybrid.

Matt Says: While I won’t speak as highly about the “sophisticated”
“Ladykiller,” I will speak on the greatness that is “True Grit” and
the fact it turned Hailee Steinfeld into a star.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: 81% RT Approval 

Armond Says: Wright’s speed and humor are authentic and irresistible. Let’s hope that’s not all his admirers see.

Matt Says: It’s a good point to bring up the fact that people
might only see style over substance with Edgar Wright, but
“Pilgrim” is so utterly watchable that it’s shocking the Approval
Rating for this comic book adaptation is so low. This is why we
can’t have nice things…

Bronson (2009): 76% RT Approval 


Armond Says:  Hardy’s portrayal is more than a real-life impersonation of Bronson; it realizes the Stunt Movie opportunity to present an actor’s thoroughly romantic admiration of force.

Matt Says: Hardy is the only person that could have pulled
this character off, and that was before anyone even knew who
he was! 

Pineapple Express: 68% RT Approval 

Armond Says:  The result is Green’s first watchable movie since George Washington — even if it’s ultimately worthless.

Matt Says: While this film is on the cusp of just being “meh” according to our trusty voters on RT, it’s still fun, albeit “worthless” if you will.

Live Free of Die Hard: 82% RT Approval 


Armond Says: To call this the best Die Hard movie ever made merely acknowledges that Director Len Wiseman simplifies the franchise to its basic elements: Predicament, Villain, Hero, Action.

Matt Says: “Best Die Hard Ever Made?” I guess the original film never existed…or “With a Vengeance” either….vexing.

See you guys next week with our final, and hater-rific, entry.

May 10, 2017

The Best of Armond White: (A Retrospective) Part Two

So apparently we need to “educate ourselves.” That was what Armond White told us to do after releasing Part One of our Four Part look at some of his reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. First of all, this is all supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. If you’ve listen to The Simplistic Reviews Podcast, you know how good we are at putting our tongues firmly in cheeks, any cheeks if you know what we mean…

And Second, if you think we are doing this to get a rise out of someone, we’re not. You might call bulls*it on that comment, but we are just taking the piss and having a little fun. If people get their feelings hurt, well, that’s all part of the game isn’t it.
Part Two is going to cover some of the films that were universally savaged all over Rotten Tomatoes, yet low and behold, Mr. White found some little rays of sunshine in them.
Dirty Grandpa (2016) 11% RT Score
Armond Say: The fun of sex is the entire point of the raunchy, goofy Dirty Grandpa. You have to be humorless (and sex-averse) to be offended by its deliberate naughtiness as so many critics have demonstrated.
Matt Says: White brings up a good point; sometimes a sex comedy is just a sex comedy. Why should people be upset about Zach Efron topless either?
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) 28% RT Score 
Armond Says: In this age of petty Marvels, most comic-book movies merely perpetrate fantasies of power, but Snyder, enacting his personal aesthetic, braves a film that examines those fantasies. He boldly challenges popular culture’s current decay.

Matt Says: I do agree that the polished and shiny look of Marvel films is wearing thin, even on myself, and the grittier and darker tone of the DCU can be alluring, but Batman v Superman still isn’t all the great.

Your Highness (2011) 27% RT Score 
Armond Says: By trashing fairytale propriety, Green and McBride personalize the genre enthusiasm of the Star Wars generation.

Matt Says:Taking a piss out of films like “The Princess Bride” and other adult-oriented fairy tales films, “Your Highness” isn’t as bad as many people say and you might say it’s unappreciated in our time and will become a cult classic in the next 10 years or so.


The Green Hornet (2011) 43% RT Score 

Armond Says: Rogen’s image and his attitude as co-screenwriter of The Green Hornet updates the bland superhero template using comic irreverence.

Matt Says: White is very forgiving of anything Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, and anyone from that film family tree. “Green Hornet” isn’t bad, it just so happened to be a film that no one cared about and no one asked for. An ego stroke for Rogen is anything.

Jonah Hex (2010) 12% RT Score 


Armond Says: It reexamines assumptions of good and evil-morality tale vs, trite entertainment-by confronting the hideous compromises people make with social conventions and their own desperation.

Matt Says: I guess there is something to be said about “Jonah Hex;” It’s a film…that was made by a studio and released nationwide based on a comic book character that is about as fringe as it gets.


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) 19% RT Score 

Armond Says: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is more proof [Bay] has a great eye for scale and a gift for visceral amazement.

Matt Says: There’s never been any doubt about Michael Bay as a filmmaker. However, people will always blame him for creating robots that couldn’t read and reinforcing stereotypes that are more than meets the eye. Oh, and ruining people’s childhoods as well from what I’ve been told.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) 37% RT Score 

Armond Says: Of all the summer’s big-budget action sequels, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the least painful.

Matt Says: A backhanded compliment to say the least. Other big budget flicks from 2007 included: Spider-Man 3, Transformers, Ghost Rider….yeah, good point.


The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 56% RT Score 

Armond Says: It’s part of that American eccentricity to obsess over growing up. Anderson’s obsession has genuine, daffy substance.

Matt Says: A 56% for “The Life Aquatic” is criminal, and I honestly don’t understand the subtle dislike for one of Wes Anderson’s more off-the-wall films.

Stay tuned soon for Part Three where we examine films where Mr. White and RT are on the same page when it comes to the bottom of the cinema barrel.
May 3, 2017

The Best of Armond White: (A Retrospective) Part One

Who doesn’t like a great troll? Well, I guess the people being trolled, and in a day and age of knee-jerk reactions and people triggered at the slightest comment made against something that they love and hold dear, it’s both an art and game to keep trolling at a high level.

Me, of course, can care less. I’ve always said “don’t feed the trolls” and I’m usually someone that jumps into the fray to try and burn the bridge where that troll is hiding, or I just knock on their mom’s door, head down to their basement and unplug their Ethernet cable while they try to run after me, but they can’t get out of their chair because their legs have atrophied and all the Sun Chips crumbs are weighing them down.

But one “troll” stands alone when it comes to Film Twitter and just film in general, and that master troll is Armond White.

Personally, I think White is hilarious, he knows how to get under people’s skin and create a conversation, and his points, even though most of them are ridiculous, are at times interesting and break up the constant love of things. He’s The Joker of Film Reviews, he wants to see the world burn.

This got me thinking. Why don’t we take a look back at some of his reviews in a Four-Part series. The basic premise of this series will be to look at his more infamous reviews where he either reviles a beloved film, praises a film that was universally hated on, and in those special moments in time, a film that was loved by White and the rest of the community and hated by White and the Community. Keep in mind, this series will be based on the Tomato-Meter and his reviews on RottenTomatoes.com 

In Part One, let’s take a look at some of Mr. White’s take on some of cinema’s most beloved films.


Up (2009) 98% Approval on RT 

Armond Says: All this deflated cinema and Pixarism mischaracterizes what good animation can be (as in Coraline, Monster House, Chicken Little, Teacher’s Pet, The Iron Giant). Up’s aesthetic failure stems from its emotional letdown.


Matt Says: I understand his point when it comes to alt-animation that isn’t Pixar, which can also pack an emotional punch. But there isn’t much wrong with “Up.”



Gone Baby Gone 94% Approval on RT

Armond Says: So far this year, no other movie has more risible dialogue.

Matt Says: Maybe he’s referring to the accents, because yes, people from Boston do talk funny. Maybe I need to revisit this one because he might have a point on this one.




The Wrestler (2008) 98% Approval on RT

Armond Says: Aronofsky inflicts as much pain on the audience as self-flagellating Ram Jam does when brutalizing/mutilating himself in and outside the ring.

Matt Says: As a wresting fan, especially throughout the 1990s, maybe White just doesn’t understand life inside and outside of the wrestling ring. I mean, I don’t either, but I can see how well acted and great this film is, and yes, seeing he pain of Ram Jam is important to the story, and necessary.



In the Loop (2009) 94% Approval on RT

Armond Says: Instead of inspiring geniuses, Iraq war backlash has only resulted in snarky self-righteousness that — from Charlie Wilson’s War and now British import In the Loop — has demonstrated the low ebb of modern comedy.

Matt Says: I’m sure my cohort, DJ, would have reservations about this opinion, and to a degree I do as well. The banter is genius, and Peter Capaldi’s linguistic gymnastics are great. However, I do agree with using the Iraq War as comedy can be grating and just overall dull. 




Get Out 99% Approval on RT

Armond Says: Get Out is an attenuated comedy sketch in which serious concerns are debased.

Matt Says: While I can agree that this film could be suited for an actual sketch on “Key and Peele,” that doesn’t take away that “Get Out” works on a lot of levels and rightfully makes it awkward for white people. Could you call it divisive and perpetuate the paranoia that African Americans have for white people? Absolutely, but someone had to do it.



Moonlight 98% Approval on RT

Armond Says: Moonlight’s best moments come in Little’s reaction to Juan’s affection, but later scenes of Chiron’s erotic confusion and Black’s maudlin self-pity (he wears muscular drag yet succumbs to weakness) insist that viewers feel sorry for black gay males.

Matt Says: I’m pretty sure the point to “Moonlight” wasn’t to make people feel sorry for black gay males, it was to raise awareness that these people exists, and they are in fact…people. Sure, I feel like the third act of the film might be it’s “weakest” I’m not seeing the correlation that viewers are supposed to be bad for Chiron, they are supposed to understand that other people exist in this world and to be uncomfortable getting out of their safe little bubble and small-mindedness.



The Dark Knight (2008) 94% Approval on RT

Armond Says: The generation of consumers who swallow this pessimistic sentiment can’t see past the product to its debased morality. Instead, their excitement about The Dark Knight’s dread (that teenage thrall with subversion) inspires their fealty to product.

Matt Says: My response; It’s a comic book movie, relax sir.


Come back next week folks, and we’ll try and get an understanding of why Dirty Grandpa deserves to be higher than it’s 11% RT Score.

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