Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rotten Tomatoes are generally used as an insult against performers. If a performer does badly on stage (in a comedy act, or a play, for example), one might throw rotten tomatoes at him or her, although in practice, this is done rarely since it is impolite. In contrast, one would throw roses on stage if a performance were done particularily well.
The website created a distinctive means to summarize the general critical opinions about these works. The staff search the internet for websites that contain reviews of particular films and games from the amateur to the professional. Once found, the staff determines if the review is positive or "fresh" (marked by a small icon of a red tomato) or negative or "rotten" (marked by a small icon of a green splatted tomato). Then the sum total of the reviews are counted (which can approach 200 for major films) and the percentage of positive reviews is tabulated. If the positive reviews make up 60% or more, the film is considered "fresh" in that the majority of the reviewers approve of the film. Conversely, if the positive reviews are less than 60%, then the film is considered "rotten". In addition, major film reviewers like Roger Ebert are listed in a sub-listing called "Cream of the Crop" which tabulates their reviews separately, while still including their opinions in the general rating. When there are sufficient reviews to form a conclusion, a consensus statement is posted which is intended to articulate the general reasons for the opinion.
This rating in turn is marked with an equivalent icon when the film is listed, giving the reader a one glance look at the general critical opinion about the work.
This site has been praised as a effective way for film reviews to challenge the hegemony of movie marketing by providing a simple, yet comprehensive, resource in which reviews can be referenced. At least one major newspaper, The Toronto Star, regularly publishes the ratings in its entertainment section weekly.
On the other hand, the website is sometimes criticized for being a measure of how many people liked a film, rather than how high they scored it. Thus only "consensus" films reach high scores, while controversial films that might appear as truly great to some people still sport low scores.
In 2004, the video game website IGN Entertainment acquired Rottentomatoes.com.
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