Rotten Tomatoes Critic Who Panned ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Gives Real Review: ‘It’s The Weakest of The Three, But I Liked it Overall’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Film critic Eric D. Snider is standing by a prank he pulled last week on Rotten Tomatoes, in which he baited readers by linking to a scathing review he wrote of Christopher Nolan’s new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
The catch: He hadn’t actually seen the movie yet.
“I was going after two groups, both worthy of satire in my opinion,” he explained to Celebuzz. “One was the people who post outraged comments on Rotten Tomatoes quotes without actually reading the review. The other was the people who watch the Tomato score so reverently in the days leading up to a film’s release, and who flip out if it goes down at all — as if the Tomato score affects them or the movie in any way.”
“I think those are dumb things to get mad about, so I provided an opportunity for people to get mad about them, for comedy. I’m not saying it’s the best joke in the world, but it did what it was supposed to, with no actual harm done,” he added.
In his teaser quote on Rotten Tomatoes, a site that aggregates movie reviews, Snider referred to The Dark Knight Rises as “easily the most disappointing Batman film so far,” comparing it to Joel Schumacher’s 1995 hiccup Batman & Robin.
Snider then linked the review, which he said was written for Film.com, to a “gotcha!” post on his personal blog, in which he informed readers that, no, he hadn’t seen the movie.
“I just wanted to post a negative quote on Rotten Tomatoes and see how many idiots would type angry words at me without actually clicking the link to read the review, he wrote.
This led the staff of Rotten Tomatoes — which had to temporarily shut off user comments this week after readers began to attack any critic who gave a negative review of The Dark Knight Rises — to remove Snider’s reviews from the Tomatometer.
The decision was announced in a long letter written by the site’s Editor-in-Chief, Matt Atchity.
Now that the dust has settled, Snider — who pulled a similar prank when The Dark Knight opened in 2008 — admits he’s sorry about one thing: attributing the review to Film.com, a site he occasionally writes for.
“I do write for that site, but of course they had nothing to do with this, and they got dragged into it. So I’m sorry about that,” he said.
“My reasoning was simply that the joke would be funnier if my super-negative quote were attributed a higher-profile site, regardless of where the link was actually going,” he added. “‘This is even worse than ‘Batman & Robin’ — Eric D. Snider, Film.com’ is better than ‘This is even worse than ‘Batman & Robin’ — Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com.'”
“The other time I did it, the RT guy who contacted me afterward was pretty laid-back about it, like it wasn’t a big deal. I think that things were a little more stressful at RT headquarters this time because of what was happening with the other “Dark Knight Rises” commenters, and they were in no mood for foolishness. I can definitely understand that,” he said.
“They have to take the Tomatometer seriously. It may be a silly thing in the grand scheme of life, but it’s what they do, and so they can’t have people screwing around with it. I can appreciate that,” he added.
Incidentally, Snider says he did finally see The Dark Knight Rises, which he later reviewed on his website — for real, this time.
“I think it’s the weakest of the three, but I liked it overall,” he told Celebuzz.