Martin Scorsese is a director with very definite opinions, both when it comes to the movies he makes himself, as well as the larger changes in the overall moviemaking business. Recently, one company that has come under the ire of the longtime director has been Rotten Tomatoes, as the director has iterated the service is like Consumer Reports in the way it feeds potential audiences information, also noting he doesn't believe it is good for the arts. This week, Scorsese spoke out about the movie review aggregator again while accepting the Robert Osborne Award at the Turner Classic Movies film festival. He said:
The horrible idea they reinforce [is] that every picture, every image is there to be instantly judged and dismissed without giving audiences time to see it. Time to see it, maybe ruminate and maybe make a decision for themselves. So the great 20th-century art form, the American art form, is reduced to content.
He also spoke out about Rotten Tomatoes allowing for "the devaluation of cinema itself," also noting people use the service to see a slew of reviews in one fell swoop in order to form an opinion rather than just getting out and seeing the movie in theaters. Separately, he also said that part of the problem these days is that all content seems to be considered "the same" thanks to the Internet, noting in his speech (via EW) that there's "no sense of value" tied to the movies these days when there are so many platforms to turn on and off and browse around on. All in all, the full speech was more of a love letter to Turner Classic Movies than it was an anti-Rotten Tomatoes rant, but Martin Scorsese is clearly not a fan of the online platform, even if he's cool with film criticism as a whole.
Presumably, Martin Scorsese isn't a man who is opposed to new ways of doing things. A few months ago, we learned that he has signed on with Netflix -- a company that has eschewed the traditional theatrical model and does allow content to easily be consumed on a platform via home TV's and other portable devices. The Irishman is expected to have a big cast and an even bigger budget, so sometimes it is good to try new things... although clearly for Scorsese that doesn't include becoming an active user of Rotten Tomatoes.
Rotten Tomatoes has built a brand around its rankings, and plenty of people flock there when they want to get a sense of how people are feeling about a movie---and that includes both critics and regular audiences alike. Martin Scorsese is not the only person to vent about the Tomatometer, although the bigger criticism has been about the way it tallies scores than the fact that it exists, and some people in the industry are just fine with the way the system works now. The company's prowess is unlikely to change in the future, but that doesn't mean Martin Scorsese will stop being aggravated about what reviews have turned into in the modern day. And we'll be here the next time he vents about it.
For now, you can take a look at CinemaBlend's own This Rotten Week to see how we guess this weekend's movies will fare.