Erik Bates | August 2, 2019
Inspired by today's (Aug 2, 2019) xkcd comic:

click photo to zoom

Samir Mehta | August 2, 2019
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | August 3, 2019
Hmm... I was going to say that this is surprisingly easy if you rate movies on IMDb, because that site will let you do fairly complex searches for this kind of information, and I would expect a data nerd like Randall Munroe to know that. I searched for films since 2000 that IMDb users rated 5.0 or less, sorted by my (current user's) rating. I found several examples right away.

But the XKCD challenge specifically refers to the Tomatometer, and I didn't know until now that this number is quite different than the IMDb vote average, and also different from the Metacritic score, with gaps sometimes exceeding 20%. For instance, several of Samir's examples are well-rated on IMDb but poorly rated on Rotten Tomatoes. (Samir, I too liked Casa de Mi Padre, and I appreciated what Human Nature was going for even if I didn't think it was successful. I will make a point to see the other four.)

So, digging a little more, I found dozens of movies that I rated "it ruled" here on Funeratic but that have under 50% on the Tomatometer. Some of them I don't even remember (what the fuck is Kaena: The Prophecy?). Other ones, I rated highly after seeing but remember poorly today (like The Passion of the Christ and The Village).

But I found a few that I would say are legitimately good. Here's the list of titles that I would defend today as good movies that scored under 50% on the Tomatometer (and not all are linked because I didn't keep the earliest reviews, unfortunately):

Big Trouble (48%)
Cake (48%)
A Love Song for Bobby Long (43%)
Palindromes (43%)
What Planet Are You From? (42%)
Equilibrium (40%)
Lockout (37%)
Star Trek: Nemesis (37%)
Memoirs of a Geisha (35%)
All the Pretty Horses (32%)
Silent Hill (30%)
The Da Vinci Code (25%)
Till Human Voices Wake Us (25%)
Aloha (20%)
I Dreamed of Africa (10%)

The single worst-reviewed movie that I liked is One for the Money, a Katherine Heigl-starred adaptation of a Janet Evanovich novel, which scored only a 2% on the Tomatometer. Come on, it's not that bad, folks. Even The Room got 26%.

Scott Hardie | August 3, 2019
I'm really curious to know other people's titles, especially Erik since he started this conversation, and Matthew since he and I saw and liked so many of the same movies in the early 2000s.

Matthew Preston | August 3, 2019
Is there a quick and easy way to sort movies on the Rotten Tomatoes site? I'd prefer a list of movies that are less than 50%.

Scott Hardie | August 4, 2019
I'm unaware of one and unable to find one. :-( I generated my list by looking at all movies that I rated 7+ on IMDb, and for each one that was below 70 on Metacritic score (according to the IMDb results) and that I would defend today as a good movie, manually looking it up on Rotten Tomatoes. It took about 20-25 minutes.

Aaron Shurtleff | August 4, 2019
I have been looking, and this really is harder than it looks. Doesn't help that I am not very familiar with Rotten Tomatoes. Or that most of the movies I have seen are pre-2000. I'm trying but mostly failing (although I did like Aloha, so I guess I have that one...)

Hell, even Dude Bro Party Massacre III got 90%! And, yes, I did enjoy the film for itself and not because it was so bad it's good. Who's the gatekeeper of that kind of thing anyways??

Erik Bates | August 5, 2019
The funny thing is, I posed this without having an answer, and (probably due to a horrible memory), I'm having a hard time finding an answer right now.

Still working... I'll get back to you.

Scott Hardie | August 5, 2019
Of all of the movies that I named, the one that most closely fits the XKCD challenge for me is Star Trek: Nemesis. I always thought that movie got an unfair reputation. The marketing promised a fun adventure in the mold of its three predecessors, but if you go in hoping for more light-hearted action, it's bound to disappoint. Instead, it's a dark and intense psychological conflict between Picard and the best single villain he ever got, culminating in a long and unsettling war sequence where two ships literally tear each other apart as these two captains become desperate to kill each other. This is not a fan-service crowd-pleaser; one of the characters is sexually assaulted, for crying out loud.

Movie Picard often tended to be a cowboy-like action hero in the mold of Kirk, but in Nemesis he reverts to the silver-tongued diplomat from TV, certain that he can negotiate peace by appealing to his enemy's better nature, and for once, his words simply fail him. In a movie this bleak, whatever victory the heroes manage to win is doomed to be Pyrrhic. If the earlier adventures of Picard's crew tended to be like the 90s Batman movies, this one seems to me like Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, an effort to take the characters seriously as adults, with a level of emotional and subtextual sophistication usually missing from the series. I'm not surprised that it's unpopular, but I will always champion it as one of the best Trek movies.

Erik Bates | August 6, 2019
Well I'm just now realizing that I never saw that movie.

Denise Sawicki | September 8, 2019
Cat in the Hat - it got a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3.9 on imdb but I thought it was fairly enjoyable. The world looked really good (the cinematographer apparently won awards on nearly everything else he ever did) and there were some good jokes. I think a large part of the abysmal rating was parents hoping for something more kid-friendly!

Scott Hardie | September 8, 2019
I can sort of see that, Denise. Some bad movies are worth seeing anyway because of their visual elements. I skipped The Cat in the Hat partly out of exhaustion over Mike Myers's shtick and partly out of lingering distaste for the Jim Carrey version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which was obnoxious but also had some impressive art direction. Maybe I should give it a look after all.

Denise Sawicki | September 8, 2019
We didn't actually like the Jim Carrey Grinch that much but Cat in the Hat was on Netflix and we randomly checked it out.


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