Movie aggregating web site RottenTomatoes.com was forced to stop users from commenting on reviews of “The Dark Knight Rises” after some commenters reacted harshly to vaguely negative reviews of the film making threatening remarks about the critics who wrote them.
The site’s editor-in-chief, Matt Atchity remarked on how it was the first time RottenTomatoes.com has suspended user comments, adding that postings about “Dark Knight” reviews would likely be restored by the end of the week after the film has opened in the cinemas. “The job of policing the comments became more than my staff could handle for that film, so we stopped the comments altogether,” said Atchity. “It just got to be too much hate based on reactions to reviews of movies that people hadn’t even seen.”
The web site is now considering a move to a Facebook commenting system, which might cut down on anonymous postser. Other film review aggregating sites, such as MetaCritic.com and MovieReviewIntelligence.com, either don’t allow user comments or don’t permit comments to be posted before a film opens.
Aichity is worried about a similar backlash when Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is released later this year. “We may do away with comments completely or get to a place where comments are only activated after a movie opens.” said Atchity
While “The Dark Knight Rises” is currently experiencing a glowing 84 percent “fresh” rating on RottenTomatoes.com, the film has been deemed “rotten” by a few critics, including Marshall Fine of Hollywood & Fine, Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and Nick Pinkerton of the Village Voice. Fine lambasted “Dark Knight Rises” for being “nonsensical,” and Lemire called it a “letdown.”