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Why the difference in opinion between critics and fans on TLJ


204 replies to this topic

#1
The Choc

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Anyone who cares enough to remember knows that I love The Last Jedi, that's all well and good. We also know that the movie was terribly divisive among fans. However it was loved by critics. Here are the metacritic scores for all 10 Star Wars movies.

 

 

1-Star Wars 90

2-The Last Jedi 85

3-The Empire Strikes Back 82

4-The Force Awakens 81

5-Revenge of the Sith 68

6-Rogue One 65

7-Solo 62

8-Return of the Jedi 58

9-Attack of the Clones 54

10-The Phantom Menace 51

 

Now my rankings wouldn't be all that off from this. Maybe bounce Empire to the top and keep everything in the same order and I wouldn't argue with it much at all. But I mean this site which averages out critics rankings has TLJ over the friggin ESB. Like I said I love TLJ so I'm probably not the right person to even have an opinion on this.

 

So basically those of you who hate the movie or are lukewarm or whatever, why do you think the disconnect? Especially when you consider that the rest of the rankings here probably don't deviate all that much from general fan consensus, both overall and on this site.



#2
ShadowDog

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Critics probably aren't hard core SW fans. Therein lies the disconnect.

#3
Tex

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Well the cynic in me thinks they were paid off, directly or indirectly. It was simply in the best interests of the critics to praise TLJ.

If it wasn’t that, I can only assume that they liked it because it was different. It broke so many of the SW rules that it felt fresh to them. The fact that it was so far outside the box, however, is precisely why so many fans hated it.

Having said all of that, it’s an abomination tha TLJ ranks higher than ESB on that list. Wow.

#4
The Choc

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Well the cynic in me thinks they were paid off, directly or indirectly. It was simply in the best interests of the critics to praise TLJ.

If it wasn’t that, I can only assume that they liked it because it was different. It broke so many of the SW rules that it felt fresh to them. The fact that it was so far outside the box, however, is precisely why so many fans hated it.

Having said all of that, it’s an abomination tha TLJ ranks higher than ESB on that list. Wow.

God you are a cynic. So your thought process is that Warners wouldn't pay off critics for their DC movies or that Lucasfilm didn't for Solo or the prequels but for TLJ they did?


Critics probably aren't hard core SW fans. Therein lies the disconnect.

I understand that, I'm asking what they are seeing different in the movies. 



#5
Fozzie

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I went to look at Johnson's other films and this is substantially higher rates than Brick.

All critics opinions are invalidated.

#6
Tex

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I said I didn’t know (or implied). Either they were paid off of they actually liked it. Either way, it’s weird.

#7
Fozzie

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I mean invalidated because Brick is at 71% (pretty sure - maybe 73)

#8
The Choc

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It's amazing to look at some of the reviews of Empire that were written back in 1980. Here is a snippet from the WSJ review from May of 1980:

 

 

Wall Street JournalJoy Gould Boyum


#9
Tex

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Critics are a funny bunch. When The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly first came out they buried it as trash. Ten years later they were praising it as a masterpiece.

#10
The Choc

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Or this one from Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader:

 

 



#11
Tex

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Same thing with The Shining, which was actually nominated for a Razzie in 1980.

#12
Tank

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I guarantee you that if the PT had come out in the social media age it would get the same treatment as TLJ.

 

In 1999 we nerds just flocked to message boards to commiserate together. The same type of rage, confusion, and anger was there the too.

 

The difference is now, every single angry nerd has a youtube channel and a twitter account and they get to find each other easier, @ Rian Johnson directly, and otherwise make the biggest amount of noise as they can.


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#13
Tex

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True, but to Choc’s point why did the critics love TLJ so much? They rightfully trashed the PT, but the fact that TLJ is ranked over ESB is just weird.

#14
The Choc

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Most of Empire's reviews on that site, or at least several of them, are from 1980. If you take reviews written more recently I'm sure Empire would be higher. For instance Empire on Rotten Tomatoes is 95%, the Last Jedi is a still impressive 91%. Although even that probably underestimates the critical acclaim for the movie as with "Top Critics" it has 49 out of 51 positive reviews whereas Empire is 22 of 25 with Top Critics. 

 

Empire has obviously gone up in esteem since 1980, it's still far too early to tell how The Last Jedi will be thought of in 38 years. The likliehood is by then no one will care about either movie. th

 

I do think there is a large group of people who really like the movie though that aren't what we'd call "Star Wars fans". People who grew up with the PT and liked it, but didnt love it. Saw it as no different than Lord of the Rings or the Pirates movies. A movie franchise that they saw, enjoyed but didn't have any super special affinity for. They saw the OT and liked it, but it wasn't theirs. The movies were old to them, came out before they were born. The Force Awakens came out with these people in mid to late 20s and they loved it, it's better than the PT and its of their time. They then liked TLJ just as much or even more. 

 

People like this will likely never be the crazy fans like those of us who grew up with the OT, I don't think any movies ever have or maybe ever will engender the love that the OT does in some people. But there are alot of people who somewhat fit that description I gave who love the ST. 



#15
Poe Dameron

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Why the difference in opinion between critics and fans on TLJ

 

I'm not convinced there is that much difference.  Though I think a loud minority has put people off.

True, but to Choc’s point why did the critics love TLJ so much? They rightfully trashed the PT, but the fact that TLJ is ranked over ESB is just weird.

I read several TLJ reviews.  Not very many were overwhelmingly positive.  "Stretched thin" and "overly long" were the words I recall reading a lot before the movie opened, thought the reviewers usually liked the movie overall.



#16
Odine

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Well the cynic in me thinks they were paid off, directly or indirectly. It was simply in the best interests of the critics to praise TLJ.

If it wasnt that, I can only assume that they liked it because it was different. It broke so many of the SW rules that it felt fresh to them. The fact that it was so far outside the box, however, is precisely why so many fans hated it.

Having said all of that, its an abomination tha TLJ ranks higher than ESB on that list. Wow.

God you are a cynic. So your thought process is that Warners wouldn't pay off critics for their DC movies or that Lucasfilm didn't for Solo or the prequels but for TLJ they did?
 

I mean it's not THAT cynical. In the gaming press it's common practice. Publishers will pay for reviews and opinion pieces that are favourable to their releases. It stands to reason the film press operates similarly. Not saying everyone is bought off, but it does happen.

But I think TLJ did well amongst journalists and critics cause it went against the grain of pretty much ALL Star Wars to date. And critics love that, when a film defies expectation and does things on its own terms, for better or for worse.

#17
El Chalupacabra

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I guarantee you that if the PT had come out in the social media age it would get the same treatment as TLJ.

 

In 1999 we nerds just flocked to message boards to commiserate together. The same type of rage, confusion, and anger was there the too.

 

The difference is now, every single angry nerd has a youtube channel and a twitter account and they get to find each other easier, @ Rian Johnson directly, and otherwise make the biggest amount of noise as they can.

I think you are probably right about the PT if it were released now.

 

Still doesn't mean TLJ isn't worse than the PT, though.  Because, you know, it is. :p



#18
Lord Darth Hunter

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Well the cynic in me thinks they were paid off, directly or indirectly. It was simply in the best interests of the critics to praise TLJ.

If it wasnt that, I can only assume that they liked it because it was different. It broke so many of the SW rules that it felt fresh to them. The fact that it was so far outside the box, however, is precisely why so many fans hated it.

Having said all of that, its an abomination tha TLJ ranks higher than ESB on that list. Wow.

God you are a cynic. So your thought process is that Warners wouldn't pay off critics for their DC movies or that Lucasfilm didn't for Solo or the prequels but for TLJ they did?
The stories surrounding Disney strong-arming theaters into showing TLJ their way were rampant back when it came out. So it's not hard to believe Tex may be on to something here.

#19
The Choc

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Yeah, critics disagreed with you on the movie so the most likely answer is that Disney bought off the critics. The real question is what role did the Crab People pay in all of this?


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#20
Jacen123

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I think they were too busy getting their show ready to return on Netflix to be involved with this.


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#21
ShadowDog

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Critics probably aren't hard core SW fans. Therein lies the disconnect.

I understand that, I'm asking what they are seeing different in the movies. 

Doesn't sound like you understand it but it's simple. A hard core fan is going to be more disappointed by:

Unresolved mysteries from TFA being laughed off in TLJ.

Mary Poppins Leia.

Luke's character derailment.

Just to name 3 things. A non hard core fan isn't going to be bothered by that kind of stuff and just rate the movie on how good it was as a popcorn flick.

A hard core brings with them the baggage of decades of other movies and expectations whereas a casual fan takes each movie on it's own merits.

#22
The Choc

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Critics probably aren't hard core SW fans. Therein lies the disconnect.

I understand that, I'm asking what they are seeing different in the movies. 

Doesn't sound like you understand it but it's simple. A hard core fan is going to be more disappointed by:

Unresolved mysteries from TFA being laughed off in TLJ.

Mary Poppins Leia.

Luke's character derailment.

Just to name 3 things. A non hard core fan isn't going to be bothered by that kind of stuff and just rate the movie on how good it was as a popcorn flick.

A hard core brings with them the baggage of decades of other movies and expectations whereas a casual fan takes each movie on it's own merits.

 

Ok, fair enough. That's a good answer. I actually agree with it. I actually like the Leia thing and what they did with Luke and I don't think there are any unresolved mysteries from TFA. 

 

I suppose I'll amend this to say I don't think there are any unresolved mysteries from TFA that I at all wanted an explanation for. 



#23
Tex

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Yeah, critics disagreed with you on the movie so the most likely answer is that Disney bought off the critics. The real question is what role did the Crab People pay in all of this?

Is it really that hard to believe that Disney has shills? Theyre working against a 4.5 billion dollar investment. If they can spend that kind of money to buy SW its not unreasonable.to think that theyd throw out a few extra bucks to the critics.

Im not saying they did, but it would not surprise me.

Anyway you cut it the fact that TLJ ranks higher than ESB makes you wonder.
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#24
Fozzie

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I doubt it just because I don't think that it could be kept a secret for very long.

#25
The Choc

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And for some reason they just decided not to bribe these very same critics for Solo which was a movie they knew was in trouble and could use a bevy of excellent reviews? Why would any movie ever get negative reviews? Just throw a few bucks to critics out of the marketing budget. 

 

You sound like a sports  bettor who everytime you lose a  bet you think the game was dirty in some way. 





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