If you've been monitoring The Dark Knight Rises reviews over at the movie review aggregating site Rottentomatoes.com, you've certainly noticed the dark cloud of fanboy doom hanging over the place ever since the first reviews for the film began popping up late last week. Seems the legion of DC Comics fans are determined to whip into submission, by comment bombing, any critic who knocks the finale in the Christopher Nolan Batman oeuvre.
In fact, it has gotten so bad, the site has suspended user feedback on the film and removed all comments after commenters began posting profane and threatening remarks about critics who wrote negative reviews. As late as yesterday, some negative reviews of the film were met with no fewer than 800 reciprocating comments.
The site's editor-in-chief confirmed that this marks the first time the site has had to resort to such measures, but "The job of policing the comments became more than my staff could handle for that film, so we stopped the comments altogether," said Matt Atchity.
Atchity also said he's considering moving the site to a Facebook commenting system or perhaps not enabling reader comments until after a film opens in theaters. Though the site currently uses its own commenting system that requires a visitor to login before posting, commenters are still able to enjoy a certain amount of anonymity since there's no real link back to the user's true identity. I can attest authoritatively that the Facebook-based commenting system will cut out the heart of the problem as anonymity and bravery are BFFs, but I'm not convinced the delay will have a similar effect since we already know the DC knuckleheads are willing to lay their reputations on the line for a movie they've yet to see. Common sense is not at play here. I can't help but believe there's some kind of DC vs. Marvel jealousy thing at the root of this, perhaps sparked by the gargantuan success of The Avengers earlier this year.
The Dark Knight Rises is currently sitting at a very "fresh" 86% approval on rottentomatoes.com with only 11 of the 81 reviews listed as "rotten." But in today's 24-hour wired world where every fanboy wants a voice, the battle for comic book character supremacy seems to have claimed its first casualty: rottentomatoes.com. And with Peter Jackson's upcoming The Hobbit waiting in the wings, it's Rottentomatoes.com's move.