"This movie is an absolute insult to all Star Wars fans." "I'm going to go have a funeral for my childhood now." "This is NOT the Star Wars movie you are looking for!"
"This movie was AWESOME." "I was on the edge of my seat, I laughed, I cried." "I do understand the backlash, but I believe it's wrong. This is a great movie."
As those fan reviews attest, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has split opinion. To put it mildly.
The quotes are from user reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, where the debate on the film's merits has been raging since it was released last Thursday.
No other franchise means quite so much to so many. So when an instalment defies expectations in any way – expectations that were sky high – it was inevitable there would be a fallout.
On the one hand, there are diehard fans giving it low ratings who (to sum it up) believe The Last Jedi, its director Rian Johnson and film studio Disney have betrayed everything they have held dear for the past 40 years.
On the other, there are those who applaud the film's action and tone as well as its attempts to break with Star Wars tradition, taking the franchise into new territory.
Its audience score of 54% on Rotten Tomatoes (that's the proportion of users who have rated it 3.5/5 or higher) is the lowest of any Star Wars film, including the much-maligned prequels (The Phantom Menace has 59%).
But something else is going on too – while fans are divided, film critics were largely in agreement.
The LA Times called it the "first flat-out terrific" Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back. Time Out said it "dazzles like the sci-fi saga hasn't in decades". The Daily Telegraph said it is "Star Wars as you've never felt it".
The Last Jedi has a critics' score of 93% – that's the proportion of writers who gave it a positive review – putting it level with A New Hope and The Force Awakens, and just 1% behind The Empire Strikes Back.
That puts The Last Jedi at number 49 on Rotten Tomatoes' all-time list. And of the all-time top 100 films, The Last Jedi has by far the biggest gap between the critics' score and the audience score.
"It is unusual to have this much of a divide between critics and audience," says Helen O'Hara, editor-at-large at Empire magazine.
There have been more divisive films this year, she says – like the mystifying Mother!.
"But this is certainly one of the most divisive big films, and it slightly took me by surprise," she says. "I really didn't see that coming. I really didn't think fans would be unhappy with this film."
There are a few reasons why some fans feel affronted.
The Last Jedi didn't fulfil the fan theories that had been lovingly and obsessively plotted since The Force Awakens, such as Rey's parentage and the origins of Snoke.
As Ryan Parker pointed out in The Hollywood Reporter, YouTube videos piecing together supposed clues had up to three million views before the release of the latest film.
"Some theories became so ingrained in fan consciousness that when they didn't play out, many fans seem to feel like they were cheated out of something," he wrote.
Reading the fan reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, other gripes stand out.
"It's corny, stupid and politically correct," wrote one.
"So caught up in being diverse and political, it forgets to tell a coherent and compelling story," wrote another.
Empire's Helen O'Hara explains: "There were many more characters in this instalment that weren't white men, and that has been a shift that some fans have found unconsciously upsetting or alienating. They've felt excluded by that.
"And some men have openly complained that there are too many girls running around the Star Wars universe, which I personally think is crazy."
There has also been some upset about the humour, the diversionary sub-plots, the introduction of new Force powers, and about the fact that it subverts some of the conventional Star Wars plot devices.
"This film plays with a lot of the Star Wars tropes and stereotypes," O'Hara says. "It does things that we think we know how they're going to go, but then they go in a completely different direction, and that's taken some people by surprise."
Some of the professional critics admired its attempt to reinvent the franchise.
"The best and most significant moments of this film are so explicitly progressive – so heretically violent towards the sacred texts of Hollywood's greatest saga – that they almost border on the surreal," Indiewire's David Ehrlich wrote.
Rian Johnson has "mounted a bonafide insurrection against an industry that's fuelled by nostalgia", wrote Ehrlich, adding: "If you really love something, you have to let it go."
Many fans are refusing to let it go, though.
An online petition calling for Disney to "re-make Episode VIII properly" has more than 35,000 signatures at the time of writing.
The gulf between the film's fan and critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes tells a story, but such online ratings are hardly scientific.
One disgruntled fan has boasted of using bots to skew The Last Jedi's user score.
But the website says it has a team of security, network, social and database experts who closely monitor its platforms, and they "haven't seen any unusual user activity".
The Force flows through me when I see extremely whiny angry-nerd user reviews of #TheLastJedi. I've only seen it once, but every fanboy with his tidy whities in a bunch airing highly-specific 500-word geek grievances on Rotten Tomatoes inches it closer to my favorite SW film ever
— Rob Sheridan (@rob_sheridan) December 19, 2017
End of Twitter post by @rob_sheridan
Observation: For each person I've seen saying they hated some piece of #TheLastJedi, I've seen another saying that was their favorite part. And that's a good reminder: just because you didn't like a creative choice doesn't mean it's necessarily bad. It just may not be for you.
— Gavin Verhey (@GavinVerhey) December 18, 2017
End of Twitter post by @GavinVerhey
The Last Jedi isn't the first film to face a concerted effort to discredit it. Last year, FiveThirtyEight found that 12,000 people had rated the all-female Ghostbusters remake on IMDB before it had even come out – mostly men, mostly giving it low scores.
Just before The Last Jedi was released, Gizmodo analysed the films with the biggest differences between the critics' scores and fans' scores on Metacritic, another review aggregating site. Ghostbusters was top.
|Films critics liked more than fans|
|Rank||Film||Critic score||User score|
|5.||Zero Dark Thirty||91.7||68|
Source: Metacritic via Gizmodo
"In both The Last Jedi and the most recent Ghostbusters, there is a very small, very loud minority who are creating accounts specifically to give these films bad reviews," Helen O'Hara says.
"These people are judging the film based on their politics and based on the fact that they object to what they see as PC gone mad, and not based on the quality of the actual film, and I would hope critics are not doing that. This divide is not entirely organic."
O'Hara says the Ghostbusters campaign may have harmed that film's box office performance, but The Last Jedi is probably too big to be derailed. It took $450m (£336m) at worldwide box offices in its first weekend.
Some unhappy Star Wars fans have also used their platform to call for Rian Johnson to be removed from his duties directing a new, separate trilogy. But given The Last Jedi's box office performance, along with the many positive reactions, they're unlikely to get their wish.
"He would be relieved of future directing duties if the film flops badly," O'Hara says.
"I don't think there's any evidence of that happening. So, no, I don't think these guys do have the power that they think they do."
The post Star Wars: The Last Jedi – the most divisive film ever? appeared first on News Wire Now.
Big Brother will return next year on ITV2 and online
Big Brother, one of the original UK reality TV shows, will return to screens in 2023, years after being axed by both Channel 4 and later Channel 5.
The show, which launched careers of ITV presenter Alison Hammond and Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts, will be revived by ITV2 and new streaming platform ITVX.
A promotional video aired during the Love Island series finale on Monday evening.
Officials said the famous house will return with a “contemporary new look”.
The returning programme – which was originally on for 18 years – will see a cast of “carefully selected housemates from all walks of life” live together under strict surveillance for up to six weeks.
Similar to previous editions, the public will regularly vote contestants off in live evictions, as well as deciding on an overall cash prize winner.
“We’re beyond excited to bring this iconic series to ITV2 and ITVX where it should especially engage with our younger viewers.”
The series, which takes its name from the all-seeing ruler in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, first appeared on Channel 4 in 2000, and was won by Liverpudlian builder Craig Phillips.
It was influential, both as a public social experiment and also in creating a new form of celebrity, with normal people prepared to have their every waking (and sleeping) moment caught on camera and broadcast to the world.
Celebrity editions aired, featuring the likes of Katie Price, Gemma Collins and Mark Owen.
Despite its early success and influence, the National TV Award-winning programme soon found itself embroiled in controversy over reports of bullying, racism, fixing, and general toxic behaviour in the house, with complaints being made to both the police and Ofcom.
The show moved to Channel 5 in 2011 but was axed in 2018 amid a ratings slump. Channel 5 controller Ben Frow later said he had no regrets over the decision and that the media landscape had become “very crowded with reality shows”.
‘Jumping the shark’
Speaking on the BBC Sounds Podcast, Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV, this summer, Big Brother’s creative director Philip Edgar-Jones said audiences “very clearly hated it” when producers intervened in the programme too much.
“We call it ‘jumping the shark’ in television, when you the hand of the producer is too overt and you feel like the show has therefore lost that sense of authenticity – that’s when the audience gets more angry.
“Being authentic to the show, you create this world with its own internal logic, and you can’t break that internal logic, otherwise you break the magic and you lose the trust of the audience.”
At the time, Big Brother producers said they were open to “future possibilities”, apparently leaving the door open for a return one day.
Irish singing duo Jedward, the identical twin brothers who twice appeared on the celebrity version of the show, have made an early bid online to host the returning series.
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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge
Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..
Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.
Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.
Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.
"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.
"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.
"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."
Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".
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She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.
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