Captain Marvel versus the Trolls

Multiple news sources are covering that the new (and as yet unseen) Captain Marvel movie is being review-bombed by right wing trolls. The amount of coverage of this has itself increased just in the past few hours but this link seems to be one of the first articles on it:

I’d actually thought about writing about how the alt-right campaign against the film had started to warm up the other day after seeing our old-pal Vox Day jump on the bandwagon (archive link)…but didn’t because I’m lazy and/or got distracted. What I can offer instead of an amazingly insightful prediction that obnoxious misogynists are about to be misogynistic obnoxiously is some graphs!

I grabbed the review data from Rotten Tomatoes so that I can show graphically the influx of reviews. Unfortunately, I would have liked to show another film for comparison but it’s hard to get a like for like. The nearest equivalent with a similar release date and no pre-screening reviews yet is Disney’s live action version of Dumbo. That has only one page of user reviews/comments so far, as opposed to Captain Marvel’s six pages but I don’t think it is a like-for-like in terms of organic interest.

Here’s the first graph for Captain Marvel. It’s a running total of comments over time. It’s a longgggg time axis because the first comment is from 2015! Rotten Tomatoes (and similar sites) create entries for movies that have been announced even before production begins.

Interest (mainly positive but some negative) starts picking up from last July and subsequent trailers lead to more comments (again some positive and some negative). Some of the coverage of this troll attack is focused on the absurdity of people rating films that haven’t been seen yet but at this point, it is technically Rotten Tomatoes allowing people to say whether they are “Not interested” or “Want to see it”. Some of the comments are literally spam and some of the earlier comments are anti-Disney etc.

The next graph zooms in to the last few months:

There’s a spike of comments in February. Obviously some of that is an inevitable increase as the release date gets closer but the more overt hate comments really ramp up. The worst include comments about the lead actress (Brie Larson) being hit by a bus. The length of the comments also increase in the form of what are best called rants:

“Why Marvel decided to cast a very vocal racist and sexist aimed at white males, I’ll never know. If Robert Downey Jr. started saying that he didn’t care about the opinions of 40 year old white chicks and he doesn’t want to be interviewed by a white woman as its not inclusive enough, people would lose their minds. His career would be over, branded a racist and sexist, attacked in the media and his legacy tarnished. As a white male, I will not be supporting this or any other movie that stars Brie Larson. They say that Captain Marvel will be the new face of the MCU? As the villain because she certainly isn’t a her-o. “

How many is it though? Well, one comment anticipating somebody dying in a bus accident is one too many but for a sense of scale it’s about 14 comments over the past 10 days that are of the ‘arrghh SJWs! Feminazi!’ style crap. It’s not a huge number and the spike shown above is inflated by other people querying why there are so many anti comments for a film nobody has seen yet.

It’s a reasonable assumption that this is just the start though.

17 thoughts on “Captain Marvel versus the Trolls

  1. The Academy Award for Cluelessness in a Movie Related Comment goes to the poster at Vox’s blog who complains about Disney adding princesses to Star Wars.

    Not exactly the sharpest spoon in the drawer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They did the same thing with Wonder Woman, and the Ghostbusters reboot, and Black Panther, Rogue One and Last Jedi, etc. Rotten Tomatoes has long been a useless site; I don’t really get why media are so fascinated by it. They have a very good PR department, clearly.

    But it is a way for bigots to express their rage and get attention since the media likes a good pretend controversy. They try to say that it’s just the individual white women and POC whom they detest or the characters they play, etc. And why do they detest them? Because they think it positively boosts equal civil rights and social justice countering systemic discrimination, and that’s bad, apparently. Equality is mean to men. And now it’s Captain Marvel’s turn, and it’s cranking up because Captain Marvel is having excellent pre-launch ticket sales, which is making them look silly. So they’re trying to show power by at least shouting really loudly.

    There’s no reason why the movie shouldn’t have good pre-sales. Marvel has been writing the most ambitious franchise long novel in movies since the first Iron Man (chapter one,) and it concludes with Avengers: Endgame, in which Captain Marvel is a key factor. And the Captain Marvel movie is the penultimate chapter of the novel. And it has Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg in it. Fighter planes. Aliens. And a cat.

    The frothers don’t really care about any of it. They trashed the Wonder Woman movie on similar grounds and went after Gal Gadot and the female director, and now they’re acting like the Wonder Woman movie was wonderful and sacred — only so as to contrast it to Captain Marvel. The specific content of the arguments is unimportant to them, in consistency, accuracy or logic. It’s their ability to shout, get attention for shouting and denigrate the dreaded enemies of their social status. If they can get attention for their shouting, then they figure women are therefore not too “powerful” and can’t get equality. If they can do it, POC are therefore not too “powerful” and can’t get equality. At the least, they upset or annoy people, which seems to be important.

    The entire goal is to claim that discrimination doesn’t really exist, no matter how blatantly obvious, institutionalized and documented it is, and so anything that seeks to lessen discrimination and increase equality, that symbolizes that concept, is really just a power grab by threatening liars. So the Captain Marvel movie for them is a lie, Brie Larson’s feminism is a threat and a lie, etc.

    So if you want to do a comparison thing, it might be interesting to get whatever archival data Rotten Tomatoes has for Wonder Woman pre-release comments, because that’s comparable and had a long timeline on pre-launch, and because they are frantically trying to retcon that as something they liked rather than something they claimed would crash and burn and that Gal Gadot wasn’t busty enough.

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    1. Wonder Woman got plenty of misogynistic flak but there was also a bit of a different tack from sections of the alt-right on it I.e. that they liked the film but feminists were trying to stop them watching it.

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      1. That was just the Alamo showings. Before the WW movie showed, they went after the director for being female for a couple of years, they went after Gal Gadot being cast because she did not have large enough breasts, they complained about Wonder Woman getting her own movie instead of just being in Justice League, etc.

        But the movie did really well and had in general good reviews so they latched on to the women only showings. The objection is again based on the idea that discrimination against women isn’t real but instead a lie women (feminists) use. That women aren’t sexually harassed at movie theaters or elsewhere so the idea of women not having to deal with men during the showing of this big woman superhero movie and instead getting to celebrate the movie together in solidarity, was declared a threatening lie meant to harm men.

        Men shutting women out — as they do at all levels of society and interaction — is discrimination and women having women only events is taking back some of the space men deny them to be able to talk and experience together without men interfering and blocking them as they usually get to do. It’s celebrating advancements towards equality together. But the frothers deny that the discrimination goes on, so women having a space without interference and discrimination from men to celebrate an advancement of equality is instead they claim an unfair restriction on men. Men must not be prevented from having access to women at all times (because the hierarchy must be upheld.) And if they are, then they claim that clearly men are being banned from the movie altogether. It’s a ridiculous claim, but it doesn’t matter. The important part of the claim is the idea that women are lying about discrimination to own a movie and have power. And that allows right wing recruitment of men by presenting women as untrustworthy and stealing from men, keeping pro-inequality positions going.

        For Captain Marvel, they have similarly gone after a disadvantaged children’s charity which was fund-raising to have little girls get to go see the movie, with any overage of donations then going to fund the charity’s other programs. They had done an earlier one for Black Panther. Brie Larson helped them out by giving the charity fundraiser a shout-out. That gave them an excuse to make similar complaints to the Alamo showings of Wonder Woman and declare the charity and Larson to be running a scam. The key thing there is the fear of young, poor girls getting to see the movie and thinking then that they too are equal people and should be treated as such in society. So they have to discredit any celebration of young girls getting to see this movie. They did similar complaints for Wonder Woman and young girl viewers.

        And lastly, they just find it useful to declare that women being excited about Captain Marvel is also illegitimate on the grounds that they are supposedly worshiping Captain Marvel and ignoring Wonder Woman and Alita, Battle Angel. This is again a ridiculous claim but they’ll make it to again show that women/feminists are making threatening lies that harm men. Whatever the women are doing, they will claim that it is wrong, that it is threatening to men and society, and that discrimination doesn’t really exist, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh shit, I totally forgot about the “feminists won’t let me watch Wonder Woman” thing. Basically the same thing they did with Black Panther, now that I think about it.

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    2. Rotten Tomatoes is handy for linking to pro reviews, and the aggregation of them is fine if you don’t take it too seriously. The open Internet polling part’s as vulnerable to being gamed as any other example of the type.

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    3. They’ve also been review-bombing the most recent series of Doctor Who (first female actor to play the Doctor), but it hasn’t hit the news because nobody associates Rotten Tomatoes with TV.

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  3. It will be interesting to see if Rotten Tomatoes finally gets off their butts and does something about the aggregate audience voting scams. Captain Marvel has now passed pre-sale ticket records of Aquaman and Wonder Woman and is likely to have a knock-out weekend opening, but it is the lowest rated Marvel U movie on their site, even lower than The Incredible Hulk, with barely anyone having had a peek at it.

    That just makes Rotten Tomatoes look silly. And it is likely to make the movie studios advertise less often on it. Of course, the site is owned by a movie theater chain that uses it to sell discount movie tickets, so that won’t necessarily hurt it. But the site has benefited from media being lazy and understaffed and so using its ratings to write about movie buzz and gossip. Now the media coverage tends to not be about how Rotten Tomatoes is a good indicator of films but about how they’re being review bombed and slow to clean the slime out of their comments. They are simply becoming another platform for online bigot hate, less about movies than about reincarnations of the Birch Society.


    1. It took the attacks on a white woman to move them, rather than the ones on the black people film. 🙂 But yeah, yay! Save this entry for when the next big budget action movie starring a woman comes out and they all start claiming they loved Captain Marvel but the new one is bad.

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  4. Quick question…is it okay to wear a cute little Wonder Woman costume to see captain marvel on Friday? I know some people will try to tell me that Wonder Woman isn’t a part of the MCU, but I look super cute in my Wonder Woman costume and I want to just have fun while watching another female super hero film.

    I know that this is a silly question to ask, so no hard feelings if you don’t have time to reply.

    Thank you regardless for taking the time to read my question❤️


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