The Best Movie Critic + review

The Magic Moment

There is a wide, wide gap between an imperfect movie and an unwatchable movie, and there are far fewer of the latter than people assume.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a movie that doesn’t have at least one moment or one facet that makes it worth sitting through (okay, maybe Mac and Me). I often find that the parts of a movie that make critics detract a star or retract a thumb are the very things that give the movie its character.

I don’t like to read run-of-the-mill objectivity, and I don’t want to write it. To be honest I don’t even believe it exists. I imagine, hope, and dread that my reviews will get off on some pretty wild tangents. I’ll endorse some pretty sticky opinions. But I love the movies more than most things, and I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that I don’t really see many movies that I wish I wouldn’t have experienced. Then again, I don’t knowingly throw myself in front of the train very often either…

To offset my own eccentricities, and as a way of emphasizing the lemonade in the lemon, I will include a “Magic Moment” (for lack of a better name) at the end of each story. These “Magic Moments” will address one aspect of the production (costumes, cinematography, a certain plot point or performance) that I feel makes a movie worth your time, whether or not you end up falling in love with the entire picture. That one scene or set piece they really nailed. That piece of the puzzle that really locks in to place, even when the rest doesn’t quite fit. That person who was firing on all cylinders, even if he or she was the only one. The Magic Moment is that little promise, that little glimmer of hope that keeps you coming back to the movies even after the worst. Of course, many of the movies I hope to discuss are in fact my favorites, and in those cases, the Magic Moment will highlight some aspect I didn’t have a chance to discuss in the main post.

Ratings systems (stars, points, thumbs) often overlook the contributions of brilliant collaborators, rather searching for and glorifying perfect, unified works. Movies, after all, are a collaborative art, and all your ‘auteur’ nonsense won’t convince me otherwise. The success of a part of the film even when the whole is lacking is still worth celebrating. Let’s not forget that.

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