The two thumbs up rating is a strange idea, I decided, and insufficient for judging movies. With the two thumbs rating system, a movie can only be (a) painstakingly unbearable and receive no thumbs, (b) fair-to-midland and get one thumb on the scoreboard, or (c) be absolutely astonishing, Top Five-worthy and get the coveted two thumbs rating. The system is flawed, I argue. It just isn’t enough.
If these three categories are the only categories, then what do we do with in-betweeners? If, for example, a movie is so horrible in its flat plotline, development-less characters, attempts at pathetic humor, without anything even blowing up (!!), then there is no justifiable reason that you should waste over two hours watching such a movie. Movies of this nature should be turned off before the half-way point, thus deeming the watcher ineligible to rate a movie fully-unseen. Thus, there must be at least some rating beneath zero thumb-age for the movies that are never worthy of investment.
And how, for example, do we stamp endless amounts of movies with the honorable two thumbs, when the true test of a movie’s greatness is whether it makes it into the “Top Five?” Three-hundred movies cannot simultaneously be in the Top Five, I’m sorry. When a new movie makes the Top Five, a former Top-Fiver is bumped out. That’s just the way it works. I don’t make the rules, but they are what they are. This law, thus, requires at least one category to trump the renowned two thumbs marking – fit only for the Top Five contenders.
The new rating system will be as follows:
If you could only have five movies for life, these would be the five that could be watched over and over. There are no more than six movies to be allowed in this category at one time. Six because the Top Five spends its days fluctuating, so let’s give it a bit of a break.
Some of these movies have previously been labeled with the double-thumb. They’re better than that, but they can’t break into the Top Five. Good movies, certainly worth seeing, maybe even purchase-worthy.
This long-respected category becomes the place for mid-range movies. No big change, here. The overuse has already watered this title down. Preference is going to start surfacing in more obvious, drastic ways at this category level.
True, there are some redeeming attributes to these kinds of movies but the basic truth is that it’s not worth your two five-dollar bills and a pile of slimy popcorn to see it in the theatre (unless your friends brother-in-law gets pre-screening films and you see it for free in the theatre – this and only this, is authorized in this category.)
These are the walk-outs, fall-a-sleepers, turn-off-halfway’s. Do not buy these, rent these, watch these. Others have gone through the painful trouble on behalf of you and others like you – so why waste yet another two hours of precious life? Don’t do it.