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The eye of the beholder05 Oct 2001
Dana (JCO Editor)
After a first test screening of "The Majestic" took place on October 2nd, two reviews hit the internet. Two which could hardly be more contrary.
An anonymous writer delivered a very critical review at Coming Attractions, not only giving the entire storyline away with huge spoilers but also deploring in remarkable amounts. From make-up details/bloopers ruining any credibility on to a town presented such neat and polished that it's "too good to be believed" up to a non-existing chemistry between protagonist and his girlfriend, the product in its current cut is being portrayed as somewhat predictable, with Carrey's talent as something that simply got lost in the translation of the film.
The other review, appearing simultaneously at Dark Horizons (written by 'Peter McCartney') expresses the clear opposite, raving about the emotions, the credibility, the excellent realization of a great story, also mentioning that the movie is something the country needs in regard to the new-born patriotism and empathy America has won since the happenings three weeks earlier. Apparently, the screening moved some of the audience to tears, and the author seems entirely impressed.
After reading both reviews, one can only wonder why they differ so much. Of course, criticizing a movie is always something very individual, depending on personal taste, expectations, preparation, mood. It may reflect the author's honest view or can be tinted by competition thinking, by certain likes and dislikes or the need to deliver something spectacular or controversial that might pull a certain reaction from readers. In any case, a review is always something to take with a grain of salt, no matter how favorable or destructive it may be.
In this case, "The Majestic" may just be floating somewhere in the middle of those two opinions. Not to forget that this was not the final cut, and there are still many ways to alter the product, for better or for worse.
Of course we would love to judge for ourselves, but the lack of opportunity forbad. We're just JCO, after all, and not really worthy, our opinion probably regarded as hopelessly biased. Yeah right.
So all we need to do is wait until the movie comes out, and in hindsight we might or might not be able to relate to the points given in these two reviews. And hey, 76 days are not the world ... Trust your own eyes and noone else's!
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