If you really love the great movies (stunners, spirit-shakers, heart-melters, grand-slammers), it naturally follows that mediocre or flat-out bad movies (like The Matrix: Resurrections) are going to inspire dislike, disdain and in some cases revulsion. If you’re a true cinema believer, that is.

Put differently, if you’re even a little bit serious about the transportational power of movies, you can’t watch a piece of shit and shrug your shoulders. Which isn’t to say there aren’t dozens of shoulder-shruggers out there. Nothing lights their fire, and nothing darkens their brow. They’re easy, adaptable…Swiss-style critics.

There are two defining traits of a Rotten Tomatoes shoulder-shrugger. One is “milquetoast — the kind of critic whose blood runs mild and in whose mouth butter would never melt.” The other is “politician — the kind of critic who always raises a damp finger to the wind before venturing an opinion.” Back in the early ’90s there was a Sony production executive who was described by a certain director-writer I knew as “a man with your opinions.”

This is a reasonably accurate description of those fine and principled people who speculate about possible Oscar contenders for Gold Derby — milquetoast politicians who step lightly and cautiously and have no souls. I could name names but these folks know who they are.