By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 24, 2010 at 5:37AM
Peter Travers gives a 3 1/2 star review of Christopher Nolan's Inception in Rolling Stone. The review is not online yet. But The New York Post's Lou Lumenick found a hard copy on a New York newstand, and posted the bullet graph:
"The mind-blowing movie event of the summer arrives just in time to hold back the flow of Hollywood sputum that's been sliming the multiplex. 'Inception'...will be called many things, starting with James Bond Meets 'The Matrix.' You can feel the vibe of Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner' in it, and Nolan's own 'Memento' and 'The Dark Knight.' But 'Inception' glows with a blue-flame intensity all its own. Nolan creates a dream world that he wants us to fill with our own secrets. I can't think of a better goal for any filmmaker. Of course, trusting the intelligence of the audience can cost Nolan at the box office. We're so used to being treated like idiots. How to cope with a grand-scale epic, shot in six countries at a reported cost of $160 million, that turns your head around six ways from Sunday? Dive in and drive yourself crazy, that's how.''
The problem with putting too much expectations on the Movie of the Summer is how can it possibly deliver? And the movie can't be expected to yield The Dark Knight grosses--it was a Batman sequel. Come on. This is an original, with the potential to intrigue and lure moviegoers. I like those odds.
Meanwhile, Warners is screening the movie for junket press Wednesday and Thursday night and little inklings are coming through on Twitter:
RT @joshuahorowitz of MTV Movies made his colleagues crazy by tweeting: "Ok, film will take a while to process. It's not the second coming but there's a lot of awesome to chew on." (We all knew he was writing about Inception.) What did that mean? Did he break his deal with the studio, which imposed a tweet/review embargo?
@mrbeaks of aint-it-cool-news wrote: "I'll wait until someone who doesn't whore for TWILIGHT traffic has an opinion. And that's an embargo break."
@williambgoss asks: "Didn't Travers already bring the embargo down? Or would he be playing by special rules?"
@drewatfitfix writes: "Do you know how profoundly lazy saying "It's not the second coming" is about a movie? Of course it's not. IT'S A FUCKING MOVIE." He goes on: ""It's not perfect." Of course it's not. How many films are? How many of your favorite films are? How would you even quantify that?" And "Such a stupid, empty thing to say." And "I want to read a review that begins, "This movie is the Second Coming. It is perfect. It will solve world hunger and war. 3 1/2 stars."
The edge behind all this comes from the fact that these guys are dying the see the movie and share what they think of it with their readers. But they have made a pact with the studio: show me the movie, and I won't post my material until you say that I can.
But Travers has reviewed the movie. So why doesn't every single one of the people who saw the movie tonight review it? Warners held most critics back until July 7. They're showing it this week to press who are prepping interview pieces--and they won't bite the hand that feeds them.