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Inception Early Review: Rolling Stone Goes First

Inception Early Review: Rolling Stone Goes First

Thompson on Hollywood

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.

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William Goss



Rolling Stone’s website already has the McChrystal interview and the page says the interview is in the June 25th edition. The NY Post is saying the Inception review is in the same edition as the McChrystal interview. So it looks like this little Twitter melodrama is going to be irrelevant a day from now. It was hysterical though. Somehow Ann ended up in the middle of it. That Drew guy seems a little unhinged. haha


Although if the Rolling Stone issue out tomorrow is in fact the one with the Inception review, the embargo will be officially broken.


Even with the July 7 embargo i’m still expecting at least a few comments along the lines of Horowitz’s Twitter post to come out over the next few days.

And although Travers wrote a review, it technically hasn’t been released yet. We have just a relatively vague first paragraph and a star rating. I almost feel like Horowitz said more in his two sentences on Twitter than Travers did in that paragraph.


Seems obvious to me that WB knows about the article on the NY Post’s website. They could easily have it taken down if they’re worried about keeping the embargo intact.

Lou Lumenick

Rolling Stone is on newsstands in midtown Manhattan every other Wednesday morning. So calling Travers’ review “unreleased” or “unpublished” because it isn’t on the web yet is ridiculous. It’s out there, and probably with Warners’ blessing, whether these other people like it or not.

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