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Anatomy of a Backlash: Intercepting Inception Criticisms…

It’s always interesting to watch the reaction to a highly anticipated blockbuster. Sure, most of the time it hits like a drop in the ocean: there’s a moment of anticipation as it travels through the air and a slight reverberation as it joins the rather sizeable pool of existing movies, quickly forgotten or accepted. However, sometimes – if the movie is big enough – you get a slightly more complex reaction. That second before it hits the water becomes longer, the audience holds its breath even tighter and then, when it hits… there are reactions. The first wave, usually one of acceptance – the geekery, the exotic embrace, the types of reviews that push a Rotten Tomatoes score up to 100% before it even gets a wide release. Then there’s the second wave, as a few high-profile commentators dare to speak out against the film – usually reviewers from prestigious publications, usually as release day dawns. There’s a third movement, perhaps in direct response to the above – the rapid fanboy passion, one determined to lock down any criticism, sometimes aggressive, just sometimes caught up in the moment. And, if the film is really big, there’s a fourth wave, the public backlash against the film itself. It’s interesting to watch a movie cycle through these four basic events, like Inception certainly has of late. There are ripples across the internet, and waves of discussion and engagement, which is always great to see. However, it’s somewhat less exciting to witness how bitter criticisms and arguments can become.

It's all a bit topsy-turvy...

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Is Film Criticism Ever Objective? Can Disliking a Film Ever Be Wrong?

Toy Story 3 seems to be pretty much universally loved. I say ‘pretty much’, because there are currently two negative reviews on-line about it. To put that in context, that’s two negative reviews out of nearly one-hundred-and-fifty on Rotten Tomatoes. As always happens with this sort of thing – reviewers expressing a ridiculously unpopular opinions – this has prompted a bit of a reaction on-line:

They rail against anyone who likes it, happily sitting alone on their bitter, hate-filled island. An island of wrong. Hundreds of film critics have proclaimed their love for Toy Story over the course of three movies and the two baldies who hate it can’t really tell us why. Most of the time film is subjective. This time it’s not.

So, is film criticism ever objective? Can an opinion ever be wrong?

Can you believe the Buzz about this film?

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