'Inception,' Cont.

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Thinking more on this sentence from A.O. Scott's review:


The accomplishments of "Inception" are mainly technical, which is faint praise only if you insist on expecting something more from commercial entertainment. That audiences do -- and should -- expect more is partly, I suspect, what has inspired some of the feverish early notices hailing "Inception" as a masterpiece, just as the desire for a certifiably great superhero movie led to the wild overrating of "The Dark Knight."

Also listened to David Edelstien's piece over at NPR titled "Inception a Masterpiece? Only In Someone's Dream." Our own Chris Orr calls it disappointing.

I wonder how much of the movie's reception is influenced by the narrative around Christopher Nolan. He is, essentially, the guy who makes summer blockbusters for the high-minded. I get the sense that reviewers have a good deal of respect for Nolan's talent, but with the respect comes high expectations. The extent to which Nolan fulfills those expectations then becomes a subject of debate. The result is that while critics are certainly mainly reviewing the movie, they're also are, in part, reviewing each other.

It's likely that this is a common feature of criticism. I actually wouldn't know, having read so little of it in other art-forms.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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