As an online entertainment blogger, it’s generally agreed upon that the polite–not to mention professional– thing to do is respect the opinions of others. If a person or a group of people don’t like the same things that the blogger likes, that’s OK, and some minor ribbing is to be expected. But calling a group of people “stupid” or “Downs Syndrome-afflicted” because they don’t enjoy the same things that you do? Not cool.
That said, after month upon month of feverish hyping and endless internet speculation, Chris Nolan’s Inception has arrived, and I’m finding it difficult to accept that anyone who’s not stupid– perhaps even borderline retarded– wouldn’t recognize the film as a Great Movie (TM). Maybe the wording on that one was off; lemme try again.
If you thought Christopher Nolan’s Inception was a bad movie, you’re fucking stupid.
As far as I can tell, there’s very little wiggle room in this argument. Right off the top of my head, I can think of about a dozen other films, TV shows, books, or bands that I can imagine there being a valid difference in opinion over. Take The Dark Knight– I can kinda see how some people wouldn’t like that film, or call it a “bad movie”. Chud.com’s own Devin Faraci (in)famously didn’t care for the film, and O how the fanboys did seethe with rage over that one. Despite the fact that I’m a big fan of Nolan’s second Batman film, I get it. I can see the wiggle room for a difference in opinion there.
But Inception? Man, if you didn’t understand the greatness of that one, you’re fucking stupid.
Back in 1994, when Pulp Fiction arrived, I recall hoodwinking my folks into dropping me off at a movie theater while they went furniture shopping. Ostensibly, I was there to see Forrest Gump. In actuality, my plan was to sneak into Pulp Fiction, a film they’d refused to give me access to. It took some planning on my part– finding a showtime that would match up with Pulp Fiction‘s, not to mention give me enough time to take in the majority of the film (if I remember correctly, Gump was shorter) before my folks arrived to pick me up after completing their shopping– but I pulled it off.
I’ll never forget sitting in that theater and having Pulp Fiction happen to me. I’d been a fan of film and going to the movies before that, but Pulp Fiction‘s the movie– as it is for so many others– that really kick-started my film geekery. The script, the images, the performances, the violence: it all gelled to form something that was immediately epic to my 14 year old eyes, and there was simply no turning back after that. Watching Inception this past week, I sat there thinking that Chris Nolan’s new film would work in the same way for a whole new generation of film geeks. About twenty years from now (and probably even less), new directors and screenwriters are going to be dropping the film’s title as the reason they got started in the industry. It’s not a simple piece of summer entertainment: it’s the beginning of a whole new crop of filmmakers– mark my words.
What Nolan’s done is nothing short of breathtaking. There were sequences in Inception where my jaw hung open for minutes at a time, where the theater was utterly silent (which is notable considering the sheer amount of teenage douchebaggery that attended the same showing I did) as the film unspooled before the audience. The film isn’t confusing, but it is dense, and I don’t think I caught everything the film had to offer on that first showing. I’ll be seeing the film again tonight (thankfully at the glorious Alamo Drafthouse rather than a Cinemark hellhole), and I expect to catch more of what the film’s saying this time around. But it’s important to make that distinction: Inception isn’t confusing, it’s just challenging.
It’s the stupid people that aren’t going to be able to deal with that challenge, and they’re the ones that will call the film “bad”. Reviews by Armond White and Rex Reed have revealed what we already knew about both those critics– they’re fucking idiots– and support my hypothesis. Like Pulp Fiction before it, I can understand how someone might be able to say it wasn’t their “cup of tea”, but I absolutely refuse to believe that anyone who isn’t a complete imbecile would call the film a “bad movie”. Not polite, not professional, but this is the internet, so fuck your face.
Well, that’s when you buy your associate a drink and let the arguing begin.