Jun 9, 2011

Reviewing movies before they are imagined

"No unshot movie will ever fill me with such apoplectic loathing as Jerry Bruckheimer andGore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger, which will hit screens in December 2012. There's no option for Johnny Depp but to portray Tonto as a Native American Jack Sparrow. And poor Armie Hammer, such a perfect fit as the Winklevi twins in The Social Network, using his straightforward blue-eyed jockiness to play the Lone Ranger? In a script written by the thoroughly corrupted Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio? The only element affording a sliver of hope is that Revolutionary Road screenwriter Justin Haythe is co-credited." — Jeff Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere
Online film commentators faces many hurdles that traditional film critics do not, but chief among them has to be the inability to watch the films they often write about. They get around it by a variety of ingenious means. They review the script. They review the trailer. They review the title. They inhale deeply, clear the channels and intuit, through sheer ambient divination, the quality of the vive they are getting from the general direction of the yet-to-be-released movie. I don't think I've ever read someone review an entire film before a single frame of it has even been shot before, though. Naturally Wells 's insights into the quality of The Lone Ranger bring out my competitive side. So here goes: Paul Thomas Anderson's next film after The Master is going to be a minor work from a major filmmaker who seems systematically intent on denying himself creative possibilities. There. I just reviewed a movie that hasn't even been imagined yet.


  1. A fairly respected blogger/critic openly reviewed "True Grit" on the basis of a few clips he had seen because -- direct quote -- "Clips are just as good as the movie itself." I don't even know where to begin responding to that.

  2. Out of context, this indicts Wells on something he doesn't do. He doesn't skip out on much. The guy sees almost everything.

    He's clearly being open about his expectations and prejudices - something other reviewers could do a better job of presenting.

    And here's the catch: Wells often finds himself completely at odds with his expectations, for example, he loathes the comic book genre, but was completely smitten by XMen First Class.