Pete Hammond can’t resist sticking it to the blog-o-sphere

Posted by · 1:00 pm · September 2nd, 2008

You know, I kind of, sort of let it pass when Anne Thompson decided to take a mini-stab at bloggers (written as a pejorative, no doubt) who didn’t really like the 20 minutes of footage from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” shown at Telluride last week. But I can’t help but be irritated at the gall of Pete Hammond offering:

Voracious movie bloggers, with a need to be first rather than right, took shots at the film over the weekend on the basis of the modest Telluride peek. They would be advised to hold their reviews a few months until the other 2 hours and 25 minutes can be seen.

Right?” What the fuck does that mean? There is a right and wrong opinion to be taken from watching a few clips? One guy’s “They didn’t wow me” is not another guy’s “It could be good?” Give me a break.

No doubt this is all a result of publicity teams circling their wagons, prodding other writers to get something up that is positive and FAST. But there is no need to shit all over the opinion of a few folks who didn’t react as the suits would have preferred.

The buzz is the buzz, and if a couple of guys didn’t dig it, their opinion is valid. We linked to the dissenters here. Jeff Wells did too (though Thompson mistakenly thought he was reviewing the clips without having seen them…he was simply passing along an opinion).

This stuff really gets on my nerves. Writers burned by the quickness of the net (indeed, those who are a valid part of the net) can’t help but douse the flames of opinion that go up before theirs. Sad.

Personally, if I’ve taken anything from the mixed reaction to the clips it is that this could be a tougher Academy sell than I originally thought. And indeed, I expected as much all along. And with a truly Oscar-bait effort like “The Soloist” in the pipeline at the same studio…

But that script…man, that script is a work of art.

→ 6 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

6 responses so far

  • 1 9-02-2008 at 1:10 pm

    Brad said...

    I will say it seemed to me that some bloggers did review it as if they were reviewing the entire film. It would have been one thing had 20 consecutive minutes had been shown rather than several snippets, but based on what I can tell the scenes shown were shown more for a display of mood, tone and style rather than actual storytelling.

    I however read the negative buzz as a good thing considering everything that was being said led me to believe we were going to get a film very much in the same style as Zodiac… I don’t see any way 20 random pieces of Zodiac could have been shown and received any more praise than what Button received…

    Then again, I didn’t see it either so what do I know?

  • 2 9-02-2008 at 2:14 pm

    Roman said...

    “Right?” What the fuck does that mean? There is a right and wrong opinion to be taken from watching a few clips? One guy’s “They didn’t wow me” is not another guy’s “It could be good?” Give me a break.”

    Tapley, do you only pretend not to get it or are you seriously that dim?

    Hammond is clearly commenting on the loudness of the noise that was created by people who should know better.

    It’s not about dissing the blogosphere; he’s (quite correctly)pointing out that some people were more interested in delivering THE VERDICT, than they were in giving impressions.

    I mean, what kind of an idiot actually thinks that something as epic as “Button” (which I have also read – both the screenplay and the story) would look anything other than a confused mess in a 20 minute form anyway? This stuff builds on itself.

    Can you imagine a 20 minute reel of “No Country” highlights?

  • 3 9-02-2008 at 2:16 pm

    entertainmenttoday... said...

    While I agree on what your saying I don’t think its really fair to judge a film on 20 minutes of footage, athough if the studio and director are willing to show it, there is going to be someone to give there opinion on it ! As you know the internet game has changed the way everything is reported as many sites try and get there opinions on stories up faster than they can write them. That’s fine, but but I believe many sites hurt themself because they have to much daily content. There are many interesting and well written items that get pushed back on page a couple of hrs after they are written. Manic doesn’t always equate to better and quality will always outweigh quantity! At least in my eyes!

  • 4 9-02-2008 at 2:29 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I know Pete, Roman. I get it. Thanks for being so concerned, though.

    The real point, actually, is that nothing should have been shown. And there are those (invested in the film) that agree with me.

    But no one was trying to deliver THE VERDICT, so you and Pete, spare us the hyperbole.

  • 5 9-03-2008 at 3:38 pm

    Ryan Adams said...

    Pete Hammond is befuddled and punch-drunk from being flippered around the journo-sphere to decreasingly reputable gigs, bumping around from ding to ding like a pinball on his way to getting guttered.

  • 6 11-06-2008 at 2:46 pm

    Anne Thompson said...

    Just saw this. I had no problem with people writing about the Benjamin Button footage. It was a public forum. The reaction that I got at the preview didn’t jive with some of the reports I read. Jeff Wells was not in Telluride and relied on some of his non-journo friends who were.