February 17, 2008

Theater of Disappointment

I saw Atonement yesterday, mostly because when we got to the theater it was far too early for No Country for Old Men, and too late for There Will Be Blood. It turns out I didn't quite know what I was in for.

I expected a certain amount of angst given what little I knew of the plot, but I wasn't prepared to be anywhere near as affected by it as I was. Though uneven in places, and inconsistent in tone, focus, and pacing, I nevertheless found it to be very moving. "Bring your hankies" is what I'm saying, I guess.

I spent most of today playing through the entirety of an Xbox 360 game I had been looking forward to. I try to keep an especially open mind with games that come my way for review, but I was really rooting for this one to live up to its potential. Unfortunately, it became painfully clear over seven strained hours that the review I'll write tomorrow will be rather light on praise to say the least.

Some writers claim to enjoy writing scathing critiques, but I'm not one of them. Perhaps it's a result of having just been to a movie where a handful of quiet moments turn out to have devastating long-term consequences for everyone involved, but the responsibility that comes with publicly lauding or panning the works of others weighs on me heavier than usual this evening. I would much rather turn players on to an exemplary title they might otherwise miss than dash breathless anticipation on the rocks of harsh criticism. Perhaps I can save readers from forking over cash for rubbish, but guarding an audience against disappointment — assuming I'm accurate with any given assessment, which of course is always open to debate, both reasoned and otherwise — is never as much fun as pointing a crowd in the direction of work they should experience at all costs.


e said...
This is one of the most empathetic and sensitive posts I have read in a long, long time...

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