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My take on The Eagle benefited from the perspective of time. When I left the theater, I was thinking, “Well, that was pretty entertaining, wasn’t it? The guys in the paint and all. And yeah, the ending was a little pat, and I was squinting at how hard they tried to conceal Jamie Bell’s motivations from Channing Tatum, but did you see those rivers? They looked prehistoric. And the Romans fought like Romans. Maybe not a ripping good yarn, but at least a fraying one.”

The next day I thought, “Well, it’s probably not going to stand out too much a year from now.”

The day after that, when I prepared to sit down for my review, I thought, “Hey, it had some pretty fat dramatic flaws, right? A fun movie, but not a terribly skillful one.”

Sometimes I have to write about a movie the same day I see it. I suppose there’s something valuable in that, too–my reactions are more raw, my praise more generous. (If I dislike something, on the other hand, I tend to know right away.) But just a couple days’ perspective is all it takes to go from “That was pretty good!” to “Well, no need to see that again!”

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I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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