Over at Hollywood Elsewhere, there's been an interesting game of cat-and-mouse going on between Jeff Wells and Warner Brothers around Wells' early review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A couple days ago, Wells posted a "somewhat negative" review, which is not, in and of itself, a shocking development. A rep from Warner Brothers delivered a smackdown from on high to Wells, slapping him with the dreaded "your invitation to the screening clearly stated NO REVIEWS before opening day blah blah blah take it down or you'll never see another WB press screening until you're too old and decrepit to write negative crap about films."

Wells complied with WB's request and took the review down, but noted that the concept of an embargo was a little moot at that point anyhow, given that last Friday -- a full five days before the hotly anticipated Opening Day -- early reviews of the film were run by Variety's Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt, Time's Richard Corliss, Rolling Stone's Peter Travers, New York Magazine's David Edelstein and Patrick Z. McGavin on Emmanual Levy's site. But who's counting? Apparently Wells is, at least, because just seven hours later, his own review was back up, with Wells noting in the comments in response to a reader that, while the embargo had not been lifted, with all these other reviews already out (42 pre-release date reviews as of now on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 74% "fresh" rating), he didn't feel the need to comply with WB and "hold his water."
categories Cinematical