The rain currently drenching Manhattan is a metaphor for the wet-blanket wrath of David Edelstein and the other Inception naysayers to come. The first euphoric wave is over, and now it’s time for those who were kept out of the early screenings to beat the shit out of this film…if, that is, it seems like the right and fair thing to do.

This is all speculative horseshit, of course, but going au contraire seems like the only independent way to go now. Unless, of course, Inception is actually as backflip good as the first-wavers claimed, in which case that should be repeated loud and clear.

I only know that until today the critical reaction had been one big gushathon. Now Edelstein has tossed a stink bomb and changed the mood of the room. When charged to destroy the army of Spartacus, Marcus Glabrus stood in front of the Senate and said, “The garrison of Rome stands ready.” I too am ready to do what’s right and necessary, and if that means taking shots at Inception then so be it. And if doing what’s right and necessary requires dropping to my knees and kissing Inception‘s ass, then so be that. But no obligations, all bets off. Edelstein’s review has sprung a leak in the psychological dike. The men and women going to tonight’s Manhattan screening are free souls now. Nobody owes anything to anyone.

Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson has diagnosed Edelstein’s pan and decided it’s a reflexive Kubrick-hating Pauline Kael thing. “[Edelstein] seems to have taken exception to those of us who suggested that the movie is Kubrickian,” she writes. “Interestingly, Edelstein is a card-carrying protege of Pauline Kael (i.e., a “Paulette”), who never liked Kubrick. In fact, she panned 2001: A Space Odyssey in Harper’s in 1969, called it an ‘erector-set approach to movie-making.’ And Edelstein also didn’t care for The Dark Knight, calling it ‘noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.'”