Calls about who gets to see which early-peek screening of a major film have always led to grumbling. It was revealed today, for instance, that Warner Bros. flacks have already shown Inception to Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers, and I know that another major critic was given a recent looksee in Los Angeles. I don’t know about any further screenings this week or next, but I know there’s one in Manhattan the following week for a relatively select group.

Hollywood Elsewhere will be catching an all-media showing on Tuesday, 7.13 — three days before the big nationwide opening. In a big Manhattan theatre although not, I’m told, in IMAX, which sounds to me like the only way to see this thing. I guess that means I’ll be seeing it in IMAX on opening day. I’ll need to see it twice anyway, given what Travers is saying about it being “too smart” for the schmoes and “turning your head six ways from Sunday.”

We all know, of course, that with all the buzz chasing Inception that those seeing it the week after next will be blogging and Twittering about it almost immediately, no matter what terms may be requested or demanded, and that the trades (along with Indiewire‘s Todd McCarthy) will definitely post reviews on the weekend before the big opening on Friday, 7.16. We know they’ll do this.

In short, those catching the 7.13 screening won’t be among the first wave of commenters. They’ll be part of the second wave. Not that big a deal, right? I guess not. But the yen to see the Next Hot Movie sooner rather than later can be intense.