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A 2010 movie written and directed by Christopher Nolan.

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a mixed stratum of realities...tied down.

  • Jul 17, 2010
Rating:
+4
***SPOILERS AHEAD!***                                 

Months of hype has led to the final unleashing of Christopher Nolan's newest creation - Inception.

You know...the one with Leonardo DiCaprio, the chick from Juno, the dude from (500) Days of Summer & Brick, the guy from "Bronson", and some other old British geezer.

Nolan's latest project explores - as you may have guessed by now - the "architecture of the mind". Literally.

Now I must say that, yes, I did enjoy the film. However, based off my first viewing, I am a bit dismayed and what Inception failed to pursue further. The basic premise is god-damn fascinating and held an infinite amount of promise by itself. Yet, it seems if Nolan held back some punches.

Before I go any further - seeing that Inception is definitely an "above average" film I am just going to be nit-picky here and through together a short list of qualms I had with the film [based on 1 viewing]:

1. Everything felt...curt. - granted this may be the effect Nolan was looking to achieve as you jump between dreams before getting kicked back. However, I felt the thing that most suffered from this curtness was the character development specifically. The characters are seemingly thrown in accompanied by a brief job description but then nothing else happens - there's no further development of individual characters other than Dom. Subsequently however, at first I did find Ellen Page's character as kind of useless. She's dragged in, plays with some dreams, and then creates a maze that we never see or hear of again. Nevertheless, she does stand as an interesting foil within the film and seems to require repeat viewings to further investigate her role in the film and how she interacts/mirrors the audience.

2. The whole adventure felt rather trivial. Sure, there were a few tense moments, but once you realize that dying only results in waking up from the dream world & that Dom is basically Jesus and able to bring back people from Limbo...theres no real weight behind all the "danger" and gun battles. Furthermore, the whole plot demanding that Dom & Co. pull off this Inception is left (more or less) unexplained. He works for a faceless company, fails said faceless company's mission, is hired by another faceless company to screw over another faceless company for no other than reason than for Dom to do it for his kids & because mind-theft is completely bad ass. Really? Why the hell should I care about aforementioned companies?

Oh...and the whole ethics issue...with you know...implanting an idea and changing an innocent persons whole outlook on life, depriving them of free will all for the sake of capitalistic gains...ya...what the hell is up with that? Are all of Team Dom completely callous and devoid of any morals? Ya? Sweet. I think Nolan missed out on a big opportunity there to dive in and explore those philosophical & moral dilemmas - it could have added a much needed dynamic to Tom Hardy's & Joeseph-Gordon Levitt's characters.

3. The Dream world. Ok, ok, granted - Nolan did pull off some spiffy Escher-esque effects and got to play around with some physics. (Buildings rolling in on each other? Hell ya!) But I really felt he could've made the dream world stand out more stylistically. Now I am not saying he needed it to be some bad acid trip landscape with a shit load of colors and Gaudi buildings. I just wish he explored more of the dynamic dimensions that are innately embedded within the concept of a dreamscape. The whole idea of time and rate of time was well played - so too was the dynamic shifting gravity that was influenced by the state of the Dreamer's body and environment. Well done there.

I just think with the limitless capacity presented by our minds - Nolan could have dived further into inter-dimensional & spatial relationships within the manufactured dreamscapes.


BOTTOMLINE

I still appluad the Nolan for delivering a fantastic movie. Despite its shortcomings and missed opportunities I firmly believe that repeat viewings will only further unveil hidden nuances embedded within the film, opening up a big can of analytical rants and discussions for a long time to come. I know I am sure as hell ready to sit down and watch it again. It is a deeply intriguing film and definitely thought provoking - which I am always a fan of. In the end, Nolan's dreamscape layer cake is definitely entertaining - and by that fact alone - it stands as a successful film in my books.


Leave some comments and lets rant & speculate about manufactured theories - I'd love to hear some other thoughts on the film!
a mixed stratum of realities...tied down. a mixed stratum of realities...tied down. a mixed stratum of realities...tied down. a mixed stratum of realities...tied down.

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July 17, 2010
great analysis! I have to say I agree with your points and I saw those things too; I had to put the issue together myself; but to answer your # 3, remember, they were limiting the way that they change the surroundings so that the mark can't catch on what was going on. Also another's conciousness can attack the source of the dream (the consciousness area needed a lot to take in and put together). I also thought Nolan did a good job in exercising restraint in the effects. The movie was bold and ambitious;; a little flawed but I really enjoyed it. thanks for the great review!
July 17, 2010
Thats actually a good point you made there...I had totally forgot about that "rule". I guess as a landscape architect I was just hoping to see more spatial manipulation and exploring the opportunity that dreamscapes afford us. Clever ol' Nolan.
 
July 17, 2010
Good review. I saw it yesterday and posted a review too, but my review is over in the Sci-fi community. I also gave it 4 stars and agree with many of your points.
July 17, 2010
actually, Sheri, I may be in the minority in this, but this movie feels more like a dark fantasy to me since it deals with the emotions/consciousness of the dreamer with the minimal explanation of the science behind the process, the science was never the cause of the issue but rather more of the human condition. But I can see why it could be sci-fi. I guess it is one of those things that crosses between genres.

As with Resident Evil, I think that is a zombie movie and not a sci-fi film. It's elements of sci-fi was pretty low.
 
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More Inception reviews
review by . July 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ Stars: Christopher Nolan Creates a Dream Worth Watching...
   After the highly-successful “The Dark Knight” which defined the way comic book movies should be made, one wouldn’t be hard-pressed to expect nothing but the best from Christopher Nolan. “INCEPTION” has generated a strong buzz ever since the trailer debuted in previews and the worldwide web; after all, this film is written and directed by Nolan himself and with his “Batman” team assisting in the film’s production, it seems like the …
review by . August 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Let me start by saying i don't watch many movies, I'm not a big sci fi buff, and as I'm getting older, maybe I'm just getting a little crotchety.  I'm very aware that by coming out and being the ONLY one Lunch who is giving Inception a negative rating, I'm opening myself up to a lot of questioning and judgment... but that's okay because I know the community will respect my differing opinion and not ridicule me for expressing it.  So here goes:      …
review by . January 04, 2011
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I like to watch a movie that keeps me guessing what is happening, why it is progressing the way it is, where it is going & what is going to happen next. Inception is one such movie. It keeps the audience in suspense and guessing, anxious to KNOW what is ahead.       Dreaming is something that I had always been enchanted with all my life. It is through dreams that I see God the first time in my life! Yes, I’ve been fascinated by the reality of my dreams and the …
review by . December 12, 2010
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Stephanie's Favourite Movies: Inception      What's wrong with this movie? Nothing, that's what. This is a perfect movie, there's nothing wrong with it. I appreciated that it wasn't pandering to the lowest common denominator like most summer blockbusters do. It actually took a few brain cells to keep up with it. Of course, you don't have to be a genius to watch it and enjoy it, but you have to be kind of smart to understand it. It's that rare summer …
review by . January 22, 2011
Inception is a rare breed of movie. Firstly, it came out in July and thus can classify as a summer blockbuster, and secondly, it does not insult the intelligence of the audience and actually takes a few brain cells to keep up with it. It's incredibly well-acted, it has an original story in a time when they are becoming harder and harder to come by, and it's a movie that will definitely be apperciated come awards time. It will probably win more awards for its technical accomplishments, and …
review by . July 16, 2010
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After the wild success of  The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan reached the ranks of movie making freedom that so few directors reach.  So what did Christopher Nolan do with his golden key?  Made a movie he'd been wanting to make for ten years.  Inception.  A movie where your mind is the scene of the crime.  It's big, it's complex, it's beautiful... and it's absolutely amazing.  For those who are sick of adaptations, sequels and remakes, Inception …
review by . July 22, 2010
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Before you see Inception, grab your Gingko-Biloba or whichever new age vitamin/drug will quicken your synaptic connections. You're going to need it. You SHOULDN'T see Inception if you aren't prepared to push your brain into overdrive. You're going to be thinking and trying to sort things out from the opening sequence to the twist-ish ending.       This film is, in essence, a quintessential action flick. The special effects are mind-blowing. The constraints …
review by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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INCEPTION Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine      Eames: If we’re going to perform inception, then we’re going to need imagination.    I knew there was a good reason I fought so hard every night to hold on to my conscious mind and not let my unconscious mind take over.  I’ve got to make sure no pesky extractors get in there to steal my highly …
review by . December 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Stylized, Ambitious, Powerful
   Going into Inception was kind of a gamble for me as my friends and colleagues apparently know me better than I thought.  I’ve been hearing this is the “one to check out” since the day it arrived in theaters this past summer and while my friends have once again proven spot-on with their understanding of the kind of fiction I enjoy, it is always worrisome when so much hype comes my way.  I have to make a very conscious effort not to get swept up in it, as …
review by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Listen to the some of the awesome Hans Zimmer soundtrack while reading:            A film like Inception only comes along once a decade, and it's no surprise it took Writer/Director Christopher Nolan over ten years to polish the screenplay into its final form. The loud and frenetic visuals in the trailer all fall into place when you see the film, which represents a masterful blend of genres and ideas, some of which have been attempted before but never …
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Wiki

Inception is a 2010 American science fiction film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a thief  who extracts information from the subconscious mind of his victims while they dream. Unable to visit his children, Cobb is offered a chance to regain his old life in exchange for one last job: performing inception, the planting of an idea into the mind of his client's competitor.
 
Development began roughly nine years before Inception was released. In 2001, Nolan wrote an 80-page treatment about dream-stealers, presenting the idea to Warner Bros. The story was originally written as a heist film, inspired by concepts of lucid dreaming and dream incubation. Feeling he needed to have more experience with large-scale films, Nolan opted to work on Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight. He spent six months polishing up the script for Inception before Warner Bros. purchased it in February 2009. Filming spanned six countries and four continents, beginning in Tokyo on June 19, 2009 and finishing in Canada in late November of the same year. Composer Hans Zimmer scored the film, using parts of Edith Piaf's song "Non, je ne regrette rien".
 
Inception was officially budgeted at $160 million, a cost that was split between Warner Bros. and Legendary ...
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Details

Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: July 16, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Christopher Nolan
Runtime: 148 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, Syncopy Films, Legendary Pictures
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