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Inception

 
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DalyCityTrain



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject: Inception Reply with quote

I don't know exactly how well Inception will work for the tastes of this board. I wasn't a fan of Christopher Nolan's other blockbusters, but I enjoyed this one for the most part.

A lot of the backlash I've read from critics seems to be about the loud sentimental tragic scenes and elements of "what is real and what's in the mind?" philosophy that pop up without subtlety inbetween chase scenes, sci-fi/action fights and some relatively mild (compared to, say, Memento) mindfuck plotting....and how those premises are just teases, not explored much beyond the surface. For me, these elements are just window dressing for an action adventure-slash-heist procedural (assembling a superteam of mind criminals, etc.), similar to The Dark Knight. But whereas that movie's huge, enthusiastic fanbase seemed to regard it as an intelligent action flick, people are treating Inception like a failed art movie. To me, it's still a popcorn movie...just a popcorn movie influenced by Alain Resnais (or if you don't like foreign movies, think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

One thing only a few people complained about on the Batman movies was how Nolan directs action sequences to be almost purposefully incoherent. He cuts from one character's movements to the next quickly and disjointedly so the viewer knows something's going on but can't get a grasp on the spatial relationships. You don't know where the good guys are standing relative to each other, or to the bad guys, or to where they're trying to get to. It's kind of the opposite of Kathryn Bigelow's mathematical charting of action scenes in The Hurt Locker. Anyways, if people are less engaged with the mythos of Inception than with Batman and The Joker, this may stick out as more of an impediment to enjoying the many action scenes (most are done with old-school effects ala spinning sets for zero gravity, rather than CGI, which is a cool bonus for me).

Another thing I can't predict is how one will feel about the performances. They're alternately light and comic as in, say, The A Team or an episode of Leverage or Burn Notice and really heavy/sappy, especially Leonardo Dicaprio's central wounded moper. I will say That Dicaprio's hero shares a few characteristics with his lead in Shutter Island...which gets a little disorienting in one scenario where both the set and the music loosely resembles that recent blockbuster. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page are two actors I really like, so they're no problem for me, even tho they mostly function as counterpoints to Leo without too much of a character arc of their own.

Lastly, I don't want to spoil much about the ending....as with Memento or The Prestige, it will do a lot to define how you feel about the movie. It's a somewhat whimsical tease, but I loved it. I think it made a lot of the premises in the film worthwhile and offers the audience more than those other two Nolan mind-benders.
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CTC



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came away thinking "best blockbuster I've ever seen", putting it more in the realm of things like Gladiator, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Dark Knight, and Avatar (though comfortably ahead of them all) than in the realm of the World's Greatest Films. 8 1/2 it is not. But it's got substance and style and meat to it that lesser action movies, such as the better Bond films and the first Matrix, only sniff (and the later Matrix movies tripped over themselves trying to attain). Granted, anyone who's seen those movies can immediately recognize what Nolan borrowed from them, but what he accomplishes with such familiar elements is the difference between innovating and perfecting.

I think Nolan has improved how he films his action; the criticisms leveled at him for the fight scenes in Batman Begins were very much deserved, but there seems to be an improvement in them, from that movie to TDK to this. He still makes them intentionally disorienting, but instead of jump cuts that make one want to ralph, they successfully ratchet up the suspense.

Three things stood out as bothersome or flat to me. A couple of times, I couldn't make out what Ken Watanabe was saying, which could just mean my hearing sucks and I'm too used to watching DVDs with the subs going. There's also a lot of time dilation towards the end of the film, which, without giving too much away, gets a little bit stale when Nolan cuts to the same scene for the 3rd and 4th and 5th time. And the acting did seem less-than-great from Page, Leo, and Cotillard given the noms and hardware they've got. But I wonder if that's really due to the film or just the fact that they've all put in much better performances in other stuff. Or it could just be I'm surprised Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy steal the show, since the teamwork/comedic bits work as well as or better than the serious moments. But you never feel like it's too talky, even though they have to explain a ton of shit about how all of it works, and the ending is about as perfect as it could possibly be.

It's really too bad Nolan has that Insomnia turd to his name (particularly since the original version is so fucking good and Nolan fell so fucking short of that), because this would be a heck of a run of films he's on since doing Memento. But looking back on them all, I begin to wonder: can he make a great movie that isn't dependent upon a gimmick, or am I only asking myself that because he's done so well with speculative stories of this sort?
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jdw
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17135

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like I'm going to have to make a trip across the street. I wonder when Yohe has a night off...

John
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3073
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any time is cool.

I've seen it & it was a very hard movie to make & get over, but I think it's the best movie we're going to get this summer.

I want to see it again & I'm always hungry.

Yohe
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Jeremy Billones



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 523
Location: Alexandria, VA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed it, but the biggest problem I had with it was *SPOILER DELETED* and I though they should have *SPOILER DELETED* instead of just *SPOILER DELETED*.
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JAG



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 2282

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thoroughly enjoyed it, but not even as much as Memento. Not even the best movie I saw this summer (Two Escobars, ESPN).

Blame it on Leo. His acting leaves a lot to be desired, considering the roles he lands. I always leave his movies wonder how much better it would have been with Ed Norton.

Jagdip
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eron



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JAG wrote:
Blame it on Leo. His acting leaves a lot to be desired, considering the roles he lands. I always leave his movies wonder how much better it would have been with Ed Norton.

Jagdip


Seeing as Ed Norton is turning into a fucking headcase nobody wants to work with, I'm not so sure how true that might be anymore.
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eron



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, it was the best experience I've had in a theatre since the Matrix. Which is saying a lot. It had that, "I'm in for a visual roller coaster" and it at least made me think about the plot actively while it has happening, which is rare for a blockbuster film. Again, much like the Matrix.

I thought the acting was acceptable. Nobody was terrible, nobody was great.

People are wrangling with the supposed plot holes in the movie and why certain fantasy things work (I always get entertained when people get in big arguments about why one element of fantasy shouldn't work while another one is unmentioned) but that's really not an issue to me.

Someone posted a neat thing about the music. When you hear that slow, deep orchestral score when they are in the dream, it's actually the wake up song they use for Levitt's character, slowed down. Neat eh?

I liked it as an action movie, a blockbuster movie, a popcorn flick and a thinker movie. It worked on all levels. And seeing Ellen Page take the god damn city and sandwich it on top of itself? I was in awe.
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Iron Chad



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 1163

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really dug Inception. I don't want to go "best blockbuster ever", but I'd have to think hard about a true blockbuster that is a better movie. Leo did not bother me, but I've watched him enough so that his acting style doesn't bug me. His kinda flat delivery fit the character if the movie and his character Cobb the way Keanu Reeves's acting fit the character of Neo. I'm clearly somewhere in between "Leo is a piece of shit actor" and "BEST ACTOR EVAH~!".

I absolutely loved the winks and nods to James Bond, and the special effects, or lack thereof, were amazing, especially all the wire work. I'll be fascianted to see if I love this movie more or less on subsequent viewings.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3073
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first viewing of INCEPTION was hard work trying to understand the plot and looking for holes in the story. My second viewing was just watching and enjoying. I now think it's a masterpiece. One of the great movies of the time period.****1/3

Did everyone get the Citizen Kane tribute went the son opened the Father's safe?

Yohe
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CTC



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something was tickling in the back of my brain when I saw that, though I think at the time it reminded me a bit of a false totem. Also reminds me I need to get Kane out and rewatch it again. Been way too long since I did that.
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Iron Chad



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 1163

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really want to go back and watch this since I've only seen it once. I've been told there's tons of winks and nods to other movies, by the time we got to the father/son safe I was so wrapped up in the movie I wasn't looking for winks and nods anymore. It was too hard to miss the entire level dedicated to Bond, though, especially since I just read a couple of interviews on how much Nolan loves On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
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El-P



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in the über minority who though The Dark Knight was a pile of crap (save for every scene with the Joker), so I'm very hesitant to go watch that movie. It just doesn't sound appealing to me at all.
Insomnia is the only thing from Nolan that I enjoyed.
Add to that the fact that I'm already sick and tired of Marion Cotillard being the obligatory french actress in seemingly every big american move these days. She won an Academy Award aping Edith Piaf in a bad movie, and all of a sudden every american director wants to use her ? We have tons of great actress in France you know, if you really want to use some french girl. Even Woody Allen for fuck's sake (that and using Carla Bruni makes it the least anticipated Woddy movie ever to me, a die-hard Allen fan). To her credit, Cotillard was the only one keeping her head out of the water in the disaster that was Nine, but still. She's a very average actress. I wish Juliette Binoche had the same kind of opportunities after her Academy Award.
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eron



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El-P wrote:
Add to that the fact that I'm already sick and tired of Marion Cotillard being the obligatory french actress in seemingly every big american move these days.


Yeah, thinking back, I didn't care of her at all with exception to her "I'M EVIL INSIDE LEO'S BRAIN!" scenes. Everything else was flat as a rock for me. They could have used a different actress. I won't say better, I might hurt someones feelings in the Academy.

;)
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