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View Poll Results: Grading
Excellent 121 71.18%
Above average 40 23.53%
Average 6 3.53%
Below average 3 1.76%
Poor 0 0%
Voters: 170. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 18 2010, 03:16 AM   #61
watermelony2k
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Emh wrote: View Post
Because of her incredible insight, I expected that "reality" was a dream and that Ariadne was visiting Cob as means to bring him out.
That would have been quite awesome.
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Old July 18 2010, 03:16 AM   #62
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
Meh. It was "okay".
JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
Inception is the type of film that grows on you. In the film, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) talks about how an idea is the most resilient parasite and how it can spread like a cancer. Well, in the best possible way imaginable, Inception has that very similar effect on you long after you've seen the film. It's been a few hours since my initial screening and my mind has been abuzz with meditations on all of the many, many layers the film has to offer.

To be fair, this review is incomplete as I feel Inception demands a second viewing. But I can honestly say I have never had a moviegoing experience quite like this one, leaving with so many emotions and ruminations about the themes, characters, and then technical skill behind the film (the heist itself is jaw-dropping).

Dom Cobb. The central character to Nolan's Inception is a destroyed man, and also the anchor to keeping Nolan's brain-busting jaunt through the dreamscape from spiraling into the pretentious headspace of "look what I can do." Cobb's journey in attempting to reconcile with his wife's death, a death that he is essentially complicit in via his use of inception, is terrifying. The love story here is brilliant, as two lovers find themselves developing their love in a false world that functions relativistic to our own, getting years out of hours and decades out of days. It's a great metaphor for what love is about, how it has the ability to stop time itself -- and how too often we wish we had more time for it.

In this, I have to applaud Nolan's ability in ensuring that the dream-invasion technology was used in more ways than just one. For the most part, the tech is given to us by default. We get no real reason outside of a somewhat placard "military development" explanation as to why it exists, and simply accept it as a given technology that people may or may not know about in this world. In fact, the entire world has a slight comic book feel to it -- as the fantastical exists right alongside the mundane with surprising ease. It would have been easy to keep the focus of the tech on the heist, but Nolan integrates it seamlessly into Cobb's emotional journey as well: dream-invasion destroyed his life, and now it's the only thing that can save it.

From a pure genre level, Nolan's creation of a femme fatale that is literally the embodiment of the guilt/insecurity/flaw that traditional femme fatales typical exploit in the hero is just one example of the genre tropes turned on their head by Nolan, but still servicing the genre. Mal ("bad" in French), his dead wife who now haunts his subconscious, is also a wonderful antagonist. She is an evil god in the dreamworld, sending trains barreling through the best laid plans, able to be anywhere at once, and do anything she wants. And what's worse? Cobb's entire salvation, if it is to be had at all, rests in the dreamworld she rules. And the thing is: she is a construct of Cobb; she is Cobb, and in the film's final moments, when Cobb finally confronts her/himself, the language and word play resulting is quite something.

"It's never just a dream", Cobb muses at one point in the film, and despite the basic premise, Inception is not just a movie about dreams. Like many excellent Christopher Nolan movies, the film explores various different ideas and themes. The movie most reminded me of Darren Aronosfky's The Fountain, which used science-fiction as a filter in which to explore his own meditations on life, death and ultimately grief. Inception, while incredibly tragic, is not as meditative as Aronosfky's film and instead uses the guise of the heist thriller to push along the narrative of the story, always keeping things exciting and revelatory.

Inception has its sights more so on letting go and moving on, and the feeling of guilt over ruminations on life & death. Which is quite frankly a really compelling subject matter, which jives perfectly with the state of dreaming. Dreaming often -- according to some people -- challenges you to face something you had either repressed or neglected to deal with. On that level, Inception presents its protagonist with an extremely haunting idea of a repressed memory and through the dream world forces Cobb to deal with this and move on. In that sense, and in the non-traditional heist story that surrounds the film, Inception is a fantastically existential yet rewarding film that is driven by a fascinating emotional epicenter. Everything that happens, including the James Bond-esque third act, hinges on the emotionality of the narrative drive. The major decisions and choices all hinder on the emotionalism of the characters, and because of the multi-layered labyrinth of the film, when you're watching one scene, which one character tries to obtain information from another, what you're really watching is something entirely else, something multi-faceted and extremely dense. In fact, I would have to say that Inception is one of the most dense and complex films I've seen in a while. While it is relatively straight-forward in its comprehensive explanation of what's happening, that still doesn't mean what is going on isn't dense as fuck. The best possible comparison for Inception is that of an union: the more layers you pull back, the more in-depth you become. What begins as a relatively simplistic story gets even more and more complex when new ideas and concepts are introduced to supplement what you're already seeing. However, Nolan is such an incredibly ambitious filmmaker that he never loses sight on what he's weaving and while Inception is an incredibly tangled web, by the film's end he untangles everything in such an emotionally, intellectually and viscerally satisfying way that you can only just sit in awe of the filmmaker's relentless ability to juggle all of these ideas and themes and interweave them into something extraordinary.

Besides the sheer intelligence of the storytelling, Nolan has also improved as a visual storyteller, giving us some of the most incredible action sequences ever committed to film, and that's not an exaggeration. That was one point in the film that my jaw was literally agape, trying to absorb everything that I was watching on-screen. Nolan builds and builds and he creates one of the most entertaining and incredible third acts ever, having achieved some miraculous type of balancing act between story and action.

There is so much more to discuss when it comes to Inception -- more than I can discuss here. I haven't even gotten into what I think actually happened, thematic overlaps, narrative blah blah blah blah. All I can say matters is now a full 12 hours after having seen it, Inception is still sitting with me and making me feel things for the plight of its main character. The ending will leave you reeling. I sat in a theater and watched as a filmmaker took one of the most mundane objects and synchronized an entire audience's hopes and fears on its fate...

The film will leave you with little answers as well. Multiple interpretations will abound. Was it all a dream? Was it all a heist to break Saito out of limbo? Was it all an inception on Saito himself, implanting an idea in his mind to get Cobb home? Was it Mal trying to save Cobb, whose stuck in dreams? Who knows? And that's the point of Inception. In the end, reality is overrated -- what matters is the emotions and experience. And Inception plants all those and more.

Inception is a movie that absolutely warrants multiple viewings just to absorb everything you witness on the screen. There were times that I was so emotionally moved, captivated and simply put awed by the visceral magnitude of what I was seeing. My expectations were crazy high and I'm humbled and amazed by it. It's just the type of movie that that's so ambitious and succeeds so well it reminds me why I love movies in the first place. It is, without a doubt, Nolan's greatest success. I'm just happy to be living in the time where we can look forward to his movies.
I'm trying to reconcile these two posts.
I know they were 12hrs apart.
Initial reaction, MEH.
Absorbed reaction, see it a few times.

I take few opinions into consideration and for a guy I've never met I give yours some weight based on our relationship and movie talk here the last few years. I used to post at SHH more but I digress.

So, I'm going to see it and despite our Superman Returns differences ( ) I'll like it?!
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Old July 18 2010, 03:20 AM   #63
Myasishchev
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

TheBrew wrote: View Post
SPOILERS ABOUT THE ENDING:








I think that it would have been better mindfuck if maybe the whole thing was his wife's dream. She is the only other person who would know the weight of Cobb's totem and therefore it would react correctly in the dream world.

One thing that makes me think the ending was a dream was that his kids look exactly the same as they have in his previous dreams (except he can see their faces). It is implied that he hasn't seen them in a good while and that they should be older. The fact that they still look exactly like he remembered them makes me lean towards it being a dream.
Yeppers. The ending's not very ambiguous, really. It's like the ending to the Prestige, in that regard--it's twisted, but it's not really debatable.
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Old July 18 2010, 03:23 AM   #64
Emh
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

TheBrew wrote: View Post
I think that it would have been better mindfuck if maybe the whole thing was his wife's dream. She is the only other person who would know the weight of Cobb's totem and therefore it would react correctly in the dream world.
I thought about this possibility during rail track scene. In fact, I couldn't make out what she screamed just before the train hit them and I remember thinking if what she screamed was a revelation that it was her dream, but that didn't bear fruit.

TheBrew wrote: View Post
One thing that makes me think the ending was a dream was that his kids look exactly the same as they have in his previous dreams (except he can see their faces). It is implied that he hasn't seen them in a good while and that they should be older. The fact that they still look exactly like he remembered them makes me lean towards it being a dream.
I also noticed this and made me wonder if there was any mention how long he went into exile. That being said, we did hear the children's voices during the phone call and it sounded like the same voices we hear at the end. Add to that the children's question about when Mommy would return. I'm thinking only about six months or so passed since Cob left.
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Old July 18 2010, 04:06 AM   #65
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I don't think it was specifically mentioned, but I do agree with you about the implication that it wasn't that much time.
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Old July 18 2010, 04:16 AM   #66
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

One thing that makes me think the ending was a dream was that his kids look exactly the same as they have in his previous dreams (except he can see their faces). It is implied that he hasn't seen them in a good while and that they should be older. The fact that they still look exactly like he remembered them makes me lean towards it being a dream.
That is an interesting point, one I didn't think of.

The boy looked like he was wearing a really fake wig.
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Old July 18 2010, 04:24 AM   #67
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

From a production aspect, using the same actors would also allow them to keep visual continuity a lot more easily.

And, yeah, that the kids are still asking when mom will be back suggests that it hasn't been much time.
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Old July 18 2010, 04:31 AM   #68
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

It seemed to me that just before the screen goes to black the top was begining to totter and fail, meaning that the ending was "in reality." Yet at the same time the movie presents the question on what "is" reality. How do we know what we experience each and every day here is "real?' Hell, how many times have you woken up from a dream and could've sworn it was "real" or how many of you have memories that you're not sure are or are not dreams?

Mind-fuck of a movie and a fairly "Total Recall"-esque ending but my interpretation of the ending is that he was back in the "real world."

And, yeah, that the kids are still asking when mom will be back suggests that it hasn't been much time.
This is very true. For all we know only months had passed between the events of the movie and the events that cause Leo to go on the run.
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Old July 18 2010, 04:33 AM   #69
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Above average.

In one sentence, a lower stakes, overly complicated version of The Matrix.
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Old July 18 2010, 04:50 AM   #70
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Best film of the year, fascinating and oh so brilliant. Now bring on Batman 3.
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Old July 18 2010, 05:39 AM   #71
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Loved it. I found the core relationship with DiCaprio and his wife to be very well crafted. Everything else was secondary but still awesome.
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Old July 18 2010, 05:44 AM   #72
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I thought it was absolutely brilliant. I'm having trouble summing up my thoughts on it, to be honest (I only got back from it about 45 minutes ago), but it was an incredibly tense, yet deep and thought-provoking experience. Easily the best movie I've seen so far this year, that much is certain.

Beyond that... well, I think I need to see it a second time before I'll be able to say anything much else deeper about it. I can tell you that Christopher Nolan is amazing, and I cannot wait to see more from him: Batman 3 and beyond, I trust it will be incredible.
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Old July 18 2010, 09:23 AM   #73
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Wow! Best movie of the summer hands down, if not the whole year. All I got to say. I couldn't help but think the snow scenes were plucked straight out of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 though, haha
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Old July 18 2010, 09:39 AM   #74
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Just got back from seeing it. I voted above average, but it probably is more in between average and above average. My impression was essentially this: a fun, entertaining summer film that holds your interest throughout, but as a thought provoking or groundbreaking film it falls flat due to the silliness and shallowness of its internal logic.

No question the film is entertaining, with an attractive and engaging cast, an interesting premise, and taut direction. Leo tends to play the same character in all of his films but he really has that character down now. Tom Hardy also shines in a very different role from Nemesis. The film lacks a certain punch though. Except for a Matrix-like anti-gravity battle the film lacks a truly memorable action scene or really mind-blowing special effects.

The films main failing is in its often convoluted storytelling. One gets the feeling that much like a dream the film is making up its own rules as it goes along. It cheats a little by putting so much of its exposition upfront that by the time the action scenes role out we are trying to remember what was said a half hour ago and eventually just give up and concede to the movie its own logic and where it wants to take us. My girlfriend thought this film might have been heavily edited down from a longer version as certain scenes make little sense in the context of the movie and certain scenes are brought up and dropped without real explanation. And by the way what is it lately with Leo DiCaprio and films with crazy, suicidal wives. I am beginning to think the guy has issues.

Ironically my main complaint about the film is exactly the complaint I had about Leo's last film Shutter Island. The theme of the "dream world vs. reality" is another sci-fi concept that has become so overused by now that almost nothing interesting or fresh can be said about it anymore. The genre now has its own set of cliches that are repeated here as well. Watching films like this or Shutter Island can instantly hearken you back to half a dozen episodes of various Star Trek series like Frame of Mind, Hard Time, The Thaw, and Waking Moments. It will also inevitably be compared to the Matrix which had a much more original and interesting twist on the concept and this film kind of pales in comparison to it.

Also a spoiler about the final scene:

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Old July 18 2010, 03:05 PM   #75
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I personally loved the ending, although I think it's the real world Cobb is in, the ever spinning totem was somewhat of a nod to him living his dream in the end, hence the totem spinning like a dream. I reckon if the shot had carried on for 3 seconds longer we'd have seen it fall, but I knew it was going to cut short, just to leave us hanging.
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