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TrekToday http://www.trektoday.com/content Daily Star Trek news Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Retro Review: Learning Curve http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/retro-review-learning-curve/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:16:02 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41256 Tuvok attempts to train four Maquis crewmembers who are having difficulty following Starfleet protocols.

Plot Summary: Lieutenant Dalby discovers a malfunctioning bio-neural gel pack and replaces it without getting authorization, which causes several systems ship-wide to stop working. Tuvok expresses concern to Janeway that Dalby and some other Maquis crewmembers are not trained or disciplined enough to work on a Starfleet vessel. Though Janeway is more worried about the possibility of multiple gel pack failures disabling Voyager’s systems, she recommends an on-the-job training course for the crewmembers having the greatest difficulties. Chakotay gives onetime Starfleet Academy instructor Tuvok a list of possible candidates, from which Tuvok selects four junior officers – impulsive Dalby, belligerent Henley, unfocused Chell, and bitter Gerron – who deeply resent being singled out for extra attention. The group complains when Tuvok insists that they remove all traces of their personal style from their professional demeanor and marches out after what they consider to be an unfair physical exercise. Neelix offers Tuvok some wisdom about plant stalks needing to be flexible, which Tuvok at first takes to mean that the young crewmembers are too rigid, then discovers that Neelix means to criticize himself and his teaching methods. He tries to get to know Dalby and realizes that some of the Maquis crewmembers suffered traumas that make it impossible for them to become contented, well-adjusted Starfleet officers overnight. Meanwhile, the Doctor discovers that Neelix’s attempt to make cheese has cultivated a bacteria that now infects the gel packs. The Doctor proposes raising the temperature to help the gel packs fight off the infection, but although the gel packs are saved, Tuvok and his unhappy team become trapped in a cargo bay where Gerron is injured. Dalby becomes irate when Tuvok orders him to get to safety with Henley and Chell, but when Tuvok himself violates procedure, risking his life to save Gerron, the Maquis officers are impressed and promise to work harder to obey the rules.

Analysis: I didn’t like “Learning Curve” when it first aired for its obnoxious attitude toward Maquis dissidents and indeed toward anyone who refused to assimilate entirely into Starfleet’s arbitrary regulations, which I thought at the time might just reflect my lack of understanding of how military protocols worked. But it rubs me the wrong way even more so now that we’ve seen some of the history of Vulcan intolerance in Enterprise, and now that we know the Maquis will be asked to give up their sense of belonging to their own cultures as well as their identities as members of an organization in conflict with Starfleet (the latter a demand that’s completely justified on a mission like Voyager’s, though I note that Worf was allowed to wear the accoutrements of a Klingon warrior on duty even when the Klingons were at war with the Federation). Of course it’s a problem that many of the Maquis have not had Starfleet training in teamwork, physical fitness, even self-protection, though I might note that Neelix and Kes haven’t either. It would seem both reasonable and fair for Tuvok to include them in a course to get underprepared crewmembers ready for life traveling through the Delta Quadrant, particularly since Kes had never left her village, let alone her homeworld, until just before Voyager arrived. The cheese incident that almost destroys the bio-neural gel packs is a far more heinous betrayal of safety protocols than the replacement of one of those gel packs, even if Dalby is rude when reprimanded while Neelix only stammers in embarrassment. And surely there are Starfleet crewmembers as well as Maquis who were unprepared to have a brief mission into the Badlands turn into a potentially lifelong journey? Couldn’t many of the junior officers use a refresher course in focus and teamwork? If Janeway and Chakotay’s goal is to get their two crews functioning as a single unit with the same ease with which Torres now works with Carey, they’d be well advised to include some Starfleet officers in the remedial class even just for show. Not so long ago, Tom Paris was a criminal and Torres was punching fellow officers, while now they’re fourth and fifth in the command chain; seems like a lot of people on that ship could use a bit of extra attention.

And although Tuvok may have been an Academy instructor for more than a decade, he seems like the wrong person to be leading an exercise in new-to-Starfleet teamwork. These angry, demoralized Maquis crewmembers need a counselor, not a disciplinarian; the morale officer might do them more good, and indeed does them more good when he lectures Tuvok, than a stern Vulcan whom they consider a traitor to their cause. I think it’s a mistake that we see the senior officers’ point of view rather than that of the recruits, since we don’t get to learn the positive independent-minded aspects of what Chakotay dismisses as “the Maquis way.” A strong left hook may get someone hauled before a disciplinary committee in Starfleet, but we’ve had such behavior by the Klingons rammed down our throats for years now as something we should admire, so it just doesn’t look particularly outrageous when a Maquis crewmember does precisely what a Klingon would do in a similar situation of being singled out for his temper. Apart from Dalby, who joined the Maquis because Cardassians brutalized his girlfriend, we never get to know the Maquis crewmembers, and the more Tuvok talks, the more arrogant he seems, like the obnoxious Vulcans of “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” rather than thoughtful, nuanced individuals like Spock and Sarek. Now that the US military and other such organizations have relaxed their rules about whether and when soldiers can wear yarmulkes, hijabs, and other items directly related to the practice of religion, I feel even more justified in my fury against Tuvok when he orders Gerron to take off his Bajoran earring – an accessory quite different from the headband that Tuvok forbids Henley to wear. The Bajoran earring is a symbol of faith. It’s also a mark of one’s family and social caste, two things that the young Gerron has lost being stranded 70,000 light years from home. Whether he had lost those already in a traumatic incident that led him to join the Maquis, as Dalby seems to believe, or whether he joined the Maquis out of sympathy for the settlers’ desire to protect their homes, like Kasidy Yates, Gerron is clearly clinging to this one meaningful relic of his former life, which Tuvok orders him to put away without any care for its significance.

Clearly, Tuvok is obsessed with the letter of the law rather than its spirit – he’s closer to being Javert from Les Miserables than was Sisko when Eddington mocked him with that sobriquet – but given the pettiness of the Vulcans we saw in many TNG and DS9 episodes, I gather we’re supposed to assume that it’s because Tuvok’s a Vulcan, for whom logic demands holding even to the most trivial of regulations. But I can’t understand why Chakotay agrees to let someone whom he thought served his own cause, then turned out to have been working behind his back all along, serve as corrections officer for other Maquis crewmembers. Chakotay’s facial tattoo would not be permitted even in the current US military, and I’d love to hear his response if Tuvok ordered him to remove it or cover it up. He’s usually a champion of diversity and broadmindedness, yet he seems amused at the thought of having four shipmates for whom he was once responsible, who are as troubled as they are troubling, put under Tuvok’s yoke. Of course ship-wide discipline is important in a crisis, as we see when it takes much of the crew working together to solve the problem with the gel packs, but a rigid dress code for people who will be working together for many years can hardly be the element that makes them see themselves as a team. It will be acknowledging, understanding, accepting, and taking advantage of their differences which will accomplish that. If the Starfleet uniform serves to bond Voyager’s crew in early days, it later serves to homogenize them; no wonder Sisko preferred spending his off-duty hours in African dress and Kira never stopped wearing her Bajoran earring even when in Starfleet uniform. “Learning Curve” fails in its effort to be “Lower Decks” because it fears to let us get to know and admire the quirks of the individual Maquis, erasing their distinct histories and grievances even as Janeway’s off playing traditional British governess in a traditional British novel knockoff. She needs to spend more time thinking about exactly which aspects of the Federation she plans to keep thriving on her ship as it creeps toward home.

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Star Trek: The Exhibition In Washington State http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-the-exhibition-in-washington-state/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:00:37 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41252 Star Trek: The Exhibition will be arriving at the Washington State Fair in September.

The Washington State Fair will take place September 11-27 in Puyallup.

Star Trek: The Exhibition, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will run for seventeen days and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy an interactive, museum-style experience of one of the largest collections of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. This is a separate ticketed exhibit, and requires Fair admission. Exhibit tickets can be purchased in advance for $6.50 until Sept 10 here, or $8 at the State Fair. Children five years and under are free in the exhibit with a paid adult. Online orders are subject to standard processing fees.

The Exhibition brings visitors into the Star Trek universe and allows them to connect with iconic Star Trek moments. Throughout this experience, visitors, especially younger visitors and youth, will be inspired and motivated to seek out more education, and perhaps ignite a passion for lifelong learning and careers in science and technology.

Star Trek fans and novices alike will have a first-hand interactive experience to explore the worlds, wisdom, science, stories, cultures, characters, fashions and fantasies of the Star Trek universe. In the States, and around the world, Star Trek has become a sub-culture for many, supported by countless fan conventions and fan gatherings where many regularly gather and role-play in their favorite Star Trek characters.

“Among the main attractions of The Exhibition is the opportunity to sit in the legendary Captain’s chair where Captain Kirk and subsequently Captain Picard took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise; the opportunity to pose in front of a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise; and one-of-a-kind displays, interactive kiosks and rare photo opportunities.”

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August-September 2015 Trek Conventions And Appearances http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/august-september-2015-trek-conventions-and-appearances/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:53:51 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41248 There will be nineteen conventions, shows or appearances in August and September that will feature actors of interest to Star Trek fans.

This listing of conventions and shows features actors from all of the televised series and several of the Star Trek movies.

August begins with The Official Star Trek Convention will be held Aug. 6-9 at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In attendance at The Official Star Trek Convention will be Marc Alaimo, Vaughn Armstrong, Richard Arnold, Rene Auberjonois, Robert Beltran, Casey Biggs, John Billingsley, Brannon Braga, Bobby Clark, Joan Collins, Jeffrey Combs, Denise Crosby, Olivia d’Abo, Michael Dante, James Darren, Roxanne Dawson, Nicole de Boer, John de Lancie, Elizabeth Dennehy (Commander Shelby), Chris Doohan, Michael Dorn, Doug Drexler, Aron Eisenberg, Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Bryan Fuller, Joseph Gatt, Max Grodenchik, Richard Herd, J.G. Hertzler, Jennifer Hetrick (Vash), Manu Intiraymi, Sherry Jackson, Salome Jens, Dominic Keating, Walter Koenig, Alice Krige, Cirroc Lofton, Don Marshall, Chase Masterson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Anthony Montgomery, Ronald B. Moore, Kate Mulgrew, Larry Nemecek, Adam Nimoy, Denise Okuda, Mike Okuda, Robert O’Reilly, Linda Park, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Andrew Robinson, Rod Roddenberry, David L. Ross (Lt. Galloway and Lt. Johnson), Saul Rubinek, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan, Judson Scott (Joachim from The Wrath of Khan), William Shatner, Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn), William Morgan Sheppard, Armin Shimerman, Alexander Siddig, Marina Sirtis, Rick Sternbach, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kitty Swink, George Takei, Connor Trinneer, Karl Urban, Nana Visitor, Garrett Wang, and Michael Westmore.

Next up is Shore Leave, to be held Aug. 7-9 at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland. In attendance at Shore Leave will be Daniel Davis (Professor James Moriarty).

The Steel City Con will be held Aug. 7-9 at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. In attendance at Steel City Con will be Nichelle Nichols.

The Dublin Comic Con will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Convention Centre Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. In attendance at Dublin Comic Con will be Gates McFadden.

The Windsor ComiCon will be held Aug. 15-16 at the Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Windsor ComiCon will be Marina Sirtis.

Crypticon Kansas City will take place Aug. 21-23 at the Howard Johnson Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. In attendance at Crypticon Kansas City will be Sid Haig, Chris Sarandon, and Tony Todd.

Walker Stalker Con will be held Aug. 22-23 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts. In attendance at Walker Stalker Con will be Denise Crosby.

The Central Coast Comic Con will take place Aug. 28-30 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California. In attendance at Central Coast Comic Con will be Sid Haig (Lawgiver in Return of the Archons) and Deep Roy.

Wrapping up August will be the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con, to be held Aug. 29-30 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England. In attendance at the Bournemouth Film & Comic Con will be Max Grodenchik.

September begins with Fan Expo Canada, which will be held Sept. 3-6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at Fan Expo Canada will be Jeffrey Combs, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Morrison, Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, and Jeri Ryan.

Dragon*Con will take place Sept. 4-7 at several hotels in Atlanta, Georgia. In attendance at Dragon*Con will be Terry Farrell, Jonathan Frakes, Gary Lockwood, and Paul McGillion.

Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be held Sept. 4-6 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. In attendance at Wizard World Comic Con San Jose will be Adrienne Barbeau.

The Alamo City Comic Con will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. In attendance at Alamo City Comic Con will be Olivia d’Abo and Ron Perlman.

The Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be held Sept. 11-13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh will be Colm Meaney and William Shatner.

RocCon will be held Sept. 11-13 at the Kodak Event Center in Rochester, New York. In attendance at RocCon will be Nichelle Nichols and Marina Sirtis.

Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be held Sept. 18-20 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Appearing at Wizard World Comic Con Columbus will be Brent Spiner.

The Rose City Comic Con will be held Sept. 19-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. In attendance at Rose City Comic Con will be Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and Wil Wheaton.

The Salt Lake Comic Con will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Walter Koenig will be appearing at the Salt Lake Comic Con.

September wraps up with the London Comic Con, to be held Sept. 25-27 at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario, Canada. In attendance at the London Comic Con will be Nicole de Boer and Ron Perlman.

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Shatner To Pen Book On Nimoy http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/shatner-to-pen-book-on-nimoy/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:45:58 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41245 William Shatner is planning on writing a book about his friend Leonard Nimoy.

Shatner considered Nimoy to be a brother to him.

“I’m writing a book about Leonard,” said Shatner. “I had a brother, whose life arc was so much like mine that we understood each other completely. Our age, our birth, the same types of problems in our marriages – our careers arced in the same manner.

“We had a great deal in common, Leonard and I. And thusly we were able to understand each other. I’ve lost a dear friend.”

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Star Trek Beyond Building Continues http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/star-trek-beyond-building-continues/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:42:43 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41236 More photographs from the Star Trek Beyond set have emerged.

Five new photos show the progress made in building the set which began back in May.

STB-1

The first photo shows the bare bones of the set back in May.

STB-2

The second photo shows what appeared to be a building with some broken trees on it.

STB-3

In the third photo, it becomes clear that the second photo was not a building, but hills with broken trees. The plywood of the second photo has been covered with dirt.

STB-4

STB-5

In the last two photos, the “hills” set is being expanded.

Larger-sized photos are available at the referring site.

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Trinneer In Western Horror http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/trinneer-in-western-horror/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:14:05 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41232 Fans of Connor Trinneer will be able to see the actor in a western horror movie set to release on DVD and VOD beginning August 4.

The movie is called A Good Day To Die.

In A Good Day To Die, “Baron Emerson uses his vast wealth to travel the world and hunt. He does not hunt animals, he hunts warriors. The Baron arrives at the American frontier and is looking for his next prey. An outlaw gunslinger named Chamberlin who is in jail and set to be hanged. The Baron arranges for Chamberlin to be freed so that he can hunt him like an animal in a bloody game of life and death in the Wild West.”

Trinneer portrays the hunted Chamberlin, while Robert Koroluck is the hunter Baron Emerson. Others included in A Good Day To Die include Nadia Lanfranconi, Jay Kown, and Leia Perez.

A Good Day To Die was written and directed by Rene Perez.

The movie has already made its European debut, where it was released under the title Prey For Death.

For US fans, to pre-order A Good Day To Die, which sells for $8.46, head to the link located here.

 

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Beam Me Up Scotty Figurines http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/beam-me-up-scotty-figurines/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:10:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41229 Two new original series figures feature Kirk and Spock in the process of “beaming up.”

The figures will be available from Funko beginning next month.

Each poseable figure is 3 3/4″ in height and features a beaming effect (the bottom part of each character shows this effect). “Captain James T. Kirk [and Spock have five] points of articulation and features unique accessories and the 1980s style card back design.”

The Beaming Kirk and Spock ReAction figures will ship next month. Each sells for $12.99 and can be pre-ordered here for Kirk, and here for Spock.

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UK Auction To Feature Spock Costume http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/uk-auction-to-feature-spock-costume/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:08:35 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41226 TrekUKAuction073015

An auction to be held in the UK this autumn will feature a costume worn by Leonard Nimoy.

The Prop Store and Odeon Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction will take place September 23.

The catalog for the auction isn’t available yet, but at least two Star Trek items will be auctioned.

A costume worn by Nimoy during the second season (blue shirt and black trousers) will be up for auction, and is expected to fetch up to £70,000.

Also in the auction will be a model starship used in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

Other non-Trek items of interest include a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s jacket from Terminator 3, a Lord of the Rings Witch King’s dagger, and a set of claws worn by Hugh Jackman in X2:X-Men United.

In all, four-hundred-and-fifty items will be auctioned.

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Pine To Star In Wonder Woman http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pine-to-star-in-wonder-woman/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:57:20 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41222 PineWonderWoman052815

Back in May, TrekToday reported that Chris Pine was in negotiations to star in Warner Bros. Wonder Woman; today comes word that Pine has signed on for the role.

Pine will be playing Steve Trevor, Diana Prince’s love interest.

In the Wonder Woman comics, Trevor “was an intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II whose plane crashed on Paradise Island, the isolated homeland of the Amazons. He was nursed back to health by the Amazon princess Diana, who fell in love with him and followed him when he returned to the outside world. There she became Wonder Woman (and also his co-worker, Diana Prince).”

Pine’s deal reportedly includes sequel options.

Written by Jason Fuchs, Wonder Woman will be directed by Patty Jenkins. Pine will be starring with Gal Gadot, who will take on the role of Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman will be released June 23, 2017.

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Pegg Teases Elba Character http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/ http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/07/pegg-teases-elba-character/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:54:46 +0000 http://www.trektoday.com/content/?p=41218 Elba072915

Simon Pegg spoke briefly about the character that Idris Elba will be playing in Star Trek Beyond.

The character that Elba will be playing will be unique, Pegg promised.

“It’s a really interesting, complex character,” said Pegg. “We shouldn’t expect to see anything like Benedict Cumberbatch‘s creepy genius Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness in Elba’s performance, however. His performance is all his own.”

There’s a good reason that Elba’s villain is different than Cumberbatch’s. “Only because it would be a retread,” said Pegg. “What we don’t want to do is have the same kind of villain with the same motivation.”

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Old July 18 2010, 03:13 PM   #76
JacksonArcher
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
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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?!
First "reaction" was a joke.

Go see it! You'll love it. Well, you might not love it, but I do think you'll like it.
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Old July 18 2010, 04:07 PM   #77
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Emh wrote: View Post
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.
The credits had two sets of kids, one at 20 months and three years old, and one at three and five years old. Either they used two different pairs in the flashbacks (one for the beach and one for the goodbye), a different pair at the end, or the same ones visually throughout and a different pair during the phone conversation. I wouldn't expect an audio-only role to be credited, but they credited Old Dom and Old Mal, and they were only on-screen for a few seconds, and then from behind and a distance.
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Old July 18 2010, 04:59 PM   #78
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I don't see what the big deal is. I didn't think it lived up to the hype of everyone saying it was a masterpiece that saves a so far dismal summer movie season. It has some of the same problems as Nolan's other movies like too much exposition and incoherent action scenes, and the exposition was even more annoying this time because it was made of confusing jargon about the imaginary technology of the movie. Also, to echo an opinion I've read elsewhere (and agreed with), Dicaprio was doing the same schtick he's done in several movies now ("The Aviator", "The Departed", "Shutter Island") where he's basically 'intense guy, haunted by some personal demons'. Not the most interesting or original protagonist.

The movie has such a great cast and doesn't give most of them enough to do. Ellen Page, who was so endearing and funny in "Juno" plays a pretty dull character. She just gets stuff explained to her and feels sorry for Leo. Joseph-Gordon Levitt who showed tons of charisma in "(500) Days of Summer", gets two cool moments "paradox!" and "worth a shot", but mostly stands around looking serious. Tom Hardy, who was so charismatic in "Star Trek: Nemesis" that the sheer force of his performance convinced me that the movie and his character were great the first time I saw it, has a few fun wise-cracking moments, but sometimes his dialog is drowned out by the soundtrack.

I've heard it described as 'James Bond meets the Matrix', and in some ways, I think that's a problem. For example, the constant explosions and scenes like the van being shot at by thugs and endless thugs shooting at the heroes in the snow felt like generic James Bond action. I got bored of seeing entire cities crumbling too. The novelty wore off after awhile.

There were lots of positives, though. I found the soundtrack delightfully foreboding and always enjoyable (except when it drowned out dialog). I really liked how time was shown going at a different rate in dreams by having so much going on while the van is going over the bridge in mere seconds (although again, the snow scenes bored me at times). While the snow scene was weak, I was so happy every time the movie cut back to the zero gravity scene. I thought that was the best part of the movie.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's physical performance was terrific (although again, I wish his character had more development and dialog), and the way the fight was shot with climbing the walls and flying through the air was the one action part of the movie that did feel really original and exciting. I also thought the visual of him stringing together all the sleepers and dragging them into the elevator was amazing.

Also, I thought the ending was awesome, so I left the movie feeling positive, but when I look back on it, there were things that bugged me. I admire the movie most for the neatness of some of its visuals and overall I liked it and am glad I saw it, but I don't think it's the visionary masterpiece many are calling it. I also don't think it's Nolan's best film so far. I would rank it below all of them, except "Following", which isn't much of an accomplishment since that was his first movie and he still had a lot to learn when he made it.

In general, the plot bugged me because of all the excessive exposition (like "The Dark Knight", although I thought that movie was much better than this one), but I did think the inception plan itself was brilliant and I like the way it worked on Cillian Murphy's character. I said it disappointed me that Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Tom Hardy didn't have more to do, but I liked how Cillian Murphy and Ken Watanabe had much bigger roles than they did in Nolan's other movies. This allowed Murphy to show his acting chops more. Overall, I think the movie had too much of some things and too little of other things, but the things that worked about it were extremely impressive and made it worth watching.
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Old July 18 2010, 06:27 PM   #79
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I loved "Inception" saw it last night and will be seeing it again next weekend. I thought it was one of the best films I've seen in the last several years right up there with "Moon". I have been excited for this film much like Jackson Archer but for myself because of the subject matter of dreaming that the film forms it's plot around but "Inception" is about much more than that. This is easily my favorite Leo DiCaprio film who gave a really great acting performance and Nolan's meaty script gave him a chance to show off his wide variety of acting skills not to mention his enjoyment of physical acting which he's talked about in the past. Ellen Page's character is vital to helping to understand the character of Dom Cobb and I thought was charming and used to help explain the concept of the dream world and how it works. I'm forever now a Joseph Gordon-Levitt fan...his performance in "Inception" is brilliant as it was in "500 Days of Summer" and he too is given a chance to demonstrate a different side of his acting ability in this film. In fact all of the characters and actors that "Inception" features has their own chance to shine in their own way in this movie. Tom Hardy's character too in particular while being the comedic element was serious as well and worked. Hans Zimmer's haunting and almost sad score is excellent and the cinematography. I feel like I'm doing the film an injustice by given this rudimentary quick review but I've not fully composed my thoughts about the film yet and probably won't have a proper review up until after I see it a second time, this will have to suffice. The best film of the year so far and as I stated one of my favorite films period. I give it four of four stars.
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Old July 18 2010, 07:29 PM   #80
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Great movie overall, although I do have to agree with those that say it's a bit overloaded with exposition (it seems like all anybody ever does is explain the "rules" to each other), and perhaps more complicated than it really needed to be. And the final act did get a bit too chaotic and hard to follow (at least on first viewing).

But just for the ingenuity and brilliance of the concept, and for the fact I was absolutely RIVETED to the screen the whole time, I'd still have to give this an excellent. There was something almost hypnotic about the whole experience, as if you were falling deeper and deeper into a dream yourself right along with the characters. I love that.

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Old July 18 2010, 07:56 PM   #81
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I really enjoyed the movie, and I'd like to see it a second time soon, but I can't decide yet if the story has substance to it or just the illusion of substance.

I have a few questions about the complex final act of the movie:

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Old July 18 2010, 08:18 PM   #82
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

On reflection, I've increased my grade. This was a pretty awesome movie.
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Old July 18 2010, 09:03 PM   #83
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Inception proved to be a gambit that paid off: It opened with $60 million over the weekend, overcoming fears that general audiences would not embrace Nolan's cerebral blockbuster. With not many films coming out this summer in way of competition, and with excellent word-of-mouth, Inception should probably make back its $150-$200 million budget by summer's end.

Inception is also Leonardo DiCaprio's biggest opening to date.

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=68045
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Old July 18 2010, 10:58 PM   #84
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Excellent movie! Have a question though.

How much control of the world did they have? Kitty Pryde was altering the world in the test scenario but Leo said that if you do that they'll realize it's a dream. So I took that to mean that once she pre-creates the scenario and the target is in the world you can't change it or he'll wake up.

But they had the guy sedated and told him it was a dream. So couldn't they have altered things then?

The point where they're shooting in the warehouse and Cobra Commander can't hit the guy then Shinzon comes along with a grenade launcher and says think bigger... was that supposed to be him imagining a larger weapon? Or did he literally just grab that weapon from their pre-existing stash?

And at the end when they're in limbo, they earlier said that Leo and the wife were gods there and created reality to their liking. So why couldn't Leo or Kitty alter it to whatever they wanted it to be?

And the ending... were we supposed to be left to our interpretation whether the top falls or not? It looked like it was wobbling at the end, and before in the dream it never wobbled. Because if that WAS still the dream, then what happened? Leo finds Old Man Ra'sh Al Ghul in limbo, then thinks he escapes but is just in a further dream construct? And he never woke up on the plane and we never saw a real world resolution to the caper?
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Old July 19 2010, 01:10 AM   #85
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
Inception proved to be a gambit that paid off: It opened with $60 million over the weekend, overcoming fears that general audiences would not embrace Nolan's cerebral blockbuster. With not many films coming out this summer in way of competition, and with excellent word-of-mouth, Inception should probably make back its $150-$200 million budget by summer's end.

Inception is also Leonardo DiCaprio's biggest opening to date.

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=68045
I hope it does well. This movie wasn't even on my radar and has become my favorite film of the year. At first I was a little worried that the film was going to suck but as they started delving deeper and deeper into the rules of their world and how the dreams operated, I was sucked in. The way it came full circle at the end was awesome as well.
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Old July 19 2010, 01:23 AM   #86
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I find it makes far more sense with Cobb waking up on the plane and living his life in the real world. If you make it so that it was "all a dream" It kinda negates all the drama in the film if there were never consequences for any of the actions. Besides, Cobb was on the very precipice of succeeding in his heist when he was talking to his wife in Limbo which took on the pretense of a 4th dream which Leo created out of his memories of the world he and his wife created. This is why Ellen Page's character couldnt change the world in that 4th dream, and neither could Cobb - his wife was dead, so he was only creating half the image so to speak, which is why it was collapsing.

Plus, when he is talking to his wife, he constantly reiterates about going home to his kids whom he has a real chance of seeing, the ones she "left" in his own words, I don't think he's ever really convinced by the memory, he just stays too long in the 4th dream, which then collapses into limbo where he meets Ken Watanabe's character as an old man. He then reminds him of what happened just so he can go back to his kids. If the guy has gone through all this, and is in limbo and STILL wants to rescue the man who can get him off the hook just so he can go back to his kids, I don't think he's gonna settle for a dream, whether he knows it or not.

By the end of "limbo", Cillian Murphy and Ellen page had "shocked" themselves out of the 4th collapsing dream by falling, When they returned to the 3rd snow dream, they were all then shocked out of that by the Elevator falling, and in that 2nd dream, they were shocked out of it by the Car hitting the river. The two who were in Limbo remained there until the sedative wore off, which for those in the first dream was a matter of moments, whereas to Cobb and Watanabe was years, hence the air of madness to their meeting in the dining hall at the end.

Again, I can't see how a man who had clung onto this belief that he could see his children again for real would go through all these levels of insanity inducing time and still cling onto that belief until the very end until the sedative wore off and they were awoken from limbo by the gun that Watanabe shot himself with, and when he dissappeared Cobb probably realised he could leave and then shot himself to wake up.

They then landed at LAX (Not in Purgatory - fuck you LOST) and then went their seperate ways. He goes home, places the totem on the table, spins it and then Cobb sees his children again for the first time since his wife died, ignoring the totem.

Again, I took the spinning totem as a metaphor for Cobbs dream, where he would see them again. He was now living that dream, and the totem was a visual cue as to the characters progression. We saw it wobble quite violently, unlike the shots of it in the dream world and the shot cut before we saw it fall. Once again, if it had last a second longer, we'd have seen that totem fall, but Christopher Nolan just loves to leave the audience hanging with questions, and that's his prerogative.
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Old July 19 2010, 01:28 AM   #87
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I had really really high expectations for this film, and it blew them away. This is an exciting, intelligent, and engaging film from the first frame to the last. Everything just clicks in to place here. I'm certainly going to go see it again in theaters. As for the ending, I'm fairly certain he's in the real world, and Nolan is just having a go at us. I believe I saw the top start to wobble right before it cut. I've been a huge fan of Nolan's for many years. I believe this to be his best work. I don't say something like that lightly.
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Old July 19 2010, 01:55 AM   #88
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I loved all of the dream "memes" they worked into it to make it all "make sense" in terms of how we see our dreams. First of all everyone who is on of these "dream spies" are lucid dreamers, secondly everyone is aware of how dreams drop us into the middle of a situation but we don't consider how we got there it just always ways, thirdly the dream "time dilation", dreams taking out-side of dream sounds and working them into dreams (who here hasn't worked the sound of their alarm clock going off into their dream?), and then the "kick"/startle awake and that when you "die" in a dream you simply wake-up.

Pretty mind-bending stuff and I just loved the time dilation stuff.
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Old July 19 2010, 03:11 AM   #89
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I saw this today. Loved it, but I need to see it a second time to catch all the nuances. It was such a mind fuck that it's difficult to take it all in.
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Old July 19 2010, 03:15 AM   #90
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I thought Inception was great, but just a hair shy of excellent. Definitely intelligent, well thought out, beautiful, with great music and a strong personal challenge as well as the kind-of-standard-but-still-engaging reverse-heist plot. I loved the intercutting levels and setting up all the timed kicks, and unlike some reviewers both here and among critics, I thought the action scenes were above average and not confusing (though the one snow humvee was a little underwhelming for an "army", the rest of the sequence was fun), and while there was a lot of exposition, I think it was done well and felt that it was just part of the atmosphere of the puzzle of the movie. There were enough visual examples to keep it interesting, and I think that a word puzzle can be as interesting as a visual puzzle even in a movie.

The one thing I was looking forward to as they initially described it was the intricately designed maze in the arctic fortress. There were endless possibilities for the action in there, but unfortunately it was circumvented by the "ventilation system" alteration. Tom Hardy's character must have read "Pete's Evil Overlord list".

I also liked how the ending was slightly ambiguous, kind of left to the viewer to decide, but I think they were in the real world. I think the slightly dream quality to the final scenes (once they wake up on the plane) with the stronger music cues was meant to make the audience think they weren't really out.

I am still puzzling over some of the details but in a good way. Everyone I saw it with enjoyed it, and it received a small round of applause at the end. I would like to see it again and will be recommending it to everyone.
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