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View Poll Results: Grading
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Old July 23 2010, 03:30 AM   #226
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Wow, what a fantastic movie. I haven't had that satisfying a theater experience in a really long time.
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Old July 23 2010, 03:35 AM   #227
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Wow, what a fantastic movie. I haven't had that satisfying a theater experience in a really long time.
Quality wise I think it's the best film I've seen in the theater. Admittedly, I don't go too often but it's still saying a bit.
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Old July 23 2010, 03:56 AM   #228
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

sidious618 wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Wow, what a fantastic movie. I haven't had that satisfying a theater experience in a really long time.
Quality wise I think it's the best film I've seen in the theater. Admittedly, I don't go too often but it's still saying a bit.
I agree. This summer I think the only movie that's impacted me or moved me this much is The Karate Kid -the only movie I've subjected myself to repeat viewing of this Summer- and the first movie I've seen in an even longer time to stir any kind of "real" discussion from me regarding its story and/or plot.

Just look at the discussion this thread has generated regarding the nature of dreams and how we dream. That says a lot about this movie.

Bravo, Nolan.
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Old July 23 2010, 04:03 AM   #229
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

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I did find it funny that after all the initial talk of mazes we never actually saw anything like that in the movie. Unless you could that one set of stairs that ends nowhere.
That was probably the thing I found most disappointing about the movie (which I enjoyed overall). They built up expectations with all of the talk about mazes and impossible physics, but when they got to the part with the labyrinth, they just said "We don't have time; we need to skip it"! The second dream did a good job of topping the first with all of the gravity changes, but the third dream was a bit of a letdown.

It ended up that the most interesting dream in the movie was probably during Ariadne's training near the beginning. If they needed the characters to save time in the third dream, I think it would have worked better to start at the entrance to the labyrinth rather than starting a mile or two away from the building and having to travel there through the snow (as neat as the location was).

I think I said this before, but another thing I thought was odd was that the movie showed Ariadne making her totem out of a chess piece, but we never saw it again for the rest of the movie. It seemed to violate the rule about firing a gun in Act 3 if you show it on the mantelpiece in Act 1. Wouldn't it have been interesting to work that into the story somehow?
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Old July 23 2010, 04:11 AM   #230
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I think some took the "maze" thing too literally. It's possible it was less about making a physical maze and more about making a mental maze and within that it was less about "making a maze" and more about "making something challenging in a short amount of time to prove your worth and ingenuity."

There was some brief mention of it at one point and, I think, one of the "deeper" levels was "the maze" possibly the pre-limbo level. Also it's possible at some point the maze would've come into play if their time-table wasn't truncated.

Remember they thought they had vastly more amounts of time to work with, something like years when they got to the bottom, pre-limbo, level. But the target's immune system attacking them forced them to think on their feet a bit more and rush things a bit. The first level's time was barely only an hour at the very most when it was supposed to be something like three or four days.

So I don't think she needed to make a physical maze so much as she just needed to make a "mental maze" that'd keep the subject "lost in his own mind" enough to not realize what was going on. that everytime he thought he'd figured out what was going on that he would find himself in a corner or going down a new path.
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Old July 23 2010, 04:12 AM   #231
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Kolrad wrote: View Post

I think I said this before, but another thing I thought was odd was that the movie showed Ariadne making her totem out of a chess piece, but we never saw it again for the rest of the movie. It seemed to violate the rule about firing a gun in Act 3 if you show it on the mantelpiece in Act 1. Wouldn't it have been interesting to work that into the story somehow?
You make a good point here. By the end of the movie, I had completely forgotten about Ariadne's chess piece. I was fully expecting that to come into play at some point. Maybe in a sequel!
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Old July 23 2010, 04:19 AM   #232
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Like the guy's loaded die I don't think her chess piece was supposed to "mean anything" other than it just being her item she would use to know if she was in a dream or in the "real world."
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Old July 23 2010, 04:21 AM   #233
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I figured since they bothered to show her making it that it would come into play at some point. Maybe not a big moment, but just some random moment where she starts to question where she is.
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Old July 23 2010, 04:26 AM   #234
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
I figured since they bothered to show her making it that it would come into play at some point. Maybe not a big moment, but just some random moment where she starts to question where she is.
Maybe her using it is in a deleted scene, they could've maybe shown her use it on the plane or something (which would further cement the end of the movie being in "the real world") but, really, I think it was just there to show that she had made one. If we hadn't seen her make it we'd be asking why weren't show she had one.

I sort-of have to agree with a poster above who said Kitty Pryde's character was our "cabbage head" but all movies of this nature need one (that-is, a character who's a n00b to what is going on through which the audience learns what is going on by having the experienced characters explain to her. Ernie Hudson's "Winston" character plays the same function in the first Ghostbusters movie.)
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Old July 23 2010, 04:27 AM   #235
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
I figured since they bothered to show her making it that it would come into play at some point. Maybe not a big moment, but just some random moment where she starts to question where she is.
Maybe her using it is in a deleted scene, they could've maybe shown her use it on the plane or something (which would further cement the end of the movie being in "the real world")
This would be my guess, but if not, I'm not worried about it. Phenomenal movie either way.
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Old July 23 2010, 04:31 AM   #236
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

If they hadn't shown her making a totem, people would probably use her lack of one as more proof that she was just another one of Cobb's projections.
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Old July 23 2010, 05:09 AM   #237
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Plus, the making of the totem helps reinforce the movie's point about the importance of totems for dreamers. I wouldn't read much more into it than that...
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Old July 23 2010, 01:12 PM   #238
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Kolrad wrote: View Post
I think I said this before, but another thing I thought was odd was that the movie showed Ariadne making her totem out of a chess piece, but we never saw it again for the rest of the movie. It seemed to violate the rule about firing a gun in Act 3 if you show it on the mantelpiece in Act 1. Wouldn't it have been interesting to work that into the story somehow?
The other totems were really just in the movie to reinforce the idea every has a totem. It's ultimatley Cobb's totem that matters, as he's the only one who is seen accepting a dream over reality at the end.
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Old July 23 2010, 02:30 PM   #239
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

^^^Murphy is shown as accepting a dream over reality, in the most emotionally resonant scene in the entire movie! Except he doesn't do so shortly after giving a big speech about how dreams/movies weren't as good as reality, the way DiCaprio did. All the questions we care to contemplate about dreams/movies versus reality were raised in the climax of the Murphy arc. Having DiCaprio do the same adds absolutely nothing, but does it more stupidly with less emotion. The fact that everyone else universally ignores the Murphy arc, even to the point of denying its very existence, shows how bungled the script structure really was. What should have plainly been a climactic moment just became a stepping stone on DiCaprio's journey to victory or defeat. I suppose DiCaprio fans find that rewarding, though I didn't care enough for Dom Cobb to be so enthralled.

All the arguments for interpreting the last sequence as a dream ending (or even intended to be ambiguous) fail logically, because the same kind of "evidence" purportedly showing the ending is a dream also shows that the entire movie is a dream. If there are no kids, or no Cotillard, or if Cotillard isn't "mal," the movie says nothing. It just has a good free fall action sequence and three ticking clocks instead of just one. The rest is dull action sequences and lifeless characters.

On the other hand, the default, assuming the elaborately exposited rules are valid in the movie universe, has not just the merit of simplicity, but doesn't make Nolan an incompetent for wasting time on them (nor making fools of the people who paid attention to them. Which occurs to me might be the source of my reluctance to read the end as a dream: I just don't want to admit I was screwed.) And it has the additional merit of counterposing an opposing viewpoint to the climax of the Murphy arc. Two opposing viewpoints expressed by the movie would be true ambiguity. If both Murphy and DiCaprio prefer dreams/movies to reality, there is in fact less ambiguity. I would suppose people would notice this, but there are some dreadfully foolish "ideas" about ambiguity being deep floating around.

As to the intent to render the ending ambiguous, let us assume that Nolan is not a complete fool. Giving DiCaprio a happy ending is "the hero wins, the end." Intending that to be ambiguous means Nolan didn't want us to know how it ended. How does not knowing what happened make it better? It doesn't, which is an excellent reason Nolan didn't intend it to be ambigous. The second we knew the top was falling, it was over. Fade to credits.
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Old July 23 2010, 02:55 PM   #240
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

stj wrote: View Post
^^^Murphy is shown as accepting a dream over reality, in the most emotionally resonant scene in the entire movie! Except he doesn't do so shortly after giving a big speech about how dreams/movies weren't as good as reality, the way DiCaprio did. All the questions we care to contemplate about dreams/movies versus reality were raised in the climax of the Murphy arc. Having DiCaprio do the same adds absolutely nothing, but does it more stupidly with less emotion. The fact that everyone else universally ignores the Murphy arc, even to the point of denying its very existence, shows how bungled the script structure really was. What should have plainly been a climactic moment just became a stepping stone on DiCaprio's journey to victory or defeat. I suppose DiCaprio fans find that rewarding, though I didn't care enough for Dom Cobb to be so enthralled.
It has nothing to do with being a DiCaprio fan. It has to do with the structure of the movie, making HIM the protagonist, Hence, the climax must involve him.

All the arguments for interpreting the last sequence as a dream ending (or even intended to be ambiguous) fail logically, because the same kind of "evidence" purportedly showing the ending is a dream also shows that the entire movie is a dream.
Nonsense. He could just be stuck in limbo, leaving everything else that came before absolutely real. There is no way to prove that possibility impossible - the limbo here works kinda like the Nexus does - everything goes, and it gives the movie a Get Out of Jail Free card to do anything it likes. So, again, it could just be that he stays stuck in limbo at the end.

It just has a good free fall action sequence and three ticking clocks instead of just one. The rest is dull action sequences and lifeless characters.
Bah. Even if the ENTIRE movie is a dream, it's still a masterpiece, because of the exceptionally brilliant action sequences, and the very complex and engaging characters. My wife and I both cried, literally, in the scene where he says goodbye to Mal, near the end. We were deeply enthralled by the characters. There wasn't a dull moment in the entire movie, even if none of it makes any sense. I would even go so far as to argue that it's a greater feat to be entertaining when nothing makes sense than to be entertaining when it does make sense. After all, anyone can make a story entertaining if it makes sense. But only Nolan and the writers of Lost can make stuff absolutely enthralling when it doesn't make an ounce of sense. That's talent.

I would suppose people would notice this, but there are some dreadfully foolish "ideas" about ambiguity being deep floating around.
No, not deep. Just really cool. It got a large gasp, followed by a hearty round of applause, in the theatre where I was sitting. It's sort of like a punch line you KNOW is going to happen. Think of, say, someone holding up a pie, ready to throw it in someone else's face....the intended victim comes walking around the corner.....you knooooow he's about to get a pie in the face....you hold your breath.....you hold your breath.....and BANG, it happens, and everyone laughs. The ending was like that. You just KNEW it was going to end with the question of it all being a dream, and when it happens, we're immensely satisfied, just like when that poor guy gets the pie in the face.

As to the intent to render the ending ambiguous, let us assume that Nolan is not a complete fool. Giving DiCaprio a happy ending is "the hero wins, the end." Intending that to be ambiguous means Nolan didn't want us to know how it ended. How does not knowing what happened make it better?
Because, regardless of whether the end is real or not, it IS a happy ending for Cobb. The point Nolan is making is that it DOESN'T MATTER whether it is a dream or not. The only way to make that particular statement is to leave the ending ambiguous. Basically, the statement being made is, "Staying in the Nexus is perfectly fine, as long as you think you're not in the Nexus." I find that to be a courageous and fascinating statement, worthy of thought. Because, you know, we all live in our own self-made fantasy worlds. We think what we want to about our friends, our families, ourselves, and we think whatever we need to think to make us happy. But is anything we think actually true? Is it reality? Doesn't matter. It's real to US which makes the question of its reality entirely academic. And THAT'S why the movie is better for its ambiguous ending.

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