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View Poll Results: Grading
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Old July 27 2010, 07:28 PM   #376
stj
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

The CHUD piece was wrong. In the movie, Cotillard was at various times working against DiCaprio, interjecting personal symbolism like the train, a normal loving wife, acting like an independent agent when she "kidnapped" Murphy. She argues that the dreams aren't real and they must die to escape to reality and that they should stay in unconstructed dream space to keep dreaming. If she is just an id monster that DiCaprio must reject, this makes no difference, but the CHUD thesis seems to me to demand that she is either a real character (except she isn't) or that she be the embodiment of creativity. However, the general notion that dreams are the source of creativity is far too simplistic in reality to bring credit to the movie. Indeed, the idea is kind of dumb. Maybe it's the stupidity lurking in the background that keeps most of the movie from being very engaging?

Not to mention, that the woman is explicitly called evil. The suggestion that the director is the primary creator and the script writer is just the Ariadne shows proper fealty to conventional wisdom but is otherwise silly.

Closely related to the problem of Moll/"Mal" (it is extraordinary how people can accept this name without comment!) is the question of what catharsis DiCaprio undergoes. How rejecting his wife (if Cotillard is somehow misinterpreted as a real character) enables him to see his children is a mystery. Of course, if it's all a dream, how we know there are children is equally mysterious. If Cotillard is supposed to be the creative muse, again there is no catharsis that would allow him to see his kids. Only if Cotillard represents a malicious mockery of reality does rejecting her constitute a catharsis that leads to the happy ending with the kids. Except if it's all a dream, then there was no catharsis because he didn't reject movies as life or whatever.

I still say that only if you willfully misinterpret the top falling as still somehow ambiguous do any of these insoluble problems in making sense arise.

There is one thing the review does, which is to emphasize that the movie, despite all the talk about dreams, does not do dreams, it does movies/virtual reality/video games. And it correctly emphasizes the thematic importance of Murphy's imaginary reconciliation with his father. The movie itself doesn't. At what should have been a key part of the climax, the confrontation between Murphy and DiCaprio, Murphy is bound, mute and helpless, while DiCaprio is haring off after Watanabe. The movie practically buries the dramatic irony of the difference between Murphy and DiCaprio. It is after all Murphy and DiCaprio who are actually making choices. They should have real scenes together about them. Having them in the same scene and not addressing the themes of the movie is bad writing. And denying the difference between DiCaprio and Murphy is, sorry, bad interpretation.
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Old July 27 2010, 08:03 PM   #377
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I'm late to the thread but only saw the movie two nights ago. Have read a lot of this thread's comments and enjoyed them.

The movie itself is likely to be my favorite of the year. Excellent in every way, and an instant classic for me at least.
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Old July 28 2010, 12:19 AM   #378
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

T'Baio wrote: View Post
This is a cool easter egg concerning Inception's score;

http://chud.com/articles/articles/24...ORE/Page1.html
Wow, thank you so much for posting that... I knew that there was something going on between the soundtrack and that song but I couldn't put my finger on what it was, it was driving me crazy
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Old July 28 2010, 12:51 AM   #379
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Saw it again, and while I noticed a lot of great detail in the dialogue, I didn't see anything that would convince me "it was all a dream." If anything, the number of scenes were Cobb is not present (and which he would have no need to picture in his own mind) make that interpretation unconvincing. Yes, you could say that the rules of Cobb's top level dream are all different from everything else we have seen, that is porjections are so deep they have a psychological reality of their own, that Nolan is just planting these scenes to fool us. Well, some creationists argue that dinosaur fossils were planted by God to test our faith, but Occam says it's bull puckey.
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Old July 28 2010, 02:00 AM   #380
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Just saw it again myself and some thoughts:

The totem/top has a noticeable favor developing in the axis of it's wobble. I.E. it looks, and sounds, like it's going to fail. I didn't really notice much difference in the kids but, I suppose, they looked a bit older and that Cobb sees their faces and he couldn't in his dreams/memories I think says a lot and he also says that he couldn't stand to live in a dream world as it wasn't good enough for him.

The drugs made the dream "time dilation" much more severe, a factor of 20 in the first level, IIRC. Dialogue in the "Goldeneye 64" level suggests that the deeper levels were the standard 12, probably because they'd be using a standard sedative? (This is noticed when at one point Cobb says that the guy in the Zero-G Hotel level has a "couple of minutes" to initiate his kick giving them in the GE64 level "about 20" this suggests the standard 1:12 dilation and not the 1:20 the drug was giving them.

The protectiveness in Fischer's brain caused them to improvise their plan. They expected to have around a week in the first level (the city level which I'm going to call the GTA level to keep with our video game theme ) but the immune system forced them to have to do it inside of a couple hours as opposed to the time they originaly would've had.

The heavy sedative meant that killing themselves wouldn't work, thus the need for "the kick."

Wantabe doesn't get injured in either the hotel level or the Goldeneye 64 level but as his injuries worsen in the GTA level they begin to manifest themselves, and hinder him, in the deeper levels.

The "time dilation" is tougher to compensate for in the deeper levels. As I said upthread the hotel level and the Goldeneye level both move at "normal time" compared to the slow-mo of the GTA level while Leo and Ellen are in the Limbo level (which was Cobb's dream). When Leo and Ellen are Limbo the Goldeneye level should be moving 12-20 times slower and then another 12-20 times slower in the hotel level. The only way I can reason this is that time isn't passing on the G64 level or hotel level when we're not watching it. A scene ends in one of those levels, we watch another one, go back, and pick-up where we left off. Only the "GTA level" is occuring when we're not watching and its time is so off that it appears to us in slow motion.

The only explantion given for the dream-sharing machine is that it was developed by the military for traning purposes.

Wantabe, because so much time passed from him "dying" in the Goldeneye level and when Leo goes down there it seems that decades had passed. The time dilation between Limbo and the final dream level must be vastly dfferent than the other levels.

Leo put the "inception" in Mal hoping it'd convince her to leave Limbo. He didn't know it'd grow into the idea of her thinking the real-world is still a dream. He does this by spinning her token in the safe, she had put it in there laid down which is what probably convinced her to think of Limbo as reality and want to stay there.

The idea seemed to be that one would spend so much time, ages, in Limbo that when they woke up in the real world the real world would be so far forgoten they they wouldn't be able to re-adapt again. Leo and Mal, possibly, got around this by being together or by the "short" time they spent in Limbo (around 50 years as opposed to centuries.)

It seems that the "kick" being timed precisely wasn't completely necessary just the most ideal way to do it. Leo says he has to find Wantabe and that'd he find his own way to kick himself "awake" through the levels back to reality.

Wantabe says he'll keep his promise and Leo, as a young man, talking to Wantabe reminds him of this which, perhaps, helped Wantabe not be in PVS when he woke up in the real world.

It's not made clear what everyone did once they woke up in the GTA level as they'd need to wait out for the sedative to wear off, again after as long as a week. They either hid-out from the immune system during this time or killing the immune system in the lower levels somehow got rid of them.

I had to laugh seing the standard video game "+" medical box (with a defibulator!) in the "Goldeneye" level.

The Goldeneye level was supposed to be the maze to get to vault room, Emma and Leo's right-hand man has developed a short-cut through it just in case which was used when their time was cut short.

This movie has got some serious twists and turns in it but, damn, it just makes my mind spin as I just get off on this kind of mind-bending stuff. Excellent movie, well done, Nolan!
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Old July 28 2010, 09:38 AM   #381
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
The reason the music was heard was because Arthur played music for Eames in level 2.
The only way I can see that working is if Arthur's entire sequence fighting Fischer's defenses and blowing the elevator completed just as the team was beginning their work on level 3. The editing seems to indicate the music cue happened across all the levels at the same time though. We even hear it radically slowed down in level 3 versus level 2.
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Old July 28 2010, 10:07 AM   #382
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Ryan wrote: View Post
OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
The reason the music was heard was because Arthur played music for Eames in level 2.
The only way I can see that working is if Arthur's entire sequence fighting Fischer's defenses and blowing the elevator completed just as the team was beginning their work on level 3. The editing seems to indicate the music cue happened across all the levels at the same time though. We even hear it radically slowed down in level 3 versus level 2.
I do like the way you have brought this up in a matter-of-fact manner rather than the OMG! link someone posted earlier. It's a completely logical thing to do, to slow the music down, since time is dilated.
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Old July 28 2010, 10:12 AM   #383
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Level 2 Diagnostic wrote: View Post
I think the thing I dislike the most about Nolan's films is they're so damn self-serious and self-important, to the point of being completely joyless. He doesn't seem to have any interest in injecting actual FUN into his movies. I thought this was a deliberate choice in Batman Begins, to avoid comparisons to the campy Schumacher films, but it appears this is just the way his movies are.
Well, this is absolutely true. I mean, I like it, but having seen most of Nolan's work, he takes a deadly serious approach to somewhat goofy ideas (Memento, Batman, Prestige, and Inception all have questionable underpinnings), and the aesthetic is, indeed, doom and gloom pretty much all the way through. I guess it's not for everyone, but except for the crumminess of Begins, and to a certain extent TDK, he hasn't actually disappointed me. The Prestige is pretty awesome because of its overserious approach--which is maybe even necessary given its central implausibility based on a Flash Gordon level of fealty to science.

(Now, I've never seen Insomnia or Following, but I don't suppose they're slapstick comedies either.)
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Old July 28 2010, 10:17 AM   #384
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Batman has questionable underpinnings? How dare you!
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Old July 28 2010, 10:31 AM   #385
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

jadcox@mindspring.com wrote: View Post
Anyone read this analysis from Chud? Very convincing: http://tinyurl.com/InceptionAnalysis
They're on the right track but picked the most superficial explanation. Those scenes don't exist to definitively prove reality is another level of dreaming but to get us questioning what is and isn't real the same way Cobb does. Remember his opening speech: an idea is like a virus. The idea Cobb planted in Mal's mind has now come back to infect his own subconscious.

One of the criticisms I've seen leveled at Inception is the dreams aren't dream-like enough. But that's surely done on purpose. A dreamer might not notice the reality-bending non sequitur landscape of their dreams but the audience surely would. Instead of thinking Cobb is dumb for always spinning the top we're in the same boat. Is it going to keep going this time or topple?
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Old July 28 2010, 11:29 AM   #386
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I think the whole "dreams weren't dream like enough" argument is silly. First of all the "architect" and Cobb were both populating and creating the environment of the dream to make as realistic as possible so the subject would think it was real life.

Secondly, I think too many people get their idea of how dreams "are" not from their own experiences but from how dreams are represented in other media. Dreams in most TV shows, movies, etc. are very surreal and wacky. And while from an awake, contemplative, mind that dream may have seemed very WTF while you're in it it strikes you as very real and if you really reflect on it the dream was mundane. You didn't have melting clocks, or characters in it looking like they're from a French expressionist painting it looked like, well, the real world.

So I'm not sure how the "dreams not being dream-like" enough argument works when in the movie the dreams were being controlled by characters who were making sure the dream seemed like reality and that dreams themselves aren't (and if they are they're usally -for me anyway- the exception rather than the norm) very dream-like themselves.

Oh, one more thing I picked up on.

In the city/GTA dream level it is pouring rain, it seemed this was the case because their Chemist had to pee and he forgot to go before being put under on the plane.
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Old July 28 2010, 12:12 PM   #387
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
In the city/GTA dream level it is pouring rain, it seemed this was the case because their Chemist had to pee and he forgot to go before being put under on the plane.
OH. Man, I heard the line the first time, but it never made sense till now. Okay, that's pretty good.
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Old July 28 2010, 12:23 PM   #388
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Myasishchev wrote: View Post
Level 2 Diagnostic wrote: View Post
I think the thing I dislike the most about Nolan's films is they're so damn self-serious and self-important, to the point of being completely joyless. He doesn't seem to have any interest in injecting actual FUN into his movies. I thought this was a deliberate choice in Batman Begins, to avoid comparisons to the campy Schumacher films, but it appears this is just the way his movies are.
Well, this is absolutely true. I mean, I like it, but having seen most of Nolan's work, he takes a deadly serious approach to somewhat goofy ideas (Memento, Batman, Prestige, and Inception all have questionable underpinnings), and the aesthetic is, indeed, doom and gloom pretty much all the way through. I guess it's not for everyone, but except for the crumminess of Begins, and to a certain extent TDK, he hasn't actually disappointed me. The Prestige is pretty awesome because of its overserious approach--which is maybe even necessary given its central implausibility based on a Flash Gordon level of fealty to science.

(Now, I've never seen Insomnia or Following, but I don't suppose they're slapstick comedies either.)
I think it depends on your definition of "fun". To me, Nolan's films are very fun. I love dissecting the almost analytical nature that Nolan brings to his films in terms of how he structures them narratively and thematically. They're always interesting and incredibly visually striking. I mean, it's not like Nolan's movies are completely humorless, either. Most of his films -- especially his later films -- have a good deal of occasional jokey humor sprinkled throughout. The difference being that he doesn't let the humor dominate the proceedings. It's sparse, but enjoyable.

I don't see how this is any different from filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock or David Fincher or Paul Greengrass or Bryan Singer who are very prolific filmmakers and make very serious films. What these filmmakers have in common is that their films happen to be very entertaining in the sense that they're very well made. Yet they usually take their subject matter very seriously.

I think you can either enjoy Nolan's films or simply don't bother. I say this because as a prolific filmmaker I think you know what to expect from watching a Christopher Nolan movie. He's established a firm reputation for making psychological suspense thrillers. Yes, they're very serious-minded. Nolan takes a very analytical and deliberate approach to his movies. However, if you would not prefer the type of storytelling, then don't bother.

Nolan makes the movies he wants to make, like any good filmmaker, and he only hopes that the films that he enjoys making are movies an audience would enjoy watching. That's the only thing you can do as a filmmaker. When you compromise your artistic integrity, that's when things have a tendency to roll downhill. Nolan is very passionate over the stories he wishes to tell and he's very good at them. They might not be to your liking, but you don't have to watch. You can always watch a movie from some other filmmaker who enjoys telling the type of stories you enjoy watching.
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Old July 28 2010, 12:41 PM   #389
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

^Of course you can, but I still think it's a legitimate criticism, even if I have no problem myself with the aesthetic. I personally feel Nolan's films would be worse off if they were "more fun" in the vein I believe Level 2 Diagnostic means, and yet I can see how it might turn some off.
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Old July 28 2010, 01:01 PM   #390
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Myasishchev wrote: View Post
^Of course you can, but I still think it's a legitimate criticism, even if I have no problem myself with the aesthetic. I personally feel Nolan's films would be worse off if they were "more fun" in the vein I believe Level 2 Diagnostic means, and yet I can see how it might turn some off.
I wouldn't call it criticism. Merely difference of taste.
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