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View Poll Results: Grading
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Old July 20 2010, 10:35 AM   #136
Admiral_Young
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

My dreams are hyper-realistic...that's about the best term I can use to describe the ones I retain the memory of. I also have on occasion the unusual ability to continue a dream depending on the intensity level of it. I also seem to have a ton of reoccurring dreams. Personally I've always had the theory that dreams are the sub-conscience's way of dealing with a person's emotional state. For instance if you're really stressed out you might have a nightmare. If you're happy or content then you could have an erotic dream, etc. This theory has no real substance though since it's based on my personal dreams and experiences and therefor subject to chance for each person.
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Old July 20 2010, 01:46 PM   #137
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Time for me to pipe in now....

First of all, this movie is brilliant, clearly. I've not been this impressed by a sci-fi movie in the theatres since Minority Report.

As for the current discussion about the nature of dreams, this movie's quality does not rise or fall based on how accurately it depicts the nature of dreaming. Perhaps some people dream in surrealistic Dali imagery, and maybe others dream in realism - who cares? That's not even remotely relevant to our enjoyment of this film. Science fiction has a long and, sometimes, illustrious history of creating plots in which people cannot judge whether what they experience is reality or a fantasy. This film is inspired primarily by Philip K. Dick, whose Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch it most closely resembles. And in that book, as in this movie, the dream setting is merely a metaphor anyway for our own experiences of living life - how can we be sure that how we perceive the world is how others perceive it? How can we trust our own memories of events, if those memories are edited by our own subconscious so as to make sense of them? When I think of an ex-wife, am I remembering her as she was, or remembering only my memory or perception of her? (Solaris dealt with a similar issue.)

The idea here is not to capture precisely what it feels like to dream. The idea here is to explore the psychology of memory and fantasy and perception and identity. The dream plot is a metaphor, like most of the best science fiction plots.
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Old July 20 2010, 02:53 PM   #138
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I've had more than a few "high school dreams" where I walk into a class that's already in session, I'm aware that it's deep into the school year yet, somehow, I've never been in the class before and am worried about how fallen behind I am in it.
I've had that dream. It's surprisingly common.
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Old July 20 2010, 02:56 PM   #139
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Ubik wrote: View Post
First of all, this movie is brilliant, clearly. I've not been this impressed by a sci-fi movie in the theatres since Minority Report.
Really. Because I didn't care for that movie and off the top of my head I'd put Moon, District 9 and A Scanner Darkly as three films I'd say are significantly better than it and which I saw in theatres.

As for the current discussion about the nature of dreams, this movie's quality does not rise or fall based on how accurately it depicts the nature of dreaming.
No argument there, and I said as much in my first post. I think Inception is damn fine film that combines Nolan's high concept head-game thriller style of Memento with his more recent blockbuster fare like the Batman films. It's a psychological movie with stuff blowing up. Pretty much the only bright light in Hollywood's action summer lineup. For all the talk about the film being difficult to follow, however, I found it pretty straightforward after the jarring (and temporally shifting) in medias res sequence at the start of the movie.

I won't fault a sci-fi film for its lack of realism, it would be hypocritical of me - it only matters if it stays true to its own internal rules, and Inception definitely does that.

That said... there's stuff that fascinates me about dreams that basically doesn't exist in Inception (except for the headbending unreality of architecture and folding districts of Paris onto one another); and being a geek, I like to nit pick.
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Old July 20 2010, 04:17 PM   #140
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I thought the film was really quite excellent, but a tad short of the brilliant masterpiece it's being made out to be. Although, I've only seen it once, and we'll see how that changes my opinion.

Two things kept bugging me throughout the film, and they are of course fairly ridiculous nitpicks. First, the term "subconscious" is generally frowned upon in any sort of academic or scientific circles. It's more of a layman's term. People of this intellectual calibre should most likely be using the term "unconscious." And the dream time dilation is not a real thing, dreams actually occur in real time, and the entire premise of the movie relies on that conceit. So those were always in the back of my mind.

Of course, those two things are stupid when faced with the suspension of disbelief the film requires, anyway, so didn't detract from my enjoyment of the film too much.
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Old July 20 2010, 05:20 PM   #141
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

T'Baio wrote: View Post
And the dream time dilation is not a real thing, dreams actually occur in real time, and the entire premise of the movie relies on that conceit. So those were always in the back of my mind.
Everything in life occurs in real time, of course, but a dream that can seem to last hours occurs in seconds of real time. The movie got that right.
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Old July 20 2010, 05:29 PM   #142
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

What a terrible film. Everyone spent the whole movie napping, it was unbelievably stupid.
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Old July 20 2010, 05:49 PM   #143
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Huh? wrote: View Post
T'Baio wrote: View Post
And the dream time dilation is not a real thing, dreams actually occur in real time, and the entire premise of the movie relies on that conceit. So those were always in the back of my mind.
...but a dream that can seem to last hours occurs in seconds of real time. The movie got that right.
No, it didn't.

Most studies show that when REM dreamers are awakened 5-15 minutes after the beginning of REM and asked to decide on the basis of the duration of the events in their dreams how long they had been dreaming, almost 90% of the time the subjects answered correctly between 5-15 minutes.
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Old July 20 2010, 05:57 PM   #144
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I've had more than a few "high school dreams" where I walk into a class that's already in session, I'm aware that it's deep into the school year yet, somehow, I've never been in the class before and am worried about how fallen behind I am in it.
That just means Freddy Krueger is coming to get you. Nothing to worry about
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Old July 20 2010, 06:49 PM   #145
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

T'Baio wrote: View Post
Huh? wrote: View Post
T'Baio wrote: View Post
And the dream time dilation is not a real thing, dreams actually occur in real time, and the entire premise of the movie relies on that conceit. So those were always in the back of my mind.
...but a dream that can seem to last hours occurs in seconds of real time. The movie got that right.
No, it didn't.

Most studies show that when REM dreamers are awakened 5-15 minutes after the beginning of REM and asked to decide on the basis of the duration of the events in their dreams how long they had been dreaming, almost 90% of the time the subjects answered correctly between 5-15 minutes.
I suspect it'd depend on the person and on the dream.

I've experienced it, I've had dreams where hours or days seemed to have passed only to have far less time occur in "real time."
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Old July 20 2010, 06:57 PM   #146
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

So you're saying you palpably felt when you woke up like you had just lived for days? You had experienced every minute of those days? Like Picard in the flute episode...what was it called again?

Or are you saying days passed by? Because days can pass, but the moments within the dream in which you're "doing something" most likely did not add up to days. In that case, it would be "doing something for two minutes, then it's the afternoon, and you do something for five minutes, then it's the next morning and you do something for three minutes, and it's a day later." That's not actually having days experienced in your dream, just days pass by.
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Old July 20 2010, 07:11 PM   #147
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

T'Baio wrote: View Post
So you're saying you palpably felt when you woke up like you had just lived for days? You had experienced every minute of those days? Like Picard in the flute episode...what was it called again?
"The Inner Light"

Or are you saying days passed by? Because days can pass, but the moments within the dream in which you're "doing something" most likely did not add up to days. In that case, it would be "doing something for two minutes, then it's the afternoon, and you do something for five minutes, then it's the next morning and you do something for three minutes, and it's a day later." That's not actually having days experienced in your dream, just days pass by.
Probably more the latter than the former, I figured much more time had passed because it's the only way for so much to have occured. I "filled in the gaps" as it were. You could also reason that since many people don't even remember their dreams anyway that that time happened we just didn't remember them so from our own POV they never occured.

But, yes, there's been times when I've had a dream where a lot of time seemed to have passed and a look at the clock upon waking up and was surprised to see how much little time had passed since the last time I looked at the clock (before falling asleep/between sleep cycles.)
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Old July 20 2010, 08:04 PM   #148
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Kegg wrote: View Post
Ubik wrote: View Post
First of all, this movie is brilliant, clearly. I've not been this impressed by a sci-fi movie in the theatres since Minority Report.
Really. Because I didn't care for that movie and off the top of my head I'd put Moon, District 9 and A Scanner Darkly as three films I'd say are significantly better than it and which I saw in theatres.
Personally, for what it's worth, I'd put Inception on about the same level as Moon, and rank it a little above District 9. I haven't seen A Scanner, Darkly, though, so I can't comment there.

I think we can all probably agree that it's nice to see a well-made, original SF film doing well at the box office.
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Old July 20 2010, 08:17 PM   #149
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

The issue with time is that dreams can play havoc with continuity and progress faster and be more unclear.

Consider: I had a dream that I was one of the nine original colonists of Mars. We lived there for a very long time (not sure how, but very long) and then finally the other eight departed, leaving me on the Red Planet.

But the dream is like I said; a summary of data that I sort of was shot through, narrative jolts. Could have been ten minutes, but the story was decades long, but I didn't feel any of those decades, just a vague outline of the story.

Canadave wrote: View Post
Personally, for what it's worth, I'd put Inception on about the same level as Moon,
I guess my wording wasn't clear. I was comparing those three films to Minority Report, not Inception (which, yes, was a film I enjoyed immensely.)

I think we can all probably agree that it's nice to see a well-made, original SF film doing well at the box office.
I'm surprised that is - but not that surprised. Nolan is a master and combining smart and popular; and Inception is clearly a shining example of that - psychological problems, high concept, bizarrely thought out ideas... and 'splosions and a heist movie plot.

Really it's the treat of the summer, as indicated.
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Old July 20 2010, 08:32 PM   #150
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Ometiklan wrote: View Post
Hmm, stj, I don't really know what to make of your post. I am sure you had a valid point (maybe a general review?) but I am just not getting it out of what you wrote. It is a little less than coherent; perhaps you could provide some clarification?

I do agree with you that the scifi themes were underexplored, that
only real exploration of the dreams (or movies) vs. reality theme is the Murphy catharsis which is at best a minor part of the movie
, but I think that comes from Nolan making a heist movie rather than a scifi movie.

I also have to disagree with you on what I perceive to be your statement about the movie characters and Page's character in particular. Just because she is given a name from mythology doesn't mean that her character must mirror the mythological one, nor must it always reinforce the theme of the movie. Sometimes it can just be a tip of the hat to some related ideas. To me this name dropping is similar to that of the tv show LOST. Including novel titles and philosopher names can be used to parallel the themes of an episode, but sometimes they are just there for fun. Not tying them wholesale into the narrative doesn't make the character or character designs a failure as you seem to indicate.
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Extensive editing on post may make it clearer.

As for it being a heist movie, lots of the action sequences are boring. Only the free fall sequence is genuinely successful. The cliches about running from Cobol Corporation are so tiresome as to make people wonder whether the whole movie's a dream. And a good heist movie also has characters in it. The only characters with real life in them are Murphy's, DiCaprio's and Gordon-Levitt's. On the other hand, good heist movies don't generally have monsters in them. Cotillard's character is a monster, albeit a fairly highbrow one. The movie is just wrongin very many ways.

Trying to find artistic subtlety in a movie with anvilicious names like Ariadne and Moll is a losing game.

How did DiCaprio and Watanabe escape from limbo?

A dream "death" would merely wake up the dreamer, according to the opening sequence of the movie. But we learned later that "death" would not wake up a sedated dreamer, but send them into limbo.

Watanabe's age suggests that a very long subjective time has passed. But this passage of time is supposed to derange the victim trapped in limbo. The mental stress of the situtation to Cotillard is what impelled DiCaprio to perform the first inception on her in the first place.

DiCaprio and Watanabe would escape when the sedation woke off and the dreamers were wakened and not before. What would DiCaprio do to speed this up? It is not at all clear. Possibly he merely helped Watanabe and himself wait it out.

But the final scene shows Watanabe grasping a gun. DiCaprio incepted the idea that "suicide" in limbo would return the dreamer to reality. But that was a trick aimed to reconcile Cotillard with limbo life. Upon return to reality, the idea that suicide was the way to return to reality stuck, causing the tragedy behind the whole story.

If Watanabe and DiCaprio escape by suicide, it contradicts the rules given previously. If they don't escape that way, what is the point of the scene, except to unfairly confuse the viewer?

Another Way the Rules are Broken

Page sees DiCaprio "asleep." We do not see the dream until she engages the extraction apparatus. DiCaprio (and the opium den dreamers) have substituted the extraction apparatus for normal dreaming, since they can no longer dream. By the way, that's absurd. The thing is, their dreams are no longer beginning in the middle. These dreamers know how they got to where they were. But dreams are supposed to be identified by the way they begin in the middle, without the dreamer's knowledge of how they got there.
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