Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Aragorn, Jul 15, 2010.

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Grading

  1. Excellent

    71.0%
  2. Above average

    23.7%
  3. Average

    3.6%
  4. Below average

    1.8%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. crouteru

    crouteru Captain Captain

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Excellent :lol: I would definately get one of those! ;)
     
  2. AstroSmurf

    AstroSmurf Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I saw this today and I had to give it an excellent. I admit it had a few issues here and there but it was an all around amazing ride, one I plan on taking again and again. It was intense, emotional, riveting, exciting, nail biting and thought provoking... so much so I am STILL processing everything though. And the last hour was nothing short of amazing. Not only did Nolan keep the ball continually rolling at near breakneck speeds, he also kept everything clear and concise editing wise. I knew what was happening in all three levels without even missing a beat. And I have to tell you that was no small feat to do but he managed it very well.

    But the part I loved more than anything about the film was the fact I was actually mentally engaged while entertained. As a very active film consumer, I haven't felt that in years.

    And I also have to mention Tom Hardy. Out of all the fantastic characters I saw on the screen, his was the most memorable. Of course, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was amazing also. And Ken... awesome.

    On a personal note, I walked out of the theater wondering if this is going to be the next Blade Runner. Will we be wondering twenty years from now if Cobb actually got out? Part of me wants to say yes.


    Fooling his audience? Fooling them with what... thought? Stand by your assumptions if you wish but the magician hasn't fooled anyone with a trick. He is introducing ideas, which by his own admission, are like a virus. And that virus is working on me as I type this. I agree there may be some residual backlash later once people start to pick the film apart but we are not looking at an M. Night Shyamalan movie here. This is a high concept idea cloaked behind a complex... a very complex... action thriller.


    I hate to say this but that statement may be accurate. Sadly, viewers are not used to being engaged anymore by blockbuster movies. They expect some special effects, explosions and a few laughs but many do not know how to digest anything that brings more to the table. But I love that Nolan is bringing thoughtful "art house" stories into the realm of the Hollywood Blockbuster again. I can't help but think that Chaplin, DeMille, Hitchcock, Kubrick and Wilder would be pleased.
     
  3. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    One thing that did bug me a bit....why wasn't the gravity going all wonky on the ice level as well?
     
  4. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I still don't know why projections of dream boxes worked like actual dreamboxes
     
  5. AstroSmurf

    AstroSmurf Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    ^ They were just a representation of the actual dream initiation boxes, just as the weapons were. Think of them as physical representation of a mental trigger. The characters weren't actually hitting the button and sending chemicals. Hitting the button representation caused the characters to believe they were initiating a second or third dream within the main dream. The mental safes or vaults would work in the same way. But this is really all part of Nolan's ideas on reality that he was exploring. What is real? What is just a representation? Is reality just an idea that has subjugated us?

    I was confused about that as well. Maybe they were in to deep for the first level to cause such a drastic change on the third. Or Cobb and his associates may have allowed things from the first level into the second level to help convince Fischer that he was in a dream.

    To be honest I have no idea. That aspect of the dream level was never explained very well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  6. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I figure it's because Leo and his crew are "lucid dreamers" if you can lucid dream then you can control what's going on inside the dream. So, in the dream they can make the dream boxes work because they want them to work.

    Simple as that.

    As said up thread none of that matters as it was just a backdrop for the real story. The movie says that the dream-based dream boxes work the same way as the ones in the real world, thus, that's the way it works.
     
  7. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Maybe there's a degree of insulation between layers. The music became more muffled the farther down they were.

    That sort of makes it the opposite of existentialism, doesn't it? Consider the scene at the beginning of the last episode of Firefly, when River picks up what she sees as a bent stick, but is actually a gun. The idea being that function and purpose is an illusion, and the object only exists in and of itself. It's a hunk of metal. It could be used to propel smaller hunks of metal through people, or it could be used to prop up a wobbly table or as food for rust or simply appreciated for its aesthetic properties.

    In the dream, though, the object is all function and purpose. If a non-expert cracked open the dreamed dream box, it would probably just be empty, or a nonsense mass of generic wires and parts that couldn't work. It does, though, because the important thing is the idea of the dream box, of how you expect it and believe in it to work. Going deeper into another level of dream could've just as easily been represented by walking through a magic door or taking an elevator between floors.
     
  8. AstroSmurf

    AstroSmurf Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    ^ Exactly. Cobb's own personal dream construct used the elevator image to trigger a mental shift in the different levels. His were more personal though and the elevator fits that. But when they are on business, the use of the dream initiation box is a clear concise image to everyone involved. For the most part is the perfect representation of that mental trigger to all parties.

    And I had never thought of River's experience with the gun in this context but it really does work as a visual example of this. To her it was an ordinary object and didn't mean the same thing as it did to everyone else. And come to think of it, her statement about the cows remembering who they were once they were outside again does too in a way. They had no meaning or purpose until they were where they were supposed to be in the context of their own reality. (River herself ended up being much the same way in the end.)
     
  9. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I wouldn't compare Blade Runner to Inception, because the question 'Is Deckard a replicant?' is frankly opaque. It may not even occur to a viewer upon viewing the film, even hypothetically several times. If I was not aware of the debate on the matter online I do not know if I'd have thought about it myself.

    Before Blade Runner fans jump on me with proofs and unicorns, I don't think Blade Runner makes the idea as half as unambiguous as Inception's conclusion, where the question 'Oh hey is this a dream?' is blared from rooftops, as it were. And unlike Blade Runner, that's our punchline for the fade to black.

    To put it another way: 'Is Deckard a replicant?' is a question you may ask of Blade Runner. 'Is the end a dream?' is the question you ask of Inception.

    ...you are a Star Trek fan, right? :vulcan:

    Because teleportation, jeez. You magically rip apart someone's body and just because you have the co-ordinates all the molecules exactly reassemble where you want them to thousands of miles away with no further technological help.

    I don't see how that's any less immersion breaking then a dreambox where you flip a switch. Hell how anyone can be a fan of Star Trek and be unable to enjoy something because something is implausible is utterly mystifying to me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  10. AstroSmurf

    AstroSmurf Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    ^ I am not actually comparing Blade Runner to Inception. I was just comparing the idea of an open ending and the endless (and in some ways pointless) debates that tend to ensue from them.

    And I would also like to point out that attempting to concretely solve an open ending defeats the purpose of the ending to begin with. To me, attempting to violates the original intent of leaving it up to the viewer to decide. (And this also references my previous post on the ideas of reality and how it is effected by our own viewpoint. We all see the same thing differently. :))
     
  11. Rett Mikhal

    Rett Mikhal Captain

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I just saw it tonight in Imax and thought it was amazing. Hard to find any flaws and it was so refreshingly thought out. I could scream in joy. No more putting stuff on screen for the sake of doing it!

    Curious if anyone else picked up on some of my favorite things, the subtitle details.

    Notice in the beginning the children are making a row of bland and box-like sand castles, one of which crumbles in front of Tom. Later, when in Limbo, the first thing we see is a line of buildings, one of which crumbles into the water.

    Notice how as the time inside Limbo progressed, the buildings towered more and more in the background like prison bars. This is true both for their time (years and years of making buildings) and our time, watching in the theater.

    Notice all the elements of Tom's inner demons could be seen for brief seconds as Ariadne rides the elevator, such as the train.

    Notice how the jobs always take place on a moving vehicle, the train, then the plane. Additionally one of the inner dreams takes place in a van. I personally thought this represented the journey of the characters.

    I could notice more subtle things on more viewings. Finally, a movie that challenges you to watch it instead of encouraging you to stare.
     
  12. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    So attempting to decide as viewers violates the intent to let us decide as viewers...

    Okay okay. Not to straw-man the argument as I did there, but let's take Blade Runner again. As far as Ridley Scott is concerned, there's a correct answer to the question 'Is Deckard a replicant?', and I think too there's a correct answer to 'Was the end a dream?' It's not that I'm trying to conclusively prove that the ending is unambiguous, I just honestly think that's the more accurate and narratively satisfying way to read that ending.
     
  13. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Inception forces the viewer to wonder what is real and what is not, like Cobb and Mal do as well. It's not intended to have a definitive take on what is real or what is not. Whether it's mix-matched dialogue, or his wedding band, or shot design, similar kid's clothes, etc. -- the movie is a play at dream versus reality, and that reality is a relative concept. The final moments are about leaving you with emotion, the one reliable constant in both dream and reality -- because film like dreams and like real life can conjure equally powerful emotions.
     
  14. AstroSmurf

    AstroSmurf Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    ^ I agree and that was what I was to explain before. There is no right or wrong answer. It is open to interpretation and left to the viewer to decide and answer.

    (And I am dropping my analogy to Blade Runner since people are getting confused and I really don't want to keep explaining it over and over.)
     
  15. Level 2 Diagnostic

    Level 2 Diagnostic Captain Captain

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I would have to agree... it's a mostly entertaining film, and it's a real technical achievement, but it doesn't nearly contain as many profound ideas as people think. I mean, am I supposed to be bowled over by the idea that what we perceive as reality might be a dream? That's freshman-level philosophy, and it was handled much better in The Matrix.

    I think the thing with Nolan's films is that they carry such a heavy air of self importance that people start to think his movies actually are that important. At least at first. But I think in a couple of years you will see the same thing happening with Inception that's happening right now with The Dark Knight, where people are more comfortable expressing the problems they had with it. Right now we're in that period of time where everyone rushes to the IMDb to vote 10/10 and get it ranked as the third best movie ever.

    Honestly, the more I think about Inception, the less sense it makes, even by the arbitrary rules laid down in the script. For instance... when Leo and Marion go down to limbo they supposedly were there for what felt like 50 years. The only problem is, they didn't take the kids with them. So, Leo loved his kids so much that he would do anything to see them again, but he was willing to live the equivalent of 50 years without them. Does... not... compute.
     
  16. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    It also took longer for Saito's chest wound to affect him the deeper in he went. When he entered the hotel level, I wasn't even sure the wound had carried over until it start bleeding through his shirt.
     
  17. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    After seeing the movie a second time, I still appreciated Nolan's craftmanship as a filmmaker. But that's just it, the second time in, you're looking for simply storytelling and structure, the architecture and layering of the story, the plot, the dreamworld. That second time, the characters (aside from Murphy confronting his dad and opening the safe) all felt like chesspieces in the game of clever filmmaking. Nolan is a smart filmmaker, and he made the film too smartly for it's own good. When I saw Fellowship pf the Ring for the second, third, and fourth time, I became misty eyed, or at very least, awed by the characters themselves, during such scenes as Gandalf's fall and Boromir's death. Here, watching Inception for the second time, I felt like I was watching an outline of a good film at film school.
     
  18. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Honestly, if I were a filmmaker, I would behave as though people would only see my movie one time. You can't be concerned with the people who are going to re-watch it and look for every little flaw. You can tear any movie apart if you try hard enough. Nolan gives people an excellent movie-going experience the first time, and that's really all I can ask of him. He shouldn't need to think, "How will this movie stand up upon re-watch?"
     
  19. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    In regards to this being a Nolan film......

    Bruce Wayne has a mental protection force to prevent extractions and inceptions. The main difference from the average defenses is that his defenses consist of one and only one projection; the Batman. No one gets past the frakking Batman.
     
  20. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    In a way, I kind of agree with you on that point. I just wanted to offer my opinion about a second viewing because a lot of people talk about how this film deserves one to let everything "sink in." to me, the second time, it all felt like mechanations at work.

    You know I like the film a lot. However, just because it isn't a franchise, and just because Nolan is a gifted filmmaker, and just because everything out there sucks, just because there are some great ideas and great sequences here, doesn't mean that I'm giving the film a pass. It's actually a testament to how much I like the film - and films like this - that i would spend the time to analyze what it wrong with it. Other films, like Blades of Glory, Bedtime Stories, and Traladega Nights will just get a "that sucks!" from me and nothing more!

    So, ease up on me a bit!
     

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