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. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    There were two high school girls behind me who left with about 30 minutes left, never to return. I think they were just there to see Leo. Whenever they had some wacky special effects in the dream they would go "That is soooooo cool!".

    There were also high school girls behind me that were very similar at Public Enemies last year. They chatted even more, and I don't think they left... they made it very clear they were only there to see Johnny Depp.

    I really need to stay disciplined and watch movies at home.


     
  2. TheBrew

    TheBrew Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Above Average

    An great idea, directing and acting can't make up for poor characters. Except for Fischer and Cobb, everyone just serves to drive the plot and never becomes full characters.

    Also, Cobb rescuing Saito made no sense; he went into limbo before Saito so wouldn't he be older?
     
  3. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    Still waiting to see it. :(
     
  4. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Sure. I had a dream the other night where everything I knew was dissolving, like living sculptures collapsing into sand.

    Another I had was a dying dream where my family and I were trying to evacuate the lethal footprint of a crashing satellite (space colony?), and didn't make it, and the last moments of the dream were pure darkness except for blue phosphorescences and the sensation that I was rebooting into another life.

    Then there was that awesome one where I was in a running tank battle across endless Brooklyn Bridges.

    Okay, that all probably says a lot more about me than dreams in general. :p But besides that, take for example movement--in my dreams, and I suppose in others', it is not so constrained to geographic reality as in wakefulness. Scenes cut more like a film, without any need for me to actually transport myself from point A to point B. In Inception, aside from a bit of flashy trickery (like the Penrose staircase), there's no attempt to exploit this, even in the unstructured Limbo.

    The closest they come is I suppose the air duct to the Arctic Fortress playset (which comes off more as a real air duct than the magic shortcut it ought, but it could be read either way) and, more bogusly, the "house" inside the highrise. Congratulations, Cobb, in your dream world you bought a penthouse. ;) I would have expected something more like a yard and a city view at the same time, grass hanging in the air, or something to that effect. Maybe I missed some details, but it looked exactly like a really big condo. It's like dreams made flesh!

    I never saw a cityscape folding up like that, though, I admit. It was still pretty cool. However, a question, to all interested in answering: did accompanying such dream visuals with mechanical noises undermine the awesomeness of them? I say yes. I'd have thought them much more effective without any sound effects at all.

    It's a film about film (about dreams and fantasies in general, but maybe film in particular).

    You know, now that I think about it, it actually comes across a lot like a lost Sandman arc, albeit one where Morpheus never bothered to even make a cameo.
     
  5. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  6. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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

    [​IMG]

    ETA: Dammit, I knew I should have refreshed the page before posting! :lol:
     
  7. TheBrew

    TheBrew Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    It's funny, I agree with a lot of what JA said, but the sketchy characters and big plot hole at the end mark the movie down for me. Like someone else said, I would put the movie between above average and excellent.
     
  8. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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

    I saw it last night and thought it was pretty good. I'd seen the trailers and wasn't entirely sold on them, but naturally it's often difficult to get the best hook from a trailer. I have to say while I'd agree the film isn't quite up to instant classic level, it was nonetheless a lot better than I thought it might turn out to be.
     
  9. Joe Washington

    Joe Washington Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I give this movie FOUR STARS. It was better than Predators, Despicable Me, and way better than The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

    The CGI was great. The aspect of the movie centered on dreams and the technology used to hack into them was interesting to learn and explore. The human aspect of the movie was great with the rise and fall of Cobb's relationship with his wife, the bond he had with the new female Architect who helped him confront his issues with his wife once and for all, and other character-driven material. The movie also had the right amount of humor to give its drama some moments of leavity and the ending had me and the rest of the audience on the edge of our seats.
     
  10. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Watanabe shooting himself would no more lead to escape from "limbo" than letting a train run over your head would. The only escape was waking up, which because of the time lag in the dream levels meant only after a very long time. DiCaprio and Cotillard escaped that way the first time.

    The hollowness of most of the characters means that any interpretation about the richness of the emotional subtexts is nonsense. It takes long, incredibly detailed posts trying to cover that up.

    Watanabe came back to them. Either DiCaprio has near divine powers to predict human behavior (and I didn't believe it when Page came back either,) or the manipulation was kept offstage. That's a story cheat, and worse, a meaningless story cheat. DiCaprio tricking Watanabe isn't a shred more interesting and is less meaningful in an emotional sense than him genuinely rescuing Watanabe. Besides, why would Watanabe project Tom Berenger so that he could confuse him with Tom Hardy in disguise? If you have to entertain complete nonsense to try to find some sort of depth in this movie, I would think that means there isn't any.

    The whole suggestion that the final scene is still a dream is cheap and meaningless because it directly contradicts DiCaprio's speech about how Cotillard is just an inadequate copy of the real person. Thesame applies to the children. Suddenly breaking the rules of the game for a "tragic" ending where DiCaprio lapses into accepting a dream as real fails because it is arbitrary but still not tragic, but pathetic. DiCaprio would know that it was a dream. If Watanabe can see carpet and know it was a dream, then DiCaprio can see the children haven't aged and know it was a dream. The audience has to see the same children in the same clothes so they'll recognize them. Nolan couldn't wait another three or four years to film children the audience might not even recognize.
     
  11. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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

    Regarding the ending, someone pointed out on another site that whenever Cobb is in the real world, he doesn't have his wedding ring on; in the dream world, he does. At the end of the movie, he doesn't have a ring on, implying that the world is real.
     
  12. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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

    Maybe he's still dreaming but doesn't have the ring because he let go of his wife.
     
  13. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Average. Convoluted as hell, but the combat at the Swiss chalet hospital fortress was pretty cool.
     
  14. scnj

    scnj Captain Captain

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

    No, but is it so difficult to do a little research? A quick Google search would tell you that Watchmen isn't a 90 minute action fest.
     
  15. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I see you post at SHH as well. ;)
     
  16. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Inception grossed $21.645 million dollars on Friday. That includes $3 million for midnight showings. Add to that the great reviews and positive word-of-mouth and this should end up a huge hit.
     
  17. watermelony2k

    watermelony2k Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Here's a really fun article of an interpretation of not only the ending but the whole movie:

    http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/wake-up-lets-talk-about-inception-heres-my-interpretation

    It basically posits that the events preceding the event did occur in reality and in dream-states as presented on the surface, and that when Saito and Cobb wake up in the plane, they are indeed back in reality.

    HOWEVER, the author suggests that the final scene after that is indeed a dream, but not in a limbo dream state. Instead, he posits that it's simply a regular old dream that Cobb later has -- maybe on the plane, maybe sometime in the future -- just sleeping normally.
     
  18. The Grinch Doctor

    The Grinch Doctor Two Hearts Too Small Premium Member

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

    Before I got into my review, I have to mention a couple of things about the trailers I saw. I went to a Japanese IMAX (my first IMAX experience) and I noticed that in the trailer of Inception they showed (which was a bit weird in itself, I've never seen that happen in the States) was exactly the same as the third trailer but with five shots of Ken Watanbee (who I noticed was absent from the trailer prior to seeing this one).

    We also got to see the Tron: Legacy trailer (which is my most anticipated film of the year, even more so than Inception was), and although it was dubbed, it was amazing to see Tron on IMAX. I cannot wait to see it in December.

    And now onto my review...

    Like Pixar, Christopher Nolan can't do wrong. Like others have said, I expected to get more of a mindfuck but I still loved every moment of this film. I expected the film to end explicitly stating Cob was still dreaming as a final mindfuck, but in a way, I'm glad that didn't happen.

    However, the reason I expected this particular mindfuck is born from the one issue I have with the film: As Cob noted, Ariadne was a quick learner, but that doesn't explain how she was so perspective in regards to Cob's mental state. How was she able to suddenly gain deep insight into Cob's psyche when Arthur didn't despite knowing that Mal kept popping up? Because of her incredible insight, I expected that "reality" was a dream and that Ariadne was visiting Cob as means to bring him out.

    That minor flaw aside, the film was incredible from the cast to the special effects (limited CGI and relying on traditional filmmaking) to the original story. Nolan has stated that Stanley Kubrick (who is my favorite director) is his idol and it shows. I'm beginning to feel like Nolan might be surpass Kubrick at some point. Only time will tell.

    Interesting, I didn't notice that, but that's hardly surprising. Nolan's films always have a lot of layers that you don't notice completely on the first viewing.
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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

    Inception

    Rated: PG-13

    My Grade: A

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Not a movie had planned on seeing but my buddy wanted to go see it tonight so we did. Glad I did, I wouldn't have likely seen it otherwise. A brilliant movie that combines The Matrix, What Deams May Come, and a drop of Ocean's Eleven to make an engrossing movie.

    It's hard to give too much of a plot synopsis without spoiling but I'll try. In this movie Leo DiCaprio plays a secret agent of somekind who specializes in drugging people, "breaking in to their dreams" using some-kind-of device and then manipulatiung that dream to extract hidden information from inside the subject (who doesn't know they are in a dream unless something tips him off.) The movie spends a pretty good ammount of time, much like The Matrix, explaining to the audience the "rules" within dreamland, time is exagerated (i.e. much like real-world dreaming what is hours in the "real world" can really be days in the dream world, disturbing the "reality" of the dream too can tip the subject's subconcious off that something is messed up and doing something in the dream (like falling or killing yourslef) will wake you up (again much like in the real world falling will jerk you awake.) It's all pretty complicated and interestingly laid out the only drawback being that the technology that allows this isn't too much explained.

    This isn't a big deal as it's just a plot device to explore some of the deeper issues with Leo's character and something that occured with him in the past that resulted in the death of his life after spending a "life time" in the dream world. (See, if you use the dream-world technolgy that's inside the dream world you compound the time difference. So now what passes as days in the secondary dream world is hours in the first dream world which is minutes in real world.) Leo's character is presented with an opportunity to clear his name in the US so he can return home to his kids if uses the dream-world technology to help out a powerful businessman, Leo then assembles a "team" of people whom he'll need to pull this off (like in the Oceans movies.) this includes an "architect" played by Ellen Page who is needed to "design" the look of the world and the mind-bending things that can happen there since physics doesn't exsist (sort-of like in the Matrix.) Though there's techonological limits they'll have to break to pull this off Leo goes through with it anyway to get the chance to return home.

    The core story is sort-of flimsy, the technology ill defined or explained but the way it's pulled off is masterful and mind-bending. Leaving this movie I felt a lot like how I felt after watching The Matrix for the first time (the first one, that is) with the manipulation of the "dream world."

    Very good movie I highly reccomend it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  20. TheBrew

    TheBrew Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    SPOILERS ABOUT THE ENDING:








    I think that it would have been better mindfuck if maybe the whole thing was his wife's dream. She is the only other person who would know the weight of Cobb's totem and therefore it would react correctly in the dream world.

    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.