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. Kolrad

    Kolrad Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I really enjoyed the movie, and I'd like to see it a second time soon, but I can't decide yet if the story has substance to it or just the illusion of substance.

    I have a few questions about the complex final act of the movie:

    Let's see if I have this straight:

    -- Seven characters were asleep on the plane ride, dreaming about being in a rainy city (dream 1). They were sedated so that dying in the dream would not wake them up; the only way to get out of the dream was to wait for the sedative to wear off (which they did after getting out of the submerged van).

    -- Six characters were asleep inside the van, dreaming about being in a hotel (dream 2). They were sedated so that dying in that dream would not wake them up, so they used a "kick" instead. The kick was originally supposed to be the van hitting the edge of the bridge, but they ran out of time and ended up using the van hitting the water instead. Why didn't the first kick still wake them up, though?

    -- Five characters were asleep in the hotel, dreaming about being at an alpine hospital (dream 3). They were sedated so that dying in that dream would not wake them up, so they used a "kick" instead. The kick was originally supposed to be a slight drop, but the hotel lost gravity due to the van being in a free-fall, so they used an elevator propelled by explosives coming to an abrupt stop.

    -- Why did they blow up the hospital in dream 3? I thought they couldn't get out of a dream by dying. Also, I thought the drop in the elevator was supposed to wake them all up.

    -- Why did Cillian Murphy's character go into DiCaprio's character's dream when he was shot in the hospital?

    One other thing. We saw Page's character making a totem to use like DiCaprio's character used the top. It looked like she cut the top off a chessman. I was a bit disappointed that it never seemed to show up again in the movie, unless I missed it. It seems a bit like a "Chekhov's gun" that was never fired.

    Please correct me if I got any of the facts about the movie wrong. I love a movie that clearly establishes the rules of its world and then follows them (or show the consequences of breaking them), but this was a lot to keep track of!
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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

    On reflection, I've increased my grade. This was a pretty awesome movie.
     
  3. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Inception proved to be a gambit that paid off: It opened with $60 million over the weekend, overcoming fears that general audiences would not embrace Nolan's cerebral blockbuster. With not many films coming out this summer in way of competition, and with excellent word-of-mouth, Inception should probably make back its $150-$200 million budget by summer's end.

    Inception is also Leonardo DiCaprio's biggest opening to date.

    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=68045
     
  4. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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

    Excellent movie! Have a question though.

    How much control of the world did they have? Kitty Pryde was altering the world in the test scenario but Leo said that if you do that they'll realize it's a dream. So I took that to mean that once she pre-creates the scenario and the target is in the world you can't change it or he'll wake up.

    But they had the guy sedated and told him it was a dream. So couldn't they have altered things then?

    The point where they're shooting in the warehouse and Cobra Commander can't hit the guy then Shinzon comes along with a grenade launcher and says think bigger... was that supposed to be him imagining a larger weapon? Or did he literally just grab that weapon from their pre-existing stash?

    And at the end when they're in limbo, they earlier said that Leo and the wife were gods there and created reality to their liking. So why couldn't Leo or Kitty alter it to whatever they wanted it to be?

    And the ending... were we supposed to be left to our interpretation whether the top falls or not? It looked like it was wobbling at the end, and before in the dream it never wobbled. Because if that WAS still the dream, then what happened? Leo finds Old Man Ra'sh Al Ghul in limbo, then thinks he escapes but is just in a further dream construct? And he never woke up on the plane and we never saw a real world resolution to the caper?
     
  5. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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

    I hope it does well. This movie wasn't even on my radar and has become my favorite film of the year. At first I was a little worried that the film was going to suck but as they started delving deeper and deeper into the rules of their world and how the dreams operated, I was sucked in. The way it came full circle at the end was awesome as well. :)
     
  6. Dac

    Dac Commodore Commodore

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

    I find it makes far more sense with Cobb waking up on the plane and living his life in the real world. If you make it so that it was "all a dream" It kinda negates all the drama in the film if there were never consequences for any of the actions. Besides, Cobb was on the very precipice of succeeding in his heist when he was talking to his wife in Limbo which took on the pretense of a 4th dream which Leo created out of his memories of the world he and his wife created. This is why Ellen Page's character couldnt change the world in that 4th dream, and neither could Cobb - his wife was dead, so he was only creating half the image so to speak, which is why it was collapsing.

    Plus, when he is talking to his wife, he constantly reiterates about going home to his kids whom he has a real chance of seeing, the ones she "left" in his own words, I don't think he's ever really convinced by the memory, he just stays too long in the 4th dream, which then collapses into limbo where he meets Ken Watanabe's character as an old man. He then reminds him of what happened just so he can go back to his kids. If the guy has gone through all this, and is in limbo and STILL wants to rescue the man who can get him off the hook just so he can go back to his kids, I don't think he's gonna settle for a dream, whether he knows it or not.

    By the end of "limbo", Cillian Murphy and Ellen page had "shocked" themselves out of the 4th collapsing dream by falling, When they returned to the 3rd snow dream, they were all then shocked out of that by the Elevator falling, and in that 2nd dream, they were shocked out of it by the Car hitting the river. The two who were in Limbo remained there until the sedative wore off, which for those in the first dream was a matter of moments, whereas to Cobb and Watanabe was years, hence the air of madness to their meeting in the dining hall at the end.

    Again, I can't see how a man who had clung onto this belief that he could see his children again for real would go through all these levels of insanity inducing time and still cling onto that belief until the very end until the sedative wore off and they were awoken from limbo by the gun that Watanabe shot himself with, and when he dissappeared Cobb probably realised he could leave and then shot himself to wake up.

    They then landed at LAX (Not in Purgatory - fuck you LOST) and then went their seperate ways. He goes home, places the totem on the table, spins it and then Cobb sees his children again for the first time since his wife died, ignoring the totem.

    Again, I took the spinning totem as a metaphor for Cobbs dream, where he would see them again. He was now living that dream, and the totem was a visual cue as to the characters progression. We saw it wobble quite violently, unlike the shots of it in the dream world and the shot cut before we saw it fall. Once again, if it had last a second longer, we'd have seen that totem fall, but Christopher Nolan just loves to leave the audience hanging with questions, and that's his prerogative.
     
  7. OdoWanKenobi

    OdoWanKenobi Admiral Admiral

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

    I had really really high expectations for this film, and it blew them away. This is an exciting, intelligent, and engaging film from the first frame to the last. Everything just clicks in to place here. I'm certainly going to go see it again in theaters. As for the ending, I'm fairly certain he's in the real world, and Nolan is just having a go at us. I believe I saw the top start to wobble right before it cut. I've been a huge fan of Nolan's for many years. I believe this to be his best work. I don't say something like that lightly.
     
  8. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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

    I loved all of the dream "memes" they worked into it to make it all "make sense" in terms of how we see our dreams. First of all everyone who is on of these "dream spies" are lucid dreamers, secondly everyone is aware of how dreams drop us into the middle of a situation but we don't consider how we got there it just always ways, thirdly the dream "time dilation", dreams taking out-side of dream sounds and working them into dreams (who here hasn't worked the sound of their alarm clock going off into their dream?), and then the "kick"/startle awake and that when you "die" in a dream you simply wake-up.

    Pretty mind-bending stuff and I just loved the time dilation stuff.
     
  9. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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

    I saw this today. Loved it, but I need to see it a second time to catch all the nuances. It was such a mind fuck that it's difficult to take it all in.
     
  10. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Commander Red Shirt

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

    I thought Inception was great, but just a hair shy of excellent. Definitely intelligent, well thought out, beautiful, with great music and a strong personal challenge as well as the kind-of-standard-but-still-engaging reverse-heist plot. I loved the intercutting levels and setting up all the timed kicks, and unlike some reviewers both here and among critics, I thought the action scenes were above average and not confusing (though the one snow humvee was a little underwhelming for an "army", the rest of the sequence was fun), and while there was a lot of exposition, I think it was done well and felt that it was just part of the atmosphere of the puzzle of the movie. There were enough visual examples to keep it interesting, and I think that a word puzzle can be as interesting as a visual puzzle even in a movie.

    The one thing I was looking forward to as they initially described it was the intricately designed maze in the arctic fortress. There were endless possibilities for the action in there, but unfortunately it was circumvented by the "ventilation system" alteration. Tom Hardy's character must have read "Pete's Evil Overlord list".

    I also liked how the ending was slightly ambiguous, kind of left to the viewer to decide, but I think they were in the real world. I think the slightly dream quality to the final scenes (once they wake up on the plane) with the stronger music cues was meant to make the audience think they weren't really out.

    I am still puzzling over some of the details but in a good way. Everyone I saw it with enjoyed it, and it received a small round of applause at the end. I would like to see it again and will be recommending it to everyone.
     
  11. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I don't know, maybe I'm just a fan of dark, eerie endings, but to me the suggestion seemed to be pretty strong that Cobb was still dreaming. The top was spinning for an unnaturally long time, and unlike others I saw no sign of it beginning to topple.

    Plus the way everyone awoke so easily on the plane, and Cobb sailed through customs... and then he comes home to find his kids waiting for him and playing in the very same place...

    It all just seemed a little too smooth and easy for him (especially considering how deep he was, and how long he had been gone), and after I saw the top at the end, I realized why.
     
  12. IndyJones

    IndyJones Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    They all were, really. Except Hardy's character. ;)


    And Gordon-Levitt was hawt. :techman:
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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

    It was begining to topple. Yes it wobbled for an un-naturally long time but at the end it was certainly begining to falter. It would've been nice, however, if they had just shown us the damn thing toppling.
     
  14. Huh?

    Huh? Ensign Newbie

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

    WARNING : I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MASK POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

    Hi. I joined just to discuss this movie.

    The audience gasped at the end of the screening I attended.





    He had to be dreaming at the end, and IMO this was given away an hour previous. When Cobb's wife commits suicide, she's across the street sitting on a different building and Leo's saying "come step back inside" like she's just supposed to fly over to him ... and he doesn't need to shout for her to hear him across the street, and any investigator would know she didn't jump from the trashed room across the street from her. This was a clear and deliberate giveaway, I hope, since it could only make sense within a dream. If the director intended that all to make sense as a non-dream reality, then it's total garbage. So too several other things, but that was the most obvious.

    At the end the director made sure to show the top spinning on and on despite almost toppling earlier when it hits a groove in the wooden tabletop. Plus no explanation how Cobb got out of that last dream, the fact that he was polluting other people's dreams with his subconscious which isn't supposed to happen right? His wife always shows up, plus when the girl architect tells him about the air vent shortcut into the snow fortress, suddenly the bad guys turn around and the Aussie guy says "they're turning your way, almost as if they know something."

    These and other things happen because it's all Cobb dreaming and his wife was right about him never having gone back to the reality layer. Grandpa gives his best student to an obsessed criminal doing very dangerous things, etc. Too convenient. Ironically, Cobb was the one with the idea stuck in his head - that he was in the real world when he wasn't.

    Thoughts ??

    One other opinion - it seems to me the team can't be shot in the dreams, and they almost act as if they know it 'cuz in the chase sequences they'd have been Swiss cheese and didn't seem to try too hard not to get shot. Only the Japanese guy got shot 'cuz he doesn't know any better? Nothing else harms them - crashes, tsunamis, etc, so why would imaginary bullets? Or was this the usual movie BS where one cowboy shoots 10 indians with every bullet, but never gets shot themselves?

    Thanks.

    EDIT - why'd the wife put the totem in the safe? People are supposed to have their own totems, untouched by others. Was it cobb's all along, or did he take it from her? A top is hardly a "deep dark secret" ... unless it has something to do with Cobb existing in her dreams as a memory? That weirdness hasn't been touched on, and I doubt it would've gotten so much screen time if it were meaningless.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  15. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

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

    I just want to say I find it adorable how you refer to the actors as characters they played in other movies. :rofl: I hate being kinda the lone voice of dissent about this movie. :( It seems most people are either praising it or analyzing it, but no one's criticizing it. I didn't hate it, but I do think there's a lot wrong with it that nobody seems to acknowledge or notice. Mostly I wish there were more creative action sequences (to go with the zero gravity one, which did rule) and more interesting dialog, acting, and character development.

    I did neglect to mention in my previous post that I really dug the emotional arc of Leo's character. I liked how his issues with his wife were handled, and the scene where he talks about letting go of her was one of the few parts I found really poignant and could relate to (the scene where Cillian's character opened the safe was touching too). The movie could have used more scenes like those. I wish I could be on board with everyone else, because it's nice to share everyone's enthusiasm about something.

    When it comes to this movie, I can only do that about the ending. I'm pretty damn sure the top never stopped spinning, and like so many others have reported, everyone in the theatre I was in let out a collective "OHHHHHHHH" when they realized what that implied, and I was right there with them. I can't help but think you people insisting it was about to topple are just talking wishful thinking. I wanted it to topple so bad. I was practically holding my breath/at the edge of my seat waiting for it to show the slightest sign it might topple (and I think everyone around me was too) and the reason everyone gasped was because it clearly didn't. Coolest ambiguous ending since "Before Sunset" :D.
     
  16. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Uhh, no. That top was totally about to topple right when they cut away. It was spinning good for a long time and you could see the wobble, the change in the sound of it spinning, and boom, cut to credits.

    I think he did it just to keep you guessing.
     
  17. Capt. Vulcan

    Capt. Vulcan Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I enjoyed it, would probably give it an A.

    My theory is that everything is a dream and that some of the flashbacks are real. Like moments at the beach or with his wife. I think the whole thing was an elaborately constructed inception for the benefit of Cobb, who is forever stuck in limbo, in order for him to believe that he was returned to the real world to go on living with his kids. The biggest problem with being stuck in this world is that you know it's fake. So if you can really plant ideas, wouldn't it be ideal for Cobb, if he were really stuck in limbo, to implant ideas to make one of the dream layers in to a reality layer?

    Sort of how the main character in Memento constructs a new killer to go after, Cobb may have spent enough time in this limbo to slowly construct this elaborate convolution of dreams in which to convince himself he was back in the real world. Basically performing inception on himself to alter each iteration. So in a previous iteration he may have implanted the idea of the children, but not the details so he couldn't accept it, so he creates another world that gives him a reason for not remembering and a method for him to be reunited with them.

    I just thought the real world had too many dream elements in them. The passage of time, the sudden travel to far away locations, jumping from 2nd story balconies with little effect, the almost magical vague machine to get them in the dream state where some kind of cable is attached but you never see a needle or blood, ect. In fact, as I was watching the movie I wondered if the real Cobb was some skinny dweeb who created an idealized Leo DiCaprio version of himself, and then populated his world with actors from some of his favorite movies like The Dark Knight, XMen, and Insurrection. (Ok, I know that last one is stretching it.) I also expected the movie to end in a much realer world where extraction is done on a more complicated device that required more than just a vague cable to be attached to your wrist.
     
  18. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I think it was simply meant to be a representation of how he couldn't reach her, which is also why that room (from what we could see of it) was the same as the room Leo was in.

    Having said that, at the end, the Caine Character is wearing the same clothes as in Paris which I took as a possible sign as Paris.

    More generally, while I found this a well-made and complex film it simply didn't engage me on a emotional level and I left the cinema thinking "so what?".
     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    SPOILERS: I'm sure when people re-examine it there may be things that can be interpreted as clues but I also think DiCaprio dreamed the whole thing. Some of the early parts of the movie made little sense and his wife refers to them as mysterious goons from shadowy organisations so it may be that the strange vagueness of the early scenes was deliberate. The fact that the spinning widget was his wife's and not his is a clue for me, although it can be interpreted any way. If his wife was French and her parents were French and English, his children could have dual nationality so it seems strange that they had to be stuck in the USA forever.

    It was hugely entertaining. I wish the makers of the modern Mission Impossible movies could have produced something with more of a vibe like this movie.
     
  20. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Commander Red Shirt

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

    To Huh?'s questions:

    I agree with the other poster who said that Mal was across the way from Cobb in the window of the hotel to show their separation and to show that Cobb couldn't get to her. It could be a U-shaped building where she just walked around the ledge to sit and wait for him and to have a face to face conversation.

    The part of the audience I was with all seemed to indicate that they beleived the top was starting to fall at the end. But I do think it was a little ambiguous.

    Cobb and Saito get out of limbo the same way Cobb and Mal did. They shoot themselves with the gun like how Mal and Cobb killed themselves with the train.

    As for Mal being in many of the dream levels...I don't quite remember how each of the people work in in terms of whose brain hosts the world, how the architect's plans get in there, who can control stuff while they are in, but it seems that throughout most of the movie no matter who is hosting the dream, Cobb's wife or kids can show up and affect the "stability" of the dream.

    As for the air vents, and the arctic troops changing focus, I think this is just like any of the dreams where the "projections" in the dream come to evict the intruders. At some point the intruders cause enough "strangeness" that the projections can identify them. Arthur and Ariadne weren't doing anything but sitting in the hotel lobby, yet the projections kept looking at them.

    As for the heroes not getting shot, I think it was more a question of skill and preparation (and a little bit of just being the heroes) that keep them from getting shot. Much like in the Matrix, knowing you are in a dream is powerful, you can bend the rules. From the very start (in Saito's first dream) Cobb is totally kicking ass...I think it just a thing about being in the dream being able to choose victory like being able to bend the world on itself.

    As for Mal keeping the totem/top in the safe, I think the point was that she didn't want to believe that the limbo world wasn't real, she didn't want to go back to reality, so she had locked it away. Cobb realized this when he found the safe.

    Just my thoughts on those questions.

    I would like to see it all again to get second impressions.

    Edit: I think Cobb took up his wife's totem because of his guilt. Also, the Mal that tells Cobb that his world of "shadowy figures" pursuing him is the Mal of his subconscious, so she would have access to his memories. If an "objectively" real Mal said it, it would be evidence that she is right, but that was just Cobb's impression of his wife's opinions/beliefs talking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010

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