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. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I'd have to agree with you. I was expecting more bizarre imagery, but then again, this is Nolan. This is the most bizarre and visually wild movie he's ever done. He's usually pretty sane with his approach to his visuals.

    I think I was honestly expecting more creative action sequences like the hallway sequence. However, I wonder if we saw too much bizarre imagery and too much of those weird dream state visuals that it would become stale after a while? If anything, Inception leaves you wanting more of that, which is much better than wanting less of.
     
  2. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    It'd start looking like dreams I actually have.

    I guess if I was going to criticize the idea for its realism it'd be that dreams simply don't work this way. The idea of the film of elaborately built architecture and a distinction between that and the people in the dreams is cute, but... my dreams involve stuff like buffalos standing on the land in the place of a tree (which then ate me), or a giant white whale eating my family after they've driven into the ocean. Or when I entered a lucid dream and, becoming deathly afraid I was about to be eaten by a polar bear, I was eaten by a polar bear.

    In retrospect my childhood dreams seemed to dislike the idea of being eaten by exotic animals.

    And that's sort of what fascinates me about dreams. I'm lured to the siren call of impossibility; of worlds that cannot be and never would be - it's really why I'm a science fiction fan. I dream these things; and then I search the real world for anything remotely approximating my dreams of massive, grimy industrial worlds of green; or blue/purple gauze of perpetual twilight.

    Sure, a related issue is whether dream worlds can be real or not, often related in the writings of a certain sci-fi author, but consider how bizarre, how weird, and how memorable the crumbling realities of Philip K. Dick can be - autofac ersatz realities that mix surreal elements with Californian settings.

    Anyway, I never have dreams as vivid, lucid and rational as all the dreams depicted here and I never have dreams as coherent in visual structure - I don't have whole buildings you can walk around in and have another point of view; they're all very blurry and bizarre and odd. There wouldn't be one room to stand in, let alone a whole building, and I doubt a distinction between people and buildings would count for much.

    However. Inventing rules for the rule-less thing that is the dream world is integral in making the entire premise of the film work and I didn't begrudge it that aspect. One suspends disbelief in far greater ways for say, space opera.

    And that said, the film works admirably on its own merits. It made me think of Shutter Island, another film with Leonardo DiCaprio and uncertain realities and the disturbed DiCaprio having a nebulous relationship with a dead woman. I eat this stuff up, and I sure as hell enjoyed Inception's kick. (A double meaning?) It's very Nolan - puzzle obsessed, clinical, feeling solidly grounded for all its fantasy - and as such, very good.
     
  3. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I don't know. My own dreams are fairly mundane. There can be surreality, but it's the sudden change in place or people swapping in and out surreality, not blatant Dali-style stuff like you're describing. I can only remember one off-hand that was even close to the city folding in over itself (the undertow of a large boat in the water feature behind my house pulled the ground out from under it, so the house capsized in the water and I had to rock it back right-side up. See, that even had a rational underpinning).
     
  4. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Let me put it this way.

    I can more than believe, for the sake of argument, people have dreams like Inception - mundane dreams full of specific details and entirely built out and mapped out worlds.

    The thing is, the film works on the assumption all dreams are like this. The possibility you'd enter a Dali painting never seems to cross anyone's mind - or, assuming they can control the 'architecture', who's to say he doesn't populate it with armies of rampaging werewolves?

    The dreams in Inception are by definition strongly grounded in reality, and while the rules of physics can be bent, they can't break - you've got to reason out physical rules in a dream world to create the kick when it's weightless.

    I'd never be able to dream something that complex, and also I once had a flying dream where I levitated by spinning my arms.
     
  5. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Lol, I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I was constantly having dreams of being chased around by lions and bears and scary monsters trying to eat me. :D
     
  6. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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

    Plenty of dreams I've had have involved places that I've never been and don't exsist or just completely wild interpretations of how I "thinK" certain places might look. I had a dream once where I was captain of an aircraft carrier and the insides of it were some vauge mash-up of Kirk's Enterprise, Picard's Enterprise, and the submarine from "Crimson Tide."

    My dreams have made up people I've never met, mashed together the two houses I lived in-growing up into one and other things that I think this movie got nicely in telling us how "dreams work." (Or seem how they work too us.)

    I loved stuff like that in this movie. There's countless dreams (pretty much all of them) I recall where I've found myself in a completely mundane world that just seems as much like the "real world" as it can be and everything is normal. Somewhat crazy things are happening but as far as I know everything is at it should be even though, as Leo gave us in this movie, I've no memory of how I got to where I was or why I was there.

    I loved the compounding dream time "dilation" which I thought was just wild, incorporating things going on in the real world (or in this movie's case the "upper level" from how deep they are in the dream levels) like music or sounds into the dreams, falls not killing you but just waking you up, etc. These are all things I've experienced in dreams.

    Wild, wild stuff and this movie pulled it off nicely.

    I also liked how Leo told Ellen that if she changed things too much, too often, and too bizarrely it'd tip people off that they weren't in reality. To not use "real places" as the person may see something off if they know the place well enough, etc. All stuff that just clicked and made sense to me.

    Awesome movie, can't wait for the DVD.
     
  7. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    God yes. That would be wonderful.
     
  8. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Often in my dreams locations change in an instant and it doesn't feel odd.

    The dream I have a lot (which I hear is quite common) is that I'm still in school and there's a class I haven't gone to in a month. I graduated college years ago but I still have the dream often.
     
  9. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I loved it.
     
  10. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Commander Red Shirt

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

    Someone said that these people are lucid dreamers (clearly this is true for the team, not necessarily true for the target, but possible). Their goal is to get mental elements (memories, secrets, etc.) represented in the dream state as real, accessible objects. To me it makes sense that they would want the dreamworld to be mostly normal. It wouldn't do to try to be breaking into a safe to get business secrets if the building suddenly morphs into an elephant and goes crashing into a wall of strawberries or something. They want everything controlled and normal so they can manage the activities in the dream world.
     
  11. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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

    Exactly, happens to me quite often too. Suddenly everything is different and, somehow, it seems perfectly natural and normal.

    I've dreams often that I'm going back to school (as in high-school) when I wake-up from the end of Summer vacation, a weekend, or some other reason and I think about whether I know my locker combo, which class I have and when, etc. It's pretty messed-up esp. when I wake up and realize, hey, I'm 32 and haven't been to school in almost fourteen years!

    :lol:
     
  12. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Heheh. Yeah, I still get the high school dream too but it seems that college is the stronger one for me. Probably because of all those math and accouting classes I took. I hate math.

    You mentioned you were trying to remember what you locker combo is. This seems to be a common thread. In my dreams, I keep thinking there's a class I need to take to graduate and then wondering if I really took the class. Because in the dream, I hadn't been to that class in a month.

    Work is something I dream of too. I had a dream I went back to the bowling alley I used to work for years ago. The place was completely different looking. It wasn't the bowling alley. I knew this even in the dream but to me, there was nothing wrong. It was the bowling alley. Just recently, I had a dream I was going to a retirement party for two people I used to work with at the bowling alley and the guest list included people from my current job. But it all felt natural.

    Anyway, just me rambling. ;)

    I said it before but I loved the point they raised when they said you can never remember how a dream started. You're just plopped down in the middle of the action.
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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

    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.

    And, of course, I've had plenty of the old "showing up someplace public naked" dreams, I've had dreams from a movie viewer's POV, i.e. it wasn't from my prespective, I've had dreams where I wasn't myself but someone else entirely including being a woman, Captain Picard, Counselor Troi and on a couple occasions an animal or animal/human mix.

    I think if Leo and Ms. Page were to enter my dreams they'd freak out and kill themselves as quickly as possible, I'm pretty messed up in there. :lol:
     
  14. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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

    Plus, as Cobb pointed out to Ariadne in the film, doing a lot of that stuff from the architect's standpoint (Arthur also seemed handy at doing some of the creative tricks too, so it's unclear if this is a general skill or one normally used by the architect) raises the target's subconscious awareness of the intruders. Dreams may have a more surreal quality than the real world, but often even in dreams we have enough of an awareness to tell that something is weird. We just accept it more readily in that state.


    You too? :lol:
     
  15. Capt. Vulcan

    Capt. Vulcan Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    My guess was that weirdness was ok, but weirdness from an outside source was not. You may remember your childhood home as being three stories so you'd accept it, but if someone else did it your mind may find that strage and unwelcome.

    Also I figured that the dreams were more grounded in reality because the targets would be more readily willing to create the real world information in a real world setting or a setting they understood. So if they were flying around in a floating castle made out of marshmallows, when they finally broke in to the gummy safe all they may find is the recipe to make rice crispy penises.
     
  16. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  17. Ubik

    Ubik Commodore Commodore

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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.
     
  18. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I've had that dream. It's surprisingly common.
     
  19. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    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.

    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.
     
  20. T'Baio

    T'Baio Admiral Admiral

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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.