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Inception


bloodyminded

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This mind-bender is more cerebal than emotional, but it's of high quality compared to run-of-the-mill action extravaganzas. And it is an action film. Personally, I think it could have made better use of its core emotional issues; and there's lots to work with in that vein. (Father issues, dead wife issues, guilt issues, etc).

Still, I really liked this. Cobb is a freelance corproate spy, an "extractor," whose job is to infiltrate the dreams of corporate bigwigs and steal their secrets, which are heavily guarded in the subconscious.

The new job--which will solve his family and legal issues, thanks to the tremendous power and clout of the man who hires him--is to provide "inception" rather than "extraction": he and his hired team of various experts (who are much in the vein of the Heist film) are to plant an idea in a corporate rival's brain, so that the rival will dissolve the corporate empire bequeathed by his father.

The movie is almost too complicated to explain. It involves not only the (expected) dream versus reality theme, but the dream-within-the-dream...and even the dream-within-the-dream-within-the-dream, a realm we are informed is "unstable" and so fraught with dangers. Further, while normally getting killed in the dream will wake the dreamer, the only way to enter the multi-depth layers of the subconscious is to be heavily sedated...so that one will not wake up if killed, but rather languish in a psycological limbo with severe risks of insanity. (This all ties in to Cobb's dead wife...and to his own guilt issues.)

Because foreign ideas are fought by "projections," in the manner of blood cells fighting a foreign virus, the "inception" must be delicately done in such a way that the person will think the new idea is his own. The "projections," needless to say, tend to be single-mindedly violent.

Some people don't like this movie, and I can genuinely understand why. But for me...it's awesome.

Edited by bloodyminded
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Inception?

Recently in a Moscow cineplex at 2 pm, my friend and I bought a ticket to see "Cats & Dogs" for a 3 pm showing. The cashier got the ticket wrong and so when we arrived at 3 pm, we were directed to a dark hall already showing a movie. As we climbed the steps, I saw Leonardo di Caprio speaking in dubbed Russian to some, uh, "dude" with weird plastic eyes.

I turned to my friend and said that we were in the wrong hall. We had wandered about half way into Inception. As we walked out, I added that I hate such fake movies. (Another European friend later asked whether I had seen Inception, explaining that - in his view - it was the movie of the year, an Oscar Best Picture potential.)

IMV, special effects and CGI are no substitute for content. Heck, good acting is no substitute for content. I have no desire to see Leo talk to people with weird eyes - if the movie wins Best Picture, so be it.

----

I still haven't seen Cats & Dogs in full but back in Montreal, I saw the end in a Cineplex by peeking into another room. What a delight! Surely a rental.

Edited by August1991
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Inception?

Recently in a Moscow cineplex at 2 pm, my friend and I bought a ticket to see "Cats & Dogs" for a 3 pm showing. The cashier got the ticket wrong and so when we arrived at 3 pm, we were directed to a dark hall already showing a movie. As we climbed the steps, I saw Leonardo di Caprio speaking in dubbed Russian to some, uh, "dude" with weird plastic eyes.

I turned to my friend and said that we were in the wrong hall. We had wandered about half way into Inception. As we walked out, I added that I hate such fake movies. (Another European friend later asked whether I had seen Inception, explaining that - in his view - it was the movie of the year, an Oscar Best Picture potential.)

IMV, special effects and CGI are no substitute for content. Heck, good acting is no substitute for content. I have no desire to see Leo talk to people with weird eyes - if the movie wins Best Picture, so be it.

----

I still haven't seen Cats & Dogs in full but back in Montreal, I saw the end in a Cineplex by peeking into another room. What a delight! Surely a rental.

I have no issue with Cats and Dogs (though I don't much care for it personally), but I'm not clear on why it is somehow "real" where Inception is somehow a "fake movie."

How do you know a movie you haven't seen lacks "content," based on Di Caprio speaking to a man with "weird eyes"?

As for Oscar-worthy....well, in a sense I'd say "no"...but then, since Gladiator won Best Picture, and since Rocky beat out the astonishing Taxi Driver, I'd have to say "why not"? There's no substantive meaning to the Oscars anyway.

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I have no issue with Cats and Dogs (though I don't much care for it personally), but I'm not clear on why it is somehow "real" where Inception is somehow a "fake movie."
BM, you raise a good point.

----

I can accept cartoons and CGI if the intention is child-like whimsy, fantasy. It's fake. I cannot accept bad CGI (and most is) to present the real world.

I guess the determining factor turns on one's ability to "suspend belief", the essence of all art.

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IMV, special effects and CGI are no substitute for content.

The fact that you saw 5 seconds of a movie and concluded that the special effects were a substitute for content speaks volumes about your mentality.

You, like many other snobs, assume that if a story can't be told with two ugly French actors on an ugly French couch in an ugly French apartment, then it's a story that just doesn't need to be told at all.

Oui, oui, le cinema verite, c'est magnifique!

I can accept cartoons and CGI if the intention is child-like whimsy, fantasy. It's fake. I cannot accept bad CGI (and most is) to present the real world.

"Fake?" Were you under the impression that Inception was supposed to be a documentary?

How could you have possibly be under the impression that Inception was an attempt "to present the real world"?

-k

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The fact that you saw 5 seconds of a movie and concluded that the special effects were a substitute for content speaks volumes about your mentality.
Fair point since no one should form an opinion about a movie in five seconds. (To be honest, it was closer to 30 seconds but I quibble.)

Nevertheless, the 30 second scene I saw involved a very serious Leonardo di Caprio (and di Caprio is so earnest; it's as if he's always trying to prove that he's a real actor and not someone who won a lottery) talking to some creature, I don't know how else to describe this, with weird eyes.

When we see scenes of cats flying planes or dogs talking, we know that we are not seeing reality. But it's also done tongue in cheek.

"Fake?" Were you under the impression that Inception was supposed to be a documentary?

How could you have possibly be under the impression that Inception was an attempt "to present the real world"?

Di Caprio's earnestness. No smirk, no sense of irony.

----

Sarcasm is saying one thing but meaning the opposite. If your friend spills a glass of milk, you say sarcastically, "Oh, you're very careful with milk!"

Young children (and many adults) are generally unable to understand sarcasm. Being sarcastic in the Middle East or in other countries, for example, can lead to serious confusion or worse. (Sarcasm and its close cousin irony are typically Western.)

Yet, children (and these adults) are able to understand parables and cartoons as they relate to the real world - without believing that the cartoons or parables are real. We can all apparently suspend belief.

So, it was perhaps the lack of a di Caprio nod to the absurdity of talking to a CGI creature that irked me. I mean, what would Shrek be for Western adults or teenagers without the irony of Eddie Murphy.

You, like many other snobs, assume that if a story can't be told with two ugly French actors on an ugly French couch in an ugly French apartment, then it's a story that just doesn't need to be told at all.

Oui, oui, le cinema verite, c'est magnifique!

Gimme le break, Kimmy. Edited by August1991
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Fair point since no one should form an opinion about a movie in five seconds. (To be honest, it was closer to 30 seconds but I quibble.)

Nevertheless, the 30 second scene I saw involved a very serious Leonardo di Caprio (and di Caprio is so earnest; it's as if he's always trying to prove that he's a real actor and not someone who won a lottery) talking to some creature, I don't know how else to describe this, with weird eyes.

When we see scenes of cats flying planes or dogs talking, we know that we are not seeing reality. But it's also done tongue in cheek.

Di Caprio's earnestness. No smirk, no sense of irony.

And I think you should spice up your messages in the "Arts and Culture" section with some of these little guys... ;):P<_< ...to let us know that you're in on the irony, because you're so earnest that it's hard to tell if you recognize how funny what you're saying is.

You'd like DiCaprio to play the role as a farce, since in your opinion a movie where a guy is talking to a CGI creature could only be a farce.

Presumably you'd have also have him play his character in Titanic with winks to the audience to let you know that he knows that he's "drowning" in 2 feet of water on a sound-stage in LA.

And perhaps they should have cast Peter Sellers in "2001", and John Cleese as "The Exorcist" so that those actors could do some wacky shtick, instead of picking actors who treated such fake material earnestly.

What you're really asking is that those involved in creating films that aren't "real" should confirm your bias against this type of material by treating it as farce.

Yet, children (and these adults) are able to understand parables and cartoons as they relate to the real world - without believing that the cartoons or parables are real. We can all apparently suspend belief.

Except you, apparently.

-k

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Two funniest things in this thread:

1. The movie review from a person who has not seen the movie. Those are always entertaining.

2. The comparison of Inception with Cats and Dogs.

Oh, and the CGI in Inception is not intended to depict a 'real world', if you had the slightest clue about the movie, you'd know there are only a few minutes of 'real world'. The rest is a dream. Perhaps.

I did not like the length of the film, and much was left unexplained. I did very much like the imagination of the enterprise, it was fresh and interesting, and not many movies can claim that.

Of course, the lack of explanation/resolution was a strong point too...... not many movies where you leave the theater talking about what you had just seen, and arguing over what it meant.

Perhaps it was ALL a dream......

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And perhaps they should have cast Peter Sellers in "2001", and John Cleese as "The Exorcist" so that those actors could do some wacky shtick, instead of picking actors who treated such fake material earnestly.

What you're really asking is that those involved in creating films that aren't "real" should confirm your bias against this type of material by treating it as farce.

WTF? Farce and sarcasm?

You've lost me.

1. The movie review from a person who has not seen the movie. Those are always entertaining.
Without reference to its supposed inventor, that's what makes the Internet so engaging. Al Gore may be boring but the Internet is fascinating.
And I think you should spice up your messages in the "Arts and Culture" section with some of these little guys... ;):P<_< ...to let us know that you're in on the irony, because you're so earnest that it's hard to tell if you recognize how funny what you're saying is.
They say that the Internet can't handle irony - so it has to use smilies. "Western culture has been reduced to smilies." I have tried Internet sarcasm, without smilies and I think that I'll lose.

Why? Because somewhere in Saudi Arabia today (no doubt) a young woman texted a guy in Bahrein and she added an ; ) to her message.

Oh, the irony.

Edited by August1991
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Two funniest things in this thread:

1. The movie review from a person who has not seen the movie. Those are always entertaining.

2. The comparison of Inception with Cats and Dogs.

I saw Inception, for about 2 minutes in dubbed Russian. That was enough to convince me that I didn't want to see Leonardo di Caprio speaking to a person with weird, fake eyes.

Let's be honest here. I'll choose two ordinary male English-speaking examples, and a male French-speaking example, known to anglophones.

Tom Wilkinson and Jim Broadbent. So can Vincent Cassel. Di Caprio is none of this. He was kid actor made famous by James Cameron. Whadda business.

I still haven't seen Cats & Dogs. I promise a review when I rent it.

Edited by August1991
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Come on, August.

It's clear from your comments here that your complaint is not that di Caprio isn't Jim Broadbent or Tom Wilkinson (what does that even mean??) but rather that di Caprio was talking to a creature with "weird eyes".

In August-land, that makes it a childrens' movie like Shrek or Cats and Dogs.

-k

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I saw Inception, for about 2 minutes in dubbed Russian. That was enough to convince me that I didn't want to see Leonardo di Caprio speaking to a person with weird, fake eyes.

Let's be honest here. I'll choose two ordinary male English-speaking examples, and a male French-speaking example, known to anglophones.

Tom Wilkinson and Jim Broadbent. So can Vincent Cassel. Di Caprio is none of this. He was kid actor made famous by James Cameron. Whadda business.

I still haven't seen Cats & Dogs. I promise a review when I rent it.

There's nothing wrong with some "felt" aversion to certain movies. I have those too, and probably everyone does. I just find your arguments here a bit baffling.

But yeah, Tom Wilkinson is awesome. I recently saw him in In the Bedroom with Sissy Spacek, and it was one of the most beautiful, grief-soaked movies I've ever seen.

Edited by bloodyminded
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  • 2 weeks later...
Bu.t yeah, Tom Wilkinson is awesome. I recently saw him in In the Bedroom with Sissy Spacek, and it was one of the most beautiful, grief-soaked movies I've ever seen.
Curious example, BM. I had exactly the same impression.

The script for "In the Bedroom" is a standard made-for-tv melodrama but Wilkinson and Spacek turned it into something real, or something that I could believe - at least at the beginning. If memory serves, the script got silly and then went beyond absurd.

I guess my point is that Wilkinson can act and make me believe something fanciful is true. The voice of Eddie Murphy, presented in a cartoon donkey, has some connection to the real world in which I live. "Onions? Parfaits also have layers. Why aren't you a parfait? Everyone loves a parfait!"

But di Caprio talking to a guy with weird eyes - I just don't buy it.

Maybe a smirk, Eddie Murphy style, would have helped: "... and in the morning, I'm making waffles!"

Edited by August1991
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Coincidentally, I happened to see this last night.

As a feat of imaginative writing, it's probably the best thing in about 10 years. Memento is the last thing I saw that was this original, script-wise. It's so complicated that you have no choice but to forgive the (likely) dozens of loose ends. Kind of like in a dream, when you don't notice the non sequitors.

Auguste has done this in the past, I think; dismissed an entire genre or important milestone because of some quibble. What was it ? Avatar ? Did he say it would be a flop ? Or was it the internet ? Just Japanese kids on their computers ?

The writer packed about 10 movies worth of ideas into this one, and didn't skimp on acting or direction, although I concur that the action and comic-book aspects reduce the emotional involvement of the viewer.

CGI ? I guess there was some but it's not a distraction to the story at all. People floating in mid air and so on, but no aliens or cartoons.

And I don't think there was any scene where DiCaprio talks to anybody with weird eyes.

You were probably in the viewing of Shutter Island or something.

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Coincidentally, I happened to see this last night.

As a feat of imaginative writing, it's probably the best thing in about 10 years. Memento is the last thing I saw that was this original, script-wise.

Yeah. In fact, I like Memento better.

(The director maintains that the whole thing is perfectly logical, if you figure it all out. Interestingly, I believe I have figured out, and that he's not necessarily correct. I think there is built-in ambiguity, and unknowable motivations.)

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