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Christopher Nolan's Inception

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Posted: Sat, 22nd Aug 2009, 6:53pm

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Staff Only

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EDIT: It's out.

Inception Teaser HD

I don't know if I'm being gullible here, but it seems that the Teaser for Inception might be playing before Inglorious Basterds.

Source

I am really looking forward to this as Nolan's last in between Batman project; The Prestige turned out to be my favorite of his films.

Last edited Mon, 28th Dec 2009, 10:51pm; edited 3 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 23rd Aug 2009, 12:09am

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Squid

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You're not being gullible, the trailer is playing before Inglorious Basterds, along with the teaser for James Cameron's Avatar (At least where I am, in Arizona).
Posted: Sun, 23rd Aug 2009, 1:12am

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Aculag

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Very much looking forward to this. Nolan has a lot of great work under his belt, and another good sci-fi movie is more than welcome.
Posted: Mon, 24th Aug 2009, 9:10pm

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The teaser has been released.

Inception Teaser HD

Looks very interesting (I almost got a Minority Report feeling when it said "Your mind is the scene of the crime"). I can't wait.
Posted: Mon, 24th Aug 2009, 10:14pm

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CX3

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I have no idea what's going on in this teaser.

I can't wait to see it.
Posted: Tue, 25th Aug 2009, 12:32am

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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Staff Only wrote:

I don't know if I'm being gullible here, but it seems that the Teaser for Inception might be playing before Inglorious Basterds.
You guys haven't seen the trailer for Inglorious Basterds yet? It came out here like 3 weeks ago!
Posted: Tue, 25th Aug 2009, 12:34am

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Aculag

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Damn, that is an effective teaser. I get kind of a Dark City vibe from that. If it's anywhere near the caliber of TDK or The Prestige, this'll be great. Trust in Nolan, FXHome. He is the way.
Posted: Tue, 25th Aug 2009, 12:58am

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I don't know what I just saw, but I want to see it.
Posted: Tue, 25th Aug 2009, 1:42am

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Storm Grenade wrote:

Staff Only wrote:

I don't know if I'm being gullible here, but it seems that the Teaser for Inception might be playing before Inglorious Basterds.
You guys haven't seen the trailer for Inglorious Basterds yet? It came out here like 3 weeks ago!
Before the movie, not the trailer.

This is very cool. Not sure what's going on, but I'm sure it's kick ass.
Posted: Tue, 25th Aug 2009, 3:37pm

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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Thrawn wrote:

Storm Grenade wrote:

Staff Only wrote:

I don't know if I'm being gullible here, but it seems that the Teaser for Inception might be playing before Inglorious Basterds.
You guys haven't seen the trailer for Inglorious Basterds yet? It came out here like 3 weeks ago!
Before the movie, not the trailer.

This is very cool. Not sure what's going on, but I'm sure it's kick ass.
Oh sorry. The movie came out here like a week ago.
Posted: Wed, 26th Aug 2009, 9:10am

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Mellifluous wrote:

I don't know what I just saw, but I want to see it.
Well, yes I agree. Still I am slightly disappointed. After reading about the 200 million $ budget (Seriously, think about it: That's almost as much money as Avatar cost, and twice the money a Lord of the Rings film cost!), and that it would be a sci-fi thriller, I was hoping for Nolan to have a crack at making a space opera (like a really expensive version of Serenity).

A supposed plot of the film surfaced the internet as this:

"Leo is a paraplegic who discovers a portal to escape his paralyzed existence through his own mind that takes him to another plane of existence. His wife has left him because of his pursuit which takes him on a journey that seldom people have gone except for the MENSA level geniuses. Over time he gets better at escaping through his own mind to this other dimension but government types begin to find about this path."


Sounds very interesting, but judging by the teaser and the plot premise, how could he possibly need a bigger budget than he had on The Dark Knight? I hope the trailer will answer this intriguing question.

To the question of how this film will make back the budget when it's an unknown film about non-mainstream things I think a post on IMDb I read summed up Warner Bros. distribution thoughts best:

Random IMDb Guy wrote:

Well Leo will bring in the girls, the cool Matrix LOOKING scenes will bring in the lads and the "from the director of TDK" will bring in everyone else. So even if the movie is gash (which i have no reason to think it will be) i still think the movie will do well.

Its also a summer release which i hear usually do alright?


Also Nolan's deal with Warner is that: if he makes them a Batman film that makes them a gazillion dollars, they will pay for a project of his choosing, then he makes another Batman, and they pay for another film and so on.

Batman Begins > The Prestige > The Dark Knight > Inception > Batman 3?

I can't say I don't envy him. He is, right now, probably as bullet-proof as he'll ever be in his career. If there's one thing that seems to be the rule about super worshiped directors it's that it becomes increasingly harder to stay in your fans good books. Just look at Spielberg: AI, War of the Worlds and Indy 4 (All films I thought were above average quality and no reason to crucify Spielberg) all "tarnished" his name among fans. It'll be interesting to see how fans react when Tin Tin comes out. The previous film made (fully mo-cap) like Tin Tin (Beowulf) got it's visuals slaughtered, and now Jackson and Spielberg are claiming (like Cameron with Avatar) that Tin Tin will be photoreal, and look like the world of Hergé. It's a fair claim that Live Action could not do justice to his artistry. The only reason to believe motion capture actually will be photoreal this time around is because the last to attempts (Polar Express, Beowulf) were done by Sony Pictures Imageworks (who perfected their technique in Watchmen with Doctor Manhattan who I thought looked pretty darn good), while Tin Tin is being done by Weta Digital (who have a better mo-cap track record with Gollum, King Kong and also hopefully Avatar). A slight digression there, but the point was: lets see if Inception can live up to Nolan's current name or not. Looking at his previous approach (script first, then impeccable editing), I say it will.
Posted: Thu, 27th Aug 2009, 4:39am

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Aculag

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If this film really has a $200 million budget, I trust Nolan has used that money wisely. By shooting it entirely on 70mm film. wink
Posted: Fri, 28th Aug 2009, 11:17am

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Mellifluous

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I'm not sure whether to put weight on a film's budget these days. Everything costs more than it did a couple of years ago, so it might simply be a $100 million film adjusted for the financial climate we're in?

On a side note, Inception's story looks like Avatar meets The Matrix?
Posted: Mon, 28th Dec 2009, 10:50pm

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Wow. 2010 just got AWESOME! biggrin I was feeling depressed that I had no Avatar to wait for anymore, but this might just fill some of that hole. Yeah!


480p
720p
1080p
Posted: Tue, 29th Dec 2009, 12:31am

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Bryce007

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Basically, this will be ******* amazing. It's been my most anticipated film since I saw that ridiculously intriguing first teaser a while back. The trailer solidifies it's status.
Posted: Tue, 29th Dec 2009, 1:41am

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Atom

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This looks incredibly cool, but I'm not going to go apeballs over it just yet because I still wish I knew a little more about the story from the trailer, and the shots aren't anything 'OMG-tasticQ!11!!'- although it all still looks really slick.

It's like they're mindf*cking us, but they know they're mindf*cking us- and that annoys me. smile

Leo Dicaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt make this a must-see, though, definitely. Two terrific and terribly underrated actors as far as the public eye goes, I think, even with all of their high-profile projects- so I'm glad to see they're being brought together in a Nolan film.

Ellen Page's inclusion, however, worries me terribly.
Posted: Tue, 29th Dec 2009, 11:29am

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

and the shots aren't anything 'OMG-tasticQ!11!!'-
The city folded over their heads. biggrin Now I definitely get a very Dark City/The Matrix vibe from this, which is a very good thing.

This looks awesome. Christopher Nolan is one of those sure-fire directors for me, alongside Wes Anderson and the Coens. Even if it isn't his best work, it's bound to be something special. To put that into perspective, I think The Prestige is his best work, with Insomnia and Batman Begins tied for his "least best work", although those are both amazing movies in their own regard. I'll be there opening night for sure, and I'm sure it won't disappoint.

The cast does look excellent, and I'm actually looking forward to Ellen Page being in it. Having a script written by someone who actually knows what they're doing might be a good thing for her. She wasn't bad in Hard Candy, she was just ruined by having such a terrible script for Juno. And anyway, she looks good. smile

Also, this is the first Christopher Nolan film since Following that is not adapted from another source, or co-written. That spikes my interest even more.
Posted: Wed, 30th Dec 2009, 3:52am

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Atom

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Haha, well while that shot looks cool in a Dark City kind of way, it seems to be an outlier in a set of generally pedestrian shots- although The Prestige looked very much the same in the trailer and it ended up being fantastic, both as a film and as a work of cinematography.

I've no doubt in Nolan's ability- he's one of my favorite directors and I generally have really liked everything he's worked on- I'd still just like to know a little bit more about what this film is actually about. smile
Posted: Mon, 18th Jan 2010, 2:35pm

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rogolo

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Slashfilm just posted the first official production photo. I'm surprised there's no Michael Caine lurking in the shadows. smile



Is it just me, or does DiCaprio resemble a Mr. Charles Foster Kane here? I'm positive it's completely irrelevant and coincidental, but I can't look at that without thinking of Kane.
Posted: Sat, 8th May 2010, 11:26pm

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Trailer 3 is out in low quality on Traileraddict:

Inception Trailer #3

WOW. I. Can't. Wait.

Let's not forget that this is Christopher Nolan's Avatar. This is the time where he got Carte Blanche. 200 million dollars to make a movie that HE WROTE!!!!111 biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Need I remind that the last time he directed a movie that he wrote was MEMENTO. YEAH!
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 12:43am

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Sollthar

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Easy there. Think about your blood pressure.
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 1:41am

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Aculag

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He's well within his right to be excited. Nolan is brilliant, and this looks very, very good. Definitely my most anticipated film of the year. Although I'm not having seizures over it. wink
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 8:25am

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Sollthar wrote:

Easy there. Think about your blood pressure.
Will do.

This trailer was not playing in front of my screening of Iron Man 2, so I haven't seen it in HQ yet. Still from we can see there it looks like Nolan is one of the few people who can make a "small, personal, psychological thriller" really freaking huge and still keep it new. I dreamed about the trailer last night. It was only when I woke up that I realized something was actually strange. smile
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 1:29pm

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Atom

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I said thus over in the 2 thread, but this latest trailer is absolutely fantastic. Gives me a great reason to continue to hold big movies like this with cautious optimism- as it seems to payoff when I finally see what I want that really excites me.

This trailer is it. A great sense of tone, place, epicness, achey humanity, and plot mystique. It's basically exactly what I would do if I were editing/creating a trailer for this movie. (And that's basically how I judge most trailers, as I think my strongest talent in filmmaking is/would be trailer/promo editing- and some trailers just 'click' with me.)

Like Star Trek's trailer 2 or Terminator Salvation's NIN trailer, this just seems to hit that progression perfectly. "I think I've found a way home..." and stuff like that- just makes it incredibly achey and cool and mysterious in all the right ways.

Where the trailers before were appropriately trippy and 'OMGlookatourcastL33T!', the one city-folding shot and planters blowing up kinda just made me go 'meh'- whereas this one captivates me entirely.

Opening on unconscious Leo in the ocean. "there's one thing you should know about me..." Pensive music begins. Honestly, it's like they're taking the Atomic playbook right outta my hand. I love it.

It doesn't have a 'FIRE EVERYTHING!!!' moment, but expecting a trailer moment like that would be......wishful thinking. smile
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 1:54pm

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

It doesn't have a 'FIRE EVERYTHING!!!' moment, but expecting a trailer moment like that would be......wishful thinking. smile
It may not have that, but it has "You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling..." which is an amazing line. And it has that shot of the buildings collapsing against the sea, which is just so incredibly surreal and epic. Even though I was already hyped beyond belief by just the teaser, this trailer has me VERY excited.

My favorite shots, though, by far, are these:



Those look straight out of a bizarre dream. So weird and creepy, but eerily beautiful. Nolan seems to have a very good grasp on visualizing dreamscapes. Also the shot of the elevator emerging from the ground on a beach. I don't want to hype it up for myself too much, but it looks better than The Prestige so far, and I consider that his best work. Can't wait.
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 2:09pm

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Those are my favorite shots as well, Aculag. Runners up are the building collapse (did you spot the two people walking in the water?) at the shore and the city folding itself.

The Prestige is also what I consider to be Nolan's best film, and I have seen it some 50 times, with everyone who would give me 2 hours of their life. It also made Radiohead my favorite band. If anything can touch The Prestige it is this. Carte Blanche + enormous director = the reason I'm into movies at all.
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 6:09pm

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Atom

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Rating: -1

You need to calm down, Staff Only. This can't happen every time a new movie comes out. It's getting.......embarrassing......

I don't know how or why you think this is a 'carte blanche' movie, or anything like JC and Avatar in that regard. Every single big movie Nolan has made has either been scripted by him, his brother, or developed by him on some plot level- including both Batman films, The Prestige, Memento, Insomnia, etc.

And the later releases have all had enormous budgets, this is really no different. I'm not saying this isn't a big movie, it obviously is, but it's nothing 'ZOMG!!!' in terms of scale or budget as far as being Nolan's big creative control 'big budget' movie.

It's not carte blanche, it's just another big studio job. Like any other movie, it came from a spec or hire-to-write script from one of the popular studio writers (like Orci, Goldsman, or Penn), and handed off to one of the big studio directors. It's lucky for us, and him, that Christopher Nolan happens to fit into both categories- but it's nothing unprecedented.

The Wachowskis, for instance, I'd call that more of a carte blanche example. This....I think it's just another example of studio confidence in a director's vision. But no different than the likes of The Prestige. (Which I agree, is at the top rung of Nolan's best work. I personally think Batman Begins is his best film, but The Prestige is a close second.)

Either way, I'm exceedingly excited to see this movie. I don't believe it to be (and won't treat it like) the ultimate blockbuster director culmination 'event film'- but I think it will be good and hotly anticipate it. I also completely agree on the dreamscape sort of shots, particularly the beach elevator and destroyed coastline city shots. Reminds me very much, in a good way, of The Fall and What Dreams May Come- but more streamlined and industrial.

I felt the 'dream a little bigger' line was oddly-placed in the trailer, though. The only part I didn't really like in the whole compilation; sort of ruined the grand, eerie, achey-but-optimistic for me.
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 7:48pm

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Ah, but the reason I said that was that Nolan is in a deal with WB where he makes them a ton of money with a Batman film and they pay for whatever he pleases in between, yes? Last time was The Prestige (we are in agreement that The Prestige and Batman Begins are his best work, only I flip-flop on what is my favorite of the two), but presumably because of the success of The Dark Knight he ended up with 200mill this time. That's more than the budget of The Dark Knight which was a highly anticipated sequel. This is a new film with a strange concept. People have compared Inception to The Matrix. The Matrix had a back-yard budget compared to this. But yes, I guess faith in a director could describe it.

Also you can pretty much trust that I find something to obsess about because I like being obsessed (one of the reasons I love The Prestige because while others find the main characters to be interesting weirdos, I really relate). I love to anticipate movies. Ever since I waited for the Star Wars Prequels and The Lord of the Rings films I felt empty without it. I started waiting for Avatar after I was finished waiting for Revenge of the Sith. I found out about Cameron's Project 880 because I wanted a film to wait for.

Also wasn't this getting embarrassing over a year ago according to you? It must be completley mortifying by now? razz And every new movie? Don't think so. There's on average 2 releases every year I highly anticipate. (Last year 3: Watchmen, Star Trek and Avatar. This year: Inception and Tron Legacy) But none touch Avatar right now, except for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn which I've been waiting for, for almost three years now and have almost two more to go so you might as well mentally prepare yourself. razz
Posted: Sun, 9th May 2010, 10:10pm

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FreshMentos

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That new trailer has me pumped. I haven't been this excited for a movie in a while.
Posted: Mon, 10th May 2010, 3:18am

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Serpent

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Just for the record Staff, I haven't found a single one of your posts "embarrassing," you just come off as someone who is interested.

Anyways yeah, this is my most anticipated film right now by a long shot, for 2010.
Posted: Mon, 10th May 2010, 3:50am

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Aculag

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Serpent wrote:

Just for the record Staff, I haven't found a single one of your posts "embarrassing," you just come off as someone who is interested.
Yeah, Staff's posts aren't embarrassing at all. It's hard to take Atom's post seriously when he also said this:

Atom wrote:

Honestly, it's like they're taking the Atomic playbook right outta my hand. I love it.
rolleyes
But that's Atom for you! wink
Posted: Mon, 10th May 2010, 5:02am

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Atom

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I mean as far as what I would want to see/do in trailer-editing. Cuts, not content.
Posted: Mon, 10th May 2010, 5:04am

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Aculag

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I know, I'm just messing with you.
Posted: Mon, 10th May 2010, 5:30pm

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Staff Only

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HD, glorious HD! How I've missed you for 48 hours!

Inception Theatrical Trailer in HD


EDIT: Links did not work. To download in HD scroll down on the above link look at Theatrical Trailer 2 and press which ever resolution you want on Other Formats which is to the right in the table.

Last edited Mon, 10th May 2010, 8:15pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 10th May 2010, 5:40pm

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Aculag

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Seeing that play in front of Iron Man 2 on a digital projector was a real treat. I'm going to have to download the 1080 version later and thoroughly examine it. biggrin
Posted: Mon, 10th May 2010, 11:25pm

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Atom

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Things on digital projectors just don't do it for me, I'm afraid. A good ol' film reel and projector presentation of a trailer on a big megaplex screen, with all that potent 'je ne se qua' feeling film has to offer, is what really gets me going. I was really excited by this when I saw it in Iron Man 2 for that reason.

In a world of online and at-home viewing and promotion for films these days, it's really nice to see something, for the first time, bright and in front of your in a non-digital technology at the movie theater.

But maybe that's just me. Either way, I know that's partially the reason I like this trailer so much more than the previous ones.
Posted: Tue, 11th May 2010, 4:40am

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

'je ne se qua'
'je ne sais quoi'. If you're going to use it, you may as well spell it right.

Do you prefer to only listen to vinyls as well? wink

Ps. Those shots I posted earlier look even better in crisp, digital HD. JGL is doing something very odd to those floating fellows, stringing them up with wire or something. God, I can't wait to see this...
Posted: Tue, 11th May 2010, 3:45pm

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Simon K Jones

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Aculag wrote:

Atom wrote:

'je ne se qua'
'je ne sais quoi'. If you're going to use it, you may as well spell it right.
Heh, reminds me of when Americans write 'wala!' or something similarly awful. razz Then again, maybe it's just the natural evolution of language, which is inevitably driven by people that can't spell (ie, most people) rather than people that can (a minority of 'writers').


As for Inception, I'm completely sold, and am now on lockdown as far as trailers/TV spots/etc are concerned. This looks like one movie that will seriously benefit from knowing as little about it as possible.

I'm intrigued to find out how much is clever wirework, how much is compositing and how much is extravagant rotating sets on crazy Kubrick-style gimbles.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 1:15am

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Pooky

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http://beta.rottentomatoes.com/m/inception/

First few reviews are in. Apparently, it's a masterpiece smile
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 3:39am

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miker

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This pleases me.

The one film I've really been looking forward to all summer.. can't wait.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 3:42am

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Serpent

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I am SO excited. I'm going to really really enjoy this movie.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 6:14am

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FCRabbath

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i heard this was a rip off of a japanese film?
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 8:13am

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Simon K Jones

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I for one appreciate the hard facts and clear references present in FCRabbath's post.

Reviews do indeed sound overwhelmingly positive. This, Predators and Toy Story 3 are all coming out in the next 3 weeks here in the UK. Doesn't get much better than that!
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 10:21am

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rogolo

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Tarn wrote:

I'm intrigued to find out how much is clever wirework, how much is compositing and how much is extravagant rotating sets on crazy Kubrick-style gimbles.
The latest edition of American Cinematographer broke a lot of this down, at least from the production standpoint. Besides detailing their methods for achieving gravity-defying sequences (hotel corridor, elevator shaft, van, etc), they also explain their 1,000 fps bathtub scene, shine a light on their Canadian ski unit, and explain much of the tech behind the film.

Great set pics all throughout, especially the BTS photos on the last page that show the dual-camera system used on the hallway shots. They also included the lighting diagram for the hallway set, which clocks in at a respectable 284 lights. biggrin

A brief writeup of the article (with some pictures) can be seen here. The last image on that page (seen below) almost looks like a guy being shoved into an oven, but it's actually the set of a horizontal elevator shaft that Nolan conceptualized.

Very good read (and spoiler-free if I remember correctly)



EDIT: For those of you without a subscription to American Cinematographer, or if can't seem to find this issue in your local bookstore, a thread such as this may have some pointers on how to find one quickly...
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 2:13pm

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FCRabbath

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Tarn wrote:

I for one appreciate the hard facts and clear references present in FCRabbath's post.

Reviews do indeed sound overwhelmingly positive. This, Predators and Toy Story 3 are all coming out in the next 3 weeks here in the UK. Doesn't get much better than that!
Hey now i don't know much about this project hence why i put a question mark so maybe someone can clarify it.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 2:17pm

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Simon K Jones

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The closest material I'm aware of (having not seen Inception yet) is J Michael Straczynski's 'Dream Police' comic.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 2:25pm

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FCRabbath

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So i just searched some stuff and if you type in "Inception" & "paprika" you should get results about it. However i don't know how accurate it is, this is just something i heard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paprika_%282006_film%29
Posted: Thu, 15th Jul 2010, 8:24am

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miker

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Just got home from the cinema about 5 minutes ago..

I'll sum this movie up in 6 words:

THE BEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN.

Where to begin? This movie was absolutely breathtaking. From beginning to end. Perfect parallels, brilliant symbolism's, a twist-and-skew-your-brain-into-a-slinky type of a storyline (in a good way), wonderful acting, incredibly beautiful musical score, top-notch innovative special effects, intriguing cinematography from start to finish, and arguably the most genius/elaborate script of all time. Nolan is a genius.

This is the kind of movie that truly questions your perception of reality.

What is real? At this moment, I truly don't know.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 7:44am

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Pooky

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WWWOOOAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Very easily the best budget-to-intelligence ratio of any movie ever, and very easily going to be the best movie of 2010, if not the best of this decade. That fight scene in the hotel is quite possibly one of the best ever put on film, as well.

Nolan scares me. Somehow, he managed to juggle a large cast of big-name actors, a large blockbuster budget, and an uber-complex and brilliant script, and not only did it all work out in the end, but it's actually ELEGANT. It's like he didn't even break a sweat. Amazing.

Cue the Atom-and-Ben-hating-it post smile

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Posted: Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 8:04am

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Simon K Jones

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Pooky wrote:

Cue the Atom-and-Ben-hating-it post smile
Hehe, I was about to write the same thing. With both you and Evman liking it, Atom is bound to dislike it. wink

I'll be seeing this next week sometime - can't wait!
Posted: Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 8:11am

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Pooky

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What's really interesting as well is that I seriously have no idea how they pulled off some of those shots. Definitely going to have to check out the DVD extras on this one.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 8:44am

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Atom

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Well, I absolutely loved it, Pooky. But nice try. wink

I'm quite tired so I'll add more later. But for now- one of the best movies of the year, very easily- but perhaps not of all time.

I felt this movie took technical filmmaking and hit an absolute home-run, and then bolstered this fantastic precision with very strong cerebral grandeur in the narrative/storytelling that I absolutely loved. I thrived on it and found it incredibly entertaining. The movie easily holds it's lofty ambitions and visual language, and capitalizes on them with astounding flash and finesse. Really all great.

This being said, I didn't think it was a flawless film- or terribly and astoundingly complex as many seem to. In other words- it didn't 'blow my mind' in the way I see many saying it did. But in all honesty, it never really had to. It never really set out to in my mind. And it succeeded much more for me by being on a level less cheap than simple mindf*ckery. It was pulp entertainment with a cerebral payload- and I found it absolutely enticing.

And that's both this film's absolute genius and perhaps most pivotal flaw. (at least in seeing reactions) The movie is much more clever than it is profound, and much more visceral than it is intellectual. But that's fine- because it plays to all of the filmmaking strengths in Nolan, and is all-the-more unforgettable and fantastic because of this.

As I was talking to Ben about it, I think I chalked up my thoughts on the plot and storytelling pretty well. It's like a complex maze I can see from afar. I know the beginning, I can see/know how/can figure out how it ends. It is, as many people will condemn and deny me for saying so, decently predictable. But the in-between is so winding, so thrilling, and so- at least temporarily- confounding; that I don't care if I can see how it ends. It's fun and thoughtful and salted with talent and technical prowess.

I'd give the film a clear 9/10 as it is now. It doesn't hit transcendentally-profound or unforgettable territory, but not making the concession to allow this makes the movie much more visceral and grand in my mind. A fantastic film- and like I said: one of the best of the year.

The only somewhat unfortunate/bittersweet thing to it is- is how similar the emotions, memories, and stakes of DiCaprio's character are in Inception to his in Shutter Island; where his acting is far superior because it is more or less the focus and anchor of the film- and not a cog in the plot as he is here. He's important, and he's dynamic in the grand scheme of the film- but it can't touch the haunting humanity of his Teddy in Shutter Island. But it never really could, I don't think. Still insanely well-acted, but much more generic and restrained as it should be for an ensemble cast. He'd be hamming it up or too showy in the scope of this film, so it makes much more sense to play it a more guarded way. And the movie is better for it. Just.....it's an unfortunate, inevitable, topical comparison to draw.

Really great movie, with most all flaws being completely forgivable for the experience it allots. And that's all I really ever couldn't asked for. Not perfection or complexity on an unfathomable level- and it'd be preposterous to consider it so- but it's damn near close to it.

Like I said: easy 9/10.

Last edited Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 8:53am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 8:48am

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Simon K Jones

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Is it the kind of complexity that stumped loads of people with The Matrix? Whereby huge swathes of the audience found it incomprehensible or really confusing and couldn't wrap their heads around the concepts - when it was really rather simple?

Always perplexed me how some people had trouble understanding The Matrix. At the time I wondered if it was because it brought in an audience unused to science fiction in general. I suppose if you're used to soap operas the ideas could indeed be pretty brain-melting.

Similarly, mainstream or 'arty' reviewers seem to be finding Inception pretty confusing and confounding, while geek or more genre-savvy reviewers are having no problems at all.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 8:58am

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Atom

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I think it was more like the film ended and I felt very impressed and entertained, and I looked around to see all these people amazed simply because they were dumbfounded- or taken aback as if they saw something profoundly life-changing.

And Inception certainly wasn't either. It'd be too short-sighted and unfair to the balanced and well-constructed nature of the film to call it a Shyamalan-twisty-mindf*ck or a Million-Dollar-Baby-aching-humanity movie. It just wasn't either- and it wasn't strong enough in either facet to be chalked up to one or the other.

But it was an even more impressive chord to strike between the lesser of both: and a stronger and more universal film for being so. Very much a "Huh? Really?" moment for me in seeing the likes of Chase treat it like the best and most complex movie of all time. When really, it's just a fairly clear, insanely solid, cohesive, fun and 'moment-of-truth-y' movie that it broken up and down and then complexly orchestrated to give the impression and effect of intellect and perception. Which may sound like a dis on the movie, but really it's quite a positive testament to the movie's overarching theme:

That many parts of the perceptions we have, of the conclusions we make, come from thinly-veiled realities. But they are conclusions no less genuine than if the reality was any bit deeper or more complex. Just as 'dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange'. wink

The movie isn't fancily confusing in the end, but it gives the impression of such on the journey toward the end. So long as you accept that and don't become eyes-rollingly-entranced as if it's the greatest movie of all time- or even tries to be- then you'll really enjoy it's genius.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 10:59am

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ben3308

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Long review pending, but I will say my main criticism of the film is that it is indeed complex, but not as similarly elaborate; meaning the actions and events, while layered in terms of time zone/dream state, are still very straightforward - almost to a fault in terms of narrative 'oomph'.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jul 2010, 11:10pm

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Evman

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I absolutely loved it. I'm most likely seeing it again this weekend so I'll post a more comprehensive review after that. But I will say that I agree that the ending WAS more obvious than you might believe. But the way the story is told and how that ending is achieved is so breathtakingly powerful and amazing that you find yourself not caring.

Quite frankly it made the Matrix seem like a childrens movie. And reaches a level of imagination you'll be hard pressed to find in modern cinema. It's almost infuriatingly good due to Nolans power as a storyteller.

I want to go see it again... Immediately.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 1:05am

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Atom

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I think you're really wrong about The Matrix- it's not far off cerebrally from Inception. That's sort of insulting.

But I absolutely agree that the movie rocks so solidly, so potently powerful, because of how great and deeply talented of a storyteller Nolan is.

I think there is, for instance, more heart and emotion in his film The Prestige; and that Inception never really reaches as deep into the characters as any of his other movies do. But Inception goes for a different route of narrative fantasticalness- and that's perfectly fine. This is a movie more about plot and experience and the dream world it presents more than anything else- much like The Matrix- but it's so strong and visceral because it is so decidedly plot-driven that I'm excitingly willing to accept and roll with it.

It was, it is, a fantastic movie. But nothing so bold that it diminishes or trumps other previous masterworks. At least, IMO. A joy of a movie, but even moreso tenfold if you go in without the astronomical expectation and ambitions many critics are giving it. Not because it's disappointing otherwise; it isn't. But because in not having to live up to such unfounded hype, the movie can become a different and enthralling experience entirely.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 1:15am

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Serpent

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I actually agree totally with Evman's statement. The Matrix, conceptually, is actually decently simple in the scope of literature, and it told known philisophical concepts (brain in vat theory) in a pretty straight forward but well executed psychological/philisophical action film. Inception's themes were much much more relevant, to me anyways, and it executed high level ridiculously well thought out concepts as perfectly as I can imagine. And it told it in a brilliant way. The visuals were much more impressive, the movie had such a cool flow.

I've always *liked* the Matrix a lot because a modern high budget film "went there." But this was much more original, well told, complex, and more "earth shattering."

Those are my reasons, my point of view, so I don't really think it's insulting. It's just an expression, the Matrix is still valid. But many will have the opinion that this is on another level. I share that opinion.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 2:00am

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Pooky

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I'd also agree that Inception is leagues ahead of The Matrix in terms of complexity and required intellect. You have to constantly be focused and thinking to understand everything that's happening in Inception, whereas The Matrix is something I understood fully when I watched it when I was 10, without any real effort. In fact, I'm kind of confused how someone could have trouble understanding The Matrix, as I thought it was a pretty simplistic take on well known philosophy principles.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 4:29am

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Atom

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Huh. I just don't at all agree. Inception was a clever movie with excellent execution- but once you bought into the world and understood the gist of 'shared dreaming', it wasn't all that hard to follow or think to keep up with. Pretty straightforward, actually, in a really positive way.

No idea how people are talking about how you have to 'think through' the whole movie as it's playing out. I simply didn't get that impression or reaction at all. But again, I already mentioned this. And it doesn't at all take away from the excellence of the movie that it isn't hard-to-follow. wink - so whatever.

I also didn't find any of the themes terribly 'refreshing' or anything- it was all just very tried and true concepts (very similar to The Matrix in that regard, too - not leagues more inspiring/complex/resounding/transcendental). The thing that made the themes and concepts special was that they were told very creatively and with excellence narrative panache and execution. And I think therein lies the movie's genius. Not the concept, but the execution of the plot. Like I said, it's almost a disservice to the film to chalk it up to this sort of groundbreaking theme or idea- because the movie is both 'not about that' and also so much more.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 6:53am

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FCRabbath

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Atom wrote:

Huh. I just don't at all agree. Inception was a clever movie with excellent execution- but once you bought into the world and understood the gist of 'shared dreaming', it wasn't all that hard to follow or think to keep up with. Pretty straightforward, actually, in a really positive way.

No idea how people are talking about how you have to 'think through' the whole movie as it's playing out. I simply didn't get that impression or reaction at all. But again, I already mentioned this. And it doesn't at all take away from the excellence of the movie that it isn't hard-to-follow. wink - so whatever.

I also didn't find any of the themes terribly 'refreshing' or anything- it was all just very tried and true concepts (very similar to The Matrix in that regard, too - not leagues more inspiring/complex/resounding/transcendental). The thing that made the themes and concepts special was that they were told very creatively and with excellence narrative panache and execution. And I think therein lies the movie's genius. Not the concept, but the execution of the plot. Like I said, it's almost a disservice to the film to chalk it up to this sort of groundbreaking theme or idea- because the movie is both 'not about that' and also so much more.
Shutter Island + The Matrix = Inception

I agree with Atom, also - the matrix was pretty complex/experimental for it's time. Let's face it, if inception came before the matrix it wouldn't be as well received due to the matrix almost preparing us to go into these kinds of worlds. Step by step i guess.

Either way, this movie had some nice new ideas as far as execution.

Cinematography 9/10
Acting 8/10
Story 7/10
Music 10/10
Direction 8.5/10
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 2:04pm

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Serpent

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I disagree, obviously, but each to his own.

@FC: But I think Nolan told the story so masterfully that I think it would do just as well with a mainstream audience without the Matrix. But I could be wrong, people have trouble with these things and I see what you are saying. It's told with very different rules.


@Atom: I agree, on a plot level, Inception is very followable. As for thinking a lot the whole time, that's your choice.


I don't think many people who love stories (films, books, etc.) will have much trouble following the film's plot, as you said, it was told masterfully. And "themes" was a bad word for me to choose, I didn't mean it in the normal analyzer's use of the word, as in the core themes. I was more referring to the symphony of such themes with psychology, philosophy, within this brilliantly created alternate reality all going along with the really fantastic story.


And I'd just like to say, who are you to say what's more inspiring/resounding/or transcendental to someone else? We've had different experiences. We also have our own opinions, and different things sit with people differently. Many a delusional mental patient/persons believe that what's happening isn't real, and their real life is waiting on the other side, or something of that nature. That whole aspect of the movie (I won't go into it, you saw the film), is just one of the reasons it resonated with me. Films are complex. As for complexity of this film, well, who cares which is more complex? I think Inception is, and I have my reasons for that. I just have a problem when someone states how a movie should be perceived.

I also don't think anyone said any concepts were groundbreaking, it's just something fairly new in modern, high budget cinema. I'm surprised they gave Nolan the budget they did (and super glad). I believe I used the term "high level," Evman used "breathtakingly powerful" and "(high) level of imagination," Pooky "elegant," Miker "breathtaking" "brilliant" "genius script." The film itself however, is groundbreaking. In my eyes.

Last edited Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 2:29pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 2:28pm

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Atom

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No need to get all dramatic and pissy, Serpent. I didn't say anything terribly inflammatory or condemning to your or anyone else's opinion. If you've got that impression, well, sorry. But get over it.

I enjoyed this movie, but I hold the belief that it was still far from perfect. I think we can agree on many parts and likable aspects of this movie though, too, so why get in a bind over differences? You didn't see me get all crabby with you saying that Inception was superior, visually, than The Matrix, did ya? Visually, Serpent. Something that I think many people might fight you on- no matter how good Inception is. wink

I agree with most everything else in your post, though. The idea of the film- at least being propelled by such a massive scale, cast, and budget- is a new and exciting thing. And that I will more than effortlessly give credit to.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 2:37pm

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Serpent

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I edited out "who the hell" right after you posted, I honestly didn't mean to come off "dramatic and pissy" as you put it. It's hard to come across tonally on a forum, you know that. And I admittedly did a poor job, thought you'd still be in bed or something and I'd have time to edit. smile

I think we're on the same page here, I was just taken aback when you stated that Inception wasn't more inspiring, resounding, transcendental. Forgive me for responding in so many words, but I just think those 3 words are some of the most subjective words in the entire English language.

I'm over it though, thank God.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 3:53pm

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Atom

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It's nothing against the movie at all, though- in fact it's more just a testament to Nolan's talent overall- to say what I did. The movie is powerful, but to me is more enjoyable and impressive on an awe-inspiring/visceral level than a profound one- which just isn't the same with the likes of, say, The Prestige or Batman Begins, which are very much character peices.

Inception is more about the experience, about the 'trick', and I loved this movie for that reason. It plays to the strengths of Memento and the pacing of Batman Begins; but it's another sort of film. To me, the biggest different is heart- it doesn't have as much as his other films.

When we see Joseph Gordon-Levitt he isn't there to make us ache at the humanity of his character and acting like we do for even minor characters like Andy Serkis or David Bowie in The Prestige- he's more there as a serviceably solid actor in a simpler role. But that's fine, because the movie just works so well without needing to go much deeper, is all I'm saying.

The movie has depth, but it isn't all that 'deep' as far as the themes that compare to what Nolan has put into his other movies.

But that's what makes Inception different, it concedes character depth in exchange for technical prowess and ingenuity- and 'dream world grandeur'- which is something I'd more than exchange for myself. wink And that's what makes the movie truly awesome as a wild ride of an experience. I thought I'd be disappointed by the decidedly more surface tone and emotion the movie takes, but the experience more than makes up for it.

That, and Cillian Murphy. Although DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors, he didn't have much to do in this film compared to Cillian- who outacted and outclassed every other actor IMO. That made up for the lack of heart, too- even in his few moments onscreen. He owned the scenes where he was integral to the plot. "I wanted you to be yourself."

That was a profound moment, I'll admit. Although visible from a mile away. wink I also wanted to mention that I really loved the ending; but I like it as more of a 'director teasing with us, but there's still a clear conclusion' much more than the now-popular 'no but you don't understand it's all open ended like twilight zone!' response from fanatics.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 4:20pm

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Serpent

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I just kinda meant "hey, I *did* find it leagues more inspiring and transcendental than anything I've ever seen before." That's all.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 7:35pm

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Thrawn

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That was the best movie I've seen in years. I loved Alice in Wonderland. I loved the A-Team. I loved Toy Story 3. But it's Inception that will go down in history as the best movie of 2010. It was an intellegent, brilliant movie that I think really set a new standard for Hollywood. Christopher Nolan was already one of my favorite filmmakers, and he's given me nothing but more reason to continue this line of thought.

10/10. Because nothing is perfect... besides Inception.
Posted: Sun, 18th Jul 2010, 2:56am

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Aculag

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Inception just proves that when Nolan is on a break from Batman, he makes his best work. Batman Begins led to The Prestige, and Dark Knight led to Inception. I previously thought The Prestige was his best work, but now, hands down, it's Inception. I thought everything worked perfectly, and I have no complaints whatsoever. Everything from the moment the van goes off the bridge until the very end with the spinning top was spellbinding. Definitely the most thoughtful and transcendental action film since The Matrix, and that really is saying a lot. Many have tried, but no one has come even close to what Nolan did here. The man is a true creative genius, and that's hard to come by these days.

I'm not going to say much more, since it's already been said in here. Just that I think we should start a tally of how many times Atom uses his new catchphrase "aching humanity" or a variation of it. wink
Posted: Sun, 18th Jul 2010, 4:15am

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Atom

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I see a lot of reviewers repeating one initial reviewers comment that it lacks the 'searing soulfulness' of The Prestige and his other films. Maybe I'll adopt that term instead. wink

I totally agree with your Batman notion, though. Absolutely true.
Posted: Sun, 18th Jul 2010, 5:37pm

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Pooky

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Rating: +1

Kinda makes you wonder how amazing the film he makes after Batman 3 is going to be.
Posted: Tue, 20th Jul 2010, 3:34am

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FreshMentos

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The cinema I work at wouldn't let me see this film until the weekend was over. Saw it this morning. Inception reminded me that big-budget blockbusters can still be art. I feel honored to have been able to see this beautiful film at its release. I have a feeling it's going to be a classic.

I was a bit anxious with my expectations being so high for the film. They were exceeded far beyond anything I had expected. I need to watch it again because I can't think of any significant issues I had with it.

10/10

Now I need to shake Mr. Nolan's hand.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 4:29am

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Bryce007

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Well.


That was absolutely astounding. Likely the most tense film I've ever seen. One of the few "Big" films I've seen where I didn't know what was going to happen next, or know how it was going to end.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 6:17am

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Aculag

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Speaking of the ending, let's discuss that a little. SPOILERS HO! Did anyone think that it was open ended, or did it seem to you a very conclusive way to end it? The cut away from the spinning top seems ambiguous, because it did look like it was about to fall, but I think it was pretty heavily implied that it was going to keep spinning. It seemed to me that they dropped a lot of hints to suggest that the entire movie took place within a dream. I need to see it again...
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 8:21am

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ben3308

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SPOILERS

Cobb mentions though, that the totem will spin perfectly forever if it's an imitation of reality, or a dream. Being that the totem kept spinning a bit, then started to waver; I think that means it was going to fall and that he's finally made it home.

Quite obviously, the movie cut a bit early to raise some suspicions as to whether or not the whole thing was a dream. But I think this was an attempt to a. garner more mystique and interest in the ending and b. end the movie with some wanton things unseen - akin to the way we often wake up from dreams.

When Cobb first spun the totem, it faltered, then faltered again right before the last shot cut. I think it's clearly reality. It has to be. We're given doubts that it is in hopes that, just maybe, the audience will succumb to the same convincing factors that Mal did - the same factors that led to her demise.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 5:55pm

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Garrison

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I saw it last night. It was an experience.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 7:10pm

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Pooky

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SPOILERS

Even assuming the ending IS a dream, it does not mean that the whole movie is a dream as well. You see the totem stop spinning at least once or twice. The only uncertainty lies in whether Saito and Cobb managed to get out of Limbo and back into the real world, or if they somehow only got into a deeper or alternate Limbo by killing themselves in Limbo while still sedated. Remember, Mal and Cobb weren't using the same powerful sedative when they went to Limbo for the first time.

There is only once thing which I personally cannot figure out correctly: when Fisher gets shot by Mal in the third level, Cobb and Ariadne plug themselves into a dreaming machine, and somehow end up in what appears to be Limbo. Yet Fisher has not aged (despite at least a full minute in the third level before they meet up with him), and Cobb can still project things like his kids and Mal into it (which is usually only for dreams afaik). Does that mean, then, that Fisher wasn't dead yet and that they went into Cobb's dream which just happened to be architected to look like Limbo? Why did Ariadne throw herself and Fisher off the building then? That would have killed them and sent them to real limbo.

One thing I did figure out correctly though is that since Cobb doesn't wake up, he drowns in the van in Level 1, and thus goes to real Limbo, where he meets up with Saito who died a few minutes earlier and thus had time to age.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 8:40pm

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Atom

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The whole thing was that Fischer wasn't dead yet, he was just very close- seconds away from 'dying' and slipping into that limbo state.

This is what Ariadne postulates- that if they can make him fall asleep before he dies and go into a deeper dream state, he won't go into limbo and they can, essentially, 'kick' him back up one level to the snow- where he'll be fine yet again. Much like dreaming is in some respects.

And so, without time, Cobb is the one who architects the dream world in the deeper level- and he brings Ariadne and Fischer into it. It isn't actually his limbo world, but a world he can create very fast and knows very well, so that's why they end up there. (Plus it's a nice excuse to show it onscreen, I'm sure was Nolan's thinking. wink )

So we see his world, his projections, and his subconscious being all defensive and dangerous. And Ariadne and Fischer are 'shared dreaming' in it. The kick they've already decided is the snow building/fortress exploding, so when that storm comes up in Cobb's massive city, they know that's the kick.

So when Ariadne and Fischer jump off into the big storm, she knows the 'storm' is actually the 'kick' into the snow-level of dreaming, and thus the jump into the storm kicks her and Fischer back one level, and him out of the 'I'm dying and going to go to limbo' state.

Consequently, though, DiCaprio (errr, Cobb....possibly the worst part of the movie, bad naming 'Dom Cobb')- in 'van falling underwater level'- does in fact drown and thus falls even deeper into dreaming and limbo.

But because he was, from the very first level, 'shared dreaming' with Saito- he falls into what Saito has created as limbo.

And honestly, I think we just assume he shows him how to find reality, as he did with his wife, but in a different way. We already saw that Cobb found a way to get out of limbo- that his mind didn't go to mush- and that he was strong enough to perservere. I assume he found a way for Saito to do the same, and bring both into reality. After all, once that sedative ended, it would've brought them out of whatever level of dreaming they were in to begin with- it's just a matter of whether they'd be mentally blank or not that was the danger. So when DiCaprio is brought out of sedation in the limbo world, he already knows how to handle his sh*t. It's Saito he has to convince and help out of it.

As for the spinning top: I believe very strongly it was just cut as a yearning 'tease' right before it completely toppled over. It was clearly losing momentum and about to fall. The cut a half-second beforehand I think is just a clever directorial style flourish.

Not some grand 'OMGTWISTENDING' marker. But that's just me.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 8:47pm

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Pooky

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SPOILERS

Only problem with that theory is that the kick has to come from the level below yours. So for you to wake up from a dream, you have to get a kick from reality, and for you to wake up from level 2, you have to get a kick from level 1. So throwing yourself off the building wouldn't wake you up, as you'd have to fall in Level 3 to wake up from Level 4. You see this at the beginning when Cobb is woken up from Level 2 by being thrown in the water in Level 1.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 8:51pm

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Atom

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SPOILERS (But really, you shouldn't be reading a thread about a movie with such hidden plot details/so vague even in its marketing anyway unless you expect spoilers here to some degree)

But but but......

DiCaprio said that such wasn't so. Once you're in limbo, you can be 'kicked' out of it by simply waking up from sedation. It's dealing with the mental stress and imagination of it all that causes most people not to be able to deal with that. But we already know DiCaprio is able to, as he pulled himself out of limbo before.

Also, when Ariadne jumps with Fischer, we cut to see both of them wake up as they are falling in the crumbling snow fortress- then the moment she hits the rubble she wakes up in the exploding elevator shaft- then the moment that happens she awakes in the car hitting the water. For her, all of the 'kicks' almost happen simultaneously- which I think is what trips people out the most as this being such a 'complex' film.

They showed this part all linearly as a sequence, too, following Ellen Page's 'fall' through each level. So, in essence, she had a 'kick' back on each dream level.

Last edited Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 8:54pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 8:53pm

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Pooky

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SPOILERS

Yeah from the moment Ariadne got to Level 3 and the domino effect of kicks started happening, I have no problem understanding. What I don't get is why she threw herself off the building if falling in Level 3 would've woken her up anyway.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 8:55pm

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Atom

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She had to jump into the storm. The storm was the kick back to snow level. Theoretically it would've woken her up in the snow level anyway, but she's obviously scared and wants to ensure it- also based on her fear of staying around Mal and in DiCaprio's world longer.

By jumping she forces herself into a kick, and she knows it won't take her to limbo because the storm is happening. (And that's the 'kick' of the explosion in the snow world.)
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 9:00pm

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Pooky

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SPOILERS

That kind of makes sense, though doesn't that go against what Yusuf says earlier on about how the only thing that isn't sedated is the inner-ear functions, which means falling is the only possible kick under his sedative? I guess electrocution is a pretty powerful kick, but it's only being administered to Fisher, which means Ariadne herself never got a kick to get back to Level 3.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 9:06pm

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But she did- that's why the camera follows her through each level.

The moment she hits rock bottom in the stormy city, we cut to her hitting the rubble of the snow fortress, which explodes as it collapses and that hit and explosion together jump her back to the hotel, where she then gets hit and explodes again. They are all subsequent 'kicks', all inolving falling and noise from explosions, and all push her back one level.

Yusuf says that the only way out of the sedative in the real world prematurely was the use of inner-ear sense. Meaning on the plane someone could've knocked them over and they'd be out of it and perfectly fine. But because no one on the outside world of reality knew they were in trouble and things didn't go according to plan, no one knew to knock any of them over and pull them out of the dream world. That was the risk/danger/elevated stakes that made any of the film worth caring about, really.

And thus, the sedative being 'powerful but safe' didn't matter. It was just something Cobb allowed Yusuf to tell everyone to make them comfortable with going three levels deep into dreams. It never mattered, though, because he knew it didn't make a difference- he just didn't anticipate Fischer having subconscious defenses.

Cobb knew the risks and rules of what they were doing, he just let Yusuf believe in his trust and experience, and everyone else believe in Yusuf.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 9:13pm

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Pooky

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Yes, all of what you said is obvious, I don't think you're understanding what I'm unsure about.

Ariadne did not get defibrillated, and thus her only kick back into Level 3 was the building exploding and her resulting fall. Thus, throwing herself off the building makes no sense, because the storm was only a kick to Fisher.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 9:15pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Ok, great film, absolutely fantastic. Perfect blend of incredible visuals and a masterfully told story with real emotional weight.

The ending was beautiful, it left me genuinely speechless, hairs standing up, goosebumps, incredible.

That's the mark of a truly great film, if it moves you like that.

Brilliant.

Last edited Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 9:26pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 9:23pm

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Atom

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Pooky wrote:

Yes, all of what you said is obvious, I don't think you're understanding what I'm unsure about.

Ariadne did not get defibrillated, and thus her only kick back into Level 3 was the building exploding and her resulting fall. Thus, throwing herself off the building makes no sense, because the storm was only a kick to Fisher.
What? No.

Fischer was defibrillated in addition to the snow fortress building exploding. The storm is caused by the exploding fortress. The lightning added to that is, perhaps, the defibrillator- but the storm is from the explosion. The storm itself- in how severe and god's-wrath-like it was, was an obvious indicator that the building was beginning to explode. Sort of like Saito saying 'turbulence?' and Tom Hardy telling him it was too close and must've been 'Yusuf under fire/trouble' when stuff begins to move in the hotel- we as the viewer know that something that grand of a change and movement as the huge storm must be something decently grand a level above: like the fortress exploding. It has to be more than the defibrillator.

In fact, I'm not sure if you'll exactly recall this- but as I did: the storm begins as Tom Hardy explodes the charges (and when Saito throws the grenade, actually- but it's not until we see the first electric shock pulled on Fischer that lightning, violent and massive, comes into play in the massive Cobb city world. So here we're to assume the explosions are causing the storm, and defibrillator is just adding to this. Some creative cutting and critical thinking later, and we've got the kick and Fischer's reawakening to life happening simultaneously.

So her jumping off was her way to kick herself back to the snow world quicker, one so that she didn't stay in Cobb's world any longer; and two because that just made the most sense- without waiting for whole explosion in the snow fortress to happen. It's also a better way, as far as visual language/screen direction goes, to convey the jumps backward. And in this regard, it doesn't necessarily need airtight screenwriting logic.

Her jumping signified a way to jolt herself back to the snow world, much like shooting herself, but it wouldn't have sent her to limbo because she did it while the snow place was collapsing- meaning her 'kick' in the other level was ready. And she knows this because of the storm; which you obviously understand. (I think wink) She even goes as far as saying something along the lines of 'Cobb, let's go! This storm is the kick- he's exploding the snow fortress-y area!' Or something along those lines; pretty explicitly.

The jump was just to cement the kick back for her. She's afraid of Cobb's world, she knows the kick in the snow level is going on, and it's just a plain easy way to convey all of this onscreen. To me, despite the movie lacking some emotional resonance, this was pretty clear and well-realized- and really its greatest strength. The actions of each character, all the way to minutia like her jump, serve to explain the rules and conditions of the 'world' Nolan creates- and all progress the plot in some way.

Like I said before, this is at the concession of truly strong character development and the movie having some substantial 'heart' to it- but because the plot development and grasp is so tightly-orchestrated and vast; the decidedly mechanical nature of the film works all by itself. Does it have lots of emotion and thematic strength? Not really. Do I care about JGL's character Arthur, for instance? Not really, no. But it doesn't really matter all that much- because the movie obviously cares most about it's Rubik's Cube plot, and it's really enjoyable and equally-serviceable to see solve itself and unfold as it would be to see some moments of genuine emotion.

So it's all gravy. But only because Nolan's crafty and talented enough to make that concession. wink
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 11:16pm

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ben3308

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The storm is the kick, and if different people wake up at different times from the kick - like DiCaprio still drowning in the car, but Ellen Page going through the domino effect of waking up - then HOW is Nolan going to show that?

Does Ellen Page just disappear from that stormy, crazy world that DiCaprio is in? Does she start to fade, Back to the Future-style, when the kick is happening to her?

No, Nolan just has her jump backwards and 'embrace the kick' because she probably wants to get the hell out of there. So she's not jumping to death, she's going through the kick. It would be cheesy to show 'waking up' any other way while still in the dream.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jul 2010, 5:48pm

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CX3

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10/10

Easily the best film of the year if not the past few years. Loved everything about it and I'm so damn thankful Nolan has put something like this in theaters. It definitely hit me more on a mental level than visual (even though the visuals were excellent).

Here's a pretty interesting look on some theories:
http://www.cinematical.com/2010/07/19/dissecting-inception-six-interpretations-and-five-plot-holes/
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jul 2010, 7:53pm

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jawajohnny

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10/10

This is the best movie I've seen in years. And it was absolutely hilarious to watch all the teenagers in the audience who were completely confused and/or bored out of the minds. Full review later.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jul 2010, 8:22pm

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DVStudio

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Saw the movie last night... EPIC. New favorite film of the moment. Excellent movie. When does the Blu-Ray version come out? wink A well deserved 10/10.

Jawajohnny- I had a similar feeling of comedy watching those who walked out completely clueless as to what went on in the movie.

DV
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 1:11am

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StupidLikeAFox

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SPOILERS!!!

Just to add what I think...at first as I left the cinema I believed cobb had entered back into reality..as it looked like the totem was close to falling at the very end

However after thinking back through the children are wearing exactly the same clothes..in exact same position as he remembers and they have not aged?
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 2:29am

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Pooky

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http://www.cinematical.com/2010/07/19/dissecting-inception-six-interpretations-and-five-plot-holes/

Very interesting read!
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 3:28am

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Evman

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God I can't stand the people who so obviously hate this movie because they want to feel like they're above all of "us sheep" who love it.

I've only talked to ONE person in total who's disliked the movie on grounds that I consider to be "legitimate", and not just the inevitable backlash associated with a project with this much hype and positive audience reaction.

It's fine to not like the movie - but when your only grounds for not liking it are at the expense of other people's intelligence... sheesh.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 3:59am

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Pooky

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Evman wrote:

God I can't stand the people who so obviously hate this movie because they want to feel like they're above all of "us sheep" who love it.

I've only talked to ONE person in total who's disliked the movie on grounds that I consider to be "legitimate", and not just the inevitable backlash associated with a project with this much hype and positive audience reaction.

It's fine to not like the movie - but when your only grounds for not liking it are at the expense of other people's intelligence... sheesh.
Yeah, kind of like the whole Avatar thing, where it went from being a very entertaining and visually pioneering movie to being a piece of sh!t sheeple movie that didn't deserve any praise at all. Most of that was due to the huge success of the movie, rather than its generic-but-well-handled plot.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 5:14am

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The difference there was, Pooky, that Avatar was a big pile of sh!t. To even remotely compare the reaction of that to Inception, is to do this masterwork of a film a grave disservice. smile
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 5:20am

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Evman

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Well no - with Avatar you had people who initially liked it because it didn't "take-off" right away, and then later revised their opinions to hate it when it became popular.

With Inception you've got people hating it right out of the gate because it was immediately considered great by a huge swatch of people.

I cannot express the extent to which I hate contrarianism.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 5:26am

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Atom

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I just don't think that's so, though. I think the love for Inception is so overwhelmingly in different ways- people like me for love it for technical mastery, others for being 'mind blown', and others who think its 'OMGTHEBESTMOVIEOFALLTIME!!!!1'- that none really conflict that much with one-another or draw such an intensity people are annoyed and create a backlash.

There are people who didn't enjoy Inception, sure, but I don't see nearly the sort of backlash you'd see on, say, Avatar, The Dark Knight, or Juno- where many strong, intense complaints are still pretty decently founded. With Inception you've got a movie that is really pretty universally accepted as 'good', but not so much so in 'fantastic!!!!' territory that it quickly lends itself to haterade. Which is a good thing.

Look at even us- I don't think Inception blows my mind or that it's really anything astoundingly special, but I liked it well enough and you guys did as well- but I'm not all angered like I might be with, say again, The Dark Knight- where people were going apeballs over it and I myself was sort of like 'meh'.

I dunno what I'm trying to say, exactly. Inception's just a different sort of beast. Not riddled with the hype and craziness that gets to unfounded territories some of its predecessors, including Nolan's Dark Knight, did.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 5:29am

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Pooky

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I guess what you're saying is that Inception is a much better and harder to criticize film than Avatar, The Dark Knight, and Juno... and I agree with you, actually. All I used Avatar for was to demonstrate how prevalent contrarianism is.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 5:34am

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Atom

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I'm saying, well, yes- it is much better than all those films. But that's independent of why I think it hasn't gotten and won't get the same sort of backlash:

The hype surrounding it isn't singularly centric to certain buzzwords or one idea (ala 'The Dark Knight is the great movie of all time!!!!'). It has faults, for good measure. Inception isn't a flawless film, for my money. But it doesn't really have to be. There are things people are only lukewarm to in it, but also different strengths people see. It isn't all centered towards one ridiculous 'like' of the movie that could become massively overblown. Instead- the positivity is pretty evenly split and between different, generally agreeable, groups.

Like you and me, for instance. We like different things in it, but our reactions aren't so ridiculously overblown or joined by an idiotic mass that either of us feels he has to retaliate.

At least, that's how I see it.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 8:17am

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ben3308

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Here come some pragmatics about film theory....

It's worth noting, though, that contrarian viewpoints are healthy in moderating conversation that includes critical analysis; because though in the short run it provokes heightened contrast from either point of view, in the long run it helps to keep positive opinions fresh, reasoned, and generally in-check in terms of true validation.

Contrary views, even if unfounded, allow us to search for the reasoning behind founding our own beliefs - and in producing that greater insight we become better at our craft, both as critics and creators.

I think Roger Ebert is one of the best, most salient film critics there is - and that's largely because one who has faced the most opposition, the most intentionally contrary viewpoints, and the most personal criticism regarding his own tastes. We need the Armond Whites of the world to give credence to our abilities to actively form a founded opinion.

So there.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 9:20am

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rogolo

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Whose your Armond White, then, Mr. Adams?

Or do I already know the answer? : )
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 9:26am

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ben3308

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Oh, I have several.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 2:13pm

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DVStudio

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**SPOILERS**

Check out this article which expresses different explanations for the twists at the end. Kinda an interesting perspective.

Makes you think, huh?

DV
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 2:36pm

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Atom

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Honestly, I can't stand those sort of things. The multiple 'theories' on the ending of films like Inception, especially when they become a preposterous number like here, is just annoying and signifies, to me, a big disconnect in whoever wrote it and generated feedback on the film truly 'getting it'.

Yeah, there are some well-realized opinions on how it ends that link, and the guy has pretty decently synthesized what happened in the end- but such 'I don't know for sure' ambivalence from writers and reviewers I've seen in a few spots just drives me mad. These are those people that just dint 'get' the movie, even when it's all spelled out for them. They understand the chain of events, the character interactions, but they're so caught up in overthinking the implications of 'what if?' conclusions that they lose sight of the impact of the actual and intended conclusion.

But maybe that's just me. Ridiculously overthought theories just make people look short-sighted, to me.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 3:33pm

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CX3

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Personally, I'm a fan of theories and always find them interesting to read. What-if's are fun because they might point out something I never even thought about.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jul 2010, 3:40pm

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Evman

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Yeah. They're fun. So people are running with theory and exploring different possibilities that Nolan may not have intended... so what? I personally find it all interesting and enjoy reading it all, even though I may not really agree with their conclusions.

Atom - "You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling." wink
Posted: Mon, 26th Jul 2010, 9:06am

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Simon K Jones

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Great film. Exhilerating to see guns and explosions being melded to decent ideas and hard sci-fi, especially at this kind of budget. That basically never happens in movies.

The abrupt ending, I thought, was to make the point that it doesn't always matter whether the world is 'real' or not. At some point you just have to accept it and get on with your life - as Cobb does by not continuing to watch the spinner. It's saying that you have to leave behind existential angst at some point and accept your reality.
Posted: Mon, 26th Jul 2010, 9:34am

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Joshua Davies

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I really REALLY liked Inception but the handful of people I went with didn't like it as much. Some of them said they were thinking of walking out because it was so boring.
Posted: Mon, 26th Jul 2010, 9:38am

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Simon K Jones

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Madness! Ah well, they can keep their Michael Bay films. smile

It certainly had a slow start, and I was a little concerned that the pacing would remain like that throughout. However, it was clearly deliberate and the pacing and tension ratcheted up scene by scene until the final third was absolutely exhilerating.

Even during the slow first third, however, there were enough ideas floating around to keep it absolutely captivating.

Ah well, each to their own, I guess. smile

Edit: Also, Hans Zimmer's music was astounding. Reminded me of a more aggressive version of Howard Shore's early Cronenberg stuff. Brilliantly unsettling. What with this and the Sherlock Holmes score, Zimmer seems to have found a new creative spark after 10 years of rehasing the Gladiator themes.

Edit 2: For all the obvious Matrix comparisons, I'd say a far more apt comparison to draw is with James Bond movies.
Posted: Tue, 27th Jul 2010, 3:49am

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Coureur de Bois

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Tarn wrote:

For all the obvious Matrix comparisons, I'd say a far more apt comparison to draw is with James Bond movies.
For some reason I was reminded of Sneakers (a very underappreciated Robert Redford film from the 90s for those not familier.
Posted: Wed, 28th Jul 2010, 8:47am

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Atom

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Rating: +1

Just wanted to say that I saw the movie again with my little brother on vacation and enjoyed it a might amount more than my initial viewing, even on the piss-small screen they've got in this town. smile

Even though I felt the film was decently transparent, there is even greater and more impressive solidity and cohesion in the conclusion and overall plot when I saw it again.

For instance, we see the train on the elevator. We see the spinning top moving PERFECTLY in the very beginning. We hear his kids' voices on the phone.

All of these point to a world where the ending is reality. The argument of 'his kids would've been older' goes out with their voices being the same in their present-day phone call to Cobb and the ending with them greeting him. The top not only wobbles, meaning it isn't perfect, but it damn near falls over. This is reality. Finally, there's a big clue I didn't notice the first time, and that's Cobb's wedding ring.

In reality, he doesn't wear it- in every dream state or sequence in the movie,he's got it on. Low and behold, it's missing in the very last scene, and his firm statement to Mal about her just being a shade, his movement from guilt and regret to closure, and his saving of Saito, who motions down to the perfectly spinning top as he reaches for the gun to kill himself and get out of limbo- which is a possibility reaffirmed by the traintracks sequences- before a smash cut back to Cobb waking on the plane; it just all plays into a solidly one-sided, happy ending.

And I really love that upon a second viewing I, an intelligent and perceptive first-time viewer already, was able to have some of my possible issues or plot bittersweetnesses cooled and/or eradicated with this time. This is even a testament to what Cobb says of Fischer, that 'we all long for reconciliation, for catharsis that is positive over negative'.

I won't say you learn more or more is revealed, plot-wise, in seeing it again- it's all pretty straightforward from the get-go - but it definitely feels kore interwoven and clearly, cohesively collected upon a second viewing. Overwhelmingly so. Which was really cool.

But really, did anyone else notice the wedding ring thing? I also thought it really made the 'leaving the spinning top totem and not caring' at the end of the film much more powerful- because without the ring it founds that the sequence is reality, and that ignoring it isn't ignoring reality (which I would consider massively selfish on Cobb's part and a poor, cheaply-tragic ending), but moving on like he had to with Mal.

He's in reality, but he doesn't need the totem. His grasp was always there, and Mal is what tied him to it, to there being such a fine line between dreaming and reality. Essentially, he's ignoring an obsession with discerning between the two. And I like that a LOT more- and it fully explains itself cohesively and with great finesse in a second viewing- to be that he simply let's go of having to validate his reality. This is it, this is where he's staying. And yea, it's real. Look at the wedding ring, kids' faces, kids' unchanged voices from the phonecall, etc.

The whole movie just works.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 6:55am

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Serpent

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Rating: +1

Sorry if this has been mentioned, I haven't seen it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVkQ0C4qDvM

Really really cool stuff by Hans Zimmer.

"No, I regret nothing."
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 8:11am

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Simon K Jones

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Ooh, very cool, Serpent. I'd picked up some similarities in the music, but hadn't noticed that core element.

I'd say Inception is the best Zimmer score for years. I'd rather dismissed him for most of the last decade, as post-Gladiator he seemed to be repeating the same themes over and over again, or farming stuff out to other musicians.

Recently, though, he's had quite the renaissance. Kung Fu Panda, Sherlock Holmes and now Inception. Superb stuff.

/me goes off to Spotify the Inception score.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 2:45pm

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ben3308

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I liked Inception's score in that Zimmer gave it an appropriately more epic and grand theme to what he has done prior. I do, however, think his Batman Begins stuff is by a large margin his best, simply becaus hebroolnhis own, simplistic drumbeats style, and adapted it well to a memorable, iconic theme that sounds and feels like Batman while still being very endearing and having a lot of heart.

Watching Inception again, the score sticks out as notably strong (in comparison to other, totally different elements like acting - in which everyone has done 'better' on previous films, but nobody is particularly bad) and helps move the movie along. Most especially the score's shift to light/mysterious during any of the 6 or 7 mentions of the train during the film.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 3:13pm

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Sollthar

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Going to watch Inception tomorrow! The film finally celebrates it's premiere over here.

Glad to hear Zimmer did a good score again. After he and Newton-Howard (Who I normally love!) did two so underwhelming and boring Batman pieces it would be great to listen to some good old Zimmer stuff. Though I wouldn't have expected it in a Nolan movie myself. Looking forward to the film tomorrow! cool
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 3:27pm

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Simon K Jones

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Hope you like it. smile The score isn't necessarily a 'listen to it outside of the film' kind of score, but it does mesh with the themes and story perfectly - bit like the Sunshine score. It is a completely integral part of the storytelling, not just aural decoration.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 3:33pm

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Sollthar

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Ah, what shame. But hardly surprising with Nolan. Then it probably enters the "sounddesign zimmer" chain rather then the "awesome music zimmer" for me then. Not much into the former. If it isn't musically interesting completely without the film, chances are I won't like it.

But I hope and expect to enjoy the film and the music together with it then. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 3:39pm

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Evman

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I don't know what you're talking about Tarn. I've been listening to the score independently of the film for like 2 weeks since I've seen it and I'm hooked on it. It's really brilliant.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 3:48pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, same here. I love it. But I love generally non-melodic scores, whereas I know Sollthar is a fan of a different kind of score. Similarly, when I was playing the score the other evening while working on some VFX, my girlfriend complained that it was making her nervous. razz

It's certainly brilliant and I can listen to it very happily, but it's not what most people would consider easy listening. Basically, it's not like Star Wars/Indiana Jones/Back to the Future/Gladiator/etc.

It's actually a hugely varied score, of course, so it's not as abstract as the Batman scores, but it's not for everyone.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 6:18pm

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I see there's not much love for the POTC soundtrack... A pity, as I think it's one of his best and most memorable. But to each his own I suppose..
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 6:25pm

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Sollthar

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The Pirates Score is mostly Klaus Badelts work though, Zimmer only supervized the production at first. But yes. The PotC score is brilliant. smile
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 6:56pm

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Evman

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Its also very nearly the same thing as the Gladiator score - as Tarn pointed out.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 6:59pm

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Sollthar

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Almost everything Media Ventures does sounds pretty samey though. You don't have to be a musical genius to hear a classic "Media Ventures" score immediately most of the time. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 7:48pm

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Atom

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I think the Batman Begins score is amazing. I NEVER listened to scores or compositions, ever, before I saw Batman Begins. But that score has such- and this will sound like a broken record- aching humanity to it. The score is brooding and dark, but not generic or overdone. It's my all-time favorite bit of movie music.

And I just felt like it was cut so extremely and rhythmically well with the sound-design and overall editing of Batman Begins. It really came out of nowhere to me to be just outright astouding.

I feel very much the same way with Inception. It's in the score working as an atmospheric key- tones and rhythms cut on movements more deliberately so than a soaring John Williams score- that acts as a second layer of sound-design more than it does anything else.

Sherlock Holmes score, I thought, was massively better- but it was also just plain amazing and completely different from anything Zimmer has done lately. Michael Giacchino is at the top of his game and had two fantastic Oscar-nom'd scores (Up and Star Trek) last year- and it appears Zimmer is noticing it; trying to bring himself back. smile

Although I've never really understood the 'so-and-so sounds like Gladiator's score' argument. There is no doubt Zimmer has gotten in the past decade more same-y and recycled; but to me Gladiator was a terribly forgettable score that I don't even recall. Why use it as the basis for comparing/copying his other works? Surely Pirates or Begins are more notable as having somewhat 'transplanted' and notably recognizable horns, percussions, and the 'loud boomy Zimmery' feel?

But yeah, Inception had a fantastic score. Zimmer really has his stuff down these days. His apprentice, too, is
Steve Jablonsky- whose music Zimmer also co-produces and is in all of the Michael Bay films. I've always found him rather underappreciated. Great stuff, especially with The Island and Transformers.

If you like Zimmer, look into Jablonsky. To me he's just like a younger, fresher (although this is now debatable following Sherlock Holmes), but not as same-y version of Hans Zimmer. Check it out.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 8:51pm

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Staff Only

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Atom wrote:

in amazing and completely different from anything Zimmer has done lately. Michael Giacchino is at the top of his game and had two fantastic Oscar-nom'd scores (Up and Star Trek) last year- and it appears Zimmer is noticing it; trying to bring himself back. smile
Wow, wow, wow. Avatar was the big epic blockbuster with an Original Score nom last year, not Star Trek! Granted Giacchino is my favorite composer, but the production on the Star Trek OST CD was awful stuff (not Giacchino's fault most likely). The score was amazing in the film, but the music from the third act is minimal and cut together in a completley different way than in the film. The moment when Kirk fires on the Narada for the last time is different, and Enterprising Young Men is slightly different in the film.


Anyway, the reason I haven't written about Inception is that it's the first film that has ever had me question Star Wars' eternal throne as my favorite film of all time. I have no idea what to say about it so I'll just wing it. I became interested in film because of Star Wars, and (like I wrote about Avatar) I've always wondered if you could make a film quite like it ever again. The reason I followed Avatar for five years was because I thought it might do just that (which I didn't think it did, but Box Office says it just might have). When I was watching Inception it was everything I thought a perfect movie should be. It was heavy on all the right points: flaunting it's cleverness, it's narrative, it's cast/acting, it's cinematography, it's editing and it's visuals. When I want to explain what kind of movie I have zero-point-zero interest in whatsoever I always use Juno. Juno has no "plot" in the traditional sense. It has a premise and expects you to enjoy the atmosphere and characters alone, much like real life. Inception is the anti-Juno and I LOVE it.

One of my favorite things about Inception was the way the Inception world serviced the plot perfectly. Here Nolan introduced a quite complex world with a LOT of rules, then he introduced a large plot and watching them fit themselves so tightly together like a zipper coming together was beautiful. If you think about it, you can't possibly make a sequel to Inception that works better within this world, because the world was obviously built for the story and vice versa. My absolute favorite thing was the narrative (which is something I always love in Nolan films with the exception of The Dark Knight which might be why TDK is my least favorite Nolan-film). I normally use King Kong 2005 as my example of a perfect film (Juno being the opposite) because King Kong is enormous (the movie I mean) and yet it has great characters, great direction and great acting with just the right amount of Oscar-bait moments for that size of film. Inception is very much the same. People usually get very offended by my down-putting of work like Juno, but I think Michael Bay said it best (ironically in relation to one of his worst films critically):

“It’s easy to go shoot an art movie in a winery in the South of France. But [critics] have no idea how hard it is to create something like Transformers. They review me before they’ve even seen the movie.” —Director Michael Bay, June 18, 2009


- Source

Even though Visual Effects don't make a film good Bay hit the nail on the head. Look at the making of Star Wars, Apocalypse Now or The Abyss. Big films are hard to make even at the best of times, and when you are doing something new in a BIG film (let's not forget Inception had 3 times the budget of The Matrix) the hardship multiplies tenfold. As someone said earlier in this thread Inception doesn't even show the strain. This was all in a days work for Nolan. Because of how I look at movies (and life for that matter) the harder something is to do, the more impressive the feat accomplished; the better it is in my eyes. It's like I said when explaining this after seeing Inception and hearing the claims that Nolan's films were to cold: EDIT: That wasn't really a prefect analogy. What I meant was you can have a charming little house in the middle of the country with such character and such a feeling etc., but it will never measure up to the Taj Mahal which has both TONS of character and is damn impressive. /EDIT That's why I give Inception 10/10 because I was damn impressed by every part of the production as well as the film itself. Thank you, Nolan.

(PS: And trust me, many people have tried every way they can think of to romanticize my view of films saying "[I] don't really love film", "[I] should be ashamed to call myself a film-fan with this take on film", "[I'm] wrong", "That's sick" etc. If it bothers you: just don't take me seriously. This is basically my view of life, The Universe and the human existence. The coolest thing we have ever built that I know of is the International Space Station because it's basically the most impressive thing we have ever built that I know of. It should come as no surprise that I think like this as I was the biggest Avatard around here prior to its release and in some ways it was the most impressive film ever, but not really and that is why Avatar isn't my favorite film of all time and never was.)


EDIT: Is it just me or does the supposed "plot" of Inception I found somewhere and copy/pasted on the first page of this thread months ago sound like Oscar-bait-A-Beautiful-Mind crap?

"Leo is a paraplegic who discovers a portal to escape his paralyzed existence through his own mind that takes him to another plane of existence. His wife has left him because of his pursuit which takes him on a journey that seldom people have gone except for the MENSA level geniuses. Over time he gets better at escaping through his own mind to this other dimension but government types begin to find about this path."

I'm so glad the film wasn't about that. The only reason I said that sounded interesting at the time must surely have been because it was interesting if Nolan directed it, right? Right? What the hell was I thinking...
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 9:38pm

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Sollthar

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Why use Gladiator as the basis for comparing/copying his other works?
I'd say simply because Gladiator is in the minds of many, including me, by far Zimmers best score. But that's why tastes are different. You loved the Batman scores and thought Gladiator was forgetable, for me it's exactly the other way round. Allthough Elfmans Batman score easily wipes the floor as the best comic book score ever written in the history of film with both of them. wink
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 10:21pm

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Atom

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Even though I don't like Danny Elfman really, I'd really like to agree with you that his Batman score is the best; even if simply for it's sheer iconic status.

However, as far as comic book movies go- I don't think there's anything (at least more-recently) as strong, true to the comic book character, and memorable/ingrained into the consciousness than Elfman's first Spiderman score.

I often forget it's Elfman. And Spiderman, for that matter. Because it just to me hits that 'instant classic' territory.
Posted: Thu, 29th Jul 2010, 11:42pm

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Pooky

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Atom wrote:

Even though I don't like Danny Elfman really, I'd really like to agree with you that his Batman score is the best; even if simply for it's sheer iconic status.

However, as far as comic book movies go- I don't think there's anything (at least more-recently) as strong, true to the comic book character, and memorable/ingrained into the consciousness than Elfman's first Spiderman score.

I often forget it's Elfman. And Spiderman, for that matter. Because it just to me hits that 'instant classic' territory.
tard Sometimes I think Atom's just toying with us.
Posted: Fri, 30th Jul 2010, 1:19am

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Atom

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Heh. Perhaps that's jumping the shark a little bit to say, but you have to also see it in context: Spiderman is a coming-of-age tale, with a memorable and excellent score. I first saw the film, and have an emotional and nostalgic draw to it- when I was coming-of-age. I was 12, I think.

Similarly, it's more iconic, sure, but I think one of the best attributes to Sollthar finding the 1989 Batman so magnificent would be the age in which he saw the film/heard the score. No doubt he was just a kid himself, right? Obviously it's all just up to taste, I'm just pointing that out.

And Staff Only, that's a decently fair and at-length review you've got there- and I for the most part agree.

One thing I think should be mentioned, that you might've missed, is that the budget wasn't all that high. At least, not in the context of other films. Sure, it was made for over 150 million dollars- and that is f*cktons of money smile - but that's pretty average these days for summer blockbusters. The overall total, and this is perhaps what I like best about the film as an ad man, student, and commercial campaign enthusiast- is that over $100 million of the totals we're seeing went into the marketing and ad campaigns. That's pretty unprecedented, and I think the movie was all-the-better for it.

Even with Nolan, 'the director of The Dark Knight' on the tagline- it was always going to be difficult to market and attract with the material Inception had to offer. I could tell from the first (kinda shitty) teaser trailer that the movie was going to need heavy, heavy exposure over a long time to become salient and socially/publicly relevant.

And if anyone will tell you, there's nothing I like more than a movie that properly paces it's marketing, precisely builds it's hype, and designates it all with a signature look and feel. It's like 'packaging' positive feelings you can go into the movie with- and it's a slow and expensive process. That sort of thing isn't often seen in and movies anymore, what with viral and inexpensive marketing, social networks, review internet hubs, etc.

But Inception went all out. They went the 'Old Hollywood' way and did a long-standing, slowly-building media blitz. And I really love it for that. I may have found the second trailer underwhelming, but Warner Bros. just has their sh*t together so well with ad campaigns for big movies, it's forgivable. Inception had it all, the way I would do it (or would at least want to) if I was working the hype machine for this film: Consistent style and media. A polished, relentless, distinct look and feel. With mass exposure and no expense spared (literally). Print ads building-sized, TV spots everywhere, etc.

But yeah, that's where a cool 100 mil went. So it's not so epic expense-wise. smile
Posted: Fri, 30th Jul 2010, 7:00am

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Sollthar

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Danny Elfman is one of my favorite composers alongside Alan Silvestri, despite the fact he also regularly makes scores that are boring - especially lately. But Batman, Spiderman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare before christmas and obviously, my still all time best film Sleepy Hollow are exactly the kind of music I could enjoy all day - and pretty much do, since I don't listen to anything else then orchestral music.

I didn't start to listen to film music before I was 16, so I only got the Batman score when I was about 18 or so. And while I like Burtons Batman (even more then Nolans) I don't think the films itself are even half as brilliant as Elfmans music. It's really the music as an orchestral piece I love. Been to several live performances of the Batman score. Best musical concert experiences I ever had. Still waiting for that "the mummy returns" concert which is still my favorite score. smile
Posted: Fri, 30th Jul 2010, 8:18am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, I adore Elfman's Batman scores. I'd disagree about the Spidey scores, though - I found them all entirely forgettable.

If we're talking memorable superhero music, though, surely some mention has to go to Williams' original Superman score? So iconic that it's been used at sports and military events all over the world.

I might just have to Spotify the Batman Returns score today...

Oh, and I agree about Jablonsky. His Transformers score is superb. Oddly, though, his Transformers 2 score is dull and uninspiring - the crappy quality of the film also seemed to translate into the music, curiously.
Posted: Fri, 30th Jul 2010, 8:29am

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Sollthar

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Oh yes! Williams Superman score is absolutely awesome! Especially the main theme - the rest of the score isn't quite as great. But the superman main theme is definately a piece of true genius. smile

As far as the Spiderman score goes, I'd also say it's not one of Elfmans best. It has a few moments of awesomeness in the main theme and in the Doc Ock Theme, but rest is indeed mainly standard fare. But fun nonetheless.
Posted: Fri, 30th Jul 2010, 12:00pm

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Atom wrote:

But Inception went all out. They went the 'Old Hollywood' way and did a long-standing, slowly-building media blitz.
Yes, and that was very cool as you say. Remember the flash game at mind-crime.com you had a link to so we could see the trailer before it came out on Yahoo? Well that game was really weird at the time, but as soon as Cobb was explaining projections to Ariadne suddenly the game made perfect sense. I really liked that.

Atom wrote:

But yeah, that's where a cool 100 mil went. So it's not so epic expense-wise. smile
But are you sure Wiki is listing the entire budget? Normally they only list the production budget. I would have thought Inception would have pushed 250 million with marketing thrown in?

Also I think your interpretation of the film is by far my favorite and I have spent all week reading different ones on the internet. The film, the ending and Cobb's journey have far more impact if you believe it wasn't (SPOILER) a dream. This point in particular:

Atom wrote:

But really, did anyone else notice the wedding ring thing? I also thought it really made the 'leaving the spinning top totem and not caring' at the end of the film much more powerful- because without the ring it founds that the sequence is reality, and that ignoring it isn't ignoring reality (which I would consider massively selfish on Cobb's part and a poor, cheaply-tragic ending), but moving on like he had to with Mal.
I can safely say that I haven't seen anyone mention the ring other than you even though I have spent considerable time on IMDb's Inception board. You are absolutely right. Also if you look at the scene at the start where Arthur and Ariadne meet each other without Cobb ("Cobb said you'd be back") they seem way to human to be projections and why would projections get on with their lives independently of the dreamer? It makes no sense to me that there would be any scenes without Cobb if (SPOILER) it all was a [his] dream. I think the most "OMG it might all be a dream!" scene is the Mombasa scene, where we see Cobb being chased by someone, then feeling the walls closing inn (even they don't actually get any closer), then getting rescued out of nowhere (even though Saito would be there as it was "Cobol Engineering's backyard"). The fact the walls don't actually move at all I think is Nolan's way of teasing us. That way it can lead to either theory.

EDIT: The ring has actually been mentioned and it's not only my favorite theory now, but the one I think it's most likely Nolan wants us to find because of this:

But the fact that [Nolan] cut the film before the top falls over does have a meaning. He is planting a seed of doubt in your mind. He uses inception on the audience to have them question the ending. The concept of the movie thus becomes reality to the viewer, a heavy thing to think about and something that hasn't been done before.
- Source

That's beyond brilliant.
Posted: Fri, 30th Jul 2010, 5:03pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Sollthar wrote:

Oh yes! Williams Superman score is absolutely awesome! Especially the main theme - the rest of the score isn't quite as great. But the superman main theme is definately a piece of true genius.
I think it's definitely William's best music, especially with John Ottman's modifications in Superman Returns. The...I guess they're called percussion instruments...gave it a bit more oomph and power.
But the Begins soundtrack is also really cool. Not as good as Pirates or The Last Samurai, but certainly worth listening to.
Posted: Fri, 30th Jul 2010, 10:35pm

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Sollthar

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Just coming back from the cinema and I really enjoyed the film for the most part. The first half was great, suspenseful and kept moving along with new stuff and new layers. It also set up the perfect basis for the second half - the dream entering. The film has some great visual ideas and tells an interesting story.

Allthough at about 2/3 in after I saw the 5th shot of the Van falling down in slow motion followed by the 20th shot of lots of people shooting and running about I had a "Matrix Revolution" moment in which I was pretty much numbed by all the DRAMA and TENSION and the DEEP BROOMING REPETETIVE MUSIC and found myself thinking "Okay, I got it. It's all very dramatic. Now move on with the story please, this gets boring".
The film had me back then after it did just that and provided a sweet ending (which I know will lots of people get very busy "philosophing" about, just as it's intended to).

All in all, a very enjoyable film that does a lot really big and great, but also has it's share of misfires and detail plot holes and inconsistencies. Interestingly, similar misfires I see in Nolans other works, especially in his Batman movies. Nolan tends to verbalize a lot that should remain unsaid for my taste, but then again, I know this is a requirement for Mainstream Cinema, as I've began to learn first hand with working with a script doctor on a bigger production. Also, Nolan has a tendency to be a bit melodramatic / overdramatic, sometimes even moving straight into kitsch territory (never as bad here though as in the dark knight, when Oldman randomly starts quoting postcard slogans about Batman to his son at the end which made me laugh out loud).

As for the music: I thought it was a great idea to use a very very slowed down version of Piafs song as the main theme and it fit the film rather well. Music wise though, it's not really my cup of tea. For that's, it's too repetitive and simple.


But definately a cool film and I think the best I've seen so far in this year. cool
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 1:34am

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Atom

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Whoever that guy above me is, he must hate fun.

And although I didn't think the movie was perfect, I don't really understand how this is melodramatic- or what is verbalized that is too generic/losing-in-subtlety.

More simply, Nolan is the exception to the rule of mainstream cinema- so bundling your complaints into a concession because 'it's mainstream cinema' I myself almost see as an insult.

Put simply: your review sort of confuses me. I agree, the film has holes- and yes, it's less than profound- but the overall argument I just don't get. We've talked about this before, I know your considerations of movies being 'dramatic' or 'INTENSE' are from a more sensitive palette than mine.

You argue that you're bored by the film, then criticize it for being too into itself with being dramatic and intense (which would be the opposite of boring, wouldn't it?) then chalk the themes and orchestration of the movie up to just being 'moody'- while also saying parts were stale because they weren't plot-forwarding. But see, to me ALL OF THE ACTIONS in the movie, every sequence, are for the sake of the plot. It's almost to a fault at points, even. So I don't see the merit of the complaint, I suppose. It seems.....contradictory.

But maybe I'm just misreading what you're putting. It's just that even in your reaction to the universally-lauded score- it just seems so......contrarian. Even for generally liking the movie. And hey, I didn't even think that much of the movie myself, save being incredibly entertaining.
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 3:33am

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Pooky

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Sollthar's just very conservative in his tastes. Thus, movies like this that are of a very new yet influence-ladden style are far less appealing to him than old-school masterful cinematography. I think.
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 7:46am

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Atom

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But that's so silly, because for the most part Inception is, on the best technical level at least, a very traditional, old-school movie. There's no shaking handheld camera or avant-garde lighting; no experimental editing or oddity aside from cross-cutting; that makes the movie any bit modern or different- it's the premise and plot execution that do that. And even then, the plot is progressed so solidly- even at the concession of character insight and development- that it's utterly perplexing to be so scattered with criticisms that (to me at least) don't really make sense together.

Ultimately it's just your opinion, and I get that- I won't make too terrible a fuss. I just don't get where you're coming from/basing your criticisms off of. There are many valid and obvious ones to be had- but 'melodramatic' isn't really one of them I don't think; as neither is the film being meandering away from the plot at any point, really. Nolan's very conservative himself- in his execution, if not his ideas.

So from a storytelling standpoint, that doesn't really make sense. I'll even go as far as to say I don't like Wally Pfister as much as many other cinematographers myself because he's too conservative with his composition/economy of shots.

But even then, it's still a plus for Christopher Nolan; whose filmmaking style is, in truth, very bare-bones and old-school itself. So I guess I just don't see the origin of the complaint. Often Sollthar is the first person to label things edgier or more modern as drivel simply based on their crazy execution- and many times it's merited. But with someone like Nolan, I just don't think that translates.

Last edited Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 7:59am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 7:53am

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Sollthar

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lol, you're all welcome to put me into any stereotype drawer you feel like so that your world makes sense again. Conservative, fun-hating, rebel by nature, insulting, "just too old to get all this new style" (allthough Nolans style is hardly new, he's very old school by the book)- it's all good. Whatever floats your boat. smile

Now I appreciate your dramatic reaction to what I wrote and your feel to comment on everything and hope your world doesn't get shaken too much by it. I really don't expect you to understand how this is melodrama for me nor do I expect you to understand how something can be too dramatic so it gets boring nor do I care if what I say is an insult to whomever. I'm sure Nolan won't lose any sleep over the fact a random swiss thinks his film should lose about 10 or 15 minutes that are just "too much" hence boring compared to the rest of his great film. wink

I tend to get bored by melodrama and too much action and for me, the film had that at times. It's a matter of taste and experience. Simple as that.
Hence I call it "The Matrix" effect were I noticed this the first time in the burly brawl scene. What happened on screen was technically groundbreaking, awesome and incredibly intense, yet I found myself looking at the watch wondering if the scene was going to end soon. Same here. That's all. smile
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 8:01am

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Atom

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Well okay, Mr. Snarky. Chase that 'couldn't care less' attitude to the grave. smile
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 8:46am

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Sollthar

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Hehe, I'm open to a factual and intellectual debate about a film or the way it's constructed or could be perceived any day.
But as soon as I feel there's emotionality and a certain drama coming in, I lose interest - hence I probably tend to react to some of your posts that way, no insult intended. That's just the way I tick. smile

And the fact I work differently to most other people is well documented, just so you don't need to worry or feel too unease with lil' sollys anti-common opinions. wink

But case in point: There was too much shooting going on on several levels and that bored me. And I really don't need to be visually reminded several times that the van is STILL fallin, the hotel elevator STILL has no gravity while there are STILL security people fighting and, of course, thats all just the icing since theres also the snowy hospital in which, surprise, everyone is STILL shooting at each other. Thats pretty much the definition of "too much" for me and that went on for too long. Plus, the wohle action part seemend a bit like a cheap throw in to up the stakes and the action, cause thats what you do in mainstream cinema when you reach the third act.

And as for the verbalizing: I just don't need characters to literally say and explain everything. "this is a dream within a dream", "you have her locked in here?", "whose subconscious are we going into now?" etc. Im not an idiot, I get what happens on screen without having a character speak it out loud and exposition dialogue. Though, it's not that bad, but it had quite a few lines that I'd call "explicit subtext". Nolan tends to have for me.

Thats the feeling I had, still have and my main critique to an otherwise great fun film I'll definately watch again and get on DVD.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 10:42pm

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Staff Only

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What are your feelings on The Prestige, Sollthar? Did you find the exposition to be to obvious there?
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 6:39am

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Sollthar

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I think the Prestige is Nolans best work. I really loved it. It had some sort of obvious exposition, but it was woven into the story better I thought - like the woman telling Bale "There are days where your I love you is true, and some days it's not." which made it clear that he had a twin brother. But I rather liked that.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 8:38am

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Simon K Jones

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I'd say one drawback of Inception, along with The Matrix films, is their obsession with guns.

When you're dealing with dreams, or with virtual reality, why does it always come down to picking up a (real world) gun and shooting people? Given the imagination in both franchises, it's a shame that it tends to come down to ordinary weapons every time.

That's probably why the corridor fight is my favourite bit of the film - although it ends on a gunshot, the main fight is genuinely something different.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 4:13pm

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RodyPolis

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So one question I had about Inception. I've only seen it once so maybe I didn't catch on that part. How come once they were in the dream they couldn't just create stuff out of thin air? I mean, I just expected things to be 'crazier' in the dreams, but for the most part it was just as real as reality.

Does that have to do with what Leo said about 'if you change to much stuff, the dreamer will know they're dreaming and their subconscious will start looking for the dreamer?'

Is that why they weren't blowing things up with their minds the whole movie?
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 6:20pm

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Atom

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The whole thing was that the movie stayed within reasonable realms that became more fantastical at the seams; much like many people's real dreams are. There are still endless cities and folding buildings and such, but the dreamers are pretty much grounded to whatever world and rules they're thrown into. Even in lucid dreaming, people don't often have the power to control their environment while they dream in real life.

Wouldve have been nice to see some of that? Yeah, it would. But that also opens up a whole other pandora's box of possibilities the movie had no need to go into. That's what the movie What Dreams May Come or The Cell are more like and about, both visually and narratively, and Inception was more about surreal versus real than fantastical or limitless imagination, ya know?

If anyone could do anything, them there'd be no/little stakes to the movie and we wouldn't care about any of it as any action could change on a whim of a character's imagination. Which was 'sort of' tackled with Cobb's projections like the train, but even then not really. But this was a good thing, because by setting rules and vision to the universe he creates,
Nolan grounds himself into a certain restriction and restraint of a 'dream world', but it's a world he's developed so extremely well he's able to very clearly, very cohesively do grand things.

Does that make sense?
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 10:03pm

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RodyPolis wrote:

Is that why they weren't blowing things up with their minds the whole movie?
Yes, that is correct.

RodyPolis wrote:

How come once they were in the dream they couldn't just create stuff out of thin air?
I believe they could, and Eames did. He created a grenade-launcher out of thin air. Nolan deliberately had it (just) off screen, but when you listen to the dialouge, the sound effect and how Eames does something off screen before he can bring it up for the shot it all points to it. I'm certain he created it out of thin air. He is better at doing this because of his skill-set (imagination). Arthur for instance could probably not do this (hence his "WTF" facial expression during that scene).
Posted: Tue, 3rd Aug 2010, 8:45am

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Simon K Jones

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A good summary of Inception's plot:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100726013537AAvLd5W
Posted: Tue, 3rd Aug 2010, 9:23am

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Aculag

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Tarn wrote:

A good summary of Inception's plot:
A group of people take a nap on an airplane.
Posted: Wed, 4th Aug 2010, 10:09pm

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Aculag wrote:

Tarn wrote:

A good summary of Inception's plot:
A group of people take a nap on an airplane.
Didn't Jason Reitman already direct that? Tut, tut, Nolan.
Posted: Wed, 4th Aug 2010, 10:37pm

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Sollthar

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I love how well Nolans marketing trick works.

"Give the audience an ending open to interpretation and they´ll keep talking and philosophing about it, hence making sure the film keeps being discussed and in peoples mind."

biggrin
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2010, 8:22am

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Simon K Jones

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Heh, it is indeed a good technique to keep your film in people's minds. However, you still have to get it right, as it can end up confusing or annoying audiences (Planet of the Apes remake!) or simply being too complex or abstract (Fight Club).

But yeah, he seems to have hit on something that keeps people talking much like The Sixth Sense. Thankfully, though, Inception as a film doesn't hinge entirely on that final shot. I think the real beauty of that final shot is that it's actually fairly simple, but leaves just enough wiggle room to make you slightly uncertain - a bit like when you wake from a dream, in fact, and you're not entirely sure where you are.
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2010, 10:09am

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Serpent

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This made me smile.
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2010, 10:39am

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rogolo

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Rating: +1

Backstory with a link to the full comic. Heh, kinda ridiculous. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2010, 1:17pm

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danielgwood

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For the true geeks amongst us: Someone has written Inception in C:

http://github.com/karthick18/inception/blob/master/inception.c

Brilliant.
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2010, 1:19pm

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Simon K Jones

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I have absolutely no idea what I'm looking at there, Dan. But I like it.
Posted: Sun, 8th Aug 2010, 3:09am

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Atom

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Rating: +1

So I'll go ahead and say a few key words as to clue anyone in on our current project that *might* be related to this movie:

Look at my sig. wink
Posted: Sun, 8th Aug 2010, 4:46am

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ben3308

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rogolo wrote:

Backstory with a link to the full comic. Heh, kinda ridiculous. biggrin
Just saw this - crazy! It's even got 'the kick' for falling to wake up. Even if that's a common sort of thing in real life, you have to wonder if Nolan ever saw that comic incidentally while researching/writing the screenplay.
Posted: Sun, 8th Aug 2010, 11:12pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Wow.
Just...wow.
This is the best movie I've seen in years. Almost everything was spot on. It was just so much better than most modern films that one can barely even call it a movie. I'm not even going to try reviewing it.
Bravo, Mr. Nolan.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 12:00am

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rogolo

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Terminal Velocity wrote:

It was just so much better than most modern blockbusters that one can barely even call a movie.
Fixed.

You must be confusing the term 'modern film' with 'blockbuster', as there is plenty of high-quality filmmaking going on around the world.

Do yourself a favor and don't just watch movies you see hundreds of commercials for. If you hunt through film blogs, reviews, and magazines you will quickly find that between Hollywood, indie, and foreign films, there's still a lot of good cinema to be had. Sure, some of it is run-of-mill, some is crap, but to say 'modern films can't be called movies' says more about your film background than it does the state of moviemaking.

Also, to anyone who thinks 'Inception' is a complete mindfudge, check out 'Primer'. Makes 'Inception' look like child's play. smile

Last edited Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 1:26am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 12:48am

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Terminal Velocity

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I'm writing based on my experience which, while I admit is limited, still seems sufficient to make that call. I agree that there are a lot of really good movies out there; many of my favorite movies come from the 2000s. It's not about those being bad; it's about this being so good. Just the depth and complexity of it blew me away. When I said that "one can barely even call a movie", I meant that this was too good to be merely a movie.
But I see your point.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 3:28am

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The FE

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Staff Only wrote:

RodyPolis wrote:

Is that why they weren't blowing things up with their minds the whole movie?
Yes, that is correct.

RodyPolis wrote:

How come once they were in the dream they couldn't just create stuff out of thin air?
I believe they could, and Eames did. He created a grenade-launcher out of thin air. Nolan deliberately had it (just) off screen, but when you listen to the dialouge, the sound effect and how Eames does something off screen before he can bring it up for the shot it all points to it. I'm certain he created it out of thin air. He is better at doing this because of his skill-set (imagination). Arthur for instance could probably not do this (hence his "WTF" facial expression during that scene).
Let's not also count out the fact that Eames was also able to change into Mr Browning in the warehouse to set up for the second dream. Based on both of these things I would have to say that yeah, people can probably come up with whatever the hell they feel like, but only to an extent, especially because none of them (with the exception of Cobb and Juno) had serious architect skills.

The way I sort of figured was that it's one thing for Eames to make a grenade launcher out of nowhere and shapeshift, but quite another for him to say make a train come barreling through the street out of nowhere. By the films logic you had to be f*cking brilliant to create dreams that people who didn't know they were dreaming would perceive as real life. So if you weren't all that great at making that crap up, why would you try to make something half assed that would only give the dream away as a dream? Leave it to the architects, unless you were already found out like Eames was when he pulled the grenade launcher out of nowhere.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 8:29am

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ben3308

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It was also very difficult to dream some crazy sh!t up in the 'dream world' because it wasn't "true" dreaming, it was shared dreaming - wherein the presence of others grounds the reality, one would think.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 4:09pm

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ben3308 wrote:

It was also very difficult to dream some crazy sh!t up in the 'dream world' because it wasn't "true" dreaming, it was shared dreaming - wherein the presence of others grounds the reality, one would think.
Exactly, and any noticeable anomalies would also tip off the projections.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 5:44pm

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Axeman

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Rating: +2

http://i.imgur.com/JiPqw.jpg
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 7:13pm

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Last panel, Cobb dialouge:

"My mother-in-law once told me this: 'I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my grandchildren go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.' after I took the kids on vacation to Disney World."

Fisher: "Oh..."

Sorry for ripping you off so soon CX3, please don't Liam Neeson me.
Posted: Tue, 10th Aug 2010, 12:12am

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Pooky

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Axeman wrote:

http://i.imgur.com/JiPqw.jpg
I thought it was pretty well established by the phone call to his kids early on that their grandmother is in charge of them, and doesn't seem to trust Cobb anymore? Funny comic, though.
Posted: Tue, 10th Aug 2010, 1:38am

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Axeman

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And Inception three levels deep with a 6-person team is easier than convincing her to let Caine take them on a trip? Heck, kidnapping them would be a far less difficult endeavor. (I do not advocate kidnapping)

Not that I care, I just thought it was an amusing comic as well.
Posted: Tue, 10th Aug 2010, 5:38pm

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ben3308

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He doesn't just want to see his kids, he wants to 'find a way home'.

He wants his life back. His wife killed herself, tragically. He was blamed, even more tragic. Cobb, despite his illegal dream dealings (which don't inflict true harm on anyone most of the time, one would assume) is an exceedingly 'innocent' character in the scheme of the movie, and it's all fair and well that he wants things to go back to how they were. So simply 'seeing his kids' isn't enough. He needs to have his charges - which are wrongful in the first place - dropped so he can go back to his old life.
Posted: Tue, 10th Aug 2010, 9:45pm

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Evman

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Also, what father in their right mind would want their kids tagging along with a father who routinely is chased by men with guns through the streets of foreign countries. Them being with him would put them in danger, just to satisfy his need to see them...

There never seemed to be any question about why they couldn't come to him, because (to me at least), it was pretty obvious...
Posted: Wed, 11th Aug 2010, 3:36am

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jawajohnny

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Just got back from my second viewing... and I enjoyed it even more. The audience wasn't nearly as rude, so I was able to hear the dialogue in the opening scene this time. smile

Now about the ending. Ultimately, I think it works no matter how you care to interpret it. With that in mind, I think it's pretty funny that the entire audience (judging from all the sudden gasps and subsequent whispered conversations) thought he was dreaming at the end. Totally opposite reaction than in the first audience, where they were just talking about it being a "clever" shot. The one thing in common from both viewings is that none of the teenagers, especially the girls (though I don't mean to be sexist or stereotypical) had no clue what was going on.

That said, I personally think Atom is dead-on when he says Nolan is just "teasing" the audience with the last shot... and I'm certain Cobb was in reality at the end. Even though he doesn't care enough to watch the top fall (which I'm confident it was about to do), it's a much more satisfying ending knowing that he really did make it home to his (real) kids.

One thing I paid attention to (yet still might have missed) was what his kids were wearing throughout the film. It sure looked like they were wearing the same clothes in every single shot. Except for the last one... the daughter had white sleeves, whereas in the rest of the shots I'm pretty sure she was wearing the same dress... but without the sleeves. Is that right, or am I totally crazy?
Posted: Thu, 12th Aug 2010, 8:25am

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Atom

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No, that's correct. She's wearing an undershirt, and both kids are different (ever-so-slightly) older actors. It's all a big tease to hint at our inherent curiosity and doubt in what we see in the movie.

At least, that's what I'd like to think. Also, we've been doing even more things in relation to this movie. Let's just say it'll be here soon, and it's funny. wink
Posted: Thu, 12th Aug 2010, 9:47am

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rogolo

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Atom wrote:

Let's just say it'll be here soon, and it's funny. wink
But will it be here sooner than I'd think?
Posted: Sat, 14th Aug 2010, 1:04am

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Atom

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Oh, no. This really is soon. I'll give ya just one shot to prove it. biggrin



"You're waiting for a beer train..."
Posted: Sat, 14th Aug 2010, 6:20am

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Aculag

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Yeah, because Atom showing us a still from a movie is proof that it's actually going to get finished and posted.
Posted: Sat, 14th Aug 2010, 6:35am

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Atom

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It's time to start hype machines back up, it's been too long and my viewership has gone down massively because of me reigning it in the past years. Time to turn 'em back on. wink

Whirrrrr...
Posted: Sat, 14th Aug 2010, 3:29pm

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pdrg

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I saw this film yesterday, best I can say is that it's a good romp, but I'm glad I didn't spend £8. It did manage to maintain internal consistency pretty well, but still left me feeling unsatisfied at some niggling level!
Posted: Sat, 14th Aug 2010, 4:06pm

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Atom

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You didn't think, out of all the movies that have been out for quite some time, that Inception was well-worth a full admission price, pdrg? That sort of confuses me, based on your other comments at least.
Posted: Sat, 14th Aug 2010, 5:18pm

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pdrg

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It was fine, it was an action-adventure, it took itself a bit seriously appearing deeper than it was. In this genre, I thought Fight Club, for instance, was the stronger film. I didn't see the fight club punchline coming until towards the end, whereas this film seemed to be signposted miles away. It had lots of gratuitous violence and shooting, relied a little too much on magic (special compounds that leave the inner ear unaffected, for instance) whilst dressed up with a bit of sci-fi pseudoscience. For me it couldn't settle happily as quite being one film or another. It was a bit like 'What dreams may come' with more guns.

So, a perfectly good romp, but without the pseudoscientific bits it was just an effects movie. And the pseudoscientific bits just didn't make it transcend that for me - it was a bit like a pretentious Bond movie in that respect.

But, I don't like screen candy for its own sake - when you've seen one snowy baddies HQ blow up, you've seen 'em all. It becomes an arms escalation, who can use more tonnes of TNT, but explosions all look the same, you may as well key 'em in. Big bangs and spectacle are often used to hide a story that needs more work - and that's what I think this was. I'd have loved to see 10 x $20M films that did more with the story/concept myself. But others seem to love it, so he's obviously got something right wink
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 12:10am

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Atom

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Just, wow. I do not at all agree, so I suppose there isn't much to say. smile
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 2:29am

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DVStudio

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Atom wrote:

Just, wow. I do not at all agree
Dude... pdrg's entitled to his opinion, cut him some slack. He backed it up with why he thought that way, just as you do when you disagree with everyone else on every other movie when everyone else likes it. wink
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 2:40am

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Aculag

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How dare pdrg have a different opinion than Atom in Atom's Private Inception Discussion Thread?
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 2:54am

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Atom

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I'm sorry, did I miss where I declared that he was wrong or I was right or even pulled out any discernible degree of his post in that quoted response of mine in which I pointed out specifics?

No, I just don't at all agree with his assertion of the movie. That's entirely his opinion, and it's just one that surprised me- as it's so polarly opposite mine in regards to what he didn't like about it, not that he hated it and I loved it and think he's wrong- because such isn't the case. I too thought it was a fair movie bordering on greatness that didn't quite reach it, but the specifics of my conclusion to this are just so different. He has an opinion, mine is different. I'm missing how that's domineering in any way.

You guys read far too much into things. smile
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 3:53am

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DVStudio

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Atom wrote:

You guys read far too much into things. smile
Oh, no he didn't! wink

Atom wrote:

I'm missing how that's domineering in any way.
My point is that was there was any real need to make that so abundantly clear that you and pdrg disagreeed on this? We heard your arguments, we heard pdrg's, can't we all just get along? confused I understand there will be different opinions- I welcome that. Perhaps Malone can create a program to calculate if a post disagrees with Atom and automatically filter it out? What'd ya think? wink

All in good fun of course,
DV
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 3:54am

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Aculag

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You made it sound like you were offended that pdrg said those things when he knew you were reading the thread. It's not like you've never been that one guy who hates something when everyone else loves it. smile
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 6:16am

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Sollthar

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It's just your need to comment everyones opinion that's annoying, atom. We all know your opinion, you've said it several pages ago. So a post saying "I don't agree" is absolutely, entirely redundant... Plus, it's not like "does atom agree or not" is an information anyone really cares that much about to know. wink
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 6:57am

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Atom

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Rating: +3

Whatever, guys.
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 7:00am

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Aculag

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That is the best post of the year, Atom. I don't know what it is, but I am cracking up over here. I imagine you tossing your wrist and smirking while rolling your eyes, and it just works.
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 10:41am

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Atom might not be saying that pdrg is wrong, but I will. razz

pdrg wrote:

Big bangs and spectacle are often used to hide a story that needs more work - and that's what I think this was.
I'm sorry what?!

Roger Ebert wrote:

It's said that Christopher Nolan spent ten years writing his screenplay for "Inception." That must have involved prodigious concentration, like playing blindfold chess while walking a tight-wire.
One of the things I immediately said after leaving the first screening I saw of Inception was that this film really made it so no-one can say "Needed more work on the script.". Brilliant! Then I started thinking about what people actually mean by saying that. More often than not they don't mean that the script was bad or flawed in any way, but rather that the creative force behind the film needed to make different decisions on a story level for their subjective liking of this film. I take offense to that use of your "hide a story that needs more work" saying.


Example 1: I love Michael Bay's The Island. That being said I agree that the film is flawed on a script level. The big tone shift halfway is a bit much (I personally didn't mind). The ending was a bit laughable because why would the clones running out in the dessert necessary mean that everything will be ok for them? It does kind of feel like a cop-out to get a happy ending. The climactic scene isn't that climactic. The film peaks midway in other words.

Those are script flaws.


Example 2: You didn't think Inception did enough with the premise, and it had to many explosions to cover up [that it didn't do enough with the premise?]. That is no script/story flaw. That is at best a creative flaw.


pdrg wrote:

hide a story that needs more work - and that's what I think [Inception] was.
Do you honestly think Nolan was trying to cover up his story that needed more work is what I'm trying to say?
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 10:52am

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Sollthar

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I take offense to that use of your "hide a story that needs more work" saying.
You take offense that someone doesn't like a script you were in no way involved in? What's wrong with you? unsure


Do you honestly think Nolan was trying to cover up his story that needed more work is what I'm trying to say?
Is your theory that pdrg just wrote that to annoy you and it is in fact all an elaborate scheme and he really means something entirely different? smile

Some people like some stories, others don't.
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 1:38pm

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pdrg

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Staff Only wrote:


Roger Ebert wrote:

It's said that Christopher Nolan spent ten years writing his screenplay for "Inception." That must have involved prodigious concentration, like playing blindfold chess while walking a tight-wire.
One of the things I immediately said after leaving the first screening I saw of Inception was that this film really made it so no-one can say "Needed more work on the script."
Ten years writing that script? Like 10 years doing nothing else? Or it's an idea he had 10 years ago and bashed into a script in a weekend? OK, two extreme examples and the truth is in between somewhere, I'm sure, but I just mean to show what a meaningless statement that was being repeated by Ebert!

It could have been a brilliant script, but wasn't (for me) - it fell short. The structure and story (to me) missed opportunities that a bit more consideration could have overcome as opposed to distracting the audience with massive visuals. It was a clever way to play with space and time, and like many other scripts that play with space and time before it, it still had to retain internal consistency.

Shows like "Red Dwarf" handled the time/space paradoxes well with a very low budget, I didn't feel this film handled them nearly as well. "Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel" did it very well (weak ending mind) - it was at least twice as complex, but it held together well, and didn't rely on magic. "The Blind Assassin" (novel) is 4 storylines deep, for instance. By comparison, Inception didn't try anything like as complex, and it shied away from colouring in some areas that would have made it a more complete work. Maybe I'm just lucky to have read and seen more complex works done better, so by comparison, it was a bit lacking. If Nolan had written a script right up there, then whoopee, and a bit more work could maybe have done that.

As it was, it was a perfectly decent action-adventure, but wasn't *that* deep, or *that* well told.

And personally, I have no reaction to Atom's reaction to my reaction (if you see what I mean) - I'm happy we disagree, we can both be wrong and right at the same time wink
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 2:29pm

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Sollthar wrote:

You take offense that someone doesn't like a script you were in no way involved in? What's wrong with you? unsure
Oh no, not at all. I don't mind that he didn't like it, I minded that he said "it needed more work". To me a script has to be obviously flawed/have a first draft feel to warrant a "needs more work" label. I don't see that Inception is flawed. pdrg wanted it to be deeper and more in the vein of other films he has seen that he felt used the premise better. That doesn't make the script flawed. To me it's like saying (yes, here comes another "building analogy" from me): "That building is ugly, the architect needed to 'work more' on his drawings." when the person doesn't mean that the drawings were rushed in any way, just that he didn't like the look of the building. I think it's just wrong and disrespectful of the artist to use "needed more work" as a figure of speech (especially regarding scripts), implying laziness, when that is not what it is about at all. And in pdrg's case, the problems he had with Inception had nothing to do with the actual amount of care and work Nolan put into the script. Just creative differences between pdrg and Nolan. I hope I explained it better.

I'm not offended by pdrg, but that has been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time. Even before Avatar when people used that same saying a lot about the script, when in fact the flaws of un-originality and predictability had nothing to do with the amount of work James Cameron put into the script (which was a lot of work, only he spent most of the pages detailing the amazing locations and animals, instead of the actual story), but rather what Cameron was focusing on when making the film. In Avatar's case I would accept it much more than with Inception though.


Sollthar wrote:

Is your theory that pdrg just wrote that to annoy you and it is in fact all an elaborate scheme and he really means something entirely different? smile
No?

pdrg wrote:

Ten years writing that script? Like 10 years doing nothing else? Or it's an idea he had 10 years ago and bashed into a script in a weekend?
No, he had a script ready in 2000 (before the Don Rosa thing came out) which he pitched to WB, but decided he wanted a much bigger budget and used the Batman films to practice making blockbusters and earn enough credit with the studio. The script was re-written to be much grander after The Dark Knight. He spent 6 months doing that.

I liked your response pdrg. You explained everything. Once again I wasn't criticizing your disappointment in Inception, but I do jump on any opportunity to rant about this figure of speech: "To me the script/story could use more work" when that is not literally what they meant.
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 2:45pm

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Sollthar

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You don't understand what I'm getting at, do you, Staff? smile

Even if pdrg said "that script is terrible and Nolan is a bad writer".. The fact that YOU, a random dude who has nothing at all to do with the script or the film, takes offense to that, is worrying... If Nolan himself took offense to someone calling him a bad writer, I'd understand, somewhat... But you...?

Fandom, I guess. Never quite understood it.

To me a script has to be obviously flawed/have a first draft feel to warrant a "needs more work" label (...) don't see that Inception is flawed.
Yeah, that's fine. But has the thought occured to you that, well, just because you, Staff Only, don't see a flaw in it, doesn't mean, others won't either? Just an idea. It could be that someone else sees a flaw. Or several.

in fact the flaws of un-originality and predictability had nothing to do with the amount of work James Cameron put into the script (which was a lot of work, only he spent most of the pages detailing the amazing locations and animals, instead of the actual story)
I seriously, honestly don't get that statement. No one is doubting the amount of TIME going into a script. Obviously, for some, that still wasn't enough time or time not spent on the right things.
I mean, I'd say Camerons Avatar Script is pretty horrible in places and could have used more work. That has nothing to do with how long he has written it because ultimately, when I watch the film, I couldn't care less if write it in a sleepless night or in 15 years. I don't see how it's really relevant in terms of how good it is, apart from the fact I could respect his patience and resilience.

"A script needs more work" is literally what they mean. It's literally what I mean anyways. It needs more work put into it until the remaining flaws are worked out. If it takes a year more, then so be it.
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 3:05pm

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Sollthar wrote:

You don't understand what I'm getting at, do you, Staff? smile

Even if pdrg said "that script is terrible and Nolan is a bad writer".. The fact that YOU, a random dude who has nothing at all to do with the script or the film, takes offense to that, is worrying
I did understand that. And I answered I didn't care about that, just his use of the phrase. pdrg has admitted in his posts that it wasn't about flaws or mistakes. It was about direction and theme.

The way the liberal use of the phrase annoys me is in the same way I will rant on about people who don't know how to use the indicators on their cars. It has nothing to do with fandom. That is the point of a pet peeve. You latch on with annoyance regardless of who or under what circumstances the annoyance occurred. Little to nothing to do with Nolan, Inception or pdrg, just like someone not indicating has nothing to with who they are, or the car they are driving. I'm annoyed either way.

Also my point about Avatar - if you read what you wrote, you kind of agreed with me. No amount of work on Cameron's part would change anything if he had a the wrong approach in the first place (which some think he had). Therefore I say: you can't say the script needed more work, because it was very much complete when Cameron started filming, rather say it needed a different approach altogether. If we use visual effects as an example. The technical part equals 'the more work = better' part. The design part = approach is everything, regardless of amount of work.

If pdrg had used the most common "flaw" people use against Inception: The movie didn't develop the side characters enough and said "The script needed more character development.", I wouldn't have said anything. I might have said that Nolan was restricted by needing every ounce of screentime to give exposition to make his world comprehensible and that Inception is a better film with every potential plot-hole covered in exposition, than it would have been if it had sacrificed exposition and had more real characters and much more confusion, but that would be a whole other argument.

I hope you see what I mean, even if you don't agree.

Last edited Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 3:13pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 3:08pm

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Sollthar

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it needed a different approach altogether.
Which kind of sounds like... more work. biggrin

I get the feeling we're arguing semantics. I do get what you're saying. I guess I just don't understand the emotionality behind it.
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 3:16pm

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Sollthar wrote:

Which kind of sounds like... more work. biggrin

I get the feeling we're arguing semantics.
Yes I see what you mean. Anyway pdrg and you are entitled to your opinion of Inception and I won't try to question that. wink I was just shocked this morning when I read "script needed more work" said about Inception when even Ebert commented on the workload that must have been behind it.
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 3:18pm

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Sollthar

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"script needed more work" is not a comment on the workload rather then the quality though.

And hey, I don't share pdrgs opinion. wink
Posted: Sun, 15th Aug 2010, 5:17pm

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Aculag

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Besides, who cares what Ebert has to say (good or bad)? Dude is a total has-been.
Posted: Mon, 16th Aug 2010, 8:26am

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Simon K Jones

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Staff Only wrote:


Yes I see what you mean. Anyway pdrg and you are entitled to your opinion of Inception and I won't try to question that. wink I was just shocked this morning when I read "script needed more work" said about Inception when even Ebert commented on the workload that must have been behind it.
"Even Ebert"? He's just another random person with his own randomised opinion. Don't worship him. smile Then again, I am biased against him due to his tragically bizarre comments on gaming.

Anyway, I love Inception, but the characters were indeed practically non-existent.

The inner-ear thing I didn't think of as 'magic', as pdrg said, though. I thought it was a nice analogy for the genuine vertigo-drop you get while dreaming. In fact, most of the plot devices were directly out of real dreaming experiences.
Posted: Mon, 16th Aug 2010, 8:40am

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Tarn wrote:

"Even Ebert"? He's just another random person with his own randomised opinion. Don't worship him. smile
I didn't really think people would read that as me putting Ebert in high regard when I wrote it. Normally I just use Ebert as a "Look man Ebert disagree with ya, and I'm pretty sure he knows a little bit more about it than you." Personally I don't really think he's great. I suppose that argument doesn't work on actual film-fans as we have actually read some of the more nonsensical stuff Ebert has written (Die Hard? Speed 2: Cruise Control?).

Like I said in The Last Airbender thread, I've more interest in what ben has to say than Ebert, but come to think of it I have no favorite reviewer. I normally just find the reviewer that agrees with me about any given movie and then use them to back up anything I have to say about the film. Fox News-style actually. xD

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