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quietearth [Celluloid 07.13.10] movie review scifi action



Year: 2010
Directors: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Christopher Nolan
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 8 out of 10

[Editor's note: Kudos to anyone who figures out the article's title reference. I should add, you'll need to see the film and know the quote's source.]

Sorry folks, this is not the next Dark City, let alone Brazil. With that said, the first half is slow, but the second half is brilliant! Action packed, the scifi premise allows some incredible, and aptly used, flexibility. Inception will surely be a blockbuster and might be called by some a classic. Further, it places director Christopher Nolan up there in the pantheon with those greats who make a couple of good movies and will make us salivate with each successive piece of crap they put out. Bluntly put, I don't think he can keep this up.


I think Nolan conceived the second half of the film first, then filled it out for time with the first half which starts good, but is mainly an introduction to the characters and set up for the story ahead. I want to keep this spoiler free, so I'm going to concentrate on what's available in the trailer.

The story is based on he idea of entering another persons mind, and while a simple concept, Nolan takes it to another level with an intelligent script, sub-dreams which add a level of complexity (which for some, is confusing), and fast pace. The characters operate as a team for "extraction", or, the stealing of secrets from peoples minds. As you can imagine, they need the actual subject for this, so this abduction and continent hopping also adds a heavy amount of espionage which will make the audience for this film even wider.

One of the key components to the "extraction" team is the "Architect" which, admittedly, is a cool name and a possible nod to the Matrix which I can't help but reference. This particula character is responsible for creating the worlds and sub-worlds which the extractors enter based upon the needs of the job. The world folding scene is part of a Matrix style training session, and I would of loved to seen this explored more. It helps lead into those gravity defying scenes, which I can assure you, are as awesome as they look.

The easiest way to describe this adventure would be Bourne meets Cube 2. The action mixed with the multi-layered science fiction backdrop will appeal to all. You don't want to miss this one, but don't expect The Matrix.

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klw (10 years ago) Reply

That would be from the short story "The Jaunt" by Stephen King. Which makes me even more interested in this film.

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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

The whole thing looks like a rip off of Satoshi Kon's "Paprika."

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Marina (10 years ago) Reply

I'm still excited but BOURNE meets CUBE 2 is NOT what I was expecting. I bloody hated CUBE 2.

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Marina (10 years ago) Reply

And anonymous - great point. It looks like there's definitely some reference to PAPRIKA in there. Hope so because I love that film - I'm looking forward to a discussion after I see the film.

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agentorange (10 years ago) Reply

I thought Dark Knight was okay, but I have not had the desire to view it again. This on the other hand, sounds like something that will lend itself to multiple viewings. Like Momento did or most of the films you mention in the review.

Can't wait to see this mofo.

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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

"...but don't expect The Matrix." makes me want to see it even more! That's right I think the matrix sucks...bring on the hate.

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agentorange (10 years ago) Reply

Seeing it this Sunday. We can't all get early passes *sighs*

I'll weigh in then.

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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

Just saw it. If you're going to compare this film with The Matrix then Inception completely blow the matrix away...their not even in the same league.
Inception > The Matrix

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Live for Films (10 years ago) Reply

I really wanted to like the film, but I was really disappointed with it.

All the influences and references kept pulling me out of the film (something I can usually overlook) and all the talk of it being a unique vision just doesn't sit right with me.

The acting was great, but it is simply eXistenZ meets Michael Marshall Smith's Only Forward - they've just had a big budget to play around with

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brett (10 years ago) Reply

I saw it today and thought the comparisons to Last Year at Marienbad are very appropriate. It does have some Matrix-y sequences too. Deep down it is a heist film. A very very good heist film.

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Marina (10 years ago) Reply

I agree that it's not a whole new idea and it irks me that so many reviewers are referring to it as that. It certainly has some unique ideas but none of them are are exactly new. That said, I do think that Nolan does use them very well to tell what, as Brett noted, is a really good heist film (except they're not actually stealing anything).

It's a really well constructed story - the script and editing are quite a marvel. Definitely better than your average film but by no means a masterpiece.

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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

I don't think any writer, director, artist, etc.. sits down and says "I'm going to make this and it's going to be sooo original." Every artist has influences and they are going to shine through in their work. Since you guys seem to drool over the matrix, let me tell you there's not much originality in that movie either. Ghost in the Shell, The Terminator, Akira those were just some of the influences the Wachowski's had.

In my opinion Inception is writing on a higher level than the matrix, the cube, etc. and a really, really well made film.

Some of Nolan's influences
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/07/04/movies/20100704-inceptioninfluences-feature.html

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agentorange (10 years ago) Reply

I loved Inception. Just for being so dark and serious. And of course, it looks amazing.

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lunadude (10 years ago) Reply

I think P.K. Dick would be proud.

Kinda made me think of:
-Brainstorm
-Solaris
-Dark City
-Matrix
-Dreamscape
-Oceans 11 (if I'd seen it)

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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

It was a fantastic film on so many levels!

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Nebbish (10 years ago) Reply

Saw this yesterday. Fantastic film, excellent writing, cinematography and acting. Only complaint was Ellen Page, just didn't work for me as the brilliant architect. The final 30+/- minutes of time compression and 3 story lines is a work of genius. One of the greatest Sci-fi films made,

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wilcoy (10 years ago) Reply

I'll wait for the digital... :-0

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Ben Austwick (10 years ago) Reply

Hmm. Was very disappointed with Inception, but might have been less disappointed if it hadn't been hyped so much.

My main problem was all the spoken exposition, which really drags after a while, but where I seem to be in disagreement with everyone else is that I think it looks pretty bland. Colourless, unimaginative, filmed in hotels and offices. The fantasy city is just a load of identikit skyscrapers - they could have done so much more with that!

But it's worth it for the ideas, and I'd have probably given an 8 as well, maybe a 7 on a bad day.

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agentorange (10 years ago) Reply

@Ben

You've actually hit on a very crucial aspect of Nolan's style. Dark knight was criticized by some for taking all the fantasy out of Gotham City in the same way. It just looks like NY.

Personally, I'm on the fence about this too. Part of me thinks the dream worlds of each character should have been starkly different and always a little off. Like in PKD's "Eye in the Sky." Nobody sees the world the same. However, since the dreams are created by one "architect" you would only get one vision.

In the end, Inception feels fully realized. I liked it. 8.5.

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Marina (10 years ago) Reply

I don't understand the complaint that the dreams are not bigger, more grandiose, imaginative and essentially, more dreamlike. Isn't the point of the dream to feel like it's reality without it really being real? At least that's how I read it.

As for the exposition, it really seems to be a problem for a lot of folks but I didn't notice it too much. We'll see if it's more obvious the second time around. It may have been to the film's advantage to leave some of that exposition out and just explain it visually but I think that it's a necessary evil to keep the film attractive to mainstream audiences who would otherwise walk away with huge WTF looks on their faces. There's a bit of hand holding going on for the benefit of the audience that doesn't want to be challenged too much. After all, the $200M budget needs to be made back somehow.

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agentorange (10 years ago) Reply

@ myself

Take back what I said about Dark Knight. I just wathed it again last night and it blew me away.

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Yakir (10 years ago) Reply

I liked "Inception." I also compare it to The Matrix and Dreamscape. Especially the shootout on the streets reminded me of The Matrix. I thought the scene in the snow was a little drawn out, and Ken Watanabe's accent was sometimes hard to understand. But definitely a movie I'll see again, and will think about for a long time.

"Longer than you think, Dad!": "The Jaunt," by Stephen King. One of my favorite stories. I would like to see a movie made from it.

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elmtree (10 years ago) Reply

Timeline Infographic for INCEPTION:
http://www.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/inception_timeline_image_01.jpg

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Moviebuff (8 years ago) Reply

It almost matches matrix in almost every department except action sequences.


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