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post #46 of 220

sorry, I thought it enjoyable, but it really is just another madwoman in the attic movie. only here the attic is a basement, and you never learn enough of her story. why does she crack? what is the memory she wanted to lock away (that he carelessly replaced with the top)?

 

the levels/architecture metaphors were okay but belabored a bit, and the stuff about dreams tracked too little of what most people know about sleep research. folks who saw it with me (the theater was totally packed) seemed to come out kind of at a loss about the impact of this movie.

 

sly marketing trick to make it out like it's going a challenge to viewer's intelligence, but in the end it was yet another formula action flick for the summer. not that there is anything wrong with that! ;-)


Edited by melomaniac - 7/25/10 at 12:28am
post #47 of 220


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chadbang View Post

WARNING, SO MANY SPOILERS YOU'LL KILL ME

 

Well, I hate to miss a good opportunity for a rant, so i'll post at Headfi what I posted elsewhere.


Well, I just saw Inception - at least most of it. I walked out without a 15 minutes to go. I just couldn't take the pointlessness of the film at all. I absolutely hated it.

The film just strained any credibility or logic. The filmmakers (and writers) obviously became so entranced with their concept of these "dream raiders" that they didn't bother to work at selling the idea to the audience on a core level. Instead, they apparently thought the idea of "shared dreaming" was so obvious and plausible, that they became more worried about creating a cool team of characters to give the story appeal. "It's like the "Mission Impossible: II" meets "The Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.6, get it?) We're just supposed to swallow the plausibility of all these rules that get spewed out at us at 60 mph through snappy patter. HELLO, would you mind selling me on the primary concept first? 

Not for one instance did I believe in the concept of group of people being connected to share dreams through whatever scant science they barely bothered to pitch. I think there was some minor reference to it being "military." Right, isn't it always? Hey, medical professionals, get rid of those all those bulky magnetic resonance imaging scanners. What you need is are IV tubes connected to Zero Haliburton suitcase with a big rubber button in its middle! Eeeech.

But besides not even bothering to linger for a moment of basic plausibility, the writers then went on to complicate the idea even further: What if there are a couple levels of dreaming that our rescue team can descend through like shoppers on a Macy's escalator. Hell, I don't think Freud even dared to go there. "Yeah, you gotta watch out for those super-ego pedestrians, they're really mean sonofabitches." I just sat there incredulous that I was supposed to be swallowing all this tripe as the hunky actors zipped metaphysical fastballs past me. "You mean we can drop into the limbo state of the unconsciousness, rescue your ex-wife from the dream prison you keep her in, then grab the McGuffin and kick our way back out simultaneously through four psyche levels at once -- because time is relative?" What the @$#?!

There's was just so much psychological/metaphysical/Sci-fi mumbo jumbo twisted up in this ludacrist action flick wrapper that I couldn't stand it. It was like something the Wachowski brothers would have written after getting out of Psych 101, smoking some herb and watching "Sneakers." Some people have tried to pass this off as "thinking man's" cinema. If you want to give me thinking man's cinema, then please don't insult me with the other 75% of the film being endless gun battles and car chases. 

And, oh yeah, and DID I mention there were a whole bunch of cool scenes of guys on skis fighting bad guys in at a winter fortress. Great action! What were they fighting about? Well, they want to get into a safe on the 2nd dream level where a character might finds a psychological clue as to why he really should like his father so the team could implant the idea in his brain than he should break up..... Arrrrrrrrrrrrrraggggggh!

 

obamam-lol-y-u-mad-tho.jpg

 

ANYWAY...It explained and showed as much as what was needed. When watching sci-fi films featuring shuttles in outer space, do you need to know everything about how and why they got there to legitimize the plausibility of it all? Or what the milk-like substance was that Ash was drinking and filled wiith in Alien? Or how Ripley was supposed to survive 57 years in hypersleep for the sequel?? Does an in-depth exploration of the Ludovico technique need to be discussed in order to make its use credible in A Clockwork Orange? Did you need to have a summary of how the components of the DeLorean worked in order to make Back To The Future more enjoyable? Maybe a study of detailed history Androids to heighten the experience of watching Blade Runner? In viewing any sci-fi film, there surely has to be this amount of suspension of disbelief because it's science-fiction ffs. Who is even there to say about these things being implausible? We're talking about stories fueled by scientific innovations that are merely imagined. All the writer and director have to do is explain as much as is needed to drive the story. This is one of the things that Inception does exceptionally well and the film goes on to discuss a lot of related elements about dreaming throughout the film.

 

Also, your sense of time might need some calibrating since this 2hr30min film had nowhere near 75% of it being action. Not even half of it... not nearly. To pan it by implying that it favored action sequences over originality and intellect I think is simply ludicrous considering that the only extended action sequences in the film were: The one that started with the train in the city and ended with the van falling off the bridge, plus the one in the snow level. Everything else involved a great deal of exposition to either develop the main concept of the film or move the narrative that was driving it. I think people are so allergic to action in movies these days without realizing that action is only bad if it is a deterrent to the story or idea the film is trying to communicate. This certainly isn't the case here.

 

The film did no such straining of credibility of logic. Your rant does sound quite strained though.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chadbang View Post

Nicely said. Whatever genre you want to put it in, I still think is a very flawed film. Technically, it was fine. Also very nice to look at and well acted. Even the story might have been okay, but I really think the writing just sucked. There's this thing in screenwriting called "exposition." That's where a character speaks unnatural dialogue because he is needed to explain to the audience what's going on. "Inception" was practically nothing but "exposition." I found it just complete wearying and unpleasant that way. Ideally a situation is set up well enough that you let people just start acting like people - that's how we relate to characters. Think about James Cameron's "Aliens." Everybody loves that movie because it's full of humor and heroes and villians and emotion. We all love classic bits from an exasperated Bill Paxton or pissed-off Ripley. But what if all the dialogue in "Aliens" had been all exposition as in "Inception?"

 

Ripley: These aliens, a silicon-based life form, can't be killed unless except with extremely powerful weapons. Still, we need to find the queen and kill her to stop the production of worker drones. If we don't they will continue breeding and eventually make it to earth, wiping out all life there by using us as food for their larvae.

Pvt. Hudson: But these aliens have already killed half of our patrol. We've attempted to seal ourselfs into this base, but they keep breaching our defenses because they know every underground passage way in this facility. There's no way for us to escape except by spaceship. That's the only chance we'd have to use a thermo nuclear device and eradicate them to prevent their escape to earth.

 

As you can see, exposition gets really dull. It's called "on the nose" writing. And that what I thought really killed "Inception." If I had to listen to one more bout of dialogue like:

 

 "When you construct your dream mazes you can create shortcuts like endless staircase to save time by bending spaces back upon itself."

"And that helps to disorient participants so that can't escape easily from our dream constructs"

"Exactly... however never create scene completely from memory because..."

 

WHAT?  Why am I having to continually ingest all this technical jibberish? So one chase scene can end with someone falling off an unfinished staircase. That's the payoff?  Could someone tell my why the young actress from Juno was picked out as a perfect "architect" by Cobbs father? Michael Cane was a professor of ... what? Doctor of Imgination? Was the girl really good at euclidian geometry or did she get an "A" in ceramics class? I'll tell you why she was there - so the writer had a newbie character that had to have everything explained to her for the audiences' sake. And, boy, was it dull and unbelieveable. Maybe if they had a scene where the new architect has created some flawed, bizzare dreamlike "world" I would have said, yeah, that is kind of cool. How the hell would you try to create a dream world? I'd probably screw up and put a sky instead of a roof or put the wrong number of legs on a floating chair. But instead she instantly creates a world that's perfect and looks exactly like Leonard DiCaprio's own dream world. Just stuff like that made my utterly dismiss this film.

 

Oh, I might as well get it all out, here's my BIGGEST bone to pick with this film. The whole "INCEPTION" concept. Oh, its this very difficult concept of planting an idea into someone's mind so they think they came up with the idea. Very delicate work which must be subtly and psychologically accomplished.  The subject can't possibly have any inclination that the idea was given to them... So what happens when they finally get this industrialist's son into their manufactured dream world?   Leonardo DiCaprio walks right up to him and says.:You're dreaming. You've been told about this: how people can get into your mind and steal ideas while your dreaming. I'm a professional at getting into people minds and I'm here to protect you...."

 

 Yes, VERY delicate and tricky stuff this subtly implanting an idea into people's minds. Jesus.....


 


The dialogue in Ailens wasn't as lush and technical as the exposition as in Inception because it didn't need to be. For one thing, it's just a film about a bunch of aliens for crying out loud; and secondly, it's a sequel. Alien already showed a lot of things about the alien species.

 

You have to ingest all this technical "jibberish" for Inception, because that's what the story is about. These are details that you need to process in order to follow the story, which are the same details that supplement the main sci-fi premise that drives the movie (ironically, something that you criticized earlier for not being plausible enough). Ariadne was picked out by Cobb's father. Cobb's father was apparently a professor in a university that knew a great deal about Cobb's operation. What other information does one need and how would it benefit the film more? Also, she creates this dreamworld that looks almost exactly like the real world because they explained explicitly several times over the dreams had to be like real life so as not to alert the dreamer to the fact it was a dream. That was a key point.

 

It seems like you expected this film to feature a great deal of spoonfeeding. I'm really glad it didn't meet your expectations in that case.


Edited by fuseboxx - 7/25/10 at 9:36am
post #48 of 220

What the hell are you talking about ?

 

 

Anyway..

 

Movie of the year ? This is one of the BEST movies ever made. 

 

I never had the rush to see it again right after seeing it.


Edited by BoogieWoogie - 7/25/10 at 7:54am
post #49 of 220

Saw it yesterday, and yes it is fricking awesome! It is simple and enjoyable enough if you keep your attention focused 100% and take everything in face value, but there is also room for very deep analysis if everything truly is as their facevalue might tell you and ending isnt exactly helping the matter. Movie can also be intepreted in different ways. A complete mind****! As I said in somewhere else, this movie gives your brains a good workout without being pretentious, and action packed enough so there are no boring moments. Bravo Nolan, you made one helluva movie.


Edited by MaZa - 7/25/10 at 8:06am
post #50 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

I'll agree to plausibility, but Inception offered no explanation, through technology or otherwise. The use of the tubes appeared to be to deliver the sedative/mind altering drugs. It's never explained how the dream sharing actually occurs. One can infer that the mysterious innards of the suitcase 'powers' the connection, yet there is never a control device or even power source shown or mentioned. The starter is almost literally a plunger like you'd see on a hypodermic needle. There doesn't seem to be an off switch, merely to end the dream the 'real' body must be jolted (the kick they mention) in some way or a dreamer controlling their dream can wake themselves up with just a thought. Many fantasy stories make use of drugs (in various forms) whether good or bad to either make the 'trip' possible or enhance it in some way. This doesn't make it sci-fi.

 

Also, if it is to be believed that he has been dreaming during the entire movie, (which I'm inclined to believe) this would support a completely fantasy base.


Dreaming during the entire moive would lend to the idea of fantasy. but really now, if he dreamt the entire movie, wouldn't that kind of ruin it? I mean then none of it really matters.

 

And although the link does contain a needle (although one could infer that it's not hypodermic because of the ease they have in putting it in every time), I do recall the link being a ribbon cable (i.e. for data). I think you're looking at their "explanation" too deeply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chadbang View Post

Oh, I might as well get it all out, here's my BIGGEST bone to pick with this film. The whole "INCEPTION" concept. Oh, its this very difficult concept of planting an idea into someone's mind so they think they came up with the idea. Very delicate work which must be subtly and psychologically accomplished.  The subject can't possibly have any inclination that the idea was given to them... So what happens when they finally get this industrialist's son into their manufactured dream world?   Leonardo DiCaprio walks right up to him and says.:You're dreaming. You've been told about this: how people can get into your mind and steal ideas while your dreaming. I'm a professional at getting into people minds and I'm here to protect you...."


Really, that was your biggest thing? The whole point was to trick Fisher into thinking he was on a first level dream when he was really on his second. Then the kidnapping becomes "real" to him, as does the insidious remarks of his fathers colleague (I forget the exact relation).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuseboxx View Post

ANYWAY...It explained and showed as much as what was needed. When watching sci-fi films featuring shuttles in outer space, do you need to know everything about how and why they got there to legitimize the plausibility of it all? Or what the milk-like substance was that Ash was drinking and filled wiith in Alien? Or how Ripley was supposed to survive 57 years in hypersleep for the sequel?? Does an in-depth exploration of the Ludovico technique need to be discussed in order to make its use credible in A Clockwork Orange? Did you need to have a summary of how the components of the DeLorean worked in order to make Back To The Future more enjoyable? Maybe a study of detailed history Androids to heighten the experience of watching Blade Runner? In viewing any sci-fi film, there surely has to be this amount of suspension of disbelief because it's science-fiction ffs. Who is even there to say about these things being implausible? We're talking about stories fueled by scientific innovations that are merely imagined. All the writer and director have to do is explain as much as is needed to drive the story. This is one of the things that Inception does exceptionally well and the film goes on to discuss a lot of related elements about dreaming throughout the film.


Thank you.

post #51 of 220

While I also find it dissapointing that the origins of the dream machine is not explored satisfyingly, I think it doesnt really matter as that is not the point of this movie. Leaving it out might also be sort of necessary evil, as this movie is very long as it is, plus it might be only be distraction to the whole plot running through this movie

post #52 of 220

Actually I see it as a plus that they didnt explained exactly how it works. It would slow down the frantic pace of the movie, and its 'only' used to drive the movie forward. Also it prolly wouldve sounded silly anyway :p

 

Explanations of technology would be more appropriate in a slower paced sci-fi thriller tbh.

 

Soundtrack is awesome btw ye. The track '528491' is great and the use of the Piaf song in the movie gave me the goosebumps 


Edited by Gundogan - 7/25/10 at 9:42am
post #53 of 220
Originally Posted by chadbang View Post

Oh, I might as well get it all out, here's my BIGGEST bone to pick with this film. The whole "INCEPTION" concept. Oh, its this very difficult concept of planting an idea into someone's mind so they think they came up with the idea. Very delicate work which must be subtly and psychologically accomplished.  The subject can't possibly have any inclination that the idea was given to them... So what happens when they finally get this industrialist's son into their manufactured dream world?   Leonardo DiCaprio walks right up to him and says.:You're dreaming. You've been told about this: how people can get into your mind and steal ideas while your dreaming. I'm a professional at getting into people minds and I'm here to protect you...."


Really, that was your biggest thing? The whole point was to trick Fisher into thinking he was on a first level dream when he was really on his second. Then the kidnapping becomes "real" to him, as does the insidious remarks of his fathers colleague (I forget the exact relation).

 

 

Gee, I don't see how I missed this obvious point. And when Fisher wakes up in that airplane seat, he wouldn't just say "What a weird dream, like most of us? I'm sorry, I don't care how many dreams within a dream I may be having. When I open my eyes and I shake my, I instantly forget even what I was dreaming out - let alone have to be tricked into believing I just had a dream within a dream. Tell me why all these levels of subtefuge would even be necessary? This whole levels of dreaming/realtiy is just a bad take off on Mission Impossible-style tomfoolery where nothing is what it seems because there's a mask under a mask - except taken to a new level of excruciating annoyance.

 

 

This might have been a fun script to sit down with for 10 years and tinker with (that's how long the director spent writing it) with a stack of note cards and a flow chart, but when I see a film I expect the director to simplify the whole process for me to draw me into the story. That's where this film failed, by the time the team got done explaining what they were going to do, the fim was OVER. Sorry, no time for story or character, but just marvel at this really cool world I've created. Maybe its an offshoot of the video game mentality - levels, upon level of gameplay strung together with a some feather of a plot ("RETRIEVE THE DOCUMENT) and alot of gunfire, but that stuff bores me silly.  I look for a deeper emotional experience or at least a cohesive one. Technical explanations aside, I never bought the real possibilty of this film for a moment. I think the only film I've ever seen to pull off the whole entering into another's mind concept was Jennifer Lopez's movie "The Cell." The fantastic imagery in the film and "real" story of hunting for a serial killer balanced each other so well, that when you were in the world of the subconscious it truly felt alien and strangely possibly because of its fantasy qualities. Inception was just one big confounding videogame repleat with a set peice stolen from "Goldeneye" on the Nintendo 64. The only part I liked was DiCapro's wife subplot. At least that had a little real emotional resonance - although it just barely made sense.


Edited by chadbang - 7/25/10 at 1:15pm
post #54 of 220

I'm genuinely sorry if that came off as condescending. I missed some stuff in that movie that later became obvious to me. I didn't mean to offend, actually I was trying to say that I found some parts of the movie much weaker. For instance, why did they need that damn briefcase device on each level of dreaming? Also, why should a kick work on each level? And finally, why is it that each level has a different dreamer? It seems like the only dreamer should be the one actually dreaming it.

 

In retrospect, Inception does seem very much to be made for games. Although, if they resist sticking too closely to the movie, start fresh with new characters, and do it psychonauts style I can see the game being really good.

 

EDIT: I assume you mean that snow level for goldeneye. I could've sworn there was a level just like it in Agent Under Fire. Level 6, 7, or 8. It's been so long haha.


Edited by semisight - 7/25/10 at 3:00pm
post #55 of 220

This movie was awesome. After Inception and The Dark Knight, Nolan is now my favorite movie maker!

post #56 of 220

I'm not much of a movie buff, but I absolutely loved Inception.  It had a hell of a lot of plot to cram into a short amount of time, but it still maintained great pacing throughout and successfully avoided self-contradiction when the subject matter could've easily propelled the story in that direction.  Some truly talented people created this film.  Both artful and entertaining, it's like The Matrix with a master's degree.

post #57 of 220



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by semisight View Post

I'm genuinely sorry if that came off as condescending.



No problem, semisight. I think I came on a little strong with my rant. Phew, thank God headfi is a pretty mellow place. I went to Rotten Tomatoes to read about the film and there was a WAR going on over there. Yikes!

post #58 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by virometal View Post

Scott Tarlow:


Of course, and I've already seen two I thought better - Exit Through the Gift Shop and Winter's Bone.

 

Inception has merit however and was like a daylight shower in the middle of an incredibly crappy tent pole season, minus Toy Story 3. The Nolan film is ambitious, visually inventive, and full of great water cooler, pop culture moments.


Viro, I popped into this thread to recommend Winter's Bone as well. Great minds buddy!

post #59 of 220

I just got back from watching "Inception."  I actually finished it, unlike several patrons who walked out.

 

The first thing that came to mind when I got home was to pull up Mark Twain's essay on James Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses.  Picking over the list, it is remarkable how much of it applies to Nolan's work.

 

First, the dialog is terribly written, lacking in imagination and completely unremarkable.  About halfway through I realized where Nolan got his inspiration for flat, dull dialog delivered in a flat, dull manner: soap operas.  Something was eating me about the delivery (which is not the fault of the actors - they took the direction as best they could) and my mind wandered back to the uninspired, flat and meaningless delivery of several soap operas I've been subjected to over the years.  It's awful, not at all how people act in real life and a slog to sit through.

 

Second, Chadbang makes an excellent point about the endless, overbearing exposition.  That does not happen in real life - only in movies.  Bad movies, for that matter.

 

Third, zero, and I mean zero, character development.  Who are these people?  Why should I care about them?  Are these people I would want to know in real life?  Could I predict how they'd behave in a given situation after seeing them onscreen for 150 minutes?  They're all flat and lifeless.  Like action figures or video game characters thrown up on the screen.

 

Fourth, this is not an "intellectual" movie.  It's grindhouse pap.  Just because you throw in a dream element does not mean that deep thinking is going on.  Dream sequences have been done for decades.  Everyone "gets it" and there's no mental leap required to understand the action.  It's a pretentious shootemup which gives you absolutely zero insight into the characters or, lacking that, any understanding into the human condition.

 

Fifth, Nolan relies entirely too much on deus ex machina.  Every time he writes himself into a corner, he metaphorically pulls something out of his anus to keep the house of cards standing.  It's a sign of a poorly thought-out concept, poor writing and poor structure.

 

Sixth, the soundtrack stuck out and seemed inappropriate.  It frequently went into sonorous, dreary soap opera mode.  Also, this might be the fault of the theater, but it was too damned loud.

 

Finally, the ending was screamingly predictable.  It's a longstanding cliche that dream sequences are supposed to end with casting doubt on whether what you just saw was real or actually a dream.  I sat there and wondered for two hours if Nolan was going to end with the typical dream sequence cliche.  Of course he did - you always go for the cliche when you lack imagination.  Just the same way that you substitute pointless action for interaction between characters and letting the audience get to know them.

 

What did I like?

 

The production values were high and I didn't see any glaring camera mistakes.  The CGI mostly integrated well, the editing was well done, and the cinematography was very good.  The imagery was striking and good throughout.

 

Also, the actors are good actors.  But they were given nothing much to work with.

 

For those of you who thrive on lifeless characters, flat dialogue and zero insight into life or humanity, let me ask you two questions:

 

How many of the Great Books or generally recognized classic novels have you read?

 

How many of AFI's Top 100 Movies have you watched?

 

If you've been through cherished classics such as these (well worth a Netflix membership and a library card, by the way), you'll see how one-dimensional Nolan's movies in comparison.  Ten years on, people will look back at "Inception" as pure junk.  The dialogue is dreadful and leaden while you'll find works from 50, 100, 200, or even 2,000 years ago where you'll identify with the characters and come to enjoy them as people.  That's the point of entertainment - not throwing a grenade down a tunnel, car chases or shooting at each other.


Edited by Uncle Erik - 7/26/10 at 7:16pm
post #60 of 220

I think the fascination over Inception isn't really because that it's a extraordinary good movie, but because it's different and haven't been done before. From a "traditional" movie standpoint, I kinda think it sucked and couldn't wait for it to end. But when I look at it from another perspective, it's gotta be one of the most creative and innovative movies ever made. And a great start for a different kind of movie experience; a new genre? Even though it is flawed, there's something about the movie that makes me really want to see it again just to figure it out for a second time. 

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