Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Members' Lounge (General Discussion) › Inception: Film of the Year?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Inception: Film of the Year? - Page 6

post #76 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

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?


good points. I score about 80% on both questions, and that's hopefully a passing B grade (better than "Inception" scores IMHO). but I'm not sure those are the touch-stones, either. to be fair, it should be compared to a list of 100 sci-fi summer blockbusters, or a list of dream-related narratives. I agree completely that it won't fare well in either context, although I still enjoyed parts of it ;-) it's a bit sad how nolan veered from the innovation of "memento" to increasingly formulaic work. of course, the incentives for people in the industry are stacked against enduring quality - one of the reasons why it is worth celebrating when something great comes out, since it is literally against the odds.

post #77 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post




The movie is nothing but an empty shell.  There's nothing there.  Nothing.

 

You don't know a single thing about any of the characters.  Not what drives them, not how they think, not how they feel.  There's just nothing piled on nothing.  Driving down a street, being shot at, tells you nothing.  It might be visually exciting, but it doesn't amount to anything.

 

You've seen some of the movies on the AFI list.  How does this compare to something like the Godfather?  When you watch that, you have a pretty good idea of what the characters are thinking, why they do what they do and how they will react to events in the story.  Again, Inception has nothing like this.  The characters are more like icons, not even important.

 

You make a big point about the lack of well, everything, contributing to the "plot."  Look, the plot is flimsy and nearly non-existent.  Everything dragged out over 150 minutes could be explained in under two.  There just isn't that much that goes on and it's pretty far from intellectual.  It doesn't explore any great themes, gives no insight into life, and there isn't a single character possible to relate to.

 

What do you get from it?  It was visually interesting and some of the effects were fun to watch.  But did you learn anything?  Get any insight?  Or is it just about the same rush you get from playing a video game?

 

It's just another cliched, samey-same action/heist flick with a "dream" twist thrown in.  It's a facade, impressive up front and entirely empty and meaningless within.  Unless that's the point of the movie, which it could possibly be.  Too bad the dialog had to be wrenchingly bad and a good hour was wasted on pointless shootemup.

 

Maybe that's the case, but this was just 150 minutes of loud pointlessness.  There's nothing to take away here.


How can you say that you don't know anything about Cobb? He has a wife that died because of something he did and he's trapped with this guilt. He has two children that he desperately wants to see; so desperate to the point that he's willing to sacrifice the well-being of his teammates because he's so obsessed to clear his name and reunite with his kids. And throughout the film, he does this juggling act between what is real and what is not... but at the end accepts the reality he's presented with regardless if he's in reality or he's in a dream.

Please... you sound too caught up with your perception of the film as an action flick when the reality is that barely a third of it is filled with action sequences and the rest is concentrated on the narrative that drives the story. You say that you can explain the whole plot of the story under two. I'd like to see you come up with a two-minute screenplay that encapsulates everything that was discussed in Inception. And I'm not talking about an absurdly simplified one, since you can do that for almost any film out there. I'm talking about exactly what you said: "Everything dragged out over 150 minutes could be explained in under two."

Why do some people think that great films have to explore great themes and give insight into life? At the very minimum, Inception at least deals with our perception of truth and dealing with reality. It is so important for us to grasp what is real, even if the dream is so much better? Would Mal and Cobb have been better off growing old in limbo instead of being kicked back to a grim reality? Does it matter in the end if you're in reality or in a dream if you're genuinely happy?

But even if one doesn't "buy" or "get" that Inception has these themes woven into it's narrative, would people be able to identify great themes and insights into life from films like - say - Star Wars or Alien? Other films like 2001:A Space Odyssey, Solaris & A Clockwork Orange surely have greater themes intertwined in their sci-fi narrative. But like I said before, Inception will probably go down in history as this decade's equivalent of Blade Runner in that it has humanistic themes well-balanced with good action and a stylish execution.

 

 


 

post #78 of 220

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuseboxx View Post

Does it matter in the end if you're in reality or in a dream if you're genuinely happy?


Great question

post #79 of 220
The plot can be summed up in a two minute treatment or pitch. There just isn't that much there. It's a heist movie with lots of unnecessary action scenes and a slight psychological twist. The subplot about the relationship IS interesting, but should have been fleshed out instead of pointless gunfire and chases. Not unlike the godawful "District 9" which had a great concept and backstory, then wasted it in a meaningless action flick. So disappointing.

The narrative in "Inception" just doesn't work. As pointed out, it was entirely wasted in exposition. The exposition explains what happens, however, it does not have a point. Why devote a large portion to "jumps" and other rules when they contribute nothing to the story? It seems like they're only there to set up impressive visuals, which are impressive, but give you no insight into the characters or tell you anything important? I got nothing out pf the film except that I really liked most of the visuals.

Comparing this to "Star Wars" or "Aliens" doesn't really work. Those are popcorn movies. Very well done and entertaining popcorn movies. The difference with those is that they have fully formed characters you care about. You understand them and they have lots of personality. I didn't take anything serious from them, but neither were they a pretentious bore, like "Inception." you don't have to be deep and meaningful to entertain. Just like "Avatar." I went in expecting to hate that movie. I knew how it would end shortly after it started, but Cameron spent enough time on the characters that I didn't care. Sure, it was full of clichés, but it was great entertainment. I appreciate that. "Inception" has all the pretention of a serious movie, yet fails to deliver. No characters, no great themes, no humor, no life. It's like a dead-serious soap opera that ends up telling you nothing.

This will not be a classic in any way. In ten years or so, the hype will be gone and people will recognize it for the waste of time it is, just like the leaden and dreadful "Dark Knight." I actually sat through that twice, just to make sure I didn't form an opinion on a bad day. Nolan will go down as the most successful bad director of his day - much like James Fenimore Cooper. If you haven't read Mark Twain's criticism of his literary crimes, you really should. Every point directly applies to Nolan and his work.
post #80 of 220

Saw it again tonight with another friend of mine, i still think that it is one of the better movies that i have seen, along with probably being the best film of the year. but we will have to wait till the end of year to determine that.

post #81 of 220

Yeah Uncle Erik... from your criticism, it seems that you were too hung up on the visuals and action that you weren't able to understand the story and much of the exposition at all. That does a lot to explain your dislike.

 

I would elaborate or post a longer reply; but considering that you don't even bother to address the perfectly sound points I make on my replies and choose to only acknowledge those that you can to reply to, it doesn't really seem worthwhile...

 

I'd love to read that two-minute pitch by the way


Edited by fuseboxx - 8/1/10 at 3:11am
post #82 of 220
Thread Starter 

A little late coming back to this thread. I did see it again in a much better cinema, and it was still one of the best films I've seen. Although I have watched many of the 200 greatest films (don't forget the BFI), so maybe it's DiCaprio Bias:

 

dicaprio08170903full.jpg

 

 


Edited by evilking - 8/1/10 at 4:50pm
post #83 of 220
fuseboxx, thing is, I did understand the story. I read a lot of literature with far more complex narratives and I deal with much, much more complex and subtle nuances with the law every single day. It's convenient to say that I didn't understand it, but I did. There is no complexity. It's a flyweight script with very few intellectual challenges. The dialog is dull and the movie was a bore. If you've never been intellectually challenged by literature or a work of art, then this might seem impressive. But Inception has a lot more in common with a Dick and Jane book. The characters barely exist, there is no intelligent discussion and action is used to gloss over the lack of these two.

It works, slightly, as a popcorn movie. But it's pretentious and delivers nothing.

A two minute treatment would point out that it's a heist/action flick in a sci-fi world where dreams can be entered and information can be extracted. After establishing that, the characters attempt to implant an idea in someone. All the rule-making and so on is irrelevant. It contributes nothing to the story or characters. It might explain why something is done, but what you draw from that is, well, nothing. I don't need 15 minutes of exposition to set up guys shooting at each other in the snow for 20 minutes. It's meaningless.

Again, go back and read Mark Twain's essay. It applies directly.
post #84 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilking View Post

A little late coming back to this thread. I did see it again in a much better cinema, and it was still one of the best films I've seen. Although I have watched many of the 200 greatest films (don't forget the BFI), so maybe it's DiCaprio Bias:

 

dicaprio08170903full.jpg

 

 

haha i definitely have a dicaprio bias, hes one of my favorite actors, and nolan is currently one of my favorite modern directors. i remember when i first saw the preview for inception and christopher nolan and dicaprio's names both showed up, i didnt even need to see the rest of the preview to know that i needed to see this movie and that i was going to love it.
 

post #85 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post




The movie is nothing but an empty shell.  There's nothing there.  Nothing.

 

You don't know a single thing about any of the characters.  Not what drives them, not how they think, not how they feel.  There's just nothing piled on nothing.  Driving down a street, being shot at, tells you nothing.  It might be visually exciting, but it doesn't amount to anything.

 

You've seen some of the movies on the AFI list.  How does this compare to something like the Godfather?  When you watch that, you have a pretty good idea of what the characters are thinking, why they do what they do and how they will react to events in the story.  Again, Inception has nothing like this.  The characters are more like icons, not even important.

 

You make a big point about the lack of well, everything, contributing to the "plot."  Look, the plot is flimsy and nearly non-existent.  Everything dragged out over 150 minutes could be explained in under two.  There just isn't that much that goes on and it's pretty far from intellectual.  It doesn't explore any great themes, gives no insight into life, and there isn't a single character possible to relate to.

 

What do you get from it?  It was visually interesting and some of the effects were fun to watch.  But did you learn anything?  Get any insight?  Or is it just about the same rush you get from playing a video game?

 

It's just another cliched, samey-same action/heist flick with a "dream" twist thrown in.  It's a facade, impressive up front and entirely empty and meaningless within.  Unless that's the point of the movie, which it could possibly be.  Too bad the dialog had to be wrenchingly bad and a good hour was wasted on pointless shootemup.

 

Maybe that's the case, but this was just 150 minutes of loud pointlessness.  There's nothing to take away here.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

fuseboxx, thing is, I did understand the story. I read a lot of literature with far more complex narratives and I deal with much, much more complex and subtle nuances with the law every single day. It's convenient to say that I didn't understand it, but I did. There is no complexity. It's a flyweight script with very few intellectual challenges. The dialog is dull and the movie was a bore. If you've never been intellectually challenged by literature or a work of art, then this might seem impressive. But Inception has a lot more in common with a Dick and Jane book. The characters barely exist, there is no intelligent discussion and action is used to gloss over the lack of these two.

It works, slightly, as a popcorn movie. But it's pretentious and delivers nothing.

A two minute treatment would point out that it's a heist/action flick in a sci-fi world where dreams can be entered and information can be extracted. After establishing that, the characters attempt to implant an idea in someone. All the rule-making and so on is irrelevant. It contributes nothing to the story or characters. It might explain why something is done, but what you draw from that is, well, nothing. I don't need 15 minutes of exposition to set up guys shooting at each other in the snow for 20 minutes. It's meaningless.

Again, go back and read Mark Twain's essay. It applies directly.

Uncle Erik, I really need to commend you on taking so many steps to defend your opinion. I too, even though I am not 20yrs old, refuse to buy into hype and technology. Technology does not make a movie good. This is why I refused to watch Avatar, because I see that the movie is built completely on the technology, and without it, it is a weightless shell. Before all this obsession with special effects and flashing lights, it was much easier to separate the bad films from the good. There is no hiding a bad movie behind the technology. These kinds of movies, I watch after their technology is well over date. Then I can easily see the flaws in the movie. A good movie is good forever, despite whatever the critics say complain about. A bad movie, hidden by technology, can never be good. I'll be watching Inception in a couple of years.
 

post #86 of 220

Saw it today, which happens to be my birthday.  Wife treated me to two movies, since it's hard for us to see movies at the time being.  Between Salt and Inception, I preferred Inception.  If this film wins anything, I will stop watching big budget films all together.  It was pretty cut up and dry like other reviews.  I think if anybody wants to see a good movie version of Inception with a similar idea, go see Dark City.  Damn, I must be out of the times, but even matinee movie prices has skyrocketed as well as the popcorn and soda - just insane. 

post #87 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbird View Post

Uncle Erik, I really need to commend you on taking so many steps to defend your opinion. I too, even though I am not 20yrs old, refuse to buy into hype and technology. Technology does not make a movie good. This is why I refused to watch Avatar, because I see that the movie is built completely on the technology, and without it, it is a weightless shell. Before all this obsession with special effects and flashing lights, it was much easier to separate the bad films from the good. There is no hiding a bad movie behind the technology. These kinds of movies, I watch after their technology is well over date. Then I can easily see the flaws in the movie. A good movie is good forever, despite whatever the critics say complain about. A bad movie, hidden by technology, can never be good. I'll be watching Inception in a couple of years.

 


I see Avatar as the exception to the tech rule. The 3D really did make that movie. It was cool and it was a nice distraction.

 

True that to classics being classics. (As long as the plot/characters are relatable to the viewer).

post #88 of 220

I see Uncle Erik is fighting the good fight alone. Since I raised a stink earlier on, I thought I'd better chime in again with why the movie bothered me. I'm with Uncle Erik that characterization and story are very weak in "Inception." I read somewhere that Noland spent 1o years writing the script. I think the problem is if FEELS like he spent ten years writing the film. Nolan obviously spent so much time tinkering with the intricacies of the story, that he assumed its basic premise would be immediately seen as plausible by the viewer. What he didn't consider is what would happen if he failed to sell the concept right off the bat. Because he wanted to dash headlong into his maze, he failed to take the time to sell the audience on "dream raiders" as even a realistic possibility. There was never a moment of doubt or daring. Never a flinch zipping in and out of reality like a team of parachutists holding hands. Never a moment of genuine fear that something might so wrong. As a result, the intricate structure of Noland's house of card scarcely mattered, because its base remained a flimsy conceit that wasn't convincing. Nolan may have a psychological-bent as a writer, but this film lacked the core humanity which would have made it work. I'm not one to often praise James Cameron's sometimes obvious hand at wrenching emotion, but Cameron's exactly the co-producer I would have liked to have seen on this film (or John Ford or John Carpenter for that matter. Remember the great characters, humor and humanity of "The Thing?") Cameron would have jiggered the pace down at moments so the audience could smell the reality. He would have made it work as a human experience, as well as cerebral action film. And as far as the well-thought out complexity some people are lavishing on the film, I felt quite the opposite about it. I had the feeling that even Nolan was constantly struggling to explain his concept as we raced furiously along ... even trying to keep ahead of himself. Rather than let the audience relax and enjoy the characters or a naturally unfolding story, there was seldom a moment when the script wasn't spouting out a new set of rules that we were supposed to nod at and follow. The dialogue practically snapped at you: "Pay attention, this is what's happening now..." I suppose it had to, or this preciously intricate puzzle would have left too many viewers reaching for the Sominex to relieve their headache. I wish Nolan would have used another "architect" on the project who would have removed a few intricate cornices to simplify his edifice, and to make the experience seem less like reading to a rule book for a fantasy role-playing game. I'm afraid, unlike Fisher (the person who's mind they're attempt to infiltrate) that I was moved in the opposite direct of believing in this dream world as more complications were laid out in a "Mission Impossible" trickery -- where there always lingers a mask beneath another mask. That kind of trickery puts more educated audiences on guard: "Am I being deceived again? Is this another false ending?" For that reason, I watched the entire film as a skeptic, rather than a believer in Nolan's dreamscape, and, sadly, the whole story felt artificial. I could scarely wait to walk out of the darkness of the theater into the light ... and have a cup of coffee.


Edited by chadbang - 8/1/10 at 11:01pm
post #89 of 220

I saw Avatar on Blu-ray without 3D and I disliked it. I can't imagine the 3D making me care about those characters, no matter how much background information there was. To me it was pretentious, emotionally manipulative, and covertly political. I am against foreign invasions and occupations as much as anybody and actually liked Titanic; I wanted to like Avatar. But I didn't. I did like Inception, however. And I thought The Dark Night was good as well, but not as good as Tim Burton's Batman.

 

Movies are like headphones; variety is the spice of life and no single one will please everybody.


Edited by grokit - 8/2/10 at 3:31am
post #90 of 220

Brilliant and intelligent. Saw it yesterday :D

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Members' Lounge (General Discussion) › Inception: Film of the Year?