Inception: Film of the Year?
Jul 27, 2010 at 3:45 AM Post #61 of 220

Uncle Erik

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Creative? Innovative? I don't think so. Terrible writing, featherweight plot, pointless action scenes, no characters, and sagging with cliches. What's new and different?

If you want an innovative and well done movie about implanted memories and psychological manipulation, see the original "Manchurian Candidate." "Inception" is B-grade shlock, and I'm being generous. Hell, watch a "Twilight Zone" marathon if you want some intelligent twists and turns. Everything in "Inception" has been done before; I think the only appeal is to teen and early 20s guys who have never explored the rich trove of old movies and TV shows who have done the same thing, but with actual characters, intelligent writing and without a reliance on endless, pointless gunfire.

A movie like this could not have been made in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s. They would have found it too pointless and meaningless to connect with an audience. For people raised more recently and fed a steady diet of mindless action and videogames, it comes across as high art. It isn't.
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 3:55 AM Post #62 of 220

Czilla9000

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I for one like Twilight Zone. I loved it...I mean INCEPTION.
 
Here is the secret conspiracy theory behind the score to INCEPTION:
 
http://gawker.com/5597049/the-awesome-secret-behind-the-music-in-inception

 
Really not that shocking.
 
Speaking of score...I'm glad unlike other films that the motifs in the trailer matched the movie. I hate it when I hear awesome trailer music only to hear something completely different in the real film.
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 4:33 AM Post #63 of 220

SemiAudiophile

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Quote:
Creative? Innovative? I don't think so. Terrible writing, featherweight plot, pointless action scenes, no characters, and sagging with cliches. What's new and different?

If you want an innovative and well done movie about implanted memories and psychological manipulation, see the original "Manchurian Candidate." "Inception" is B-grade shlock, and I'm being generous. Hell, watch a "Twilight Zone" marathon if you want some intelligent twists and turns. Everything in "Inception" has been done before; I think the only appeal is to teen and early 20s guys who have never explored the rich trove of old movies and TV shows who have done the same thing, but with actual characters, intelligent writing and without a reliance on endless, pointless gunfire.

A movie like this could not have been made in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s. They would have found it too pointless and meaningless to connect with an audience. For people raised more recently and fed a steady diet of mindless action and videogames, it comes across as high art. It isn't.


What's new and different isn't within the movie itself, but rather how he chose to portray and tell the story (yes it was a terrible story but the concepts were great; I agree with the things you wrote in bold). It is not told in a regular linear fashion, instead you are given pieces and short explanations of the story and what's going on. I feel like he chose to have the audience figure out the story for themselves and how it is all put together. 
 
Twilight Zone is too old school for me. I'll probably give it a peek sometime. 
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 5:25 AM Post #64 of 220

71877

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Quote:
A movie like this could not have been made in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s. They would have found it too pointless and meaningless to connect with an audience. For people raised more recently and fed a steady diet of mindless action and videogames, it comes across as high art. It isn't.


They had other pointless and meaningless, and yet populair movies :) Every era in moviemaking is like that.
 
Altho I agree that Inception is no higher art form, highly intelligent nor makes you question life and everything, but then again very few movies are and do and tbh, they dont have to (IMO!). Inception is 'just' a damn fine action movie IMO :)
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 6:20 AM Post #65 of 220

apatN

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Nope, not film of the year. A very interesting story but it's nowhere near as good as imdb wants you to believe (9.3).
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 8:07 AM Post #66 of 220

fuseboxx

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@Uncle Erik's criticism in general:

You're probably right in implying that the older generation is not going to get Inception as well as the younger generations. Part of it is certainly bias for the classics from their generation, but I don't know what people are going on about the dialogue. The screenplay in general was pretty well conceptualized and translated into dialogue. I'm not sure what else you can say about it, really. It's certainly not as lush as the dialogue from films like 12 Angry Men, Before Sunset, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Sunset Blvd. or The Apartment... but people complaining about the less-than-exemplary dialogue in this film are barking up the wrong tree.

Dialogue... Character Development... although not even remotely bad (and the soap opera analogy is obviously a gross exaggeration) are just not what this film is about. Christopher Nolan is definitely no Billy Wilder or Woody Allen; but for this film, he doesn't have to be. Whatever he wrote, he wrote just as was needed to drive the themes and concepts in the film.

That's basically my review of the film in a nutshell: It's not perfect, but it's perfectly executed. As perfectly executed as any film I've ever seen, in fact. The way it's structured and presented is as refreshingly clever as Memento was when it came out. And regarding Chadbang's criticism about the exposition, I already have a resposnse to that. I don't think Chadbang paid any attention to it, but it's there.

Also, it's not necessarily "intellectual" in the sense that it's academic. It's a thinking man's film because the plot involves intertwining threads and layer upon layer of reality and dreaming. The key to understanding the film lies in how well the viewer is able to pay attention to the narrative, process the details and "connect the dots" about how these enveloping layers of reality work. It's like appreciating a piece of visual art that employs a clever use of negative space: Not everything is being spoonfed to the audience, you have to piece together things that are shown and also see what is not there to see the genius behind it.

I might give you the deus ex machina criticism, but considering that the film is a sci-fi about dreaming... the possibilities of the mind... what is reality and what isn't... it gave him the perfect vehicle to make anything possible. It's not like the realm of endless possibility was ever abused in the film anyway. Like I said earlier: Everything that was done was executed just as perfectly as it could have been done.

I just can't say anything bad about the soundtrack and nobody on the various forums I frequent can say anything bad about it either. Even those who had a lot of negative things to say about Inception in general admit that they couldn't touch that aspect of the film. People do have differing opinions though and you have every right to say you didn't like it.

I could see that ending coming though, I agree. That's the first thing I said to my wife when the film ended, and it actually solidifies my opinion of Inception as a perfectly executed film. As predictable as it was, it was the most clever and apt way to conclude and tie up the story. It satisfies and resolves both themes that were driving the film.

Nolan has always been a technically sound director. I'm glad you didn't take that away from him.

As for your last couple of questions:

I'm not a big reader, but I've frequently enjoyed the books of Kurt Vonnegut and Haruki Murakami. Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" also enthralled me way before its film version was ever planned and I guess I like a few Nick Hornby books as well, especially "High Fidelity".

I was looking at the AFI list (which is terribly overrated, imo) and I've seen most of those. I enjoyed a good number of them. Casablanca... the first two Godfather films... almost anything by Billy Wilder or Woody Allen... Chinatown... Cuckoo's Nest... yup, there's a lot of great classic films there. It's a shame it's limited to American films and biased towards older ones though.
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 9:37 AM Post #67 of 220

Kuze

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Might get film of the year yes, in this drought it pretty much as nothing else to compete with and people are calling it a masterpiece, so hell i wouldn't be surprise.
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 12:11 PM Post #68 of 220

marvin

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Quote:
Might get film of the year yes, in this drought it pretty much as nothing else to compete with and people are calling it a masterpiece, so hell i wouldn't be surprise.

 
Something will come up later in the year, it's not like Inception should be that hard to top. I'd say Toy Story 3 if it weren't for the fact that animated movies get stuck in their own little ghetto.
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 4:37 PM Post #69 of 220

grokit

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Quote:
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. 


Pretty much agree with this assessment. If you don't take it too seriously and allow yourself to be entertained it's pretty good; make sure you have had a good night's sleep before viewing it as it can be mentally fatiguing with all the detail overload. I rated it 9/10 for the innovation mostly, it's probably more like a 7.5 on it's own merits. I felt the same way right after seeing it.

 
 
Jul 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM Post #70 of 220

revolink24

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Quote:
 
Something will come up later in the year, it's not like Inception should be that hard to top. I'd say Toy Story 3 if it weren't for the fact that animated movies get stuck in their own little ghetto.


I agree. Many Pixar films have deserved FotY over their live-action counterparts, but they won't ever get it.
 
Jul 28, 2010 at 10:25 PM Post #71 of 220

vagarach

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When I first watched it, I was totally bowled over.  It made perfect sense and all the layer stuff was easy to understand, but the ending and how clearly it (for me anyway) indicated that Cobb had accepted his reality had quite an effect on me.  It took some time to decompress and not think about it anymore.
 
Watching it a second time, granted I was running on 3 hours sleep, but the movie lost its sparkle, and I just wanted it to end.  It was fun for a while noticing the small details I missed the first time, but the story is very tight and delineated, so watching it a second time just made it obvious how high concept/low plot the film is.
 
A high quality movie!
 
Jul 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM Post #72 of 220

apatN

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When I first watched it, I was totally bowled over.  It made perfect sense and all the layer stuff was easy to understand, but the ending and how clearly it (for me anyway) indicated that Cobb had accepted his reality had quite an effect on me.  It took some time to decompress and not think about it anymore.
 
Watching it a second time, granted I was running on 3 hours sleep, but the movie lost its sparkle, and I just wanted it to end.  It was fun for a while noticing the small details I missed the first time, but the story is very tight and delineated, so watching it a second time just made it obvious how high concept/low plot the film is.
 
A high quality movie!

That's actually the thing I am worried about. It doesn't deserve the imdb score...
 
 
Jul 29, 2010 at 3:33 PM Post #74 of 220

Uncle Erik

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Quote:
 
@Uncle Erik's criticism in general:

You're probably right in implying that the older generation is not going to get Inception as well as the younger generations. Part of it is certainly bias for the classics from their generation, but I don't know what people are going on about the dialogue. The screenplay in general was pretty well conceptualized and translated into dialogue. I'm not sure what else you can say about it, really. It's certainly not as lush as the dialogue from films like 12 Angry Men, Before Sunset, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Sunset Blvd. or The Apartment... but people complaining about the less-than-exemplary dialogue in this film are barking up the wrong tree.

Dialogue... Character Development... although not even remotely bad (and the soap opera analogy is obviously a gross exaggeration) are just not what this film is about. Christopher Nolan is definitely no Billy Wilder or Woody Allen; but for this film, he doesn't have to be. Whatever he wrote, he wrote just as was needed to drive the themes and concepts in the film.

That's basically my review of the film in a nutshell: It's not perfect, but it's perfectly executed. As perfectly executed as any film I've ever seen, in fact. The way it's structured and presented is as refreshingly clever as Memento was when it came out. And regarding Chadbang's criticism about the exposition, I already have a resposnse to that. I don't think Chadbang paid any attention to it, but it's there.

Also, it's not necessarily "intellectual" in the sense that it's academic. It's a thinking man's film because the plot involves intertwining threads and layer upon layer of reality and dreaming. The key to understanding the film lies in how well the viewer is able to pay attention to the narrative, process the details and "connect the dots" about how these enveloping layers of reality work. It's like appreciating a piece of visual art that employs a clever use of negative space: Not everything is being spoonfed to the audience, you have to piece together things that are shown and also see what is not there to see the genius behind it.

I might give you the deus ex machina criticism, but considering that the film is a sci-fi about dreaming... the possibilities of the mind... what is reality and what isn't... it gave him the perfect vehicle to make anything possible. It's not like the realm of endless possibility was ever abused in the film anyway. Like I said earlier: Everything that was done was executed just as perfectly as it could have been done.

I just can't say anything bad about the soundtrack and nobody on the various forums I frequent can say anything bad about it either. Even those who had a lot of negative things to say about Inception in general admit that they couldn't touch that aspect of the film. People do have differing opinions though and you have every right to say you didn't like it.

I could see that ending coming though, I agree. That's the first thing I said to my wife when the film ended, and it actually solidifies my opinion of Inception as a perfectly executed film. As predictable as it was, it was the most clever and apt way to conclude and tie up the story. It satisfies and resolves both themes that were driving the film.

Nolan has always been a technically sound director. I'm glad you didn't take that away from him.

As for your last couple of questions:

I'm not a big reader, but I've frequently enjoyed the books of Kurt Vonnegut and Haruki Murakami. Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" also enthralled me way before its film version was ever planned and I guess I like a few Nick Hornby books as well, especially "High Fidelity".

I was looking at the AFI list (which is terribly overrated, imo) and I've seen most of those. I enjoyed a good number of them. Casablanca... the first two Godfather films... almost anything by Billy Wilder or Woody Allen... Chinatown... Cuckoo's Nest... yup, there's a lot of great classic films there. It's a shame it's limited to American films and biased towards older ones though.


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.
 
Jul 29, 2010 at 4:34 PM Post #75 of 220

grokit

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I agree that the polarized responses to Inception could be interpreted as a generational thing, and I can appreciate both Uncle Eric's and fuseboxx's takes on it. I liked it for what it was, but am under no illusions that it was something else. It was mentally engaging and visually stimulating, but intellectually and emotionally vapid. Like the architect that created the dreamworlds, Nolan has engineered an impressively complex and multi-layered structure, but one that could also be considered unoccupied. I thought that it was imaginative and suspenseful, but beyond that it was a somewhat empty shell. The videogame analogy is apt, except for the fact that many video games offer actual background information for the characters. I really didn't think the dialog was that bad, but it wasn't very involving for the audience because of the lack of context for the characters delivering it. I think it was groundbreaking in an Avatar way, a technical tour de farce that will hopefully lead the way for similar but more emotionally involving movies to follow. Except that I hated Avatar, and wouldn't mind seeing Inception again.
 
 

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