movie review: Inception (100% awesome)

I loved this movie.
(review: over)
oh, wait, how did we get here.
right.
uh.
I wish this had been the sequel to the Matrix.
People forget that the first matrix movie played with “waking up from a dream” trickery to cover scene cuts – for, like, the first 40 minutes. It was intoxicating. This movie runs with the same trickery fun: from start to finish (and also features fashionable thought terrorists).

* some people have complained that the score was constant, never letting up. i’m sure this was by design. (ie, a conscious decision)

* some people have noted the similarities between this film’s protagonist (and his problems) and diCaprio’s recent Shutter Island protagonist. ok. But I thought DiCaprio felt like a caricature of Nolan (the director). Quiet and intense, with tightly controlled hair, in a classy suit. like a plump brit.

I mean this in the good way: I thought it distanced Cobb from the more messy and blunt shutter island character.

* I love how Nolan does understated violence. It struck me hard in the Dark Knight, and now in this. I think it’d lend itself perfectly to endless rewatching. (i’m thinking of just how damned cool it was to have a motorcycle roll up on the driver’s side window with a sawed off shotgun. a great shot, currently lost in the haze of all the other action. played for subtlety. which will let me savor it for many viewings to come. While the hotel hallway fight is currently the standout part of the movie, i’m sure it will get old once I’ve memorized every shot)

* I felt like this was the best william gibson novel adaptation ever.

* I also wondered if some of the “sea in the city” was a nod to Grant morrison’s new xmen work (specifically the silent issue, where they hack a brain. and encounter very similar imagery). Maybe. but I’d guess this reference goes deeper, to some shared source I’m just unaware of. wee.

* also, i think many are underestimating this movie’s subtleties. the whole movie WAS the “mr. thomas” gambit, showing you it’s tricks but still grifting you

SPOILERs:
* I think the controversial final shot is net meant to be resolved (though everyone claims to “get this” they then immediately say what they think happened. thus proving most people are retarded AND full of themselves).
I do NOT think it’s meant to be a “draw your own conclusions, neener neener” move.
I thought it was more clear that: the spinning top is a symbol of the mind virus he embedded in his wife.
Ultimately the movie is leaving you with the same mind virus. The point is not whether he’s in reality or not, the point is: you the audience, just got grifted. And even worse, you just experienced proper Inception. (seeds planted so deep they’re fucking with you on an emotional level).

*the only thing that struck me as non perfect about this was some ADR work very early on. I remember diCaprio on a balcony with Mal. and just as his lips go off camera he says something.even though you can see his cheeks arent’ moving. and it’s something expository and forced like “you know i love you but i can’t do that”. There were two of them really close to each other other, and they made me cringe.
I’m eager to watch again, but afraid these lines will stand out as grotesque failures to appease confused test audiences. cringe.
but who knows, maybe they’re there as a commentary on clumsy filmmaking?

anywho. loved the movie.


edit::more notes:
* regarding saito’s aging (and maybe the kids’ non-aging): I think it’s relevant to note that brief moment where we see that Cobb and Mal DID grow old in limbo. (when they lay their old heads on the tracks). and then they go back to being young.

To me this says aging in a dream isn’t tied to the passage of time. (obviously?)

* separately: i think the end of the movie is clearly meant to be an “Inception” in the audience. The wife opened her safe and saw a spinning top – and we are left looking at the same spinning top.

From this perspective, the whole movie is like a big “Mr. Thomas” gambit, where we’ve been told the rules and “let in on it”. only to find in the end that it was a distraction from our own emotional inception.

I feel the end of the movie is saying “and now I pass the spinning top along to you, the audience.”

* I don’t think it’s too big a stretch to note that Mal’s death was a deeply emotional moment in Cobb’s life, which functioned like it’s own inception (screwing with his life from them on). Though I’d subscribe to the theory that this inception fails to take in Cobb, and the last few minutes are his Limbo dream (he stays in limbo, because there’s no reason to wake up to the failed mission). I think this reading can coexist with the idea the whole movie was an inception gambit on the audience.

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