Monday, August 1, 2011
Autered by Christopher Nolan
Starring Leo, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao
Dudes play around in dreamland in order to extract ideas from people. The crowning achievement of such technology is the notion of "inception" or planting an idea in a person while they're dreaming. In order to get his life back, one man assembles a team and tries to incept an idea.
i think this was too overly complicated. the effects were great. it was well made. but the plot was similar to "lost" in the way of bringing up a whole bunch of shit and then never mentioning it again. i feel like all the "rules" that were mentioned became superfluous and stopped applying once they went into cillian murphy's, i mean joseph gordon-levitt's, i mean, that other dude's, i mean ken watanabe's lost voidy coma thing. p.s. why was that lost place of veggie brain the same for everyone? why would dicaprio's city be in ken watanabe's twilight zone? also, again,why? i get why dicaprio's character did this extremely difficult mission, but why would anyone else do it? what did they have to gain? this seems like an incredibly extreme way to underhandedly dissolve a corporation. it comes off as a little shallow. like "duplicity". the fight scene between JGL and the bad subconscious security guy was really excellent and probably what i'll remember this move for when i walk away from it and this review.
if you can't tell this left me with a lot of questions that have distracted me from talking abut the actual movie. that said i did enjoy watching this. it's not a keeper like "batman begins" or "the dark knoight", but now i can say i've seen it.
This film was made well. It was directed well, produced well, shot very well, acted well. The writing I give about a B- so let's get that part out of the way first.
I really enjoy the mechanics of the universe. I think there's a lot of potential for in-person--and likely, unfortunately, MMO--role playing (though not by the group with which I play because we don't really play "turns" very well). The ideas of "architecting" a dream and traveling within it and involving other people and having subconscious white blood cells and multiple levels of dreams and especially having the physics in the dream be impacted by the environment the dreamer is inhabiting are all really cool.
There was no pathos here. I just didn't care about Mr. DiCaprio and his legal problems because the one thing the film did poorly was to develop his character (and secondary character motivation? Pish tosh.). Sure, we know about his wife's potential craziness. But we get nothing which shows their love or his love for his kids or anything else. (Or why he couldn't move the kids to a country with no extradition. I won't bother with my other complaint about legality because I've been spouting it for days already). There's supposedly all this subtext, and so many people talk about having to watch it more than once to get it, but while it's possible that I missed that stuff entirely I sincerely doubt that. I get that people hide things from themselves and that things aren't always what they seem and blah blah. This is not news.
But everything else *was* great. The production was beautiful, regardless of reality. The direction and photography showed us a complete, polished universe. Each layer was different from the last and fully realized. Action in a rotating and sliding world was interesting. Acting itself, despite a lack of character background, was right.
The reaction to that, to an extent, is "whatever." I mean, we watch fucking Transformers movies and have fun. We watch all sorts of silly exercises which are paper thin in some instances and super thick in others and they leave us with thought which extends beyond the time it takes to write the reviews. So why the negative reaction? It's the arrogance vibe. This movie knows its beans are super cool. In fact, its makers know they're cooler than they actually are.