Before I see a movie I do my best to avoid reviews. Ironic, considering I "work" for a review site. I just don't want the review to taint my moviegoing escape. It's amazing how much word-of-mouth (positive or negative) affect my experience. There are times that I actually like mediocre movies because they're not as low as the expectations I set for them after hearing bad reviews.
Inception is a film that I tried to avoid reading any press. Though when you surf the web, trying to waste time at work, it is unavoidable for me to miss the reviews. On the whole, they have been very positive and I realized there is no way that a movie can live up to it. Don't get me wrong, I have a man-crush on Christopher Nolan's brain and he hasn't let me down before. His recent films didn't let me down, like Batman Begins, The Prestige, and the Dark Knight managed to exceed the hype. But Inception couldn't measure up as well, could it?
I saw this movie on midnight before it opened. I have realized that I'm getting too old for midnight movies. (especially ones that are 2 hrs 40 mins) My coworkers try to avoid my glance for fear that I burn their souls with my glazed-over bloodshot eyes.
I hate to sound cliche and say that Inception is a smart movie. So I'll take it one step further and call it "cerebral." It really gets in your head and leaves you thinking about it days after seeing it. I honestly can't say that about any other movie I've seen this summer. As soon as Prince of Persia and Iron Man 2 ended, I forgot that I even saw them. Inception has an incredibly complex plot, which could very well confuse many, but you can actually notice that every line of dialogue, every action scene is done on purpose, not just thrown together.
No other director would be able to pull a movie like this off. Michael Bay would have the buildings bending in on each other and the heroes fleeing in a futuristic car chase. James Cameron would tell you that the dream world is pure and Leonardo Dicaprio would start mating with his dreams through his dredlock. I can rant some more, but I should stop myself. Christopher Nolan wrote this film. It's an original idea and it actually worked on-screen. (eat that M. Night Shymalan) This seals Nolan as my favorite director. How could it not with a resume of Memento, Batman Begins, Insomnia, Prestige, Dark Knight, and now Inception.
The acting is also top notch. By default I have hated Leo Dicaprio because of Titanic. Though when the Departed was released my opinion changed slightly. Now he has two great films this year, including Shutter Island. Yes, he may look like a rat, but he's got the acting chops. Joseph Gordon Leavitt, who some of you may remember from 3rd Rock from the Sun, is just plain cool in his role of the Point Man. (Wonder if French Stewart is looking to make a comeback) This role and 500 days of Summer have put him up there for "bright young stars." I was worried about Ellen Page (Juno) playing the typecast character with quick quips and funny observations about daily life, but thankfully she was very toned down, heck, I even thought she did a good job as well.
The movie trailers are confusing and I don't blame people for being turned off about the movie. Basically (there is nothing basic about it) Dicaprio is the most skilled extractor of secrets through people's dreams. It's basically corporate espionage but the person he's stealing from has no idea because it all takes place in their dream. He is about to get out of the business but there is an opportunity of "one last job" where a corporation head wants Leo's team to use "inception" (which is planting an idea in someone's dreams). Being the "last job" it doesn't turn out very easy. From there it gets crazy. Let's just say that they go 4 dreams deep into their mark's subconscious.
It's definitely a movie that requires 2 viewings. But for geeks like me that is not a difficult demand. I'm not one of those nerds who gets into movie scores but the soundtrack of this movie feels like a symphony, perfectly placed with memorable scenes. I actually can't wait to see this movie again. It's nice to be rewarded with such an original film in a year of mediocre hollywood crap. Well done Christopher Nolan. Can't wait for Batman 3.
Inception receives a strong 5 star rating from me, but that could just be a trick of inception that Nolan put in my dreams. Ok ok, I'm done geeking out.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 Kenny D