Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

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Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Jedi General » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:02 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z75o-F6ja2I[/youtube]

Considering Nolan's impressive body of work (though I have yet to see Insomnia), I am very excited for this film. I am a bit worried that the storyline could end up being messy, but I have confidence that Nolan can pull it off since he has proven time and again that he is fully capable of handling complex plots.

Who else is looking forward to July 16th?
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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Bonham » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:35 pm

Jedi General wrote:I am a bit worried that the storyline could end up being messy, but I have confidence that Nolan can pull it off since he has proven time and again that he is fully capable of handling complex plots.
The impression I've gotten is that this is more straightforward than, say, Memento, and doesn't have the chance to become too convoluted like The Prestige.

Looks very promising.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Jedi General » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:55 pm

You do have a point there regarding The Prestige. It would be quite difficult to top that film when it comes to complexity. We'll have to see, I guess.
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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Psycho 101 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:38 pm

Jedi General wrote:You do have a point there regarding The Prestige. It would be quite difficult to top that film when it comes to complexity. We'll have to see, I guess.

Personally that's one of my favorite 2 works by Nolan. The story was brilliant and Bale, Jackman, and Cane all gave amazing performances. I think just going by the concept of the story with Inception you have a lot of possibility for complexity, twists and turns, and surprises. Visually it looks like it will be amazing and I'm just glad it's a fresh concept and not just another remake or something that's been done 5 hundred times already. Plus with a supporting cast that includes Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, and especially Ken Watanabe he's got great actors on board. Hopefully they can give performances up to their level. Love me some Ken Watanabe heh.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby braves » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:59 pm

Haven't seen anything from Nolan aside from the Batman movies, so it'll be interesting to see how Nolan operates with characters that aren't dressed up in superhero/villain costumes. :P

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Bonham » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:44 am

Braves, you should really check out Memento. I like The Prestige alright, but the former movie is still the best thing that Nolan has done (so far). It's also one of the most tragic films that came out during the oughts -- something that only really hit me on reflection.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby BrothersElric » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:44 am

Yeah I've gotta say now that I think about it, both JG and HK make great points. When you put it in the light of some of Nolan's more complex works I really can't see this one having to worry about complexity issues. Shouldn't be too difficult at all to keep this one from being messy, especially for Nolan. He can definitely handle complex plots quite well so long as he doesn't end up making them too complex for their own good, which he definitely doesn't seem to be doing here.

Definitely looking forward to it. If it's as good as the trailer makes it appear to be (which I must say, this is one of the better trailers I've seen for a movie) we could end up seeing one of the year's best films here. Looks like a very interesting concept he's got here.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Jedi General » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:49 am

HellKorn wrote:Braves, you should really check out Memento. I like The Prestige alright, but the former movie is still the best thing that Nolan has done (so far). It's also one of the most tragic films that came out during the oughts -- something that only really hit me on reflection.

Seconded. The Dark Knight is my favorite Nolan (Memento is second), but I agree. You really need to see Memento, braves. Heck, you should see all of his other films. He hasn't made a bad film to date. Let's hope he keeps his record clean with Inception.
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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby braves » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:20 am

I remember seeing a bit of Memento when I was watching I love the New Millennium (yeah, I admit I watched that) and I was taken aback at the concept, TBH. Seemed like a pretty outlandish and daring concept to do, but I seemed to have forgotten about it ever since then. My library has a single copy so I should be seeing it in a few weeks now that I'm reminded of how much I wanted to see that, so thanks.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Sentire » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:41 am

Thus far, Momento is my favorite. I loved the whole approach... it delivered suspense and a bit of awe.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Jedi General » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:10 pm

Early reviews for Inception are very promising.

Based upon these reviews, this could very well be Nolan's best film yet. Man, I cannot wait until next week. Hopefully I can secure some time off from work for a midnight showing.
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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Littlewolf » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:50 pm

Oh, Memento was Nolan? Ah... then I guess that's the only movie of his I own and like.

I'm in the minority with him. I thought Batman begins wasn't bad, but have yet to see the other. I HATED Prestige (I can go on a rant about it, but I'll spare you), but I am looking forward to seeing Inception. Planning on going to see it with my friends in theaters.
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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Bonham » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:10 am

Regardless of whatever quality the film is, I'm still amazed at the budget Warner Bros. has given the film (never mind marketing, et cetera). If this film makes it's money back at the box office, I'll be stunned.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Jedi General » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:02 am

Just got back from a midnight showing.

Inception did not disappoint in the slightest. Heck, it actually managed to exceed my expectations if you can believe that. It is the best film of the year and quite possibly Nolan's magnum opus.
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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Bonham » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:33 pm

Saw this with some friends Saturday night, and we all enjoyed it a lot. Just gonna paste my thoughts from the Community thread:

Zac wrote:[spoiler]And I have to admit after what felt like an hour of rising action I wanted that [expletive] van to hit the water really badly just to get on with the damn story.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]Probably doesn't help that the winter dreamscape is easily the least interesting of the three. While it's a great concept that was used effectively for the first three layers, all of the crosscutting, combined with Nolan unable to give audiences a real sense of the geographic layout of the mountainous area, makes that portion of the climax a bit grueling.[/spoiler]

Nolan has made a couple of puzzlebox movies where he shows you how clever he is - I'm just wondering now if this is his entire toolbox or if he's going to one day show us that he can tell stories that have emotional impact in addition to being so clever.
I dunno; it's been a while since I've seen it, but I recall Memento being one of the most retrospectively tragic films to come out of Hollywood last decade. Maybe it's because it's the first time that Nolan uses his pet themes (I presume, anyway; haven't seen Following), but I feel it's more visceral than the self-sacrifice and memory guilt in The Prestige and Inception.

As for the dialogue, I felt the exposition actually worked, primarily due to Ellen Page's aggressive nature. That part of her felt less like the mechanics of the plot and more of an actual personality trait. It's great to have a this kind of Hollywood blockbuster with the leading female actually independent and not a love interest -- go go Nolan for feminism.

I still don't know how I feel about the ending. [spoiler]The spinning top gives enough ambiguity to create a kind of meta moment, and also puts the over-the-top nature of the final scene in perspective if you interpret the ending as a dream, but it also feels too manipulative[/i] -- something which the rest of the film is devoid of. Regardless, given the arc of DiCaprio's character, the wobbling at the end, and an alternate theory given here, I lean towards thinking it's reality, despite the slow-motion, ridiculous music, and framing of the children.[/spoiler]

But, yeah, aside from whatever grieves I have, I really, really liked Inception. Probably need to give it another viewing or two before coming to a concrete judgment.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby braves » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:02 am

Usually after watching a movie or finishing up a series, I don't watch anything else in the day so that I can decompress and soak it all in. With this one, I have no choice but to chill out for the rest of the day. I'm mentally drained after watching Inception-- a feeling that's pretty much the same as when you have just finished up your SAT or any other standardized test. The process itself isn't too complicated and is actually easy to follow, but there are many little things to keep track and it lasts for a such a long time that my brain is pretty much out of commission for the rest of the day. It doesn't help matters at all that I haven't done any critical thinking since May 7th when I took my Cal III final. >.>

On another note, I saw this with my sis. She kept complaining that she couldn't understand it, but I reassured her that she would love it ten years from now. :P

Random thoughts:
-Got to the movie a bit late, so I missed the Devil trailer. I wanted to see M. Night Shyamalan's latest work! I recently watched Lady in the Water and I guess it was decent....aside from the fact that he casts himself as some dude who's going to save the entire world with his words and people in this generation won't come to comprehend the greatness of his work. Just how delusional do you have to be to do something like that? There's self-confidence (which Shyamalan has to have since his movies keep getting slammed by critics) and then there's this. Ugh.

-Is it just me, or do Hans Zimmer's score all sound the same? I believe I only took notice because it seemed like during the last hour of the movie the music was playing non-stop and I couldn't help but think that I've listened to these tracks before.

-I knew there was something wrong with that 3rd level that I couldn't pin down. But as you mentioned, HK, the fact that we never knew where everything is located in relation to the building in the middle makes that sequence a bit of a mess.

-I have to see this movie again.

-And thanks for posting that link, HK. This is definitely the type of film that needs to some hardcore fans picking it apart, those one has to be careful to not run into theories that just confuse even further (ie, tons of theories for Eva). I think the ending was pretty clear cut for me. It definitely felt like Nolan was playing with the audience at the end a bit, so I have to think that he would put Cobb back in reality. However, throughout the movie Cobb was dead set on checking the top to see if it would fall, but he immediately forgets about that once he sees his kids. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but maybe after resolving the issue concerning his wife, he didn't place too much of a concern if he was living in a dream as long as he got Saito out of limbo. Then again, how can he get Saito out of limbo and not himself.....

Um, I think I'm just confusing myself now. I'll stop.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Bonham » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:05 am

braves wrote:I'm mentally drained after watching Inception-- a feeling that's pretty much the same as when you have just finished up your SAT or any other standardized test. The process itself isn't too complicated and is actually easy to follow, but there are many little things to keep track and it lasts for a such a long time that my brain is pretty much out of commission for the rest of the day.
Felt the same when I walked out of the theater -- it felt like my brain wrinkling. The only other theater experience that's comparable is when I watched City of Sadness last December -- although that was more emotionally than intellectually overwhelming.

-Is it just me, or do Hans Zimmer's score all sound the same?
Yep. I believe I only took notice because it seemed like during the last hour of the movie the music was playing non-stop and I couldn't help but think that I've listened to these tracks before.

-And thanks for posting that link, HK. This is definitely the type of film that needs to some hardcore fans picking it apart, those one has to be careful to not run into theories that just confuse even further (ie, tons of theories for Eva). I think the ending was pretty clear cut for me. [spoiler]It definitely felt like Nolan was playing with the audience at the end a bit, so I have to think that he would put Cobb back in reality. However, throughout the movie Cobb was dead set on checking the top to see if it would fall, but he immediately forgets about that once he sees his kids. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but maybe after resolving the issue concerning his wife, he didn't place too much of a concern if he was living in a dream as long as he got Saito out of limbo. Then again, how can he get Saito out of limbo and not himself.....[/spoiler]
Since Nolan has admitted to an influence of Paprika, I think it's kind of useful to bring that up here: [spoiler]at the end of Paprika, Konakawa "communicates" with his old friend in the real world. While Kon isn't as literal and rational-minded as Nolan is, I think that there's a similar thing going on here. The ending to Kon's film is surprisingly mature compared to the venomous tone towards fantasy in Perfect Blue and even Paranoia Agent: Konkawa realizes how dreams can positively impact us in reality, even if we don't necessarily realize them. In Inception, Cobb is obsessed with distinguishing the two, wanting no influence to carry over from dream to reality (and vice-versa), but is no longer in the ending. Someone can fit that to whatever interpretation they want -- dream or reality -- but I see it as a growth beyond that obsession. I want to give some kind of eloquent explanation, but Dileep Rao, the man who plays Yusuf, says it better than I could:

Dileep Rao wrote:To me, the real story all boils down to Saito's line in the helicopter. Leo wants to go home and see his kids. Saito says, "I can help you, but it'll have to be an act of faith." Leo has to trust Saito, and he does this while putting total faith in himself and the team, and everything goes apeshit wrong, but he has to believe that if he does the job, Saito will do what he promised. And they've grown, they've become friends, which is why Leo says "Come back and let's be young men together." Leo's follow-through on that act of faith is his transformation. He becomes a person who can take a chance.

There's also kind of a beautiful negative symmetry between that leap of faith, and Mal begging him to make a similar leap of faith. After he did that with her, and the guilt plagues him, he can't function anymore. He's exploring his memories in a dangerous, unhealthy way, and he's going to let that go by the time the movie's over.

Everyone's so concerned about whether the top falls or not, but no one seems to care that Leo walked away without caring. The moment he sees their face, he can walk away. That's testimony to the fact that he's gained that faith.[/spoiler]

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby braves » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:51 pm

Speaking of the Paprika connection, it's funny how the usual suspects are acting up on ANN saying that Inception is a rip-off of Paprika. *sigh*

I see with Rao's comment that I wasn't far off base when it came to interpreting that last scene, so I feel good now.

Maybe it's the fact that I've spent too much time on anime VAs, but I'm honestly surprised that an actor could give such thoughtful comments on something they were involved in. Especially when they weren't responsible for any of the writing, directing, etc.

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Re: Christopher Nolan's "Inception"

Postby Bonham » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:57 pm

braves wrote:Speaking of the Paprika connection, it's funny how the usual suspects are acting up on ANN saying that Inception is a rip-off of Paprika. *sigh*
Just like a windup doll!

Maybe it's the fact that I've spent too much time on anime VAs, but I'm honestly surprised that an actor could give such thoughtful comments on something they were involved in. Especially when they weren't responsible for any of the writing, directing, etc.
I don't pay attention to anime VAs for commentary, etc. so I don't really know how useful or useless their thoughts might be. (In fact, the only ones I can remember are the interviews on the Wolf's Rain DVDs. Didn't exactly shed a lot of insight.) But a lot of live-action actors, given their ability for nuance, with the right director, can really produce a greater respect for the work. (I know the Anna Karina interviews have helped me appreciate Godard somewhat more after watching his films.)


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