Betsy Speicher

Inception (2010)

Rate this movie   8 votes

  1. 1. Artistic Merit

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  2. 2. Sense of Life or Personal Value

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12 posts in this topic

I saw Inception yesterday, and was very disappointed. I was expecting very imaginative and elaborate dream scenes/images--especially with today's special effects technology--and alot more insight into the workings of the subconscious mind and the "meaning" of dreams. I expected these things from the director, Christopher Nolan, who made a very good psychological thriller a few years ago, Insomnia.

Of all the films I've ever seen, these are the ones with what I think are the best dream scenes:

1--The Manchurian Candidate (the original version, from 1962). Frank Sinatra's dream is a mind-blower. In 1962, they didn't have computer graphics or other advanced effects. The scene relies on set manipulation and, especially, editing to achieve its effects.

2--The Cell (2000, with Jennifer Lopez). This film has the most elaborate and imaginative dream scenes ever, though the rest of the film and the story don't quite match up. The dream scenes in this movie really do look like and "behave" like dreams--or more particularly, nightmares, almost as if Salvador Dali had designed them. Which brings me to...

3--Spellbound (1945, with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman). This Alfred Hitchcock film, though not one of his best, has a dream sequence designed by Dali. It's too bad the psychological "insight" in the film is Freudian, and therefore doesn't give much actual insight.

4--Stranger on the Third Floor (1940, with Peter Lorre). If my memory of this film is correct, there's an excellent dream scene that reflects what the lead character, an innocent man on trial, fears will happen in court.

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I am curious as to what most of the people at The Forum think about the sense of life of the main characters in this movie.

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Regarding the sense-of-life of the main characters in this film, all I can say is: I don't remember much of a sense-of-life in anyone in the movie. And, frankly, I was pretty confused by the whole thing.

I guess if I were to try to name the sense-of-life of the main character, played by Leonardo di Caprio, I would say it is: "The Universe, Man and the subconscious are all against us. We must work with them in order to fight them and achieve our values." Totally nuts.

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I thought the movie was visually interesting to watch, but the plot was not all that compelling to me. None of the characters really engaged me, and the central idea of planting ideas in people's heads seemed like much ado about nothing. Some of the contrivances I could get past in the spirit of a fantasy story, but it was artifice. I personally found Nolan's other movies a lot more interesting, such as Memento and Insomnia.

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This blockbuster was certainly flawed -- and even incoherent. But it had great and transporting music, was very ambitious, and displayed a terrific vision. It took me to a whole new world -- not unlike the hopelessly-flawed, recent Avatar. Inception is movie-making on the grand scale! With all its frustrations, I loved it. Possibly the best movie of the year! :)

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I've been avoiding this film thinking it's another one of those stories where reality is not what it seems, and the director thinks it's clever to confuse the viewer. I was pleasantly surprised by this one though.

I think the tagline of this film should be "dreaming won't make it so".

While it was a little confusing at first the plot was fairly simple. The main character is working for some shady corporation tapping into peoples dreams in order to extract information. You quickly learn that he has a troubled past, and in an attempt to reuinite with his children he accepts a diffucult and dangerous assigmnent; he must put together a team to plant an idea in the mind of a young CEO in a large energy company. As the movie progresses the main characters past unravels and starts to become a problem.

Warning, do not read spoiler unless you know how the movie ends!

In the scene where Cobb meets his wife in their dream world, I thought he showed a great devotion to reality by not giving in to her request - no matter how much he wished they could be together again, he knew it wouldn't be real.

The ending was rather interesting too. It looked like a scene from his memory, and you never see that thingy fall over... however, looking closer the kids clothes are not quite the same as in his dream sequences.

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I thought the movie was visually interesting to watch, but the plot was not all that compelling to me. None of the characters really engaged me, and the central idea of planting ideas in people's heads seemed like much ado about nothing. Some of the contrivances I could get past in the spirit of a fantasy story, but it was artifice. I personally found Nolan's other movies a lot more interesting, such as Memento and Insomnia.

I agree with Jason. The movie was visually interesting to watch, because of the spectacular special effects (just about the only good thing in Hollywood nowadays). But the plot and the characters did not engage me. Overall, I was dissappointed by this movie.

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I found the ostensible plot annoying (you must implant this idea in the subject's head, or he'll form an evil corporate energy monopoly!), but since it barely came up, I didn't mind, and overall I actually quite liked the movie. Really it just served as an excuse for the real plot, the act of putting the idea in the subject's mind and dealing with the main character's own issues. Those parts, the actual act of insertion, and the relation between Cobb and Mal, and what happened to them, I found quite fascinating. I also found the concept of shared dreaming and the dream worlds interesting in and of themselves.

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These kinds of fantasy movies always bring me back to why I like detective stories so much: there is an element of 'whodunnit' in them that keeps me coming back. The problem is Inception or other movies of its type (Shutter Island is another recent one) tease the viewer with a detective premise, but end up being visual pyrotechnics with little story. I enjoyed watching Inception for the experience, but I was left wanting at the end.

On the other hand, the Millennium trilogy (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.) have captivating plots and little in the way of effects. They also have fascinating characters who do unexpected things which propel the stories forward.

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I found the ostensible plot annoying (you must implant this idea in the subject's head, or he'll form an evil corporate energy monopoly!), but since it barely came up, I didn't mind, and overall I actually quite liked the movie. Really it just served as an excuse for the real plot, the act of putting the idea in the subject's mind and dealing with the main character's own issues. Those parts, the actual act of insertion, and the relation between Cobb and Mal, and what happened to them, I found quite fascinating. I also found the concept of shared dreaming and the dream worlds interesting in and of themselves.

Yes, the idea of "shared dreaming" was an interesting gimmick. But the screenplay did not do justice to that ingenious gimmick. They should have taken that gimmick and ran with it. Then we would have gotten a *really* interesting movie!

Hollywood screenwriters seem to be quite unimaginative and uncreative nowadays. Still another consequence of the modern "anti-education" system?

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Hollywood screenwriters seem to be quite unimaginative and uncreative nowadays. Still another consequence of the modern "anti-education" system?

While the current culture certainly is to blame for a lot of bad movies, there's another important aspect here as well. Business in Hollywood is brutal. There's a constant demand for doing more with less resources. Smaller companies related to a movie productions are regularly driven out of buisness(some producers even look at it as failing to do their job if they don't drive a special effects house out of business). How this relates to screenplays is that imagination and creativity is just more demanding, and in such a climate there's not always room for that. I'm sure there must be creative screenwriters out there, but taking that fantastic idea and putting it through production - hopefully making a profit at the end - is a huge challenge.

I'm not sure why things have gotten this way, but I would guess piracy plays a big part in this. It's certainly harder to make money when people will just steal it. Then you have the ever rising demands on the visuals. That's natural of course, when the audience sees something they like it sets their expectations a little higher. However, visual effects have taken huge leaps forwards over the past years and some movies have set the standards incredibly high.

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