In recent months, you may have noticed that "The CineManiac" has kind of turned into "The TVManiac", so in an effort to get back to the Cinema aspect of the blog I am hoping to post more movie reviews. Because I am sometimes strapped for time between my family and my job, I have decided to bring in some colleagues to do reviews and other columns from time to time. This site will continue to cover television, but I'm hoping to cover both a bit more equally.
Having said that I'd like to introduce you to my newest reviewer/blogger Scotty C. Scotty is a teacher and has his own movie blog, FunkSoulBrother1980. This week Scotty, like $60 million worth of Americans, saw Christopher Nolan's newest film, Inception. You can read Scotty's thoughts on the film below.
WARNING: If you have not seen Inception I would advise you stop reading now! The following review contains spoilers.
NO SERIOUSLY: You want to know as little as possible about Inception before you see it.
I AM NOT KIDDING: This review contains spoilers and I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND you don't read it, unless you've seen the movie.
OK, IT'S YOUR LIFE, BUT DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU!!
My jaw dropped. My eyes were opened with the jaws of life of “Inception.”
“I specialize in a very specific type of security. Subconscious security,” Cobb says.
“You’re talking about dreams,” Robert Fischer, Jr. says.
That is all you need to know about this film. It is about dreams, the latest from “The Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan, “Inception”.
Cobb (Leonardo Dicaprio) works with Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and others using extraction, way to enter someone’s subconscious through their dreams to steal information.
The opening of “The Dark Knight” rivals any opening scene in history with the reveal of the Joker. “Inception’s” opening is definitely the opening scene of the year that kicks the audience into this journey. Cobb washes up on the shore only to be taken by goons to an old man Saito (Ken Watanabe). Cobb begins talking to him and then we go back to where this started. Cobb, Arthur and Saito are all asleep, dreaming on a train. In the dream, Cobb is explaining their services to Saito. Then as Cobb is trying to break into a safe for some secret document, his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) shows up and wreaks havoc on the dream.
Cobb and Arthur wake up and are on the run because they didn’t succeed in their mission. Cobb can’t go home to his kids. Saito kidnaps one of their colleagues and asks about inception, planting an idea in someone’s subconscious. Arthur says it’s impossible. Cobb says it can be done. The job is to take the heir to an energy company (Murphy) and give him the idea to breakup his father’s empire. Cobb will need some help to reach their objective.
A kick is how they wake you up. The team dives deeper into dreams within the dreams. The deeper you go, the bigger the kick.
Cobb enlists one of his father’s best students Ariadne (Ellen Page) to be the architect, the builder of the dream world. Then he gets Eames (Tom Hardy), a forger. According to Cinematical.com, “This name has two meanings. In the real world he can forge identities using his contacts and his ability to fake documents. In the dream world, he can alter his appearance and take on the personality of someone else he's studied, probably using much the same methods used to construct buildings.”
To complete the team is Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who formulates the drugs for the team to enter the dream world under heavy sedation.
The job isn’t an open and shut case because when the mind detects a foreigner in the subconscious, projections of the subconscious seek it out and attack. This leads Cobb’s team running from gunfire at every turn. Add in the fact that Cobb’s secretive past leads his wife to be obstructing him from his mission and you have some serious problems.
The cast looks super cool throughout the film. Did the costume designer from “Mad Men” get this gig? They are wearing some incredible suits but I don’t know why they would when they are running from gunfire? Why not wear some Nikes?
Every character has a purpose. The forger. Arthur is the point man. The Chemist stays in the first dream to install the kick from the van. Cillian Murphy was the target. Ariadne is the mother figure looking out for everyone including the audience with her lines meant to unfold exposition. Mal is seductive enough to make you want to stay in a dream for a lifetime.
The score by Hans Zimmer is not merely epic, it gives the pacing and tension a steroid shot.
This might become a philosopher’s favorite the way “The Matrix” is because in the end this isn’t about a foreign enemy like the machines. The enemy comes from within, Freud style.
Some critics have complained that the movie is too literal and Nolan didn’t take advantage of being in a dream world. Maybe David Lynch would have done something truly Dali with it but Nolan isn’t that type of filmmaker.
Only a handful of filmmakers could get the capital in this cash strapped era to make the film on this spectacular level. Peter Jackson and George Lucas couldn’t make this film let alone a better one. Speilberg’s take would have been interesting but I don’t know if he has the force to pull you in like Nolan at this moment. James Cameron could have done something good unless he already did. Maybe the Navi’ and the world of Pandora are all Cameron’s subconscious. In 2010, Nolan is at the top of his game and he pulled off the masterful.
Creativity and originality take a backseat to sequels and reboots especially in the summer. The last original property to blow past that line of thinking was “Avatar.” In “Inception’s” success is hope that filmmaking won’t be ruined by suits looking for the next “Pirates of the Caribbean.” On Sunday afternoon, I ran across four men talking about the film and what was happening, what the ending meant. What was the last summer movie that provoked discussion besides how much it sucked? “Inception” brought in $60 million in its first weekend. Maybe the subconscious of dollar signs will lead to more inventive films by visionaries like Nolan.