Inception (2010)

Inception (2010) — Christopher Nolan, the director of Memento and The Prestige, must have sat atop his giant pile of Batman money and thought to himself “hmmm… you know I haven’t really mindfucked anyone in a while…” Well, Inception did not fuck my mind. It made sweet sweet love to it. With a primary cast composed of two thirds Oscar nominees/winners and the expert crew he has used on his recent films (especially cinematographer Wally Pfister and composer Hans Zimmer) Nolan plunges you into the world of dreams (and to fully realize this immersion, see this movie on IMAX). Leonardo DiCaprio is Dom Cobb, an Extractor.  His job is to go into people’s dreams and steal their secrets. He is hired by Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe) to perform a task within the mind of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the son of a dying industrialist (Pete Postlethwaite). For all its surreal qualities, the basic structure of this movie is that of a caper film. Cobb assembles his team played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, & Ellen Page. Page is the newcomer to the group and so a lot of the process is explained for her benefit (and by extension for the audience’s). Layer upon layer is added to the story until distinguishing reality from dream becomes difficult. This sets the stage for shitloads of really awesome visuals. Everyone’s seen the same two clips of the hotel hallways scene in the trailer but it’s just a glimpse into an amazing scene. Even better is that a lot of the “tricks” are accomplished using old-fashioned on set practical special effects rather than CG (though I imagine the scene of Paris folding in on itself probably used a computer…). Because of these methods everything looks real and not like some special effect. In a career that for twelve years has produced winner after winner, Christopher Nolan may have topped himself (again). This movie is fucking great. It lives up to all the hype. You know the way whenever something is a runaway success Hollywood races to make as many rip-offs of it as possible? Just think about how many 2D films have been quickly post-converted to 3D since Avatar. Well wouldn’t it be great if Inception went on to rake in a billion dollars and Hollywood decides that smart, well-acted, visually stimulating, and SMART (worth mentioning twice) movies were the new ticket to box office success and they started making more and more of them? Yeah, I know, that’s a bit far-fetched. A man can dream, though. A man can dream…

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