Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Inception" Movie Review


Question of the Day: Are you a heavy dreamer? Do you ever know when you are dreaming or not? Do those dreams ever come back to you in the morning?



I have watched Inception a total count of four times so far. Not only is that about seven and a half hours worth of oogling atLeonardo Dicaprio, but also of viewing a spectacular film dealing with the human's subconscious. I personally would categorize this movie as a "psychological thriller," but it's generally known as "science fiction". I suppose it's both in a way. :)

Inception is one of those movies that you HAVE to see more than once. I've seen it, like I said, three times and each of those times, I understood so much more and took something out of the movie, if that makes sense.

It's been a while since I've done a movie review (see "Alice in Wonderland"), but I promise this won't be as long as the last one! I will still be dividing the review into sections and rating each section from 1 to 5 stars out of 5. Oh, and I won't give away any spoilers. Promise.

Short Summary: Since I'm a Journalism major and journalism is all about taking a lot of information and squeezing it into shorter, concise statements, let me try to "briefly" describe Inception in one sentence. "Inception" is about a spy named Cobb (Leo) who agrees in a deal takes on a highly dangerous job of entering dreams to extract information as well as perform "inception" in order to go back home to his children in America. (If I was allowed another sentence, I would ALSO say that..."He constructs a highly talented team to assist him with the task, but there's a part of Cobb's own subconscious that just may disrupt their plan for good.")

Story: To me, the story of a movie is the world that it was set up in. Rating the story of "Inception" is kind of hard since they move so quickly between reality and dream worlds. The idea of inception and extraction through the subconscious and people interacting in their dreams are all very intriguing ideas, but not unheard of. However, the fact that they were able to pull this off realistically (in an ironic sort of way) in a movie is magnificent. Being able to change things in a fake reality however you want it? Move roads and make glass shatter and build a bridge simply by will? Innovative? Hell yeah. Rating: 5/5

Plot: Loved it. There was the main plot (mentioned in the summary), but there were also subplots that balanced evenly very nicely. As the team of dream experts are constantly trying to go deeper and deeper into their victim's subconscious, Cobb himself has an inner battle going on within himself. What's so crazy and brilliant about this is that while Cobb is the master at screwing around with minds, he can't even control his own. The reason why you have to watch "Inception" multiple times is that nothing is really revealed until the last half hour of the movie or so. Everything about the secrets of the plot suddenly becomes clear, and then you're like...wait what? and you HAVE to go back and watch it again to understand everything. The plots are twisted together so well. And what I really like is how they balanced out Digital Design (see below) and Plot. A lot of movies have excellent visual effects, but they don't have an equally strong Plot (a possible example could be Tron: Legacy, which I've heard is just like that) . I feel that this movie could have easily been a bad one, but the filmmakers did an outstanding job. Rating: 5/5

Characterization: Cobb is obviously the main character, and I don't think anyone could have pulled him off as well as Leo did. Without giving too much away, what I really like about the movie is how they entwined Cobb's personal life into the bigger mission. I do wish that there had been a bit more background information about the other characters, especially Ariadne and Arthur, Cobb's partner and great friend. Apart from that, I think the filmmakers brought together a wonderful medley of characters, each with his or her own unique talents that are imperative to the mission. Rating: 4.5/5

Costumes: Since there's nothing much to be said about this section, I'm going to go ahead and give it a full rating. :) 5/5

Acting: One of the factors in making this a total movie and [probably] Blockbuster Netflix hit is the fact that it is made up of an incredible international cast. With actors like Leo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who could forget "Angels in the Outfield"?), Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Pete Postlethwaite, and so many more, how could the acting not be good? Although Ellen is an excellent actress, I'm still debating within myself whether she was right for the part of Ariadne. The acting, when paired with the incredible script, made the characters, the situations they went through, and their reactions to be very believable. The audience is able to identify with the characters, and that's extremely important in films (and books, for that matter). Rating: 5/5

Script: Truly excellent. The script is extremely important in understanding the entire film. Not only do the characters explain to each other (and thus the audience as well) about the dream world (Aye! Who wants to take a vaca at Limbo?), but the constant repetition of the same motifs, in script as well as images, helped everything make sense in the end. You wouldn't know why some characters whispered certain words, even though they seemed to be very important, but as the plot developed and mysteries were unfolded, there's always a sense of deja vu that comes back. The words come to haunt us as they haunt the characters. Rating: 5/5

Action/Drama: What I thought was really clever was how the movie taught us everything about the dream world in the first part, and then in the entire last part everything we had learned came into play in the end. While the characters were pretty much informing themselves about the way inception worked, they were also indirectly informing us, the audience. Without giving away too much, "Inception" definitely brings "fast-paced" up to a whole new level. You jump at the edge of your seat, and by the time the main climax comes around, you are already so connected with the characters and who they are and their situations that it is so nerve-wrecking and mind-blowing to constantly see them in danger. A lot of incidents make you truly realize how important this mission is, and every one of them is willing to do anything to make sure that the team saw it through. Rating: 5/5

Digital Design: It is freaky what amazing things technology can do for the cinema these days. Instead of gushing to you about this, I'll just let you see the trailer for yourself...


Rating: 5/5

Direction/Production: Even though the thought of entering dreams and everything that happens in "Inception" is totally unreal, the movie was created so well that you are made to believe it is real. And even then, you really don't know what is real and what is not because of how fast the movie is and scenes that are placed in random spots, and several times you think, what the hell is going on? The movie is very confusing if you don't pay attention, but by the last third of the movie everything falls into place and finally makes sense. Perfection. Rating: 5/5

Overall Quality: Currently, "Inception" is nominated for the Oscars in the categories of Cinematography, Music Score, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Writing (Original Screenplay) and Best Picture. I hope the movie wins all of them. xD
One word....this movie was fantastical. Overall rating: 4.9/5 (according to my calculator)

If you haven't watched this movie yet, I highly encourage you to! Come on....just take a leap of faith....


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8 comments:

Becca. said...

great review!

thankyou for the comment on my blog:)
XOXO, BECCA
www.fashion-train.co.uk

The Golden Eagle said...

I have to see this movie! I've read a lot of positive reviews of it, and it sounds quite interesting.

Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

Nice review.. I loved inception. It's a movie that makes you think and manages to wow you with it's special effects.

Personally, I never remember my dreams, but I have no way of knowing if I actually dream or not.

Lydia K said...

Okay, I loved Inception--great acting, superb script, etc.
I had one beef with it. I dream heavily, and there is often a fantastic element to my dreams (pink elephants, flying toasters, whatever) and it bothered me that in the movie anything "out of the ordinary" was seen as a "threat" by the subconscious. That never made sense to me. In my dreams, they'd be par for the course.
Anyway, sorry for the babbling...great post!

Cheryl: Oh to Be a Muse said...

haha! that cartoon is so pretty. i've seen this movie twice and i loved it both times. your review is right on point. the story was amazing!


Oh to Be a Muse

Hopeful Life said...

Great movie review! Loved Inception and agree with you completely.

Hopeful Life said...

Answer to Question of the Day: I am not usually a heavy dreamer. I have been so tired that when I wake up I never remember dreams! However there are times when I have been really deeply involved in my dreams yet remembered them in the morning.

Bryon said...

This is a brilliant review; very detailed. I agree with you comments but I have some criticisms I wanted to mention. I don’t agree with the fact that the morality of this movie is never called into question enough nor do any of the characters seem to display any remorse for the “inception.” Second, the ending changing to a winter scene in the third level was a pandering to our appetite for sensational movie endings like other movies deliver. I noticed a lot of things I missed in the theater when I watched again in 1080p at home with my DISH Network employee receiver. Being able to pause and rewind the movie gave me more flexibility to analyze the movie and appreciate it more. I never watch anything other than HD either because I have an 82” TV and with 200 HD channels to watch I never have trouble finding a show I like with DISH.

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