A mind-trip you can't miss

Inception

on July 05, 2010 by Pete Hammond
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inception.pngIn terms of sheer originality, ambition and achievement, Inception is the movie of the summer, the movie of the year and the movie of our dreams. Director Christopher Nolan's heist film about a group of dream extractors who can invade a person's subconscious to steal-or plant-vital information may remind you of James Bond, The Matrix, or even Nolan's own Memento, when in fact it's unlike any other. A bold, inventive, audacious entertainment, Inception charts a new course for motion pictures and sets the bar very, very high. Matrix-style business should be in order, even though audiences will have to pay strict attention to get the full experience (perish the thought). Simplistic moviegoers who like their blockbusters cooked in predictability may not get it but Nolan fans and those who like their action married to new ideas will flock to multiplexes for repeated viewings.

A plot that's been in Nolan's head for eight years, it took a few drafts and the global success of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight to enable the director to get Warner's and Legendary Pictures to cough up the considerable mega-budget to bring his dizzying and remarkable vision to screens. The wait was well worth it. On its surface, Inception is an Ocean's-like heist film set in the mind instead of a casino. Nolan's clever, complicated story revolves around Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a super thief who specializes in dream extraction, a service for which he steals secrets buried in the subconscious while a mark is asleep and most vulnerable. Essentially this talent has turned Cobb into a fugitive who is banned from the U.S. and, as a result, prohibited from seeing his family. When powerful businessman Saito (Ken Watanabe) offers him an opportunity to turn that around and get back home he jumps at the chance, but it means reversing course and instead of extracting info, he has to insert a certain idea that will mess with the head of a key rival and soon-to-be heir, Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy). With something more valuable than money as the end game, Cobb sets about putting his team together, including point man Arthur (a scene-stealing Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a forger and veteran in the game named Eames (Tom Hardy) and young architecture student Ariadne (Ellen Page) who almost serves as the voice of the audience when she asks questions like, "okay just whose subconscious are we in right now?" Also important to the mix is Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who creates the drug that enables multiple people to share dream states.

Shot in six different countries, Nolan has infused his project with one triumphant set-piece after another and truly stunning action sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat. But Nolan's careful never to let us know the difference between the dreams and the reality; this keeps a viewer on his toes throughout. Like Stanley Kubrick did 42 years ago in 2001, Nolan masterfully uses our confusion like it's a piece in his hard-to-solve puzzle.

Highlights include a spectacular sequence shot in the snow-filled mountains of Calgary, Canada and an awesome fight involving Gordon-Levitt that has him literally defying gravity in a hotel hallway. Inception has a strong emotional core and oddly affecting love story between Cobb and his wife, Mal (a terrific Marion Cotillard) who is the essence of a femme fatale and appears mysteriously in different states ranging from evil to tender. Nolan is careful never to let the scope of the film overwhelm the human element and this is a key reason Inception works as well as it does. The acting, from a great ensemble led by DiCaprio, is as good as it gets. Special shout outs to Wally Pfister's extraordinary cinematography, the challenging and intricate production design of Guy Hendrix Dyas and Han's Zimmer's haunting score, which is his best in years.

For audiences looking for a break from the usual summer dish Hollywood serves, Inception is a wildly entertaining and dazzling mind-trip not to be missed. Kubrick would have been proud.

Distributor: Warner Bros.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, Pete Postlewaite, Michael Caine
Director/Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
Genre: Action/Drama
Rating: PG 13 for sequences of violence and action throughout.
Running time: 148 min
Release date: July 16, 2010

 

Tags: Ken Watanabe, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan, Michael Caine, Pete Postlewaite, Tom Berenger, Dileep Rao, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio
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3 Comments

  • nephilim_avenger on 13 July 2010

    This is not an original concept or story. I saw some previews & it reminded me of Dreamscape & Dark City. Check "Dark City" out & you will see what I mean.

  • Joan528 on 18 July 2010

    INCEPTION MOVIE HERALDS "528" CODE FOR MUSICAL TRANSCENDENCE

    Wake up or die in the nightmares of corporate espionage, greed, corruption, and armed anger. INCEPTION writer and director, Christopher Nolan, heralds "528" as the "code" through which social transformation, involving music, is achieved.

    The new Hollywood blockbuster has moviegoers nationwide curious about the source of a mysterious code used in the plot involving music played in "Room 528," and linked to a forgotten "528" memory.

    INCEPTION, another word for creation, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, shown in promotions entering Room 528 to defend against corporate thugs.

    Recalling the "key" to Room 528 is crucial to the movie's plot, wherein Cobb (DiCaprio), an expert in the art of mind manipulation, extracts secrets from people's subconscious to serve the "treacherous new world of corporate espionage."

    The movie repeats the number "528," a mathematical frequency, in a key phone number, on a napkin, two vault combinations, and the room wherein much of the action occurs during the film's climax. Here, special music must be played at a precise time to "extract" the operatives from their anguish and nightmarish pseudo-realities.

    Cobb's psychological operation in Room 528 reconnects the heir to the world's most powerful energy cartel, Robert Fisher (played by Cillian Murphy), to his father's memory. Fisher senior, atheistically representing the corporate alternative to God, is locked in a vault requiring the 528 code to open. Another "528-491" combination unlocks the final safe containing the greatest secret, treasure, motivation, and catharsis for the main characters that have all been struggling with the loss of LOVE.

    The idea of linking music for social transcendence with "528" and LOVE in INCEPTION appears to have come from Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz, the discoverer of the "Perfect Circle of Sound," and a frequent contributor to Hollywood's screenwriters. The author of 16 books has written extensively on the subject of 528 as it relates to universal construction, healing, Spiritual Renaissance, creationism, and what Nolan terms "inception."

    "I am honored that Christopher Nolan, reputed to be a 'dark filmmaker,' thinks so highly of 528Hz music that he chose to promote the frequency in, around, and through "Room 528" at the height of the drama," Dr. Horowitz said.

    528 engages the "music of the light," versus the "music of the night." The musical mathematical knowledge about 528, and its spiritual implications, is urgently needed to deal with the planet's corporate criminals.

    Nolan wrote, "An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules." Horowitz's idea that 528 plays the sound of LOVE, has been rewriting all the rules since 1998 with his writing of Healing Codes for the Biological Apocalypse. (Tetrahedron Press; 1-888-508-4787) From co-author Dr. Joseph Puleo, a Bible code scholar and naturopath, Horowitz learned that 528Hz frequency is the "MI" note (that stands for "MIracles") in the original Solfeggio musical scale.

    Thereafter, leading physicists and mathematicians published proofs that "528/LOVE" is fundamental to universal construction, Pi, Phi, the Fibonacci series, sacred geometry, the circle, square, the hexagonal ring of organic chemistry, and the world of biology. Grass, in fact, grows green because of 528Hz--the color of chlorophyll. And the real da Vinci code, according to Horowitz, has everything to do with these discoveries.

    LOVE is what drives Nolan's leading character Cobb, leading lady Mol (Marion Cotillard), and leading victim Fisher, to access their memories in order to reconcile their relationships to reconstruct their lives.

    Many people do not understand Nolan's film for its deeper social and metaphysical meanings. Dr. Horowitz attributes a lot of this confusion to the lost memory of 528Hz frequency, believed to be central to spiritual identity and human creativity.

    Nolan's film plays on these themes, juxtaposing violence and cataclysm with the dream of "extracting" ourselves from the corporate controlled world of mind control and general madness. The objective is to "get back home."

  • criticscritic on 20 July 2010

    I think the review is very accurate and somewhat a spoiler alert to some of the really good scenes. The entire cast and their extreemly talented performances bring this movie together. $60 million opening weekend is not easy to pull, regardless of previews and hype. I really think people were getting tired of all the dissapointing crap that's been released this summer, and this story for me, was a welcomed change. Let's not forget that ever so talented and mega hot Leonardo DiCaprio is in this. Big cudos to whoever cast this movie, because you can throw a bunch of well known actors together and end up producing crap, but this works too well in this movie. I especially like Joseph Gorden-Levitt, his performance as Leo's side kick in this film was really great especially the whole gravity scene. You have to have a really sharp mind and patience because this is not your typical action packed film with guns blazing and buildings blowing up (even though this happens in the movie, it covers a whole lot more than that). To anyone who was involved in any way, shape or form in bringing this movie to us avid movie goers this summer, I say THANK YOU!

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