Movie Inception (2010)

Released 20100716.
Watched 20100716 Theater. Landmark's Harbor East [INCEPTION-B] 9:30 PM $11.00
Watched 20130116 (Blu-ray)
Inception (2010) Christopher Nolan. 148 min.

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On the downside, I didn't get to watch Despicable Me (2010). On the upside, I got to watch Inception. Overall great movie. Some parts I didn't understand, because they explain it so quickly, I don't have time to process the logic. But I just go with it and enjoy the action. So overall the movie is a fast-paced movie and many parts are kept mysterious, being unlocked as the movie progresses. Because of this, I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout the movie.

In my first impressions of the movie, I compared Inception to The Matrix (1999). I feel that Inception has the reality bending aspects of The Matrix, where you leave the theatre thinking a bit, but really did everything better than The Matrix. What The Matrix did well was introduce bullet time. Inception didn't use any bullet time, nor, to my knowledge, introduce any novel technique. However, dialogue is either kept brief, or usually happens in between sections of intense action. This keeps the "cool" and the "awe" of the movie alive, whereas I feel The Matrix gives you "cool" and "whoa" in spikes. Inception also has fight scenes for Joseph Gordon-Levitt that are visually pleasing, but different from The Matrix's bullet time fight scenes. Granted, I haven't seen as many movies as other people out there, and there may have been similar fight scenes, before, but as far as I know, Gordon-Levitt's fight scenes were awesome and new. Then there's the ending of the film... Yes! Much better than the ending to The Matrix.

I continue comparing Inception to The Matrix, because it's convenient. Both challenge our idea of reality. One suggests our mind might be seeing a computer program. The other suggests we might be in a dream. What is reality... sometimes you can't tell. However, because The Matrix introduces the idea that the machines are getting energy from people through their thoughts, The Matrix falls short of believable more easily than Inception. We don't know exactly how our minds work, and as such, whether or not dream sharing would be possible. However, we do know it takes energy to make energy, and its ridiculous for the machines to be harvesting more energy from the humans than being put into the humans. Unless someone can explain to me why dream sharing wouldn't be possible, then as a science-fiction movie, Inception is more believable.

I've recently been loving any movie that has a strong mystery aspect to it and this movie certainly has that. But I guess I haven't been focusing too much on how that mystery is delivered. With this movie, the main technique was in being shown scenes without context. It's like opening a puzzle box and looking at all the different pieces. one by one. Then certain things piece together. It's much different than a Sherlock Holmes mystery, where you get clues that you know will solve the mystery, but you don't know how. So your sense of mystery is different. With Momento (2000), after about four or five scenes, you develop the pattern and you are just waiting for the whole picture to come together. With Inception, most of the movie is running linearly, with snippets of the past and future, but its not so clear. Note: I'm using the word mystery, not to describe a genre, but to refer to when the movie gives you a scene, but waits to explain it. Thus, usually a romance movie wouldn't have mystery, because everything is linear. But all of a sudden, if you showed two couples getting married, and then the next scene is of the partners switched, then you get shocked and wonder about what you just saw. Unfortunately, it'd be hard to have a trailer without revealing this part of the plot. See, with Inception, the mystery, created by the opening scene, doesn't need to be revealed in the trailer. But the trailer has special effects and builds enough interest, that you want to see the movie.

In any case, I thought Inception was a great movie. Leonardo DiCaprio keeps up his great acting. You have Ellen Page in the movie, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who I mentioned above, and Marion Cotillard, who I've only seen in A Very Long Engagement (2004), but she's in a lot of movies I want to see. Michael Caines is also in it. Great cast!

Christopher Nolan.

Hans Zimmer.

I started reading snippets of the Wikipedia article and I came across the following, which made me happy for making the above connections between Inception and the movies The Matrix and Memento:
When he first started thinking about making the film, the director was influenced by "that era of movies where you had The Matrix, you had Dark City, you had The Thirteenth Floor and, to a certain extent, you had Memento, too. They were based in the principles that the world around you might not be real".

Dark City was a good movie, that I have long forgotten about. I haven't seen The Thirteenth Floor. On a different note, in that same paragraph of the Wikipedia article (Screenplay), I learned that the film can be categorized as a heist film (

Typical credits. The credit music is instrumental, slow, and low key. Basically whatever is appropriate as cool down for an ending to such an exciting and fast-paced movie.

There were various on location filming including Canada and Paris.

I recall being surprised upon discovering some time after watching the movie, that it had just been released.

Having seen the movie once before I was able to pick up on more details. It was my dad's first time watching and he said it was a confusing movie. Actually I was slightly confused as to why the one guy was so old. Otherwise, I was able to understand why the movie is called Inception and various other plot details that I didn't realize I didn't know. Actually, before watching the movie for a second time, all I remembered is questioning if real life is actually a dream, the spinning top is Leonardo's totem, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has an awesome combat scene, Ken Watanabe and Ellen Page are also in the movie, and, of course, the train.

As Ellen Page is the one to go deepest and come out of sleep. The camera follows her through the kicks. Though why the kicks have to be synchronized I still don't know.

The movie didn't impact me as much the second time around compared to the first time around, but I like how I know more about the plot itself.

I tried to listen to the sound of the top fall at the end, but I didn't hear it. But perhaps I didn't hear it, because I didn't want to hear it. I prefer having the ambiguity. Note however that the top falling doesn't imply the world he is in is real. But that is much more abstract and, in my opinion, would be poor story telling.

The bulk of this HISHE video is funny, but for once I'd have to say I definitely like the real ending better than the HISHE ending.