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267 of 301 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Life could be a dream..."
On the surface Inception seems to be a crime caper, complete with master of disguise Eames (Tom Hardy), planner Aridane (Ellen Page), point man Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and master thief Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). But it's so much more than that, taking place in dreams within dreams within dreams.

Inception, like Total Recall and The Matrix, is about...
Published on November 17, 2010 by Michael J. Tresca

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71 of 99 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why Inception did not work for me
I will be labeled a bad guy for this review as almost everyone I know say they love Inception. I did not and I will try to explain why.
Inception is a joyless movie that is far more interested in the complexity of its plot than the boundless imagination it could have with its subject matter. Dreams are where anything is possible, where people can fly do things they...
Published on January 17, 2011 by J. Buettner


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267 of 301 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Life could be a dream...", November 17, 2010
On the surface Inception seems to be a crime caper, complete with master of disguise Eames (Tom Hardy), planner Aridane (Ellen Page), point man Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and master thief Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). But it's so much more than that, taking place in dreams within dreams within dreams.

Inception, like Total Recall and The Matrix, is about perception. The audience is never sure what reality is because the protagonist isn't sure what's real. There are clues providing evidence for the real/not real theories, but the best movies of this type don't come down on one side or another. Total Recall ultimately had enough clues indicating the "right" way. The Matrix stumbled after it made it clear that reality was fiction, thereby losing an audience who enjoyed the tantalizing mystery. Like so many mysteries, once the truth was revealed it wasn't quite as exciting as we all hoped. Inception wisely avoids providing answers.

Inception is also a thought experiment. The central conceit of Inception is that once you put a thought in someone's head it's like a virus, incapable of being removed. In fact, attempting to not think about the idea causes the mind to just focus on it more. This concept, a key tenet of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), is part of how our brains are wired. Director Chris Nolan knows exactly what he's doing when the characters explain the premise. It is the key argument between Cobb and his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard): is this life just a dream?

Once you get it into your head as to which of them is right, Inception burrows into your psyche and you see all the evidence you need to reinforce the idea. There are enough discrepancies to suspect that Cobb's stuck in a dream, but there are enough rules defining reality that indicate otherwise. Unless, of course, you believe that Cobb is fooling himself by making up said rules to convince himself he's not in a dream when he actually is. If that sounds confusing, Inception's done its job.

Inception is a little too long in places, testing the viewer's patience as it delves four levels deep into the subconscious, each with different timeframes, settings, and plots. Part of the fun is watching the movie again to look for clues that reinforce what we secretly thought we knew all along.

Me? I'm convinced I know the truth. But then maybe Inception put that idea in my head.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inception: Fresh and Original, December 11, 2010
This review is from: Inception (DVD)
This movie was original, well-written, and well-acted. The story was creative, fresh, and engrossing. One of the best films I have seen in years. I really don't understand the bad reviews on here. I realize you cannot please everyone, but calling this movie "terrible" or saying that the experience of watching it was "nightmare" seems a bit extreme. If you don't like something, that's cool. I get that. Say something like "I didn't like it, not my type of movie" or "the effects were cool, but I didn't think the story made sense" or "this movie wasn't what I expected, here is what I was looking for..."
Those types of comments can be helpful. But saying the movie is shyte, or saying "I hate it" or "it sucks" is not very helpful.

I liked this movie because it was not like anything I have seen before. I thought it was exciting and engaging, the story really pulled me in, and held me tight, never letting go until the credits rolled. Lots of good action and effects, but the STORY and the acting is what separates this movie from other, lesser flicks. The performances were fantastic, I am not a huge DiCaprio fan, but he has done some great work here.

I watched this movie with my mom (66 yrs old), and my cousin (18 yrs old), and I am 42. We all loved it....if this movie can appeal to 3 different "generations" and both genders, they must be doing something right!

Great flick, great story, great acting, great effects, what else are you looking for?
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374 of 478 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream, Within a Dream, Within a Dream..., July 19, 2010
BLU-RAY:

I just finished watching Inception for the second time. The Blu-ray is amazing. The PQ and AQ are perfect in every way. I did notice that the video was not as sharp, crisp, or clear as The Dark Knight. However it was very, very good. The audio is very bass heavy, but is up there with some of the best Blu-ray AQ I have heard. The movie was stunning all the way through and after another watch it is just as good if not better than the first time I watched it.

The special features are great. Disc two is full of behind the scenes and a dream documentary by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. On the first disc there is expansion mode which takes you behind the scenes and shows you each special effects scene and all which went into creating it. It is really interesting to watch. Very little CGI special effects were used on this film. They actually did most of the stunts or build huge models. It was really cool to watch.

MOVIE:

I went into Inception thinking very positive and with high hopes that this will be one of my new favorite movies. I based this simply on the trailer. I was not let down in the slightest, and I was blown away by the originality and creativity of the film. The directing, acting, and cinematography were all amazing. It is a beautiful film.

After seeing Inception I will have a hard time watching any other movie ever again. Anything else would seem boring and useless. I went to see The Expendables in theaters. Horrible. I couldn't understand what the interest in this film was. It was just violence and explosions; No story or plot. Just useless violence.

I can see where people may think of Inception as something similar to the theme of the Matrix. It sort of has the same basic idea of people being hooked up to a machine, leaving their bodies and going somewhere else. Besides that, there wasn't much at all which reminded me of the Matrix. Each scene held its own new originality in the most creative way as possible.

As far as Inception being hard to follow... well, I had no trouble following it at all. The three friends and my eleven-year-old brother had no trouble following it. I believe people who are more open minded would follow and understand it much better than people who are not willing to believe the story. Parts are incredible to believe, but you have to be open and let the story take place.

The creativity and attention to each shot and scene really paid off in the end. The film was perfect in every way in my opinion. Things were done which we have never seen before and it was done so well. It has set a new standard for films, at least in my mind. The directing style is similar to The Dark Knight, however they seemed to give Christopher Nolan more creative freedom with Inception.

The acting was top notch. I liked that Leo's character, Cobb, seemed a little weak minded at times. Usually he plays a strong character, but in this film his character had a weakness. Joseph Gordon-Levitt played a larger role than I expected. I was impressed with his character as well. Most of the crazy stunts, anti-gravity, jumping off walls and fighting people in mid air kind of stuff were with his character. Very cool. Ellen Page played a young architect which is hired to build cities within a person's mind. She did a great job as well. Each character was so well thought out and everyone added just the right amount to perfectly blend each character into the story.

If you're a fan of films which touch on subjects which most movies dare not go, you owe it to yourself to see this film. You won't be disappointed. I am very glad I got to see it on the big screen.

Video

Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1 (less)

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese (less)

Discs

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Three-disc set (2 BDs, 1 DVD)
Digital copy (on disc)
DVD copy
Bonus View (PiP)
BD-Live
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289 of 377 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't dream it's over, August 24, 2010
This review is from: Inception (DVD)
Thank god there was one movie this summer not based on a comic book, a previous movie, television show, Disney ride, or candy wrapper. You actually had to invest some functioning brain activity to follow the plot and keep up with four simultaneous finales going on at the same time within different dream levels. And the ending was open to your own feelings or interpretation. Was he still in a dream or not? If you were still on board and paying attention, you may have noticed Leonardo's character didn't really care at that point, so why should we? It was a fun ride.
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240 of 315 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "An Elegant Solution for Keeping Track of Reality", August 18, 2010
This review is from: Inception (DVD)
`Inception' is a hard movie to judge. Basically, it is a mind-bender, and as such should be judged by two criteria: How good of a mind-bender is it? And, How much does it create a realm of its own with phenomena and rules of causality that work consistently?

In my mind `Inception,' despite some derivative elements, is an inventive movie that provides mind-enveloping reactions well after the viewing is over. Much like Lynch's `Inland Empire' before it, the movie coalesces well into one's imagination and lingers in the mind for days to come.

Being brief with the story is difficult, and I'm sure by now you've probably digested a great deal of material elsewhere. Washed up on an Asian seashore, American businessman, Cobb (Di Caprio) meets with an elderly leader to obtain a contract and defeat his enemies. To accomplish this, he offers to perform an "extraction," a means of obtaining secrets from a person`s subconscious during one's dream life. In the midst of their negotiations, an entire village riots and takes over the building where they meet, and Cobb and his sidekick, Arthur, (Gordon-Levitt) fight and flee to save their lives....

In this beginning scene the lines are partially drawn between dreams and awakening, but the surrealistic landscape also provides Nolan ample opportunities to provide his trademark action-adventure for his science fiction saga.

Cobb later meets an old professor (Caine) who sagely links him to a prodigy student, Ariadne, (Page) who can assist him with his next assignment and help straighten out his perspective and proper use of inceptions, or the use of subliminal persuasion, participating in another's subconscious perceptions and manipulating them during their dreams. In their first assignment together, he plans to have a rich man's son and heir, Robert Fischer (Murphy) change his mind about his father's will, so he will be able to either obtain or sabotage his inheritance.

There are dreams, and there are dreams within dreams, and one of Cobb's plans is to have three levels of dreaming going on at once to have the most persuasive power on Fisher.

Intertwined are revelations from Cobb's subconscious, revealed with Ariadne, who joins him on his subliminal journey and witnesses some of his life-changing events with his wife (Cotillard). In a partial revelation, Cobb admits he included his wife in some of his dream work with complications that has created strife in their relationship.

As you might imagine, problems develop that make the operation work less neatly and easily as planned, so discerning what level of dreaming and what level of reality are taking place also becomes blurred. The exposition and details are laid out more concretely than Lynch's worlds, but the caveats others have placed about paying attention are well founded.

Besides the mood of mind-benders like Lynch's `Mulholland Drive,' Nolan has borrowed and alchemized elements from inventive movies like the truly excellent Japanese anime' adventure `Paprika' and movies like 'The Cell,' but the results are truly new and effective.

I have to admit my biases. I love mind-benders, and it's no accident that Christopher Nolan and David Lynch are at the top of my list of favorite directors. This creates a problem because if you love mind-benders as a rule, it is sometimes difficult to separate effective works from those that don't work as well.

I was originally wavering between four and five stars for this film based on the ending. I'll give no details for that, but, I've decided, like 'Inland Empire' before it, `Inception' may seem abrupt, but its import as a surrealistic experience is nearly as mind-altering. 'Inception' deserves attention, awards, multiple viewings, and the time needed for a truly rewarding film experience. If you love Lynch's work, you will probably also love 'Inception,' but one could concede this movie isn`t as effective at playing with your noodle. On the other hand, if you find Lynch's films to be frustrating or too abstract, then Nolan's 'Inception' may give you a more satisfying sense of concreteness and closure overall.

(Tom Berenger and Ken Watanabe join an outstanding cast for a taut movie experience.)

(Some loose ends of `Inception' have been tightened from information from imdb.)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie, Excellent Package, December 21, 2010
By 
This is one of the best movies I saw this year. The plot is deep and very detailed. The movie can seem confusing to some but watching twice really is worth it. You'll definitely catch anything little detailed you missed the first time. Christopher Nolan's writing and directing skills have always been great and they will not disappoint in this movie. The movie is mind boggling and definitely worth the purchase.

As for the Steelbook, the packaging is great. It includes 2 Blu-ray discs, one being the Movie and the Other Special Features. Digital copy is included as a download and not on DVD. However, a DVD version of the film is included so you can watch on any DVD player.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool Set for My Favorite Film of All Time, February 10, 2011
By 
Tyler S. "Super-Review" (Brentwood, CA United States) - See all my reviews
The Set: It's not totally necessary for the fan, but the shooting script and packaging is pretty cool. There's nothing new on the disc itself, you just get a booklet with this edition. I don't regret the extra pennies however, because it was definately worth the extra five bucks it was at the time.

The Movie: What can I say that hasn't already been said. It's a one of a kind film, that no one will be able to replicate. It's fantastic and it instantly became my favorite film of all time. Yes, I will say it. He topped The Dark Knight. The film is just so unique, and it has as many layers as its dreams do. I was blown away more than I have with any other film.

This edition may be way more expensive than its worth by the time you're reading this. The extra script-book is nowhere near worth an extra 20 bucks. But if you're a collector, by all means go for it. The most important thing, is that the blu-ray itself is the same as the other editions. Speaking of which, the blu-ray is pretty awesome in quality and features. It definately delivered, where The Dark Knight lacked in the behind the scenes dept. The movie looks astonishing. I encourage you to not put out the extra bucks for this set, but you must own a copy of Inception one way or another.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific movie, terrific steelbook, July 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love this movie, it's one of my favorite ever. Definitely worth upgrading to the steelbook version. It feels nice, looks nice, and has a unique back cover that wasn't on the regular bluray one. As with most steelbooks, no digital copy. But hey, can't complain since I already have a dc from the original bluray version.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ."Inception" is the best film of year, so far..., December 1, 2010
Think back to your early youth. The most exciting trip was to the local amusement park. The candy, the people in costumes and of course the rides. But we learned quickly that the best rides required an "E" ticket and of course, there were never enough "E" tickets for the day.

As adults we look to more intellectual pursuits. We read books, travel to distant lands, and on occasion we endeavor to find something new and exciting at the movies. But more often than not, we find that films from Hollywood utterly disappoint us with plots that have been rehashed from hundreds of other films or insult us with vulgar comedies that are churned out on a regular basis.

"Inception," a new film from Christopher Nolan, the director of "The Dark Knight," is one rare instance when Hollywood has gotten it right. The film has a tightly woven script (also penned by Nolan) that allows the viewer to enter a world of espionage with a clever twist. "Inception," has been advertised as a film similar to "The Matrix," and here to set the record straight: it is not. It is a much better movie than any of the Matrix films, which tend to be too convoluted for any true enjoyment. "Inception," remains unique without reaching too far beyond the boundary of imagination.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and "Juno's" Ellen Page, the film depicts a world in which even your deepest secrets are not save. The new criminal of this world enters into your mind during dream-state in order to steal from you or even implant an idea that could change the world. But how safe is this new form of theft? DiCaprio's character finds that his new world of dreams and reality often are difficult to tell apart. And that like all new technology, a simpler way of life must be abandoned to fully embrace the new one.

Christopher Nolan's job as director and writer are spot on. His world of reality intermixed with dreams have stunning visual effects that even out weigh those in "The Dark Knight." Out of the supporting cast, most impressive are Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ken Watanabe. The only disappointing part of the film is the bad casting of Marion Cotillard and the annoying insertion of the song "La vie en rose."

Overall, "Inception," is the best film of the year so far. Being released among the summer it would be shameful if it is not remember for award season. So at last film lovers, it's time to rejoice! It appears that there may still be one more "E" ticket left in our book.

For more reviews and film industry news see Kay's articles at: [...]

-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on the Silent Film Era, see her work at [...]
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47 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Artfully Stunning, Ambitiously Complex Sci-Fi Thriller Shows Nolan's Reach May Just Exceed His Grasp, July 26, 2010
This review is from: Inception (DVD)
Empathy turns out to be the biggest challenge that filmmaker Christopher Nolan faces in his audaciously intricate, sometimes confounding 2010 sci-fi action thriller. It's a 148-minute somersault of a ride viscerally engaging in its vivid elaboration of lucid dreaming. Ironically, there is little time to feel for the characters involved when the whole point of the movie is that nothing is meant to feel real. This dramatic dilemma is almost completely shouldered by the main protagonist Dom Cobb, a professional thief specializing in corporate espionage whose sharpened gifts as an "extractor" allows him to enter the dreams of others to obtain information that is otherwise inaccessible. Heading up a Mission Impossible-type task force, Cobb has become a Shane-like solitary figure whose talents have cost him his family. He wants nothing more than to see the faces of his two young children.

The movie wastes no time in giving Cobb a final mission, his one last shot at redemption which will allow him to reunite with his family back in the states. A Japanese tycoon named Saito wants Cobb to perform an act of "inception" in which he would plant an idea in the subconscious of Robert Fischer Jr., the son of a corporate rival who is about to inherit his father's energy conglomerate. Saito wants Fischer to dissolve the company to prevent the corporation's inevitable takeover of global energy resources, but Cobb's participation represents a risky maneuver that conjures up memories of his dead wife Mal. She figures in the dream episodes in unexpected ways that invariably cloud Cobb's judgment in executing upon the mission for Saito. A crack team has been assembled to aid Cobb - Arthur, the point man who researches the targets whose dreams will be infiltrated; Eames, a cocky forger who has the ability to change identities inside dreams; Yusuf, a chemist who has developed the powerful sedatives that take Cobb and crew into the dream state; and Ariadne, a preternaturally talented graduate student whom Cobb and Arthur train as their new architect.

As both writer and director, Nolan methodically bends the storyline into a labyrinth that turns out to be circular in structure and contains at least four layers of dreams in which the task force must tag team in order to wake up to the next higher level until they each face reality. This is easier said than done since he attempts to show the unconscious as a supremely unruly place where nothing ultimately makes sense, and that's the film's major conundrum since it demands that the narrative must make some amount of sense to make the viewer feel engaged with the story being told. Leonardo DiCaprio brings his trademark intensity to Cobb and manages a gravitas that helps ground the story at a human level, even when the plot convolutions get more and more elaborate and far-fetched. There are some impressive CGI set-pieces like the street of Paris folding over like an omelet, a train careening down a busy downtown street, and the eerie sight of a vacant city in a virtual limbo. Other scenes border on the silly like Arthur's fight scene amid a rotating hotel that make him look like he's doing a 2001 riff on Fred Astaire's classic dance routine in Royal Wedding, or the way Ariadne precociously diagnoses the solutions to fatalistic dreams like an worldly scholar.

By no means does the approach translate into ineffectual performances by the rest of the eclectic cast. It's just that the actors reflect the generally poker-faced manner expected within the sci-fi genre. Joseph Gordon-Levitt ((500) Days of Summer) plays Arthur just that way as does Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai) appropriately inscrutable as Saito. Ellen Page (Juno) neutralizes her naturally sardonic manner to play up Ariadne's naïve curiosity, but to her defense, she has some of the clunkiest dialogue to deliver. Tom Hardy and Dileep Rao fare better as Eames and Yusuf, respectively simply because they play plot devices more than people. Cillian Murphy (Breakfast on Pluto) channels his usually intimidating intensity into Fischer's deceptively becalming manner, while an almost unrecognizable Tom Berenger manages to play his father's loyal associate with welcome gusto. As Mal, Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) has by far the film's most challenging role, maintaining a careful balance between a spectral figure of longing for Cobb and a manipulative femme fatale.

As one would expect from a Nolan film, all the production details are exquisite. Wally Pfister's astonishing cinematography contributes immeasurably to the film's overall hypnotic effect, and Hans Zimmer's foreboding, percussive score thrusts the drama forward with momentum. This movie is too startling a work to ignore, but it would be disingenuous to say that this venture reflects a grand vision since the story is basically an elaborate heist movie. Everything is so well thought out that Nolan may have inadvertently prevented his audience from feeling the full emotional impact of the ending despite the superb editing job by Lee Smith that juggles all the concurrent dreams together. This is still masterful filmmaking from someone who could have focused a tad less on technique and a tad more on the untamed heart that really alters the order within our dreams.
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Inception
Inception by Christopher Nolan (DVD - 2010)
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