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.
on December 11, 2010
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?
on December 21, 2010
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.
on July 19, 2010
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.
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 codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
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)
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese (less)
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Three-disc set (2 BDs, 1 DVD)
Digital copy (on disc)
Bonus View (PiP)
on July 9, 2013
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.
on February 10, 2011
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.
on August 24, 2010
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.
`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.)
on July 30, 2012
Christopher Nolan's winding, twisting dream epic is just as revelatory today as it was in the theater a few years ago. Nolan clearly took his time with this script, a full eight years in the making, and it bears gorgeous fruit in the form of a rich, bright analysis of lucid dreams, shared consciousness and the very roots of influence in an individual psyche. Those are some pretty heavy concepts to just toss around in a Hollywood blockbuster, but through careful elaboration and a few very stylish test cases, it manages to efficiently explain the ground rules and get on to telling the story without bucking the casuals or alienating the intellectuals. With all sorts of hidden truths, cleverly-masked winks and subtle hints at all sorts of deeper meanings, there's also much more here than can be absorbed in a single viewing. Although the run time falls well north of two hours, the groundwork is so enveloping - and the plot so fast-paced - that the minutes just rip by without any regard for the clock on your wall. It's a fantastic effort, and a great indication that large-scale, big-budget American filmmaking is still capable of bringing the goods from time to time.
I see that this film has about as many 1 star ratings as it does four star ratings. Obviously, a lot of people didn't enjoy the film. I'm not sure why that is. I found it very entertaining and enjoyable.
The film does start out in a confusing way, but the opening scenes where Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) awakes on a beach, near a Japanese castle is explained later in the film. The subsequent scenes show a small group of people who are experts at 'extraction', stealing industrial secrets from the sleeping mind, when the brain's defenses are down. Cobb offers his services to Saito, (Ken Watanabe), but in a different vein, to train him to protect his mind from others like Cobb who are bent on stealing his secrets.
Now, they are asked to do something that is much more difficult, perhaps even impossible; not to take an idea, but to plant one into another's mind. This time, it's rich industrialist Maurice Fischer's son, Robert, whom is sought to take his father's company into a different direction than the one his father chose.
It's elaborate and complex. In order to plant an idea, the small team led by Cobb must go not just one level down, into a dream, but beyond that, perhaps even three levels down, in other words, a dream within a dream within a dream. In order to accomplish this, a new and perhaps dangerous sedative will be tried. The danger, of course, is that the dreamer may die from the sedative, or more ominous, he or she may continue into the deepest level of the dream state, where hours in this world translate into years in this deepest level. Cobb has been there before, and knows the danger.
Inception is a fun romp! There is a ton of action, as things are happening on all three levels of the dream. There are bad guys everywhere who are manifestations of those who are trying to prevent the supposed theft of Robert's thoughts and ideas. And then there is the wild card no one, except Cobb, expects; his dead wife, who is still very much 'alive' in his, and everyone else's, dreams.
A strong recommendation for Inception. The amount of planning that must have gone on just to write the script is fantastic. To have it all make sense is impressive. And, of course, the special effects are outstanding; really unbelievable. The best effects are when Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) have to defeat the bad guys in the dreams second level. The hotel they are in is rotating, and somehow everyone appears to float around, climb walls, and walk on the ceiling. Fantastic job to the special effects crew!
The only disappointment was the lack of interesting extras on the DVD. There are visual explanations of making the impossible staircase and the like, but no director's commentary.