Monday, July 19, 2010

What I learned from Inception

There are all kinds of movies that defy a description.  To say that Inception is Christopher Nolan's movie about a guy who can infiltrate people's dreams to extract secrets on behalf of industrial espionage is like saying the Statue of Liberty is a tall, green, woman who stands on an island in New York City's harbor.  Both are true, but neither description captures the experience of seeing them.  So, to avoid selling it short, I'll just describe what I learned from watching the movie. 

1.  Leonardo DiCaprio's acting skills continue to improve, particularly when his hair doesn't become an issue. 

2. The experience of falling and then startling awake is more universal than I expected. 

3.  Ellen Page has risen above her previous role as a smart-alecky teen.  She can also be a smart-alecky young adult.  Also, she can show emotion and do a great job as DiCaprio's conscience. 

4.  I still love Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  See The Lookout and (500) Days of Summer

5.  Ken Wantanbe was terrific in The Last Samurai (best part of the film) and somehow forgot how to enunciate - I think it missed almost half of his dialogue.

6.  Physics is what keeps us from walking up walls, and that you can't fall in zero gravity, but that an elevator might help.  Seriously, the special effects were terrific, particularly JGL's fight scene, but I think they missed a terrific opportunity for seriously trippy effects. 

7.  Marion Cotillard has added bad-ass to her skills at morose and annoying. 

I really, really liked the movie, I promise.  Imaginative, gripping, mysterious, and thoroughly rewatchable, if only to understand all the things you missed before.  4.5 of 5 stars/lambs


Sebastian Gutierrez said...

Finally, someone who appreciates how awesome THE LOOKOUT is, and how amazing JGL is in it!

Agreed, although I thought they did plenty with the trippy effects. The scenes that showed what was going on simultaneously in each dream were absolutely gob smacking!

Castor said...

I agree that I could not understand half of what my man Ken Watanabe said (especially in the opening sequence) but he is still awesome nonetheless.

Jess said...

@ Sebastian - I think The Lookout is awesome (my review here -

@ Castor - I'm glad I'm not alone in that (I'm not that old yet!) and I agree, he was totally awesome. I loved his old guy scenes too.

Fletch said...

I ahgr wiss juss abou eveethin yu sah.

(That's my Watanabe impression. It was a bit ridiculous, especially when Cotillard was a bit tough to understand at times, too. This movie needed subtitles.)

You're not gonna believe this, but my verification word is "hyped" - Blogger is effing with all of us.

Jess said...

Fletch, that's an excellent impression. Can't wait for the Inception Lambcast to see what else people thought. The Matineecast on Inception was really good.