I finally saw Inception!!

Posted on January 23, 2011. Filed under: Movies to see before you die, Reviews | Tags: , , |

I know, how 2010 am I?

When friend and one time guest blogger Josh found out that I had got my hands on a copy of Inception on DVD it was instantly reserved for our not-so-regular group movie night.

I’m a bit late to jump on the “it’s amazing” band wagon, but I will say that I thought it was a triumph of visual effects and cinematography.  It takes the early ideas of bullet time and wire work, mixed in with super slow-mo HD filming to give a stunning experience that I think rivals Avatar for sensory impact.  I remember seeing a trailer for it, probably about a year ago, and thinking, “this one’s going to be good.” It was.

As for the plot?  Movies with open endings normally send me into a rage (Don’t get me started on The Ninth Gate or Matrix Revs).  However, in this case it was in perfect keeping with the movie.  I’m not sure I’ve decided how I think the film ended, but in a way I don’t think Nolan actually wants us to, it’s more about getting us to ask the questions and think about whether it would be better to live in a dream if the real world could never be what you wanted it to be.

Inception is basically the answer to the question “What happens if you cross The Matrix with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and it’s a good answer.  All the performances are strong, particularly good old Leo, who is going from strength to strength as he breaks out of that pretty boy shell.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him hold a gun in a move before, and I wasn’t sure he’d suit it, but he seemed to carry it off pretty well.

It’s interesting the number of films about alternate realities and the subconscious there have been in recent years.  Alongside The Matrix trilogy and Eternal Sunshine, we’ve had Avatar, Surrogates, Gamer, A Scanner Darkly… and countless others I can’t quite put my finger on right now.  It’s clearly a popular topic, probably because its one of the last areas of Science that we really haven’t got much understanding of.

Anyway, not that you need me to tell you, but Inception is a fantastic movie that deserves the hype it’s been given.  It is a bit of a mental workout, but not so much that you get lost 20 minutes in like you can with some Psych-thriller style movies.  It’s also great fun for me to spot my university cropping up in the occasional scene.

I’m sure the DVD doesn’t quite compare to the full cinematic experience, but it translates pretty well.  It’s bound to sweep the boards in awards season.

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Guest Blog: Inception, the World Premiere, by Josh

Posted on July 16, 2010. Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , |

As promised, here are Josh’s thoughts on Christopher Nolan’s new blockbuster Inception, enjoyed in star-studded company at the Leicester Square Odeon.

Firstly, let me apologise to Katie for somehow wangling myself a ticket to the Inception premiere. It wasn’t my fault, honest…but I’m so glad I managed it! If I’d been to more world premieres and afterparties, I might be able to draw some correlation between the quality of a film and the party afterwards, but unfortunately my experience is limited to just Inception. That said, the party inside the old Battersea power station was rather good – but not quite as
good, perhaps, as the film itself.

Whenever I find myself thinking of the Dark Knight, I hear a deep bass rumbling in my head, a lingering memory of a soundtrack that perfectly matches a dark and brooding film. The opening notes of Inception, too, are dark and brooding, although the images it brought to mind of Nolan’s Batman films were soon gone.

The film opens rather brilliantly, but about fifteen minutes in, there’s a half hour as di Caprio assembles his new team that seemed to drag on just a little too long. Although it doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination ruin the film, some of the ways in which Nolan provides us with the back-story is a little too forced, and you can quite easily tell that certain bits of information will become key to the plot. By actively trying to get us to buy in to the dream-sharing, I feel Nolan risks breaking the suspension of disbelief we already have.

That said, after the first thirty-forty minutes, the film really starts to take off, and the plot becomes so intriguingly entangled. It’s a film I already need to see again to try and make sense of it all – not in the ‘I couldn’t understand what was going on’ way, but the ‘I need to figure out what the relevance of that bit was’ way.

The action itself – the upside-down fighting in particular – is intense. It may have just been the Leicester Square Odeon doing it for me, but my palms were sweating through the fight scenes, and a lot of the other tense moments that Nolan masterfully builds up throughout the film. He also has the sense to gives us a couple of more lighthearted moments that gave the entire cinema a chance to regain its breath and let our hearts rest from pounding so hard.

It’s a shame that Michael Caine doesn’t feature more – and that his character isn’t really explored. Although the rest of the actors perform for the most part superbly (particularly from some of the less well-known actors), I do feel Caine’s experience is a little lacking in some scenes. Ellen Paige, in particular, let me down somewhat.

I want to say so much more about this film – but I don’t want to even hint at some of the surprises in store for you. You do have to go and see it, and ignore my criticisms above, because I had to really think about the film to realise I had any criticisms at all. It is on a level far above Nolan’s Batman films; sitting in it, I couldn’t really believe Inception of all films is the work of the same writer/director.

Go and see it – it’s out on general release today – and look forward to that hour after you leave the cinema where you’re walking around, mouth on the floor, unable to comprehend what a brilliant film you’ve just seen.

Thanks Josh! Inception is out today, and by the sounds of it we should all be heading to the cinema this weekend.

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Jealousy will drive you mad

Posted on July 8, 2010. Filed under: News, Trailers | Tags: , , , , , |

Jealousy is not a pretty thing. But sometimes it’s well deserved.

In the movie business it’s who you know and apparently I have friends who have friends who have friends in high places.

Today is the World Premiere of Christopher Nolan’s new movie Inception. Nolan is a UCL graduate (as am I) and filmed some of the scenes around uni.  As a thank you to our lovely provost Malcolm Grant he sent tickets to tonight’s opening, but a cruel twist of fate has landed those tickets in the hands of friend (and fellow blogger) Josh.

Seething with envy doesn’t even begin to cover it.

However, there is good news for us poor plebs who have to wait until the film opens in theatres next week.  Josh has promised to write something for me so we can all find out what it’s like to be a celebrity for five minutes. (Now that it is published in print there’s no backing out ;))

In the meantime, here’s a trailer for you to enjoy.

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