REVIEW: Inception

Inception
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Marion Cotillard

Waves crashing to shore, then a body; these are both one of the first things we see in Inception, and one of the last.  Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated dream-thriller may wow you with its visual prowess, dazzle you with its high-ended concepts, and intrigue you with its heist-style head invading, but it has a typical Hollywood-style circular structure.

If it sounds like I’m already being hard on Nolan and his predetermined masterpiece, it’s only because you need to know right off the bat that it does not reinvent cinema the way it’s publicity campaign suggested.

Many reviews have pointed out all of Nolan’s influences (2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix) and for good reason: Inception is chock full of moments where anyone who’s seen a sci-fi movie will chuckle to themselves.

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If they were in television… Christopher Nolan

Notable films: Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight

Famous for: Stories grounded in realism, alterations to linear narrative structure, psychological themes, usage of symbolism, old school special effects with minimal CGI, excellent casting of prominent actors and dressing pretty classy, even on set.

Hypothetical title: Nostalgia

Hypothetical premise: Two young brothers are the only children of their parents. One is a charming, fair haired child and often the favorite of the parents because of his cleverness and personality. The other, a dark haired deviant child who often loses the affection of his parents due to his shortcomings when compared to his brother. The parents die when the boys are in their early adulthood, forcing the favorite and older to take over the family estate and the other treated as a child. Although the story does not mainly take place in this past, the flashbacks do.

In modern times, the dark haired brother is an unaccomplished writer and the blonde is a well-noted novelist, mostly for poaching the ideas of his brother while they were young. Following their career successes, failures and rivalries, the show digs into where the stories come from during their childhood, the death of their parents and how they can learn to travel back into those memories with their writing, meaning memories may not exist at all. Continue reading