I’m going to make an effort to use the word “Inception” and all its derivatives in my daily life

I finally saw Inception saturday night.  I know, I know, a whole week after it came out!  Felt like forever though.  I tried to see it the monday after it came out, but that dog just wasn’t gonna hunt.  My main theater was overflowing with people, the second one wasn’t playing it, and the third one was having some kind of weird red carpet event outside.  Flashing cameras, limos and everything.  It wasn’t at some glamorous theater or anything, either.  I don’t know what was going on.  I stood there half a block away stoney-peering for maybe five minutes and then turned and slunk the other direction.

I literally walked to three theaters and was denied at every turn.  Or at least, was uncomfortable at every turn.  So instead of seeing the movie I went home and started a new game of Dragon Age: Origins.  Went with the human mage origin story this time.  I’ll let you know how it turns out. 

It was hard seeing all the Inception-related facebook status updates this week, but my eye was on the saturday night prize: an evening at Kip’s Bay with my boy Baxter.  Kip’s Bay is an odd destination.  I don’t know anyone else that goes there.  I asked Baxter why its his theater of choice and he mumbled something about how his brother used to live nearby.  I wasn’t entirely sure how that pertained to us, but I let it drop.  I actually sort of like the place.  Me and Baxter had seen Shutter Island there as well.  I guess you could call us the Kip’s Bay Leo Lovers (we were calling ourselves that).  When a DiCaprio joint drops, you know where we’ll be. 

I’m sure just about everyone reading this has seen and enjoyed the movie already, so its hard to know what to say.  I’ll start here: Inception was really good.  I was worried it might be overhyped.  It wasn’t.  This movie lived up to every bit of the hype from where I’m sitting.  Christopher Nolan is great.  He’s gotta be pretty much the best director out there, right?  I’m struggling to think of anyone doing it better right now.  I guess Wes Anderson might be more of a personal favorite, but he seems to be descending while Nolan is ascending.  And really, Nolan might even have him beat on the personal favorite level now.  His rap sheet is seriously impressive.  Memento, The Prestige, Batmin Beggins, The Dark Knight, and now Inception.  All among the best films of the decade, in my stonay opinion.  His only quasi-miss was Insomnia, and even that was OK.  (raises can of ginger ale) To Chris Nolan!

Visually, I mean, do I even need to touch that?  The aesthetics were awesome in every scene.  I was in the second row and it still looked incredible.  I’ll be seeing it again in a month just for the more pristine, middle-of-the-theater viewpoint.  I can’t wait to see those waves.  Or the part where Ellen Page folds the city onto itself.  Or the snow scenes.  Or…..anything.  The whole thing looked perfect.  Nolan is no Burton, but he knows how his movies should look.   An underrated talent.

Re: The cast

Awesome cast.  Let’s get specific, sons!

DiCaprio was solid as always.  I don’t think he’s necessarily a great actor, but he’s always able to get the job done.  He’s really come a long way.  He’s actually not even that good-looking anymore.  I get the feeling he would look pretty mediocre with his shirt off.  I respect that.  Sometimes I think Leo does a little too much with his face, comes off a bit twitchy.  But that’s a pretty minor complaint.  DiCaprio is a capable actor who knows how to pick roles.  He’s going to be in good movies for a long, long time. 

I was actually far more impressed with the rest of the cast.  Do I really like Joseph Gordon-Levitt?  I think I do.  He might’ve even been my favorite character.  That fight scene in the hotel with the shifting gravity was incredible.  I also really liked his response when he was told there would be agents after him: “Then I will lead them on a merry chase.”  I feel like JGL doesn’t take himself too seriously, and I respect that.  I liked his SNL, too. 

Ellen Page also won me over.  Not that I dislike her, but I just haven’t really bought into the hype up to this point.  I sort of thought she was an odd choice, but she was actually perfect for her role.  She’s a pretty good actress, I think.  Not very sexually appealing, but who cares?  It’s not her fault people have to pretend she’s really hot now that she’s famous.  That’s the industry.  “There’s a new It-Girl?  Quick, get her on the Maxim top 100 list!” 

other performances of note:

  • Michael Caine- Predictable that Caine found his way into this one.  Nolan loves him.  I’m not complaining.
  • Ken Watanabe- My boy Sweetums name-dropped Watanabe to me recently.  Now I know who he is.  Game on.  My first move will be to Netflix The Last Samurai.
  • Tom Hardy- Future star?  he’s definitely got the brash, devil-may-care thing down.  But is he hot enough?  Time will tell.  This guy is the younger doppelgänger of the guy who played Mr. Hyde in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Anyone?
  • Marion Cotillard- I’m not into her.  I know I’m supposed to be, but I’m not.  She’s just a little too…..French.
  • Tom Berenger- Best role since his turn as Paul “Bear” Bryant in the ESPN original movie The Junction Boys.
  • Cillian Murphy- One of my favorite current actors.  Another Nolan guy.  Is there an opposite to guilt by association?  Respect by association?  Murphy was superb in Batmin Beggins, 28 Days Later, and The wind That Shakes the Barley.  Hardly surprising that, once again, he got it done in a big way.  The new Murphy’s Law: When Cillian Murphy is in a movie, that movie is good.  Except for all those bad movies I haven’t seen.  Looking at you, Red Eye

It’s late, and I’m tired.  I could heap praise on Inception for another 500 words or so, but you get the idea.  I think we can all agree this movie was awesome.  The last hour in particular was riveting.  It would cheapen it to re-hash it here.  Let’s all just take a moment to think about our favorite parts and give them mental respect. 

Great director, great plot, great cast, great look.  Home run.  Inception will join the SFC DVD collection as soon as I can find it for $15 or less.

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9 Comments

Filed under Good Movies

9 responses to “I’m going to make an effort to use the word “Inception” and all its derivatives in my daily life

  1. abomb

    Good review Stoney. I agree with everything you said, although for the life of me I can’t picture Beringer’s role in the movie. I may have been a little too stoney myself.

    • Big Hatt

      Sounds like you were ubee-doobie, A-Biz. Berenger was Cillian Murphy’s “uncle” character. Remember, the businessman? The one the british guy was doing an impression of in the triple-dream? They had him tell Murphy about how his father wanted him to break up the company.

      • Adam

        Now I remember Berenger’s role. Thanks for the reminder, and I agree he was awesome in this movie. Thicke would have been good in that role too…Damn, I need some new material.

  2. I simply can’t wait to see Nolan’s next picture. It’s rumored that JGL will be the Riddler in the next Batmin picture and as long as he’s got another million dollar dream hold in store, I will be paying whatever someone tells me to see that one.

    I still think the music was one of the top 5 things about the movie when all’s said and done. Really incredible job. Contrast that with the music in “Broken Arrow” and you’ll see what I mean. Big Bird and I watched the final 15 min of BR last night and if you like your Travolta in a Lambert-esque caper flick, I highly recommend this one. The final 15 had everything: Howie Long, a cavalcade of Travolta faces, quick quips from EVERY character right before fighting/dying, Howie Long’s death, Travolta’s death (hard to know which one was funnier)…I could go on and on.

    The sad realty of the situation is that I think I enjoyed that movie in the theatre. Twas the summer of Congo, Clueless, Johnny Mneumonic, and a whole slew of shitty 90s movies that I would use as an excuse to hang. Too dumb to know what was good and what was bad and what was super good b/c it was bad.

  3. Beans

    Couldn’t agree with the SFC review more. I think you make a great point about the music too, Sweetums. During the opening credits, when those low and booming brass (tubas? not sure what they were) were getting louder, I knew it was on for the next couple of hours.

    The cinematography doesn’t need to be discussed, you’re right. There’s some sort of technical Oscar that just got won by a landslide in this movie. I saw a “Making Of” thing on HBO about, and they mentioned how Christopher Nolan prefers to use CGI as little as possible. That Ice Fortress in the triple-dream? All real because he didn’t want to CGI the mountains. God I love Nolan, he’s the anti-George Lucas.

    – Re: the cast. I’m not that into Cotillard either. I saw “Public Enemies” last week and, while not awful, she wasn’t anything great either. This one felt like more of the same. Just a middle of the road performance. I’m starting to think of her as a poor man’s Penelope Cruz. Maybe it’s just the European thing?

    – I’ll tell you who impressed me though: Page. Yeah, THAT Page. When I saw she was going to be in this, I was a little antsy. I thought R boi Nolan had made a big swing and miss. That’ll teach me to doubt. Ariadne was a pretty central character, and Page more than held her own. It’s my own prejudice, because I didn’t think Page could do more than the smarmy high school girl. But come on, “Juno” and “Whip It” were her two big movies prior to this. Overall though she stood toe-to-toe with Leo and the gang in a big time film. I’ll start giving her some dap in the future.

    – Cillian Murphy has been quietly getting it done for years, I’m glad he got Big Hatt’s shout-out. And JGL? Well, I don’t think my feelings have to be rehashed here. Let’s just say I’m happy that hotel fight scene occurred. Respect will be his from here on out.

    – “The Junction Boys”. Hilarious. Made me remember when ESPN was making those ridiculous movies. “3” with Barry Pepper as Dale Earnheardt? Who was in charge of making that stuff?! God that was hilarious. A funnier time in history my friends.

  4. Baxter

    So who was the old guy at the end….which guy was that…..but which one…..oh……uh……uh…..oh yeah yeah yeah yeah got it got it

  5. Big Hatt

    Lot to respond to here:

    1) Will be netflixing Broken Arrow as soon as I finally get Netflix. You’re like the 10th person to recommend it.

    2) Public Enemies was dogshit. Don’t even get me started. I heard the working title was “John Dillinger and his wife loved each other more than normal humans can possibly comprehend.”

    3) I remember watching a “making of” on Dark Knight where they were talking about Nolan’s disdain for CGI. He wasn’t saying it himself, which would’ve come off too much like a hipster talking about not owning a TV. Others were saying it about him. Mucho respectico. Get that CGI out of here (unless I can’t tell its there).

    4) I also expected Page do be doing her Juno bit, which I assume I would loathe although I haven’t seen Juno. Instead her character was earnest and endearing. Brilliant career move to contrast her developing typecast like that. Hopefully her Juno co-star was taking notes.

    5) I never think to mention a movie’s music, but in this case it was indeed Inceptional. Music is important in a movie like this. A good drama ALWAYS has an awesome score, and a bad drama never does. It’s a really easy divider. Probably because someone like Nolan realizes the importance whereas someone like Michael Bay probably thinks the Rob Thomas/Carlos Santana collaboration was badass.

  6. Elliott Nickell

    Love the shoutout to “red eye.”

  7. katz

    Brilliant observation by Koney about perhaps the Inception was done upon Cobb by the others on the plane.

    two important details:

    1. the lack of inception technology – the put-under via drug machine – upon waking in the airplane at the end.

    2. at the beginning, when DiCaprio first goes to see Cain, how does he get through the door, into the classroom and sit down without Caine noticing till he speaks?

    Perhaps though the Inception was rather played upon the individual viewer by the movie’s makers?

    Was it an inception that gave Nolan the idea in the first place?

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