August 20th, 2010 - William Matheson's Journal
Aug. 20th, 2010
11:34 pm - CapsuleReview: Inception
Inception is one hell of a movie. I just saw it last night. It had me grinning from ear to ear in a way that few other movies have done. There were many truly sublime moments that precipitated such a reaction on my part.
But Inception is a divisive movie - and it is a loud one. Or at least the volume was cranked a notch or two too high where we watched it, the #1 theatre at the Empire Cinemas in Charlottetown. My aunt did not enjoy the content of the movie ("too much killing!") and it was no less than a 148-minute assault on her senses. I feel bad for her about that. I'd ridden in from Brudenell at highway speeds in a window-open car due to there being no air conditioning, so perhaps I was too ready for additional loudness.
Anyway. Hell of a movie. It's an immersive experience that really needs to be had in a movie theatre, unless you've got one heck of a home theatre system in your home. Or you're Elvis Presley, and you have a movie theatre in your home. Elvis' solutions cost money, but their greatness transcends time.
Immersive, certainly - this is one of those movies that quickly and effortlessly has you thinking on its own terms, and for me it is the mark of a great one if I'm standing around dumbstruck, processing everything long after the house lights have gone back up. Seeing this one on the small screen probably just won't do, unless you want to be able to seek back and forth to analyze things. You'll at least want to see the movie again, and if it's still playing when I get back to Halifax, give me a shout and maybe we'll go see it.
It had me so completely and so throughly that after it ended I joked, "Was that a 10 out of 10, or an 11?" I was only half-kidding, too.
But after a little while I started to think - well, here it is: for a movie that makes you think, in its final act it should maintain a certain kind of thoughtfulness. If you'll allow me to speak of layers, the first two are sense-making and satisfactory, even amidst heaps upon heaps of explosive action. One thing that helps is that both of them have a single dedicated role of Keeping the Party Going™, but the third is highly decentralized and the action is unnecessarily hard to follow and is little more than an assault on the senses of the kind that made my aunt uncomfortable. I love action and suspense, but the third layer was too much Transformers and not enough James Bond. (I refer to the good Bond movies, of course.) Or, to hit it close to home, not enough Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan took ten years to write this movie, and that shows, but I think his pacing of the action in the endgame could have used a more generous dollop of that same diligence.
DiCaprio is very good in this movie. To this day I aggressively avoid Titanic (I once watched the first hour of it when it was first broadcast on television), but he was exceptional in Catch Me If You Can. He has great support, too - I especially appreciated Ellen Page and
Shia LaBeouf Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Go see this movie and enjoy it. And maybe bring earplugs.
Roger Ebert - 4 out of 4 stars (guess he liked it!)
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