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24 July 2010 @ 16:26
 
The mood of America, as shown by Twitter

Monster star

Superheroes protest WBC

There is a stage version of 12nin no Yasashii Koroshiya

More WK fanart? (from adayume)

Cosplay database being created

I went to an Awa Odori festival yesterday. I was a little disappointed because they blocked off the usual route... and then held it in a different area. I didn't get a good view and there were kids running amongst the dancers and photographers getting in the way.

I left early to see the late show of Inception. There were some intriguing trailers - Yamato and Tron. Not interested in Knight and Day -- Tom Cruise is a huge turn-off, although the basic premise is intriguing (secret agent loses grip on reality... right?). Also, whoever cut the promo for Salt did a lousy job and is too in love with a line of dialogue. Hanamizuki looks utterly average.

On Inception:

Me: The first line of dialogue is spoken in Japanese, unsubbed. I guess it's supposed to disorientate you.
J: Didn't really work in Japan, did it?
Me: Yeah, it did! I thought I'd accidentally bought a ticket for the dubbed version.

So the film starts in Japan. Two blond kids playing on the beach, above them a castle. When the action shifts inside and they start speaking Japanese, I found that disorientating. Because the whole set-up wasn't much like Japan at all, just the Hollywood version.

As it turned out, no, it wasn't Japan and was indeed someone's idealised version of it. Nice touch which almost no one will notice. The whole opening was extremely well-scripted and a great introduction to the kinds of twists/surprises it can pull on you. Basically, you don't know what is a dream and what isn't, so be prepared.

I didn't know anything about it going in. I saw a trailer for it, which told me it was about dreams and had some amazing SFX shots. I also saw references online to it being intelligent and that was enough to clinch it. I didn't know who the actors were... I was surprised to see Ken Watanabe AND Michael Caine AND Cillian Murphy AND that guy from Third Rock (who was wearing some exceptionally fine waistcoats, I think?). I knew and suppressed the memory that Leonardo Dicaprio was in it.

The only flaw I see is the basic premise. It uses a sprinkling of pop psychology to balance the rest of the movie on... and it works. It's internally consistent and I can't say fairer than that (many will disagree!). The climax is amazing -- three to four different scenes intercut and an emotionally-satisfying conclusion to Cobb's plot arc. I thought I'd guessed what happened early on (Clearly he'd performed inception on himself and his wife and kids were fictional), but I was wrong. The answer tied everything up and was still fairly shocking. Not a twist though - we all knew that inception, his wife/kids and a train were connected, we just didn't know how. But they unpack said revelation as if it were a twist, giving it a bigger impact. Great soundtrack too, btw.

A little bit unsure about the ending though -- Did Cobb find Saitou? If the penultimate scene is identical to the opening, doesn't that suggest some kind of loop in which nothing is real? If the scene is only similar, why was it similar to the 'dream within a dream' they created in the very beginning? Why, if Saitou's induced dream in the opening is in the past, is he older and referencing what happens to him in the future ("just an old man waiting to die")?

The very final scene suggests that Cobb is trapped in an uncreated reality that will last for decades while only a few milliseconds pass in real-time. The top doesn't fall (no, really). Everyone seems to be focusing here, instead of the bit before it. Interesting line from the film from Mol says that it's Cobb imagining being chased around the world by spies and how unreal that is. Hmm.

If you couldn't tell (and maybe you couldn't), I loved this film. Great SFX and I'm still thinking about the ending. The drawn-out climax is fantastic.

***

From mami_san, who gave me the letter "H".

1. If you'd like to play along, reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. You then list (and upload/link to it, if you feel like it) 5 or so songs that start with that letter.
3. Then, as I'm doing here, you'll post the list to your journal with the instructions.

Haunted - Seabound (Also "Hooked")

Headless Cross - Black Sabbath

Heaven Is Waiting - Danse Society

Heavensent - Cinema Bizarre

Hellflower - The Electric Hellflower Club

Here Comes The Rain Again - The Cruxshadows

Hollow Hills - Bauhaus

Hope - Apocalyptica
 
 
 
ext_109169 on 25th July 2010 05:15 (UTC)
No. The surprise when you leave comes from being fully distracted by the film.

I don't consider myself obligated to watch a movie with my brain fully engaged and the theoretical stuff in Inception tended to bounce me out of the story. I understood what they were saying but the thoughts going through my head as they were saying it were, Leonardo doesn't look/sound old enough for his wife, and Joseph Gordon Levitt's voice wasn't that low in brick. By the end, however, I'd been so distracted by the different sets of onscreen action, that I'd forgotten they were on a place!

It's been a couple of weeks since I saw it, I don't even remember the end credits - although I could probably describe many of the backstage photos used in the end credits of The Karate Kid (a movie made just for me).