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November 21, 2010

Inception (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

 

Inception (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

Product By Warner Home Video
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Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in this sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the best there is at extraction: stealing valuable secrets inside the subconscious during the mind’s vulnerable dream state. His skill has made him a coveted player in industrial espionage but also has made him a fugitive and cost him dearly. Now he may get a second chance if he can do the impossible: inception, planting an idea rather than stealing one. If they succeed, Cobb and his team could pull off the perfect crime. But no planning or expertise can prepare them for a dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy only Cobb could have seen coming.

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Science-fiction features often involve time travel or strange worlds. In Christopher Nolan’s heist thriller Inception, the concepts converge through the realm of dreams. With his trusty associate, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a fine foil), Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, in a role that recalls Shutter Island) steals ideas for clients from the minds of competitors. Fallen on hard times, he’s become estranged from his family and hopes one last extraction will set things right. Along comes Saito (Ken Watanabe, Batman Begins), who hires Cobb to plant an idea in the mind of energy magnate Fischer (Cillian Murphy, another Batman vet). Less experienced with the art of inception, Cobb ropes in an architecture student (Ellen Page), a chemist (Dileep Rao), and a forger (Tom Hardy) for assistance. During their preparations, Page’s Ariadne stumbles upon a secret that may jeopardize the entire operation: Cobb is losing the ability to control his subconscious (Marion Cotillard plays a figure from his past). Until this point, the scenario can be confusing, since the action begins inside a dream before returning to reality. Then, after the team gets to Fischer, three dream states play out at once, resulting in four narratives, including events in the real world. It all makes sense within the rules Nolan establishes, but the impatient may find themselves much like Guy Pearce in Memento: completely confused. If Inception doesn’t hit the same heights as The Dark Knight, Nolan’s finest film to date, it’s a gravity-defying spectacular to rival Dark City and The Matrix. –Kathleen C. Fennessy

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All Reviews

A Dream Within a Dream Within a Dream… — “I went into Inception thinking very positive and with high hopes that this will be one of my new favorite movies. I based this simply on the trailer. I was not let down in the slightest, and I was blown away by the originality and creativity of the film. The directing, acting, and cinematography were all amazing. It is a beautiful film.
After seeing Inception I will have a hard time watching any other movie ever again. Anything else would seem boring and useless. I went to see The Expendables in theaters. Horrible. I couldn’t understand what the interest in this film was. It was just violence and explosions. No story or plot. Just useless violence.

I can see where people may think of Inception as something similar to the theme of the Matrix. It sort of has the same basic idea of people being hooked up to a machine, leaving their bodies and going somewhere else. Besides that, there wasn’t much at all, which reminded me of the Matrix. Each scene held its own new originality in the most creative way as possible.

As far as Inception being hard to follow, well, I had no trouble following it at all. The three friends and my eleven-year-old brother had no trouble following it. I believe people who are more open minded would follow and understand it much better than people who are not willing to believe the story. Parts are incredible to believe, but you have to be open and let the story take place.

The creativity and attention to each shot and scene really paid off in the end. The film was perfect in every way in my opinion. Things were done which we have never seen before and it was done so well. It has set a new standard for films, at least in my mind. The directing style is similar to The Dark Knight, however they seemed to give the Christopher Nolan more creative freedom with Inception.

The acting was top notch. Leo’s character seemed a little weak minded at times. Usually he plays a strong character, but in this film his character had a weakness. Joseph Gordon-Levitt played a larger role than I expected. I was impressed with his character as well. Most of the crazy stunts are with his character. Lots of crazy anti-gravity wirework, jumping off walls and fighting people in mid air kind of stuff. Very cool. Ellen Page played a young architect, which is hired to build cities within a person’s mind. She did a great job as well. Each character was so well thought out and everyone added just the right amount to perfectly blend each character into the story.

As for the Blu-ray, I’m sure it will be amazing. With it being a Warner Brothers film and with it also being in IMAX, I’m very sure it will look as good if not better than The Dark Knight Blu-day (which I think it one of the better Blu-rays I have seen). I will update my review upon viewing the Blu-ray of Inception.

There is a Limited Edition UK release of Inception on Blu-ray. Thus far, I have not seen it anywhere hinting that this Limited Edition will be available in the US. Check out Blu-ray.com, under the UK flag at the top, and search for Inception. There you can get more information about the Inception Limited Edition Case. It also should be region free as all Warner Brothers Blu-rays are. You can pre-order it at Amazon.co.uk.

If you’re a fan of films which touch on subjects which most movies dare not go, you owe it to yourself to see this film. You won’t be disappointed. I am very glad I saw it on the big screen. Thank you.

“An Elegant Solution for Keeping Track of Reality” — “`Inception’ is a hard movie to judge. Basically, it is a mind-bender, and as such should be judged by two criteria: How good of a mind-bender is it? And, How much does it create a realm of its own with phenomena and rules of causality that work consistently?
In my mind `Inception,’ despite some derivative elements, is an inventive movie that provides mind-enveloping reactions well after the viewing is over. Much like Lynch’s `Inland Empire’ before it, the movie coalesces well into one’s imagination and lingers in the mind for days to come.

Being brief with the story is difficult, and I’m sure by now you’ve probably digested a great deal of material elsewhere. Washed up on an Asian seashore, American businessman, Cobb (Di Caprio) meets with an elderly leader to obtain a contract and defeat his enemies. To accomplish this, he offers to perform an “extraction,” a means of obtaining secrets from a person`s subconscious during one’s dream life. In the midst of their negotiations, an entire village riots and takes over the building where they meet, and Cobb and his sidekick, Arthur, (Gordon-Levitt) fight and flee to save their lives….

In this beginning scene the lines are partially drawn between dreams and awakening, but the surrealistic landscape also provides Nolan ample opportunities to provide his trademark action-adventure for his science fiction saga.

Cobb later meets an old professor (Caine) who sagely links him to a prodigy student, Ariadne, (Page) who can assist him with his next assignment and help straighten out his perspective and proper use of inceptions, or the use of subliminal persuasion, participating in another’s subconscious perceptions and manipulating them during their dreams. In their first assignment together, he plans to have a rich man’s son and heir, Robert Fischer (Murphy) change his mind about his father’s will, so he will be able to either obtain or sabotage his inheritance.

There are dreams, and there are dreams within dreams, and one of Cobb’s plans is to have three levels of dreaming going on at once to have the most persuasive power on Fisher.

Intertwined are revelations from Cobb’s subconscious, revealed with Ariadne, who joins him on his subliminal journey and witnesses some of his life-changing events with his wife (Cotillard). In a partial revelation, Cobb admits he included his wife in some of his dream work with complications that has created strife in their relationship.

As you might imagine, problems develop that make the operation work less neatly and easily as planned, so discerning what level of dreaming and what level of reality are taking place also becomes blurred. The exposition and details are laid out more concretely than Lynch’s worlds, but the caveats others have placed about paying attention are well founded.

Besides the mood of mind-benders like Lynch’s `Mulholland Drive,’ Nolan has borrowed and alchemized elements from inventive movies like the truly excellent Japanese anime’ adventure `Paprika’ and movies like ‘The Cell,’ but the results are truly new and effective.

I have to admit my biases. I love mind-benders, and it’s no accident that Christopher Nolan and David Lynch are at the top of my list of favorite directors. This creates a problem because if you love mind-benders as a rule, it is sometimes difficult to separate effective works from those that don’t work as well.

I was originally wavering between four and five stars for this film based on the ending. I’ll give no details for that, but, I’ve decided, like ‘Inland Empire’ before it, `Inception’ may seem abrupt, but its import as a surrealistic experience is nearly as mind-altering. ‘Inception’ deserves attention, awards, multiple viewings, and the time needed for a truly rewarding film experience. If you love Lynch’s work, you will probably also love ‘Inception,’ but one could concede this movie isn`t as effective at playing with your noodle. On the other hand, if you find Lynch’s films to be frustrating or too abstract, then Nolan’s ‘Inception’ may give you a more satisfying sense of concreteness and closure overall.

(Tom Berenger and Ken Watanabe join an outstanding cast for a taut movie experience.)

(Some loose ends of `Inception’ have been tightened from information from imdb.)

Implanted affections for a modern masterpiece… — “Yes, I said masterpiece.
This is going to be difficult, since saying too much here is surely damaging to the movie going experience. This film has been criticized as much as it has been praised, and all for the same thing, the depth of the script. Yes, this film can be hard to grasp IF you aren’t paying attention, but it really isn’t too complicated to follow if you walk in with the right mindset. My brother hated this film, but he went with a bunch of reckless teenagers who talked throughout the whole movie. This isn’t your typical action film; you have to actually `watch’ this one. I went with my wife.

We LOVED it.

Simply put, `Inception’ is about a man named Cobb who, due to his profession, has been separated from the ones he loves. His wife is dead and he has been charged with her murder. If he returns to the states, he will be incarcerated. So, for the time being, he is not able to see his children. What it is that Cobb does is someone complicated. He uses dreams to steal valuable ideas from influential people. Using technology suited for this task, he enters the mind of the sleeping, builds dreamscapes inside their minds and creates an alternate reality that allows him to extract whatever it is he is paid to find.

It’s not as hard to follow as it sounds.

At the films outset we are shown just how this works. After a botched job, Cobb and his partner Arthur are given a proposition; to perform inception. With this job would come the ability to return home and see his children. There is a small problem though. Inception is much different and much more complicated a procedure because it involves implanting an idea, not stealing one. This is harder because it is a much deeper deception; for in order for the idea to take root and grow, Cobb and his team have to make it feel as though the `victim’ has come up with this idea all on his own.

It has to feel real.

Christopher Nolan has a huge following, especially after his brilliant `The Dark Knight’, which garnered lots of praise, attention and even an Oscar or two. While that film continues to grow on me in ways unprecedented (not really, but you get the picture…it is brilliant), there is no denying that Nolan continues to show the goods. `Inception’ is so smart it’s scary. Nolan understands that society in general gravitates towards the action film. It is the big Hollywood summer blockbuster. It is a way to make a lot of money. BUT, Nolan also understands that big explosions and million-dollar effects cannot take the place of a smart and involved script. He has continued to build a name for himself by marrying the two components beautifully, and `Inception’ is no exception. The film is complex yet free-flowing. The pacing is exceptional. The dramatic overtones are all there in spades, especially since the main characters are fleshed out and given life (Cobb becomes three dimensional, and his back-story is just as entrancing as the films actual plot without ever taking away from it). Some have mentioned that the acting is standard fare, and then some have raved Leonardo DiCaprio and claimed this the best performance of his career. I don’t agree with either statement (best of his career…really?) but I came very close to writing this review as a `best in show’ piece and somewhat Oscar FYC for Marion Cotillard, who is just plain OUTSTANDING in this film.

Anyways, I decided not to (but a surprise Oscar nomination for her would be AMAZING and totally deserved).

That said, this film is very, very good. I fully expect it to snag a slew of Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director) and it will be deserved. No, this film is not the best film ever made (come on fanboys, you are giving the film itself a bad name) but it is a truly impressive feat for the genre and it further cements Nolan’s name as one of the most impressive and imaginative directors of his generation.

CREDIT by iBluray

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