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Monday, August 9, 2010

5 Movie that made me love Inception

You know the thing about personal blogs, are that they are personal. So here I intend to dwelve into my feelings about some films I have seen, recently or not, and you are completely entitled to agree with them. You are also entitled to disagree, to hate my work, and to never read it again. But I prefer that if you disagree you give me a concise posted response on why you do, and leave about any insults pertaining to my weight, thought capacity, or political affiliation.

I run in fear of trolls and the power they have had over me in the past.

Now, from the title of this post, one can surmise that I LOVED Inception. I really did. And I am not so naive as to think it a perfect movie, or flawless, or any such thing you can think of. I had problems with parts of it, but I left the theater both times I have seen it with my jaw on the floor feeling good about the blockbuster for the first time in years. I don't intend to review it here, let me just say that if you haven't seen it, it is worth a watch on the big screen.

After the first time I saw it, I sat in my car in little old Santa Paula thinking about how my mind needed to be reassembled. While picking the pieces back up, I started a web of connections to other movies that I had been reminded of, and how rather than hindering my viewing of Inception, these movies had made it all the better. So, I thought I would write this out in a small essay (and I use the word essay loosely). Tell me what you think?

Well, this is like a gigantic duh written in big letters across my blog. Memento, written and directed by Chris Nolan, is bound to have some connections to this movie. If I hadn't seen Memento and liked it so much, I probably would have liked this movie so much. Nolan knows how to make his shots interesting, how to get emotion from his actors, how to get emotion from his audience. I also propose this (spoiler?): Mr. M. Night Shyamalan may have once been considered the master of the twist, but I think this title should be firmly in Christopher Nolan's hands. Although, come to think of it, perhaps this is not a reputation someone would want, after all, it hasn't served Shyamalan very well of late.

Dark City:
Listen, if you haven't seen Dark City and you like sci-fi or comics, go out and rent it right now. It is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it EXTREMELY layered. I didn't realize how layered it was until I listened to the commentary track on the DVD. (spoilers for Dark City) So, if you have seen this one, the city building sequences in Inception had to have come to mind while watching the movie. Not to mention the manipulation of people while they are sleeping. There is a certain goofiness to the way John Murdock's (played amazingly by Rufus Sewell) power are shown in the movie, but the waves that come from his mind also remind me of the dreamscape of Inception, where when one becomes aware of the dream and ripples begin to appear and shake the very foundation. Dark City is brilliant, and I wish I could remember who turned me on to it in the first places.

Maybe it is just because I love Brick so much, but I thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt was amazing in Inception. Brick is a Marlowe-esqe detective story that takes place in High School. You follow Brendan (J Gordon-Levitt) as he tries to unravel the mystery placed before him (can you tell I want to give nothing away?). Brendan is not smooth or suave, but determined and brave. He will get the job done even if it costs him his life. A warning, the way people talk in Brick is very stylized, and may require a second viewing. I have seen it 7 times at least, and once with the subtitles. How did this effect my viewing of Inception? Well, besides the Levitt love (<3) I walked in with my eyes wide open. When it comes to most movies now, I pay VERY careful attention to what is said, and what is shown. A good director does not waste any shots, so when they focus in on a decrepit looking house, it is not just to give you the creeps. It is because there is something important to see and remember.

Hard Candy:
Now this movie is not for the faint of heart. In fact, I imagine it can be quite painful for some people. I personally think that everyone should see it, because it shows a woman in control. A WOMAN. Can you imagine? Don't tell me that Hollywood is not run by guys for guys, because I have taken enough film classes with a liberal teacher to know the truth (Hi Riley!). So, why Hard Candy for this list? Purely because if I hadn't seen it, I would have expected CRAP from Ellen Page. "But she was great in Juno!" SHUT UP. Listen, Juno has its merits, and I can see how some parts of it are very good, but I was not a fan of the movie. No one talks like that. NO ONE. Its like The West Wing, it just doesn't happen that way. People are not that eloquent, myself very much included. Sorry, this isn't about Juno, its about Hard Candy. Ellen Page, is amazing in this movie, as is Patrick Wilson, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. The movie is brutal, as I said before, but it is also very VERY clever. Ellen Page has my total respect for doing it, and I will see her in almost anything now. Oh, and she was good in Whip It!

G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra:
BWAH? What the hell is THIS movie doing on my list? Well, it’s a funny thing, (spoilers for Inception, I don't give a crap about GI JOE) but during the snow scene, I kept thinking Man this is a good action scene! Now, where did I see snow in an action movie before recently? G I EFFING JOE. Not a movie I liked at all. If Joe had been shot like just that short set of action scenes in Inception, the movie would have been 200 times better, giving it a score of 8. 8 out of 100. Now, let us never speak of that Joe movie again.

So there you have it. I have heard people throw around titles like Eternal Sunshine and Paprika. Sure, they have the dreams in them and all, but this movie wasn't a fairy tale. There wasn’t any whimsy, and I am glad for it. If I want whimsy, I'll go watch Tim Burton from the 90's.

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