Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Review by Brian M. Sammons
If you have yet to see this move STOP READING! This film works best the less you know about it in advance. So take my word for it; if you like trippy, mind-bending sci-fi with lots of big gun, loud explosion action, a great story, and first rate direction and action then give this flick a spin. There. For the purest entertainment experience, take that as your review.
Still want more? Ok, here’s a little bit as spoiler free as I can make it. One of my favorite directors takes a break from the Batman flicks to do another tightly written, twisty turvy movie similar to his Memento and The Prestige. In it, Leo once again shows off his amazing acting chops playing a corporate spy who is very specialized. What makes him so special? Well he can go into the dreams of others to steal their secrets from their subconscious minds.
Pretty cool huh?
Well yeah, it’s very cool because as you might expect, dreamland plays by a vastly different set of rules than the waking world. Invading people’s dreams is not without dangers, so you can expect some jaw-dropping action set pieces. However unlike many special effect powerhouse films, Inception has a hell of a story every bit as impressive as the audio and visual wizardry on display.
Leo and his group of sleepy time spies are hired to not steal someone’s thoughts, but implant a thought into the subconscious of a man and have him think that he thought it up all by himself. This requires going deeper into dreamland than ever before and therefore the danger is ratcheted up.
However, less you think this film is all bang, bang, boom and nothing more, there a wonderful little mystery behind Leo’s character and a heaping helping of drama and pathos that goes a long way to prove that not only does this sci-fi flick have brains, but it’s got heart too. But I will not go into such things here. Again, GO SEE THIS FILM.
Now a quick word of disappointment. While there are some truly amazing and breathtaking special effects, I thought the total “anything goes” aspect of dreams was very underutilized. Come on, they’re dreams, people! My tamest dreams are much weirder than anything shown in this movie … maybe that just says something about how twisted I am? Sure there are some OMG moments, the famous city folding scene you’ve seen on all the trailers is a good example of that, but the whole rubber reality of dreams and nightmares done so well in The Matrix and some of the Nightmare On Elm Street films is sadly mostly missing here.
The Blu-ray brought out by Warner Brothers is the way to see this film outside of a big theater. This movie looks amazing. With all the eye candy this movie has to offer, do yourself a big favor and get the sweetest taste of this flick as possible. And hey, if you don’t have a Blu-ray player don’t worry, this package also comes with the movie on DVD and a digital copy for your portable viewing pleasure.
In addition to looking great, the BD has a very nice (dare I say “dreamy”) collection of special features. There’s the complete soundtrack in 5.1, the usual collection of trailers, TV spots, and art galleries. Highlights on this disc include an animated 15 minute prologue called “The Cobol Job.” There’s a 45 minuet documentary all about dreams hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt about what real world scientists are discovering about dreams and the subconscious. Last but not least there’s “Extraction Mode” which is basically a collection of behind the scenes featurettes that you can either watch separately, choosing what subjects you want to learn more about, or as a running adjunct to the movie that will pop up from time to time as you watch the feature film.
Things like this are what makes Blu-ray unique and I just eat them up.
However, like other Christopher Nolan films, don’t expect any commentary tracks. Nolan just doesn’t roll that way.
Inception was a top rated movie in all regards. It was enjoyable, smart, stylish, well acted and directed. It had lots of action to keep you both interested and amazed and a great story to feed your brain while your eyes are happy. It is also one of the rare films that you can watch multiple times and pick up on new things every time you do. Because of that, and everything else, it is mandatory to have this movie in your home library. Consider this one very highly recommended.