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Old 09-21-2010, 06:35 PM   #8091 (permalink)
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After a few minutes of musing about it on the walk home from the theater, where I'm at with this is that I enjoyed it quite a lot, but...

I think that "but" comes from three main things, which I will attempt to explain in as spoiler-less a fashion as I can, but just in case, you might not want to read on if you haven't seen it yet.

Spoiler for Criticism:
First, the relationship between Leo and Marion Cotillard--which is absolutely central to the suspense in the film... it just didn't feel right. Like, I see what he was going for with it as far as the emotional content but it could've been explained a little better--despite Ellen Page's repeated warnings, it was never really clear the what danger she actually posed to the team was or why. Even though it's compelling at the time, not being totally clear on that takes a lot of wind out of the movie's sails on immediate reflection.

Second, there are a lot of minor plot holes I'm willing to ignore in the name of suspension-of-disbelief, but a couple major ones did stand out, eg: the one succinctly phrased in the "Inception Meme" going around: (link). I can think of a million ways that could've been addressed--perhaps even ones that would lend a layer to the big question of the movie (by which I mean, the open-ended aspect of it referenced by the final shot) but it was just sort of overlooked.

Third, and this is sort of the central criticism, the tone of the film felt a little off. It feels like the movie was about the nature of reality, what's real and what isn't and places where those lines blur. That totally begs for well-done surrealism, but aside from a few cool special effects (Joseph Gordon Levitt in rapidly shifting or absent gravity, Ellen Page bending the city and making reality out of mirrors) that were mostly just accents, the movie felt a little too straightforward and logical for its subject matter. The whole idea relies on dreams being controllable and predictable and structured (right down to a formula for the relationship between dream-time and real time)--just an environment where the mind otherwise functions like it would consciously--and that just rings a little false. It leaves one with the feeling that there's so much untapped potential in the story and that Nolan could've stretched it a little more to do something really interesting.


All that said, though, it does do a lot of things right. The structure of the narrative is really neat, the pace at which the exposition happens is well done, and even if it lacks some of the substance I wish it had, that doesn't detract from the fact that it's easy to get swept up in and just f--ing cool. That's something Nolan does really well, actually, because The Dark Knight was kind of the same way--it's not as intellectual as it wants to be (even if it's miles better than most Hollywood output), but it makes me willing to set that aside because I legitimately had a lot of fun watching it.

So, probably something like B+ or 8/10 is appropriate.
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Last edited by Nine Black Poppies; 09-21-2010 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:46 PM   #8092 (permalink)
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I think I would have enjoyed this so much more if I was in my late teens. It was well directed, had some cool set pieces but I just couldn't quite fall in love with it. I did have a real problem with an 11 year old having the crap kicked out of her and why was it aimed at an American audience when most of the cast were British, mostly shot in Britain with mainly British money and the crew British too? I just don't understand the thinking behind this.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:10 PM   #8093 (permalink)
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I think I would have enjoyed this so much more if I was in my late teens. It was well directed, had some cool set pieces but I just couldn't quite fall in love with it. I did have a real problem with an 11 year old having the crap kicked out of her and why was it aimed at an American audience when most of the cast were British, mostly shot in Britain with mainly British money and the crew British too? I just don't understand the thinking behind this.
I was under the impress it was mostly filmed in Canada. At any rate, the comic book it's based on is set in New York so I guess it' not surprising they'd go for American accents regardless of the cast or filming locations.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:07 PM   #8094 (permalink)
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I was under the impress it was mostly filmed in Canada. At any rate, the comic book it's based on is set in New York so I guess it' not surprising they'd go for American accents regardless of the cast or filming locations.
The comic book was being wrote at the same time as the film and it's my understanding that 75% of the film was filmed in the U.K apart from exterior shots and it was a British crew and that no American studio would finance it apart from a couple of small indie outfits. Even the backlot poster in a particular scene was a favour by the directors wife (one Claudia Schiffer) because no one else would help out.

The creators have said that they made it as an American picture but i'm just rankled that it could have been a British film if pushed hard enough by the producers
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #8095 (permalink)
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The comic book was being wrote at the same time as the film and it's my understanding that 75% of the film was filmed in the U.K apart from exterior shots and it was a British crew and that no American studio would finance it apart from a couple of small indie outfits. Even the backlot poster in a particular scene was a favour by the directors wife (one Claudia Schiffer) because no one else would help out.

The creators have said that they made it as an American picture but i'm just rankled that it could have been a British film if pushed hard enough by the producers
Why does it matter?
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #8096 (permalink)
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i was wondering the same thing. it's not like the film is that great anyways.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:20 PM   #8097 (permalink)
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Why does it matter?
Because our film output is limited as it is and our film council has now been cut by the present government so I am mourning the loss of our film output more than ever
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:21 PM   #8098 (permalink)
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i was wondering the same thing. it's not like the film is that great anyways.
I loved it personally and I have to say at no point while watching it did I find myself thinking it would have been a better movie if it had been set in the UK.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:22 PM   #8099 (permalink)
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you should make films in the name of queen and country then chap!
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:23 PM   #8100 (permalink)
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Because our film output is limited as it is and our film council has now been cut by the present government so I am mourning the loss of our film output more than ever
It's not that limited is it? From an outside perspective it certainly seems like the UK is one of the top ten movie producing nations on the planet.
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