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July 18th, 2010

Movie review: Inception

Just got back from watching the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie "Inception."

Now, normally I like Leonardo DiCaprio movies about as much as I like using rusty razor wire as dental floss, and then following it up by gargling gasoline. While it's on fire. Plus, the previews made it look like it'd probably end up being visual candy that went nowhere.

But everyone I know who's seen it raves about it, and so zaiah and I decided to go see it, Leonardo DiCaprio notwithstanding.

As near as I can tell, the entire point of the movie is a cockwaving fight with Michael Bay, of Transformers fame. In fact, I bet the conversation went something like this:

Michael Bay: I am going to make a movie filled with explosions.
Christopher Nolan: I am going to make a movie filled with explosions.
Michael Bay: I will have car chases in my movie.
Christopher Nolan: I will have car chases in my movie.
Michael Bay: I will have cars that unfold into giant killer robots.
Christopher Nolan: I will have an entire city that folds up into an M. C. Escher piece, with strange and bizarre rules of gravity.
Michael Bay: I will have a hot chick in my movie.
Christopher Nolan: I will have a hot chick in my movie, who is smart, courageous, insightful, strong-willed, and creative.
Michael Bay: ...
Michael Bay: I will film scenes on location in the Middle East.
Christopher Nolan: I will film on location in Monaco, Japan, Canada, France, and England.
Michael Bay: My movie will be about giant killer robots blowing things up.
Christopher Nolan: My movie will be a surprisingly intelligent, thoughtful introspection on the nature of perception and reality, that also works as a meditation on loss, grief, guilt, and remorse.
Michael Bay: ...
Michael Bay: I don't even know what you just said.
Christopher Nolan: I will make a movie that will work on a number of different levels: as a straight-ahead knuckle-biting action-adventure flick, as a study in surrealism, as a character drama, or as a piece on the healing value of catharsis and self-determinism.
Michael Bay: My movie is based on children's toys.
Christopher Nolan: My movie pays homage to everything from The Matrix to Donnie Darko to the James Bond books, with a nod to the classic cyberpunk notion of corporate multinationals that act like sovereign states and wage wars with their own teams of corporate hit men.
Michael Bay: ...
Christopher Nolan: And my movie will weave different layers of reality together seamlessly.
Christopher Nolan: Plus, in my movie, the things that happen during the car chase in one reality will affect the things that are happening in the other realities in strange ways.
Christopher Nolan: And I will do it without resorting to any easy storytelling gimmicks.
Michael Bay: Ooh! Easy storytelling gimmicks!
Michael Bay: I will have car chases in my movie!