What do David Lynch, Luis Bunuel and Wes Craven have in common? They have all created far superior films about dreams on a fraction of Christopher Nolan's budget. For a film about dreams everything looks so dull and drained of color. Inception never feels surreal like a dream. It feels like ridiculous PG-13 action sequences strung together by character's explaining it's all a dream within a dream etc. When watching this film, I thought of far superior films about dreams and alternate realities, Bunuel and Dali's "Un Chien Andalou" (1929), "The Blood of a Poet" (1930), "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), Hitchcock's "Spellbound" (1946), "Meshes of the Afternoon" (1947), Dr. Sues' "5,000 Fingers of Dr. T" (1953), "Le Jetee" (1962), Fellini's "8 1/2" (1963), "Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors" (1963) Fellini's, "Juliet of the Spirits" (1966), "Who Wants to Kill Jesse" (1966), "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" (1970), "Viva La Muerte" (1970), "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972), Tarkovsky's "Solaris" (1972), "The Hourglass Sanitorium" (1973), "Eraserhead" (1977) "Altered States" (1980), "Time Bandits" (1981), Pink Floyd's "The Wall" (1982), "Forbidden Zone" (1982) "Videodrome" (1983), "A Nightmare on Elmstreet" (1984), "Dreamscape"(1984), "Brazil" (1985), "Paperhouse" (1988), The B-movie "Beyond Dreams Door" (1989), "Santa Sangre" (1989), "Jacob's Ladder" (1990), "Kurosawa's Dreams" (1990) "Total Recall" (1990), "Naked Lunch" (1991), "Arizona Dream" (1993), John Carpenter's "In the Mouth of Madness" (1995), "12 Monkeys" (1995),"City of Lost Children" (1995), "Lost Highway" (1997), "Dark City" (1998), "The Matrix" (1999), "eXistenZ" (1999), "Being John Malkovich" (1999), "The Cell" (2000), "Waking Life" (2001), "Donnie Darko" (2001), "Muholland Drive" (2001), "Demon Lover" (2002), "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004), "Strange Circus" (2005), "The Fall" (2006), "The Science of Sleep" (2006), "Pan's Labrynth" (2006), "Paprika" (2006) and the list goes on and on and on. 100's of French and Asian films; hell, even the "Nightmare on Elmstreet" sequels.
In "Inception" Leonardo Dicaprio plays Dom Cobb, a dream thief who can enter people's dreams and steal top secret information. Like his character in "Shutter Island" (which had better dream sequences) Leo is obsessed with his dead wife and longs to go home to see his kids. He's given a mission by a corporate boss to enter a rival's dream and implant false information. By completing this mission, he'll be able to go home to his kids. Dom hires an architect played by Ellen Page to create false dream worlds. Then there's his agents, who are one dimensional rip offs of characters from "The Matrix" (A far more entertaining film) For a film about dreams, you'd expect a little Fruedian sex or nudity. Oh no we don't want are dreams to go beyond a mass-marketed PG-13 rating. Or how about at least abstract surrealism or stream of consciousness dialog? Instead we have all the character's taking time out to explain everything to Hans Zimmer's overblown music. In the words of Ariadne "Wait, Who's subconscious are we going through exactly?". That's odd, a shootout on skis, "James Bond" style and Look I'm floating like in "The Matrix" (Lets not get to bizarre or fun) Maybe, I'm being critical, because I'm by no means a fan of Christopher Nolan. "Momento" and "The Dark Night" were good films, but should never be mentioned in the same breath as HItchcock or Kubrick. People really anger me comparing Inception to "Blade Runner", or "2001, A Space Odyssey". Even "Avatar" had more heart and soul than "Inception". In "Avatar", I actually cared about the characters and felt like I was in a different world. In this film how am I supposed to care for rich corporate suits who want to steal secrets. How about having an Exxon executive jumping in the dreams of a BP executive? If it's all a dream within a dream within a dream of one dimensional Hollywood characters, why should the audience care? And why take 150 mins. to tell a story, when it could of been done in less than 2 hrs.?
On one note, the special effects were impressive and the film did have great acting. I think this film could of been good if it was more colorful and dreamlike and maybe 45 mins. shorter. "Inception" fell cold and flat of having a heart and soul. Why do films now look gray, poo brown or washed out in color? Movies used to be so much brighter. Compare this film to "Suspiria" (1977), "What Dreams may Come" and "Edward Scissorhands" and you'll see what I mean. Spending $200 million dollars on a film that could of fed a 3rd world country for 10 years, is more of a nightmare than a dream. All that money spent and it still looks visually boring, artless and dull. As a person who practically makes minimum wage and lives off Ramen noodles, I watch sci-fi and fantasy films for an escape. Why would I care about a rich corporate rival who has a bad relationship with his father? Boo-hoo! In the end I felt like I was viewing the unimaginative dreams of Wall Street brokers. This is a film made by a room fool of people, rather than an artist with a vision. A mass marketed product like fast food, masquerading itself as nutrition. For this film to be in IMDb's top 5 is a joke; this is mediocre at best. People are saying that this is better than "The Wizard of Oz", "Pulp Fiction", "Blue Velvet" or Citizen Kane". I must be dreaming, no I kicked myself and this is for real.
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