movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

I’m not going to review this movie VERY HARD, because pretty much the whole planet saw it.

PEOPLE: From excellent director Christopher Nolan. His 2nd completely original movie. I haven’t even seen Following (1998), but now I’m thinking maybe I need to check that out.

Yes, that was Ellen Page from Juno / Hard Candy / X-Men. Yes, that was Tommy from 3rd Rock From The Sun, also in Mysterious Skin. Yes, that was Ra’s Al Ghul from Batman Begins.

PLOT SUMMARY: Let’s go into a dream within a dream to plant an idea into someone’s mind so that we can make money.

QUIRKS: A cerebral sci-fi heist movie.

BTW, I really like the use of tops in this movie. That’s a first for me. I was really big on tops in college. We played with them for HOURS. I have a whole collection of all kinds of different tops. They have different genres; magnetic tops, tops that draw, tops that make noise, tops that light up, wide tops that spin slow on steady, short tops that are spastic, tall tops that stay in the same place, battery powered tops that can spin for hours on end, stackable tops (ever spin a top and set it on top of another? I have), etc etc. So I gotta say, using a top as a totem is that much more of an awesome idea to Carolyn and me than to the viewing public in general.

VISUALS: Not as dreamlike as many people would want or expect. If you’re looking for DREAM VISUALS, watch Paprika or Pan’s Labyrinth or Terry Gilliam‘s Brazil, or any other myriad of dreamy fantasy movies. Watch a Nightmare On Elm Street movie. The dreams in this movie are mostly of the realistic kind. There’s a reason for this, and it’s explained in the movie. [highlight for spoilers] Basically, if you are invading someone’s dream, you want things to be as realistic as possible, so that they don’t realize they are dreaming.

SOUNDTRACK: I’ve heard so much hullabaloo about the score… analysis of the music… parodies of the music. And honestly, I didn’t really notice it. I was too busy paying attention with all the HEAVY THINKING and events and dialog and layers. I did notice that I had to turn my center speaker to like +1db, when i usually have it set… to -6db or -3db for most movies. Maybe that was why other people felt the score was so obtrusive. Score: +1 for those who watch movies on their own hardware, -1 for those who pay big bucks to see movies in theatres.

MORALS: The moral of this movie is pretty much the polar opposite of The Matrix. Instead of worrying about whether your world is real, you should just sit back and enjoy what’s there in front of you. The Matrix is all about taking the red pill; the conclusion of this movie seems to be that the blue pill is not so bad after all.

POLITICS: Capitalism and money make insane situations worth doing.

GOOD STUFF: The plot. OMG. What a trippy movie! So cerebral. WHAT DOES IT MEAN???

BAD STUFF: The ending perturbed some people. If you didn’t like it, I suggest reading this piece. Basically, [highlight for spoilers] the conclusion is that the whole movie is a dream. The character finally found his redemption and doesn’t need to question whether he’s really in a dream anymore. After all, if it’s not real, he’ll eventually wake up anyway, so why not enjoy it? He never should have left limbo in the first place. I wish I could spend 50 years creating a world, like a God, with Carolyn, while my body never ages. That sounds like paradise.

CONCLUSION: FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 10/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 10/10. (She was gonna say 9, but I kinda kept asking, “Why is it only a 9?”, and she decided to change it to 10.)
TwoBeans: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 10/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 9.0/10 (Top 250: currently #4! as of writing this review, but it will probably drop down by the time this review is posted, years later); Netflix: 4.5/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.7/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: OMFG SEE THIS!!! This is one of the best films of the year. If you don’t get it, WATCH IT AGAIN!

SIMILAR MOVIES: I don’t know. This was pretty goddamn unique. People inevitably mention The Matrix due to the “false reality” angle, or “Dark City”. But are all false reality films really that similar to each other, or is the similarity only that they simply use the same gimmick/trope of false reality?

MOVIE QUOTE: “You’re asking me for Inception. I hope you do understand the gravity of that request.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: A few people didn’t quite get it, or appreciate it as much as everyone else (B- from Dad?!?! Lauren W thought the ending made the whole movie “directorial masturbation”), but, for the most part, everyone’s response is.. “Wow. Amazing movie.”

OTHER REVIEWS: Ian’s review talks about some of the visual effects, and the plot as a whole, without spoiling too much detail. Outlaw Vern reviewed it too, of course. His review has spoilers.Mood: FULL