"Mr. Cameron's singular vision has upped the ante for filmed entertainment, and given us a travelogue unlike any other."
"Whatever way you choose to look at it, Avatar's shock and awe demand to be seen. You've never experienced anything like it, and neither has anyone else. "
"First, let’s be clear… Avatar is much more than a film. It’s a prescribed cinematic experience"
Avatar was touted as the movie that would change movies forever. And while I agree it was a visual experience unlike anything I'd ever seen, the story was crap! If you're going to spend ten years waiting for technology to catch up to your vision, then that gives you loads of time to craft a story that isn't Ferngully But With More Racist And Anti-Colonization Overtones And Also Blue Cat People. Also Sam Worthington is a robot. Just saying. Why am I ragging on Avatar? Because while it certainly wasn't the worst movie I'd seen in awhile, I stopped caring as soon as I left the theater. The characters were hollow, the conflict was tired, I could give a rat's ass once I wasn't gawking at the pretty pictures. It didn't change the face of movies as we know it, it just gave the face a pair of 3D glasses.
Now here comes another director who has spent almost as much time as James Cameron on his movie, except that time was spent writing the script. THE SCRIPT. Christopher Nolan has created a movie the likes of which has not been seen in ages. It has fantastic action and visuals, a highly original concept that is deeply explored, characters that are simple but still interesting and relatable enough that you care what happens to them, and a story that is engaging, fascinating and tautly suspenseful. It is a full and complete movie that lacks for nothing. So many times I leave the theater saying "well if only they'd done this," or "man if they'd just gone into this a bit more," but try as I might to pick this one apart, I can't find a single thing about it that I didn't like or wasn't done exceptionally well.
I know, I keep going on about how wonderful the story is and I'm not describing it at all. For once it's not my fangirl ADD, you should see this movie knowing as little possible. I kept myself carefully insulated and apart from the cast list all I knew was:
1. It's about dreams
2. Leonardo DiCaprio is some kind of dream thief
3. The trailer music made BWAAAAAAAAAAAAM noises but was also amazing
And that was it and it made the movie that much better. So if you haven't seen it, I'm warning you that I will be yelling about spoilers further down and dammit, don't read them! Go in knowing as little as you can. It's a wonderful movie, all the actors do an amazing job, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is massively adorable, Leo is getting very good at playing men barely clinging to sanity, Ken Watanabe never turns in a bad performance and Ellen Page makes you forget she was Juno (in a good way). Also Tom Hardy is just appealing in every way and Marion Cotillard is creepy and unsettling as hell (also in a good way). Hans Zimmer creates orchestral awesome per usual and you'll be gripping the arms of your seat (or more awkwardly, the person next to you) as the clock ticks down and our heroes chances at survival dwindle. With a highly original story and an ending that will have you arguing with anyone who will listen long after you leave the theater, Inception gets a perfect five catapults out of five, and Christopher Nolan continues to assert that he is the Second Cinematic Coming.
SPOILERS, DAMN YOU! BEWARE AND SUCH!!!
Are we alone? Good. Brilliant fucking ending. My whole theater simultaneously went all "AAAAGGH" when it faded to black before showing if it was real. So who thinks the totem fell and he was really back? I'd like to to think he was and my argument is because he saw his kid's faces for the first time in the whole movie. But then again the ending sequence is so incredibly dreamlike and suddenly Michael Caine appears in America when he was in just in Paris. What if he just went further in limbo?
And of course that just leads to "what if it was all a dream?" and true we join the movie not at a real beginning but already in progress, Dom moves from country to country rather effortlessly for a fugitive, etc. But then they show how difficult it is to construct a city? How could he keep his construct of an entire world running? Personally I think he was in reality when he was in reality, but then there's the "leap of faith" line that Mal says before she jumps and then Saito says it to Dom and Dom says it back and that punches a few holes in the "reality" argument.
Isn't it nice that there's a movie that can make you think and question without being boring and weighing you down with philosophy and also have kicking action scenes? I think so. I love this movie to bits already and it sucks because now the rest of the summer movies are just crap in comparison. Also now I have nothing to wait for until...
Until then, chew on Inception for awhile and tell me your theories in the comments! This is Sugary Cynic saying "did anyone notice that the song that they played to wake people up was by the singer who Marion Cotillard won an Oscar for portraying? Or am I just a dork?"
Dom Cobb: "Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange"