Tell me it’s not just me. Are your dreams just a grey hazy fog of blurry sensation lacking in clarity and continuity? Or are they perfectly clear full-colour glossy images full of detail, like say… Inception. I need to watch that movie again. I just don’t get it. I had the exact same experience with Dark Knight. Found them both to be completely over-hyped action movies with people speaking about them as if they were so much more.

Indeed Inception is an extremely well made, much-better-than-your-average action movie but still. It wasn’t the only thing that jarred with but the dream thing often annoys me. Why don’t they ever make an effort to make dreams even slightly dreamlike? Yes I know in nearly every single movie you’re not supposed to know what’s a dream and what isn’t – but what a fucking cop out. It’s like shooting in the daytime and calling it night. It’s like setting a Vietnam movie in New York. It’s like casting Leonardo Di Caprio as a grown man…. oh, right. Point is: showing someone waking up in a sweat does not turn the previous scene into a dream.

Mark Kermode put Inception at number one in his top five of the year. But if you listen to his reasons they’re more political. It’s because it’s a big blockbuster that isn’t stupid or completely dumbed down. Like say any Michael Bay movie. And indeed those really dumb movies need to be discouraged but that doesn’t make Inception the best movie of the year.

I didn’t hate it – but definitely didn’t love it. Maybe it’s Decaprio. I just never buy the baby face in an adult role. The quality of the plot is debatable. But I think it’s more the setting and mood. It just feels like any other action packed blockbuster.

And I don’t just hate action packed blockbusters. Some of my best friends are black:
Alien or Bladerunner. They’re not particularly intelligent (Kermode’s defining factor for Inception) but they’re toned, dark, moody. Aesthetic masterpieces. Inception and Dark Knight just lacked that final sheen for me. They still spoke the same Hollywood accent as every other action block buster. Astounding special effects. But special isn’t beautiful. And and an intelligent plot isn’t enough. Not for film of the year.

  • Reply Stewart Curry

    January 26, 2011, 11:38 am

    Disagree completely – I thought it was a brilliant film. I can’t remember the last time I saw a film that had me so hooked into what was going to happen next – I was so buzzed watching it I felt worn out by the ending. I also disagree with your point about it not being dreamlike – there are lots of examples (without spoiling) like the staircases or the tilting rooms, or the whole floating sequence that couldn’t be real. The only bit I didn’t like was the snow sequence – bit too “Call of Duty” level for my liking.

    • Reply John

      January 26, 2011, 11:51 am

      Yeah I know most people feel like you. I just keep hearing that. I really intend to watch it again and see if I get what everyone else gets. I definitely don’t think it was shit. I just definitely don’t think it was film of the year.

      Dreams – yeah but the point is perfectly executed, detailed, full colour, upside-down staircases aren’t the slightest bit dreamlike. Unless it’s just me.

      Yeah – had to laugh at Charlie Brooker talking about the snow, it’s definitely like the snow level in games.

  • Reply Annie

    January 26, 2011, 11:44 am

    I don’t see how it was that intelligent. Winter’s Bone was intelligent, Inception was just complicated. And the plot kept being repeated to us through dialogue, until we “got it”. VERY tiresome and very surprised at Kermode’s rating.

  • Reply krossie

    January 26, 2011, 12:09 pm

    I agree with John – mind you some of the architectural sequences tho’ not all that dream like very very nice in themselves – would have liked more bizare Escher type topological fold ups.
    I reckon only the French surrealists ever made a really serious effort at “doing” dreams and given the technology they were limited. Still the likes of “l’age de Or” or “l’atalante” (youtube em!) – do, at least, try to portray dreamlike states. Maybe I’m just lucky but I find I often have crystal clear dreams – what tends to muddle is people, places and times – they often mash up in bizarre ways e.g. your current work mates being at school with you and so on.

    By far the best think about Inception was the (sub?)plot; all the intense stuff going down between De Caprio and Marion Cotillard (those eyes!)
    (I wouldn’t have so much of a go at De C – he’s aging well and he can act when he has to – see under “revolutionary road” )

    Winters Bone was Top ten for me too – hope it scoops something at teh Oscars!


    • Reply John

      January 26, 2011, 2:01 pm

      Hey Krossie

      Yeah I really liked Revolutionary Road. ( But not Shitter Island. Who didn’t see that coming!? ) He can act – but his face just doesn’t fit most roles I find.

      I’ll check out the Frenchies, see can I find something a bit more like my muddy dreams.

  • Reply Stewart Curry

    January 26, 2011, 3:13 pm


  • Reply krossie

    January 26, 2011, 4:33 pm

    > I’ll check out the Frenchies, see can I find something a bit more like my muddy dreams.

    Some lovely visuals there if nothing else – haven’t seen Shutter yet but have a feeling it wouldn’t be my bag at all at all!


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