Inception, Michelle’s not Impressed

Inception gave me a strange sense of déjà vu, I felt like I saw this movie earlier in the year and didn’t like it when it was called Shutter Island. I’m not saying there’s a lot of similarity between the two movies other than its themes of dream vs. reality and it’s lead star Leonardo DiCaprio but like Shutter Island it’s a movie that thinks it’s smarter than the audience and uses an obnoxious soundtrack to signal that something important is happening only at the end of it you realize you just wasted 2 1/2 hours of your life.

Director Christopher Nolan likes odd material, he made his bones on the mind numbing, Memento before going mainstream with the last two Batman movies. Inception in many ways is like a Hollywood version of Memento. Almost like if Nolan had the money in the early days this is the film he would have made first.   I used to have a lot of nightmares when I was in High School and read a lot of books on the subject of dreams and how to master them and do feel like I can control my dreams – probably also explains why I’m partially an insomniac so I actually believe everything they do in the movie is possible and understand the concepts the movie talks about. Whenever I feel a nightmare coming on, I use the same techniques to force myself awake. So I’m not going to say I didn’t like this movie because it was confusing but from the first few minutes into it, it completely fails to suck me in. I wanted to like this movie, I want to see a great summer movie but there’s something about the material. First it’s hard to connect with a movie when it tries so hard to “fool” you or to keep you guessing; is this a dream, is it not, is it a dream within a dream? Who cares? Just commit to something and get on with it.

The movie opens almost like Shutter Island with DiCaprio’s character washed up on the shore of an Island that seems out of time, to the sound of an over bearing soundtrack. A lot of stuff happens in the first few minutes of the film but none of it seemed important and that’s the problem, during most of the main dream sequences there are usually three things happening at once so as an audience member I was never clear which was the dream and which was real and it made me not care about anything. Especially for the first 20 or 30 minutes, there’s not much of a story at all, just Leonardo’s character trying to track some guy down.

We slowly find out that Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is some sort of thief whose expertise is stealing secrets from people’s dreams. In 2 1/2 hours the movie never really explains how this came to be. But it takes great pains in explaining the theory behind it and how it all works – over and over and over. By the third explanation, I was like, I get it – you can share dreams with people, you need an Architect/ Ariadne (Ellen Page) to build the world so your brain won’t see the cracks in the dream, something happened to your wife and now she keeps showing up in your dreams/missions, can we move along already.

I never got the Leonardo thing, I find him to be kind of pretentious, but he always picks challenging and intriguing movies that work despite him. There’s a fine line between challenging and ponderous and if you are going to be ponderous at least be interesting. I actually love Ellen Page and would like to see her in more movies, but she’s wasted here. Her quirky, smart personality is lost in the seriousness and shallowness of this part.

When Cobb gets an opportunity to return home to his long lost kids, the movie spends a lot of time with him building his team for their next assignment, but while Cobb’s motivations are clearly explained and to a lesser extent Ariadne we don’t find out why any of the people on Cobb’s team is there. We know they have specific roles to play but the why is never clear, I suppose I can assume it’s just about the money involved.

Nolan does show a lot of visual flair in this movie, the opening shots of the Ocean crashing against the island, there’s a sequence when Page tests the limits of the dream world and the closing third of the movie which included a neat hotel chase sequence that are all visually interesting (I wouldn’t say stunning, but at least they were unique) but there’s no reason given to actually care. The last 30 minutes was a complete mess, featuring three or four dreams all happening at once. I did think Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would make a pretty cool movie since one of the dreams was a blatant rip off of the game. I kept thinking, man I wish I was home playing some Spec Ops and not stuck here watching this movie.

The movie felt like it was never going to end. I really wanted to walk out of this movie, but I knew there was going to be some sort of twist that movies like this generally have so I stuck it out and the inevitable twist wasn’t much of a twist at all. The movie just kind of ends and left me going, huh? Inception is all noise signifying nothing.

Final Grade D

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally posted 7.16.2010

40 thoughts on “Inception, Michelle’s not Impressed”

  1. Totally agree with you and cannot understand why most critics are going ga-ga over it. Lots of talent wasted on this dream within a dream within a dream fiasco. If you want special effects, vehicle mayhem, and explosions (and not much else), then go.
    My grade would be “C”.

    1. I totally agree with Michelle’s write-up on this movie. I saw this film this afternoon with a friend and when we walked out of movie she said “that was the worst movie I ever saw”. During the entire long, boring and POINTLESS movie, I couldn’t believe how so much money was wasted. The concept of the movie and script were absolutely terrible and I’m an extremely creative person…but that was simply ridiculous. My Mother told me yesterday that her and her friend walked out of the movie. I should have listened to her advise.

      The only reason I went was because of L. DiCaprio who I believe is an excellent actor. He did his best in this tiresome movie. When things are SO confusing and irrelevant, then the audience simply does not care what happens. I continued watching because of some visual effects, but certainly not due to the premise of this movie. Total waste of time…reminded me of how bad Ishtar was.

  2. I have to disagree with this review completely. Personally I think you wanted to be “alternative” and not like this movie when it is clearly visually amazing, has awesome performances, and a very interesting and compelling story that is not only conceptually awesome but executed very well. I’m almost positive that your experience in “feeling like you can control your dreams” had you walking into this movie with some weird expectations and therefore I don’t think you could have ever liked it.

    If the visuals were only interesting to you, I’m not sure what is considered visually stunning in your book. The creation of the scenes was phenomenal and the CGI was awesome. I personally saw this movie in NYC and when I left it made me look at the city completely differently. The visuals are phenomenal and do a great justice to the unique story that is being told.

    How did the movie try to fool us? I don’t think it did at all. It just told its narrative in an interesting way. I was never bored for a minute because I knew that anything held back was on its way to being told it was just a matter of time because it would unfold creatively and it certainly did. I love that because you weren’t clear which was dream and which wasn’t dream you decided to “not care about anything”. It seems that you would prefer everything spelled out instantly, in which case I think you should probably stick to reading reviews rather than writing them. No offense, but I think you just wanted to write a review called “Michelle’s not Impressed” for the sake of being different.

  3. Absolutely agree, sitting through 2+ hours of absolute tedium and ridiculous plot line; a complete aste of time. Nothing intelligent in the least with this film, I was hoping they’d go as deep a level as necessary to make it all disappear. Sadly, they got all “kicked” up just in time. I only got kicked in my wallet.

  4. You know what, I’m sick of dealing with idiot fanboys/fangirls who cannot come up with an argument beyond the childish “Oh my god, she gave a movie I don’t like a great review and movies that I like a bad one.” It’s an opinion, deal with it.

    If you cannot come up with a more intelligent argument than that, don’t bother to leave a comment here. I will delete it. I’m sick of all the vile emails and comments on RT, I’m not going to allow Eclipse to get flooded with that garbage as well. If you want to say something intelligent about why you think Inception is the bestest film ever, that’s fine, but I’m tired of the personal, childish, misogynistic attacks. You all claim to be so scary intelligent because you understand this movie and the rest of us are morons because “obviously” we didn’t – prove it by acting like an adult.

  5. Michelle, It seems you found this movie too confusing to make you care, but you also found that it explained itself too much. I’m sorry but I don’t believe this movie tried to fool its audience at any point unless you consider minor plot twists, such as the first and only time the fact that they are in a dream within a dream is revealed (much to the audience’s surprise), overbearing.Personally I felt the ending was a classy tease and though it was a lot of noise that perhaps signified nothing, I can’t imagine anyone realistically not finding it entertaining (but to each his own) As for length, it was a bit lengthy but honestly it could have been much longer and I felt the pacing was excellent with little to no drag. I did however also have problems of not being able to shake Shutter Island off my mind but I found this film to be quite better (I didn’t care much for Shutter Island). Ultimately I don’t think this was a perfect film by any means, but I feel one has to accept it accomplished pretty much everything it set out to do. I understand you may not have liked the film and honestly I think the “hype” influenced your decision (though you’ll never admit it) but that D rating is completely unjustified and based on nothing more than bias, which I suppose is all some critics take into account nowadays. This film deserves at least a C, even from those who didn’t enjoy it as much as others, as it’s positive attributes cannot be so casually dismissed.

    P.S. I enjoyed the bit where you called Leo pretentious because quite frankly you don’t come of as humble

    1. Well, we pretentious people don’t know we’re pretentious. That’s part of the pretension 🙂 As for the hype charge, I honestly don’t follow movies closely enough to know if there’s hype or not, I didn’t sense that much hype for this movie and we sponsored the DC Screening of it. Great comment.

  6. Inception is clearly an ambitious film. That you find it trite and clichéd is a testament to your lack of imagination more than anything in the film itself. The only thing Inception has in common with Shutter Island, a throw-away gimmick movie with a decently concealed but otherwise meaningless twist, is the lead actor.

    I do agree that it took some time for Inception to find a dramatic rhythm. This is Nolan, after all, not Tom Stoppard or even the Coen Brothers. But where those master dramatists fear tread Nolan rushes right in. This script was his baby, and the crafted recursive logic that self-referentially bends in upon itself is masterful and mature. Where you see the director trying to pull the wool over the audience’s eyes, I see him tearing down facades we all take for granted to reveal a rare glimpse at the paradoxes of everyday consciousness.

    There is commitment in every frame of this film. While you were getting antsy for the story to “pick a side” because we’re at war, careful viewers were being rewarded for their attention with all the answers a movie-goer could ever hope for. If the film tells you how to feel (with the score) or what to think (with a narrative exposition), or crucially, what it _means_ by unnecessary and implausible dialogue, it is pandering. It is talking down to you, because it is afraid you won’t bother to meet it halfway.

    Nolan is aware of his audience, and like the talented architect he is, builds gaps in his structures where our minds are meant to go, and then dares us to follow. That you took this as cause to pine for a Call of Duty intermission is serenely absurd, and yettelling. It means there is no way you could have enjoyed a film you mistakenly believed was there to do the work of watching the movie for you.

    Nothing can ever be completely new under the sun, but what Nolan has achieved is no less than an inception of a shared language, a seed of an idea planted in the cultural consciousness of the nation and the world. Post-modernism has a bad name because it inspires much confusion and gives conceptual shelter to new age bullshit. And yet Enlightenment values simply do not properly equip us to understand the world we are confronted with each day. Inception is a post-modern film that is finally ready to be heard. Though present company may obviously be excepted, what you or I say, what the tomato meter reads, matters no more to this tour de force than the cars in the path of that freight train. Inception will matter, something so few films can ever honestly dream, much less smartly achieve.

  7. I honestly just disagree with your review. I could read every sentence and tell you why I think your wrong, but I didn’t do that. You posted a nasty review about a movie that I enjoyed on the internet, so I am allowed to disagree with you. Especially with lines like this, “is this a dream, is it not, is it a dream within a dream? Who cares? Just commit to something and get on with it.” It sounds like you were just sitting there looking at your watch waiting to leave. Maybe you shouldn’t be so harsh on movies other people love, and people won’t criticize your reviews. By the way, I never said that Eclipse was a terrible movie. I just couldn’t believe you would say Inception was a D, compared to a Twilight movie that’s targeted for young girls.

  8. I know you are angry with the childish fan boys. well im not much different. i liked inception. not because it is a timeless classic. bcoz tht only time will tell. jst because i ws entertained and here was a movie which was intelligent also. i have some doubts about your review.

    You said :
    #A lot of stuff happens in the first few minutes of the film but none of it seemed important and that’s the problem, during most of the main dream sequences there are usually three things happening at once so as an audience member I was never clear which was the dream and which was real and it made me not care about anything. Especially for the first 20 or 30 minutes, there’s not much of a story at all, just Leonardo’s character trying to track some guy down.

    Spoiler alert :

    the first sequence of the movie is a plot point where Cobb meets Saito sometime in the future where Saito is an old man. we. are. not. supposed. to . get. it. this is explained later in the climax.

    in the second sequence cobb is trying to extract information from Saito with the help of dream within a dream technique. that was what the first twenty minutes was about. cobb fails and saito gives him an offer to do Inception. its the settinp up of the story. these are all done like a normal heist movie. when the idea is 22 complex u hv 2 make the plot simple. for eg. in matrix , the idea is complex , but basically thr is a bad guy Smith against the good guy Neo.

    apparently u r contradicting with urself. you said :
    #But it takes great pains in explaining the theory behind it and how it all works – over and over and over. By the third explanation, I was like, I get it – you can share dreams with people, you need an Architect/ Ariadne (Ellen Page) to build the world so your brain won’t see the cracks in the dream, something happened to your wife and now she keeps showing up in your dreams/missions, can we move along already.

    u just said in the above paragraph , u were never clear which dream was which. which was real or not. now u hv a problem whn the whole setup is being explained. when ‘inception’ starts you have 2 have the basic knowledge of what’s going on. and these explanations are not done with words. there is visual effects thrown all over the place, to make it engaging. infact when cobb explains ariadne aoubt the setup she rolls the whole city. and you are saying get a move on?

    one criticism mayb emotional scenes cud hv been more developed. but at 2.30 hrs inception did it’s best. the ”Inception” in the movie ws a clever one. leo’s back story was good.all the characters had a part to play. and the movie ended the only way it can. leaving questions in ppl’s mind.

    there are very strong similarities with matrix here. but inception jst stands out bcoz of better acting and realistic problems.

    if u hd said in ur review.’ the movie tries to be 22 smart and thr is less emotional impact, it cud be considered as ur own view’. bt here u jst gave up in the first 20 minutes. you went, ” i don’t get it. the movie is stupid.” u cud hv jst askd the guy sitting next 2 u..”wht jst happnd?” i wnt in prepared 2 b fooled. but i felt there were enough explanations which made the movie engaging. also read a prequel comic caleld ‘cobol job’ for inception. i think that saito episode in the beginning will make more sense.

    expecting a more detailed review frm you. watch it with an open mind. once u see hw one dream is peeling of another. u will enjoy the movie more. i’m cool with the fact that you hated the movie. but it is the above mentioned reasons that made me post.

  9. Feel compelled to chime in…first of all, for me DiCaprio is along with Matt Damon the finest under-40 actor working today, and I’ll really see anything he’ll do.

    But I guess I’m getting old as someone who grew up not knowing the near-instantaneous dispersal of information that is the internet.

    Now I don’t feel as if any part of the story went over my head, but that still doesn’t guarantee you’ll care or that you’ll like the movie. This film’s editors either did not grow up in the days of longer attention spans and no cellular phones or chose to edit for those that didn’t. Bear with me for this absurdly-long explanation beyond this semicolon; imagine 2.5 hours of constantly-interspersed footage from scenes from dreams, scenes from dreams within dreams, scenes from dreams within dreams within dreams, scenes from reality where all the various-depth dreamers are actually sleeping, AND scenes from reality of the past that relate to the ongoing conflicts within the dreams within the dreams within the dreams (or sometimes just to the dreams within the dreams, and even occasionally to the plain old dreams themselves). Still with me? Great! Now imagine all this set to a score which constantly italicizes the impending importance of all this.

    Worst of all is the stupid tease at the end. I go to a movie to watch a story written by a writer or group of writers (I am a technical writer by trade) – I DON’T read a book or watch a movie so that I can write the ending and “interpret it for myself”. That’s so damn annoying. Is it reality because his little unique-small-and-carryable-dream-authentication-trinket did what it is supposed to do, or isn’t it? I guess we’ll never know because the director “cleverly” edits out that last second or two! Better yet, you decide for yourself; either this is all real and DiCaprio’s character gets what he always wanted ever since he had to flee the USA, or it is all an imagined deep-dream-state world where DiCaprio’s character gave himself a plausibly-realistic explanation of he/associates/mark awakening as per schedule, getting into the USA without issue, etc.

    The ending was the perfect coda to a hopelessly self-important film.

    1. I actually thought the point of the spinning top at the end was supposed to tell you that it was real. I never once questioned it since earlier in the film they made perfectly clear that the Totem was supposed to let you know you were no longer dreaming.

      1. But it fluttered a bit, as if it were about to stop spinning, but then seemed to regain momentum…remember that his ex-wife’s “Totem” was the same top that never stopped spinning, so (and I can’t believe I have to play along with this cr*p and write this) to cope with forever-state dreaming he could have fashioned for himself to live in an improved version of his ex-wife’s reality for him and her, where he “wakes up” and “goes home”…with the editing from the airport to the house, it is entirely “plausible” to me that once he goes outside that house where he saw his children’s faces that he’s in that make-believe city fashioned by he and the ex again.

        1. What was his wife’s complaint about the “real world” he is fighting so hard to return to? It was too designed, too fantastical, too dramatic to be real. And his wife throughout the movie is only his subconscious or conscious memory of her. When he finally gets back to limbo his subconscious is warning him that something is not right, trying to wake him up for the “reality” he has undertaken this unprecedented mission to win his way back to. Why does this make sense? Because he is a character Nolan’s dream. The ambiguity of the ending allows Nolan to knock on the fourth wall much as Ellen Page knocks on that mirror to reveal the dream she designed from her memories.

          Endings, in general, are assigned too much import in today’s mainstream film. The ending works roughly like the title, as a signpost to remind you of what it was you just watched. The title is supposed to be a semantic vessel that means something different to you after you watched the movie. The meaning of the movie fills that vessel when you look back at it in retrospect. The ending, meanwhile, cannot change anything about the meaning of what you have just watched. Endings that attempt to do this are bad. Forced. Overdetermined. It is not the destination, remember, it is the journey. Inception wisely and playfully lets the rest of the movie speak for itself in that final shot.

  10. Reasons of why people shouldn’t trust your reviews:

    1. You quote Half Blood Prince as ” A Cliff Notes version of the book that misses every major plot point and narrative thrust. But hey, they certainly picked up on the teen romance. Yey, for them. Worst film Adaptation, Ever!” and give a D-(agree), But you give X-men Origins: Wolverine a movie that was an even worst adaptation with the comic(considering the fact Wolverine and Sabertooth were never brothers and Deadpool was never weapon 11) then the Half Blood Prince movie was with the book a B-. There was many other bad and false things about Wolverine, such as the movie being a cheesy action flick, Deadpools decapitated head perfectly spiraling(while shooting beam out of his eyes) down a nuclear tower, Deadpool having Cyclops’s and John Wraith powers, and the shitty sword arms. Do I need to say more?

    2. Giving Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a B-, a movie that was nothing more then action scenes, special effects, and stereotyped black-gangsters robots. Why even give a movie that has major relativity with racism a B- when you can give it a F: for being insensitive as fuck?

    3. Giving Twilight: Eclipse a B+, I read the book and it was horrible, there’s no way the movie could embellish the story in any way. I won’t even explain why it’s bad, because there is no reason to.

    4. You quote for G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra that you “Went expecting to hate it, but loved it, not because it’s “fun” but because they kept the tone serious. When did having FUN at a movie become a BAD thing?” and give it a B+… I remember not having fun in the slightest with this film, in fact I remember everybody collectively booing this and leaving before it ended.

    Do you realize people read your criticism and rely on it to find out if they should watch this film or not. That’s what a critic is good for, in case you didn’t know.

  11. I’ll give you points for persistence. You had to post this 4 times before I just gave up. You just further prove my point about the intelligence level of fanboys….

    Oh wait, I understand now. You go through life knowing how dumb you are but every now and then a movie comes along that makes you feel like you are smarter than everyone else because you “get,” it and it makes you feel really good about yourself. You can walk around with your chest puffed out and the minute someone comes along that questions all of that your frail grip on reality starts to slip, or maybe it’s reality comes back and then you can’t face it. So then your life really starts to imitate the movie. Are you smart in your dreams and dumb in real life? Or are you dumb in your dreams and Smart in your Real life? Which is it? By your posts I would say the former.

    1. Ok, finally I did read the other comments. People do bash you, even personally at times. However you are supposed to be the professional. I get that you are a human being and some of those things would offend me as well, but honestly, if you would like to one day review films for something other than “Eclipse Magazine”, you need to stop calling people morons, or telling them that they “go through life knowing how dumb [they] are”. That’s just unprofessional. I don’t know if you get paid for this, and it’s none of my business, but if you do, cut out the personal attacks, because (and you’ll probably delete my comment for me saying this) they make you look like a hypocrite. You can’t tell people to stop the personal attacks and in the same comment call them an unintelligent fanboy.

  12. A billion people have bought McDonald’s hamburgers, doesn’t mean its good = Eclipse(dumb fangirls, oh wait wouldn’t that be you?) has done over $400 million in box office, Transformers(racism) franchise has earned almost 1 Billion dollars(not a good thing), same shitty people and you’re one of them. What a paradox this is, I never seen someone contradict themselves so hard, you’re literally outsmarting yourself. You’re also helping me. Oh wait, gasp!! You’re going to ban me? Apparently I’m getting to you, maybe it’s because I’m right. As you said I’m very persistent and yes I will just make another account with another E-mail(duh). Also I’m not trying to defend Inception, I’m just simply pointing out that you’re a fangirl and you have corrupt reviews.

  13. Ok,

    I was just linked to your full review from RT.com
    Two minutes ago, I registered on this website just so I could post this one post and ask a very honest question simply because I don’t know.

    How do you have a job doing this? Based on what I’ve read here on this site, I honestly have no idea why anybody would merit you their time and go so far as to waste their time again actually typing responses to your reviews. I’m pissed off at myself for taking the time to register, actually.
    I digress… I could go on and on about Inception, but I won’t. I will however touch on some points in your review. And, just for you, I’ve numbered them so you can follow them easily.

    1. You don’t “get it” – Then you have absolutely no business reviewing it. Period. Once you relay to your audience that you don’t understand the main plot of the movie and the devices it uses to advance said plot, you completely lose all credit as somebody capable of reviewing this movie.

    2. Call of Duty: MW? – Obviously, you have no idea how long Nolan has been working on perfecting this script to the fullest extend; once again, you have proved yourself completely devoid of any credibility.

    3. Twist? – There was no twist. The very end frame of the movie was not a twist at all, nor was it some kind of cliffhanger. This movie needed neither one of those. The fact that you said the word “twist” just furthers the point that you, the “reviewer”, went to see this film with a closed mind. You obviously thought this was just another crazy movie you can’t follow with some shocking ending.

    4. Not explaining why or how Leo’s character does what he does – We also have no idea why Edward Cullen sparkles. (B+? Really? That’s just laughable).

    And…I believe that’s match point.

  14. “Exactly, I’m an idiot and guilty for trying to have an intelligent debate with people who are completely incapable of it”

    “I mean really EVERYONE who doesn’t like what you like is an idiot”

    Remember this? I remember this, in fact it’s a paradox. Your third one in fact, you’re really on a role. I wouldn’t care so much that you gave Inception a bad review, it’s really the fact that you gave a bunch of bad movies a good review and gave a pretty good movie a really bad review. I’m not saying that you should give Inception a “A” or a “B”, I’m just saying why give Inception a D, but give Transformers 2 a B? Also “Show your stupidity, ignorance, hate, misogyny, etc. for the world to see. I no longer care.” Even if I was being unintelligent, my name on this page is dudeman(not my real name, unlike you) and who actually cares what I have to say, everybody else seems to busy arguing to you why you are an idiot.

  15. Michelle, I saw Inception yesterday and was impressed. So, I was curious to see what the negative ones on RT are about. I understand differences of taste, but cannot fathom the triviality of your comments. I know how the reviewing industry works and the plentiful vested interests that drive a review, so won’t get into questioning your intelligence. But really, the standard practice when you do not understand a movie you are reviewing (as you clearly acknowledge in your article, but slam the poster “Clark Barron” for pointing out the blindingly obvious) is to watch it again. You are doing a disservice to your readers by outlining the video game fantasies you concocted during your work hours (as a movie screening should be for a committed critic).

    It is also quite undignified of a critic to get into slanging matches with people who question your reviews. Some posters clearly have a point when they notice the inconsistent history of your ratings. You may choose to ignore comments you do not like, or dispute them factually, but calling them misogynistic or stupid does not paint the picture of an intellectually deep reviewer, does it?

    1. How many times do I have to say I UNDERSTOOD everything in this DUMB movie! It’s not as complex as you all try to make it out to be. I JUST DIDN’T CARE! This is my last post on this topic. For a so called critic – judging by your name, acting like it’s fair to judge other reviews to my review of Inception is ridiculous. People aren’t comparing reviews or movies, they are comparing GRADES or whether something is deemed fresh verses Inception. That is a dumb argument. If you don’t like my opinions that’s fine, but I’m not going to sit here and take a bunch of abuse and childish personal attacks. Go to another website if that’s all you want to do.

  16. Dear Michelle,
    I’d like to start by saying that I have not read the other reviews, because even though I’m sure there are some legitimate agreements and disagreements with you, I’m guessing that most of the comments personally bash on you for not liking the movie. You are obviously entitled to dislike the film and you did bring up some fair points. For example, I do agree that the first scene seemed very out of place, even though I think Nolan did a good job to tie it back in at the end of the film.
    I do disagree with you on some of your issues, however. You say that you find it hard to connect with a movie when it tries so hard to “fool” you, and I think that’s precisely what makes some films great. But I don’t think this film attempted to confuse the audience too much, though. The parts that were confusing were at the very beginning, which I already agreed is messy. The scene when Page has her first “shared dreaming” experience is the only other part of the movie that made me wonder what was going on. To me it’s obvious that Nolan did that to place the audience on the same level as her (neither she nor us know what’s going on). The only other time Nolan tries to fool us was at the very end. I respect that our opinion about not liking the twist, but if you didn’t like this twist, then I’m guessing you hated the endings of The Sixth Sense, The Shawshank Redemption, The Inside Man, Citizen Kane, and all other movies that finish with twists that depend on previous motifs.
    The last disagreement I have with you is that the “last 30 minutes was a complete mess”. In fact I marveled at the way Nolan managed to connect the levels of dreams while keeping the audience well informed. At no point did I lose track of where in the movie I was, but I will admit that the characters timing all of these kicks is nothing short of deux ex machina. However, lots of writers/directors do that. Tolkien did it in Return of the King and Jackson didn’t fix it. Frodo was allowed to be saved by magical eagles, so why can’t Nolan save his cast with magically timed kicks.
    I will commend you on being one of the few critics to point out some of the flaws of this film. It is being hailed as a masterpiece, and though I believe it’s a great movie, it is no masterpiece. Hope you read this and leave a comment,

    Ivan

  17. I actually went out of my way to register just to leave a comment here. I don’t care whether you delete the post either, as my intent is not public.

    You clearly gained nothing from the film. Judging by your lackluster review and immaturity of even DEBATING with the so-called-idiots you claim; I don’t find it the least surprising. Whether the film was to your tastes or not, a ‘D rating’ of what is considered a masterpiece by those who understand it (let’s not have a PMS fit here) should make you re-think your case. I don’t encourage you to see the movie again or pick up on “what you missed” because you just won’t.

    Everyone’s entitled to her own opinion, and I’d just like to share mine. You’re a moron.

  18. I said this earlier in the thread, since I can’t seem to lock this thread without deleting all the posts – don’t think I won’t if it continues to get out of hand. I will delete ALL future comments if they contain any kind of personal insult or any kind of criticism of past reviews (mean she gave X a higher grade). Period. I’m even taking my own advice and have deleted my own previous posts where I got down into the Gutter and will not respond to anymore posts because I’m incapable of not calling a spade a spade. But I see you all can dish it out, but get offended if I dish right back – the typical bully response. Just because I may be a critic doesn’t mean I’m not a human being and have to continue to put with all this BS.

    If you can’t argue that Inception is awesome without saying “Oh my god she gave Grown Ups, etc a higher Grade than Inception” (even though I trashed that movie as well and gave it a C-) then don’t bother to post. I’m sick to death of that old canard, I’m not comparing those movies to Inception so to act like I am is a false argument. At that point it’s obvious we don’t have the same taste, deal with it, move on.

    I don’t mind if you want to rip apart my review or even talk about my lack of grammar skills – it’s an easy charge – we don’t have editors at EM, if you think you are so scary good drop me a line a volunteer to become the EM Grammar police. I don’t even mind if you want to point out how silly my comparison of Inception to Shutter Island is (a movie I ACTUALLY “compared” Inception to) – which is the one time when you can actually say “Oh my god she gave Shutter Island a better review than Inception” (which I didn’t).. But I don’t know how clearer I can be, I UNDERSTOOD everything in this movie, I said in the review they explained everything over and over. So don’t act like this movie is so scary complex.

    But I do mind the personal attacks. So tone it down or your posts will get deleted. I’m trying to run a fun site that welcomes all opinions and views without people (namely me) getting personally trashed If that’s what you want to do take it somewhere else. Don’t be offended because I won’t let you act like an idiot on my site.

  19. Accept this virtual hug, Michelle, on behalf of all the level-headed. *Hug*

    I loved this movie, but no big deal that you didn’t. Now, if you hadn’t loved “Kick-Ass,” then I’d have some bad things to say. Some really bad things. ; )

  20. Michelle,

    I typically stay out of fights or respond to what a reviewer has said about a movie, unless I feel really strongly about something or I notice that he or she has missed something that might either make the movie more enjoyable or make them look at it in a different way.

    This is not one of those cases, however. I read your review and I was, like, okay, no big deal. Unlike others, I don’t think you didn’t like the movie just so you could write the title as “Inception, Michelle not Impressed,” because quite frankly, I don’t think that’s clever or catchy. It’s an attempt to be one of those things, but I’m not sure which … it doesn’t really roll off the tongue, nor is it a play on words, utilizing the word “inception” as the catalyst for a jab at the film or a bad pun. So I have no idea why people are attacking the title of this article, because it doesn’t truly mean anything.

    But before I get to the nitty gritty of why I’m even writing this, I will give my opinion on your review, since I’m already taking the time to post. To start with, I don’t think the movie was trying to fool me or keep me guessing. In fact, it was pretty straightforward. It even set up the rules quite nicely so that we could follow them. At no point, until possibly the last shot, is anything questioned too much. I was just along for the ride. And I don’t think you absolutely HAVE to commit to anything … Memento sure didn’t … either does The Usual Suspects … and if you want to get down to it, even High Plains Drifter doesn’t. There’s nothing wrong with that … it doesn’t always work, but I don’t think that was the real intent here … until maybe the very end, as I said. I will also say that I have no idea how you could say that the last 30 minutes are a complete mess … the idea that Nolan was able to have three or four realities going at once is pretty damn impressive. Obviously, you have no idea how hard this would be. I’ve written things taking place in two realities and that’s difficult enough … and the structure has to be pretty spot on to work out and not confuse people. And a blatant rip off of Call of Duty? That’s rather silly … why don’t you just say that it’s a rip off of GTA while you’re at it? You know … guys chasing you down, multiple types of weapons, vehicles crashing into each other, etc. Did you say that because it took place in the snow and had guns and stuff? Ever seen James Bond or the beginning of True Lies? Ugh … I really hate the word “rip off” when it’s used to describe a source material that is reminiscent of previous incarnations, but whatever. I might go so far as to say that you invoked Call of Duty to show your readers how hip you are … “A girl who likes Call of Duty? Wow…” I hope that’s not the case, though.

    Anyway … the real reason I am posting is not because of your review, but for the insulting, belittling, childish way that you have chosen to respond to your readers.

    You attack them for comparing how you judged other movies, and you treat this like a huge, unorthodox action. You do realize that Rotten Tomatoes, where I found this review, specifically allows you to see all the reviews by a certain reviewer, right? Everyone does this. It’s a natural thing. When you bash a movie they love, they want to see what else you like … and if you give a terrible insult to movies (or women in general) like New Moon or a horrific movie like Transformers a higher rating, of course they’re going to respond. They want to know if your reviews are consistent. I’ve seen posters check past reviews in that way and then post much more calmly, because they realize that the reviewer simply didn’t like THIS movie for whatever reason, but that the typically like quality movies.

    What really bothered me, though, was your venom spewing hatred of fanboys. First of all, everyone is a fanboy about SOMETHING. So when you attack fanboys, you’re attacking everyone. And not only that, but you’re attacking the very people who make your job possible in the first place. Plus, surely you know that a lot of posters are teens, right? So here you are, who I’m guessing is a grown woman, spewing hatred against fifteen year old boys. And you called them IDIOTS? Really? Is that how you always regard your readers?

    And the fact that you call them idiots and then say the movie “isn’t as complex as you all try to make it out to be” when you didn’t even understand that the ending was definitely ambiguous … well, that sure speaks volumes to me.

    But it didn’t stop at hatred. Oh no … you threatened to delete the entire series of postings if it didn’t stop, or at least the “vile” e-mails as if you were a mom chastising your kids. “Don’t think I won’t, (LITTLE BOY)!!!!!” LMAO. Because they attacked your grammar and/or intelligence? Did you just start reviewing movies yesterday? That’s just how it goes. Roger Ebert gets attacked constantly, but you don’t see him arguing with posters on his website. You end up saying that it was childish, but it’s much more than that. It’s downright unprofessional. And then you go on by saying that the posters should act like adults. Kettle black, much?

    I loved your response when you said, “I honestly don’t follow movies closely enough to know if there’s hype or not.” Then, um … what the heck are you doing reviewing movies? That is most ridiculous comment I’ve seen in quite some time. That would be like ESPN hiring a guy to review football games who has never seen a game or even knows what a football looks like. That is utter madness. I don’t even watch television EVER … and even I knew there was hype around this movie. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t realize there was hype around the movie … just the fact that you admittedly don’t keep up with movies is preposterous. This alone is the one piece of true ammo that should be used against you as proof that your reviews shouldn’t be taken seriously. Because if you don’t follow movies, then you really have no business reviewing them … at least not for Eclipse. Maybe for Facebook or on a personal blog, but not professionally.

    I have a movie listed on IMDB that several people have bashed and insulted … things like “the director should never be allowed to work again” and “the script was terrible.” Do you think I’ve responded? Of course not. That kind of stuff is silly. In every type of writing, which includes movie reviews, you are opening yourself up to EVERY person out there. If you can’t take the heat or the childish comments, then just stop reviewing.

    I mean, come on. Saying things like “further prove my point about the intelligence level of fanboys…” and “you go through life knowing how dumb you are…” This is how you want to respond to readers (after you told them you would no longer respond, btw). Those readers shouldn’t be posting on the site … they should be flooding the editors of Eclipse magazine and complaining about your attitude and insults.

    1. When I get 100 emails from people calling me a dumb fucking bitch, or there’s a bunch of posts on RT where idiots start ragging on me for daring to be a woman reviewing “man” films, then yeah, you aren’t going to get an intelligent response back or ANY respect from me and I will call you what you deserve. You people can certainly dish it out, but you sure can’t take it. Act like a grown up and you’ll get a grown up response. I was big enough to apologize and delete the posts where I went over the top and descended to fanboy level. Accept the apology and move on.

      You go to large sites like Huffingtonpost you have to adhear to standards of conduct or the moderators will delete your posts. It’s MY site, I’m not obligated to keep dumb insulting posts or any posts on my boards, it’s not some right you readers have to come on my site and call me names or let you ridicule and belittle me or make it an uncomfortable place to be for people who do want to have a good dialogue. If you don’t like that policy then leave, I don’t care. I thought your harangue was well written so I hope you stick around. If I’m approached with an intelligent well thought out critique then I try and respond in kind.

      Also no, I don’t follow every little twist and turn in a film’s production cycle and I try to avoid most hype regarding movies. I try and go in as cold and with as little expectation or information as possible (other than my standard bias).

  21. Pingback: Inception
  22. All you fanboys and childish posters giving Michelle grief should apologize to her. Michelle obviously works for free. Telling mean visitors to get off her internet lawn shows that she and her editor-less magazine do not need the revenue that internet traffic brings, which makes this magazine a charity and Michelle a volunteer. Are you people always so critical of charities and volunteers? Please take your grief to real critics who are paid to write. The pros have thick skins and are familiar with email filters.

  23. Among all your yelling down people who insist that you have not understood the movie, please take my advice and watch it again. For example, it might reduce your lack of imagination about the motives of Cobb’s team members. Hint: they might not be real, they may be figments of his imagination. You clearly haven’t even understood Saito’s motives. Hint: if Cobb is living a dream world populated by dream characters, the real “inception” is Saito subtly planting into Cobb’s head the idea that he will die a lonely old man.

    The motif of the spinning top is precisely to force the viewer to think along the two lines of whether Cobb’s world is populated by dreams or realities. It is not a cheap twist ending, it beautifully summarizes the movie’s theme of an indistinct separation of reality and imagination. If the top does keep spinning, it opens the possibility that the wife and children that Cobb strives for are mere ideas.

    I repeat, Inception is a movie for smart people, it works on several levels, is ripe with possibilities and forces the viewer to think. You clearly went in expecting a mindless summer thriller, but came across an intelligent movie and were unable or unwilling to appreciate it.

    1. Oh please, get off your high horse stop being so damn insulting and condescending. How many times do I have to tell you people, I understood the movie???? It’s NOT that complicated. This movie is three weeks old, get over yourself and let it go.

  24. Michelle- I am in complete agreement with you. Thanks for having the guts to criticize such a widely-hailed movie. I went into this film with very high hopes & was really expecting to be impressed. I was bored as hell within 30 minutes. It’s way too convoluted & overly-ambitious; it’s utterly joyless & I didn’t find it to be enjoyable on any level. Yeah, it does have good effects & the actors are pretty good but the trippy far-fetched plot is just ridiculously implausible & I just couldn’t get into it. It was just a complete waste of 2 1/2 hours of my life.

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