Saturday, July 17, 2010

Inception (prelude to review)

I’ve just got back from a screening of Christopher Nolan’s mind-warping, genre-bending balls-to-the-wall sci-fi action thriller ‘Inception’ – which, on a first viewing, I have to say fully justifies every bit of hype – and I’m tempted to hammer out a quick review and post it in enough time to qualify for my fourth contribution to Bryce Wilson’s Christopher Nolan blog-a-thon which concludes today at Things That Don’t Suck.

Then I read a couple of reviews – by Jake at Not Just Movies and Tim at Antagony & Ecstasy – which really raised the bar. It seems like everyone in the blogosphere is throwing in their tuppence-ha’penny worth on ‘Inception’ – it’s generating as much fervid and fervent response as Nolan’s previous film, ‘The Dark Knight’, did – but Jake and Tim have gone above and beyond, producing the kind of intelligent and sophisticated yet unpretentious film writing that reminds me why I started my own blog.

Accordingly, and with just as must respect accorded to Christopher Nolan himself, I feel need to take a few days to think my way through ‘Inception’ as fully and deeply as possible. It’s a hell of a film and it deserves the most comprehensive review I can give it. So I’m going to post a couple of Shots on the Blog reviews over the next week, then turn my attention to ‘Inception’.

Right now, the most authoritative thing I can say about it – and even this is a clutching-at-straws approach to a summary – is that it comes across like a conflation of ‘The Matrix’ (with real cerebral concerns instead of pseudo-intellectualism), ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ (with someone’s mind instead of a vault) and ‘Where Eagles Dare’ (snow, fortress, shoot-outs, explosions) filtered through William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’ and rewritten by Iain M. Banks.

And even that’s simplifying it!

11 comments:

Simon said...

I admire that. I just got home from the theatre and puked out all my pent-up nerd psycho-agression. Don't be like me, man...

婷珊 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。..................................................

Bryce Wilson said...

No worries Neil you did more then enough.

Thanks for the plug and all the great pieces.

The Film Connoisseur said...

I tried reading Neuromancer two times, failed both times. Its so complex! But comparing Inception to it brings a good vibe, Neuromance might be a difficult book to get through (because of its techno jargon and its style of writing) but theres no doubt it is a seminal book within the cyber punk movement.

Looking forward to your take on it!

Neil Fulwood said...

Simon - I think puking a barrage of words is what I'd have ended up doing if I'd tried to blog about 'Inception' straightaway. My only concern about waiting a week or so is that everything that needs to be said about the film will already have been said by the myriad of bloggers out there. But if that's the case, hey, what's a little repetition among friends?

婷珊 - dunno if you're the guy whose links to porn and chat sites I've been systematically deleting from my comments over the last couple of weeks, but can I put in a polite request, from one mature and reasonable individual to another: please stop doing this. The Agitation of the Mind is a blog about the love of movies, not the lust for buxom models in schoolgirl uniforms, and if I occasionally feature cheesecake shots here it's purely to appreciate the actress in question and not because I'm anticipating a slew of readers looking for onanistic material. In short, 婷珊 old chap, you're wasting your time.

Bryce - glad I was able to contribute what I did. My thanks to you for hosting a highly successful blogathon and marking the release of 'Inception' in fine style.

Francisco - I read 'Neuromancer' earlier this year as part of a sci-fi writing course I attended (my wife booked it for me as an early birthday present). I kind of rush read it because I only had a limited amount of time between classes, but I got the impression that Gibson was dressing up a fairly simple narrative (like 'Inception', 'Neuromancer' is basically a very very hi-tech heist story) in an incredibly complex amount of technical detail. You're right to call attention to the jargon: in some places, it's as if the book has a language of its own (like 'A Clockwork Orange').

Jake said...

Hey thanks for the plug, Neil, but I wouldn't let a clueless young pup like me put you off reviewing it. I've actually started a side review after thinking of more things to talk about concerning the film and Nolan as a whole, particularly in the wake of rewatching The Prestige, which I must say lives up to the love bestowed upon it by you, Bryce, Allan Fish over at Wonders at the Dark and others. A review of that is forthcoming and prompted some of the divergences I'm going to reroute into a later, more spoilery review of Inception.

Tim said...

You give me too much credit, sir.

Anyway, the joy of blogging is that you get to write the word-puking now, AND you can write a proper, sober analysis later. And with this kind of tease, I'm rather anxious to know what your first thoughts look like. If nothing else, I'd love to know where you fall in the rather large gap in between Jake's response and mine.

Sadako said...

Can't wait to see your full review of it. Just found your site and am liking it a lot.

I've also liked what I've seen of Christopher Nolan in the past so I have been pysched for this!

Neil Fulwood said...

Jake - looking forward to reading your thoughts on 'The Prestige'.

Tim - having had a couple of days to organise my thoughts on 'Inception', I think I might find myself at least partially filling that gap with unalloyed enthusiasm (though I've got to say, I completely agree with your comment re: Ellen Page's character being called Ariadne; when Cobb tests her by having her design a maze, it was all I could do not to pelt the screen with the guy beside me's popcorn).

Sadako - thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad you're enjoying the blog.

彥安 said...

單純喜歡你的部落格 留個言跟您問聲好~~..................................................................

Neil Fulwood said...

彥安 – same as I said to 婷珊: none of your dodgy links on this site, please.