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BMZ Review: Inception: The IMAX Experience
By Ann Coates


Inception: The IMAX Experience
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: August 10, 2010


Category: Reviews

The mental mystifying film, Inception, comes from the creative mind of Christopher Nolan, a director known to mess with people's perceptions.  His backwards storytelling in Memento twisted completely my views on movies and what they're capable of.  And with Inception, although not as brain-contorting as Memento, still generates a goodly amount of satisfying bewilderment.  The story itself is not really all that confusing, it only appears so.  It presents itself as a maze that the audience must navigate.  The path is there if you know where to look.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Cobb, a thief who can extract secrets from people through their dreams.  His backstory drives the film --  a dead wife and estranged children, he must find a way back to what's left of his family.  A wealthy businessman, Saito (Ken Watanabe), offers a way back for a price -- implant a thought in corporate head Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) and Cobb can return home.  Unable to resist, Cobb assembles a team of infiltrators and the process of inception begins.

Wonderfully acted with a capable supporting cast, the team of thieves are all equally compelling as Cobb although not as fleshed out.  We come to perceive the film through both Cobb's eyes and new recruit Ariadne (Ellen Page).  We along with Ariadne are taught the art of inception, entering other people's dreams, how to take (or in this case implant) information, and perhaps most importantly how to get out of the dream.  Hired on as the architect, Ariadne creates the maze of the dream, a labyrinth of projections and the sub-conscious.  Each team member has a specific duty, but the characters never feel like merely plot tools, but people with their own motives though those are never overtly said.

The main story itself is really secondary to its details; the plot only serves to provide you with a story foundation, one that could easily collapse if not told correctly.  Thankfully, Nolan is a master storyteller, and it is in the particulars of the story that make it so captivating.  Inception takes place mostly in the dream state, and as such the film plays out like a dream.  It is perhaps the best film to capture the tone and feeling of dreams -- the feeling of endless time, the conflation of reality and illusion, memories and fiction.  It is no surprise then that the film can feel somewhat muddled and heavy under its own weight.  But it's this same layered and intricate storytelling that generates its genius.  The film offers up multiple perspectives, and ultimately multiple possibilities of what could be real.  Inception toys with its audience and our definition(s) of "reality."

Viewing the film in IMAX is unfortunately rather unnecessary even though there are very visually appropriate moments fit for the format -- the Paris sequence where Ariadne tests out the parameters of her self-created maze, or our initiation into the limbo dream state with its impossible collapsing buildings just to name two.  Inception forces its audience to interpret and sort out the movie, rather than feel the movie which the IMAX format is better suited for.  This film about dreams and the mind really produces a symbiotic relationship with the viewer, begging interpretation and raising questions that are answerable in infinite ways.  It is not a film to sit brain-dead while you soak up the images; although I guess you could do that if you really wanted to.

Expertly executed by the director and cast, Inception possesses an originality so often bereft in contemporary films.  On a purely visceral level, the last 40 minutes of the film contained such incredible tension -- from the moment the nearly-impossible heist begins to its engrossing final act -- the film produced an anxiety I haven't felt from a film in a very long time.  But Inception is infinitely more satisfying on an intellectual level with its layered complexity that will leave you wanting to sort it out long after the credits roll.

Movie Reviews by Ann Coates

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters
A Beautiful Planet
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
National Parks Adventure
Wild Africa
Living in the Age of Airplanes
Journey to Space
Humpback Whales 3D
Robots 3D
Antarctica: On The Edge
The Great Apes 3D
Dark Universe
Tiny Giants 3D
Antarctica's Penguin Emperors 3D
Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D
Penguins 3D
Space Junk 3D
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Flying Monsters 3D
Rescue (3D)
Cosmic Journey: Through Hubble and Cassini
Born to Be Wild
My Dream 3D
The Little Prince
Tornado Alley
Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
Magic Journey to Africa (3D)
Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
Legends of Flight 3D
Inception: The IMAX Experience
Arabia 3D
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Molecules to the MAX!
Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Under the Sea 3D
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (3D)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Hurricane on the Bayou
Ride Around the World
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Deep Sea (3D/2D)
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds
Mystic India
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

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