Saturday, August 07, 2010

incredibly thorough, devastating takedown of Inception

It's called Seventeen Ways of Criticizing Inception, and it's even better than the one I linked to before.

Some highlights:

  • Cobb’s relationship with Mal doesn’t work, and not just because it’s impossible to believe that the man-child Leonardo would ever end up with Marion Cotillard. No, it doesn’t work because Nolan, like so many little-boy directors preoccupied with automatic rifles and explosions, has nothing believable to say about adult relationships. (The deepest romantic sentiment comes when Cobb asks Mal to marry him: he tells her he has a dream (!) that they will “grow old together.” Cue Spielberg-esque footage of a cute old couple shuffling along hand in hand.) (We even get a close-up of their old—but not too elderly and withered and liver-spotted—hands!)

  • This (besides all the dialogue) is the actual content of Inception. The folks who love this movie, who think it’s an instant classic, one of the all-time greats (right up there with Shawshank and The Usual Suspects!)—this is what they think great filmmaking is: scenes of casual slaughter. (What’s the body count in Inception? How many shots of death by bullet did Nolan have to plan and then execute in making this film? …Quite a lot.)

    What so many folks really like about Inception, I’d argue—the reason why it’s currently #3 of all time at the IMDB, and has grossed $200+ million—is that this summer’s big dumb blockbuster has a whiff of intellectualism about it, so no one need feel any shame for liking all the ‘splosions

  • It saddens me to hear that it took Nolan ten years to write Inception, because, honestly, it’s just so terribly written. Some sample dialogue:

  • They come here to be woken up. The dream has become their reality. Who are you to say otherwise?

  • She had locked something away, something deep inside her. The truth that she’d always known but chose to forget. Limbo became her reality.

  • Do you think you can build a prison of memories to lock her in?

  • We wanted to live in a house, but we loved this type of building. In the real world we’d have to choose, but not here.

  • I am so glad that I agree with such smart people about how stooooopid this movie was.

    This is pretty cool though:

    flotsam and jetsam

  • Everyday life never looked like this -- or did it?

  • Whatever this kid does in her life, it's going to be worth watching.

  • Chekhov, Joyce, et al: The words they went out on.

  • Speaking truth to literary pretense.

  • Loving Borges.

  • Winter -- yeah, right, I remember that. Which is the way I like it.

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