An astonishment, an engineering feat, and, finally, a folly.
Inception is one of those movies that "engaged" film-goers will mistake for genius. Let me explain my theory on people and movies. There are three types of movie-watchers: passive, engaged, and intelligently engaged. Passive people will watch Die Another Day and like it just as much as the Bourne Identity. They don't go to the movies to think, they go to be entertained by cool effects and witty one-liners. Engaged people think they know what they're talking about, and generally love movies that are edgy in plot and execution but conventional enough to understand, like Fight Club and the subject of this review. They believe themselves to be refined in cinema, but ,in reality, just don't quite have the intellect, cinematically speaking, to pull it off. Intelligently engaged people will appreciate the complexity of Inception, but also recognize it's a little sloppy, self-serious, over drawn, and empty. They recognize its audacity, but don't pretend like it is Kubrick or Paul Thomas Anderson. Suffice it to say, most people who fall into the engaged category will try and pretend that Inception is a 'masterpiece' and that they know everything about movies. They don't. Inception is clever, but it doesn't rank anything above respectable.
Jul 21 - 01:12 PM
and how do you figure, Mr. Richard W., that you won't come across as a douche by stating all that?i suppose you think you're the "elite filmwatcher of the USA" what utter dog****
Jul 21 - 11:43 PM
Actually, that is one of the best things I've read about people who go to movies. I agree with him on this, this movie makes dumb people feel smart. But I still don't think this movie was bad, it's just not a masterpiece.
Aug 3 - 10:13 PM
And Richard W. is one of those people who thinks he knows what he is talking about, and spins theories about other people, but who doesn't have the intellect to pull it off. Even people with only a modicum of intelligence will see his comment as sloppy, self-serious, and, ultimately, empty.
Aug 8 - 01:03 PM
Brilliant. It is an incredible way to make a lot of money, present something that looks sophisticated, but really does not make any sense, to the masses, and give them the feeling that they are intelligent and ABOVE everyone else who does not like this movie. That way, the dumb herd feels superior, while the really smart and intelligent people...do not really care.
Nov 15 - 06:17 AM
This just shows he has the attention span of a fly and can't keep up with a great story.
Jul 21 - 03:14 PM
Ole Mattis Opperud
The worst part about this review is that I can't for the life of me understand why the things he listed as negative are in fact negative... My question is "what is wrong with this film?" And he can't answer it.
I for one have to say that I feel a whole lot smarter than these "cream of the crop"-critcs who criticize the movie's supposedly lack of cohesiveness. I had no trouble understandig what was going on, and I'll glady explain it to them.
Jul 22 - 12:33 AM
hahahahahahahahaha!well, that is just adorable.you...you just keep on trucking little guy. maybe go review some disney movies.but right now it's time for the grown ups to talk.
Jul 22 - 05:17 AM
This is a perfect review of the movie. With actors and a director like this, the bar is higher to create a movie that doesn't have so many Bond-lite, Bay-lite action sequences. Were these guys superhuman or what? (At least THE MATRIX explains their super-humanness). The film collapsed under the weight of its complexity, leaving very little humanity to support it, except the trite sort. The Twilight Zone fan in me loved certain ideas and sequences, but Denby is 100% correct in that in working so hard to astonish us, it loses what really moves us. Don't let your appreciation of special effects trump your ability to be moved by human ones. This film was fun to watch (except for the monotonous gun-shooting scenes) but leaves me wanting something more real and less like a dream.
Jul 22 - 08:22 AM
Man, you are f***ing clueless. I'm sure you'll give Salt 10 stars.
Jul 22 - 10:07 AM
im glad so many people enjoyed the flick, but i think its very fair to criticize it. theres a good deal of imagination at work onscreen but many of the elements that make for great movies are somewhat lacking here, things such as character development, a resonating subtext, and a plot that has at least some pinning in logic even while it creates its own reality. i would say a comparable movie like the matrix did a much better job with all that
Jul 22 - 01:19 PM
Jul 22 - 01:23 PM
Sorry Dave. I appreciate your writing (particularly enjoyed reading Snark), but I couldn't disagree with you more on this. I have to wonder if you went and saw Eclipse by accident or something.
Jul 22 - 02:21 PM
Your pretentious prattling off of hackneyed movie references and quotes does not make you any more intelligent than any other movie critic hack. In addition, it doesn't make your ridiculous issues with the most minute of elements in the movie more valid, or your clear inability to understand the greater elements of the movie less embarrassing for you and the New Yorker. Say hello to Gene Shalit for me.
Jul 22 - 02:22 PM
Jul 22 - 02:23 PM
Jul 22 - 02:24 PM
Jul 22 - 02:25 PM
im glad so many people enjoyed the flick, but i think its very fair to criticize it. theres a good deal of imagination at work onscreen but many of the elements that make for great movies are somewhat lacking here, things such as character development, a resonating subtext, and a plot that has at least some pinning in logic even while it creates its own reality. for me those are important and i would say a comparable movie like the matrix did a much, much better job with all that
Jul 22 - 02:37 PM
Watching this film is a test as to whether you are open minded and can allow yourself to enjoy some of the most brilliant film-making of our lifetime, or are a miserable asshole that is begging to be disappointed so you'll have something to bitch about. David Denby, as well as most of the other writers for the New Yorker, are the latter.
Jul 22 - 07:59 PM
This is a very poor review of the film. I guess it should come as no surprise given this critic's review of the movie Crash:"Hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive. I think it's easily the strongest American film since Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," though it is not for the fainthearted."If a movie like Crash takes his breath away with it's intelligence [pause for laughter] then he clearly does not have the aptitude necessary to appreciate a film like Inception.
Jul 23 - 10:29 AM
I really don't get why people get so offended when film critics disagree with their opinions. On one hand you guys dismiss them as morons and pretentious asses, but then why do you take the time to not only read their reviews, but then get so angry about them disagreeing with you that you need to write a post on RT about it? It shows that you DO care about their opinions. But for some reason, if they don't agree with yours it incites feelings of anger. It's just an opinion, everyone is allowed to have one. Is it because the critics reach a wide audience and have the power to hurt box office? Well, so what? Your precious Inception will make $200 mil instead of $300? What do you care?
Jul 23 - 10:47 AM
I'm not offended. I just think it's sad (and funny) that he is blown away by a film like Crash which was written for an audience with a sub 75 IQ and then, like you, for some reason takes offense because Nolan's vision of a dream sequence is not in line with his own. He should have checked his ego at the door before he started a review that was little more than just name dropping terms/artist/films from a Film Studies 101 class.
Jul 23 - 11:21 AM