Posted on 7/24/10 11:28 AM
Ever since the economy rumbled up and down and down and up, Hollywood stood still. Ever since Wall Street gained fresh customers and new greenbacks, Hollywood stood still. Ever since the recession erupted from Palin's screech to BP, Hollywood stood still. Long story short: these years, despite the mega movies back in the day (aah, 2008... 2 years ago?!), cinemas were exploding Benjamin Franklin's all over a rat's ass. Blue things swinging over vines and Megan Foxes with a lot of loud racist robots, hot weather and cold Margaritas were a time for car chases, boffo dudes and Survivor reruns. Still, they never did make action pecks like they did, did they?
Sorry, 2010 cruise. But replacement of the zero in the hundredths place, was a big jinx. Avatar was the sheer sign of holy-moly movie moments - a 3D firstie (pretty sure the last) that slaughtered Titanic's arrogant behemoth. A close second caterer was The Dark Knight's $500+ million order. You don't always have to make the Top 10 list to be a locomotive, though. Iron Man, back in '08, was the man cave for more man character, less clanky toy-ish matter. (I.e., protesters who hate Michael Bay's damaging oil spill.) Speaking of some sad, sad manner, you remember this year's Iron Man 2? No? Should've known that the most anticipated May knocker was a DOA treat. Just explains why an era is losing its grip and how directors are dipping their toes into a contaminated shoreline.
Yup, wasn't that a slap-me shocker? Turns out that the hugest production gambles of the summer weren't too risque enough to actually attract a hoard of moviegoers. So it goes that the supposedly no-no was The Karate Kid; wasn't that the movie your neighbor watched with all of their kids?! Prince of Persia should be the last excuse to hit a video game target - you don't whipsaw CGI and a Mac'd CGI visuals like a ham and cheese sandwhich. It's pure Bologna. In other words, summer this year pulled up a red flag of hellish harbingers with one - only one - Angelina Jolie boxing bag releasing and, thank goodness, a single halo for Toy Story 3. But the light ain't so much shining no more. If our last chance (this is the very the last "Save Me" red button) turns out to be a bull's eye for the start of bequeathed blockbusters, the British will be coming .Turns out, soon-to-be-mogul Christopher Nolan's our own English Fabio touchdown.
Hey may not be bigger than Jesus. But you can take down that halo from TS3 and throne it on Nolan's head. TDK laminated that cachet, in which six pack action hunks don't always have to be a PG-13 "aww" flick. Chris is an inspiration who tattoos entertainment as not just buttered popcorn, but a cold, refreshing drink with tang. While he's still learning, he's directed seven holy movies, a standard for a hard working 50 year old man. He's about 30. His films add up to a single digit that's too hard to hold a No.2 pencil. In the late '90's, Following, a streak B&W drama raced up a not-so-titter document about stalkers and creeps. Insomnia was the plank that took the chance to dive deep down: tons of perplexing pieces that were all mumbo-jumbo'd together. Memento flipped another step with Guy Pearce's arm written all over with ink. What a sense of GPS instinct Chris has. A guy that either wants us to trap the characters, or the characters who want to trap us.
Lay back, Chris. In the tradition of bamming up boring stuff, he enters the merry-go-round full of dismal in distresses, muscular guys and un-p.c. blow em' up. But it still suitcases that outsted OMG moment other May-Jul flicks don't trigger. Batman Begins was an experiment that resulted $300 million of more projects and more Bale. The Prestige was all about two cool Hollywood heartthrobs versing each other behind front lines. We all knew about a little thing called TDK. Encroaching that big budget territory again, Chris likes to mash up provoking ideas with hotter paychecks. He's gone through a pillar of comic books, rich guys who kick butt late at night and a couple of sci-fi send ups. Sure none of his flicks are gonna beat TDK's superstar cliffhanger, but there's still chance Chris can regain his cultural phenomenon, an extra pill Spielberg needs to gulp down.
Let's keep this simple. Inception, Chris' latest attempt to tackle the boom to go even more a-boom, is one hell of a mind-fuck. What the heck does "the architecture of the mind, blah, blah, blah" even mean? Or the dreamy stuff and then you sleep and then you plant an idea and then... huh?! Trust Chris. The story's actually not much of a flabbergasted hooligan, an anxious feeling you get after you smoke marijuana. If all possible, this is Inception in a cracking, runaway nutshell: a dream thief attempts to implant an idea in a hotshot businessman to dissimulate the empire's ruling duty...Yes there's more. But take caution, audiences. If you're looking for a rapid, all action Heath Ledger rehearsal, a stress attack might swerve into wretch, to the nth power. Think of this one like some brooding, croaking sudoku: long, difficult and brain draining.
To cheat like malingerer, you gotta fold a secret paper airplane, cut out bobble heads with scissors, make sure you don't merely follow didactic sentences and take off. Usually, summer flicks act like PowerPoint presentations without the info, cups that contain Diet Coke or sugarcoated lemonade. For this one, everything's in between a horizontal wet willy thinker, no certain answers provided. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio - a guy who has a little baby's face, but tries his hardest to perform like an agonized Rourke lad) steals things. Things like uber confidential info. From dreams. His job is easy to follow: storm into money makin' Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) so Saito (Ken Wantanabe) has his own kingdom all over Fischer's skin and bone face. The sommersaulting posse leads another Extractor, Arthur (Joeseph Gordon Levitt, a Ledger look-alike), an Architect, Ariadne (Ellen Page! Juno!) and a Forger (Tom Hardy.) The main dish is thick steak, raw and bloody. Cobb needs the tycoon to be dead alive so he can revisit your average "broken" family. Save the flowers. This flick's over-the-haul with emotion. The main dish is thick steak, raw and bloody.
Here's a problem. With every dream or dream-within-a-dream or dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream, a banshee pops up. Mal (Marion Collitard, a wiser Jolie with giant round eyeballs) is Cobb's torture, the one love he tries to resist. Out of all suspects, Cobb is suspected for killing his engraved girl. We're not so sure if Mal's here for vengeance or trying to press a wake up call that Cobb is a drugged dreamer. (After all, her name is in Latin for evil.) All she has on her mind is that sappy "Come with me, Come with me" plead. Oh, please. Weird thing is, we actually believe 3/4 of it. It's touchy, mushy and sometimes a bit of a phony, but hey, we're there for that deceased bombshell. Yet Shutter Island, an early vandalizing memory, floods back. Leo is blamed for bulldozing his wife's temple. Leo is mad. Leo's girl is all sketch. Mad men, expensive grave dresses, emo suicide, frowny faces, etc.
Sometimes same is good. Old Leo turns out to always grab the role for the moody guy with a checkered past. For others, like charming Joseph and shrewed Ellen, their career line graphes are just bumping all the way to the top. Arthur not only is the fittest but the coolest coif out of the bunch. Leo is here for the all too hunky dory lovey crap. Some of it's tearful, some of it's dung. But Arthur likes to keep things x + y mode. If he doesn't like your attitude, he'll beat you up. If he doesn't know you, he'll beat you up. Now this is no Matrix formula. You won't see any of the gang's guys and one gal with leather jackets, rectangular sunglasses or sun dried hairdos. They do it professionally. Really. In a zero-G fist to fist scene, Arthur flies high as hotel hallways turn sideways, and a kick is a whole lot of dizzy work. Other dreamer, Ellen's stuck in a woman's body with a man's gut. She literally folds Paris in half like a big fat 0. She also dodges all subconscience bullets, passes all exams. Guess the baby fat is gone.
So what if the belly buttons are pushing too hard. Here's a mainstream flick that's all too prettiful to not look away from the screen, ignoring a cartoonish Cameron castle. Somehow, the dream world Cobb and co. strikes up, reeks such impact that silly Earth isn't all that grotty. Inception acts like a living room with booby trapped carpets, stealthy couches, heist mirrors and Plan A or Plan B? tile pattern. Spoon-feeding is scarce around here; thinking takes twice the amount of brain power than figuring out a Chem equation. Chris makes perfect sense since it is about time to use our brain after we've watched a ton of Jay Leno and ate chips, smoked ham at the beach. This is a 3D mind riddle without (thank the Lord!) 3D effects. There you go, Cameron. A film without corny lines (OK, death and romance here doesn't count) and no extra dimension needed for the sick brouhahas, willy nilly. In substitution with the "save the whales" message, Chris shines a Buddha philosophy Confucius would turn sideways.
If that doesn't make any sense, Chris minus well give us slick hints. Dipping into reality's deep end, chlorine fills way up to the top, and ripples sting the thieves' eyes. Ariadne might be an A+ college gal. But her skeptic fizzes up on par with ours': "Wait. Whose sumbconscience are we in, anyway?" Join the club! And we thought we were alone on believing that the "go dream and we'll steal" is part of some wacky conspiracy or some dumb Facebook hack. Instead, it's quite a showy trip. Cobb's crew travel to the UK, France, Morocco, Canada, Tokyo, London, California, England, and where else has the plane not entered.
Whew. It sure does show that piecing Chris' multi-packaged screenplay took quite a while. 10 years to be exact. And we thought understanding the story would take long enough for Chris to file a divorce. Like no other summer insane lane, you can't just float your boat by just sucking your thumb for 2 1/2 hours and mock like a douche, that you've understood every single damn thing Chris filmed. Seeing it twice in theaters might cost more, but at least you can stomp into a gold mine full of origami tips. One could say that at the end of the maze, Chris decided that sometimes it's better to blindfold your way through inside a locked plan. A day at Europe, Paris, Canada gone smashing within the membranes of a snoozy sloth. If you're looking for a plain ol' Schmoe movie and not a ticking Big Brother bomb, go look at Tom Cruise. Other wise, Chris warns that you might puke at the ride's last loop, cut black. Feel free to read Wikipedia.