In Films by Brock Bourgase

Inception is the rare film which is critically acclaimed, visually stunning, and a box-office success. Reviews advertised that the plot would be complicated but anyone who possesses the ability to note details and a short-term memory of at least two hours should be perfectly fine. Unfortunately, cinema-goers who screened Shutter Island will be distracted by similar plot themes and Leonardo DiCaprio’s nearly identical performance.

What is real? What is imagined? Where does reality end and dreams begin? Too many films have covered this question and this detracts from the film’s appeal. I was bracing for an ultimate clichéd twist but Director Christopher Nolan concluded with a lighter twist.

When so many films are using computers to destroy landmarks, Inception is a refreshing change because it seeks to create new landscapes. Paris looks beautiful when converted into a city-sized Penrose staircase. The cinematography is sharp and crisp.

At one time, The Matrix proved to be a complete paradigm shift for the martial arts film and the fight scenes of Inception continue that development. Not simply floating in slow motion but continually thinking and adjusting to an environment in flux. Sparing, the scenes add suspense; intertwined by skilled editing so the viewer shifts from one world to another.

Stanley Kubrick is an icon because his meticulous nature helped spark the transition from black and white pictures to eye-catching works known as much for their imagery as plot. Blockbuster films are always surrealist in that they are so preposterous that they become implausible. Nolan has already shown he can balance true surrealism with computer technology. From Memento to The Dark Knight to Inception, Nolan proved that he can combine spectacular visions with the inner exploration of self. ****