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Thoughts on Inception

Movie Poster Fail.

Let it be known, this article is not a review.

Like my article on Splice, I don’t feel adequately qualified to properly review Inception, and as such, I will instead use this post as a vehicle for my ruminations regarding it.

Anyway, let me begin by saying that:

I liked Inception.

I felt it was an entertaining and (conceptually) innovative film, that managed to hold my interest throughout despite it’s sinfully long running time.

Okay fine, the movie isn’t Braveheart long, but hey; you try going to see it in the theater at 10:45 at night and tell me it didn’t whip your ass.

10:45 PM or not, he's gonna' BEAT YOUR ASS.

Inception is a film that I absolutely will not spend time going into detail regarding the plot and other such bullshit.

I say this, not because I don’t want to drop spoilers, but because I honestly don’t remember most of them.

Oh yeah, and it would cause me physical pain to try and explain some of the goofy shit that goes on in this movie.

Seriously, I’d need a diorama, Powerpoint, an old priest and a young priest just to explain the concept of this fucking movie.

Actually, I think Von Sydow would do well enough by himself. Max Von Sydow was BORN looking that awesome.

The basic concept of the movie involves the manipulation and invasion of peoples’ dreams, leading to a story that mirrors that of an absurdly complex and convoluted heist film.

I say “convoluted” because there are moments when, just when you think you’ve got all the rules of the film’s impressively well thought out, and seemingly structured universe, the movie starts throwing you curve balls in the form of changing it’s own logic for the sake of convenience in regards to the plot.

That’s not to say this happens all the way through, however there were at least 2 occasions in which I honestly had to scratch my head and say:

“Huh?  Why the fuck did that just happen?”

Pictured: A film where such a phrase is often uttered by the viewer, and yet no explanations are offered...

It’s interesting to note that, despite the 2 films sharing very little in common, for whatever reason I kept saying to myself in the theater:

“This hella’ reminds me of Flatliners…”

WHY THE FUCK HAS NO ONE SEEN THIS MOVIE!?

Despite it’s complex subject matter and, at times, fuzzy internal logic; it should be noted that Inception is by no means a genius of a film.

That is, unlike The Legend of Zelda on the NES, Inception did not make me feel stupid or lost at any point, rather; it succeeded in making me feel smart.

Let it be known, the Azn Badger is a Badger of barely average intelligence.

Your average Badger.

Azn or not.

An AZN Badger.

That being said, let me just say that the screenplay of Inception, like seemingly every Christopher Nolan film, is very redundant, and much too excessive with it’s incessant dropping of “breadcrumbs” for the viewer.

In example, let’s summarize the scripts for Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight:

Batman Begins:  “FEAR!!!!!!!! JUSTICE!!!!!!!!! I’M BATMAAAANNNNNN!!!!!!”

The Prestige: “REVENGE!!!! MAGICAL DAVIIIIIIIDDDDDD BOWIIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!!”

The Dark Knight: “CHAOS!!!! JUSTICE!!!!!!!!! WHERE IS HE!!!!!!!????”

To those of you that don’t habla Espanol, “breadcrumbs” refers to the little droplings, or tidbits of information that are interspersed throughout a screenplay to make those “Ah Hah!” moments seem more logical, and ultimately, more rewarding to the viewer.

Inception’s script is, to pound the metaphor totally into the ground, not sprinkled with breadcrumbs as most films should be, but is instead simply a whole loaf of bread.

Mmmmmm.... Inception.... *Drool*

Put it this way, if you’re paying attention, and are able to keep track of wherever the fuck the film’s logic decides to go throughout the movie, then chances are you’ll be able to figure out most of the major plot points a good 20 minutes to a half hour before I think the movie intended you to.

Anyway, good movie, provocative screenplay, but just a little bit heavy-handed with the exposition at times.

Attention Mr. Nolan: This is not the tool you use to write a script...

The acting performances in Inception were, in a word; “solid.”

I say this because, despite the all-star cast; Inception is by no means an actor’s movie.

Due to the hardened nature of most of the main characters, the majority of the performances consist of muted expressions and flat deliveries.

Hell, even most of the humor is deadpan.

Tom Hardy has an accent, and that’s about all he did for me.

Ellen Page, while looking uncharacteristically fetching in this movie, also failed to leave any sort of impression.

Leonardo DiCaprio is just about the only actor allowed to emote throughout, yet despite this; most of his thunder is stolen by the script’s propensity to spill the beans on it’s big character reveals long before their intended cues.

That being said, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ken Watanabe managed to make an impression based purely on their facial acting.

That and Levitt looks like my brother, but Jewish.

He looks like these two, a little. Those are the only clues you're getting though...

Oh yeah, and Ken Watanabe is pimp, so he gets a pass as well.

One thing I feel that needs to be pointed out about Inception, is that the action is typical of a Christopher Nolan film.

One thing about Nolan that truly confuses me, is that he seems to know what he likes in his movies, and how he likes to shoot it, however, when it comes to framing action, the man just doesn’t have a clue.

Maybe it’s his cinematographer, or his editor’s fault, but regardless, whoever is fucking up really needs to stop it.

RIGHT NOW.

Simply put, Christopher Nolan likes sweeping aerial shots of cities,

Check...

car chases,

Double check...

and gunplay/fighting.

Check-A-Saurus Rex...

Inception, of course, has all of these things, however only 2 thirds of it is done well.

Don’t get me wrong, Nolan’s cityscape shots are always beautiful, as are his car chases, but when it comes to framing human-on-human violence, he sucks donkey balls.

My main issue with Nolan’s action scenes, is the lack of spacial awareness the viewer is given throughout.

You know that thing that the Hong Kong cinematographers do where they shoot the actors from the toes up so you can catch the detail and intent in their movements?

I know, a fight scene is totally different from your standard action scene, but bear with me...

Well, Nolan’s answer to this is to frame everything all loosey-goosey, and then throw the footage into the meat grinder until it makes a Bourne movie look under-edited.

It should be said though, that whoever does Mr. Nolan’s sound editing, should be given some sort of award *cough!* Oscar! *cough!*

Seriously, the sound of the gunfire in both The Dark Knight and Inception is a thing of beauty.

Truly the definition of “ear-popping.”

No, different kind of "ear pop," yah' dipshit...

Compliments aside, I have one more gripe about the action:

I know it’s realistic to choreograph a gunfight as a fairly stationary and controlled series of tactical potshots, but for A MOVIE THAT TAKES PLACE IN FUCKING DREAMLAND, I’d expect things to be just a little bit more colorful.

WOAH!!!!! TOO MUCH COLOR!!!! DIAL THAT SHIT DOWN, SON!!!!

Seriously, what the fuck is the point of having gunfire and explosions in your movie if you aren’t going to go to the trouble to highlight them in any way.

On a final note, I’d like to take a minute to give my thoughts on the soundtrack of Inception.

A lot has been said about the ever so prolific, Hans Zimmer’s, soundtrack of the movie.

Lookit' this smug fuck, with his dick-eatin' lips...

By, “a lot,” of course, I mean a lot of good.

Several of my friends hyped the soundtrack for me, such that I was really excited to hear the soundtrack, much more so than I was about seeing the movie in fact.

After all, my friends and I used to refer to Inception in daily speech as simply, “BWAAAHHHHH!!!” due to the brass blaring teaser trailer.

In example:

“Hey, did you see BWAAAHHHH!!! yet dude?”

Anyway, retarded bullshit aside, Inception’s soundtrack was booming, sweeping, and all sorts of epic, however I ended up leaving the theater with little to no recollection of any sort of themes or melodies played throughout.

In essence, the music was gorgeous, and almost mystifyingly dignified, almost like a classical symphony, however, despite being excessive and overbearing throughout, to me; it just wasn’t all that memorable or engaging.

Seriously, Inception had a lot of music, too much in fact.

The only musical memory I walked away from the film with was bittersweet, in that I realized one of the climax themes played during the last act of the film, was in fact played twice within the same act of the film.

That’s just fucking lazy.

I’ve always said Hans Zimmer was overrated, and while the score for Inception does little to change my impression of him, I will say this:

He’s done better.

Just as Christopher Nolan has done better.

And Leonardo DiCaprio has done better.

Even so, Inception is a good movie, that while lacking in some areas, and full of holes in others, is a film that, regardless of how you feel about it, leaves you with something to talk about.

Just like The Matrix more than 10 years before it, (wow, I’m really that old?) it’s by no means perfect, but something about it just makes us want to sit down talk about it with someone, for better or for worse.

In many ways, I can think of no greater success for a film of this nature.

Now let’s just hope they don’t go and blow it by making a shit ton of sequels…

Although Mr. Nolan can go ahead and make another Batman.

The Azn Badger loves him some Batman…

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Thoughts on Splice

*SPOILER ALERT* SOME PLOT DETAILS MAY BE REVEALED! *SPOILER ALERT*

Vincenzo Natali’s Splice opens with the birth of a colossal penis.

No, that’s not my twisted way of referring to Adrien Brody’s nose, but rather the honest to God truth.

The movie begins with a clever first-person shot from the fish-eyed perspective of the penis in question, where we are then, literally; carried off to an examination room in the laboratory where said penis is introduced to…

Another giant penis.

"Ma'am, I must advise, I honestly don't think you can handle that much banana..."

Did I mention that the giant penises have “vaginas” for tongues?

Well, they do, and they aren’t shy about whipping ’em out for all to see either.

Kind of like these guys.

Splice is an odd movie.

It wasn’t really a horror movie in the proper sense, (very little shocks, scares, or tension) and it wasn’t really all that good or bad.

It was just plain weird.

To be truthful, I did see the movie in an empty theater, with a friend who at times was more concerned with telling me which anime the movie reminded him of, so that may have skewed my impression of the movie, (no audience reactions and what not) but for this article, I’m gonna’ stick to my guns.

Splice is a movie about a stupid, crazy bitch, her equally stupid boyfriend, (who she just happens to have by the BALLS) and of course, their animal-human hybrid that wants to fuck both of them.

Sorry, just spoiled the movie for you.

My thoughts aside, Splice is actually a rather straightforward film about a parenthood and control, both things that our STUPID protagonists fail to earn the right to wield over, well, anything really.

On a side note, do you know how you can tell Splice is a Canadian, or at least not-American film?

Because the lead characters are named fucking Elsa and Clive, that’s how.

Pictured: Elsa and Clive.

If I may diverge for a moment, I just need to vent my frustrations with the main characters.

Both Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley performed their roles ably within the confines of the script, however whoever was in charge of the wardrobe and some of the set design, was trying just a little bit too hard.

According to the world of Splice, genetic engineers are the hippest people in the world.

They wear designer hipster gear, listen to techno and jazz, have fabulous apartments, sleep on futon’s with giant manga prints hung over them, eat Japanese candy every day, and oh yeah, they drive an ironic and unpretentious beater car.

"Quickly! To The Hipster-Mobile!"

In essence, our protagonists come across as Manhattanites or some shit, while living in a snowy podunk town with seemingly only one skyscraper downtown.

No wait, I’m not done venting just yet!

Elsa is a stupid fucking bitch.

I didn’t like her from the film’s opening moments, and you can bet I straight-up hated her ass by the final reel.

It is hinted at that she had an abusive, negligent mother, and that may be why she is so fucked up, both as a person and as a pseudo-parent, but even so, she was very hard to deal with throughout.

Clive on the other hand, was not so bad.

That doesn’t mean he wasn’t stupid.

Or whipped to shit.

Now just replace the Azn girl for a stupid bitch, and there you have it: Splice!

That being said, I won’t question Clive’s questionable logic at times during the movie, seeing as the stupid/whipped combo actually explains that away pretty conveniently for me.

You see, early in the film, Clive is just whipped, but not stupid.

Elsa does things against his better judgement I.E. illegally creating Dren, the human-animal hybrid, and he does nothing to stop her.

About halfway in though, after Dren’s already grown up, Clive starts to get dumb.

REEAAAAAAAALLLLLY DUMB.

Going into the movie, I assumed Dren was going to rape Clive.

Turns out, I was off by a bit, as he fucks her consensually, and then later, Dren rapes Elsa.

That’s right, there are sex scenes with Dren, and yes, they are weird.

Weird may not be the right word though, ’cause I found myself laughing at a lot of scenes in Splice that I think I really wasn’t supposed to.

For instance, there is one real gory scene in the movie, and all throughout it, I found myself laughing out loud at how over-the-top it was.

The difference is, you're SUPPOSED to laugh at this.

Then during the scene where Dren and Clive share a dance, I shook my head and snorted in dismissal.

And the scene where Clive fucked Dren?  You better believe I was saying “what the fuck?”

Splice is a movie that asks you to, above all, watch what happens.

It doesn’t so much tell a story, or deliver a message, as it does drop scenes in your lap and simply ask you to watch.

It’s like watching a documentary about a dysfunctional couple raising a down’s syndrome kid.

Pictured: A great fuckin' movie.

The character of Dren is the centerpiece of the film, and rightfully so.

She is presented to us, first as a horseshoe crab shaped whatsit.

Pictured: One of the coolest animals in all of existence.

Then it is later revealed to us that this form was just a cocoon, housing a hairless rabbit/chicken looking thing that likes Japanese candy and has a nasty poison stinger for a tail.

A month later, Dren takes on the appearance of a big-headed, chicken-legged, bald kid with her eyes on the side of her head like a deer.

Elsa begins dressing her like a human at this point, and Dren demonstrates clear signs of intelligence by spelling words that she hasn’t been taught.

Despite this, she never really speaks, with most of her vocalizations sounding like a cross between a squirrel and a monkey.

One thing about Dren’s intelligence that I found interesting to note, was the fact that the filmmakers wisely made the decision to make her smart, without being overwhelmingly so.

In many of these “science run amok” films, often times the title villain or creature displays levels of intelligence that seem overly convenient, or forced I.E. Species and The Lawnmower Man.

Splice never attempts to do this with Dren, instead the makers seemed to be content having their creature be a quick learner, and very smart, but never really approaching the level of a grown human.

To that end, the film succeeds in making Dren a fairly sympathetic character in that she is at the mercy of her dim-witted and psychotic “parents.”

Dren’s “adult stage” looks like Sinead O’Connor with a tail, and chicken legs.

Sinead O'Connor circa 1990

Her eyes adopt a more binocular style alignment, definitely making her seem more human.

The actress that played her, Delphine Chaneac deserves some praise, as her nearly entirely physical performance as the oddly shaped Dren is utterly believable, and very interesting to watch.

Her movements have an animalistic quality to them that is sharp, alert, and seemingly purposeful in a sense that is altogether foreign to the average human.

Have you ever stared at a dog or a gorilla and tried to figure out what was going on in their head?

Well, that same sense of, “what the fuck are they looking at?” is evident in Dren, and it went a long way towards helping me to forget that she was indeed a special effects construct.

I will say this though, when the full extent of Dren’s transformation is finally revealed, my friend called it about a minute beforehand, to which I responded “you better not be right, man.”

Seriously, I was really hoping they didn’t take the “splicing” part of the storyline as far as they did, but oh well.

Splice is a movie with a lot of little mysteries floating around in it, but due to excessive telegraphing and leaving of breadcrumbs, most of them are revealed to the audience somewhat prematurely.

In that sense, there aren’t really that many surprises in the movie, but the movie gives you enough incentive to keep watching anyway.

Mmmm.... Incentive....

Protip: Don’t see Splice with someone that calls out what everyone thinks is going to happen.  Chances are they’ll spoil every surprise for you.

At one point I even said aloud:

“Aw man, they can’t kill him, that’s such a cliche.  Besides, he didn’t do anything wrong, other than be a douche.”

Sure enough, Mr. Douche was dead about a minute later.

Like seemingly every movie I talk about on this blog, Splice was not a bad movie, it was just weird, flat, and filled with dumb characters doing even dumber things.

Oh yeah, and weird sex, lots and lots of weird sex…

Sorry if you thought this was gonna’ be a review, my mind was just a little bit too jumbled for me to properly compose one.

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Body Hurts… Cannot Write

Some people have a security blanket, I have one of THESE... As well as a security blanket.

Ugh, so tired…

Just got done with a pretty rough 7-8 mile run.

If that doesn’t make you cringe, then try factoring this in:

Like an idiot, I was wearing heavy jeans, had my pockets stuffed full of crap, and was wearing 2 and a half year old shoes that couldn’t support a flea.

Here's hoping to God that I didn't look like these douche-rockets when I was on the road...

It was just one of those times when something in your head tells you “run,” so you run.

Funny, if only my mind could find such clarity when commanding me to do things that don’t hurt me, maybe then I’d get something done for a change.

In short, the shock up my spine, due to lack of proper footwear and a surplus of improper attire, has left my lower back in horrid state, and as such, I just plain don’t have it in me to write a legit post for tonight.

Sorry everyone, I was planning on writing earlier, but I got distracted, not to mention WordPress was doing some sort of maintenance, so I was locked out for most of the day anyway.

Look forward to a goofy review of Vincenzo Natali’s Splice in the near future, as well as a very special 10th installment of The Best Track in the Game.

Have a good night everyone!

"ROUGHLY THE SIIIIIZE OF A BAAAAAAARRRRRGE!!!!!!!!"


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