Inception: 2010 Highlight

Thursday, 20 January 2011 16:08

Christopher Nolan was the writer-director who restarted the Batman franchise with “The Dark Knight” and “Batman Begins”. These were huge tapestries of character and action, so it comes as no surprise what one of the self-proclaimed best films of 2010, “Inception”, has the same fingerprints all over it.  This is a tale of how psychotropic drugs can be used to create a form of mental rape, where your dreams can be manipulated for nefarious purposes.

Leonardo DiCaprio is Dorn Cobb, who has an unusual job – that of an ‘extractor’, where he and his team can intrude into a victim’s psyche and either discover valuable information, or implant facts, figures and experiences that will influence that person’s actions in the real world. The movie is engineered as a pleasant spin on the mind-control MK Ultra programming that’s been a dark secret behind the scenes for years.

Inception - join the debate on Blu-ray and DVDCobb is a skilled thief and coveted expert when it comes to ‘extraction’ - the stealing of valuable secrets from deep within the mind during a subject’s dream state. His skills have turned him into an international fugitive, but he is now being offered a chance of redemption, via one last job.  Can he pull off the impossible – an ‘inception’ - not stealing an idea but planting one?  If Cobb and his team succeed, it will be the perfect crime.  However, no amount of meticulous planning can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every turn. This is an enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming...

It’s got a terrific supporting cast, including Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai”), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Third Rock from the Sun), Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), Ellen Page (Lilith Sandstrom in ReGenesis), Tom Hardy (“Star Trek: Nemesis”), Cillian Murphy (“Batman Begins”), Tom Berenger (October Road), Dileep Rao (“Avatar”), the iconic Michael Caine, and Pete Postlethwaite (“The Usual Suspects”) in one of his final screen performances before his recent untimely death.

Christopher Nolan's behind-the-scenes collaborators on “Inception” are mainly people he has used before. These include director of photography Wally Pfister (“The Dark Knight”, “Batman Begins”), production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”), editor Lee Smith (“The Dark Knight”, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”), costume designer Jeffrey Kurland (“Bullets Over Broadway”, “Collateral”), and special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (“The Dark Knight”).

The music is by uber composer Hans Zimmer (“The Dark Knight”, “The Lion King”) who, incidentally, used the Edith Piaf song, ‘Non, je ne Regrette Rien’ as an alarm sound for waking from dreams. This is a motif throughout the film's score.

“Inception”, with its dream within a dream within a dream format, is perhaps nearer to reality in terms of what is possible than we actually care to imagine. It’s interesting that one of the extras on the Blu-ray edition actually has scientists describing our dream worlds as actual parallel realities. That’s one way of looking at it, but this description slightly overplays the hand.

The simple fact is that those whose work remains in the shadows know full well that we can be manipulated, ideas planted in our head, and not remain in control of our own actions. Drugs and hypnosis combined have made this possible for real, and the erratic and out-of-character actions of many of the would-be assassins over the last few decades has all the tell-tale signs of such interventions, or ‘inceptions’ as we can now call them.

Is “Inception” therefore just a ‘straw man’, set up to help make us dismiss the realities that are mind-boggling in both their application and their ramifications? If nothing else, the neatly ambiguous ending to this film should at the very least provide a talking point, from where more wide-ranging discussions might possibly take place.

The real-life victims of projects such as MK Ultra, those both directly and indirectly affected, would hope for nothing less.

The special features on the Blu-Ray Triple Play version are as follows:

  • EXTRACTION MODE - Infiltrate the dreamscape of “Inception” – this in-movie experience describes how Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio and the cast and crew designed and achieved the greatest moments in the film.
  • DREAMS: CINEMA OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS - Taking some of the cutting-edge dream research to-date on lucid dreaming, top scientists make the case that the dream world is not an altered state of consciousness, but a fully functional parallel reality.
  • INCEPTION:  THE COBOL JOB  - In full motion animation this comic prologue describes how Cobb, Arthur, and Nash came to be enlisted by Cobol Engineering and perform an extraction on Saito.
  • 5.1 INCEPTION SOUNDTRACK - Composer Hans Zimmer teams up again with Director Christopher Nolan to create the music for “Inception”.  This feature is, quite rightly, in full 5.1 surround sound.
  • Via BD-Live - PROJECT SOMNACIN:  CONFIDENTIAL FILES - Get access to the highly secure files that reveal the inception of the dream-share technology.

The DVD version boasts the following quartet of ‘Focus Points’ as extras:

  • The Inception of Inception - Christopher Nolan shapes his unusual concepts for “Inception”;
  • The Japanese Castle: The Dream is Collapsing - Creating and destroying the castle set;
  • Constructing Paradoxical Architecture - Designing the staircase to nowhere;
  • The Freight Train - Constructing the street-faring freight train.

“Inception” is available now, with a running time of 148 minutes approx, and a ‘12A’ Certificate. It is out as a Blu-ray Triple Play, featuring a high-definition, a standard definition, and a digital copy of the film, for £28.99, or as a Two Disc DVD in widescreen format for £22.99 RRP, or get either version for less at

 “Inception” is also available ON DEMAND and DIGITAL DOWNLOAD.


Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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