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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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inception
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Okay, pleeeasse do not read this if you liked it a lot, because I hate fucking with squee as squee is fun and awesome and you should do that!



I have something that is kind of more powerful than a squick; it's a virulent hatred of something that wants to fuck with my mind and not give me payoff. This is like the anti-payoff.

To clarify, I hated the end of Roseanne so much I can't watch the reruns. I won't even try to get through Enterprise because of the ending. I get ragey knowing St. Elsewhere did it first and even though I never watched the show, really want to have a word with the writers. I do not like getting attached to things, or people, and realize it was all a lie.

This is less betraying that Roseanne, since my investment was lower, but it's so ridiculously predictable I want to just scream. There's some kind of rule that states, in a movie about the uncertainty of reality, the ending will never, ever, ever, even by accident, not be a surprise twist that gotcha, reality isn't real MAYBE. For some reason--and I don't know why--I thought this one wouldn't just do that all over again, which is what I get for not spoiling myself thoroughly when I read the premise, so honestly, this is totally my own fault.

Notes that make this even more irritating:

a.) IT WAS ALL A DREAM so he's stuck in infinity in a dream world without the dead wife that caused the entire psychotic break. So why not dream up a world with her in it exactly? The neat emotional growth--that a replica wasn't good enough--works right up until hes' okay with replica children and then there's the realization there was no emotional growth, because he's still willing to settle with replicas, so there goes the emotional arc completely, thanks, that's kind of the only thing we had and that being the entire point of the movie and he had no emotional growth. Great. And the telling the difference between reality and fantasy and living in old memories isn't there, because hey, why bother, it apparently doesn't work.

b.) I loved it up until he took out his top and I just wanted to cry, because for reasons that pass my understanding, Nolan really had to drive it in THIS IS JUST A DREAM (MAYBE) (the audience obviously having watched the movie couldn't have picked that up themselves) so there's a forever spinning top just in case it hadn't occurred to us and I'm not actually stupid, this had occurred to me pretty early on.

c.) I feel cheated that it wasn't ambiguous unless there's a posit the top fell after, which considering how it started and then spun into rotation--and considering that at teh beginning, it was pretty thoroughly banged in HE WANTED TO SEE THEIR WEE FACES, even though wouldn't they be older now?--it's not actually all that ambiguous without ignoring the spinning top.

So it's a dream world in which no one else exists, so of course the awesome heist that happened didn't actually happen, so the complexity of it can't really be admired since we didn't get to see it, and the heist was goddamn awesome up until it deux ex machina'ed out, since hey, this is a dream, it would work or not based on what dream life Cobbs wanted to live, not based on any character's actual actions. It didn't matter if the timing was right because Cobb's personal growth was dictating it. And in the end, even though getting rid of Mal was this huge character moment that made the emotional arc--I can't imagine anyone as awesome as you!--it's completely contradicted since there was in fact no lesson learned except; you can get lost in dreams and its' dangerous. Sometimes. But sometimes you settle down with your hallucinations and so that's okay, so the entire movie is about giving up.

I can't get over the heist not being actually as brilliant as it was, and logical and meticulous and traceable and fantastic since the it was dependent on how Cobb wanted it to go.

...there are multiple levels this annoys me at. And all the characters being projections is just goddamn icing; I can't even like them since they're just projections of Cobb's imagination and bits of him. Okay, yes, Saito's suspiciously sudden aging even though he went in well after Cobb and Ariadne was suspicious, and the fact the ante kept having to be upped unexpectedly because the architect can remake the rules of engagement because sudden!Limbo! and sudden!Not!Death being new and improved features means that the earlier scene of teh top falling is now not inconsistent and yes, Cobb's dad waiting at the airport for no particular reason--wasn't he in Paris?--and the fact the kids were unable to leave the United States for no particular reason--and why don't they age again?--and the fact that how does that work with limbo anyway, you share limbo? and argh.

I really want to like it--that heist! Oh my God amazing!--but come on. The heist is no longer relevant and that just sucks. At least this explains how they didn't get out of dream layer one. I was wondering hopefully for a second, until I remembered it didn't matter.

Note: you will never like Nolan, stay away from his movies from now on. He is a Twist person. Twist people do not like subtlety and they do not like it if you aren't fully aware there is a Twist.

*sighs* This has so killed my mood. I wish I had normal dislikes like, IDK, romantic comedies involving twins.

[Note; the only viable option i can get to keep the fallign of the first top is that he dreamed himself into another replica of reality, which at least keeps all the other characters and the heist as real but still fails because we never find out if the heist worked or Saito was saved. Which isn't exactly better.]



Please don't hate me?

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/60002.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

(Deleted comment)
Right on. *glum* That concept was fantastic. WHY DID HE HAVE TO MAKE IT STUPID.

I have basically survived all of these thinky thoughts and retained my fannish squee be repeating, very loudly, LA LA LA THE TOP FELL OVER OK? and ignoring everything else!

Yeah - I was bored bored bored throughout that whole movie. I could not connect at all with any of the characters. By the end all I kept thinking was is that stupid van ever going to hit the water.
Thank goodness I'm not the only one who was underwhelmed.

IDK, I agree that the ending is a bit of a cop out but I've read so many interesting theories that still work within the context of the canon so I don't much mind. I've never been under the assumption that we necessarily are supposed to think IT WAS ALL JUST A DREAM. SURPRISE. HAHA.

Because that would not be cool.

It's definitely a flawed film in many ways but at the same time I enjoyed it more than most of Nolan's other works and I feel like there's something genuine about it, hidden deep inside, that I connect to. Which is all I ever really ask of my films.

I guess that just doesn't bother me because reality's just a construct anyway? The important part is that Cobb is happy in the end and not teetering dangerously around the globe, unable to accept his life and punishing himself. I don't know, I believe about 90% that is wasn't a dream and can rationalize my unsure 10% into submission, so maybe I'm just not relevant to the discussion.

I thought Phillipa and James were a little older, or a near as a film (a dream?) can note them. The job took a while to set up, who says Miles couldn't have gone to LA earlier? They were in Limbo for a while after Ari left. And Cobb had learned how to keep his form, hadn't he? (Limbo's kinda weird. It's the collective unconscious, so if you feel old, you should look old, so why doesn't Cobb always look old? -Because then he wouldn't be pretty and we can't have that in an American film.)

*delurks*

I've just finished watching it, and I have to say I was expecting way more from the movie after all the fannish squee I've seen for what seems like forever. I wasn't surprised in the least by the last few seconds, which in itself is disappointing.

i love inception, but i can also see exactly why it frustrates and drives people crazy. i like it because all the theories and logistics are so open to interpretation and you can do a lot of fun things with them, as with the characters (as evidenced by clever, clever fandom) but simultaneously, that can be equally annoying. *g*

--> they actually used different actors for cobb's children - early!kidlets and kidlets in the last scene are different kids. that's one of the 'proofs' people trot out when they say it's reality and cobb is awake and so on.

--> another one is that the top isn't even cobb's totem, and that his real totem is his wedding ring.

--> if you stay after the credits there's this bit where the warped musical cue version of edith piaf's non, je ne regrette rien starts, so then you wonder if it actually is a dream. (however, i've also heard people swear that they heard a sound like the beginning of the top falling over, so who knows? is everyone getting different versions?)

i cried at the end.

(it's ok, the top fell)

I've seen more than one analysis of the movie that goes against the "it was all a dream" theory.

I have an unpopular fannish opinion on this movie as well (being that I have *absolutely no desire to see it*, no matter how many people want me to think it's totally amazing, etc), so it's a relief to see a negative response. I feel like, if I did suffer a traumatic brain injury and decided to go see it, I would have a lot of the same issues with it; namely, the fact that the emotional growth arc is completely irrelevant, since it was ALL A DREAM.

What I liked about it is that it *could* have all been a dream (there's certainly evidence for it), or maybe it wasn't. The incredible intricacy of the movie was what made it work for me.

I do understand your annoyance at the "it was all a dream" plots. I felt a little less annoyed by it in this instance, since I kind of felt like they disclosed at the beginning that that was a possibility. I'd have to watch it a few more times to firmly decide what I think actually happened.

Consider: if it was really all his dream, would it all have continued to play out when he wasn't there watching it?

Thank you! You've summed up what I couldn't articulate about why that ending annoyed me so much. It did feel like a massive cop-out to make us sit through this amazing, pretty, intricate thing and at the end pull the "BUT DID IT REALLY HAPPEN???? LOL, IN YOUR FACE CONFUSED!AUDIENCE!" I still love the movie apart from that last few seconds but I'd respect Nolan as a director a lot more if he'd had the balls to push that top over because really, there's a reason one of our cardinal rules in Creative Writing seminars was Do not end with AND IT WAS ALL A DREAM. Just. Don't. Because then, what was the point of you spending all that time creating something and us paying for cinema tickets?

(All of which is why I insist that the top fell over a second after the screen blacked to the credits. La la la, de-Nile and all.)

I didn't get the feeling at the end that "it was all a dream" (to me, it looked like the top was just starting to wobble, but the editing - dear gawd, they must have gone frame-by-frame through it to decide where to stop the film - left just a bit of doubt). I had more the impression that *Cobb* would never be 100% sure that it wasn't a dream, because he'd blurred the line for himself with all the dream-trips he'd taken. So the ending didn't annoy me.

I've seen it twice, and the second time was a very different experience. I found myself focusing much more on Cobb and his history with Mal, much less on the gee-whiz of the heist. It was less thrilling, but in a way, more satisfying.

I know creator intent doesn't count for much in fandom, but Nolan has said that the ending is supposed to be ambiguous, and almost everyone I've discussed it with agrees that it could go either way. Maybe the top fell two seconds after the camera cut away. (Does that make the whole "now I'm going to BLOW YOUR MIND, audience" vibe any less annoying? No.)

I googled to check on it and yeah, he was going for 'ambiguous' but the top was OTT ambiguous; the framing, the sudden way he woke up on the plane, the entire concept of the movie was already kind of screaming that WHAT IS REAL? in all-caps. The never-falling top wasn't needed; the way they framed the ending and had the dad there for no particular reason was enough to cast doubt. Throwing in the top was supposed to make sure you got it--in all caps DID YOU GET IT???--with the exact framing of the kids and everything going right and the kids finally turning around.

..keep in mind this also works for me from an if-the-audience-is-stupid perspective, but with all of that already saying we're at fifty-fifty percent possible it's a dream/reality, the top for me pushes it over, because it seems to assume we didn't notice how perfectly framed this was compared to his memories that he said early on he really wanted to change.

I made it about four minutes into the movie, realized this was going to require more attention than I was willing to pay it at the time, and shut it off in favor of Scott Pilgrim.

Scott had Wallace as a character, there by making it INSTANTLY awesome. I mean, seriously. All I want is a sequel staring Wallace and Knives.

Word! I'm so ridiculously excited to get the DVD this week.