So! Today I went and saw Inception again. I KNOW, I KNOW, WHATEVER, I DO WHAT I WANT.

Plus it was free because I had an old-ass coupon.

So anyway, the parts that I liked, but had to bear through gritted, angry teeth the first time were SO MUCH MORE enjoyable this time around, since I already knew I hated the ending and didn’t have to sit, waiting, knowing what was going to happen, but not being able to be CERTAIN, and the parts I didn’t like were… some were more tolerable (the snowscapades were still so incredibly idiotic, but they became almost transcendentally watchable in their idiocy) and others were still completely and utterly hateable in every way (that last shot, Mal, NO ONE MOVING THEIR FACE AT ALL).

The thing that was MOST frustrating was that, on the first viewing I was like, “Hey, there are some legit plot holes up in this motherfucker.” and on second watch it was like, “WAS ANYONE EVEN WATCHING THIS MOVIE AS IT WAS BEING MADE? WAS THERE EVEN A SCRIPT?!”

It was as though every time someone said, “Hey, Christopher Nolan, there’s this GLARING error in your story and it’s kind of ruining the pretty cool mythology that you are trying to build up in herrre,” Christopher Nolan was like, “I’M CHRISTOPHER NOLAN, SUCK MY DIIIIIIIIICK. MAKE THE SLO-MO GO SLOOOOOOWER. NO ONE WILL NOTICE. I AM BUSY FUCKING BATMAN. I AM THE GOD DAMN BATMAN. SLOOOOOOOOOOWER!” or some approximation of that.

And hey, man, I liked Transformers! And, awkward racism aside, I found the second one to be pretty watchable! It’s not like I am over here expecting some Citizen Kane or Vertigo master work up in my AMC. I just want movies to like, I don’t know, make sense beyond their first viewing.

I’m not even going to talk about the actual plot holes (Google that shit, son!) because I will just feel a lot of awkward, now passion-less rage again, instead I am going to, SHOCKER, talk about some shit I liked.

Like I said last time, I really dug the zero g ballet. I think a lot of the effects in the movie are sort of hokey and plastic looking, but the shift in gravity after everyone except Arthur has descended to the next level is incredibly cool. It looks like a practical effect as the world is tilting (the Fatboy Slim video wall crawling portion) and whether or not it is a practical effect, the fact that it looks like one delights me. The extended sequence beyond that is a little too long and a little too graceful, but I still think it’s good-looking enough to warrant some interest/credit.

The train blowing through the middle of Downtown L.A. scared the holy shit out of me both times I watched the movie. The sound mixing is perfect for it and even when I knew it was coming, it was startling.

Arthur and Eames’s banter and antagonism toward one another is fabulous. “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling” is the kind of smarmy charm that the movie would’ve been infinitely weaker without. Plus, more importantly, they both seem to really love their jobs. Cobb hates his skills because they’re all he has left, Ariadne is terrified of it, Saito and Yusuf play their roles willingly, but without a lot of joy. Arthur and Eames know what they’re good at and they’re more than willing to do it.

The initial kick (Cobb into the bathtub) is a great, lively use of ramping. Granted, it’s TOO SLOW and too long, but it changes speed in a way that looks really cool and helps the audience understand the difference in time between dream levels. It doesn’t serve that last purpose particularly well (it doesn’t when he overuses it through the rest of the movie either) but god damn if it don’t look cool for twenty seconds.

I kind of loved the crap out of Fischer. Cillian Murphy is the WEIRDEST LOOKING FAMOUS PERSON EVER, but he’s pretty damn good at under and over-selling shit in the right places. I don’t know, maybe I am just tricked by his weird face.

A visual motif with which I am down:

I am sure there were other instances of those Tetris-ish pieces showing up (Ariadne’s mazes, the paradox construction, Mal and Cobb building in limbo, etc.) but I really noticed the top and bottom ones here as directly referencing each other. Since I occasionally like to overthink things (I know that’s shocking, I KNOW.) I like to think that they’re subtle visual cues nodding to the completion of whatever “puzzle” Nolan was trying to draw. The first image is from Arthur and Cobb’s helicopter ride with Saito, the last is from Fischer’s safe room at the end. In the end, the puzzle is complete.

Draw what you want from that! Regardless of it’s intentions (or unintentions), I like the look. Especially in that last scene.

ANYWAY. What the hell is up with no one moving their face? Marion Cotillard looks like she’s made of wax and Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks like he’s got Bells Palsy. WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON IN THERE? Were they trying to make up for Leonardo DiCaprio’s constant fart-smelling face? DOES INCEPTION WORK LIKE BOTOX?

The world may never know.