Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Inception (Rhoades)

“Inception” Isn’t Sweet DreamsReviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

The CIA has conducted some far-out experiments in the past. The Stargate Project spent $20 million testing remote viewing, the ability to “see” things from afar. (Remember George Clooney’s comedy, “The Men Who Stare at Goats”?) And back in the ’50s it began experimenting with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on live subjects under its Project MKULTRA. We know about nationwide wiretapping programs. And the KUBARK manual was developed to outline “coercive counterintelligence interrogation of resistant sources" using such techniques as waterboarding and sleep deprivation. Yes, brainwashing.

Goodness knows what other classified shenanigans our government has backed.

“Inception” – the new sci-fi thriller at the Tropic Cinema – tells the story of a program designed to spy on people’s dreams.

In “Inception,” Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Departed,” “Shutter Island”) is sort of a human incubus, invading targets’ dreams to seduce secrets from them. Spying at its psychological utmost.

Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is a thief hired to steal into subjects’ minds while they sleep, becoming a covert part of their dream. It seems so real, nobody knows they’re dreaming. You see, during the dream state, the mind is at its most vulnerable.

Rather than the CIA, Dom works for a large corporation. It’s the privatization of spying. But his role in commercialized espionage has turned him into a fugitive, and his only hope of getting his life back is one last foray into the subconscious, this time not to steal an idea but to plant one.

Ellen Page (“Juno,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”), Marion Cotillard (“La Vin en Rose,” “Nine”), Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Memoirs of a Geisha”), Tom Berenger (“Sniper,” “Someone to Watch Over Me”), and Michael Caine (“Harry Brown,” “The Dark Knight”) are along for this mind-bending journey.

Directed by Christopher Nolan (“Memento,” “Batman Begins”), the special effects are, uh, mind blowing. You’ll be mesmerized by scenes of the dream-like world crumbling and warping around our protagonist. What did movies do before CGI?

This what’s-real-and-what’s-not story is gripping. Think: “The Matrix.”

“You can’t use people as laboratories,” said Jonathan D. Moreno, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. But in the movies, you can.
[from Solares Hill]

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