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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Inception

I read a review of this movie that made it sound really great, so I looked forward to seeing it. Turns out it was okay. There was some interesting stuff in it about ideas being able to tell reality from imaginary, but there was a whole lot of your generic action movie stuff in it: car chases, gun fights and fist fights. A little too much of that for my taste.

They did have some weightless scenes, and they were very well done. I've seen stuff where the actors are hanging from wires, and I've seen videos of astronauts in the space shuttle. Weightless is hard to fake. Maybe they used the vomit comet (that jet airliner they use for training astronauts) to film these scenes. Maybe they used wires. I don't know.

It's science fiction and they use a box with wires to share dreams. Each participant has a wire clipped to their wrist that connects them to the box. Problem with this is that it was too much like virtual reality and not enough like dreaming. It simply looked like somebody gave the action department the go ahead to pull out all the stops.

There were a couple of ideas that were interesting. One was that dreaming happens ten times faster that real life. That is, your time sense is distorted. You can have a dream that seems to last for hours and in reality it may only last for minutes. Of course, they have to expand on this and have you go to sleep in your dream and enter another level of dreaming, so now your time sense is expanded by another factor of ten. You go down one more level and now things are happening a thousand times faster in your dream than they are in real life.

The second idea is how you get out of your dream. Well, you could just wake up, but they are messing with drugs and multiple dream levels, so we have to have a trick. One is the famous feeling of falling. The other is you die in your dream. That should wake you up. Unfortunately, if you are several layers deep in your dream, you may have to die several times to wake up. And what if you can't tell when you are finally, really, truly awake, and think you need to wake up one more time? That could be a problem.

This whole business of having multiple levels or dreams that look like virtual reality reminds me on another movie I saw a few years ago called eXistenZ.

The third idea was that an idea could be the most contagious disease. Once you have told someone, and the idea starts to spread, there is no way to stop it. I think I've heard that one somewhere else before.

The best part was Leonardo's wife, who she was, or wasn't, and the effect she had on him.

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