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Monday Movies: State of Inception

This week I watched two movies that are somewhat related to Inception:

  • Dreamscape — bad, but not bad enough to be “so bad it’s good.” The main character was obnoxious, the love interest’s acting was catatonic, and the race to save the president was weirdly unmotivated. It is necessary, though, to enjoy 80s-style special effects periodically.
  • Shutter Island — critical opinion on this one seems to be divided between “pretty good” and “abhorrent,” and I came down on the “pretty good” side. The parallels with Inception are pretty remarkable, beyond the fact that both star Leonardo DiCaprio of TV’s Growing Pains. I wonder if having Shutter Island in the background is what’s leading so many people to assume that Inception is “all a dream” and that he may have killed his wife, etc.

I also watched one unrelated movie:

  • Greenberg — of all the awkward movies I’ve seen, this is perhaps the most painful to watch. It’s Ben Stiller’s Punch Drunk Love.

What did you watch, dear readers?


August 2, 2010 - Posted by | Monday Movies


  1. I watched the Prestige (again) because I knew a particularly bad Tiger loss would prevent me from falling asleep for a while.

    I liked how Jackman’s character was hesitant to “get his hands dirty” for his magic compared to Christian Bale, yet when it came to getting revenge on Bale’s character Jackman went “all in” much more eagerly than Bale’s character.

    Unfortunately, I also watched Runaway Bride with my wife just because it came on. I was curious to see if it was “good for what it was” and it emphatically was not. It was just complete garbage where most of the movie seemed like the creators “thought it might be funny if this character did this” rather than worrying about making characters do or say funny things that people might actually do or say.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | August 2, 2010

  2. I watched “Bridget Jones’s Diary” on TV this weekend. And by “TV” I mean something like UPN or whatever. I think they are called “superstations” in the US. Anyway, I found the movie to be really, really offensive. For instance, in the theatrical release, Gaius Baltar says at one point, “A well-timed blowjob is in order.” However, on TV he said, “A well-time backrub is in order.” This is just the beginning of it! Don’t get me started! The people who control TV are insane.

    Comment by Craig | August 2, 2010

  3. I was watching Naked Gun on TV once, and in that movie there is a scene where Priscilla Presley and Leslie Nielsen are standing on the same ladder, Presley higher up than Nielsen. Because of this, he’s looking directly up her skirt as says, “Nice Beaver!” She then proceeds to hand him a stuffed beaver.

    In the “edited” version on TV, they had him say, “Nice one!” and then she still hands him a beaver, ruining the joke and actually making the remark more offensive since the edit made it seem more like he was actually commenting on what was up her skirt.

    The best of all time, though, was when I was watching Die Hard and “Yippee ki yi yay, motherfucker” was changed to “Yippee ki yi yay, Mr. Falcon”.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | August 2, 2010

  4. This leads me to my question: are they people who, today or tomorrow, at work will discuss movies–just as we are doing now–and say, “Wow, I watched this really, really funny movie about some British spinster and that guy from Battlestar had the funniest line ever: “A well-timed backrub is in order.” How true! And it applies to our office as well!” Also: the “Mr. Titspervert” joke was complete ruined by changing it to “Mr. Fitzpervert.” Same with the lewd emails being exchanged between Hugh Grant and Bridget.

    Comment by Craig | August 2, 2010

  5. Also: when one of Bridget’s friends is described as “says “frig” a lot,” the word “frig” is clearly doing the work of the word “fuck.” Why bother? Everyone knows that it is “fuck” being said. A Mormon friend of mine in high school used to say “flip” instead of “fuck.” He denied that they were the same word. He always wasn’t especially bright.

    Comment by Craig | August 2, 2010

  6. In some file I have the list of changes for the editors preparing Chasing Amy for television broadcast. It’s long.

    It was a good week for movies:

    Toy Story 3 moved me to laughter and tears, and was also ideologically quite canny — it looked as though it was proposing an opposition between private ownership (resting happily in beloved Andy’s attic) and communal ownership (treated horribly at a day care), but ended up valorizing passing your toys on to people who will play with them in either circumstance, and gave the line “authority should derive from the consent of the governed” to Barbie.

    Life During Wartime was also excellent and confirmed for me that I don’t think Haynes is contemptuous of his characters so much as of catharsis and redemption; it also made me think that he sets up a very difficult game with his actors that only Allison Janney can win.

    Salt kicked ass, kept me guessing.

    The Edge of Heaven was very good, has been rightfully compared to Babel or Crash but without so much awfulness. There was a preview for the director’s next film showing before LDW — it seems to be a restaurant farce, which is a departure.

    Comment by k-sky | August 2, 2010

  7. Adam’s inclusion of Shutter Island also reminded me I stupidly took a quiz called “Movie Twist Endings” or something like that. There were about four on there (including Shutter Island) I hadn’t seen, planned on seeing at some point, but didn’t know the twist ending.

    No big deal, since I think a movie has to offer a lot more than a good twist to be good, but I was still a little bummed. By the way, if you go to sporcle and find yourself taking quiz after quiz until you realize it’s 3 am, sorry about that.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | August 2, 2010

  8. Saw Moon. I found it provocative on a number of levels.

    Comment by Hill | August 2, 2010

  9. For what it’s worth, I never saw Shutter Island and I did not think the whole “it’s all a dream” when I saw Inception. The thought occurred to me later on, but only as a “something Nolan wouldn’t do” idea. (Not to sound like a fanboy, but I do think higher of Nolan than that).

    I agree with Hill about Moon — very good.

    Comment by Dave Mesing | August 2, 2010

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