Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gravity's crooked smile

Today, I've been pondering two different movies, which each deserve their own blog post, but I've decided to merge them into one. I hope they don't mind.

Inception. I finally saw it, after all the hype. Well-deserved hype, too. I understood (for the most part), and I left the theatre questioning my own senses, thoughts, and daydreams. The word inception is most times another word for conception or beginning. Without spoiling the entire movie, I'm going to try to explain why this is one of the most groundbreaking and enlightening concepts of this decade, or even the history of the world.

The movie is based upon a central character, Cobb (thank you, Leonardo Dicaprio for your grace and talent) who is trying to, above everything else, get home to his the real world. Throughout the entire movie, this is what kept me hanging on. So, inception idea number 1: children - one of the most beautiful visuals and symbols of God's creativity and beauty on earth.

The subplot of the movie involves the "job" that Cobb must complete with a crew of eccentric and very well-dressed extractors and inceptionators, I'll call them, before returning home. One, I have to mention, is Arthur, expertly played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (he's certainly come a long way since Ten Things I Hate About You). I've never seen the dream world look so good. And dear Ellen Page mesmerizes yet again as Ariadne, a prodigy dream architect. The job involves planting an idea into one's mind to convince them to follow the idea into reality. Inception idea number two: unauthorized subconscious brainwashing. Brilliant, but illegal, I guess.

More stunning elements of the movie include the music (Hans Zimmer brilliance with perfect timing) and the special effects. The objects in dreamworld defy gravity in a beautifully dynamic and imaginative fruit and buildings and baskets and bicycles and cars explode into a thousand pieces and float around for almost an entire three minutes of film, as the subconscious directs it's own effects in a dream. Inception idea number three: the birth of antigravity.

I'm not really trying to write a movie review, I'm just trying to wrap my conscious brain around what just happened on the screen, and maybe what happens when I close my eyes and enter the subconscious. Dreams have always been intriguing and valuable to me. I write mine down often, but to share them could possibly reveal some inceptive :) revelations that I'm not ready to share. Therefore, Inception was riveting and innovating to me, just like the dreams I write down. It might also be because I use more of my right brain than my left, and the mere existence of an aesthetically disguised film like this one really gets my jitters going. So, see it if you want to take a dive into a deep abyss of your dreamworld existence, but if you're into left-brained science and physics, be forewarned, but maybe try opening up your brain to let inception plant it's own idea there.

"An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules."

Thank you for another one, Christopher Nolan.


Onto something a little less analytical, but no less deserving of great movie recognition. After the show "Firefly" was cancelled on the Syfy channel in 2002, many hearts were broken and great television opportunity was lost. Firefly is a story about a crew of smugglers from the future who fly on the ship Serenity. Along the way, they acquire a dangerous weapon, in the form of a psychic girl name River. Captain Mal, one of the greatest television characters of all time (who deserved to make the list of Entertainment Weekly's 100 Most Interesting Characters of TV, but didn't make the cut), played by Nathan Fillion, is a hard-ass smart-ass war veteran who looks out for himself and his own. The movie, Serenity, appropriately named, picks up where the show left off. The Alliance, a.k.a. the evil empire, almost equivalent to Vader's posse in Star Wars, wants to kill River, because her psychic powers and graceful punches in the face could make her the most dangerous weapon in the newly inhabited solar system. (Earth died a few years back from overpopulation. Ironic.) So, one of the best adaptations of television to the big screen is found in Serenity. I could go on for days about it, but I just wanted to share a quote that tugs me back to ideas of inception and the defiance of gravity on our beloved ship, Serenity. At the end of the movie, Captain Mal has just helped save the worlds, before turning to River, giving her a crooked smile and saying...

" ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flyin' is? Well I suppose you do, since you already know what I'm about to say....Love. You can know all the math in the 'Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as a turn in the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells ya she's hurtin' 'fore she keens. Makes her a home."

Nathan Fillion, you can navigate the depths of my heart with your crooked smile anytime.

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