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Behind the Special Effects of Inception 196

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yes-have-some dept.
Lanxon writes "Wired has a behind the scenes look at how Inception's reality-distorting special effects sequences were shot, in an interview with Chris Corbould — the man 'prized for his ability to stage a real-life tank chase in St. Petersburg (GoldenEye), to flip a working juggernaut down a narrow Chicago street (The Dark Knight), and to build a working Batmobile that can do 30-metre jumps without the aid of a single post-production pixel.'" Hopefully most of you who intend to see Inception have already seen it by now, so you don't have to worry about spoilers. It's getting pretty much universal praise.
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Behind the Special Effects of Inception

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  • by Haffner (1349071) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:47PM (#33033352)
    It's all a dream

    Just kidding. No one knows what the hell happened.

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      But was he dreaming at the end? That's what I want to know. I think he was, but some people don't agree with me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by somaTh (1154199)
        The GP wasn't kidding. No one knows what the hell happened.

        Although, this guy [chud.com] seems to have some solid idea.
      • by Stele (9443)

        No - the top was wobbling and about to fall.

        I didn't feel the need for an "ambiguous" ending - I think it was powerful enough without one. I think it should have cut to black JUST as the top fell over and hit the table.

        Or, what would have been even more clever, was to have it start to wobble and then have his dad (?) walk by and snatch it off the table before it could fall.

        • by MBGMorden (803437)

          No - the top was wobbling and about to fall.

          The top had been spinning WAY too long at that point for reality to be in effect. In my mind, the question of whether or not he was dreaming at the end was a non-issue - he was dreaming. The real question was - was ANY of the movie not a dream to begin with. I think that the whole idea of shared dreams and the like, and relative ease with which everyone in a seemingly modern day world accept this as a normal thing, is evidence that the whole thing may have just been a dream.

          • Re:Spoiler Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

            by rolfwind (528248) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:24PM (#33034084)

            It's a movie, the whole thing was Nolan's dream. He shared it with us.

          • by Stele (9443)

            I just read the link above and now I've changed my mind. I had forgotten about all the little "wake up Cobb" references throughout. I guess the thing that bothered me the most was that if it is HIS dream why are we seeing what all the other characters are doing individually? You would expect a movie about his dream to be entirely from his point of view.

            • by Abcd1234 (188840)

              Because they're supposedly parts of his subconscious/personality, and so are, in their own way, individual characters, involved in individual actions.

              • by Stele (9443)

                Yeah, ok. You guys are so logical. I enjoyed the movie a lot, but got choked up at the end when he finally got to see his kids. I wanted to rush home and wake mine up and hug them. Guess I'm sentimental, and wanted it all to be real for him.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Ephemeriis (315124)

                  Guess I'm sentimental, and wanted it all to be real for him.

                  It is real for him, regardless of whether it is a dream or not.

                  Just like those were real emotions that you were feeling, despite it all being fiction on a screen.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by Abcd1234 (188840)

                  Yeah, ok. You guys are so logical. I enjoyed the movie a lot, but got choked up at the end when he finally got to see his kids. I wanted to rush home and wake mine up and hug them. Guess I'm sentimental, and wanted it all to be real for him.

                  That's actually kinda the point, though. The movie philosophy is really rooted in the old idea that reality is in the mind. If you hold to that belief, then it doesn't matter that, in the end, he was asleep, as to him, what he was experiencing is reality.

            • Are your dreams always from your point of view? I'm serious, not trying to be a jerk. Mine aren't. Sometimes they are from someone else's or even from a sort of omnipresent viewpoint, or perhaps like a camera or something. I thought everyone had dreams like that occasionally.

              • by Stele (9443)

                I can't think of a time when I wasn't me in a dream. But then, I dream movies - seriously, from the poster to the credits. It's weird.

                • Are you involved in film making? Did watching movies as a kid mean something special to you? I play role playing games a lot, and part of me wants to be a writer (though I can't stick with anything long enough to make it work) and I think that's affected my dreams. Even when I'm not lucid dreaming I'm sometimes watching what's going on more than actually being present directly.

          • No - the top was wobbling and about to fall.

            The top had been spinning WAY too long at that point for reality to be in effect.

            Towards the beginning of the Inception, before he explains the significance of the top, he does a test where the top seemed to take unnaturally slow to stop. So even then I was thinking "Wow, cool top." But when I noticed the gun I realized what he was doing.

            Weighted correctly and spun properly, a top can go on for a while. Not minutes/hours, but for what appears unnaturally long.

            The fact that it started to wobble at the end was just a nice "it's whatever you want it to be." Maybe it was going to stop a

        • No - the top was wobbling and about to fall.

          I think the end shot was amazingly well done: I walked out and thought it was a little too obvious the top was about to fall over for a truly ambiguous ending, I wanted the end to be that he was awake and that was reality.

          My wife thought it was obvious that the top didn't wobble at all and the end shot was proof it was a dream. She thought it being a dream fit with the movie better, and that Cobb was okay with it being a dream or didn't notice. She wanted it to be a dream. To that end, the top could have

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        I certainly think he was, though the filmmakers clearly chose to leave the question open, so I don't believe there is any "right" answer, here. In fact, I see three options:

        1) His wife was right that they were still dreaming, and that while she escaped, he remained trapped there, and that the final scene was him finally settling into that dream permanently. After all, he never did have his own totem (it was his wife's, if you recall). So there's no reason at all to believe that the fact it was toppling o

        • I have been thinking about your second version since seeing that scene. I kept looking for references to the rest of the movie being his dream. Because of that I was not surprised by the top spinning at the end. I am satisfied with not knowing, or with there being no right answer though. It was a good movie, and holds together fairly well (though I also woke up wondering why Cobb did not age in limbo after staying behind . . . just saw this yesterday btw).
          • My wife and I were trying to figure out Michael Caine's character -- when we meet him, isn't he in a classroom in Paris? And yet, it appears he lives in America since he picks up LDC's character at an American airport. So maybe thats all a dream as well. or, this movie has really crappy continuity problems! :-) (it doesn't... I think)
            • Cobb does go into Caine's character's (the grandfather) classroom with something to bring back to the states for the kids, so there is the expectation that the grandfather does travel back and forth, indeed the kids are living with the grandmother. So I think that part makes sense. But he (grandfather) does implore Cobb to come back to reality in that scene . . . something that made me think at the time that perhaps the whole movie is a dream. But I rather think that part is "real" life.
      • by flitty (981864)
        Both sides have some merit: *spoilers*
        1) Awake: The top wobbles, the gun is shown and implied to be used at the end of the film, since Ken Watanabe still remembers his end of the bargain and remembers that he is dreaming.

        2) Dreaming: This one has more indicators pointing to it. He's wearing his wedding ring, which he only seems to do in his dreams. He spins the top, walks outside and the camera shows the top still spinning, which is a really long time for the top to spin. Also, Cobb is left in the Van
      • by BobMcD (601576)

        But was he dreaming at the end? That's what I want to know. I think he was, but some people don't agree with me.

        Not to get all 'meta' on you here, but you're missing the point. The decision you're being led towards is more complex than 'yes/no':

        'Cobb got what he wanted either way, so it simply does not matter'.

        My PoV anyway...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Minwee (522556)
        It's not a dream, but he's really a replicant.
      • by ukyoCE (106879) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:44PM (#33034472) Journal

        He was dreaming at the end, the top didn't fall. Considering the slow zoom in on the top, if the filmmaker intended anyone to interpret the ending as reality, the top would have fallen. The wobble was just to elicit groans from the audience as it failed to fall, and made us start cranking our minds to figure out what happened.

        The simple and non-ambiguous ending is that he is in a dream because Saito shot him. The last scene before Cobb woke up was Saito picking up a handgun. This was Saito's plan all along. He sent Cobb back to limbo after planting the idea (inception) that Cobb would be able to make it through customs. This allowed him to life a life with his kids. Well, his creepy fake dream kids.

        There are many more complicated theories, but I think this is the intended "obvious" ending.

        • Re:Spoiler Alert (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:14PM (#33034998) Homepage Journal

          I think the obvious ending is that we're not supposed to know.

          I think its quite obvious the director wanted to have a good 'hehe, I'm not telling' inside joke with his audience, and I'm good with that.

          Your version is just one possibility of how things may have turned out. The truth is, we weren't told.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by city (1189205)
          He wasn't dreaming at the end, the top wobbled. Considering the slow zoom in on the top, if the filmmaker intended anyone to interpret the ending as dream, the top wouldn't have wobbled. The wobble was just to elicit groans from the audience as it started to fall, and made us start cranking our minds to figure out what happened.

          The simple and non-ambiguous ending is that he isn't in a dream because Saito shot him, waking him up. The last scene before Cobb woke up was Saito picking up a handgun. This was C
        • by mea37 (1201159)

          Several interpretations are possible; yours is not one of them.

          In the scene you mention, you suggest that Saito shot Cobb to send him to limbo; not possible, as they were already in limbo. The only precident we have for what happens if you die in Limbo is - you wake up. So the ambiguity of that scene is, did Saito actually shoot Cobb (waking him up), or not? That we didn't see the gunshot suggests not, and we are not told what happens instead.

          There is also no possibility that Saito performed inception, p

          • by ukyoCE (106879)

            If you die when shot in limbo, why were they using a complicated 3-level kick to get out of their dreams? The only reason they went to limbo in the first place is because they were heavily sedated. Death in limbo would not wake them up. If it would have, the guy in the van could have just shot them all to wake them up.

            There is also no possibility that Saito performed inception, particularly not by telling Cobb something while he was awake.

            Not "performed inception" in the sense of "implanted an idea by going 3+ levels deep in someone's head", no. But you don't have to invade someone's dreams to give them an idea.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by IICV (652597)

          Eh? I thought the obvious ending was that his wife was right, and they were still in a dream even after getting run over by a train. Her projection even points it out, that he's being chased by a faceless international corporation (aka someone else's projections are hunting him down).

          Further, as is common with most movies, everything begins in medias res, or in the middle of things - we don't have any idea what he was doing before the movie started (or before the prequel comic, if you read that), everything

          • This notion: "Of course, mimicking the weight and feel of the top would require someone else had touched to totem before"

            This whole movie is about people with the ability to go into dreams, and then steal real-world knowledge and ideas from the dreamer
            It's absolute nonsense that you wouldn't be able to go into a dream, and then steal the knowledge of their totem.

            what..? you can steal their deepest and darkest secrets, but you can't steal knowledge about some knick-knack?
            How does that make any sense at all?

            • by IICV (652597)

              I imagine that if someone went into your dreams and stole the knowledge of your totem, you would be aware of them having done so unless they were really really skilled at it. It would equivalent to sneaking into a master thief's house and stealing something from under his pillow without him finding out.

          • by ADRA (37398)

            "Things - we don't have any idea what he was doing before the movie started (or before the prequel comic, if you read that), everything just gets going. Several times in the movie they point out that one of the ways you can tell you're in a dream"..

            I had the same first impression of the story while I was watching the film. I imagined that his kids were really dead and that he went into a long sleep to 'be' with them again. I could still hold the opinion, but the movie didn't really have that type of feel to

          • by mea37 (1201159)

            If we never saw the top fall at any point in the movie, that would be a reasonable explanation. I'm almost 100% sure we did, though - specifically, juxtaposed with the dialog in which he explained that in a dream it never falls.

        • by rnelsonee (98732)

          When Cobb was killed in limbo, how do you know he died? We know being killed gets you out of limbo - not only did it work before (with Cobb and Mol) but may have also worked while they were on the plane, because Adriana killed herself in limbo and woke up. When they woke up, there was no machine hooked up to them (the flight attendant had removed it) so they were no longer under heavy sedation.

      • Re:Spoiler Alert (Score:4, Interesting)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:14PM (#33035002) Homepage

        Ok, this might not be the place for this, but I'm pretty sure this is the real deal (spoilers, obviously):

        When Cobb's wife killed herself, she was correct in thinking that they lived in a dream. She escaped into reality. When he didn't wake up, she went back in to rescue him. She's pulling a Mr. Charles, posing as part of his own unconscious. However, her attempts to get him to realize he was dreaming were always based on making his dream life worse, which as Cobb tells us, doesn't work. Positive feelings are stronger.

        In the end, she creates an inception in him-- the idea of a friend coming into his dreams to rescue him, and the idea that escaping from the dream will allow him to be with his loved ones. The Inception works, but takes some time to grow-- so he doesn't snap out of things immediately, but the top spinning at the end is a sign that the process has worked.

        The big question in my mind is, who in the dream is real? Is Mal pulling the Inception all by herself, or are some of the characters members of her team? My guess is that Ariadne and Saito are part of Mal's team, or else she's sometimes masquerading as them (the way the forger does).

    • I've been seeing this response a lot lately. Where is Derrida [wikipedia.org] when you need him? I'd argue that the film's answer isn't "It was all a dream" or "It was real" because the film's question isn't "Was it real?" or "Is this real?" The question is "What is real?" In other words, "What does it mean for something to be real?" And the answer inevitably deconstructs the tension between dreams/reality, at once perceiving and creating thought beyond category. The distinction between dreams/reality relies on the concept

  • Not much content (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DIplomatic (1759914) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:49PM (#33033412) Journal
    The "article" is only a couple of paragraphs, but it's worth the click to see the pic if nothing else.

    I assumed the gravity special effects were all CG, but it's great to know they were done physically!

  • by CajunArson (465943) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:50PM (#33033426) Journal

    Wired has a behind the scenes look at how Inception's reality-distorting special effects sequences were shot

    That's easy, the just shot the whole movie with an iPhone 4 and invited Steve Jobs to the set.. all the reality distortion you'll ever need!

    • Offtopic mod... well it looks like some Slashdot mods have no sense of humor when dealing with satire of their God-Emperor... sheesh.

  • Wired Spolier (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tekrat (242117)

    Here's the spoiler: The Slashdot summary is about as long as the article it links to. WTF? Who allows crap like this to get on the front page?

  • There wasn't hardly anything in the way of special effects in "Memento," and not much in "The Prestige." Yet those were his two best films and much better than this. "Inception" isn't *bad*, mind you. But the fact that people are concentrating so much on its visual effects is probably a good sign that the script isn't strong enough to carry the movie by itself. Everyone walked out of "Memento" way more blown away than they were from this movie, and no one was saying it was because of the cool FX. The farthe
    • by Stele (9443)

      I don't know what movie you (or many) people saw but there aren't *THAT* many special effects in this. Yeah the bending city and the falling apart city, but that was hardly overdone. They probably spent more time on the van going off the bridge sequence, effects-wise, and the vast majority of people wouldn't look at that sequence and say "look at those effects!".

      Personally I feel the best effects are the ones you don't see and by that account Forrest Gump had far more effects than this movie, and nobody wou

    • by pinkj (521155)
      I found the script to be very good for Inception. It didn't top Memento for me, but it was cleverly written and edited. I liked the FX, but I didn't feel this was an FX film. I don't see how many people would feel about it either as they weren't that many.

      The Wired article is hardly worth mentioning as it focused on the rotating room which has been used since Fred Astaire had danced on the ceiling in Royal Wedding [youtube.com]
    • by mconeone (765767)

      Yet those were his two best films and much better than this.

      That's just like... your opinion, man. According to http://www.rottentomatoes.com:
      Memento: 92%
      The Prestige: 75%
      Inception: 86%

      Sometimes a movie can have a good plot and good fx. I for one thought it was very well done in both areas.

    • I think both movies are very similar in that they try to make the viewer literally experience the storyline. For Memento he takes you backwards through the story, so that you the viewer experience the same lack of memory that the main character has. For Inception the story is very layered, details get more ambiguous as you look closer into them, and the ending is interrupted much like an actual dream.

      The movies are so different from each other that it's hard to really compare them, but definitely Memen
  • I remember wanting to see this movie months before it came out. Then, when I'm finally seeing it in IMAX on release day, I start thinking "wow this movie is actually kinda boring so far" except for the effects in the first hour maybe of the movie. It was particularly funny hearing everyone in the theater say "OHHH THAT'S THE SCENE FROM THE TRAILER." like they thought they were amazingly perceptive or something

    THEN, they actually start the heist and the levels....and the fight scenes with Gordon-Levitt,
    • Isn't it slightly early to announce the "movie of the decade"?

      • by ceraphis (1611217)
        agreed. I suppose I should have said "movie of the century (so far, for me)" but I just mainly wanted something more powerful than "movie of the year".

        It used to be Dark Knight for me, mainly due to Ledger's amazing last(ish?) performance but this finally tops it for me.
  • You don't have to worry about spoilers because there aren't any. This is a painfully brief blurb from July 8th, before the movie was released, and only directly makes reference to a few scenes in the trailer.

    Which is disappointing because I was really hoping for something of substance. The "article" spends more time talking about Courbould's other projects than Inception.
  • Did anyone else notice that it looked like Gordon Levitt had wires attached to his pants during the hallway fight where he's dancing around the walls during the fight? The preview picture of the article makes it seem like they were rotating the hallway itself so why would the wires have been attached the whole time as well? I specifically remember some scenes where the wires shouldn't have been needed if the entire hallways was rotating.
  • by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:14PM (#33033918)
    This is a bit off topic, but all you /.ers need to see this movie, if for no other reason than that it is an allegory for memory management, stack frames, orphaned pointers, etc.
  • WHOOSH! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Triv (181010) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:19PM (#33033982) Journal

    Y'all're being way too literal - whether the top fell or it didn't, the point of the last shot isn't whether the reality Cobb is in is real or not, the point is that he walked away from the top as it was spinning. He stopped trying to get home because, as far as he was concerned, he was as home as he wanted to be.

    Whether the reality we, as an audience, left him in was "real" or not is completely immaterial. Home != reality, necessarily; he ended up where he needed to be.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      far as he was concerned, he was as home as he wanted to be.

      BS. He made it abundantly clear in his confrontation with his dead wife's memory that he was *not* satisfied with the idea of only having his kids in a dream. He directly stated that he wanted to be with them "up there," in real life. The entire reason he was even on the mission is because he turned down that easy out.

      I will agree that the plot was thin, but this specific point was repeated multiple times. I am surprised you missed it.

    • Re:WHOOSH! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kenja (541830) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:50PM (#33034572)
      The ambiguity of the ending is important, it implies the possibility that not only was his wife right, but still alive and awake.
      • Re:WHOOSH! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:19PM (#33035090)
        I would argue that the ambiguity of the ending is important because it plants a seed of an idea in the audience; namely, the idea of whether Cobb is still in a dream or reality. In essence, the movie performs inception on the audience. Pretty cool trick IMO.
        • by IICV (652597)

          I would imagine that it goes even further than that - the eternally spinning top is a symbol of the dream, and who sees it last? We do.

          It's supposed to plant in our minds the idea that we are currently dreaming, much in the same way that Cobb planted the idea in Mal's mind by spinning the top in the safe. We are then given a kick (the movie ends quite abruptly, and is mirrored by people who get kicked out of dreams), and sent out into "reality", with the seed of that idea germinating in our minds - incepted

    • They're not being literal. Inception just failed on them.

      Inception is performative [wikipedia.org]: it attempts to accomplish the thing it seeks to describe.

      In the case of those still wondering if things were real or not, it fell short.

  • by Goaway (82658) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:22PM (#33034054) Homepage

    What on earth is a "working juggernaut"?

  • But I would just like to say, thanks for not posting any spoilers in the summary.
  • by jbarr (2233) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:48PM (#33034540) Homepage

    So many people, including my wife, said they just didn't get it. I must really be in the minority, because I thought that it had a similar "wow" factor as "The Matrix", only with plot instead of special effects. I remember watching "The Matrix", and at the scene where Neo got unplugged, I had this overwhelming feeling of "Oh, my, god! I get it! This is so absolutely innovatively cool!" I really had the same feeling when watching Inception. And maybe my delight with it has to do with the fact that I am able to have lucid dreams on occasion. I specifically remember one where I woke up from a dream, somehow realized that I was still dreaming, and then woke up from that. Having personally experienced that made the concept at least understandable.

    Granted, it wasn't a perfect movie, and it was probably too long, but I really think it had an innovative depth that hasn't been seen in movies in a long time.

    I also feel that though the SFX were cool, this is a movie you really don't need to see on the big screen. The plot carries it well. The wow-factor doesn't come from the SFX, it comes from the plot.

    • by IICV (652597)

      Meh, there's a glaring plot-hole you could drive a truck through.

      When the car is falling, everything in the second layer goes weightless, because everything in the first layer is weightless.

      Why do they still have gravity in the third layer? Everything should have gone weightless there too.

      Makes no sense.

      However, it did let us watch what might be the world's best variable-gravity fight - I absolutely loved how Arthur ended the fight with a sleeper hold, which will actually work in zero-g where punches probab

  • A lot of critics liked it, but quite a few, including Rex Reed [observer.com] and David Edelstein [nymag.com] destroyed it. I'm with them, personally. It seems to be fairly polarizing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Just to get the flame war started, I agree with the above. The movie was very cool and was great to watch, it was a lot of fun.

      But come on. The basic premise wasn't even capitalized on. Dreams are WEIRD. Dreams are crazy things where ANYTHING can happen. Dreams are absurd, as in Kierkegaard. There were so many precise rules to the way the whole thing worked it wasn't a dream, it was an alternate reality slightly different than ours, but a reality with real laws and rules governing it. Dreams don't have r
    • Not as great as everyone is making it out to be, but still an original and entertaining film
      The plot was largely contrived, and an ounce of sense would have taken this team of "experts" a long way toward accomplishing their goal.

      Here come the spoilers, as I highlight the nonsense:
      it is explained in the film that shared dreamers may each "project" new energy and physical matter into the dream world if they so choose.
      The reason this is avoided is because the root dreamers subconscious will start to detect it'

    • A.O. Scott had an interesting article about the polarization [nytimes.com], including the fact that a lot of the people flaming critics hadn't even seen the movie yet.
  • "Film has an enormous amount of exposure latitude and dynamic range, which gives us infinite creative flexibility in creating images... Every digital camera is trying hard to emulate 35mm film, and there's a reason for that."

    This is why film, until some monumental change in digital photography occurs, will always be better.

    It's quite telling looking at photos taken on film (Kodachrome included) from the past and those now taken on digital. The film photos have a much more pleasing aspect than the digital ve

  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Monday July 26, 2010 @03:36PM (#33036228)

    ...about kicks, limbo and sedatives. Here is all the dialog about those topics for everyone who will "remember" a character saying something they never said:

    Sedation/Kicks:

    Arthur: Three layers down, dreams are going to collapse with the slightest disturbance
    Yusuf: Sedation. For sleep stable enough to create three layers of dreaming we'll have to combine it with extremely powerful sedatives.
    [Yusuf slaps a sleeping Arthur who doesn't wake up.]
    Yusuf: The compound we'll be using to share the dream creates a very clear connection between dreamers whilst actually accelerating brain function.
    Cobb: In other words, it gives us more time on each level.
    Yusuf: Brain function in the dream will be about twenty times normal. Now when you enter a dream within that dream the effect will be compounded. There's three dreams. 10 hours to...
    Eames: I'm sorry, math was never my strong subject. So h-how much time is that?
    Cobb: It's a week the first level down. Six months, the second level down. Third level is...
    Ariadne: 10 years!
    [Cobb nods]
    Ariadne: Who'd want to be stuck in a dream for 10 years?
    Yusuf: Depends on the dream.
    Arthur: So, once we've made the plant, how do we get out? I'm hoping you have something more elegant in mind than shooting me in the head?
    Cobb: Kick.
    Ariadne: What's a kick?
    Eames: This, Ariadne, would be a kick.
    [Eames nudges Arthur's chair that is on two legs and Arthur loses balance but catches himself before he falls.]
    Cobb: It's that feeling of falling you get that jolts you awake. It snaps you out of the dream.
    Arthur: Are we going to feel a kick with this kind of sedation?
    Yusuf: Ah! That's the clever part. I customized the sedative to leave inner ear function unimpaired. That way, however deep the sleep, the sleeper still feels falling...
    [Yusuf pushes a sleeping Arthur over in a chair. Arthur awakes]
    Yusuf: or tipping...
    [Yusuf tips a sleeping Arthur over in a chair. Arthur awakes]
    Cobb: The trick is to synchronize a kick that can penetrate all three levels.
    Arthur: We could use the musical countdown to synchronize the different kicks.

    Limbo:
    Cobb: Don't do that. Don't do that!
    Eames: He's in agony, I'm waking him up.
    Cobb: No. It won't wake him up.
    Eames: What do you mean it won't wake him up...
    Cobb: It won't wake him up.
    Eames: ...if we die in a dream we wake up.
    Yusuf: Not from this. We're too heavily sedated to wake up that way.
    Eames: Right. So what happens when we die?
    Cobb: We drop into limbo.
    Arthur: Are you serious?!
    Ariadne: Limbo?!
    Arthur: Unconstructed dream space.
    Ariadne: Well, what the hell is down there?
    Arthur: Just raw, infinite subconscious. Nothing is down there. Except for whatever might have been left behind by anyone sharing the dream who's been trapped there before. Which in our case is just you.
    Ariadne: Well, how long can we be stuck there?
    Yusuf: Can't even think about trying to escape until the sedation...
    Eames: How long?!
    Yusuf: Decades. It could be infinite. I don't know. Ask him. He's the one who's been there.
    Arthur: Let's get him upstairs.
    Saito:
    Eames: Great... Thank you. So now we are trapped in Fischer's mind battling his own private army and if we get killed we'll be lost in limbo till our brains turn to scrambled egg.

    More Limbo:
    Cobb: How's he doing?
    Ariadne: He's in a lot of pain.
    Cobb: When we get down to the lower levels, his pain will be less intense.
    Ariadne: And if he dies?
    Cobb: Worst case scenario: when he wakes up his mind is completely gone.
    Saito: Cobb. I'll still honor the arrangement.
    Cobb: I appreciate that Saito, but when you wake up you won't even remember that we had an arrangement. Limbo's going to become your reality, you're gonna be lost down there so long that you're going to become an old man...
    Saito: ...filled with regret...
    Cobb: ...waiting to die alone.
    Saito: No. I'll come back. And we'll be yo

  • I got sucked in by the hype that there is a spectacular surprise twist at the end. There isn't. Some of the special effects are quite interesting. Otherwise, this is a very conventional action movie. Not a bad movie, but certainly not anything special.

    This has been my opinion which, to most of you, won't be worth much.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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