Deeper into ‘Inception’ (Spoiler Alert)

Posted on July 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I love all the crowd-sourcing on the internet about “Inception,” with all kinds of theories and explanations. If you’ve already seen the movie, check out these:
Cinematical has a sensational chart from an artist named Dehahs showing all of “Inception’s” levels.
Salon explains it all.
Here’s an explanation as twisty and layered as the movie itself.
And actor Dileep Rao, who appears in the film as Yusuf the chemist , answers some questions in New York Magazine.
And check out these surprising sleep facts from the movie.

Related Tags:

 

Spoiler Alert

Contest: ‘Prime Suspect’ Complete Series

Posted on July 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

Prime_Suspect_Complete_3d.jpg

This is really special. I have one fabulous complete set of the brilliant “Prime Suspect” series from the BBC and PBS, starring Helen Mirren as police detective Jane Tennison. USA Today called it “A masterpiece” and “A perfect marriage of astoundingly talented actress and brilliantly conceived character.” The Washington Post raved, “One of the great character creations of our time.” It is a gritty drama about a dedicated woman who faces challenges to her authority inside the department as well as the challenges in solving crimes outside. Mirren is unforgettable as Tennison. You might not want to work for her but if someone happened to someone you cared about, you’d want her on the case. The show has won a basketful of awards including Emmys, Golden Globes, and the prestigious Peabody.

Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com and tell me which Helen Mirren role is your favorite. I will select a winner at random one week from today. Good luck!

Related Tags:

 

Mystery Television

Salt

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 10:24 pm

B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Profanity: Brief strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Constant peril and violence, shooting, fighting, explosions, torture, some graphic images, many characters injured and killed
Diversity Issues: Very strong female character
Date Released to Theaters: July 23, 2010

“Salt” is the story of a CIA agent with an exemplary record who is accused by a mole of being a Russian spy, part of a cadre trained as children to infiltrate America by living normal lives until ordered into action. Angelina Jolie plays the title character, Evelyn Salt, bringing all of her Angelina Jolie-ness with her, for better and worse. She continues to explore the fearless action star stunt daredevil side she showed in the “Tomb Raider” movies and “Wanted” and the intensity of a wronged but fierce and fearless woman she showed in “The Changeling” and “A Mighty Heart.” And there’s the inevitability of her real tabloid-fodder life spilling over into the story as well, the wild child with her knives and épater le bourgeouis attitude evolving into the glowing madonna working tirelessly for the world’s children and happily devoted to her own highly photogenic six.

And so, when the movie opens, showing us Salt/Jolie being tortured by North Koreans, wearing nothing but her scanties, all of that comes along with whatever we are learning about her character. She is fierce and brave and will do anything it takes to protect her home. Once she is rescued, she holds it together until she sees who it was who insisted on getting her out, not the CIA, which has strict procedures for calculating the greater good, but her German boyfriend Mike (August Diehl), a scientist specializing in spiders.

Five years later, she has a desk job at a CIA cover organization and is getting ready to celebrate her wedding anniversary when a Russian guy shows up with an offer to provide information. He says that Salt is a Russian spy and is about to kill the Russian president (yes, I know that does not seem to make much sense). Her long-time colleague Ted (Liev Schreiber) believes she is telling the truth when she says she is loyal to America. But another official named Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) wants her investigated. Salt runs. It could be because she thinks Mike is in danger or because she does not trust Peabody. Or it could be that the Russian was right.

The chase and fight scenes are well staged, especially when Salt leaps across the tops of trucks as they race along a highway. But the absurdity of the plot is made even harder to accept because Jolie’s dignified diligence seems so out of step with the film’s tone. The Jolie of “Tomb Raider” and even “Gone in 60 Seconds” knew how to have fun on screen. But the wild child era is over, and even in film these days, Jolie seems to want to go for the gravitas. If so, this is the wrong movie.

Related Tags:

 

Action/Adventure Movies Spies Thriller

What the Well-Dressed Villain Is Wearing

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm

The Daily Beast has a great gallery of villain fashion. Sean Macaulay writes very perceptively about what we learn from the way the bad guys dress.

The key to any great supervillain–and why we secretly like them–is that they are not destroyers, at heart, but creators. They don’t want riches or power, they want to realize a vision. They are arrogant and remote. Their certainty is breathtaking. But there’s no denying their artistry.

Macaulay notes that good guys tend to be conservative. They are about preserving the status quo and playing by the rules. Bad guys want to shake things up. They have vision — yes, evil, destructive vision — but they undeniably want to make some big changes. They want to stand out and make a mark and that is often reflected in their attire. Macaulay admires the stark contrast in the style choices of the two arch-villains and arch-rivals in “Despicable Me.” One is goth-grubby traditional with his gray sweater and striped scarf, his alligator sofa, rhinoceros chair, vehicles made from scrap metal emitting puffs of dark smoke, and beds made from bomb casings. The other is sleek and spotless, everything white and shiny with orange accents.
The accompanying gallery is a bit disappointing, though. Every one of the sartorial examples is male and three out of twelve are James Bond villains. They’ve left off my favorite fashion-forward villains. I’d include The Snow Queen in the Narnia movies, Hannibal Lecter with the face mask to keep him from biting, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger as The Joker, the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz,” Disney villainesses like Ursula in “The Little Mermaid” and Malifacent in “Sleeping Beauty,” Agent Smith in the “Matrix” movies, Alex in “A Clockwork Orange,” Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men,” various Draculas, and the greatest fashion icon villain of them all…..

(more…)

Related Tags:

 

Understanding Media and Pop Culture
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2021, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik