Aug. 03, 2010 | 8:57 p.m.

Wait, ‘Inception’ stole everything from Scrooge McDuck?

Is it fowl play? “Inception” is being hailed as a rare burst of true originality in contemporary Hollywood moviemaking but, as the above panel makes painfully clear, Christopher Nolan will soon be dealing with accusations that his complex dream-world heist film is really just a live-action adaption of a Scrooge McDuck comic-book story from 2004 titled “The Dream of a Lifetime.” Kudos to Videogum for uncovering this scandal. What, you think we’re blowing this out of proportion? Hey, listen, if it walks like a duck… — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Christopher Nolan’s dim view of 3-D ‘Inception’ questions? Here’s the most in-depth article on the film REVIEW: ‘Inception’ dreams darkly with film noir soul Brad Pitt and Will Smith were early candidates to star in ‘Inception’ MINISTRY OF GOSSIP: The ‘Inception’ premiere in Hollywood Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page dream big Ken […]
Aug. 02, 2010 | 9:45 p.m.

‘Inception’ wake-up call — ‘X-Men: First Class’ director jettisons similar dream-time scenes

Director Matthew Vaughn is hard at work on “X-Men: First Class” in London but he took some time out Sunday to catch a screening of “Inception.” He enjoyed the Christopher Nolan epic immensely — even though it prompted him to scrap a dozen pages of the “First Class” script. “I saw ‘Inception,’ which I loved,” Vaughn said Monday. “But my heart sank when I saw that a few of the ideas we had were up [on the screen]. So it’s either leave it in and look as if you’re copying or change things. We completely ripped out about 12 pages of the script and the storyboards.” The jettisoned sequence was a sort of dream-space combat, according to Vaughn; that reminded me of “psi war” scenes like the one here on the right from “The Uncanny X-Men” No. 117 way back in 1979, but the filmmaker said for the film […]
July 20, 2010 | 12:54 p.m.

Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr talk about the sad romance of ‘Inception’

  Director Christopher Nolan turned to a familiar collaborator for the music of “Inception,” this weekend’s box office leader: It was Hans Zimmer, who brought the taut, dooming minimalist string arrangements that marked the sound of Nolan’s two Batman films to this new dream-thief epic. But Zimmer looked beyond Nolan’s coolly precise and complex cinematic visions when he actually got down to work. For Zimmer, the soul of the film can be directly traced to famed French balladeer Édith Piaf. The multidimensional dream-within-a-dream action heist film is an elaborate puzzle, with a main character, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) haunted by a past where dreams were made real and reality turned into nightmare. But, speaking the day after a special performance at the Hollywood premiere of the film,  Zimmer said the role of the score was to amplify a less-discussed aspect of Nolan’s tense film: […]
July 18, 2010 | 6:32 p.m.

‘Inception’ opens strong with $60 million

We started our in-depth coverage of “Inception” long before anyone else with the expectation that the film would be the touchstone moment of 2010 cinema. Now, the film’s commercial success story has officially begun, as Ben Fritz of Company Town reports….    “Inception,” which was marketed in large part on the appeal of “Dark Knight“ director Christopher Nolan, opened to a strong $60.4 million, according to studio estimates, driven by positive reviews and audience word-of-mouth. But audiences thoroughly rejected Walt Disney Studios’ new live-action version of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” starring Nicolas Cage, which collected just $17.4 million for the weekend and $24.5 million since it opened Wednesday. In particularly good news for the backers of “Inception,” which was made by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures for a hefty $160 million, ticket sales on Friday were virtually even at $21.6 million, even though Friday […]
July 15, 2010 | 10:25 p.m.

REVIEW: ‘Inception’ dreams darkly with ‘strong film noir ties’

Kenneth Turan takes a look at one of the year’s most anticipated releases in “Inception.” Dreaming is life’s great solitary adventure. Whatever pleasures or terrors the dream state provides, we experience them alone or not at all. But what if other people could literally invade our dreams, what if a technology existed that enabled interlopers to create and manipulate sleeping life with the goal of stealing our secret thoughts, or more unsettling still, implanting ideas in the deepest of subconscious states and making us believe they’re our own? Welcome to the world of “Inception,” written and directed by the masterful Christopher Nolan, a tremendously exciting science-fiction thriller that’s as disturbing as it sounds. This is a popular entertainment with a knockout punch so intense and unnerving it’ll have you worrying if it’s safe to close your eyes at night. Having […]
July 13, 2010 | 3:04 p.m.

Brad Pitt and Will Smith were early candidates to star in ‘Inception’

No movie dreams bigger this summer than “Inception,” and Ben Fritz has a cover story Tuesday in the business section of the Los Angeles Times about the commercial risks of the epic. During his reporting, he came up with an interesting tidbit about casting …   There was never any doubt at Warner Bros. that “Inception” would star one of the world’s biggest stars. The only question was which star. In early talks with writer/director Christopher Nolan, the studio considered both Brad Pitt and Will Smith for the lead role as a dream thief, Warner Film Group president Jeff Robinov said in an interview about the movie. Of course, the role ultimately went to Leonardo DiCaprio — a decision that certainly seems to sit well with early reviewers. Casting DiCaprio, who is recognized by moviegoers around the world but has a mixed box-office record, may […]
July 08, 2010 | 8:39 a.m.

‘Inception’ stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page dream big

This is a longer version of my upcoming Sunday Calendar cover story on the two young stars who play opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in “Inception,” the most ambitious Hollywood film of 2010.   These days, the term “young Hollywood” conjures up images of pouty, plastic starlets being chased down Robertson Boulevard by paparazzi and probation officers, but recently the soulful side of young Hollywood made an appearance at a corner deli on Franklin Avenue. “Hi Joe,” Ellen Page said with a faraway smile as Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave her a hug. Page and Gordon-Levitt are costars in Christopher Nolan’s  “Inception,” the perception-bending heist movie that opens July 16 amid high expectations and strong early reviews. Leonardo DiCaprio leads an extremely deep cast — there are seven Oscar nominees in the film — but Nolan says that Page and Gordon-Levitt more than held their own. […]
June 13, 2010 | 8:04 p.m.

Christopher Nolan’s dim view of a Hollywood craze: ‘I’m not a huge fan of 3-D’

HERO COMPLEX FILM FESTIVAL Night 2 of the Hero Complex Film Festival was a great success as Christopher Nolan took time from applying the finishing touches to “Inception” to sit for a lively Q&A session. There’s plenty to tell you about, but I’ve broken out an entire article on his enlightening comments on the 3-D craze of the moment.    Christopher Nolan, speaking at the Hero Complex Film Festival, was cheered loudly by the audience when he made a moviegoer confession: “I’m not a huge fan of 3-D.” The director of “The Dark Knight“ added that, after doing 3-D tests, his new film “Inception” will not be released in the trendy stereoscopic format because “we didn’t have time to do it to the standards that I would be happy with.” Then, the professorial 39-year-old filmmaker, who burst on the scene a decade ago with “Memento,” launched into […]
June 10, 2010 | 6:55 p.m.

Christopher Nolan in the spotlight with ‘Inception’ and return to Gotham

On Saturday at the Hero Complex Film Festival, we’ll hear Christopher Nolan discuss his filmmaking accomplishments between our screenings of the underrated 2002 thriller “Insomnia“ and billion-dollar blockbuster “The Dark Knight,” but don’t think that the discussion won’t be forward-looking as well — the future looks fascinating for this 39-year-old auteur, and I plan to ask him about the third Batman film, which starts shooting in March, and his plans to produce a Superman revival with his partner and wife, Emma Thomas. And then, of course, there’s “Inception,” which arrives in theaters in July as one of the most intriguing films of the year. Here’s the latest trailer … — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED “Inception”: DiCaprio inspired by “complex and ambiguous” script Ken Watanabe wins over Nolan: “He’s such a movie star” Bigger than Batman: Nolan takes on “Inception” “Inception,” the only movie that matters? Nolan […]
June 03, 2010 | 2:08 p.m.

‘Inception’ actor Ken Watanabe wins over Christopher Nolan: ‘He’s such a huge movie star, it’s amazing’

  Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” has perhaps the deepest cast of any film this year, with six past Oscar nominees or winners at the top of the credits: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Michael Caine and Tom Berenger. With that dream team (as well as on-the-rise actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Cillian Murphy), Nolan is far too smart to publicly pick any favorites, but last year on the set of the film, he acknowledged that getting to know Watanabe as a person and a performer has been a particular highlight of the “Inception” experience. “It’s brilliant working with Ken Watanabe,” said Nolan, the writer and director of the movie that opens July 16. “We worked briefly together on ‘Batman Begins,’ and I’ve been looking to do something with him ever since. This is a more substantial part, and his […]
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