We just watched two films, which is as good a way to cap off a weekend as any. The first was kid’s choice, and it was an incredibly lame teen comedy called “Mark and Russel’s Wild Ride” about a nerd who had to get his driver’s license so he could drive the cool girl to the pool party. It was badly acted (but heavy handed overacting is part of the genre), slow paced, looked like Diary of a Wimpy Kid (which I hated – all of them) and the jokes were insanely predictable, but I still got a laugh or two. When he catapulted himself over the fence and said he’d land on the mattress, you knew perfectly well he was going to land in the dirt, but it was funny anyway, in a Three Stooges way. The kid’s liked it, and that’s the point. I’m not sure if it’s just different tastes, or if they have way lower standards in films, it’s just like watching another TV show, whereas to my generation watching a film is an event, even if you’re watching it at home, on TV.
Then we put the kids to bed and watched Inception. Wow. What a great film. Sure, it worked as action adventure, and special effects extravaganza, but it also worked in the way that counts, as a great science fiction film. They took a plausible, but not yet real, technology, and examined it pretty thoroughly, ethical dilemmas and all. Basically, they could go into other people’s dreams and direct them to some extent. Of course, they did this to try and convince the rich heir to break up his father’s company, because they were the opposition, which certainly should be illegal, but the film also goes into what happens when people prefer the dream to the reality and don’t want to come back, and when people stop knowing the difference.
It was dark and, by the end, I was wondering if there were any positive uses for this technology. Well, of course there are. It could be an amazing tool for psychoanalysis, although that makes issues of discretion and confidentiality even more problematic. Also, for couples, it could take relationships to a much deeper level.
But, in Inception, mostly they blew shit up and had gunfights and stuff. It was a great movie.