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Inception | a film review by Gary Chew

GARY CHEW/Sacramento

The night before I was scheduled to see a screening of "Inception," I had the strangest dream. I dreamt I was in more than one place at a time, and time itself moved at dissimilar speeds according to which ever of the three levels my multi-tasking dreams were going forward.

Some of the players in my dreams included Ellen Page, in the role of Juno, as she appeared in the movie of the same name. Another character in my layer of reveries was Michael Cera, also in "Juno" and another fine film called "Youth in Revolt." (Cera's new film, "Scott Pilgrim vs The World" opens next month.)

Michael Caine

Michael Caine as 'Alfie'

Mr. Cera was playing against type since he was masquerading as Leonardo DiCaprio with the same mannerisms Mr. DiCaprio uses when he does his overwrought characters. Marion Cotillard, the lovely and talented French actor was, for some bizarre reason, Leonardo's wife in this crazy dream of mine. And, probably, the nuttiest thing of all was that Alfie, that lothario from the same titled movie had a couple of passing moments in my dreams in a dream. Alfie appeared rather elderly and seemed to be less of the jerk than back in 1966, but still a real talent. A young man looking suspiciously like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, sporting a haircut much different than the one he had in "500 Days of Summer," manifested as sort of an adroit side kick of the Cera/DiCaprio character.

At the inception of my dream, there was no exposition, just an abrupt lurching into all kinds of chaos and action around me. I couldn't immediately grasp what the hell was going on. But heck, I've had stranger dreams than that. Furthermore, all the people in my dream were very sketchy, I couldn't get much of a handle on anything about their characters. But they were all good in my triple-threat of sleepy time ruminations, exuding great confidence, athletic ability and especially adept at handling automatic weapons and explosive devices.

I thought, "Oh, my dream is something akin to a James Bond caper," but as I dreamt on, I realized no one in these near nightmares of mine worked for a big government and there was no hanky panky with hot, foreign ladies. Actually, all were employed by large corporations with an ultimate intent of trying to dissolve a successful businessman's advantage by putting a new idea (an inception, you see) in the mind of his son.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page

Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page

The elderly father was about to die of natural causes and kept secreted in a safe his last will and testament that would greatly affect what the son would do with his father's large company. The will, although hazy now, seemed to be what the corporate dream guys wanted to get their hands on.

Well, not quite all of them were working to accomplish that. Some were trying to keep Michael Cera as Leonardo DiCaprio from putting that specific idea in the head of the son who, as I recall, was named Robert Fischer, Jr. I guess the infirm father in my dream was Robert Fischer, Sr. but maybe not, I can't remember.

Since it's hard to tell how long dreams actually last, I can't say how long I dreamed all this. It could've been but a few moments, even though it seemed like it was a really, really long time.

Something sort of funny came up as I dreamt on. The dream guys referred to getting into the lowest stage or third tier of dreaming, since it happens so suddenly, as sort of a limbo rush, and whenever they'd say "limbo rush" looking into a mirror, the words, like the image, reversed and sounded out as "Rush Limbo." That may be the silliest part of my dream of dreams. I can't figure out why that term popped into my sleeping brain.

And now, that I'm awake here on the morning of the day I'll later see "Inception," I'm all excited as I hear tonight's movie was directed and written by Christopher Nolan ("The Black Knight").

Earlier, Mr. Nolan did two really good films that have to do with time and sleeplessness. I hear this new one of his has really spectacular special effects, even if the music by Hans Zimmer (doing some John Barry chords over and over) is too loud. Hopefully, "Inception" will be as good as "Memento" and "Insomnia."

Golly, I hope what I dreamt last night isn't some kind of premonition since someone in the dream awakened me shouting, "Cool! More pseudo-smart cinema." It makes me ponder what the chances are this outré dreamscape reoccurs---you know, like a sequel?

"Inception" official site. Opens wide Friday.

See Yahoo Movies-Tulsa for theaters and times.

Gary Chew can be reached at garychew@comcast.net,
Facebook.com/justin.playfair and Twitter.com/orwellingly.

Copyright © 2010, Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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