Barry Restrepo: After Inception
Restrepo: "Restrepo is many things. It's the name of Juan "Doc" Restrepo, a soldier we meet in the opening camcorder footage of the film. He's a wise ass who kind of does cholo fronting while he films his drunk buddies. It could be a bunch of frat boys backpacking through Europe fresh out of Amsterdam's tea houses. They talk about all the ass they are gonna kick once they get in the shit and how bad ass they are. It's only later when we realize this is essentially a ghost story -- that this kid's dead. He bled out from a shot that hit him in an artery. Restrepo is also what his battalion christened the outpost they fought tooth and nail to occupy. The Korengal Valley in Afghanistan has been called the deadliest place on earth; the soldiers get fired on every single fucking day of deployment. To get a more defensible position, to have a better chance of not being flanked by mountain goat guerillas, they battled long and hard to develop an outpost on a mountaintop. They dug out a semi-circle, shot it out in the middle of the night with enemies attuned to their home turf, and then dug some more until they had a base of operations. That blood-soaked turf, that mound of land bought with lives and lead, they named after their fallen comrade." - Brian Prisco
Inception: "Nolan's territory this time is the world of dreams, and it's the latest testament to his skills as a filmmaker that his movie is inherently dreamlike in the best way: You understand the world completely the moment it's presented, even though it bears little or no resemblance to reality as you know it. The dialogue is blunt but never dumb, and compounded with the action it's enough to instantly clue you in to things that take much longer to explain in other ways. Namely: Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the leader of a team of specialized operatives able to move together through a person's (often lucidly) dreaming subconscious in order to extract information. The hardware with which they achieve these awesome ends is wisely never discussed in detail; remembering Clarke's words that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Nolan simply presents a team of people who use sleep-inducing chemicals and a small box with wires and tubes inserted into their arms that allow them to enter a shared dream-space together. The opening sequence is the first of many throughout the film that are gorgeously and almost flawlessly done, as Cobb and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) work to infiltrate the mind of Saito (Ken Watanabe) to retrieve classified knowledge. As the dream breaks up, the environment shatters and torques in ways that underscore a dream's no-nonsense way of violating the laws of physics. Nolan's dream worlds are fantastically rendered but only used in service of the greater narrative, i.e., every stunning shot (water shooting into a building through the windows and flowing up to the ceiling) is connected with a tangible story aspect (the dreamer was dunked in a tank of water to return to a waking state, thus creating water images before the whole thing disappeared)." - Daniel Carlson
Barry Munday: "What he also doesn't have a memory of is conceiving a child with the homely Ginger (Judy Greer) during a one-night stand a few months prior. He's alerted to the pregnancy when he receives a letter from Ginger's lawyer demanding that Barry take responsibility. Ball-less and stripped of his carnal desires, Barry eagerly enters the situation realizing that it's his only means of continuing his familial line. It's the bitchy and unappreciated Ginger who's reluctant. Weighed by the guilt of losing her virginity to a "shit eater," Ginger takes her anger out on Barry, lashing out at his intentions, suspecting only the worse motives. Matters are made worse by Ginger's wealthy and judgmental parents (Cybil Shepard and Malcolm McDowell) -- who believe he forced himself upon her -- and Ginger's slutty sister (Chloe Sevigny), who attempts to force herself on Barry (Barry's loss of testicles has only stripped him of his lust; it has not, apparently, rid him of his sexual ability. He can still have a "dry orgasm.") Like Seth Rogen in Knocked Up, but with considerably less pot and considerably more awkward charm, Barry approaches impending fatherhood with determination. He bones up on pregnancy literature and attempts to win over the unappealing Ginger, who thwarts his earnestness with insults and sarcasm." - Dustin Rowles
Also released this week: A Dog Year, Lennon NYC, Mademoiselle Chambon
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