Inception Blu-ray Review - -

Feature 9.0
Video 9.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 9.0
Total 9.0

Distributor: Warner
Running Time: 148 Minutes
Classification: M15+



This three disc release of Inception includes the Blu-ray movie, a Blu-ray disc of special features and a DVD version of the movie that also serves as a digital copy of the film and if you have never seen Inception before, get ready for the ride of your life. Christopher Nolan is undoubtedly one of the best filmmakers of the last decade. He has the rare ability of creating original and thought-provoking films respected by even the harshest of critics while also striking a chord with the general public – and making a fair amount of money to boot. After reinventing the super-hero genre with The Dark Knight, it looks like Nolan’s latest effort Inception is set to do the same thing with science fiction and it’s the best of his impressive catalogue of films.

Cobb and Ariadne (Leo and Ellen Page) play in the dreamworld

To outline exactly what makes this film so amazing is difficult without giving too much away – but I’ll do my best. I watched the film having read very little about the plot and am grateful for it. In short, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) has the ability to infiltrate the subconscious of sleeping individuals and extract sensitive and often valuable information. After being ‘auditioned’ by businessman Saito (Ken Watanabe), Cobb is offered one last job – to commit inception. That is, rather than stealing a thought, he will need to plant the seed of an idea in someone’s deeper subconscious and therefore alter the person’s mind permanently. In return, he will be given safe passage back to his children in the US. Cobb gathers together a team of experts to help him pull off his last and most dangerous dream heist.

Nolan worked for almost a decade on this script and it certainly shows. One of the most exciting aspects of this film is just how multi-layered it is and that none of these layers are lost in translation to the screen. For much of the movie, numerous plot lines and ‘realities’ run concurrently, but each is easily distinguishable with a specific – and often striking – aesthetic. After the brilliance of Memento, this isn’t too surprising. With so much to explain to the audience about the subconscious, the concept of extraction and inception, and exactly how Dobb’s plans to pull off the heist the script thankfully only falls into unnecessary exposition on the rare occasion.

Leo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the prowl in “Inception”

From the opening scene, the film moves at a breakneck speed over the course of 150 minutes and we’re barely given a chance to take a breath. On the IMAX screen this film looks splendid and the fast-paced chase sequences employing hand-held aren’t too overwhelming. As expected, the special effects are as mind-blowing as the concept itself. With The Dark Knight, Nolan showed the world just how good he is at constructing tense action set pieces and here he surpasses anything he’s done before. The hallway scene featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt became a staple part of the marketing campaign. This is one of the greatest fight scenes I have ever seen. He’s no Jackie Chan, but you’ll understand what I mean when you see it, especially when viewed in context.

What’s even more refreshing is the fact that the characters are well-developed and likeable. Nolan once again finds a perfect balance between the action and heart of the story, which is driven primarily by the plight of Cobb. DiCaprio captures his emotional agony well and the audience can easily empathise with him. Out of all the supporting cast, Tom Hardy shines the most as the tactless and quick-witted Eames.

Video, Audio & Special Features

The video quality of Inception is amazing and dare I say reference material? Presented in 1080p/VC-1 encode (2:40:1), it really assists in bringing the story to life, thanks to the high resolution. The colours are vibrant, although sometimes muted in the dreamworld for a purpose and all the images are sharp & clear. Even the small things will stand out on the Blu-ray version and will leave you gobsmacked. Audio is equally as impressive with its DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that will definitely act as a reference for other movies. The audio is flawless and really makes good use of your surround sound system. This is how Blu-rays should be created.

Then you have the special features which are almost as good as the feature itself. If you really want a behind the scenes pass to how the movie was created and more importantly, the dreamworld itself, than I suggest you watch all the special features. For me, the highlight was Dreams: Cinema of the Subconscious, a 40+ minute documentary into dreams itself and is not just a plug for the movie but has expert interviews about how our bodies manufacture dreams and how it is an integral part of our lives.

Disc One

  • Extraction Mode (Interactive behind the scenes)

  • BD-Live (Online link)

Disc Two

  • Dreams: Cinema of the Subconscious

  • "Inception: The Cobol Job"

  • 5.1 Inception Soundtrack

  • Project Somnacin: Confidential Files (HD)

  • Still Gallery (HD)

  • Trailers (HD)

  • BD-Live (Online link)

Disc Three

  • DVD copy of 'Inception' and Digital Copy for portable devices.

Final Thoughts

Christopher Nolan's Inception is the 21st century Matrix and although shares some parallels, it's definitely a movie in its own right. The Blu-ray version of this movie does the story justice and will captivate you from start to finish.
Nolan toys with us and forces us to question everything we’re seeing and hearing and leaves it so open that Inception is sure to be talked about for many years. This was by far one of the most enjoyable, exhilarating and engaging cinematic experiences I’ve ever had.


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