Monday, July 19, 2010

I kinda followed that ...

Some friends and I saw Inception this weekend, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a man who "extracts" information from people's dreams to use against them or implants info to manipulate them. That's a very tiny nutshell of a plot explanation. When I heard what the movie was about, I got that knot in my tummy that writers get when they hear someone has just published a book that has a plot similar to the one they just wrote. Not good. Cuz, you see, the third book in my Trueology, True Calling, involves spies who "mine" information from the memories of bad guys to help put them away. Sure, Inception centers around dreams, and True Calling focuses on memories, but still. I had a moment. Luckily, the stories are WAY different.

I liked Inception. Took awhile, though. The first 20 minutes or so were tough to follow, until I got oriented. The writer in me thinks the opening was too confusing and viewers would have been better served by a beginning that didn't start at the end of the story. But that's just me. Others in my group didn't have a problem with it.

Visually, the movie was amazing. Because much of it takes place in dream worlds, anything can happen. Landscapes reshape and fold in on each other. Staircases go on for infinity -- or end in mid-air. People can get fatally wounded but not die. A paranormal writer's dream.

One thing that bugged me, and this isn't about Inception but about the previews. We saw four or five previews, and each of them had one thing in common: They all starred well-known actors (Ben Affleck, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Douglas, Shia LeBeouf, Zac Efron) but unknown actresses (with the possible exception of Carey Mulligan, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for An Education).

A couple of the movies didn't appear to have any women in them at all. Are all the actresses out there considered too old to land movie deals? Are they relegated to starring in "chick flicks" or the next cable channel series, like The Closer or Damages? (Not that I would complain about that: I love those shows.)

I get that the previews were aimed at the audience most likely to be drawn to Inception (men). But lots of women like Leo, too, not to mention the idea of a really cool movie. Inception, by the way, also stars Ellen Page, and thank God, her role wasn't to be eye candy. Can't say the same for the previews, though. Clearly, Hollywood still caters to the boys.

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