Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

14:30: Trailers and adverts start.

14:37: While Herschel and I are buying our tickets, I ask the person on the ticket desk at what time the actual film will be starting.

"What time does the actual film start? I mean I know it's meant to be two-thirty, but what time do the trailers and adverts finish?"

They explain that there will be about 25 minutes of trailers and adverts, so the actual film's actual start time will be about 15:00. And you know what? They're right. Even the cinema's website says so.

"Normally the advertisements and trailers last for approximately 25 minutes which should be added on to the total running time of the film."

14:41: We're stocking up on snacks for the upcoming 148-minute Chris Nolan marathon.

14:46 (roughly): With quarter of an hour to go, we're entering Odeon 3!

Inside, it's dark. There's a trailer in progress featuring Leonardo DiCaprio with some exploding cars. It goes on for a bit, so rather than blindly flounder about in search of row D, we settle into some chairs at the back and squint at the faraway screen.

The trailer is an epic, cutting around from location to location in that disjointed way made famous by 1970s cutdowns on Super 8. Sheesh, it's almost as long as the one for X-Men 3. People are getting blown-up, attacked, and drowned, but then it all turns out to be a dream. Then that turns out to be a dream. Or does it? Whooah. We gotta go see this film!

15:00: Still no sign of this trailer ending. As two trains pass each other, somewhere in front of us and over to the left somebody's watch double-beeps three o'clock. (it's okay to leave them switched on, apparently)

Right then - Time for that retro Odeon music to start! Time for the ad for the online booking system! Time for some famous film-maker to pitch a movie idea and get Orange mobile phones sprinkled liberally throughout it!

If only this very, very long trailer would finish…

Do y'see what happened there? We - the ticket-seller included - had had the seed of an idea introduced into our heads that the feature presentation would not begin until 25-30 minutes after the trailers and adverts had begun.

That seed had then grown, specifically, into a chocolate bar, a bottle of water, a strawberry-flavoured Frijj drink, and the wrong seats, Gromit.

Oh, and at least one very confused film-goer sitting at the back.

Yep, we had actually missed the inception of Inception.

Well, being a Chris Nolan film, we might actually have missed the end...

Inception is a film about this process of planting an idea. Well, most of it is anyway. I really can't speak for that opening. I assume some characters were introduced, along with the story's subject matter. Sorry, but missing that really damaged the film for me.

Presently, I did get into the main story, and was pleased to find myself watching something reminiscent of one of my favourite TV series - VR.5 - specifically the idea of stealing information from, and/or implanting an idea into, a subject's subconscious mind, by interacting with their dreams.

I mean sure, everyone knows that most dreams don't make much sense or maintain an intact location for very long, hence this film narrows its scope to lucid dreams, and hopes that the targets actually do dismiss such vivid experiences as meaningless upon awakening. (maybe they dealt with this at the start)

What this outing did do was engage my own brain for the entire remaining duration. I think maybe 30% of the plot passed me by, but that remaining 70% had my attention locked-in like gravity.

I've watched several of writer/director Christopher Nolan's films over the years - Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight - and found that last one to be the only dud. This makes him one of my favourite directors. Here he explores his own ideas in such meticulous depth that whenever I didn't understand something, I was confident that it still worked anyway.

Some of the imagery too was quite stark, reminding me of some of my own vivid dreams. In the current era of 3-D movies, I'm surprised that this one hadn't hopped on the bandwagon too, as this could have really given it that heightened feeling of reality.

Afterwards, a friendly usher asked us both what we had thought of the film, and I really wanted to ask him if, bearing in mind the inaccurate information we'd been given and acted upon earlier, we could stay and watch the start of the next screening, like I'd done so many times at this cinema as a child. (things were different back then, admittedly)

Of course, I never plucked up the courage for such impertinence, even this late in the film's run. I had the deep-rooted idea in my noggin that he would just fall back on his rules and say no, even if he paradoxically agreed with me.

But, y'know, maybe if I had just suggested it to him and planted the idea in his mind…

(instead I guess I may have just have to pay for it again here...)


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