Inception on Blu-ray Disc

From the director of "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" comes this dark look at the world of dreams and the subconscious – a movie you could say works on many levels.

At its most basic, it's a film about corporate espionage, where a Japanese businessman named Saito (Ken Watanabe) hires a guy named Cobb (Leonardo diCaprio) and his crew to get inside the mind of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), his main competitor's son, and plant the idea in his mind to break up his father's corporate empire.

To do this, Cobb and his partner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) put together a team consisting of a student "architect" (Ellen Page), the person who designs the dream world into which they're going to take Fischer, as well as a forger (Tom Hardy) and a chemist (Dileep Rao) to create the drugs they need to pull off the "reverse heist".  

This gig is supposedly Cobb's chance to get an ongoing problem he has with the American authorities solved, so he can go home and visit his kids – which is the main reason he takes the job. Unfortunately, Cobb brings some serious baggage with him into these dream worlds, in the persona of his dead wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), who haunts him for reasons that become clear as the movie unfolds.  

Ironically, there's a bit of reverse "Titanic" here, in that it's DiCaprio who must let go of a love - like Kate Winslet's Rose had to let go of his character in that Cameron epic.

It's an interesting and pretty innovative treatment of what's basically a heist movie  - except that instead of ripping someone off they're actually planting an idea meant to change a person's course of action.

Confused? Wait till you see the movie!

You'll delve multiple levels into the target's subconscious, deeper and deeper into the intrigue, and it's a pretty nifty tale - let alone imaginative - indeed.

DiCaprio and the cast put in very good performances, and the movie has terrific pacing and production values.

The Blu-ray comes in a three disc set that also includes a DVD. You can also get a digital copy. We're only concerned with the Blu-rays, one of which includes the feature and one of which is reserved for special features.

Presented in 1080p at a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the picture quality is superb – just like we got from Nolan's "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" – real reference quality stuff. Colors are bright and clean and true, detail is superb and the overall look is spectacular.

The Audio is just as good, if not better. Presented in dts-HD Master Audio, it's also the stuff of reference display, with a terrifically dynamic punch that fills the home theater beautifully, whether it's just the sound of rain, bullets flying around, or whatever.

Extras include "Extraction Mode," which pops you out of the movie and takes you behind the scenes. If you don't want the movie interrupted, you can access the various segments individually as well.

Dreams: Cinema of the Subconscious is an HD feature that includes interviews with professors, shrinks and other supposed experts talking about dreams. No snoozefest this, It's actually quite interesting and entertaining, and also includes a few comments from star DiCaprio and director Nolan. "Inception: The Cobol Job" is a kind of motion picture comic telling about how Cobb and his little friends were first hired by Cobol Engineering (you'll find out more about who they are in the film itself).

There's also a feature presenting Hans Zimmer's musical score in DTS-HD Master Audio, while "Project Somnacin: Confidential Files" lets you use the BD-Live feature to look at dream-sharing technology.

And there's the usual collection of stills, this time providing concept art and posters, and a bunch of trailers and TV commercials.  

Inception, from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment
148 min. 1080p widescreen (2.40:1), dts-HD Master Audio
Starring Leonardo diCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Coutillard, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger and Michael Caine
Produced by Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan

Jim Bray's columns are available from the TechnoFile Syndicate.

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