Photo #41

Film (with rating): Inception (PG-13)


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment


Summary: Dom
Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio)  is a
skilled thief, best in the dangerous art of extraction: stealing valuable
secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state. One last job
could give him his life back, but only if he can accomplish the impossible–not
to steal an idea, but to plant one.


Review: This
film has been out for a bit, but it’s getting another look now that it’s up for
the Best Picture Oscar at the 2011 Academy Awards. And a well-deserved nod it
is. “Inception” is a true “thinking” film, a blend of
thriller and thinker and sci-fi, all wrapped in an action-packed ride. It’s
about dreams, what they mean, how they can be manipulated. And it’s so worth
seeing. Or seeing again. And again.


DiCaprio is amazing as the thief-for-hire who can hijack
dreams in order to get dark secrets. Since so much of this film’s action
sequence takes place during those dream states, the visuals are, pardon the
pun, mind-bending. The cinematography is amazing, and director Christopher
Nolan did not fail in his attempt to bring something unique to the box office
this summer. Sure, it’s a bit like “The Matrix” films, but unique
enough so viewers don’t feel a sense of copycat dj vu.


This uber-complex movie is not a great flick to watch when
your brain already aches from a 12-hour workday. Instead, check it out on a
lazy Saturday afternoon, then watch it again later that night or on Sunday.
“Inception” is a bit confusing, but in a good way, and repeat
viewings are actually enjoyable and productive. As I said, this is a thinking
film, but one that will leave you satisfied, not confused. For long.


Extra highlight:
“The Inception of Inception” or, on Blu-Ray, try the “Extraction
Mode” in-movie experience.


What to serve for dinner: According to a small study in the International
Journal of Psychophysiology,
spicy food can be one cause of really
bizarre dreams. Combine that ingredient with DiCaprio’s favorite food–pasta–and
let’s serve up some Spicy Baked Macaroni (Giada De Laurentiis/



1 pound elbow macaroni pasta

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 pound assorted mushrooms, quartered

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess liquid

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cups bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup

1/4 cup Romano, plus 1/3 cup

2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons

12 ounces mozzarella cubed (about 2 cups)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted
water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still
firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add
the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and the
onion is golden, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, spinach, and red pepper
flakes. Stir to combine and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.


In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, 1/4 cup
Parmesan, and 1/4 cup Romano. Spread the softened butter in a 9 by 13-inch
glass baking dish and sprinkle half of the breadcrumb mixture inside the dish
to coat.


In a large bowl combine the vegetable mixture with the
cooked macaroni, cubed mozzarella, the remaining Parmesan and Romano cheeses,
and the nutmeg. Spoon into the prepared baking dish, top with the remaining
bread crumb mixture, and dot the top with the remaining butter. Bake until the
top is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.



What to talk about over dinner: Do you believe people can manipulate dreams? Can
someone else infiltrate your dream? Do you think this would ever be able to
happen? Why or why not? What was your best dream? Worst dream? Can you change
the course of your own dreams? Do you believe dreams mean something? What
influences our dreams? Have you ever had a reoccurring dream? What was it? What
was your favorite scene in the movie? What is your favorite DiCaprio movie? Do
you think “Inception” has a shot at the Oscars? If not, what film
does? What do you think of this year’s hosts? What about “Inception”
winning for Best Cinematography? Visual Effects? Original Screenplay? Did Nolan
get snubbed in the Directing category?