Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #54

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

In a sea of reboots, remakes, sequels, and prequels, it’s becoming difficult to find original movies that stay true to the art of film. Enter Quentin Tarantino, who’s been in the game for 27 years and has arguably mastered this talent. His films are so unique and iconic that the word ‘Tarantinoesque’ has been added to the Oxford Dictionary. It’s with this that anything he makes is almost guaranteed to be something different and legendary, and film fanatics from around the world are always excited when he announces a new project. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is no exception from this.

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is the tenth film (ninth if you count the Kill Bills as one movie) to be written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Set in 1969, the film follows Rick Dalton, a TV actor and Cliff Booth, his stunt double. Rick finds himself down on his luck as the Hollywood he knows and loves is now changing and he’s on his way to becoming a has-been. It just so happens that his neighbour is one of the new actresses in Hollywood who’s on the up and up to becoming something big; Sharon Tate.

Rick Dalton was played brilliantly by Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s already in early Oscar talk for his role. It’s obvious to see why, as DiCaprio delivers an amazing performance as Rick Dalton. DiCaprio playing an actor is great fun to watch, as you see Rick with a stutter, but then without one when he’s in a movie or TV show. One of the best scenes that demonstrates DiCaprio’s fantastic acting ability is when Rick is filming on Lancer and we see him switching between in real life (with the stutter) and his villainous character in Lancer, who speaks without a stutter and more of a stern voice. Whenever DiCaprio takes on a role, he fully immerses himself in it, and this allows the audience to take more of an interest in his character and the film; Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is no exception to this. As superb as Leonardo DiCaprio was, I couldn’t help but feel that Brad Pitt stole the show. Brad Pitt played Rick’s stunt double, Cliff Booth, a war veteran who’s somewhat frowned upon in the film industry for the alleged murder of his wife. Pitt maybe wasn’t the obvious choice to play Cliff Booth, but certainly was the perfect actor for the role. He was excellent as Cliff, bringing an edge to the character and making him one of the standout best parts of this movie. There has also been Oscar talk for Brad Pitt’s performance as Cliff Booth, and personally, I’d say he’s more deserving of the Oscar than DiCaprio. Brad brought a lovability to Cliff’s character which, despite the slow pacing of the film, stood out as an exceptional performance that helped to make the film better. Margot Robbie played Sharon Tate, and she was marvellous in the role, but there wasn’t much of her character, or at least as much as I was expecting from advertisements. The film mainly focused on Rick and Cliff and their relationship (which, I must say, was just shy of impeccable), but the lack of Sharon Tate and other characters did make the film suffer slightly.

The music, like in most of Tarantino’s films, was perfectly selected. It captured the essence of a defining era in Hollywood as well as adding to scenes, by either building tension or excitement, or by making the scenes more enjoyable to engage in.


Cliff and Rick on the set of their Western TV show, ‘Bounty Law’

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is Tarantino at his most playful. It’s not Tarantino’s most iconic or quotable film, but instead, the director proves that he has mastered the art of film-making. I’ll admit, at times it feels like the film is just the studio giving Tarantino money to make a movie because they know his name will bring them more money in return. While this certainly feels true for parts of the film, it’s more than this. It’s bringing together some of the best talents in Hollywood. It’s more than having Tarantino direct and write, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star. It’s having your cinematography from Robert Richardson (who also cinematographed for Hugo, Inglourious Basterds, and Shutter Island), and a talented Visual Effects department, including the likes of Brian Adler (who also did visual effects for Avengers: Endgame and Logan). With some of the talents of the industry coming together to produce a film like this, it’s evident to see that people really enjoy working on different, creative films within Hollywood and the end product is something undeniably awesome. 

I couldn’t do this review without talking about four memorable and standout scenes for me. The first was filming Lancer, with the interaction of resetting the cameras and breaking the fourth wall, then Rick breaking down before returning to set and delivering a tense and career-defining performance (for Rick). The way this whole scene was creatively crafted and fantastically executed, especially from Leonardo DiCaprio. I loved Cliff’s flashback to the Green Hornet set where he fought Bruce Lee (played by Mike Moh, who did a great job). It was such a pleasure to watch, as the scene was made playful and fun by the camera work, and it was Tarantino at his pinnacle, as we’ve seen him in other films. The next scene was when Cliff revisited Spahn Ranch. In this scene and the previous (Cliff fights Bruce Lee), Brad Pitt was at his best, bringing an edge of hardness and badassery to Cliff’s character. From meeting Squeaky and George Spahn to beating up Clem, throughout this scene and the previous, Pitt certainly delivered one of his greatest performances ever in this film. The final scene should be fairly obvious, but I’m of course going to have to talk about that final scene with Rick and Cliff fighting the hippies who attacked Rick’s house. The song (Tarantino’s edit of ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On by Vanilla Fudge) was so perfect for the scene that it both added to my enjoyment and helped build tension and excitement. The action was the most Tarantinoesque imaginable. With heads smashed into telephone hooks, people being burnt to a crisp with a flamethrower and a dog tearing into limbs, I couldn’t help but smile in awe, realising again in this film that in his unique style, Tarantino is a directorial master.

It’s also worth talking about the film’s ending too. After Rick and Cliff have killed the hippies who attacked Rick’s house, Rick meets Jay Sebring who invites Rick to meet his neighbour, Sharon Tate. As the camera pulls away, the film’s title appears with a somewhat twinkly theme playing. This was all a fairy tale. This was not what happened in reality. This was Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. This ending was slightly unexpected but nonetheless still brilliantly done, allowing the audience to reflect on the awesomeness of the film they’d just watched and bringing them back to the reality in which Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger were fatally murdered by members of the Manson Family.

Overall, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood was a cinematic blast, and was one of those films where the more I thought back over it, the better it was, and as such gets an 8.6/10 from me. I can’t wait to rewatch Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. In a sea of CGI superheroes and animated remakes, Tarantino proves once again that authentic cinema is still not only unbeatable but truly amazing.

Thanks for reading this review. What did you think of Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood? Let me know in the comments below!

To celebrate 25 years since the release of Pulp Fiction (my favourite film and arguably Tarantino’s best), I’ll be posting my rankings of Tarantino’s movies and asking the question, has Pulp Fiction aged well? See you then!

What to watch in 2019

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

Happy New Year! I hope you have a great 2019. It’s gearing up to a fantastic year, cinematically speaking. In this post, I’ll be looking at what movies and TV shows are coming out this year and what you can expect from them. I’ll be speculating some plots so you have been warned if any are actually true. Links to trailers for the films and their release date will be attached if it is available.


For those who didn’t know, my all-time favourite movie is Pulp Fiction. So when news of Quentin Tarantino directing his ninth film came out, I was hyped. Of all the great movies coming out this year, nothing has me more excited than Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. The cast includes Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Damien Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino and so many more amazing actors and the plot itself seems quite interesting. Rick Dalton, a faded TV actor, and Cliff Booth, his stunt double, try to make a name for themselves in the film industry in 1969 Hollywood, during the Helter Skelter period. I’m looking forward to seeing Tarantino direct again, especially with a storyline and cast as awesome as what’s lined up for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Tarantino describes it as the closest thing he’s done to Pulp Fiction. Furthermore, Tarantino has said that he’d only make 10 movies, so I’m hoping that his films get better with time. As to whether Once Upon A Time In Hollywood will be a better film than Pulp Fiction and take the top spot as my favourite movie, well, only time will tell.

CAPTAIN MARVEL – 8th March 2019

In the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War, a mid-dusting Nick Fury sent out a pager to Captain Marvel in a last minute attempt to save the world. We now get her backstory and uncover why she is the key to the future. Brie Larson plays the titular character, with Samuel L Jackson playing a younger, two-eyed Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn playing villainous Talos, leader of the Skrulls. Captain Marvel serves as a set-up prequel to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and hopefully will a good film.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME – 26th April 2019

It’s fair to say that the biggest movie of this year is Avengers: Endgame, the follow-up to the biggest film of 2018, Avengers: Infinity War. To try to undo the decimation and devastation caused by Thor not going for the head (and the consequent snap), the remaining, non-dusted Avengers must band together to somehow magically rewind time and stop the massacre from ever happening. Starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner and more, and the film being the last one in Marvel’s Phase Three (and the end of some of it’s biggest heroes), Avengers: Endgame is shaping up to be an awesome film.


As if Avengers: Endgame isn’t enough, Marvel are releasing another film next year, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Following the events of Endgame, Peter Parker goes on a summer vacation around Europe with his friends, but he struggles to keep his identity of Spider-Man hidden as the threat of the Elementals rises. Tom Holland is back playing Spider-Man, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing Mysterio, Jon Favreau playing Happy Hogan and Zendaya back as Michelle. Seeing as Far From Home will be the first film released after Endgame, it’ll be interesting to see what the impact on the MCU will be.

TOY STORY 4 – 21st June 2019

Despite all the tears shed after Toy Story 3, Disney are back with Toy Story 4. Though there is no storyline put out there, the trailer shows that it’s something about new toys being played with, in this case, it’s Forky. There’s also something about a carnival, as seen with the soft toys voiced by Key and Peele. I think that part of the storyline will be that Bonnie has grown bored of Buzz and Woody and instead created her own toys (Forky), but I’m not too sure how the carnival will fit in. Tim Allen has said that the film’s story is “so emotional” and he “couldn’t even get through the last scene” while Tom Hanks has also said that the ending scene was a “moment in history.” Only time will tell, but Toy Story 4 is definitely going to be a big film for next year.

GLASS – 18th January 2019

The Unbreakable Universe is expanding. Glass follows David Dunn trying to bring The Beast out of Kevin Crumb, the man with 23 personalities living inside of him from 2016’s Split. In the background, Elijah Price, also known as Mr Glass, emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets that are critical to the pair. The cast includes James McAvoy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson and is from director M. Night Shyamalan. The thriller seems promising and seeing as it will combine the universes of Unbreakable and Split, it is likely that Glass will one of most successful horror/thriller movies of 2019.


Though it’s not the best franchise of all time, I really love the Men in Black series. It’s funny, smart and together the films are a great piece of sci-fi movies. Directed by F. Gary Gray (The Negotiator,  Straight Outta Compton), the Men in Black reboot sees Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite to protect Earth from alien scum, except this time, it’s a mole in the Men in Black organisation. The spin-off could go either way, but I have faith in it. It has a good director attached, stars brilliant actors (Hemsworth, Thompson, and even Liam Neeson is in the film too!) and from the look of the first trailer, it looks to be a great movie.

THE LION KING – 19th July 2019

Disney’s 1994 classic is getting a live-action remake with a phenomenal cast, including Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) voicing Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar and even James Earl Jones back to voice Mufasa. Just having Childish Gambino and Beyoncé duet to a classic Lion King song is enough to get me excited for this film. The Lion King is shaping up to be a huge success, though I’m not prepared to see Mufasa die again.

JOKER – 4th October 2019

It’s difficult to do a reboot, especially of a character who has been played so well (Heath Ledger) and quite badly (sorry Jared Leto), but I have faith in Joaquin Phoenix in playing the Joker. With Todd Phillips (The Hangover) directing, Joker is an origin story looking at how Arthur Fleck turns from being a failed comedian to a life of crime in Gotham City. It also has a great cast, including Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz. Having seen Phoenix’s performance in last years ‘You Were Never Really Here’, Joker is a film that I am looking forward to seeing how it does.

ZOMBIELAND 2 – 11th October 2019

Ten years after the first film, Zombieland finally gets a sequel. The 2009 hit was loved for its great comedy, gory action and it just an all-round great film. Zombieland 2 sees the original cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) back to play Colombus, Tallahassee, Wichita and Little Rock, where they must face off against evolving zombies, meet other survivors and adapt to the joys and pains of their makeshift family life. Joining them are Avan Jogia and Zoey Deutch, and there are reports that Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray (who died in the first film) are in the film too. If Zombieland 2 is anything like the first, then it definitely going to be a brilliant movie.

US – 15th March 2019

Though I’m not the biggest horror movie fan, I thoroughly enjoyed Jordan Peele’s 2017 success, Get Out. This year, Peele directs and writes Us, the story of Adelaide and Gabe Wilson, a couple who take their children to their beach house. Their fun with friends is disturbed when some unexpected and uninvited guests turn up. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Elizabeth Moss, the film looks to be pretty awesome. Knowing that it’s directed by Peele and has the acting abilities of Nyong’o and Duke, it’s safe to say Us is going to be good anyways.

STAR WARS: EPISODE IX – 19th December 2019

The intergalactic adventures of Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo Ren and BB8 continue this year, with Star Wars: Episode IX. Not much is known about the film’s plot, but it should be awesome. Mark Hamill is to play Luke’s ghost, Billy Dee Williams is back as Lando Calrissian and archive footage of Carrie Fisher is being used for Princess Leia’s character. What’s more, JJ Abrams (The Force Awakens) is back to direct, so it’s going to be a great conclusion to this trilogy.

Thanks for reading this week’s post. What are you most looking forward to seeing this year? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram. Follow this blog to be the first to read my reviews!

Once again thanks for reading this week’s post. Join me next week for a TV show/game review. See you then!

Shutter Island: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #36

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! As Shutter Island has a huge twist at the end, there are spoilers in this review as indicated by bold warnings.

One of my favourite types of movies is those with a huge twist or something that makes the movie more interesting and fun to watch. From Se7en (check out my review for it here) to The Prestige, some great films have been made with twist endings. I recently watched Shutter Island with my uncle, not expecting much from it. By the end, I found myself in shock and awe over how brilliantly made this movie was.

Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Sir Ben Kingsley is Shutter Island. US Marshal’s Edward ‘Teddy’ Daniels and his Chuck Aule are travelling to Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island to investigate the peculiar disappearance of a patient, Rachel Solando. The pair investigates and interviews various people, only to learn that Solando’s doctor, Dr Sheehan, is away. During their investigation, Daniels reveals that his wife, Dolores Chanal, was killed by an arsonist, Andrew Laeddis. In a dream, Teddy sees a little girl and his wife Dolores, and she tells him that Solando is still on the island somewhere, as is Laeddis but the staff on the island claim he was never there. Soon, Solando resurfaces, prompting Teddy to break into Ward C, the most criminally insane of the patients to look for Andrew Laeddis. While investigating, Teddy meets George Noyce, who tells Teddy that everyone on Shutter Island, even his partner Chuck, is playing a game designed for him to solve. As the mystery deepens, it’s down to Teddy to find Andrew and uncover the true story about what is really happening on Shutter Island.

Leonardo DiCaprio played Teddy Daniels and, like most of DiCaprio’s performances, it was fantastic. His acting ability is on point, as his emotional complexity allows the viewer to know exactly how he is feeling and further engages the viewer with the film. DiCaprio made the film more enjoyable and interesting. Chuck Aule was played by Mark Ruffalo, who is a talented actor, but I find his acting very rigid and he doesn’t have much range. As an actor, he was great in Shutter Island but I couldn’t help but feel that someone else could have been better. Don’t get me wrong, he was fairly well suited to the role, but there were people who could’ve done better. I felt that as good as Ruffalo was in this film, but he was lacking in some areas that, if they were fulfilled, would have may have actually made the film better. Sir Ben Kingsley played Dr John Cawley, the overseer of the mental hospital. This was my first time seeing a film with Ben Kingsley in it and I was impressed by this acting skills. As Dr Cawley, Kingsley had the perfect tone of mysteriousness mixed in with a sense of sanity. It comes to make sense at the end of the film, which makes Kingsley’s acting choices even more commendable. He, much like DiCaprio, made the film more intriguing. Michelle Williams played Dolores Chanal, who did a great job playing the somewhat psychotic character. The character chemistry between Teddy and Chuck, and also Chuck and Dr Cawley was very well done. You must hand it to Ruffalo because though he may not have much range, he is able to act phenomenally with any other actor in any situation he’s put in.


Dr Cawley and Teddy Daniels discuss Rachel’s mysterious disappearance.

⚠️Now scroll down to the next bold warning to continue reading my review. I am now going to discuss spoilers for Shutter Island. I highly recommend that you watch the film though, as it’s a truly amazing movie. You can watch it on NowTV and Amazon Prime Video.

The film is slow to start off with but then builds to something truly amazing at the end. Teddy is convinced Chuck has been taken to the lighthouse on the island and breaks in as an attempt to rescue him. There, Chuck and Dr Cawley await, ready to explain everything to Teddy. As he was told by George Noyce, it was all a big game played on Teddy.  Dr Cawley reveals that Edward Daniels is, in fact, Andrew Laeddis and that he killed his wife, Dolores Chanal. Rachel Solando is revealed to be Dolores Chanal, and the girl in his dream is his daughter. Rachel Solando was never real, it was just a nurse playing her. It is then revealed that the viewer that Andrew Laeddis came home from work to discover that Dolores has drowned their three children. In a scene superbly acted out by DiCaprio, Edward tries to rescue his children and breaks into tears. Dolores explains that they can take care of the children like dolls, but Teddy then shoots her. From here we can piece together some of the story. where insane Edward kills his wife, then is taken to Shutter Island and put in Ward C before creating the alternative personality of US Marshal Edward Daniels. Edwards Daniels is an anagram of his real name, Andrew Laeddis, and Rachel Solando is also an anagram of Dolores Chanal, Andrew’s wife. Dr Sheehan was actually Chuck this whole time too, explaining why Chuck was paired with Teddy in the first place. Mind blown.

It gets even better. If you rewatch the movie, or just pay very close attention to the movie, you will notice little details that show that somethings up, and this is mainly shown through the use of water. For example, there’s a scene where a woman being interviewed by Teddy is drinking a glass of water. We see this from Teddy’s point of view, but she does not have a glass in her hand. We then cut to an over the shoulder shot of the woman putting down a glass. Teddy has blocked out the water, as it is part of the reality he is trying to forget (Dolores drowned his children). Further, in the interview with the woman, she looks at Chuck when describing Mr Sheehan and looks awkwardly at Teddy when asked if she had ever met Andrew Laeddis. There’s even more, where any scene with water represents Andrew trying to escape his past, such as the boat trip to the island at the start of the movie. I’m pretty sure if you watch this film with the keenest eye, there will be the tiniest of details that Scorsese has snuck in.

⚠️We are out of spoiler territory. No more spoilers will be mentioned in this review.

Despite this movie being slow to start off with and a little dull in places, it was certainly worth the wait. The whole ending reveal is marvellous, mind-blowing and will leave any viewer in complete shock and awe. It must be handed to both director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Scorsese was able to bring together this fantastic story and portray it in a cinematic way that was an all-around great experience. DiCaprio was honestly one of the best parts of the film. Like most roles, he immersed himself in the character and gave a truly fantastic performance. Together, you have the awesomeness that is Shutter Island.

Overall, Shutter Island gets an 8.1/10 from me. It was a brilliant film which, though had me a little disinterested in places, left me in complete amazement over how crafty and smart this film was. I’d highly recommend that you watch this film. It’s currently available on NowTV and Amazon Prime Video. It makes for the perfect movie night in and will leave you wanting to rewatch it.

Thanks for reading this weeks review. Follow my Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) for the latest movie news, behind the scenes pictures, sneak peaks and more! It’s the one source you need for all things movie related. Follow this blog to be the first to read my reviews.

Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Join me next week for a horror movie review. Please note as  I’m headed to China for a week on Thursday, the reviews are likely to be out late. But I’m kind of facing my fear of horror movies to do this. See you soon!

Inception: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #7

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! Sorry that this is up late, I’ve had mock exams all week, but here is the review for this week.

Imagine going into someone’s dream to plant an idea or to steal secrets from their subconscious. That would be incredible! Now imagine that as a movie. Throw in a few cool settings, some big stars, one of the best directors and composers and a big twist and bam! You have Inception, the third highest grossing film from Christopher Nolan.

With Nolan as director, music from Hans Zimmer and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception looks at a brain heist team, who are trying to plant an idea into someone’s head via their dreams. It received a lot of press coverage at the time of its release and made $828 million at the Box Office, making it the fourth highest grossing film of 2010.

You can’t just watch Inception once and understand it and be able to give a review of it. It requires a bit more thought and depth to really respect the film. Nolan directs this movie with a clear image and goal of how it should turn out. One of the best things Nolan did in Inception was assembling the team. Nolan uses the classical set up for the heist and all the for the movie, but makes recruiting the team more serious, keeping in line with the tone of the movie but also keeping the audience hooked. Leonardo DiCaprio played Dom Cobb, the team’s leader and ‘Head Inceptioner’. DiCaprio played Cobb wonderfully, he had a great character arc, his drive was clear, and he played a man with a dark past trying to hide it well. His character was aware of his intelligence and lead the team strongly, and DiCaprio pulled it off. His passion for his children and his career is clearly tearing him apart, but he keeps it under control well and puts on a brave face. DiCaprio’s acting ability for this was spot on, and he was a likeable yet mysterious character. The way Cobb hid his feelings but have then bubble them up again was interesting to watch. Leo gave Cobb a cocky yet confident edge which made the audience both love the character but also stays quite wary of what his next move could be. The new recruit of Ariadne was played by Ellen Page. I think Ariadne as a character was quite interesting because she wanted to learn but she’s also confident. She is very inquisitive and enjoyable. She had a passion for is going on and was quite intrigued with inception itself. Ellen Page was well suited to Ariadne, because she had the kind of innocence and naivete that you would expect to see in a child that made it feel as if she was learning about inception at the same time that we are, and we are beginning to experience and view it as a first hand as she does as well, particularly in the coffee shop scene. I don’t really have much to say on Mal, Saito or Fischer, but here are my thoughts on them. Marion Cotillard as Mal was fantastic, she was perfect for the role of a half innocent half psychotic lover who had been hurt and also trapped in the past. I liked Ken Watanabe as Saito. He was an enjoyable character, but really only served as the guy the Inceptioners were working for and that’s it. He was great in that aspect, by all means, but that was really it. Cillian Murphy was great as Robert Fischer. He was fun to watch and executed the role neatly. I personally have two favourite characters, Arthur and Eames. Joseph Gordon-Levitt played Arthur, a skilled point man for the team. He was cool, awesome, and entertaining. Arthur also had some of the best action scenes in the film, which made him such an enjoyable character. Gordon-Levitt was perfect for the role and evidently had great fun playing him. Eames was played by Tom Hardy. Eames brought a little humour but also a British charm to the film. He was a fun character that acted as the brains and the voice of reason in a few instances. He too had some great scenes, but I’ll get onto that later. I also liked the relationship between Eames and Arthur. It was a perfect blend of bromance and dislike that was fun to watch.


‘We mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling’

The wickedly talented Hans Zimmer scored Inception, and it was amazing! Zimmer usually scores for Nolan’s films, and the music is always enjoyable. As a matter of fact, I have no criticisms whatsoever on the music front, I loved it all! I listen to the soundtrack as I type this review and can picture every scene as it happens. ‘Mombasa’ made the chase more thrilling and engaging, and the music used in the 3rd layer (Eames’ dream, snowy shootout) and the 4th layer (Cobb’s dream, the dreamland) was fantastic too. But the best musical moments for me were the two final songs on the soundtrack. ‘Paradox’ was incredible for joining the 4 layers up together, and ‘Time’ was just the perfect score for the end of the film. Zimmer did a faultless job with the score. That’s actually one thing the Nolan’s are impeccable at. Christopher Nolan’s films are always accompanied by great music, and Westworld fans will know that the music in the show (directed by Jonathan Nolan) is awesome too.

The story was great. The opening was brilliant, I loved how it left me quite confused and curious, instantly setting the tone of the movie. I found that the film was a little expositional in some places, for example, Cobb telling us how he’s the best at what he does. We are given quite a lot of proof of this later (especially with Mr Charles) so it would’ve been better if we learnt this for ourselves rather that we being spoonfed it. The first layer of the dream was quite interesting, I liked the defences of Fischer’s mind attacking the crew as it was unexpected to both us and the crew and was fun to watch. The second layer of the dream was awesome. Mr Charles was fun, and I liked how actions and events in the first layer had repercussions on the second layer. Smart move from Nolan there. For me, the third layer was not the most interesting, it highlighted more of Cobbs insecurities which screwed it up. However, the third layer snow shootout was fun to watch, and the music was perfectly suited. The fourth layer was amazing. It had great accompanying music and explained more about inception to us. We realise how twisted Cobb has been. I did find myself having to rewatch scenes because it was quite trippy and confusing, but all made sense in the end. Speaking of the end, Inceptions ending was INCREDIBLE! I loved the music, Hans Zimmer is a musical genius. And we are left on a cliff-hanging with the totem, is Cobb back in reality, or is he in a dream and what we just watched was a layer of inception? So beautiful and perfect end to a magnificent movie.

There are quite a few scenes and snippets from Inception that I loved, and it’s worth mentioning them, as some of them are some of my favourite scenes in cinema history. Some of the scenes may also be mentioned just because they were so visually stunning or smart or enjoyable. First off, the entire scene of the dummy information heist in Saito’s head was fantastic. It was full of twists and had the audience raising questions. I liked the twist of us thinking Cobb failed the heist but then through the dramatic orchestra it is revealed that he succeeded as this highlights how he really is the best. The kick was amazing, from the slo-mo to show the time change, that’s revealed to us later to showing how dreams and real life are related! This was one of my favourite scenes. I also think Ariadne had some superb scenes. One of my favourite scenes was the coffee shop scene with Ariadne and Cobb was spectacular! I loved it because it’s kind of how movies work. We start with a beginning sure, but we kind of just scene jump from one to another. By Ariadne realising it’s a dream, we too learn what’s happening and the connection to Arthur and the workshop. This is followed by the explosions of the newspapers and fruits and the coffee shop. An all round interesting and entertaining scene, both visually and for the story too. It’s also worth mentioning the scene where Ariadne flips Paris over, as is quite visually stunning to watch because it shows how inception of capable anything. Cobbs reaction to it in the background was amazing because it shows that he himself is still learning and that Ariadne will play a key role in the rest of the film. The ‘we mustn’t be afraid to dream a bigger darling’ scene from Eames was undeniably badass, I know it’s something small but Tom Hardy absolutely killed it in this role. For what I’ll call the tilted hotel fight between Arthur and Fischer’s subconscious, it was one of my favourite scenes. It was directed and executed perfectly, one of the reasons why I loved Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the film. The stairway fight with Arthur was incredible. I loved how it linked to something we learnt earlier but made it quite unexpected and it was great fun to watch. Finally, the ending with the use of slo-mo was magnificent. It was perfectly timed and helped create tension, along with Zimmer’s hauntingly beautiful score for the 4 layers that combined into one neat, clean and yet dramatic scene.


My favourite scene, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in the tilted hotel fight.

I think the way Nolan tackled the entire concept of dreaming in this film was done handsomely. I like how we find out more about inception itself as a process as we go along. We learn that it’s a dream in a dream, and later on, that’s it’s not legal and so on. It educates us in stages, not all in one go. The way it looks at dreaming is really quite accurate. Because I’ve had instances where I wake up from a dream and believe that it’s real, as I’m certain everyone has done. It’s really showing the power and true ability of our minds that we can’t really access while awake. Our dreams work so that if we’re doing well in life, we fly, and we may be falling or drowning in a dream when we’re doing badly in life. The entire idea of being able to “hack” into the subconscious and create dreams and worlds in others minds is a fascinating idea that Nolan has tackled quite well. One of the best things about Inception is how every character had unique names I know it is something quite basic but having a name like James or John or something like that is a bit boring and unoriginal, Inception has rather unique names which makes it a little more interesting. One thing I didn’t like was how the film kept cutting from scene to scene. It was a little annoying for as soon as I’d get into a scene change it would change again!

Overall, Inception gets an 8.8/10 from me. It was absolutely fantastic, and one of my favourite Nolan films. From all the awesome scenes and amazing characters, Inception had complexity and is one of the confusing yet most visually stunning films of this decade. Nolan solidifies himself as one of the best directors with this film and keeps wowing audiences everywhere ever since, with films like Interstellar and Dunkirk.

Thanks for reading this review, sorry it’s a little late. I’ve had mock exams at school all week, but will return with another review next week. I’m also thinking of switching review release days from Tuesdays to either Wednesdays or Thursdays. As always, like this review, and comment your thoughts on the film. Follow my WordPress to stay up to date with the latest reviews, and also follow @Ryans.movie.reviews on Instagram and @RyansMovieRevi1 on Twitter for the latest movie news and reviews.

Next week’s review will be an animated movie, one that everyone has either seen or heard of. And yes, it will be a kids film. I can’t just review one genre of film, I must keep it varied. See you next week at some point for it then!

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