Last night I headed out to a midnight showing of this flick. I was happy I got there early at 11:40PM because the theater was already surprisingly packed. Pretty much 100% nerds too. Everyone seemed to be texting or tweeting right up until the trailers started. I sat on the aisle next to two other solo nerds. The two of them started talking to each other. Stranger style. They agreed on how psyched they were for this flick. They made each other laugh with snarky comments during the previews. They were like Lewis and Gilbert with honky laughs. I was like, 'Wow! These two nerds are like hitting it off!' I wondered if I was witnessing an adult nerd friendship being formed-- and I was weirdly touched by the idea of that...

Anyway, this movie starts up and I was nervous. I finally acknowledged that I'd been tamping down my high hopes over this flick. Hedging my bet due to the looming semi-inevitable disappointment. If I left Dark Knight disappointed-- what was this gonna do? I expected a mumbo-jumbo hodgepodge of nightmare nonsense -- slathered in arrogant smarts and overcooked visuals. It worried me extra as this flick was the last hope of redemption for a pretty sucky season of summer movies.

And right out of the gate-- I sadly felt it all going wrong.

First off, I have issues with Leonardo DaCardrio as an actor. He never fully disappears into a role for me. I'm always somewhat distracted by his questionable face or extra good hair. And I just don't find him convincing enough-- but I had to let it go. Then by minute fifteen other issues and distractions started to pile up. I sat there arms folded passing judgment over this movie pretty harshly. I projected it being another one of those 'Syriana' type fiascos that critics bonercize over and people lie about liking. I accused this flick of cheating story and sidestepping logic. I wondered if it planned to simply dump an assortment of cool colorful looking puzzle pieces on the table and then leave it up to me to sort it out. (aka a highbrow incoherent mess). I'd prefer my jigsaw puzzle be half-finished to start. Then I can have fun with the remaining pieces-- knowing it'll definitely get finished. One way or another. For a solid 40 minutes, I stared at this thing definitely half-amused but very defensive. Half-heartedly I tugged at stray threads of flawed logic or lazy technology.

Then something great happened around the 45 minute mark. I started to see the puzzle picture take shape. And I liked it. Alot. Wandering tangents and loosely defined characters were fitting into place logically and easily. It was working! I immediately snapped to! (Holy shit!) Sat upright in my captain's chair and flipped my brain switches on red alert! I got on my internal com and alerted my crew to wake up! Told us we may be missing something important! All hands! I took down the shields and activated brainial warp drive! The engines hummed on and I did a complete 180 on the spot! Destination: Planet Awesome!!! Engage...

And thankfully, I did this just in the nick of time because for the rest of the movie I sat there surprisingly astounded. I blinked my eyes at the flippy visuals and grooved on the depth and layers of what was happening. Jigsaw pieces floated around in front of my face and I easily placed them in the puzzle without even looking down. I was multitasking. Appreciating the sight seeing while compiling the bigger picture. (Granted, there was some stuff going on onscreen that I wasn't so thrilled with. The excessive gun play seemed a bit much in dream world. Some talky was way clunky. And some of the shots seemed heavily trailer tailored.) But whatever! This thing sped toward the way coolio finale and along the way I liked getting hit sideways with an overdue emotional smash then straight out LOLed stunned at the final beat. I breathed a deep sigh of respect when the Nolan credit went up on the screen-- and cursed myself for being spiteful in the first hour.

Sure, I had some acting issues and often there was a sense that way too much was going on at once. I didn't get nearly all of it. And now and then if I cocked my head to the side I wondered if I was watching something absolutely terrible. But as I wandered home at 2:45AM, I backtracked through the movie and looked at the puzzle in completion. I wowed out when I turned it over and saw there was a completely different picture on the other side. My mind was all twinkly. The one thing I did know is that I really wanted to see it again. I liked that. Often for me the best music or books are the ones that I found difficult to 'get into' the first time around. And regardless if this movie earns greatness or not after multiple viewing-- I dig the idea that the potential is there. And the wonderment continued on that level as well.

Three Good Things about this Movie

- The soundtrack was way coolio...
- I liked what's his face and the other guy.. what's his face.
- Sometimes a concept would hit me and when it stuck I'd be sort of tongue out bug-eyed.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- I felt both Leo and Juno were distracting miscasts.
- The in-dream violence seemed too movie convenient.
- It was a little too puffed up and strutty on its stilty smarts.

All in all, this is the movie of the summer. Although it was definitely on the cold side-- there was enough ambitious big bigness bubbling over it to make it roundabout endearing. After I got home I couldn't sleep for over an hour because I was still spinning wheels on what I just saw (and what I initially missed). It was so smarty pants! Yadda, I'm not totally convinced it'll hold up on the second time around-- it'll either get alot better... or depressingly worse? But I'm buzzing on this thing so hard right now-- I may go back and answer that question while it's still on the big screen...


PS. Btw One of the two nerd friends (Lewis or Gilbert) totally passed out during the movie and left before it was over. I guess the friendship wasn't meant to be...