Date night

Last night, Kates and I went on a date.

We booked our friend Gina for some baby-sitting time with Phoebe and went out the town. The plan: dinner and a movie.

Dinner didn't work out quite the way we'd planned when we got a later start than we'd planned. Then, we decided to hit a pizza joint for their popular buffet, only to discover that the buffet isn't available on Saturday nights. After a drive down the main drag and nixing all of the restaurants we saw along the way, we ended up ordering some quick appetizers at the movie theater restaurant.

Although the appetizers were hardly quick. Kates and I ordered a plate of pita break with spinach and artichoke dip and a nacho supreme plate ... We waited in our booth for a full half hour before the food arrived. Luckily, our waitress understood our situation and delivered the food in to-go boxes so we could take it directly to our movie.

A little bit about this movie theater, The Hangar. It opened about 10 years ago while I was student here -- after the antiquated theater downtown closed -- and became an instant hot spot for entertainment. Much of the theater's charm is in its motif. From the outside it looks like a small, private airplane hangar complex. But step inside, and it's a spacious entertainment house with two large dining areas and a fifth studio that's used as a dinner theater.

The mood is always fun, and the low prices put the high-tech 30-plex theaters to shame ... Last night, after we'd finished our movie, Kates and I were walking down The Hangar's long lobby runway, when she sighed and said, "I love The 'Ville." ... It is, after all, a simpler, less complex way of life than we've been used to in recent years.

Speaking of complex. The movie we saw? "Inception."

It went atop my summer movie wishlist the moment I saw a 30-second spot on TV for the first time last spring. The action appeared to be awesome. The pairing of Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page appeared stellar. I'll take just about anything with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, too.

Then again, I knew little about the plot of the film -- which seems to be more and more of the case in these days of trailers that are huge on explosions but tell you zilch about the plot. (And studios wonder why their movies don't always bring in the big bucks they think their movies deserve.) ... I'd seen and followed enough of the buzz to know, however, that "Inception" wasn't a film to be missed.

So Kates and I went in with our to-go boxes and ... Wow. Wow. Wow.

In a nutshell, "Inception" is founded on dreams -- several layers of them in fact. It's a mind-blowing thriller from start to finish. And just like a dream, you never knew where the film was going or where it was going to end ... Before you know it, the film is you tossing back and forth among multiple, but related, layers of dream sequences and you're mesmerized. Although, Kates and I agreed we never thought the film got so complex it was hard to decipher.

The concept was genius ... with hints of "The Matrix," "The Bourne Identity" and other recent mind-benders thrown in.

Perhaps the best measure of the film is the final scene, which focuses on a thumb-sized top spinning on the table -- I'll leave it to you to see the film and learn for yourself how the film reaches that point -- and then the screen goes dark.

The audience let out a collective groan -- just like a great dream that ended sooner than you wanted it to. (Watch a hilarious spoof of the scene here.)

Here are some good reads I picked out that explain things better than I ... And then the full trailer.

a This Time the Dream’s on Me
a Entertainment Weekly Review
a 'Inception' is a massive sci-fi success
a An exhilarating ride, from Genesis to Revelation
a Does Inception stand up to a second viewing?
a Everybody’s a Critic of the Critics’ Rabid Critics
a 'Inception': Behind the scenes of a movie about movies -- and the mind of its maker

No comments: