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God help whoever gives “Inception” a negative review.

God help whoever gives “Inception” a negative review. (photo)

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Despite a disclaimer that “we’re not critics here at 24 Frames, so no review in this space,” Steven Zeitchik’s long, interesting take on “Inception” at the LA Times is definitely a review, and a pretty good one at that.

Presumably when the movie actually opens Friday, all hell will break loose, crowds will riot en masse and anyone foolish enough to take acid before showing up to the theater will probably never be the same after — or so the orgasmic early reviews would have us believe. Zeitchik, bless him, offers a more measured series of qualifications and hedges without throwing down any Armond White-esque gauntlets.

His most cogent insight is on how twisty and disorienting the film actually gets — he first compares it to “Mulholland Drive,” and then goes for the kill: “Lynch is a surrealist creating a surreal world, but Nolan is a rationalist creating a surreal world.” Yes and yes, and moreover that’s the source of the slight danger scent “Inception” gives off. The abstract notions about perception that fascinate Nolan can only be examined in fantastical scenarios, but he’s not at heart a fancifully minded person.

That feeling of too many twists is a familiar one. There’s a point in, say, David Mamet’s “Heist” when you just turn off because it becomes obvious that what you think you know and who has the balance of power can be switched up every two minutes until Mamet gets bored with his own game. It becomes a waste of time because the only real question is who wins. Nolan, too, has the potential to outwit himself that way, though he’s yet to do it.

07122010_leo.jpgWhile not discounting the wild praise “Inception” has received so far, Zeitchik concludes that it’s as much due to critical relief at something to really think about as much as to the film itself, a week at last devoid of “Prince of Persia” or “Marmaduke.”

And maybe that’s why Zeitchik insists he isn’t writing a review (well, that and he doesn’t want to step on the assigned critic’s toes) — god help anyone who writes a negative review of “Inception” (or even just a wanly enthusiastic one). They’re going to get more angry e-mails and comments and personal attacks than anyone could handle. There’s almost no point in reviewing the film right now — the narrative for it, that it’s the greatest thing since sliced manna, is already set in stone.

[Photos: “Inception,” Warner Bros., 2010]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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