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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

new this week in U.S., Canadian, and U.K. theaters: ‘Inception,’ ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,’ ‘The Concert’


Inception: Leonardo DiCaprio will blow your mind… much as other thieves blow vaults.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

Memento (2000): Christopher Nolan plays with the depths of the human mind and the limits to which narrative time can be stretched in both films.
Catch Me If You Can (2002): For Leonardo DiCaprio as a more traditional kind of crook, one who turns check kiting and identity theft into performance art.
The Matrix (1999): “It’s all in your mind” has a different meaning here, but the power of our minds to control our realities plays out in similar ways.
Brainstorm (1983): In which scientists Louise Fletcher and Christopher Walken invent a device that can record a person’s experience to be played back and shared with others.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Do you buy Nicolas Cage as an ancient wizard? Nah, me neither.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

Fantasia (1940): The Disney animated anthology that provided the basis for Cage and Jay Baruchel’s misadventures, in the short of the same name.
Underworld (2003): For one of the rare big-screen attempts to bring fantasy onto our city streets; here it’s vampires and werewolves and rain-slicked cobblestoned Euro streets.
The Dresden Files (2007): For a small-screen example of urban fantasy, about a wizard private eye. (Cage was a producer.)
Ghost Rider (2007): If you really need more Nicolas Cage in truly terrible fantasy; laugh along here as he portrays a motorcycle-riding devil-powered vigilante.

Inception: See above.

The Concert: Looks kinda like a French Brassed Off, kinda — it’s a comedy about a bunch of misfits who impersonate a famous orchestra.

Where to buy/watch:
Brainstorm [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.]
Catch Me If You Can [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Dresden Files [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Fantasia [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Ghost Rider [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Matrix [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Memento [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Underworld [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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  • The Dresden Files (2007): For a small-screen example of urban fantasy, about a wizard private eye. (Cage was a producer.)

    That explains why the movie seems so much like a bad adaptation of a Harry Dresden novel.

    Speaking of which, the latest Dresden book, Changes, is out right now. You might want to check out a copy at the local library. Perhaps even go to the branch where Bluejay’s wife works…

    Seriously, the new book isn’t bad though I suspect it will be best appreciated by those who have read the whole series. Imagining trying to make sense of the last Harry Potter book without having read anything that came before and you understand the problem.

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