'Inception' Blu-ray DVD: A sneak peek at the dreamy extras

Christopher Nolan’s Inception is the kind of movie that’s tailor-made for DVD. The plot is so twisty that I’m not ashamed to admit that my head hurt when I walked out of the theater the first time. I was a bit confused, a little frustrated, but more than anything I wanted to see it again to make sure it all added up. That’s why I’ve been counting down the days ’til its release on DVD and Blu-ray when I’d finally be able to replay some of its knottier scenes to see if all the puzzle pieces snapped into their proper place. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the film. I just wanted to get it, too.

Last week, I got my advance copy of the film in the mail — it hits shelves Dec. 7 — and after a couple more spins, I’m finally satisfied. The puzzle is complete in my brain. I can now move on to other pressing matters, like what the deal is with this Glee show everyone’s talking about? But before I do, a little something has to be said about the kick-ass extras on the Inception discs. First off, the bonus features on the standard DVD are fine. But if you’re really looking to dig into Nolan’s big British brain for juicy nuggets about the Cobol Job, you’re gonna have to spring for the Blu-ray. In fact, if you’ve been looking for a reason to upgrade from DVD to the newer technology, this may be the film that finally nudges you into busting out your wallet.

On the standard DVD, you get four mini-docs, each giving a behind-the-scenes look at one of the signature sequences in the film. All of them are solid… but also pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of what you get on any big DVD title these days. The Blu-ray, on the other hand, includes a pretty trippy featurette about the science of  dreaming and the subconscious, a groovy animated prologue about how Leonardo DiCaprio’s character and his dream team were enlisted by Cobol Engineering to perform the extraction of Saito that opens the film, and, best of all, the chance to watch the movie in “Extraction Mode”. Let me explain. Anyone who’s coughed up $18 for a DVD recently is familiar with all of the How They Did It extras that breakdown special f/x sequences and action scenes. Some of them are good, some not so good. What makes Extraction Mode awesome is how it shuffles these nuggets into the film as its playing. So let’s say you’re watching the scene where Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets into a brawl in zero-gravity. As that scene is playing, the movie basically pauses and takes you to a four- or five-minute feature explaining how they shot the scene with Nolan talking about how extras were throwing up and how he got the idea from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Then, after he’s done giving this tasty little glimpse behind the curtain, the movie picks back up again.

There are 14 Extraction Mode moments, most of which are filled with some sort of anecdote or geeky factoid that lovers of Nolan’s film will eat up and then regurgitate to impress fellow members of the nerd herd with. Which, let’s face it, is more than enough reason on its own to watch the movie a second or third or fourth time. Normally, I’d prefer not to know how a magician pulls off his tricks. But Inception‘s a rare case where finding out how the trick is conjured doesn’t demystify the illusion, it only makes it more magical.

Read more:
‘Inception’: Behind the scenes of a movie about movies — and the mind of its maker
‘Inception’: Am I the only one who didn’t get it?
‘Inception’: Let’s talk about that ending
‘Inception’ Music Twist: The hidden meaning of the Evil Foghorn?
‘Inception’: EW review

Comments (23 total) Add your comment
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  • Krystal

    I cannot wait. I saw the movie twice in the movie theater and it still wasn’t enough for me. I have to see it again and again. It is addicting! I may spring for a blu ray for x-mas and say it’s for my dad just for this movie lol.

    • Liz

      I also saw this multiple times, even if you can’t wrap your head around the twisty plot, it’s just freaking beautiful to watch.

    • Woot

      Saw it 3 times in theaters, and once at college (they gave us a special screening a month ago.) NEED to buy the DVD.

      • vodkahead

        Didn’t see it in the theatres, because where I live, it’s only shown dubbed in French (I know, BARF!!). I’ll grab it from Amazon.

        Btw, Blu-Ray DVD is an incorrect term. You could use Blu-Ray disc instead. :)

  • Troy

    This movie made m1′s tiny little brain hurt so much, that he spent an entire eveing watching transformers, just so he could feel smart again.. It didnt work

    • tipsy

      Funniest post ever!

  • Heather

    Is it December 7th yet???

  • Brian

    Want.

  • Andy Barker

    I can’t speak to any other Nolan DVD’s, but I own Memento and I can say he seems to give a lot of thought to things like extras and commentaries. That disc has so many extras and easter eggs I still don’t think I’ve found them all.

  • Alex

    “Normally, I’d prefer not to know how a magician pulls off his tricks. But Inception‘s a rare case where finding out how the trick is conjured doesn’t demystify the illusion, it only makes it more magical.”

    Love The Prestige reference, intended or not!

  • Barry

    I believe that he’s Australian; not British.

    • tipsy

      Nolan is half American (mom) half Britihs (dad). Born in UK. Of Irish descent.

    • MCS

      Baz, would love to claim this one as ours, but he most certainly is not.

  • Michael

    I have to say, Chris Nashawaty… I appreciate your correct grammatical spelling of: ’til, apostrophe and all. Most people write: till, but that is incorrect, as it is an abbreviation of “until.” Thank you, sir. I know I’m a nerd for pointing this out, but I don’t care; I have a Master’s degree in English literature, and it pleases me to see correct grammar and spelling.

  • Michael

    Also, Inception was indeed brilliant, and I can’t wait to buy it on DVD. (And yes, the fact that I can’t italicize the film title in this message box bothers me!) ;)

  • fdsfsfdsfsf

    Google in the input: = tradeone.us = you can find many brand names, even more surprising is that he will sell you the unexpected o(∩_∩)o

  • DOH

    is there gonna be a VHS release??

    • vodkahead

      Yes, of course. It will be bundled with a time machine.

  • turnip

    Dear Chris: Multiple layers of generic action sequences pasted over the mental gang-rape of an innocent man. “Inception,” the plot, explained. Oh, and DOH (or is that “D’oh!”?): I think the answer to the that one is (cliche alert!) “In your dreams.”

    • Sean

      while i don’t think it was as bad as you make it sound, i agree that the action sequences were overwhelmingly generic, and the plot – for me anyway – wasn’t that difficult to follow at all. seemed like “dreamscape” mixed with “the matrix” with a hint of “dark city”. good movie, but not the amazing thing everyone pretends it is.

      btw…gettin’ that blu-ray!

  • Kelly

    It was such a wet dream and DoctorFriendFinder was great!

  • viviennewestwood

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  • tresorparis

    Great article. I cant wait to hear more about your research tool. If it is as good as your other products, then you will have another winner. Your article pretty much summed up what I have been seeing too. Great to see some hard data.

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