John Landis says Inception is "stylish" but unoriginal

"There have been a lot of movies like it"

John Landis has revealed that he thinks Inception wasn't original.

We're not sure how that's related to the movie he was promoting - Burke and Hare - but perhaps a journo asked him why the Pegg-starring grave-robbing chuckle-fest doesn't feature any city-folding dream sequences.

Landis said: "Interestingly enough Inception, which is wonderful, is not original. There have been a lot of movies like it; remember Dreamscape? Oh, that's bad special effects but almost the same movie.

It's Dennis Quaid and Edward Albert is the president of the United States and they insert him into his dreams.

Don't misunderstand me, I think Christopher Nolan is a wonderful director it's just I don't think he is yet to make a movie other than Memento that I thought was really original. It's just very stylish."

We're not convinced. We know Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were based on comics, but their ultra-realistic take on a comic-book universe were pretty new to us.

What do you think? Is Landis right? Wrong? Tell us!


    • Ratter

      Oct 26th 2010, 14:54

      To be fair, even Nolan said it wasn't 100% original. He said he got the basic dream idea from a cartoon. Besides, although I've never seen it, I'm sure Dreamscape did not have anything else in common with Inception other than the "dream sharing" and I guess if we are being picky, then they stole the idea from Freddy Krueger too.

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    • marsellus

      Oct 26th 2010, 14:58

      Not that I am a Nolan fanboy or anything - but I don't think the director of Beverly Hills Cop III, Oscar and Blues Brothers 2000 can say anything bad about any of Nolan's films. Next up, Uwe Boll to tell us why Stanley Kubrick is rubbish...

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    • Hadouken76

      Oct 26th 2010, 15:01

      I thought The Prestige was a nice twist on the warring mages theme

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    • davidleach2000

      Oct 26th 2010, 15:28

      To be far Marsellus, Landis did also direct: Blues Brothers, Animal House, American Werewolf in London, Trading Places, Kentucky Fried Movie and the under rated Innocent Blood. And all he said was the film wasn't original.

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    • MadMatt

      Oct 26th 2010, 15:30

      Maybe not, Marsellus, but the director of Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London, Thriller and Trading Places is in a perfect position to judge others' work. I have to say I think Landis is spot on. I've been saying ever since the synopsis was announced that Inception is heavily indebted to Dreamscape; in many respects it is all but an unofficial remake, with the psychic plot mechanic merely replaced with a technological one. There are aspects of Total Recall, The Matrix and the works of Gilliam and Lynch thrown in too, not to mention the apparent parallels with the animated film Paprika (which I haven't seen yet, so I can't comment on). He neatly disguises all these familiar elements by wrapping them up with his signature melancholy aesthetic to make it seem new. Plenty of directors do this kind of thig, so there's no shame in it. But when a filmmaker is worshipped so unquestioningly and uncritically as Nolan is by the internet masses, occasionally it's welcome to hear someone suggesting that the Emperor's fabulous outfit might be a tad transparent. Before the Nolan fanboys get up in arms, you should take note of the fact that Landis isn't criticising Inception's quality, just its originality, or lack thereof. And as for Total Film praising the originality of Nolan's Batman adaptations? Bryan Singer introduced the serious-minded, grounded superhero era five years earlier (albeit with a science fiction twist) with X-Men. You'd also have to be unaware of Richard Donner's Superman, 1970s James Bond films and the complete works of Michael Mann to think that Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are in any way 'new'.

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    • MadMatt

      Oct 26th 2010, 16:28

      Oh, and Ratter? Dreamscape pre-dates A Nightmare On Elm Street too. It was released in the summer of 1984, whereas Nightmare didn't come out until the winter of that year.

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    • Raybros

      Oct 26th 2010, 16:54

      If you want to look at it black and white then nothing is original. Every idea we have is based on things we have already seen or heard of, it's what we do with these ideas that makes something original and in my opinion Nolan creates something original in his direction and writing of his ideas. Besides we all know why Landis really said it: "everyone likes this director but not me because I'm special"

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    • Ichi1

      Oct 26th 2010, 20:21

      John Landis says Inception is "stylish" but unoriginal. And Jennifer Jason Leigh says John Landis killed my dad.

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    • bogman2099

      Oct 27th 2010, 7:19

      it seems every one is taking a pop at inception south park did the best i can probaly never watch it the same wy again

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