Win Preview Passes To Inception, And Ponder Our Five Questions About It

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Inception seems like the best bet yet to save a summer full of dreary by-the-books blockbusters. Has there been anything released yet that's made you want to go to the movies? (We admit, we've never quite gotten into the whole Toy Story thing.)

Inception is directed by Christopher Nolan, it's over-the-top CGI looks like it just might be intriguing and not simply eye candy, and it stars Leonardo DiCaprio. So things look promising.

But we have five questions.

1. Ellen Page?
Ellen Page is the Sylvester Stallone of cheaply sarcastic indie movie heroines -- in other words, her range is not exactly her best feature. And she's supposed to be helping to carry a big-budget movie acting against DiCaprio? Okay, Nolan, you casted her so you must have seen something, but we're skeptical.

2. Can DiCaprio make an interesting non-Scorsese film?
Since Titanic, here's the Leo scorecard:

Movies without Scorsese
Man in the Iron Mask
The Beach
Catch Me if You Can
Blood Diamond
Body of Lies
Revolutionary Road

We'll give you Catch Me if You Can; that's about it. Revolutionary Road maybe goes down as a semi-noble failure, but no one's sat through it twice.

Movies with Scorsese
Gangs of New York
The Aviator
The Departed
Shutter Island

We'll give you Shutter Island as veering a little too closely to hackdom, but the other three are all entertaining, solid movies.

3. You're not going to tell us at the end it was all a dream, are you?
The ads seem to indicate that the whole thing is about dreams and manipulating them. Which opens the door to having the final scene be Ellen Page or Joseph Gordon-Leavitt wake up in some clinic only to be informed he's been imagining the whole thing.

Please don't let this happen.

4. Is the train down the street the best dream, or are you holding something back from the ads?
If it is the best thing, that's okay, because it's pretty damn cool.

5. Does Michael Caine have pictures of you having sex with warthogs?
Caine's a fine actor and all, but in case you didn't realize: It's not mandatory that he appear in every one of your films. Unless it's some kind of Hitchcock-cameo thing.

Want to see Inception before everyone else does? For free? We've got 10 passes for two to the July 12 screening. Just send an e-mail to hairballscontest@houstonpress.com with the header "Inception." We'll draw 10 winners Thursday. (Meaning, obviously, you have to be able to come to our office to pick up the pass if you win.)

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