Interstellar (2014)

interstellar_2014_poster
Interstellar (2014)
  • Time: 169 min
  • Genre: Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, Topher Grace, Casey Affleck

Storyline:

In the near future, Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen its lifespan. A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The crew of the Endurance are required to think bigger and go further than any human in history as they embark on an interstellar voyage into the unknown. Coop, the pilot of the Endurance, must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race.

18 reviews

  • Interstellar, the single most anticipated and hyped movie of 2014 finally has lift off, but is it any good? Yes, of course it is, but hang on, isn’t it supposed to be great?

    Once again, much like ‘Inception’, Nolan has given us a movie where one viewing isn’t enough to fully appreciate nor digest it’s many intricacies, let alone write a review, and herein lies the problem for me. I don’t want to see a movie where I feel I need to take a notepad and a physics book to fully stay with the plot. I’ve heard McConaughey say “Don’t get hung up on the science, just go along for the ride”, well this logic works for say ‘Gravity’, but not here when too much emphasis is placed on the science to let it just wash over you, just going along for the ride feels like you’ve flunked out of science class. This film succeeds admirably in all the areas where we applaud Nolan the most. It’s ambitious, intelligent, at times captivating and above all thought provoking. But it tries to be too much at times, a little over ambitious me thinks. Nolan could be in trouble of disappearing up his own black hole.

    He could well be a victim of his own success, it’s now expected of him to deliver these monstrously big epics which both excite and assault the mind in equal measure. Don’t get me wrong I admire its ambition and give props to him for going the expected route but I wouldn’t have minded if he had delivered a much smaller, more intimate tale. When you ask people for their favourite Nolan movie you’ll here the cry for ‘Memento’ and ‘The Prestige’ more often than ‘Inception’. In these earlier movies he showcases a wonderful talent for making the seemingly insignificant and shallow appear epic and deep, but it doesn’t work in reverse.

    With Interstellar we are given what appears to be, at first, an intimate, heartfelt family drama where McConaughey plays Cooper a widow and former astronaut now working as a farmer while raising his two kids with the relationship between Cooper and his ten year old daughter being the focal point. The backdrop is that Earth is dying, mans survival now fully reliant on the harvesting of crops ‘The world needs farmers’. But what if we can find new worlds to inhabit? Before you can say ‘Holy corn field’ Cooper is signed up to pilot mans last space quest, venturing into worm holes where so much time here is tenfold somewhere else, hold up haven’t we been here before?. Can Coops accomplish his mission in enough time to somehow find his way back to his kids and rekindle that relationship, déjà Vu again. The comparisons with ‘Inception’ are not the films biggest failings however it’s the fact that the intimate family drama elements get lost when played off against the seemingly larger science fiction ones. These two atoms have certainly not fused well. Once you’ve lost the human drama, it’s game over.

    McConaughey struggles here too, his talents glow on Earth yet dim in space. His greatest moment comes when we share video messages of his kids, now fully grown up despite a mere hour passing for him. In this moment a single tear rolled down my cheek in unison with McConaughey’s character and in that second I felt the films power, no where else throughout its entire 3 hour run time did I get that impact.

    Yes visually it’s a marvel, especially in IMAX, some of the set pieces and action scenes are stunning and warrant repeated viewing. Hans Zimmer’s score pulverises you for the films entirety. The influences artistically are easy to spot and it triumphs on so many levels but it clunks at times and ultimately fails in its most important aspect, heart.

    I remember having a similar feeling towards ‘Inception’ after my first viewing and these thoughts changed dramatically upon a second, the same could occur here. On repeated viewings it will be easier to let the science wash over me and keep focus on the smaller, more human elements to the story and only then will I be able to fully share in its central message.

    Maybe I’m the one at fault here, maybe expectation has defeated me!

    Thoughts: Need to see again 7.5/10.

  • Time and reality have oft been bendable concepts in Christopher Nolan’s films. Think of Memento, in which Guy Pierce’s Leonard battles with short-term amnesia to piece together the truth of his wife’s murder. Told in reverse, the film was an exhilarating exercise in the shifting sands of truth and reliability. Or The Prestige, where two rival magicians engage in an increasingly dangerous game of one-upmanship with duplicates and illusions refracting ad infinitum. Inception upped the ante with its multiple levels of dreams and realities folding into one another. Even The Dark Knight Trilogy presented differing perspectives on violence and morality via its hero and the villains he battled; more often than not, they were two sides of the same coin.

    Nolan explores the relativity of time and reality on a far grander scale in Interstellar, a space opera that marries grandeur and intimacy, the cerebral and the emotional, the ridiculous and the sublime. Set in the near future, mankind has abandoned armies and advanced technology to become an agarian society. Increasingly unable to sustain itself, crops are withering and the lands are plagued with dust storms. The planet may have enough in it to last one more generation.

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  • All the blame is for the boring “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Astronauts movies existed before, but Kubrick decided that from now on most materials that dare to cross the space must be ambitious or being bored… or both. In “Interstellar” no matter which film it copied or was “inspired”, after all meets the same metaphysical pretensions, science and the dilemma of love in a space beyond. It may be flawed, but very good and a modern version of “The Martian Chronicles”

    Best of “Interstellar” is undoubtedly after the first hour. Previously, we have absolutely all we know, the established formula: the beginning is a slow development of characters, including the protagonist living on planet earth in its climactic moments, when now the world seems to fall into farms as it is the only power supply, her daughter with a ghost problem (which will be the trigger for the story), a former NASA pilot who must return to his duties after wasting time in agriculture. True, the beginning is good but not as compelling and with a melodrama where we know where it points. Do the signals must fall at the home of an ex-pilot? Why NASA should choose a man so busy with the theme of his childrens? And then we have Anne Hathaway’s performance, which seems slightly out of place, and her relationship with McConaughey is ok enough to carry the film forward, but not much more. Then the first hour of the 3 is fully dedicated to the development of the core cast. It is argued that McConaughey is a truly amazing actor, since “Interestellar” despite its visual is not, in principle, a pleasant wash of images as is “Gravity” where Sandra Bullock played “Super Mario Galaxy” with mirror reflections on helmets that looked coming out from the Salar de Uyuni

    But after the first time things do not give a marginal jump, because in truth “Interstellar” is a drama in the format of science fiction, mixed with a thriller. It is a cross between the lavish landscapes of “Oblivion” (here’s icy ammonia) and the earthly disturbance of “Transcendence”, by giving two modern examples. While the actors and the conflict is passable and thus the film is enjoying its suspense, there are always the small details in Nolan’s films, used in order to arrive. Okay, we can forgive the convenient idea of time dilation (to justify the protagonists do not wear out and replace them with other actors), that does not bother us. But then we find Michael Caine’s revelation about the true state of things. Sounds doable, but one can feel that the protagonists have been indulgently naive about a situation that almost everyone knew or sensed (including the public). Also reproach daughter-to-father may lessen the urge. However where almost all agree as the breakpoint is in the spin that occurs during the last 25 minutes, which is pretty scary and consistent but again falls on matching described in the previous paragraph. When we enter this final stage, the film is shot at the speed of light with skin tight data (the watch), and ends as a more entertaining version of “Mr Nobody” (and the new station has vertical streets like “Inception”)

    “Interstellar” is very good until get to the final moment where it gets tighter. Incredibly, despite the remarkable work of photography and music, is not a film where form prevails over content, as some obsolete critics said (even negatively qualifying for that). The faults are found in the intangible of the script, in those things. “Inception” and “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” are two very good movies but with flaws in the script and logic. The same applies -mutatis mutandis- for “Interstellar”

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  • If there is one thing Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan are great at, it’s thought-provoking films, ever since Memento, Nolan has only ever impressed more and more with films such as The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception. Now we are treated to a film originally meant to be directed by non other than Steven Spielberg (Lincoln). That’s right back in 2006 Spielberg was originally set to direct Interstellar, with Jonathan Nolan hired to write the film, however Spielberg chose other projects and dropped out. Not wanting to give up on the project, Jonathan Nolan suggested the project to his brother and here we are today.

    After winning Best Actor at the 2014 Oscars, Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) is at it again with the out of this world epic sci-fi. It’s hard to fault anything McConaughey does these days and has put himself in the perfect spot for another nomination (and potential win) at the Oscars this coming year, although it’s looking like he’ll have some stiff competition. Not to over-shadow Anne Hathaway (Rio 2)’s great performance, but McConaughey has such a great impact and has you gripped every step of the way.

    Read the full review here – http://roapreviews.com/2014/11/19/interstellar/

  • Every one of us, irrespective of our academic history, at some point or another has felt that amusement for science that keeps going around us. As kids, whether it’s believing that Moon is chasing us wherever we go or the sheer excitement of closing all the touch me not plants. Growing up we all had our own taste at Discovery & Nat Geo (Some still have)

    Nolan has a thing for Physics…Quantum Physics to be precise. But then it is easy to confuse the tool as a premise.

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  • I have to hand it to Christopher Nolan, time and time again he takes on diverse & interesting projects and makes them his own, especially when scripting with his brother, Jonathan. Their latest endeavour, Interstellar sees the siblings flex their creative muscles, and certainly stretches far beyond the reach of its trailer.

    Read the full review: http://thatothermovieblog.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/interstellar.html

  • The best way to view Interstellar is how the marketing intended; knowing next to nothing. However I can’t write a decent review without throwing that out the window. So first off, if you haven’t seen Interstellar yet, really consider whether you actually want to read this review or not. I won’t spoil the big twists and reveals, so in that you’re safe, but there are various points I will spoil for the sake of having something to talk about.

    Interstellar is Nolan’s next big movie, and the best way to describe it is a cross between Nolan’s own Inception and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001. It has all the long tension of Inception, including cutting between two different building stories so that they reach their conclusion at the same time. This creates a lot of nail-biting suspense, the same as it did in Inception. However, apply that suspense, today’s effects, and the modern way of making and presenting a movie to 2001, and you’ve got Interstellar in a nutshell (complete with off-the-wall, surreal climax at the end).

    The world is dying, overtaken by dust and dirt, disrupting and killing crops. Humanity is a mess; everyone’s a farmer and the quest for science is almost nonexistent. Cooper is an ex-astronaut who, just like everyone else, has resigned to keeping his own farm. However it’s not enough for him and he craves space exploration more than ever, so when he finds a binary message in the dirt, he follows it’s message into another galaxy to save humanity.

    Interstellar is a very scientific movie. It’s all pro-science, showing us what a world without interest in science would look like, which has become a bit of a hot topic recently it seems. In one scene Cooper points out how the lack of MRI’s in the world (having been stripped for farming parts) essentially killed his wife. Likewise there’s a certain attention to realism, at least to a point. For example all the space vehicles aren’t the pristine, sci-fi gadgetry we’ve come accustomed to seeing of a future vision, but weathered and efficient. Their interiors look like the interior of the ISS today.

    However Interstellar isn’t like Gravity in that realism is the sole aim. It relishes in it’s sci-fi surroundings, playing with somewhat more supernatural elements. The film is permeated with the mystery of ghosts and aliens, and as I mentioned before, the big finale takes a surreal route, not too dissimilar to 2001’s LSD sequence. While it has these realistic moments and this bombastic sci-fi moments, it ties them together nicely with some elements that bridge the gap in the middle. Every planet is made to seem like a plausible place to exist, with oceans, mountains, clouds, glaciers etc, however they’re also very alien in that they hold features unlike anything we’ve seen before, such as clouds that have frozen in mid-air, creating a sheet of ice and snow floating above the ground, or tidal waves so massive they’re mistaken for mountains. The other way they bridge the gap is by exploring the most up-to-date scientific understandings and taken them a little further. The biggest and most obvious example is of black holes, of which one makes a significant point of the movie. Rather than being a 2-dimensional circle as often depicted, it’s a black orb surrounded by swirling light in multiple directions. It plays with gravity and time, but isn’t imminently dangerous. It even gives the Nolan’s an opportunity to play with the idea of going beyond the event horizon. Physically impossible because you’d die from the increased gravity before you got there, but this is another liberty they take with their sci-fi approach.

    I guess what surprised me most was the emotional level of Interstellar. I know there are a lot of people out there who find that Nolan prefers his concepts over his characters, and to a point I can sort of agree. His characters do play second fiddle to the concepts he wants to play with. However when the concepts he and his brother come up with are so complex and original like this, you can forgive them for concentrating on that. However with Interstellar they do achieve a tighter balance. Their concepts are given weight thanks to the emotional connection we have with the characters and humanity as a whole. There’s more obvious emotion at play here too which comes at the hands of differing time streams thanks to the black hole. After their first expedition, they return to find twenty-three years have passed for their couple of hours. The emotional repercussions of coming back and watching twenty-three years worth of messages from your kids, who are now as old as you are, are massive. Yeah, I almost shed a tear, not going to lie. It’s a really powerful moment.

    The visual effects are out of this world (pun intended). They manage to strike the subtle balance between believability and sci-fi fantasy, which makes this alien worlds with their alien features come alive, as if they’re actual places that exist and are being explored. My wife did note that Saturn’s rendering did just look like an art project, but at the end of the day it’s a ball of gas. There isn’t really much more detail you can put into it. What did strike me about that scene was the attention to scale. All too often in movies, the ship is portrayed as actually being quite big compared to the planet it’s passing or about to land on. The Interstellar ship (Endurance) is just a tiny speck in the corner.

    Acting was, for me, a bit of a mixed bag unfortunately. Matthew McConaughey is a forced to be reckoned with, there’s no denying that, but I just felt he was trying to hard to get an awards nod. He knew the big stakes of this movie, and he knew he’d get recognition if he pandered to the awards voters, so that’s what he did. Unfortunately it makes him unbelievable as a character, like it becomes plainly obvious he’s just an actor. The biggest misstep for me was how he insisted on mumbling his way through things. He gets better as the movie goes along though, that’s for sure. The emotional scene I mentioned previously would’ve lost so much impact without his superb teary reaction shots, and he holds the surreal climax really well considering he probably didn’t have much more than a sheet of green to work with.

    Interstellar is a great movie for sure. It impacted me so much I left the cinema in silence, and I spent the last hour getting my mind blown over and over again. However I can’t say it’s perfect. It plays around with a lot of ideas, but not all of them quite work, the Inception-style cutting to build tension achieves the same results, but generally feels a lot messier as the storylines don’t really tie together quite as well, and the Earth-based storyline doesn’t hold anywhere near the same amount of suspense, just because it inherently has less at stake. It’s also a really long movie, which isn’t really a problem for me, but it spends an awful lot of time on a random planet with a random character that doesn’t really amount to much beyond offering a HAL-type antagonist. In my opinion they could’ve stripped that straight down, if not cut it out completely, and saved quite a bit of time without ruining the pacing of the movie. All things considered, I give Interstellar a fantastic 9/10. It’s definitely a must-watch, despite it’s flaws.

  • Christopher Nolan is a name that many cinema-goers associate with realism:

    His approach to filmmaking, while complex, always seems grounded in a sense of self awareness that doesn’t allow the fantastical to outweigh the believable. Don’t get me wrong though, Nolan loves the fantastical; from his acclaimed Dark Knight Trilogy to the magic and mind-bending of The Prestige and Inception respectively, Nolan loves to expand our imaginations with the underlying question of possibility thrown in. With that being said, how does Nolan’s latest outing, the highly anticipated Interstellar, follow up and deliver on this well-tested approach?

    Well firstly, going into the cinema I had an absolute tonne of hype built up for this film. I am definitely a Nolan fan and since the very first trailer for Interstellar came out over a year ago, I have eagerly awaited this release.

    The film follows Cooper, a former engineer/pilot (possibly for NASA), father of two and a farmer living as part of a dying Earth; a world running out of oxygen and churning up horrific dust storms. He is asked to lead a crew of NASA scientist/astronauts to find a new habitable world for Humans to colonise. Think of it as a massive super-budget prequel to the Firefly TV series.

    The film starts in a surprisingly grounded way, giving us a brief glimpse at how Cooper and his family have survived in this barren land. From the start it is made apparent that Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper is a very traditional leading man. Handsome, rough round the edges, dutiful to his family, believes in being more than what life has given him. These are by no means original character traits, but McConaughey carries these aspects and puts them together to deliver one of the best acting performances of the year. He takes the hollywood prototype leading role and adds an incredible layer of emotional depth and diversity to Cooper’s character. Would not be at all surprised if he gets nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars again this year. As the main plot of space travel comes into play and Cooper finds himself reluctantly dragged back into the world of NASA and piloting, alongside a crew of three others and two drones called Case and Tars. The fact that I can remember the drones names over the crew members is an apt demonstration of how forgettable they are. Anne Hathaway’s Brand (barely recalled the name) is a more well-explored character than the other two. However this is a detriment to the viewers, as the crew go through a lot emotionally in their travels and all would definitely have benefitted from a bit more than just having Brand briefly addressing their backstories for them. Considering the running time of the film, this could definitely have been achieved more convincingly.

    With that in mind, the main criticism I have for this film is actually the use of exposition. The action and progression throughout the film can be stifled by the continuous scientific mumbo-jumbo used throughout the scenes. A lot of unexplained terminologies slide in through the sometimes unrealistic dialogue and can feel a little pretentious without giving the audience something simpler to digest, though I do understand that for realism four NASA crew members would not explain the definitions of words they likely use with each other on a daily basis. The highlight of the unrealistic and corny dialogue comes when Anne Hathaway’s Brand gives a monologue about love ‘transcending time and space’. This moment of dialogue takes you out of the film and lands you in the all-too-familiar land of Hollywood. Thankfully, dialogue like this is limited and seems for the most part to avoid Cooper, who has the main task of guiding the viewer.

    While the negatives can be irritating, the main positives I will give this film are the conceptual ideas, the incredible lead performance of McConaughey, the strong performances of Hathaway and both Jessica Chastain and Mackenzie Foy in the role of Murph, along with both the incredible special effects and the stunning environments. The worlds that are brought to life in this film are truly spectacular. From 100 foot waves to frozen clouds, the terrains and landscapes are breathtaking to look at. Christopher Nolan does not like needless CGI in movies; he has made this apparent in many an interview but not only is it required for Interstellar, it is embraced wholeheartedly. Nolan goes full throttle with the visuals to produce a dazzlingly realised depiction of planets and space, without sacrificing his ingeniously detailed physical models. The ships are beautifully designed and the models provide that extra layer of realism that overly perfect CGI just can’t duplicate. The worlds are engrossing and completely drag you in. The space feels truly immense and it becomes very easy to forget that you are in a cinema watching a film. A lot of people will likely want to compare this film to Alphonso Cuaron’s Gravity, but Interstellar provides us with a much more original and ‘cinematic’ presentation of space, whilst still conveying that out there, it truly is epic, deadly and undeniably infinite.

    There are A LOT of areas in this film I can’t mention because of spoilers, such as unexpected cameos and certain developments regarding the ‘sciency mumbo-jumbo’, but the third act of this film is where, if ever Nolan was to be used as a verb, the plot gets totally Nolan’d!

    From inter-dimentional space and time theorems, to character motivations appearing unclear for various reasons, to my personal favourite Nolanism; taking something insignificant from the start of the film and making it completely vital for the delivery at the end, the final half-hour of Interstellar brings in every concept addressed in this feature and turns them all on their proverbial heads in a way we have come to expect from the master of cinematic mind-buggery. However this also has the potential to leave you with a slight feeling of ‘what was I supposed to take away from this?’…

    The film doesn’t seem to find a 100% solid footing with where its focus lies; it splits quite unevenly between plot strands and the end does rush through so many different ideas that your brain is not given enough time to register how you’re supposed to feel. With that being said, Nolan does not like to leave his films feeling finished if he can help it. He’ll give us an ending but it is always an ending that comes in the form of more questions. Nolan relishes in giving viewers the opportunity to come up with their own theories on time and space and how it all works, and questioning whether or not the film’s attempts are actually accurate. However the final act of this film does seem to be overpopulated with ideas and none of them are given nearly enough time to breathe. As a result the end does feel like a strange cross between being too rushed and being too long, depending on your opinions of complex finales. In my opinion, the film could have been a bit longer to give the ending a more justified and well rounded conclusion but considering the 166 minute running time as is, I could also agree with a few ideas being dropped to give room for others. Otherwise the inter-dimensional, mind boggling, fantasmagorically mental nature of the finale demonstrates Nolan at his most… well… Nolany, and to be honest that is one of the many reasons why fans love his films.

    The overall theme of the film underlines the value and appreciation of time, as well as how we should use it best in our lifetime. This is captured beautifully in some very moving moments scattered throughout the film. The direction Interstellar takes us on is a surprisingly grounded and ‘Human’ path, focusing more on the characters and emotional motivations than the spectacular cosmic themes that surround them. Nolan has combined the epic scope of science fiction cinema with a very intimate, relatable centre and has done so very elegantly in spite of the sensory and mental onslaught that comes in the final act. Nolan’s direction of the film is of course to a very high standard; while there is nothing game changing in terms of the cinematography, the camera angles are chosen best to convey the imagery effectively and capture the performances/story/special effects in the best possible way.

    With a strong beginning, an outstanding middle and a must-see lead performance from McConaughey, casual viewers can likely forgive or forget the seismic confusion that will likely overcome them at the end, along with the sometimes overly corny dialogue. However, to the more loyal Nolan fans that have come to expect thought-provoking (sometimes hard to follow) theories about space and time, complex plot threads that only get answered right at the end (if ever) and ridiculously in-depth conversations for years to come about the underlying thematic and conceptual approaches, Interstellar as a whole is just that… stellar.

    8.5/10

  • Interstellar adjective – occurring or situated between stars.

    Is exactly how I felt last night whilst watching this masterpiece of a movie. Christopher and Jonathan Nolan took the audience as close as they will probably get to see what Interstellar travel will look like and by god was it mesmerizing. I found myself saying out loud “WOW” like I was kid who had just seen a pair a boobs in page 3 for the first time. You can be forgiven for thinking you where probably going to see a good film because I wasn’t prepared for the sheer quality of every aspect that the film possess. Even after the movie was finished I was still thinking it all out in my head, taking wrong turns when I was driving home. My mind hadn’t finished processing what I had just seen.
    Matthew McConaughey is such a great actor and I think those cheesy shite house films that he was previously involved in didn’t have the storyline or the intelligence to show you how good an actor this guy is. It almost seems like when he took those RomCom roles that maybe he didn’t believe in himself as an actor but boy does he believe in himself now. I’m going to put it out there that he is the best actor of our generation. He carried out his role with precision. He had the full cinema in the palm of his hand and not forgetting the rest of the cast who held their own in this movie. Anne Hathaway should win best supporting role at the Oscars and Michael Caine was well Michael Caine, a man who can play any role with conviction.
    If you are going to see this film, make sure you go to an IMAX to see it because it was certainly made for it. Interstellar is a wall of sound, vibrations, amazing scenery, superior storyline and bloody good acting. It was intense, gripping, emotional and is the most thought provoking film I have ever seen and by the end I felt like standing up and shouting for more.
    If cinematography is an art, Christopher Nolan is Leonardo De Vinci and Interstellar is his “Mona Lisa”

    “Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

  • This film is not recommended.

    Interstellar must be renamed to 2015: A Space Oddity. Once there is lift-off, there is much gravitas and solemn beauty in its weightless universe, even if the film bogs down when it tethers itself to Earth, its inhabitants, and their on-going battle with global change. (Yes, you naysayers, it was real!)

    The film owes its whole existence to the granddaddy of all space exploration films, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Interstellar is similar in its alignment to scientific probabilities, quantum physics, and algorithms with much talk about wormholes, black-holes, time travel, and anomalies. The further connection to Kubrick’s masterpiece is even more evident with the episodic nature in Interstellar’s plot structure, its minimal in character development (except for its lead character), and its overtly pretentious and sanctimonious tone.

    More odd in its dramatic flourishes than needed, Nolan’s film reaches for the heavens but never soars to any level of greatness. The film is earnest, well-crafted, and stylishly directed, but hardly emotionally involving. Blame the overstuffed script (by Nolan and his brother, Jonathan) for the lack of any real tension or satisfaction. Sections of the film just never gel, leading to an ending that is visually stunning and total nonsense.

    The film also owes some of its technical prowess to last year’s Gravity in its overall visual look. (That film did it all so much better.) Still the visuals are Interstellar’s chief asset (with a dazzling set piece set in the fourth dimension that is especially dazzling in the IMAX format). This film is a long-drawn-out sci-fi fantasy, a seriously-minded adventure film that is takes itself too seriously with scientific exposition and high-brow poetic pause that make the film too solemn and corny to truly enjoy.

    Now, let’s discuss the story and characters a bit. It is the future and Earth is a dustbin with its population dwindling. Our only hope is what lies above. A team of astronauts is assembled to find another world from three other planets in another galaxy on which we can co-habitat. Leading this crew is a man who must have the right stuff, aptly named Cooper played by Matthew McConaughey. Coop is a widow raising two small children and obsessing with enough pangs of patriarchal guilt and crying jags to possibly earn another Oscar. Sent by old school scientist Dr. Brand (Michael Caine), who is receiving a weak signal from outer space, he bids adieu to his young wards to go space-ward, leaving the coop and his smart daughter Murph (MacKenzie Foy) and older son Tom (Timothée Chalamet) behind in order to help mankind and save his family from an ultimate death. Time passes quickly for these earthlings (and all too slowly for the audience) as 23 years pass and Murph and Tom have grown up, becoming Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck while Coop stays forever young.

    Of course, there will be snags in this mission. Pardon the pun: it’s Murphy’s Law. Also on board are other space travelers: Dr. Brand’s daughter, Amelia (Anne Hathaway) who acts more Bedelia than Earhart, a nondescript Doyle (Wes Bentley), and Romilly (David Gyasi) as the token African-American astronaut and one of the few minorities on screen. Off they go on their spacecraft named Endurance, an apt title indeed!

    The acting is barely adequate and well, under stellar. The characters barely register as real people as they continue to wax philosophically about life, physics, love, mathematics, and the pursuit of happiness. Their dialogues never resemble anything remotely convincing. Again, the screenplay’s poor plotting and weak characterizations aborts their mission.

    With Interstellar, the sum of its parts are greater than the whole (or hole). In fact, there seem to be an overabundance of holes in Interstellar: black holes, wormholes, and plot holes, the latter being the most dangerous and unavoidable one due to the Brothers Nolans’ sappy screenplay. The episodic structure of the film is unable to connect its storylines to make any logical sense.

    Nolan’s film is a major disappointment. In retrospect, perhaps an even better name for Interstellar might be Close Encounters of the Third Rate Kind. At times, the film is a visual pleasure, fitfully entertaining and thought-provoking in its overall production design. But more often, Interstellar is just dull, uninspiring, and a long, long journey into that good night. GRADE: C

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  • In a small town, farmers everywhere are struggling to grow crops, frequent sandstorms are a regular event, and people are beginning to flee to another place. Sounds like the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, right? Wrong. In a time that is not clearly represented, Cooper and his family are farmers in a world that has done away with military, and the earth itself is the new “no-man’s land.” With the land all over Earth failing, a top-secret operation by NASA has been arranged for explorers to travel through a wormhole and explore the galaxy for a safe new home for Earth’s population. Cooper, an ex-NASA pilot, stumbles upon this plan, and he is recruited by his old friend to be seated at the helm of the travel. With two children, and no wife to look after them, Cooper makes the undesirable decision to leave Earth in search of its replacement.

    At a close second to Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite active directors in the film industry. Known for very intricate and mind-blowing plots, as well as very deep themes, Nolan has burst onto the scene of Hollywood at the turn of the decade. Sitting in the director’s seat for box-office and pop culture giants like The Dark Knight and Inception, he has fully established himself in a short amount of time. In this film, he continues to do what he does best, and this will soon join the earlier listed films on his iconic resume.
    Like Nolan films before it, Interstellar has stunning visuals (both through effects and cinematography) and great themes at its core. Though it does not match the unprecedentedly brilliant space visuals that 2013’s Gravity had, this film is still very impressive in its depiction of the vastness up above. With themes like the bonds in a family, love, courage, and sacrifice at its heart, this film plays on the heartstrings of the viewer with excellence.
    In terms of acting, it was quite good. McConaughey is the perfect man for this role as a soulful Southern/Texan that loves his family and the world he lives in. Around him, there are quite a few notable actors playing as support. Anne Hathaway plays one of Cooper’s team members, John Lithgow plays the father-in-law, Michael Caine plays the wise professor, Jessica Chastain is the aged version of Cooper’s daughter, Casey Affleck his aged son, and Matt Damon appears for a small, yet important, amount of screen time. In a film where the acting takes a backseat to the story itself, the cast does a good job in their roles.
    Being that this is a Christopher Nolan film, the storyline is a pretty large maze for the mind to comprehend. With time travel, space travel, and many other things (which would be a spoiler), the story puts the film into the category of movies that require multiple viewings.
    As this film just came out a week or so ago, it will be some time until award season, but here are some predictions about what aspects of the film I think will receive acclaim.
    Sound (Mixing/Editing)
    Visual Effects
    Original Score
    As I have said before, the visuals and sound are a big part of the film, and they are very well done. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you see this film in the theater first, or maybe even at the IMAX. In order to fully appreciate this film’s qualities, you must experience it on the big screen.

    The plot kind of left certain things out that would have helped me understand it more, and that makes it hard to appreciate it.

  • I presume most of you have already seen the number one movie in the world right now, science fiction masterpiece, co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan the mighty “INTERSTELLAR”.
    Every once in a while comes a movie that in some way redefines it’s genre. “2001 Space Odyssey” immediately comes to mind back in 1968 directed by the master-director Stanley Kubrick when we talk about movies that changed the scope of film production and altered the canon in which the filmmaker chooses to introduce to the viewer narration of the story. Indeed “2001…” was far ahead of its time and intact when it was first released it bombed at the box office. Critics also did not know what to make of it. The first dialogs were spoken in it about 30 minutes in to the movie and most audiences back then needed more scruples exposition based on dialog to fully emerge themselves in to the film.
    Thankfully as the time progressed humanity started appreciate this timeless masterpiece for what it is. Original expression of genius that came out of Kubrick’s and Arthur C. Clarke’s mind.

    Watching the IMAX version of the “INTERSTELLAR” the first time around I sat through in amazement what could be considered, there I will say it, arguably the smartest movie of the decade!
    The actual experience that is the “INTERSTELLAR” goes far beyond the normal movie going event. Nolan shot the movie using 70MM IMAX camera tailored specially for viewers that want to see this movie in all it’s glory in IMAX. He used majority of a real locations and stayed away form using CGI. “INTERSTELLAR” lensed by Hoyte Van Hoytem takes advantage of not only the size of the screen but most of all it sound capability. I had read some complaints about the fact that some viewers did not like the final sound mix of the movie and felt that in some scenes the music or sound design was too loud comparing with dialog. Apparently similar thing happened on Nolan’s other movie “The Dark Knight Rises ” where dialog of antagonist “Bane” was not audible on some early screening and had to be changed to accommodate the majority of the viewers.
    What most people do not know is that in the final sound mix of the movie the director is actually shaping the experience of the film. Now the movie is picture locked and all the pieces together with music are already in place, but in final sound mix the director has fun time adjusting the intensity of the sound and in that way altering the end result. By adding or subtracting the music or sound the one and same scene can have different emotional impact. Nolan took a full advantage of that and I must say I didn’t mind the sound mix one bit. In fact I think in terms of music Hans Zimmer once again outdone himself creating score, that is simple, yet emotionally strong, being an integral part of the storytelling experience. His compositions usually consists of simple few notes that become the emotionally associated with particular character or situation, which is brought back in correct moments of the movie to heighten the emotional impact.
    Hans Zimmer decided to remove himself form typical orchestral strings motives and opted for more grand organ arrangement that complements the film experience to the perfection. Bravo indeed!
    Now lets go back to Christopher Nolan and his wonderful filmmaking talent. I must admit I am a long time fan of his work and always admired the fact that he has a talent combining the intellectual art house stories with big scale Hollywood production. “INTERSTELLAR” cost 165 million dollars and has been produced by two companies to alleviate the risk, however with Nolan there are no risks involved. He is able to do something unprecedented since the time of Stanley Kubrick maintain the creative control over his movies, something most Hollywood directors struggle with. His previous movies made over 1 billion Dollars each so in some sense he has earned the respect of the industry the hard way. What’s need to be noticed is the fact that he writes (together with his brother Jonathan) most of his movies. Some of the best Hollywood directors use someone else’s material to create their movies. Not Nolan. The movies he directs are multilayered narratively and I applaud him for challenging the audience intellectually in times when Hollywood majority of time makes movies which are often dumbed down, tailored to the average movie goer which they believe is not that bright in the first place.

    In “INTERSTELLAR” Nolan successfully tells a very complex story that in hands of other less intellectual director might have been totally unexplainable.
    “In Earth’s future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a brilliant NASA physicist, is working on plans to save mankind by transporting Earth’s population to a new home via a wormhole. But first, Brand must send former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and a team of researchers through the wormhole and across the galaxy to find out which of three planets could be mankind’s new home.”

    It is very difficult to explain complex issues in science of Physics and do it in a way that common viewer understands without too much of a dialog exposition is very hard. In movies we show the story not tell, therefor we try to avoid long explanations of things that normally we would want to see it visually and not listen to character explain them to us (unless you are Quentin Tarantino who loves long dialogs). This could be only criticism of this otherwise magnificent masterpiece that there is too much exposition explained using dialog. Then again considering the complexity of the story I do think Nolan did amazing job with what could have been overly intellectual approach to complex subjects. Work of Andrei Tarkovsky and Terrence Malick comes to mind watching the “INTERSTELLAR” and to be compared to those three filmmakers including Kubrick it is a biggest complement 44 years old director could hope for.

    The acting is superb with Matthew McConaughey delivering very emotional portrait of a father on a mission to save the humanity but also his beloved daughter Murph played by both Mackenzie Foy and Jessica Chastain respectively who push this epic story in to the importance of relationship between the father and daughter. This is where emotionally strength of ‘INTERSTELLAR” lays. Anne Hathaway playing a daughter the professor Brand, character played soulfully by Michael Caine, also delivers one of her better performance being the intellectual counterbalance to more hands on approach of Matthew McConaughey’s character. Caine constant reference to the poem by Dylan Tomas
    “Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
    is nothing more then anthem against dying or passage of time that subsequently ends with our death.

    Nolan in it’s complexity created the story that does not have a clear antagonist. The villain in this movie is TIME that takes away the precious moments between loved ones united by love that is the fuel for their actions. This is precisely why Nolan chose the planet Saturn as the planet where the wormhole is situated around which allowed our heroes venture on to the other part of the galaxy where the possibly habitable worlds resides for the whole humanity to be saved. In antiquity planet Saturn otherwise known as Kronos was the representation of time. This is why symbolically Saturn has such a prominent role in the “INTERSTELLAR”, it represents the time and material world our protagonist try to fight against.
    As I mentioned before I strongly feel that this film is one of the smartest piece of filmmaking in this decade and I applaud Nolan for challenging the audience to be thrown in to the beautifully emotional and intellectual at the same time 164 minutes long masterpiece, forever written on to the history of the cinema book as mighty “INTERSTELLAR”.
    If you haven’t deducted that from this review already, I am blown away by it and I think it will take another 10 years to made me experience another movie the way I’ve experienced the “INTERSTELLAR”.
    Seeing it in IMAX is must for all the real cinema fans because this is what Christopher Nolan intended.
    (***** out of 5)

  • Interstellar 8.5/10: Seeing the trailer for this ambitious film, I immediately became overjoyed because if anyone can pull off a movie like this one, it is Christopher Nolan. And who better to lead the charge than Matthew McConaughey. A guy who has completely turned his career around in the past three years and is now consider to be one of the top actors in Hollywood. This movie is incredible to say the least. Interstellar combines interesting concepts and ideas, brilliant script writing and directing to make the most thought provoking and groundbreaking Nolan film yet.

    This movie was near-perfect too me, but the only thing that kept me from giving it a 9.5/10 was it getting to complicated for it’s own good. Towards the end after so much stuff has happened, it gives you more to contemplate just to keep up with whats going on. Still, it does not fall into the same pit as Lucy where towards the end it gets caught in its own complicated story line and it can’t get itself out. Also, I feel like they rushed the beginning when they were still on Earth. Nolan seemed as if he wanted to get to space as fast as possible which made the scenes on Earth far less impactful to the audience.

    I love the acting in films, but in a film like this, the acting is secondary. The primary focus is the special effects. They made entirely new worlds from nothing. Space stations from scratch. Everything imaginable to make this movie believable was created. What I like about Christopher Nolan’s films is the fact he tries to use as many “real environments” as possible. They were not CGI’d into a spaceship, they were actually in one. What Nolan did to make the acting even greater was he created the imagery before hand. Doing this, the actors reactions to what they saw when they looked out the windows were real. The CGI was still incredible too.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/interstellar.html

  • Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    There’s no question that Christopher Nolan is one of the best film-makers in the world today. His technique and ability has been going from strength to strength ever since his breakout in 2000’s ”Memento”. He can be credited for giving possibly the best onscreen representation to Batman in the form of an amazing trilogy, In 2010 he astounded us with his brilliant thought- provoking Sci-Fi ”Inception”, And now he gives us ‘Interstellar’, his most ambitious film yet.

    Interstellar tells the story of a future in which earth is suffering from drought and famine with the eventual threat of extinction. The fate of mankind depends on a group of explorers who must travel through the solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine. Hot off his Oscar win in ‘Dallas Buyer’s Club’, Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, A man who must lead the team of explorers through the solar system while knowing the fate of his family and mankind rests on his shoulders. McConaughey is the quintessential hero in this movie and gives an emotionally complex performance to ensure us the McConaissance continues, The acting is top-notch not just from McConaughey but from the supporting players as well; Anne Hathaway (Amelia Brand), Jessica Chastain (Murph), Michael Caine (Dr. Brand) all give solid performances. The love story between Cooper and his daughter Murph acts as the center point of the movie and is a particularly wonderful that succeeds on an emotional level. Interstellar is also amazing to watch because it is visually sublime, Nolan’s direction is superb as he takes us through wormholes to gorgeous vistas, and into the unknown, some sequences are directed with such craftsmanship and precision that the viewer is left stunned. Rounding it all off is Hans Zimmer’s bombastic yet wonderful soundtrack that will send you into a state of oblivion.

    Interstellar despite it all, is not a perfect movie, and has some flaws, minute but flaws none the less. The main issues lie with the writing and the screenplay written by Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan leaves one with much to be desired. Throughout the course of the movie the brothers fail to properly develop key characters (Amelia Brand and Tom in particular) which results in characters you could care less about. The pacing is perhaps another flaw. Interstellar clocks at 169 minutes making it Nolan’s longest film yet and the film does drag on at times.

    However, the pros outweigh the cons, and Interstellar ranks as one of Christopher Nolan’s best works. Never has something of such magnitude been tried and achieved since Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. Ultimately the movie succeeds thanks to Nolan’s magnificent vision, solid acting, and outstanding visuals. I would like to recommend Interstellar to Sci-Fi fans and moviegoers alike because it’s one of those things you just can’t miss.

    Final Score: 9.6/10

    -Khalid Rafi

  • God bless Michael Caine. I mean who doesn’t like Michael Caine. Here’s the problem though: He’s 81 years old and Anne Hathaway who’s 31, plays his character’s daughter in Christopher Nolan’s latest film. And oh yeah, 23 years pass in said film and Caine is still alive. Wow, he looked pretty good for someone who’s reached 104. Uh huh. Anyway, these are some of the aspects that had me scratching my head during 2014’s highly ambitious, yet highly imperfect, Interstellar.

    Watching Nolan’s two hour-plus space opera, you can tell that he revisited 2001: A Space Odyssey a few times to obtain a similar vision. His visual palate in regards to “2001” is realistically assured yet sort of conventional. So to counter on screen any nods toward the late, great Stanley Kubrick, Nolan also provides his own unique look via his cinematographer, Hoyte van Hoytema (The Fighter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Add a plot over plot over plot screenplay co-written by his brother (Jonathon Nolan) and you’ve got an exhausting, science fiction epic that could have easily been concocted by the Wachowski brothers (or brother and sister if you’ve been on a desert island). “Odyssey” was made over forty years ago and it forced you to ask questions about time and space. It was just a blueprint where as Interstellar pretty much answers those questions for you. Does that make this fall release a ballsy, forceful masterpiece? Not quite. But it’s too involving, absorbing, and monstrously canvassed to not garner my recommendation. Oh and did I mention that Nolan has John Lithgow included in his casting (he plays the main character’s father-in-law). Lithgow was in “2001’s” sequel entitled 2010: The Year We Make Contact. A subtle wink perhaps? Sure why not.

    Interstellar plays like 1998’s Armageddon in a let’s-get-in-a-spaceship-and-save-the-world kind of fashion. But Armageddon gives off the feeling of a silly, hyper-active popcorn flick. Interstellar because of its confusing, intricate screenplay, is something completely different. It makes you want to take a note pad with you so you can write stuff down. Are we talking classroom science lecture? Maybe. Are there zingers and comic relief included? Not so much. Nolan’s other mind bender Inception, delved deep in the realm of dreams and the quote unquote, “collapsing of a dream.” Compared to Interstellar, Inception doesn’t even scratch its surface. Just paint-by-numbers fodder to be honest.

    Structured without any containable buildup between scenes on planet Earth and scenes that take place in galaxies that are far far away (the spaceship stuff harbors over 75% of the film’s running time), Interstellar begins by depicting astronaut turned farmer, Cooper (played by a miscast Matthew McConaughey who gets his veritable Keir Dullea-on going where no man has ever gone before, literally). The planet is desolate with dust storms and food shortage. The only hope for mankind involves an expedition by which a shuttle takes off through a wormhole finding other planets that humans might be able to survive on. This mission brings Cooper out of retirement and pairs him with a geographer (an underused Wes Bentley as Doyle), a physicist (the excellent Ann Hathaway), another physicist (David Gyasi), and a robot named TARS (just think a friendlier HAL 9000 with walking, outward appendages added on). Cooper, without any real notice, accepts said mission and must leave his intelligent, spunky daughter (“Murph” played with mature vigor by Mackenzie Foy) and his co-farmer son (Timothee Chalamet as Tom) behind.

    The scenes where McConaughey’s Cooper is on a certain planet for three hours and at the same time (according to time dilation), the Earth has surpassed 20 plus years, are absolutely surreal. I remember hearing about this concept in grade school but it really hits home in Interstellar. This along with Hans Zimmer’s intimate film score, are a couple of the vehicle’s strongest attributes.

    But as mentioned earlier, there’s the weird realization of Matthew McConaughey in the lead role. I don’t know what it is but I just can’t see him as an actor playing an astronaut. I mean I’m not faulting the guy. He no doubt gives an adequate performance and well, he’s already obtained his coveted Oscar (for the frail transformation of an AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club). There are times though when I still feel like I’m watching his Wooderson burnout from Dazed And Confused. He’s got that aw shucks thing going on and in my mind, it doesn’t quite translate towards NASA. Also, the documentary devices by which various people are interviewed at the beginning of Interstellar’s bloated running time are sort of tacky, cliched, and out of place. These interviews involve elderly people briefly explaining what transpired many moons ago via Earth’s awaited demise. Why this dated concept is still used in today’s cinema baffles me. It just seems so ten to fifteen years ago in style.

    Nevertheless, Interstellar is the type of movie that drains you by the time you walk out of the theater. It works on a visual level despite a script that has enough inconsistent sci-fi jargon to spin your head the wrong way (you can also add on Dylan Thomas poetry overkill as well). And the dialogue readings got to the point where if a cast member uttered the words “plan A” or “plan B” one more time, I was seriously gonna lose it. Oh well, anything directed by Christopher Nolan is worth a look. He’s a sophisticated, disciplined filmmaker who’s near failures are better than most director’s successes. So to end this review, I’ll say this: Interstellar is decent but in a sense, not quite a “stellar” affair.

    Check out my other review on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com


  • “I’m not afraid of death. I’m an old physicist – I’m afraid of time.”

    Magnificent. Fascinating. Absorbing. Breathtaking. Titillating. Mind-blowing.

    These are just some of the superlatives that I could think of, after watching this masterpiece. It doesn’t happen to me often that a film keeps resonating in my mind and I’m still pondering about it after a while. Not that you have to be puzzled about the mathematical content, because it’s better to forget about that part. The theory of relativity is brought up once and a while, they end up somewhere in some fifth dimension and you’ll be bombarded with theories about black holes and wormholes till you get dizzy. There were some things not really clear to me, but I restrained myself to find plot holes or doubt the accuracy of some mathematical assumptions. It would be quite pretentious to doubt certain statements that are thought out by more enlightened spirits than myself. Although I kind of lacked some imagination in the past to understand certain axioms from solid geometry. So I still have difficulties with the proposition that “two parallel lines intersect with eachother at infinity.” Firstly, I can’t imagine the infinite. And second, those parallel lines will still be parallel even at infinite distance. No one on earth will ever claim that they do intersect there, because he once was at that infinite point and saw it with his own eyes. For me it was totally surreal mathematics, my limited intellect couldn’t grasp. Hence probably that’s why I flunked that exam of solid geometry. But that’s beside the point.

    Nolan managed to make an epic film. A mix of fiction and non-fiction. The set-up to establish a colony on an unknown planet in another galaxy (“To boldly go where no man has gone before” comes spontaneously to mind) is not really science fiction anymore, given at this time all preparations are made to try the same thing on Mars. But as they plunge into the wormhole, after which they’ll be teleported to another galaxy, the non-fiction ends and speculations begin. How it works, is demonstrated in a playful manner, using a sheet of paper and a pencil. Just to keep it simple for someone like me and explain it in an understandable way. But I have to admit that the visualization of this utopian trip looks stunning. As a counterpart of this high-tech future story, there’s also the human aspect whereby Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) has to make a difficult choice between his family and saving humanity.

    The space trip is preceded by the melodramatic part of the movie which I normally would have described as the corny sappy part. But here I didn’t have that feeling at all and the whole was brought well-founded. The sketched relationship between Cooper, Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and Tom (Timothée Chalamet) on the dusty ranch, is explained in detail and in a sound manner. In gloomy conditions they try to grow crops. A project that is doomed to fail because fungi slowly eats away all crops on our planet. Cooper, a former astronaut who was employed by NASA, focuses on the agricultural sector now (because there is a need for the production of food, and not space experts) and has constructed a fully automated farm. According to Murph there’s a so-called poltergeist who wants to deliver a message. Because of this phenomenon they discover a secret NASA complex run by John Brand (Michael Caine) who explains to Cooper his exodus theory and asks him to lead this exodus as pilot of the intergalactic spaceship “Endurance”.

    Usually the soundtrack of a film leaves me Siberian cold. But in “Interstellar” the composer Hans Zimmer created a perfect atmosphere with his compositions. Cooper leaving his family wouldn’t be so impressive with the supporting organ sounds missing. Knowing Nolan you can also assume that the appearance of the film would be impressive. And it is. The interior of the Endurance, the landscapes of the three planets, the images of infinite space, the black hole Gargantua, the presentation of the fifth dimension and the trip through the black hole. It all looked very impressive and realistic. Nolan is also known as a supporter of limited-use-of-CGI and it wouldn’t surprise me if they made use of huge settings interspersed with tiny elaborated scale models. The planet Miller I personally found the most successful and imaginary result. And finally I just like to mention the accompanying robots TARS and CASE. An innovative design with a humorous communication interface.

    What remains are the performances, with Matthew McConaughey as main figure. After seeing him at work in “The Lincoln Lawyer”, “Mud” and “Dallas Buyers Club” (for which he won an Oscar), you can only agree that McConaughey is a talented actor with a peculiar accent who leaves a mark on each film. Personally, I think “Interstellar” isn’t his most impressive rendition. Yes, he’s cut out for the emotion-rich family parts, but as an intellectual NASA astronaut I found him quite implausible. In contrast, I thought Jessica Chastain (as the adult Murph) and Anne Hathaway (daughter of Professor Brand) acted excellent. Casey Affleck (adult Tom), Topher Grace (Murph colleagues and for the umpteenth time in a fairly geeky role) and Matt Damon appear only briefly and each with a different important contribution. The only one who really should feel at home in this film is John Lithgow, for his participation in “3rd Rock from the Sun”.

    I could repeat the superlatives I wrote down at the beginning because despite some developments that went beyond my understanding and an ending I wasn’t impressed by, this is still a wonderful film that manages to blend both the scientific and the personal feelings of the protagonists perfectly. I’m still wondering who ultimately planted that wormhole near Saturn, that fifth dimension still goes over my head and how Cooper finally succeeded in sending the right information needed to Murph also seemed quite an achievement. And posturing about love as something scientific that knows no boundaries, was also an excuse to give it all a deeper philosophical tone. But ultimately, this is another SF that can be included in the gallery of all those other masterpieces.

    http://opinion-as-a-moviefreak.blogspot.be/2015/02/interstellar-2014.html

  • Words cannot describe the transcendent journey that is Christopher Nolan’s undoubted masterpiece Interstellar. I will try my best but know that even these words do no justice to this colossus, this gargantuan epic, this feat of artistry, cinema and soul.

    Christopher Nolan is a genius and, unlike the others who he is compared to, his films lack pretension. Most of his films achieve some sort of sentience in terms of their depth, soul, emotion, artistry, intelligence, philosophy, psychology and most importantly humanity. Interstellar takes these qualities to a whole new plane, transcending dimensions above and beyond all his filmography to date.

    What is Interstellar? It is a love story, a story about and for humanity, a story of our faults and limitations, of our greatest strengths and what makes us human. It is a journey for survival, hope and faith. It is a celebration of life, family and the greatest bond of all, the parent-child bond. Interstellar is a universal celebration of the power of emotions and love. It is a tale of science and exploration, our ability to look beyond the ordinary and search for something greater, the infinite possibilities of our universe, our imagination and our ability to push boundaries. It highlights what we can achieve as a species. A love letter penned for humanity, Nolan shows his faith in the human race with this masterpiece. A journey through space and time, soul and heart, Interstellar is thought provoking, soul searching, ambitious and heroic. Intelligent and philosophical, it asks moral questions while painting an epic that traverses the space-time continuum. Conversely it questions our progress and the damage we have done to our home, Earth, painting a grim picture of humanity’s future if we don’t stop exploiting the Earth and her resources. We were given Earth as a home for reason and if we destroy it, we destroy ourselves, our history and future. It is as much a commentary on sustainability and nature’s bounty and wrath as it is a story of hope, family and love. There is no place like home, like our Earth, so we must strive to not ruin the only home we know.

    Like all of Nolan’s films, everyone will interpret it in their own way. Mesmerizing and haunting, a flawless amalgamation of humanity, soul, heart, faith, survival and science, Interstellar is a new hope. A cinematic colossus of innovation and a personal masterpiece penned by a visionary in addition to being an homage to space epics of old. Interstellar is inspiring and reaches deep into the furthest recesses of the mind and just leaves you moved, utterly floored and stimulated. Interstellar will change the way you gaze at the heavens above.

    The skill and workmanship that went into this film is awe-inspiring. The time, personal sacrifice and heart that made this film a masterpiece and triumph at every level is more that abundantly evident all through the picture. A pioneer of a new type of space film, one that as I earlier stated, transcends above all the rest and achieves unimaginable heights.

    Aside from the great screenplay and script, the acting is of the highest caliber. Matthew Mcconaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and the rest of the stellar cast take this grand vision and scope to unfathomable heights with their prowess and depth. Hans Zimmer’s score is haunting, dauntless and dramatic, forceful even in the greatest possible way. It was moving and wove itself effortlessly with Nolan’s vision becoming the perfect accompaniment, second to none. The cinematography is breathtaking and mind altering, transporting.

    This is a film that made me laugh, cry and rejoice. A true masterpiece unlike anything you will ever see.

  • Christopher Nolan and his writing partner/brother Jonathan have made a career out of delivering cold, intelligent blockbusters that often work like a puzzle-box slowly unravelling in front of your face. For their next trick, the duo have tackled the great beyond, gazing in awe at the skies while ensuring the heavy layer of science makes sense. You may need a degree or a PhD to fully understand what is going on here, but the Nolan’s respect their audience enough to allow their exposition-heavy story to unfold without spoon-feeding. Interstellar is their most ambitious, while not their best, project yet.

    In the near-future, Earth is slowly succumbing to famine due to crop blight. History is being re-written in schools to drive home the importance of saving the planet, and ex-NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is one of many given the responsibility of growing a successful crop. When a mysterious force sends binary messages to him through a bookcase in the bedroom of his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy), Cooper arrives at a secret NASA base, where Professor John Brand (Michael Caine) is planning to send a willing crew of astronauts through a wormhole in space to search for a new home for humanity. Their previous mission has uncovered three potential planets, but the astronauts have not been heard from since.

    Cooper, leaving his devastated young daughter behind, and a small crew (consisting of Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, David Gyasi and a humorous robot) set off on the mission, while Brand stays on Earth to work out the formula that will solve the problem of transporting every man, woman and child on Earth millions of light years through space. One of the planets is so close to a black hole that it causes gravitational time dilation, meaning that every hour spent on its surface is seven years of time back home. After a disastrous mission, Coop finds that his children have aged 23 years (and becoming Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck in the process), and Murph is now working for Professor Brand.

    While this is a lot of plot to take in, and it really isn’t the half of it, the Nolans’ skill at storytelling and narrative mean that you feel that, no matter how insane the proceedings get, things are going to add up in the end. When the film often threatens to get muddled with heavy explanatory dialogue that doesn’t really help and trying to help us understand the workings of black holes, gravity and space travel, Nolan ensures that he doesn’t lose his focus. The big idea is that we are not meant to stay here. We are destined to leave, explore and discover. Nolan’s passion for the subject is clear as day, and his sense of wonder is brought to life by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, who paints space as something wonderful, strange, and fucking terrifying.

    Despite the film’s often crazy ideas, it feels authentic. Nolan worked closely with theoretical physicist Kip Thorne on developing the film, so Interstellar is (ironically) grounded, and Nolan wisely doesn’t try to replicate the philosophical approach of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). It’s far from perfect – you could easily pick at plot-(black)holes, some explanatory scenes are heavy-handed and ridiculous, and the warm-up is far too long – but you have to admire the ambition, and be grateful that there’s a film-maker out there who can repeatedly prove that the casual movie-goer isn’t stupid. 2001’s crown is comfortably safe, but Interstellar is a fascinating, engaging and one-of-a-kind experience. Even if you don’t like it, I bet you’ll be talking about it for days afterwards. Plus it has the most loveable astronaut’s-best-friend robots since Silent Running (1972).

    Rating: 4/5

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