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Archive for the ‘Interstellar’ Category

Interstellar

A ringed spacecraft revolves around a reflective sphere.There’s nothing I can say right now about Christopher Nolan that hasn’t already been said, or that I haven’t said already repeatedly.  His place in the history of film is already set, and each film he creates is a continuation of his legacy.  His new film Interstellar is the most anticipated and polarizing film of the year.

Interstellar has unfairly been bashed by critics such as Chicago Red Eye’s own Matt Pais.  Who has said that Interstellar is “stupid” and “tarnishes Nolan’s name.”….um it’s definitely not stupid.  It’s created by some of the most intelligent minds in Hollywood and Science, and attempts to take some of the most complex concepts and theories ever and explain them to the likes of stupid people like Matt Pais.  Tarnishes his name?  Christopher Nolan may be the only direct in Hollywood who has the balls to create something so epic as this, and he has earned that right.  Interstellar tarnishes his name in the same way as 2001: A Space Odyssey tarnished Kubrick’s name upon release.  Interstellar, I believe, is a film that will be looked back upon and talked about for decades to come.   You can read Pais’s lopsided 1 1/2 star review here:  http://www.redeyechicago.com/entertainment/movies/redeye-interstellar-review-20141103,0,1409727.column

Earth is dying.  It has been dying, and the way of the world has regressed.  Farmers are the main profession in the world after 6 billion people have died.  We’re not really sure exactly how we’ve reached this point, but that’s not really necessary to the story.

Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a retired astronaut that has become a farmer, raising his two kids Tom and Murph.  It’s becoming increasingly harder and harder for food to grow on the planet, and Tom has what it takes to grow up and become a farmer.  Murph is quite the precocious little girl.  She has a mind like her father, and has been taught by her father to wonder what is out there.  What is out there past their own world.  Space exploration is non-existent now, to the point where the government (perhaps) has claimed that the Apollo missions were a great piece of propaganda, nothing more.  People should be worried about their own existence on earth.  That is their only hope.

Cooper however is not done being an astronaut, and is soon led to what is left of NASA.  It seems NASA has been operating in secret looking for an answer outside of their world, to continue the human race.  A number of missions have been piloted, sending astronauts to the far reaches of Saturn.  There is a wormhole outside of the rings of Saturn that may hold an answer.  A wormhole that may have been placed there by something or someone.

Now I’m not even going to pretend that I know everything about wormholes, or blackholes, or even donut holes for that matter, but what I do know is that Nolan and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne collaborated extensively in order to bring these far reaching concepts to the screen.  What resulted visually is beyond stunning, and the film itself actually aided in providing Dr. Thorne with new insight into the effects of gravitational lensing and accretion disks surrounding black holes. That’s insane…when does Hollywood ever aide in scientific discovery?

It is at this point that you can go two ways with Interstellar.  You can brush it off as nonsense because of the weaker plot points, or you can embrace it for the visual masterpiece it truly is.  This is the line that divides critics, and the public alike.

About 30 minutes deep in to the film there is an entire storyline involving another character that I actually really hated, and felt to be completely unnecessary.  I understand what Nolan was trying to achieve there, but I felt those same concepts/decisions could have been understand with the current characters at hand, and tightened up the film even more.  This is really the only point in the film that Interstellar feels tiring.

Interstellar stays with you.  It makes you think.  It creates dialogue amongst those who’ve seen it, and it raises larger questions, and opens the mind to larger ideas and concepts about humanity.  Yes, it’s a little gushy along the way, but I kind of got sucked up in that.  Cooper has a tremendous bond with his daughter.  So tremendous it transcends past 5 dimensions, wormholes and an event horizon….ok even as I type this it sounds a little cheesy, but come on.  Have a heart people

Is there life out there?  Is there another sustainable world for us to inhabit?  What the hell is out there?  We come closer and closer every day to pushing the boundaries of our own existence.  Science takes us closer.  I also appreciate that Interstellar didn’t get sucked in to the “god vs. science” debate which it easily could have.  It’s a film firmly rooted in science with perfectly placed doses of faith in the existence of something greater, not god, just something greater that guides us.  It attempts to answer that question in a very interesting way.

In the end Interstellar is a visual and technological masterpiece, that caught me lost in how majestic it is.  Sometimes it’s too smart for its own good, but the way McConaughey plays Cooper has us realizing that we don’t need to understand all of the deeper concepts at play.  It does trip over itself at times with the narrative, and can feel slightly heavy handed, but I wouldn’t expect it not too with how epic in scope the film is.  It’s an amazing experience.

Grade: A-