Monday, November 10, 2014

Movie Review: Interstellar

Interstellar is a new movie directed by Christopher Nolan. Be warned, it AINT NO Guardians, Avengers or Captain America. Please, do not pay, enter, and bring your children. I intended to bring my son and a friend intervened and afterwards I was very happy he did. The movie deals with serious adult issues like famine, hunger, deception, abandonment, and sacrifice. My friend and I struggled in an attempt to understand who was Nolan’s target audience. The movie is complex to say the least. Children would be bored and older adults would be upset with the concepts that are thrown at you in the many situations presented in this film. That said, it is a stunning visual masterpiece that is Oscar worthy and I am confident will win awards.

The movie has an all-star cast led by Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, John Lithgow, David Gyasi, Michael Caine, and a surprise appearance by Matt Damon (no spoiler here) and MacKenzie Foy(Murphy they call Murph). The plot begins in the near future, the earth is dying and not able to sustain the essentials for crops. There are dust storms, crops destroyed and humanity is headed to extinction. Cooper (Mathew McConaughey) a retired Nasa Pilot now farmer realizes that there is a gravitational anomaly stemming from his home. He tracks the anomaly and it leads him to a secret Nasa Base where he is reunited with a colleague, Professor Brand, (Michael Caine). 

Michael Caine wastes no time introducing Cooper and his daughter, (who was suppose to stay put at home) to a team of scientist working on scenarios to explore new worlds in hopes to find one that is habitable for humanity to live. Nasa has discovered a wormhole in our solar system that makes all this possible and they recruit Cooper to fly the craft. At this point, Cooper has to make the decision to leave his family to save humanity. This is where the movie takes off and along this journey where difficult decisions are made throughout the film. When you see movies like Star Trek, Star Wars, and other space films they leave out one important element, time. Time is an overwhelming factor throughout the entire movie and the concept of relativity plays a substantial role. The one thing I comprehended most from the film outside the visual effects, great soundtrack, incredible acting, and scenery was time. 

When you are a young person we (humanity) take it for granted but as we get older and reflect what we have done and what we are going to do with what's left with our lives and our impact to society, time is a factor. Nolan did an incredible job expressing that in this film. The movie for me was emotional and difficult at times to watch as Cooper pushes himself to find ways to solve the challenges of the journey in order to get back to his family (leaving them to save the human race). 

That choice was understood by watching the movie versus the trailer where it states, (Hathaway to McConaughey) "You are going to have to make a choice between seeing your children again or saving the human race." In summary, it is a great movie and should do well globally at the box office. The acting was excellent and the actress Mackenzie Foy who plays Cooper's daughter will be someone to watch in years to come and I expect she may be nominated for a supporting actress at the next Oscars, (yes you heard it from me first). I bounced this movie around with my friend and we both agreed that the target audience is 30 - 55 years old. That is based on the fact it is not a movie that entertains you with the typical explosions hype and simple dialogue. This movie is a challenge leveraging the theory of relativity, quantum physics, and other sciences that may be a turn off to older and younger audiences. I am adding spoiler stuff below if you plan on seeing the movie do not read.

SPOILER ALERT:  I debated with my friend Matt McEvoy about Nolan's arrogance to lead us to believe that the creation of the wormhole possibly by alien beings was misleading. Towards the end it is made clear that future humans created the hole to assist the past humans with solving the problem. Why do I say Nolan's is arrogant? His scenario leaves you to believe that no other intelligent life exists on any other planet but Earth. Come on! I disagree with that completely. The void we call space has the essentials to infinitely create stars planets and galaxies that humans can't even begin to explore. To think, that in the future it is humanity that goes back to save humanity is possible but hardly unlikely. There is life out there and probably life that is way more advanced than ours and probably more receptive to helping other intelligent life than we would (don't hate, its true). I expected a scenario similar yet it was us who saved us. If that was communicated in the beginning of the film I would have been ok. However, towards the end where planets were visited by Nasa outside our Solar System/Galaxy and not one had an ET home I find that ludicrous.

Post by James Crittenden 

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