Monday, November 10, 2014

Interstellar [A Fat Jesus Film Review]

First and foremost, I am not a huge science fiction fan. I always try to get into science fiction and for the most part it doesn't hold my interests. That's not a knock on the genre at all, because there are still many films from the genre I enjoy. It's more a testament towards my inability to truly think about these types of films and process them. To take in science and scientific methods we put to use currently and mold them into what they could become in the future. They're always cool thoughts and ideas, when done properly. 'Interstellar' is one of these films, to a tee, and for the most part, I was into  this. Nonetheless Christoper Nolan's 'Interstellar' is quite a bear of a film to take in.

'Interstellar' follows the story of Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former NASA test pilot. He and his family are living in the not so distant future on earth. The earth is now ravaged by blight, as dust storms ravage the land. Humankind as regressed to an agrarian society and have been forced to mostly try to survive by becoming farmers. Cooper lives with his father-in-law, Donald (John Lithgow), his son, Tom (Timothy Chalamet), and his daughter, Murpy (Mackenzie Foy). Murphy believes she is being haunted by a ghost and Cooper tells her to prove it scientifically. Later on, Cooper finds out that this "ghost" is a unknown form of intelligence sending them coded messages. The coded messages lead Murph and Cooper to a secret NASA facility that is still operational. There they meet one of Cooper's former professors, Professor Brand (Michael Caine), who informs Cooper that a wormhole has been discovered orbiting Saturn. He then tells Cooper that the only way to save the world, is to go through the wormhole and find a distant plant that can be inhabited. The also believe that extra-dimensional beings have been trying to contact them through said wormhole. Cooper is recruited to pilot Endurance, a spacecraft that is to follow The Lazarus mission. The Lazarus was a mission that sent 12 scientists to different planets, through the wormhole, so see if life could thrive there. Of those 12, three sent back promising data, Miller, Edmunds and Mann. Cooper ultimately decides to pilot Endurance, much to the chagrin of Murphy. Cooper and his crew, Amelia (Anne Hathaway), Brand's daughter, Romilly (David Gyasi), a physicist, Doyle (Wes Bently), a geographer and two multi-purpose A.I. robots, CASE and TARS (Bill Irwin and Josh Stewart), set off on a two year journey to save the inhabitants of earth.

It's hard to even put into words any way to describe this film. 'Interstellar' is a film that is chalk full of science, that will appeal to it's core audience going to see it. But, it's not slouching in the story department either. Despite only understanding what was going on on a purely basic level, the story was good, and very engaging. The original story is gripping, unfolds in a great way and keeps anyone who can get into it, engaged for the duration of the film. I mention that last part, because 'Interstellar' is quite a commitment, clocking in at a little under three hours. Credit the direction of Christopher Nolan, the vision of Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist, and Linda Obyst, along with writer Jonathan Nolan. Without the core of people that have been involved with this, in some form or another, since 2006, we wouldn't be seeing this now. Moving onward, the writing is top notch and the strong performance, yet again, from Matthew McConaughey helps make me like this film even more. Without McConaughey's strong performance, I don't think I would've liked this film as much as I did. I'm a big Matthew McConaughey fan and I still look forward to anything he's in going forward. Once the move starts rolling along, Jessica Chastain turns in a strong performance as well and it's always a welcome sight to see Matt Damon and Casey Affleck in a film. Michael Cain was fine, as usual, but I still refuse to see why Nolan likes Anne Hathaway so much. Because to me, she really is the weakest point of the main characters in this film. I can't comment on the actual science going on throughout, but I can say that it all sounded like it was correct. Haha. The characters were great as well, especially Cooper and Murphy. Cooper is the cornerstone of the film and provides a strong presence throughout. He's not only the hope for the world told in this film, but also gives the viewer hope in the film itself. The paring with his daughter, Murphy, is a wonderful story, of the bond two family members can have. No matter what distance, or time, is between them. The chemistry the two have, on-screen together or in separate scenes throughout, is truly heartwarming. The special effects and cinematography were no slouch either, as the film looked great. Whether it be the vast scenes set in space or the rolling landscapes of the planets shown (including earth), this film was shot beautifully. The score was also done well, especially the closing scenes, which brought out a haunting melody that I really liked.

'Interstellar' definitely isn't for everyone, especially if you're not big into science fiction. I gave it a try because I'm a big fan of Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey. While it's not my favorite film involving either of these two, it's a great film nonetheless. The story is original, the acting is great, the look is beautiful and the direction is fantastic. 'Interstellar' is a film that you're either gonna really like or really hate. I don't see much middle ground, but I happen to fall on the side that enjoyed this film.

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