Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here; a review of Interstellar (2014)

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I’ll start off by saying that my opinion is biased and no matter how good or bad this movie was gonna be, I’m always gonna like The Dark Knight (2008) more. It’s just life, it’s the way it goes.

Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi epic is indeed is most ambitious project. Interstellar (2014) starts out on Earth and the planet is not in great shape. It’s basically a giant dust bowl and the world is running out of natural resources. Farmers are planting corn to survive on, and even that won’t last long. Matthew McConaughey stars as Cooper, a failed pilot who is called into NASA when they discover a wormhole a stone’s throw away from Saturn (So about two years away from Earth) that leads to another galaxy and potentially another planet to bring Earth’s inhabitants to so that mankind doesn’t go extinct… You still with me? Due to the theory of relativity and space and time and all that jazz, basically Cooper leaves his family without a clue as to when he’s going to be back; and even when he does come back, time will not seem as long for him as it does to his family. So he could come back the same age and his son and daughter could be dead. Kind of a heavy thing to grasp.

Right off the bat, I loved McConaughey’s performance in this movie. You’re happy when he’s happy; you’re sad when he is; you wanna cry when he cries; call me a pink hatter, but I’m jumping on this guy’s bandwagon. He also worked really well with the scenes with his daughter. The actress who plays the younger version of his daughter (Jessica Chastain plays the older version since, like I said, relativity and whatnot), Mackenzie Foy, also did exceptional. You see that father/daughter dynamic that I’m sure so many fathers and daughters feel for each other. I will say that this relationship is really what drives the movie. If not for the relationship between Cooper and his daughter, Murphy, this movie would have just been a space exploration thriller of some sort and then I’m sure people would harp on it and say it was too much like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Don’t forget about 2001, because I will surely be coming back to that.

After McConaughey takes off with Anne Hathaway and that guy from The Hunger Games (2012), that’s when shit gets real! This is when you really understand the gravity of this whole relativity thing and you feel the way these people feel when they find out they just spent the past 20 years on this mission and to them it felt like two years and change. All of this could not have been accomplished without 1. the acting, and 2. the music. The music helped carry this film as well, I really enjoyed the score that Hans Zimmer put together for this. Not only was it on an epic scale with the drum beats and even organs playing for action sequences; but it also gave a sense of emotion to the scenes too. It made you root for these people and succeed for the reasons they want to succeed. I’m pretty sure every time I see a Hans Zimmer scored film, I say that this was his best one yet (Except The Dark Knight… that’s obviously his best one).

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See what sucks about this review is that I did have some gripes with this movie, and because I’m not an asshole and give away major spoilers in my reviews, I can’t talk about those gripes due to the fact that said gripes revolve around major plot points. There was a lot of mystery shrouding this movie and I don’t wanna ruin that secret for you guys! The movie is visually outstanding. Definitely better visual effects than Gravity (2013). You constantly get these incredibly wide shots of spaceships in space, which is literally in the middle of nothingness. You feel the weight of the fact that we are so minuscule in the grand scheme of, well, the universe. I loved that. Like every time they had one of these shots or anytime they go through a vortex or wormhole or black hole, I was floored. I truly think the flow of this movie worked and kept me invested until the third act of this film: Nolan’s “Beyond the Infinite”.

This is where I feel Christopher Nolan bit off a little more than he could chew. Yes, the third act of this film was interesting. Does that mean I think it fit in with the rest of the movie? No, I don’t. Yes, it was relevant to the plot and yes it tide up loose ends; but just the feel and ambiguity of it didn’t sit well with me. There are certainly Nolan fanboys who probably think it was cinematic gold, and that’s fine by me. I just feel it was a little too much of Nolan trying to push in everyone’s face that this is his 2001 and he wants it to be our’s as well. Even with the camera angles and set pieces, you could right from the beginning that that was Nolan’s intention. And power to the people! I’m all for paying tribute to who I think is the greatest filmmaker of all time; but when does it stop being homage material and just become blatant ripping off? I just felt throughout this movie a splinter in the back of my mind that I’d seen all of this before. I’m willing to make amends with it, though, because as much of a visual tribute the movie was to him, Nolan’s story certainly deviates.

Did I enjoy Interstellar? Absolutely. It will certainly go down as one of the best movies of the year and one of the best science fiction movies in recent years. Nolan certainly does his homework as well when it comes to time and physics and gravity and relativity and all that jazz, because all of the characters have a knack for explaining everything to a tee; as if they were holding the audience’s hand the whole time to tell us, “Trust me, it makes sense.” I just feel the movie could have done more to be more visually original and find a balance between homage and forgery.

Overall rating: 7.5/10 – Very Good

Visually outstanding, McConaughey kills it once again and with a supporting cast of Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, and Matt Damon, you can get behind these characters and their cause. I think Christopher Nolan needs to realize that making a movie that can match up to the beautiful and thought provoking 2001: A Space Odyssey is about as out of reach as being sold on the final act of this movie. Having said all of this, it’s worth seeing for sure and I think it will be a movie filled with controversial opinion, and honestly that makes it all the more interesting.

-Reed

IMAGES: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/imager/b/original/4117957/b019/Interstellar-2014-Movie.jpg, http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/interstellar01.jpg, http://bizzam.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/interstellar-poster.jpg

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2 responses to “Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here; a review of Interstellar (2014)

  1. Pingback: Movie Review: Interstellar by Elysia Jelena Villadarez | Wildcard·

  2. Pingback: Spectre (2015) review: Were we spoiled with Skyfall? | WNS·

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