Monday, November 10, 2014

Interstellar

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I'm torn between doing a 2001 reference here or cracking a joke about Disney's Black Hole so, instead, I'll just mention how I couldn't come up with something for this part.




Interstellar – 2 out of 5

I really enjoy Christopher Nolan’s films.  I think the guy is really talented and for several years I have called him the next Kubrick.  Sure, he kind of comes off like a smug prick with snobbish tendencies but that just fits with the theory that he really is the next Kubrick (or, a resurrected Kubrick in a new body).  I was really excited to see Interstellar and see what was, essentially, his version of 2001 but, even with the near universal praise it was getting from critics, colleagues, friends, strangers, and enemies, I found a film that just bored me.
                                                                                                                                Paramount Pictures
I think you misheard me, McConaughey...If you did hear me, you wouldn't be holding
up that particular appendage...
 

The world is dying.  Crops are going extinct at an alarming rate and the world is forced to pour more and more people into the world of agriculture in order to feed the masses while the world is busy raining down violent dust storms on these people.  After mysterious events in the home of former NASA test pilot, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), accidentally makes him stumble upon the reality that NASA has been operating in secret in order to achieve a mission that will help bring the human race to a new home, Cooper reluctantly signs on to fly the mission even though he knows the chances of him returning within his children’s lifetime is small—and even if he does, he’ll be the same age while his kids got older (time is a bitch).  However, not long after travelling through a mysterious wormhole into another galaxy and meeting with the first scientists to arrive, Cooper and his team quickly discover that the original plans that NASA told him about were less than honest.  Then, if that wasn’t enough, shit turns to the strange when Coop learns the truth of the mysterious events that set him on this intergalactic trip…
                                                                                                                 Paramount Pictures
"Don't fight your feelings, Coop...you want this as much as I do..."


Here’s the shitty part with admitting that you don’t like this film—first off, it’s a Christopher Nolan film and only when Batman and Bane became involved did anyone every talk about not liking something he did but, additionally, the film is full of theory, science, and philosophy and saying that you didn’t like it opens you up to the fans smugly accusing you of not liking it because you were too stupid to get it.  The theories and ideas presented in this film were, for the most part, very interesting and thought provoking; however, the problem I had with this film was the fact I couldn’t get sucked into the story and the characters weren’t that interesting.
                                                                                                                                  Paramount Pictures
"Yes, my fire crop is coming along nicely..."

 

I honestly really wanted to like this film and was very excited to watch it because the trailer looked like it was soaked in emotion and amazing visuals.  The story starts very strong and the danger posed by the dying planet and the need to venture into the stars to find a new home was ripe for drama, tension, and thrills.  Hell, even Matthew McConaughey is destroying my emotional barriers and pulling at my heart-strings with the conflict that rages inside him.  He is forced to leave behind those he cares most for in order to help the greater good and he is even forced to leave with his daughter hating his guts.  It’s great story telling and even greater drama.  It’s after they leave Earth behind is where the film started to drag for me.
                                                                                                                                Paramount Pictures
"Looks like we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque...amirite, guys?  Hey guys?  Did you hear me?
I said we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque!  Is my radio on?"
 

                                                                                               Paramount Pictures
Why walk when Jenga Robot will carry you!

Once Cooper leaves the planet with fellow astronauts and scientists Brand (Anne Hathaway), Doyle (Wes Bently), Romilly (David Gyasi), and some advanced (and very enjoyable) robots named TARS and CASE (voiced excellently by Bill Irwin and Josh Stewart respectively), the film lost all emotional connection for me because it felt like this was thrown into the backseat while Nolan showed off by showing how hard he can science this bitch up.  The emphasis on providing a thesis on time, relativity, and dropping black hole travel on the audience so obviously became the emphasis as a character dies off with very little attention or emotion given to it.  One character is even separated for many years from his compatriots (time is a bitch) and he reacts in the way someone would if their friend, partner, or better half said they were going to go to the store, walked out of the house only to quickly return because they forgot their keys.  That’s right, after being separated for years, the characters sees them and give them an “Oh, you’re back already” level of emotion.  It was during this part of the movie the story’s emotional content felt lacking and when characters besides Coop show little to no depth or even emotional response to almost anything around them (one character even goes into a long diatribe about how love is something science needs to get off their asses and learn to measure and quantify) it became almost impossible for me to give even the single-est of shits for them.  This part of the movie just felt like it was Christopher Nolan jerking himself off and saying how smart he was.
                                                                                                                               Paramount Pictures
"A woman scientist?!?" - some Republican somewhere.

 

The story even further leads me away when a character is introduced (one of the initial scientists that Coop is sent to meet up with and is played by NAME WITHHELD DUE TO SPOILER REASONS).  While it could have been cool to see what this character was going to tell them about their mission to find a new Earth, this movie is still Nolan’s 2001 and you need a HAL-9000 to fuck some shit up and this character became that fuck-shit-up-er.  His turn to a villain felt needless—as needless as his never ending dialogue that, even then, has to be filled with all kinds of scientific theories and tech-babble.  At this point, I was on the verge of yelling at the screen, “I get it, Nolan.  You want us to know how smart you are but you are sacrificing a tightly told and potential-overloaded story to do it.”
                                                                                                                                Paramount Pictures
"Okay, who scratched 'Alright, alright, alright' into this thing?"

 
 

                                                                                               Paramount Pictures
Seriously, I loved these robots!

That’s the heart of my issue with Interstellar—the story just couldn’t keep my interest.  While Nolan’s infusion of legitimate science is interesting, it wasn’t presented in a way that felt any different than reading a textbook or taking an advance class on space travel for a Master’s degree.  The acting, for the most part is great.  McConaughey is awesome and I was thoroughly behind him when the film started (I started to stop caring when the film started to feel like it was dragging itself out) and there are additionally great performances from Casey Affleck and Jessica Chastain as the older versions of Cooper’s children.  Jon Lithgow is in the film and if you don’t find him charming and loveable, then I don’t know what horrible thing happened to you in your life but I want you to know that things do get better.  Hell, even ACTOR’S NAME WITHHELD was decent in his role—even though I thought his character and his villainous turn was superfluous.  And I already mentioned how much I loved Josh Stewart and Bill Irwin as the robots (see that picture above for another reassurance that I loved the robots).  However, Anne Hathaway did little for me, Michael Caine felt like he was only brought in because Nolan loves using him now, Wes Bentley felt like a set decoration and wasn’t allowed to emote even slightly, and David Gyasi looked bored in his role.
                                                                                                                                 Paramount Pictures
My god...it's full of stars--I mean, a black hole!

 

At the very least, I have to say Interstellar has some absolutely stunning visuals.  Whether it be the alien planets and their landscapes that Coop and the group find themselves on or the black hole they travel through were incredible for the old eyeballs to take in but adding this with its emphasis on science over story, I just couldn’t get fully invested in this film.  I really wanted to like the film because I’m a Nolan fan and it saddens me to actually admit that I didn’t enjoy the film.  However, I’m not going to be dishonest with myself and try to convince myself that I liked a property that, basically, bored me.  But feel free to think that I didn’t like it because I’m stupid and “didn’t get it.”  That knee-jerk reaction is inevitable.
                                                                                                                                  Paramount Pictures
Dat robot's ass!

 

1 comment:

  1. I don't understand. You have Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Jessica FUCKING Chastain, David Oyelowo, Casey Affleck and Michael Caine in it. That's a phenomenal cast, and Christopher Nolan, the prince of awesome, is at the helm. How can he botch this up so badly?

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.