trailer) first hit theaters in 2014. I remember eagerly anticipating this film as I am a big fan of the director, Christopher Nolan. His previous few non-Batman films like The Prestige and Inception were quite the mind-benders that warranted repeat viewings so I could pay attention to catch all the little details I missed the first time around. When I saw the initial teasers for Interstellar I knew I would be in for a treat when Nolan would finally unleash a sci-fi epic!
Interstellar has an unusual mini-documentary style opening where elderly are being interviewed about what led to a mysterious blight on Earth, with frequent dust storms and the rapid extermination of crops until the only crop left is corn. Interstellar vaguely gives clues about what caused this calamity, but disappointingly never flatout says what happened to bring on the blight. Instead, the grander mystery at play is trying to find an exit plan to save Earth. That is done by having NASA’s Professor Brand (Michael Caine) recruit Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) to join his team of astronauts at scouting several potential planets in distant solar systems that show signs of being able to sustain human life.
When Cooper eventually joins up with NASA, the film takes a different turn as a space survival/rescue mission that I had no idea how it would play out. Professor Brand and his daughter (Anne Hathaway) lay Earth’s survival plan out there in a way that spells out the science in simplistic ways for the rest of us scientifically-challenged folks. There are occasions where the astronauts will have brief moments of getting into the nuts and bolts of the science to explain various plot points, but it is never for any lengthy duration and they provide ample context so it did not blindly fly over my head.
I would be lying if I said I did not have any qualms with this movie. I understand the direction Nolan wanted to go in with the documentary-interviews in the film, but they felt too ham-fisted and in-your-face. There were a few other too sudden moments that did not sit well with me. Professor Brand’s final scene took a turn for the sake of a turn that I was not a fan of. I also did not particularly care for Coop and Murph’s final scene together in the film and how dismissive Murph was of Coop. It kind of felt a little more justified on my second viewing, but the way it all went down comes off as absurdly rushed. In the end though, I am splitting hairs as these gripes do not take a lot out of how much I enjoyed Interstellar overall.
On top of that there are 13 much shorter features available ranging from 2 to 13 minutes in length. Many of these go deep into the nuts and bolts of the production and special effects processes and can be a bit much to take in if you are not into those fields. If I were to recommend just two of those 13 however then check out Life on Cooper’s Farm and Shooting in Iceland. The former shows how the filmmakers lucked out in picking the only spot in Alberta capable of growing corn for the film and how it did not cost them a thing since they made their money back selling it. The latter presents the many different environments of Iceland and why it worked for shooting scenes that take place on other planets.
Gravity and Arrival for three of my personal picks for top shelf recent sci-fi.
Other Random Backlog Movie Blogs
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
21 Jump Street
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
Atari: Game Over
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Cabin in the Woods
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Clint Eastwood 11-pack Special
The Condemned 2
Field of Dreams
For Love of the Game
Good Will Hunting
Man of Steel
Marine 3 & 4
Running Films Part 1
Running Films Part 2
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Star Trek I-XII
Take Me Home Tonight
The Tooth Fairy 1 & 2
The Wrestler (2008)
X-Men: Days of Future Past