Friday, December 12, 2014
Interstellar (a movie review post)
The one positive thing you can pretty much always say about Nolan is that he knows how to make a visually appealing movie, and this one may be his best effort yet. It was amazing. It can be summed up in the scene with the frozen clouds.
The story is good, too, which is a place Nolan is often weak but not this time. Well, the only thing that's an issue is the blight that is evidently killing all plant life on the planet. That and the "science" behind how people don't belong on Earth because of the nitrogen atmosphere. That was a bit of logic that didn't make any sense, especially considering that if oxygen levels were higher than they are, the atmosphere itself would be flammable. However, if you just buy into the part where there aren't any plants left -- especially since all of that is just a metaphor for how humans are destroying the Earth -- everything else is fine. Mostly. I mean, it is, but I can't elaborate without spoilers, so you'll just have to take that as it is.
The most interesting point raised by the movie is the conflict within our society between ideas and the things those ideas produce. And the resulting desire for consumption driven by all the things. There is definitely an unstated answer to the unstated question: Ideas are good, but we have to learn how to control our drive to consume before we reduce the Earth to a giant dust bowl. Or some other equally inhospitable result.
Even with everything else being topnotch, probably, the greatest strength of the movie is the acting. There's not a single weak link. John Lithgow is wonderful. Michael Caine is... well, he's Michael Caine. Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are both incredible. Mackenzie Foy and Timothee Chalamet are both great as the kids, especially Foy. There are too many to mention. I mean, I haven't even gotten to Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, or Jessica Chastain, yet. All of that said, TARS may have been my favorite character.
Coop: What's your trust setting, TARS?
TARS: Lower than yours, apparently.
He had all the best lines, and he was just a big box that walked and talked.
That said, the design of TARS was fascinating. Most unattractive robot I've ever seen, but completely cool and incredibly functional. I'll be surprised if we don't eventually see something like this.
Interstellar is definitely a movie worth seeing at the theater. It's a BIG movie and won't be the same on a normal TV screen. Or, maybe, people don't have normal TV screens anymore? I don't know. It's a movie that satisfies on pretty much every level, definitely worth seeing.