Friday, February 5, 2016

Movie Review: Interstellar (2014)

Movie: Interstellar (2014)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, Mackenzie Foy, Ellen Burstyn, David Oyelowo, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, & David Gyasi

One-Line Plot Synopsis: A team from what's left of NASA tries to travel down a wormhole in search of a new habitable planet to try and save the human race.

Not many movies are worth the higher price of admission to an IMAX theatre and although I didn't catch Interstellar in an IMAX, I'm about 99% sure that it would have actually enhanced the actual experience of watching the movie.  This film was actually filmed with IMAX lenses unlike a lot of the movies shown in IMAX that are digitally enhanced after the fact.

A Christopher Nolan film will obviously have both bigger anticipation and expectations going into it than just about any other director working today.  I would say that Nolan and Tarantino have the same cache of good will going into any movie that they come out with, although be it for different reasons.

Interstellar compartmentalizes into three separate movies when really you break it down at its core after seeing it.  The first third is a family film in the beginning stages of a post-apocalyptic world.  The second third is a space odyssey/adventure movie.  And the last third is more of a straight science fiction flick.

The cast of the movie is pretty stacked.  With four Oscar winners (McConaughey, Hathaway, Burnstyn, & Caine) and another 3 Oscar nominees (Lithgow, Chastain, & Casey Affleck), its almost impossible to make a bad movie.  You could toss a bunch of fortune cookies in front of that group and it would still be better than any of the crap that Kevin Hart comes out with.  The CGI in the film is some of the best I've ever seen and with a $165 million budget, I would certainly hope that they would have a chance to win the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects...which they did.

The story follows a retired astronaut (McConaughey), now farmer, as he searches through space with a skeleton crew (not actual skeletons...too much?) to try and find a place that would be able to sustain the human race if they were to abandon a dying earth.  They must travel through a wormhole to try and find a sustainable planet and ensure the sustainability of humanity.

I can't really point to a performance and say that it wasn't any good.  This group of actors is far too good for that to be the criticism of the movie.  The movie is way too long and it most definitely feels like it as it runs at 169 minutes (2 hours, 49 minutes).  That's just too freaking long for a movie, especially one relies on visual imagery as much as it does story.  It's also one of the main reasons why I didn't catch this baby in the theater.  I can't sit through that long of a movie in one sitting and I certainly can't make them pause it.  The last third of the movie definitely takes a turn that I wasn't expecting but I can't say I was exactly thrilled with the direction that it took.  It go to be a lot more philosophical than I cared for it to be and talked itself in circles at times.  That doesn't mean that I want you to try and explain every single aspect of it to just means that I didn't particularly like it. The second half of the movie is easily my favorite portion of the movie. 

Rating: 6.5/10