+ Best Science Fiction Movie of the Year
|A hyper-charged, dizzying poster for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar|
Interstellar is the big space opera of 2014, and we may note that this and last year have been good years in this respect: Gravity (2013) captivated the world last year and was a tremendous survival space thriller ride, while Interstellar this year is a grander envisioned, thrilling epic. I didn't, unfortunately, experience it in IMAX, which it is made for (co-writer/director Christopher Nolan (Inception (2010)) is an avid fan of the format), but I highly recommend you to catch it in IMAX if in any way possible, because the scope of the exploration in the film indeed begs for this huge format.
In a dystopic future, mankind is threatened by dust storms and hunger as crops mysteriously die out, and a former NASA astronaut is put back into service after receiving a mysterious clue from the beyond. Together with a small crew, he must go through a wormhole to search out new planets for the future of the human race.
Nolan cements his position as one of the world's most exciting, ambitious filmmakers here: Co-writing with his brother Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight (2008)), the two have here created a journey into space that transports its audience with a measure of awe, because they seem to spin their narrative with a physicist's integrity. Indeed the events of Interstellar are well-researched and generally realistic, and the seriousness and lack of condescension of the film is liberating and noteworthy. The adventure suffers from some overlength, though, and the plot becomes increasingly hard to understand, not unlike other Nolan titles like Memento (2000) and his best to date, Inception (2010). The ending is the weakest part of the film, as Interstellar seems to want us to bawl out in praise, because it decides to tie its beginning to its end:
SPOILER Never one to include religion or God in his pictures or world-view, Nolan nonetheless here gets metaphysical, as lead Matthew McConaughey (Mud (2012)) acts as a sort of time-space-crossing ghost in a black hole-induced space of alternate universes ad infinitum, which I found highly unpleasant and downright nightmarish. McConaughey comes out as a near Superman, as he survives this, and made me remember my similar, unsatisfied sentiment about Nolan's closing of of The Dark Knight Rises (2012), in which Batman, incredibly, seems to die, - but then didn't anyway ... Interstellar is still very exciting, like a modern, unique meeting of Giant (1956) and Hud (1963) with Donnie Darko (2001) and Armageddon (1998), which stays riveting throughout in significant part due to Hans Zimmer's (Inception) terrific score. There's also a cool robot (called TARS) and stunning, believable visuals. - Especially the scenes of space flight strike one with the wonder and mind-numbing realities of space, which also links the film directly to Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
A high-point of Interstellar concerns our space mission's visit on the icy planet that a Dr. Mann (Matt Damon (Elysium (2013)) has lived on by himself for years. Casting Damon against McConaughey in this part of the film, whose face has puffed up a bit with age, while McConaughey's has become more taut and emaciated (perhaps because of work and straining roles the last few years), is a masterstroke. This whole chapter of Interstellar was incredible. McConaughey is generally a great lead for the film, although his always cool cleverness can be a bit thick to some at times.
The film has an impressive cast, although I think Michael Caine (Children of Men (2006)) seems more like a benign superintendent than an ingenious professor, and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty (2012)) seemed to struggle a bit with the abstractness of her character's reality, (which is understandable.)
Interstellar makes people gasp out, sniffle, laugh, scream, urge to the people on the screen and ask questions. It is a voyage that will no doubt thrill little boys and girls the world over to pursue the sciences. - Don't miss it!
Christopher Nolan: 2014 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED III]
2014 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED II]
2014 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) or, Batman and the Storm, Darkness, Anarchy, Evil, Depression
Batman Begins (2005) or, Modern, Dark, Smooth Batman
Watch the awesome trailer for the film here
Cost: 165 mil. $
Box office: 204.1 mil. $ and counting
= Too early to say
[Interstellar had a good American debut (#2 with 47.5 mil. $ behind Disney's Big Hero 6 with 56.2 mil. $). It has reached 200 mil. $ worldwide in just 6 days, and will rely on a longer, strong run (similar to Gravity's last year) to turn a profit due to its high budget.]
What do you think of Interstellar?