In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a brilliant NASA physicist, is working on plans to save mankind by transporting Earth's population to a new home via a wormhole. But first, Brand must send former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and a team of researchers through the wormhole and across the galaxy to find out which of three planets could be mankind's new home. (1)
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Hello, Movie Buffs!
Interstellar (2014) – directed by Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, and Casey Affleck – is a sci-fi epic about love and time like no other. It is intellectual and thought-provoking, as well as emotional and heartfelt. Interstellar is the first film of a new stage in Christopher Nolan’s career, it is proof that Nolan along with his brother Jonathan Nolan (Prestige; The Dark Knight) can separate himself from The Dark Knight (2008 & 2012) and make a film that is humble, original, deeply meticulous, and personal. The Nolan brothers answers questions that raise other questions as well as pay great detail to the mystery that is love; a bond that can unite and strengthen men as well as separating men by shining light on one’s true intentions. Through Interstellar Nolan proves that we can go from a warm earthly planet to the cold depths of space and time but we can never be separated from who we are; we can travel throughout the universe believing that what we left behind no longer matters but it’s just a lie we tell ourselves to justify what we’ve done. Ironically it is through distance and time, by going to the ends of the world and finding the black hole beyond the horizon that we realize we can never escape who we really are. Like a footprint in the sand or like a wave upon the shore, we always leave a part of ourselves behind.
Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan establish the film’s back-story very quickly. Because mankind has overexploited Earth’s resources the only goal they have left now is to survive, which is not the life Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) wants for him and his kids. The story follows Cooper’s psychological and emotional state as a man whose life revolves around his family but is now being given the opportunity to follow his dreams in the name of saving humankind. Here the Nolan brothers, who are known for revolutionizing everything in cinema, lay the foundation for a new genre of sci-fi films. In reality, we only ‘understand’ a small percentage of our galaxy so most ideas are based heavily on theory rather than realistic certainty and this is what the Nolan brothers do here. They take theories we have about space, time, even black holes and make a film. While the film may be a bit hard to comprehend at first and the story seems to be influenced by 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Apollo 13 (1995), no one can deny that Interstellar is a visual and thoughtful addition to the Nolan brothers’ portfolio.
The visual effects and cinematography are breathtaking and emotional. For instance, through the use of visual effects we see what the inside and outside of a black hole could look like, and I believe that this is most realistic interpretation of such a primarily unknown anomaly. Since more than half the film is in space, Nolan makes up for lack of breathtaking landscapes – like mountains and oceans – by using sound to lead the scenes onward. As always the musical score from Hans Zimmer (Gladiator) is one his most influential works to date because it helps drive the film's bold story and brings it’s breath-taking vision to life. The film’s story is a crescendo in itself so there is no reason as to why the music is too. Like Steven Price’s music score in Gravity (2013) Zimmer understands how to perfectly match the music with the visuals and emotions for each scene; it gives the story and characters dimension. Together the visuals and music score are two important parts of the film. Afterwards, we have to remind ourselves that what we say was a fictional film based on theories and not a true life documentary.
The entire cast provides top-notch performances. The most noteworthy is Matthew McConaughey (Gold; Dark Towers) who leaves behind his iconic humor and delivers one of his most emotional performance to date. McConaughey has proven that he can be funny, I first saw it in Sahara (2005) but now he’s proven that he is capable of evoking a multitude of emotions throughout the story; we get to see the serious and investigated man behind the humor. His chemistry with Anne Hathaway (Oceans 8) is great. Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, and Francis X. McCarthy are perfect and fitting for their roles as well.
Overall, Interstellar (2014) is a deep, emotional, and thought-provoking sci-fi film about space and time that carries an underlying message about the power of love and our own identity. The visuals are breathtaking and the music score carries the feel of the entire film. The only other Christopher Nolan film that I can think of that comes close to this one is his 2017 film Dunkirk. The film’s story raises questions from beginning to end: What does it mean to human, are there limitations to our humanity? Are there other dimensions that we cannot access? How far are we willing to go to discover such knowledge? What is the nature of this intact and immutable bond that is love? How is it possible that such a mystery has the power to unite as well as tear apart all we hold dear?
I highly recommend Interstellar to anyone who is looking for an emotional and thought-provoking sci-fi film that causes us to question everything we know about space, time, and love.
"We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars. Now we just look down, and worry about our place in the dirt."
Worth Seeing: 10 of 10 stars
Worth Buying: 10 of 10 stars
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After Earth (2013)
Alien 3 (1992)
Alien Resurrection (1997)
Alien: Covenant (2017)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Cloud Atlas (2012)
The Core (2003)
Deep Impact (1998)
Ender's Game (2013)
Lost in Space (1998)
The Martian (2015)
Star Trek 1 (2009)
Star Trek 2: Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek 3: Beyond (2016)
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
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