Interstellar

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In Interstellar, our world is dying.  Winds blow, carrying dust that chokes out most plant life.  Our survival demands that we reach to the stars to find a new home for ourselves.


Earth, our home for humanity for as long as we’ve ever known, has collapsed into insanity.  Schools teach children that the moon landing has never happened and organizations like NASA have to work in secret, underground lairs.

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) stars as the pilot who must investigate and travel through a wormhole which provides quick travel to a solar system which houses not just one, but three potentially habitable planets that humans could call home.  The problem, unfortunately, is relativity.  Black holes and spacial gravitation cause time for the astronauts on board the ship to experience time at a slower rate while decades are passing by on Earth.  They have to move quickly as they search for the perfect home.

Physicist Kip Thorne contributed research to the movie and apparently Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks that the science on screen was pretty solid, though not perfect.  Sometimes flaws are made in the actual science of things in order to make storytelling easier, but it does my heart good to know that a movie set out and made something well-researched and, to my shock and pleasant surprise, it actually made a profit at the box office.

Christopher Nolan set out and shot his epic movie on a large-format film so that it would look its best.  He spared to expense for this movie and the result is a personal, pleasant actioner that takes place in the dark void of outer space.  Interstellar looks and feels like a labor of love, and it’s one of the most interesting movies anyone is going to see in the theater this year.

What I appreciate most is that it isn’t stupid.  Now, sometimes it takes its time to explain science to me in a clunky way, but sometimes that’s important because I need the little reassurance from the director to make sure I’m getting all this.  (“Black holes work like this, Billy.  You think you got it?”  “I… I think so.”) There never seemed to be a moment where Interstellar felt like it was necessary to become a superfluous, overlong action scene to sell tickets.

There isn’t a bad performance to be found here.  Matthew McConaughey continues his trend of kicking ass at whatever role he ends of taking.  Anne Hathaway is great.  Jessica Chastain is awesome to watch.  Hell, even seeing Topher Grace pop up for a little bit was welcome and fun.

I guess, if I had one gripe, it would be the message that apparently the most powerful thing in the entire universe is love.  Yeah… I get it.  It’s sentimental and it’s a cute message, but it felt so out of place in a movie like that.  You’ve got the awesome power of the universe on display and showing the intricate workings of time itself… and I dunno, “love” is the most important thing there is.

Interstellar is still one of the best movies to come out this year and one of Christopher Nolan’s very best.  It’s a hell of a journey to watch in the theater but it’s worth it.  You’ll probably emerge from the darkness confused and blinking, but you’ll be thankful you did it.  Every couple years, I think, it feels like there’s this huge push against science and a vocal minority pushing for the rejection of it.  Those people should be forced to watch Interstellar, because as a good man once said, “Science rules.”

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