Interstellar – A Review

Nobody can say that “Interstellar” lacks ambition. Christopher Nolan’s latest film tackles on our future, exploration of space, wormholes, human mortality and the nature of love. Even with a running time of almost three hours, themes of “Interstellar” are almost too big for it. And it shows.

Behind the film’s epic vision are story and characterizations that I can best describe as, well, clunky. Characters don’t really talk to each other: they mostly exchange thoughts about Big Questions. The plot begins through a set of unbelievable coincidences that are eventually explained but nevertheless remain a clumsy way to establish a story. And it’s hard to ignore the way terrifying problems appear and are almost immediately solved or safely ignored. Earth is dying… But look at our spaceship! Space exploration is our last hope… but we only have one spaceship. Also, due to time dilation there’s a chance you might spend decades alone in a tiny space capsule. We could ponder such soul-crushing experience but let us instead explore this alien planet!

By themselves, these are all minor problems. But in a film filled with them, they start to chip away from both the film’s epic story and our suspension of disbelief. And that’s a shame because “Interstellar” is a big, serious science fiction film rarely seen in cinemas nowadays. It takes the audience into outer space and other worlds showing them majestic vistas that almost feel like an abstract painting come to life. Accompanied by organ-heavy musical score by Hans Zimmer, these visuals convey something the film’s story fails to do: that universe is so vast and inimical to human life that its exploration is a remarkable feat.

And then we get a scene of astronauts punching each other on another planet. I guess that a story about man’s place in universe just wasn’t dramatic enough.

The real question “Interstellar” asks isn’t about true nature of love or about mankind’s destiny but this: faced with a hugely ambitious yet deeply flawed film, how much of its imperfections are we willing to accept because we would like to see more such films? This is important because alternative to “Interstellar” isn’t another ambitious and original SF film but competently made and utterly bland blockbuster made as a part of an existing franchise.

Answer that question and you’ll know if “Interstellar” is a film for you.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Dear ladies and gents,

the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron dropped this week. Well. It was leaked online and then Marvel just posted it anyway.

Sure there is plenty to parse here – Hulk and Iron Man and Captain’s broken shield and whathaveyou… But it’s really about Ultron for me. It’s great to see James Spader being up in our faces once again. Now if I could just stop falling asleep while watching Blacklist (facepalm)

Fall movies I am super excited about

Dear ladies and gents,

autumn is here! (although judging by the weather we’ve been having there was no summer to speak of? Not that I’m complaining mind, I abhor heat)!

Anyhow. ANYHOW. You know what autumn means! Boots! Jackets! New TV shows! And movies! Because this summer the movies have been well… sh*te, no? I liked Guardians of the Galaxy, but that was about it?

There is plenty of movies coming out in the next few weeks and here is a short selection of a few movies that will get my butt in the seats. If there is anything you are dying to see, please share, I am always looking for recommendations!

Birdman

Looks promising, no?

Interstellar

I still don’t know what the what is Interstellar about, but will be seeing it anyway.

St. Vincent

I would see St. Vincent for Bill Murray alone (conversely I would also love to hang out with Bill Murray. I had some odd (one way to describe it) nights out, but I’m fairly certain this one would top all of them). Add Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd to the mix… well… a must see for me since I love all three.

The Imitation Game

Oscar bait-y obv. Also Cumberbatch obv. Also for the love of everything that is holy – just no. NO. If there is anything that will put me off this man for good, then this craziness will.

Gone Girl

Read the book and enjoyed it immensely. Hopefully the movie won’t disappoint (fingers crossed and all that. Screenplay was written by Gillian Flynn herself and it does deviate from the book so yay an element of a surprise there).

Foxcatcher

The reviews are really (REALLY) good. And I like Tatum, Ruffalo and Carell.

You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.

Dear ladies and gents,

Robin Williams passed away less than a month ago. We will never know the extent of his suffering. And he must have suffered so badly.

The outpouring of support for his family and the tributes from regular people like you and me has been nothing short of… astonishing? Is that the right word? But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. For some it was Mork & Mindy. For others Dead Poets Society. Good Morning Vietnam. Jumanji. Aladdin. Awakenings. Good Will Hunting. Mrs Doubtfire. The Birdcage. The Fisher King. Hook. Man of the Year. *

He was so brilliant at comedy. But his dramatic roles… ah!

It will be a while before I’ll be able to see What Dreams May Come. And many of the dramas he starred in.

The only stuff that I can watch at the moment is his stand ups. And Birdcage. I would love to give you the reason why, but I don’t know. So here is a short list of stands up that you might want to check out in case you haven’t had the chance to see them before.

Robin Williams Live on Broadway (2002)

Hands down Live on Broadway is still one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. If you need a laugh, if you are experiencing the mean reds, if you had a stressful day at work… just give this a watch.

Robin Williams: At the Met (1986)

Oh the joy! The joy you’ll experience watching this is indescribable. Also – f*ck it! :)

Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction (2008)

Watch it. And love it. There is a reason why this particular tour was sold out.

An Evening with Robin Williams (1982)

Ah now this! THIS is the stand up where you will be able to see Williams do what he did best – improv. He dives right in there and doesn’t stop. Or stand still. For a second. Genius at work.

Rest in peace Robin, rest in peace finally. And we’ll miss you terribly.

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*(On a side note – first ever review I wrote for the school’s newspaper was for Mrs Doubtfire. Good Will Hunting I saw on my first trip to Dublin. Dead Poets Society was just… no words. Standing in line to get the tickets for the Fisher King on a rainy afternoon because it was THE movie to see at the time. And it was worth getting the feet wet. It is pointless to try and explain how some of his movies are connected to specific events in my life. And I know I’m not the only one who had the same experience.

I am adding this as a side note because this tragic, immensely sad thing happened and we lost a brilliant man who made us weep with laughter. It is about him. Not about my navel gazing.)