Thursday, November 27, 2014

Interstellar (2014)

Christopher Nolan's new film interstellar cowritten along with his brother, Jonathan Nolan makes you consider three big topics: humanity, ethics, in the future of civilization.  The story comes across too realistic to be science fiction and begins with footage leading you to believe it could be a docu-drama.  You will be pondering deep thoughts throughout the movie and long after the credits roll down the screen.

The storyline is set in modern times or at least in the very near future. Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, who had aspirations of being an astronaut and had studied to be in engineer. But the need for engineers has gone to the wayside as humans now our focus solely on providing food to eat. The world population has dropped dramatically and so have the variety of foods that can be grown in the earth. Most humans now are surviving just off of corn hello. McConaughey's daughter Murph (played young by Mackenzie Foy and grown as Jessica Chastain) notices some strange things occurring in her room. This then leads them to the discovery that they're being sent messages for by the coordinates to a secret location for what's left of NASA. The government has done away with the NASA program years prior focusing all of its budget on feeding the country. However there's a small group of NASA scientist to continue researching space development. Cooper is in invited to take part in mission to reconnect with several astronauts who had gone out earlier, exploring potential new planets for humans to live. Cooper promises his family that he will return from this once-in-a-life time journey to save all mankind. The overall moral to the story was that beyond science love truly does transcend all dimensions in all aspects of time.  The other message was a social commentary on environmentalism, which rings strongly for California, where we are experiencing a serious drought and provide provide 75% of America's produce. 

McConaughey was believable as a father who is driven to do what was best for his family. Once again we are also forced to sit through Anne Hathaway making her sad crying face with having tears dripping every other scene.  My favorite work in the film was by Bill Irwin who brings a full dimensionality as the voice of TARS, who is an artificial intelligence robot most similar to R2-D2 in his job and yet the opposite of HAL from 2001.

The film runs close to three hours long. This amount of screen time is necessary to take you on the journey which at times feels like it's in real time. Especially considering the astronauts are experiencing relative time at one minute for every seven years on earth. In some ways this actually makes the movie feel like its an even longer running time than 169 minutes.
I was able to experience the film in IMAX (digital projection) which provided a very large screen as well as heavy sound elements which enhanced the overall experience of the movie. I am a fan of the technical stuff, so when I heard the movie have been shot mostly in 70 mm film I was quite eager to see how it would look present on the screen. Shooting the movie on film gives a certain depth and visual quality that you don't see anymore with digital films and this movie did not disappoint.

The movie is running in 70mm IMAX in about a dozen theaters around the country and I say it's worth catching. In SoCal, this includes the TCL Chinese Theater, the Edwards Irvine Spectrum and Edwards Ontario Palace.

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