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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: Tucumcari Bound on May 17, 2014, 07:07:20 AM

Title: Interstellar trailer #2
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on May 17, 2014, 07:07:20 AM
There are movies and then there are events, Christopher Nolan films are events. I cannot wait.
Title: Re: Interstellar trailer #2
Post by: dave jenkins on November 01, 2014, 10:29:21 AM
I will not be seeing this.

Here's the kiss-off:
After all the jaw-dropping cinematography and carefully-buffed CGI, in fact, "Interstellar" winds up fitting into a fairly narrow and deeply tired sub-genre alongside films like "Frequency," "Contact," and even "Field of Dreams": Dad Issues from Dimension X. It's impossible to not admire the technical achievements of "Interstellar," but as Michael Bay and so much more modern moviegoing has proved, rapturous visuals can't make up for a ruptured script. Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" spends hundreds of millions to take the audience on a journey to the farthest parts of the cosmos ... so they can be told sentiments as close, and as cheap, as any of the offerings at your local Hallmark card retailer.
Title: Re: Interstellar trailer #2
Post by: Groggy on November 02, 2014, 08:31:57 AM
Forget daddy issues, "Directed by Christopher Nolan" activates my BS alert.
Title: Re: Interstellar trailer #2
Post by: Groggy on November 02, 2014, 08:46:04 AM
Another negative review: (

In fairness, Interstellar currently has a 74% RT rating. But reviews like this make it sound exactly like what I'd expect.
Title: Re: Interstellar trailer #2
Post by: dave jenkins on November 05, 2014, 06:13:31 AM
The folds of space are inspected throughout “Interstellar,” though major events involving contact with other forms of life are brushed aside as casual encounters, while the conclusion of the feature is crushingly earthbound. Nolan loses his nerve as the production inches toward intriguingly esoteric highlights, electing to transform the film into “Moonraker” instead of sustaining mystery and impossibility. At nearly three hours in length, “Interstellar” displays an incredible amount of effort to slip into the unknown, teasing a spiritual experience goosed by a pipe organ score by Hans Zimmer. And yet, little emerges at the end of the picture besides dramatic convention, regressive manipulation (Nolan is practically situated behind every theater seat, peeling onions to make sure the audience leaves in tears), and an unsatisfying feeling that Nolan’s Big Idea never left the launch pad.
Title: Re: Interstellar trailer #2
Post by: Groggy on November 15, 2014, 08:38:43 PM
Saw it tonight, hated it. Managed to write this, though it's as much an anti-Nolan rant as an actual review. You can skip to the fourth or fifth paragraph for actual thoughts on Interstellar.

For all Christopher Nolan's shortcomings, his fatal flaw is a deficit of humanity. The Dark Knight trilogy's most believable character is a psychotic clown. Inception ping-pongs cardboard archetypes inside its convoluted dreamscape. Nolan's characters have no warmth, zero humor, marginal capacity for growth, only fall in love so they can mope when their partner dies. Casting big stars only highlights their one-dimensionality. There's no reason to care about anyone, whether Christian Bale or Extra #56.

If Nolan were Michael Bay this wouldn't be a shock, or even a demerit: blockbusters generally aren't known for depth. But Nolan's somehow known as a cerebral filmmaker, though his ideas are facile and obnoxiously overstated: less blockbuster Stanley Kubrick than lowbrow Stanley Kramer. Batman Begins subjects us to endless lectures about fear; The Dark Knight's protracted finale only shows that gee, maybe humanity isn't evil after all. We almost pine for the innocent witlessness of Transformers.

When Nolan's not explaining themes, he's bludgeoning viewers with endless exposition. Nolan often takes 1,000 words to explain what a better director could convey with one image. Four-and-a-half years later, I still hate Inception for one particular scene. Ellen Page asks Leonardo DiCaprio what he's feeling. Guilt, DiCaprio replies. Followed by a fifteen minute, plot-stopping monologue explaining said guilt's origin in excruciating detail. When did pomposity become a substitute for intelligence?

Nolan's latest offering, Interstellar, offers the same failings on a grander scale. Beautifully conceived, it tops last year's Gravity in its jaw-dropping, immersive special effects. But for all its existential pondering, it's an empty shell.

Former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) dreams of abandoning life as a subsistence farmer in the near-future. He stumbles upon Lazarus, a secret government project transporting humans to faraway galaxies through a wormhole. Cooper signs on, thinking it's the only way to save Earth's population from blight and dust storms. As Cooper and his crew mates travel to Saturn and beyond the infinite, Earth's situation worsens: daughter Murphy (Jessica Chastain) becomes an embittered scientist, while son Tom (Casey Affleck) clings to his dying farm.

The surliest cynic can't deny Interstellar's technical brilliance. Nolan brings intergalactic travel to new heights, with Double Negative crafting amazing imagery. Shots of the Endurance spacecraft wending its way past Saturn, a tiny dot in space, are jaw-dropping, as are set-pieces making brilliant use of space silence (though not Hans Zimmer's typically tone-deaf score). If the wormhole scenes and snarky robot strongly recall 2001: A Space Odyssey it's hardly a demerit. The actual planets are equally impressive: an ice planet recalling Inception's snowbound finale, a sea with perpetually churning waves.

Sadly, Interstellar falls down elsewhere. Nolan and screenwriter-brother Johnathan revisit their usual faults: clunky dialogue, sloppy plotting, themes and arc words repeated ad nauseum. This movie's big howler has a marooned astronaut (Matt Damon) claiming that Cooper's buddies literally raised him from the dead. "Lazarus," Cooper helpfully mutters. Characters recite a Dylan Thomas poem four times, then it's shown onscreen for slower viewers. And of course, Nolan intercuts Cooper's revelation with flashbacks. This evinces either poor writing or utter contempt for Interstellar's audience. Possibly both.

Like other Nolan films, Interstellar gropes with interesting concepts. I enjoyed the early scenes, showing a dying society's indifference towards intellectualism: Murphy's school textbook proclaims the Moon landings a hoax! And unlike Inception, the rules about space and time travel are mostly consistent. Yet the second half reiterates, time and again, a tedious "needs of the many" dilemma that wears thin fast. Interstellar ends with an inspired idea, trapping Cooper in a personalized limbo that holds the story's key... only to ruin things with, you guessed it, a tedious monologue. Imagine 2001 ending with the Starchild explaining the Monolith.

Matthew McConaughey's incessant mumbling makes Marlon Brando sound like Rex Harrison. But he at least allows glimmers of emotion to shine through. In contrast, Anne Hathaway is a lifeless plank; Jessica Chastain, usually a vibrant, engaging actress, merely conveys one-note sourness. Matt Damon and Casey Affleck turn up so the third act has human villains to jeer. John Lithgow's excellent... for the ten minutes he's onscreen. And Michael Caine is embalmed playing yet another snarky old mentor.

Christopher Nolan has big ideas but little clue how to render them. It's hardly a question of "getting" a message that's pounded into you with a sledgehammer. At least his Batman films, Inception and The Prestige offer thrills and clever moments, however fleeting. With Interstellar, an ambitious but soulless mess, he's finally struck out.  4/10